exmark vs. scag vs. deere

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sdemartino, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. sdemartino

    sdemartino LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I'm new to the forum, but have spent the last two weeks reading and searching posts on the site for hours on end. Found them to be VERY helpful. Also, have been to several local dealers looking and learning.

    I am looking for a ZTR for residential use only. I have about 1 acre of grass in Connecticut, bluegrass/rye/fescue mix, alot of obstacles (trees, landscape beds, pool, etc), and one slope maybe 20-30 degrees steep. I have narrowed the choices down to three machines - JD Z425, ExMark LazerZ CT/HP and Scag FreedomZ. All 48" decks. Will probably buy the mulch kit and bagger. I'll mulch most of the year, and use the bagger for the first spring mowing, fall mowing to catch leaves, and whenever the grass is REALLY high and thick.

    Some questions. Am I looking at the right machines? 48" deck size seem appropriate for my situation? Should I consider a bigger deck?

    After reading through may of the site's threads, I'm pretty confident I really couldn't go wrong with any of these three machines, but still seeking some opinions. Most important thing to me is quality of cut - and by that I mean evenness. I'm looking for that smooth, perfect, carpet-like appearance - no stragglers sticking up, no "pillowing effect" - even when cut at 3".

    I like the ExMark and hear it gives most even cut, but couldn't find much talk about the LazerZ CT. I worry if the 18hp Vanguard twin on the CT, which the only available engine on the 48" Trivantage deck, would have enough power to go up my slope and power the deck. Stepping up to the Lazer HP will get me more HP - 23hp, but it only comes with the Triton deck - which from the threads sounds like a deck I should stay away from. Is this still true?

    Scag Freedom Z seems like a really solid machine to me - most solid of the three. Open design of the velocity deck seems like it would never get clogged. Just don't know if it will give me that perfect even cut I'm looking for though. Also offers more engine options - 19hp Kawasaki twin, or 20hp B&S twin.

    JD Z425 also looks pretty decent. Comes with a 23hp B&S twin on the 48" deck. Haven't found much on its quality of cut - so looking for opinions here. Also, I'm not much of a Deere fan, as I had a LT155 tractor, 36" deck, that was nothing but problems. Even bought it from a JD dealer (not home depot). But I'm open minded, and the Z425 seems to get good reviews

    What are your thoughts? Any opinion based on experience as to the best machine for me? What size engine would you recommend?

    Thanks for your help.http://www.lawnsite.com/images/smilies/smilie_flagge13.gif
  2. sdemartino

    sdemartino LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Also, how about the Toro Z400/Z450? Looks pretty similar to the ExMark.

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