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Impressions. Turf Tiger and Lazer

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well I put 50 hrs on my new Turf Tiger without getting on the Lazer. I've had another guy running it. I decided to get back on it yesterday. First of all this area doesn't have the best turf and most home owners don't seem to care. Plenty of clover, dandelions, and other weeds mixed in with fescue. Well after cutting a few strips with the old Ultra Cut I looked back and the words out of my mouth were WOW! After all the years I've run the Ultra Cut I'm still amazed at how crisp and smooth the cut is. Just unbelievable. I haven't been on it since last fall and have been using the new Scag with the Velocity deck. I've been mowing with the Scag/Velocity combination all year so far and the smoother cut on the same lots really took me by surprise because the Scag cut is pretty good. Am I sorry I bought the Turf Tiger and Velocity deck. Absolutely not! They are just different decks that have a different approach to getting the job done. I will try to make this review as unbiased as possible. I own both and have no reason to favor one over the other.
    First of all on very thick overgrown lawns or wet lawns I would grab the Scag in a heartbeat. The design of the deck is such that it can move vast amounts of grass and still leave a very good cut with out clogging and clumping. And since I have a lot of bi-weeklys this is what I need. I have the 31 Briggs and I can approach a lot of any type overgrown, wet, weedy, etc and know I will leave with a good cut and get the job done. The Exmark Ultra Cut on the other hand will leave the average well maintained lot or even a very weedy lot with a finish that is as smooth as a putting green and cut the clippings so small they will usually disappear into the turf. The Velocity deck puts out a gentle fan like discharge and has yet to clump this year even in the rain. On the other hand the Ultra Cut blows a rooster tail (compare to a snow blower) 3 deck withs and scatters the clippings very well also. The clippings on the velocity are always longer but well dispersed.
    If you go across a drive way that has a lot of clippings the Velocity will scatter them with blow out in front and its not very good at sweeping a drive way. The Ultra Cut is much like a blower and will send every blade of grass on a drive very powerfully in a single direction with no blow out.
    This is just a general observation and I will add more too it later. But bottom line is that the Ultra Cut is definitely a smoother cut but the Scag Velocity is very versatile and can handle some big jobs that would be tough for the Ultra Cut. There is just so much grass the Ultra Cut can move.
    Also the Lazer has super fast hydraulics compared to the Turf Tiger. It will trim much closer to an object such as going around a small tree or mowing in a corner. The lazer scalps less and will approach a slope head on with out bottoming out like the Scag. The Scag has stiffer controls but is much easier to make a strait stripe on large area's. More later.
  2. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    This is really valuable information for me. I am going to buy either an ultra cut
    lazer Hp or maybe a lazer Z OR a scag wildcat maybe. I have a friend that works in the distribution chain for Exmark and can get a Lazer Z with the 27hp Kohler 66" deck for $9000.00 which seems like a great price. I really want the efi though. Or a Lazer hp 20hp Kohler 50" deck for 7000.00 seems a little under powered though. Unfortunately those are the only 2 he can get a discount on right now. Then there is the scag, I found out a wildcat with a 52"deck would run me $9500.00 but Scag's financing is horrible right now.
    Reading this info and all the info I see on these is very beneficial but still makes my decision no easier. I can really see where I could get a lot of use out of either one of those. Ultimately I need something that will perform in a wide range of conditions including at least 3 or 4 months of wetter grass (fall, spring) I will keep reading your posts with interest.

  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well I was in a bit of a hurry on the first post. I must say there are things the Tiger can do that the Exmark just couldn't. Mowing across very steep slopes is an area that the Scag excels in. I will run across slopes that look as if they are suited for only a walk behind. The worst thing about the Turf Tiger so far is that the back of the mower extends out further than most mowers and the pulley on the bottom back hangs. You have to approach a steep slope at an angle and I had to raise the ball on my truck to keep it from dragging on the trailer gate. I have been stuck a couple of times in places where the Exmark had no problem. In thicker better quality turf the Tiger is very close to the Exmark in cut. It's only on thin poorer quality turf that the superior cut of the Exmark stands out. The Exmark doesn't care if its good turf or bad, the cut is always dependable. But my stripes are straiter with the Turf Tiger. It feels like it has a longer wheel base but this may not be true. It may just be the extra dampening on the handles that makes it easy to drive in a strait line. All and all both great machines that I plan on keeping for a long time. Maybe this info will save some of you some time. I also notice going around landscaping corners if you try to trim very close on the Tiger the back tire will end up running on the landscape while the Lazer will let you mow closer around tight corners. The frame and general build of the Tiger seems heavier and stronger.
  4. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 916

    Iam noticing huge fuel savings with my efi 29 kawi over my other 25 hp Kawi's I mean a 1 year old Ferris 61" is3000 25hp is using 7 gallons of fuel a day and the scag TT is using 4 gallons a day they are used all day on the same properties same amount of time. So in a nut shell iam happy with my $10 savings on fuel the scag is giving me.
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    Outstanding post as usual Tacoma!

    You are always as unbiased as a human can get, which makes you one of the few reliable posters. You had every reason to look at your Tiger with rose colored glasses, yet you remained fair.

    I am enjoying my 60" TT and find the cut to be beautiful so far. The high growth conditions will show themselves next week, which will prove to be a test for it.

    Keep up the good work.
  6. Audrey

    Audrey LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 570

    I completely agree about the thick/thin grass and the Tiger. I have the Advantage and Velocity decks and neither do well on spindly weeds or thin stuff come the dry months. I've slowed down, used many combinations of blades, covered the discharge chute, changed the pulley on the output gearbox for more blade tip speed, and altered direction of cut. Nothing has worked, except for more rain to revigorate the growth. I finally gave up and just live with it. The new deck is a little better though. Still not perfect, but better. As Tacoma said, the eXmark had a very nice cut.
    In thick or tall grass both Scag decks really shine. Regular blades over high lifts here will keep more power on tap. It almost seems as though Scag specifically designed the decks for this scenario. They're great!

    I don't know about the longer wheelbase, but I would bet the center of gravity is lower. There is a big difference between the older and newer Tigers. I know it's only a few inches, but it feels like a foot. When I'm on the 2001 I feel like I'm in a kid's highchair. The new one, like an Indy car.
    I would imagine that the gas tank being centered and lower in the machine also helps. I can't see the advantage of having 80lbs+ up high over the wheels on a ZTR. I'm sure engineers thought of this, but my Scag held basin walls better than the eXmark I demoed.

    HA! :laugh: I rip up more turf with that left rear wheel than a monster truck rally! But that's operator error. I can't fault the machine for that. If I would slow my butt down I wouldn't have many of the "problems" I create.

    Agreed also on the straight lines being easier with the Tiger. The heavier dampening helps to keep you from over correcting. I demoed eXmark and Ferris after using Scag for years. You guys would have pizzed your pants seeing me ping-pong off the trailer for the first time with those machines. Needless to say, a drunk could have mowed straighter than I did for the first half hour. But in the in the spirit of Tacoma's fairness, it's all what you're used to. I got better with time on the other machines. Once you run it for a while, muscle memory will take over and you'll be fine. I just happen to like the rest of Scag's quality and features, and there is where I stayed.

    As far as the pulley in the back Tacoma,
    With my 2001 Tiger I mowed a rowed cornfield (no big stalks...this time) overgrown with head height grass. I did manage to get some stuff up in there. Maybe because it hangs out there... maybe not. Again, I cannot fault the machine for this. I was using it for what it was not designed to do. I think if I need to do this again I will make a shield to completely cover that entire area. Another time I was cutting waist high weeds/grass, and some of it got wrapped around the gearbox seal at the drive shaft. For 2001 they didn't have a cover over the cup seal. Ripped the snot out of it... I had to pull the gearbox and rebuild it to replace the seal. Maybe there I can hang a little blame on Scag, but it was more mine than theirs for me being where I possibly shouldn't have been. But overall the machine is no worse for wear because it's built like a tank. I still use the old machine for this type of work as I can't bring myself to dirty up the new "Indy Car". :)

    It's a lot nicer scraping the new deck than the old. There's less plates and ridges under there.
    What a great machine...

  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Yes both mowers have advantages and it's really amazing to watch the Scag Velocity plus go through the heaviest grass and never offer to clump. It moves more grass than anything I've seen. After 40+ hours on the Scag it took awhile to get used to the sticks on the Exmark. I see why some think they are jerky when in fact they have very little dampening and the hydraulic response is just plain fast. It's all what you get used to because I dogged the Scags for the heavy dampening for years but now I don't pay any attention to them unless I just got off the Lazer. Both great mowers. I'm very happy with the combination.
  8. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    I am curious what you all think about the "hurricane" mulching deck set up.
    How easy is it to install/take off, how well does it cut in all grass, including wet and dry? I am starting to tilt back to the Scag again, this time maybe for good. I am just not real thrilled with their financing options right now. By the way, which seat is the most comfortable with the sacg? I really liked those on the Exmark that you pointed out Tacoma, to bad I couldn't get one of those puppies for the Scag.:laugh:
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I'm not familiar with the mulching system except that I have heard it is not that easy to install on the Velocity deck (just hearsay, no actual experience). I'm still waiting on my full suspension seat for the Scag but I know it is the same one that Exmark and Hustler uses and it is comfortable on them. The seat is made by Michigan Seat. To be honest the standard high back Scag seat is not bad at all. I'll let you know if my distributor gets it in how it preforms. Not sure why it's taking so long but I'm using their seat for free right now. Wish I could help more. The Scag and Exmark both have such strong points it would be hard to go wrong with either. I like them both. I am using the Scag more right now, it likes the rough stuff but pull the Exmark off on certain lawns. I have a helper that agrees the Lazer is a smoother cut but it just can't handle the super thick grass as well. Nobody mulches here. If you've seen some of the stuff I cut you can see why. This fescue turns into a sloppy mess by mid spring with the consistency of cow manure and super glue combined. What a mess. I do a lot of scraping on the Ultra Cut during that time, it's kind of dry now so I'm not sure how the Velocity will do when the spring growth really kicks in with a few rains.
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I agree, Tacoma's "review" posts are always entertaing and very educational.

    You gotta do more of them, lol:laugh:

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