John Deere or SCAG?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GreenBlade, May 4, 2012.

  1. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    I am trying to decide between a John Deere Z710a (54" w/ 23HP Kohler) or a SCAG Tiger Cat (52" w/ 22HP Kawasaki). I only have about 6 clients right now, but they are growing & I also do some one-times for people when they go on vacation or something. I will be partnering with another guy soon & we will have considerably more yards (15-30). I need a mower that will last! Also, I love striping so that is another important factor.

    Currently I use a Cub Cadet RZT 50" w/ a 22HP Kawasaki. This is a residential mower & we have had a lot of problems with it, but another option could just be to keep on mowing with this machine.

    Any advice? Or other mower recommendations?

  2. LibertyFarmLandscaping

    LibertyFarmLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE TX
    Messages: 1,091

    Forget the partner, that always ends with problems, and get the Scag if you plan to run it for a long time. Lack of aftermarket parts for the JD will cost a lot for oem parts.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Well not a partner, more of an employee. Like a manager. He'll just take over for me when I'm not able. But yeah I am leaning more toward SCAG myself. I have never owned a SCAG before, but I have owned a JD before. I still use my JD its a lawn tractor for pulling aerators & stuff, but this was back when they were hand-made. As I understand John Deere was bought by some company?
  4. LawnGuy110

    LawnGuy110 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,105

    as said above
    john deere doesnt have many aftermarket parts that work with their mowers and oem parts are costly.
    SCAG oem parts arent exactly cheap but there are cheap aftermarket parts that work just as well as oem
  5. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    I see, Thanks!
  6. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    I have 2 scags. A Wildcat with a 25 Kawi 52" velocity deck and a mid 1990's WB with a 14 Kawi 36" deck. They've both been used commercially but they're in good shape. Both were maintained pretty well it seems. I LOVE both of these mowers. No idea on the hours on the Wildcat, the meter said 1700 and change last Sept when I bought it but the meter doesnt work now. So who really knows. Absolutely no idea about hours on the WB but I'm sure it's got a lot of hours. These things both stripe awesome and never left a straggler piece of grass. Even today I had to finish up in the rain and the Wildcat didn't miss a beat. They both have mulching blades on but no mulching kit. they disperser the clippings real nice and the cut is beautiful. I can't say enough about how much I love these.

    A few cons, like the Wildcat is real loud and it's got low(er) compression on one cylinder. But that's not Scags fault. The hydros also will need to replaced sometime down the road. I have a tough time getting it to track straight, but with high is what it is. Oh yeah, and seat is torn and has a duck tape patch job:laugh: The WB is pull start but starts real easy on the 2nd or 3rd pull. She's gonna need a new pull cord soon's on my list.

    The WB sometimes doesn't like to go into or stay in a gear. Not sure what that's all about but it works and it cuts great. They're both real heavy machines but I don't have any issues with rutting or damaging turf with them. They're crazy beefy too, frames are solid, just a well built machines all around. The Wildcat is almost the same mower as the Tigercat from what I understand but don't quote me on that.

    No info about the JD's from me. I've never used one. A good friend's uncle bought one for his house since he used one at his church and he raves about it. It's got the 7Iron deck and he says it cuts great too. I'm sure you'd be happy with either mower. If you're gonna buy new, listen to all the guys on here that talk about dealer support and part prices, etc. I fix all my own crap so that's not a concern to me personally. But I do this part time and I have the time to fix busted crap without ruining my week. Also, go with whatever machine is best for you in terms of service, cost, etc. For me, I think I'll always run Scags. I've used Exmarks in college when I worked for a big LCO and I didn't think tey were all that great. that was many years ago though.

    Let us know what you decide....(Scag, cough cough)

    Good Luck!!
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    Either one would do fine for you.
    I just sold my 2011 Z720 a couple months ago. The Z700's are excellent machines for the money, and I don't find Deere's equipment ad on's to be anymore expensive than any other brand. Aftermarket, maybe, but I'd rather have stuff I know was made specifically for my machine anyway.
    The Z710 is actually a 20.5 HP now under the new rating system that all manu's are going to, and the Kawi on the Scag will actually be less HP as well.
    The Z700's are very solid feeling machines that are built on the exact same frame as the Z900's are even though Deere's own literature says "similar frames". I measured both side by side in many different directions, and they are indentical. I have a Z950 now.

    The 7 Iron will cut as good as the Velocity deck, and actually chop the clippings slightly smalller since it is a little more tightly baffled in front of the blades.

    The bottom line is dealer support, because both are great machines, and both will make you money.:)
  8. dahammer

    dahammer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    The HP rating on the Scag has already been de-rated to 22hp. It was 24hp under the old system, same engine.
  9. RTR Landscaping

    RTR Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Nothing against JD but go with the Scag. They are the best built machines on the market. You'll love the Velocity deck. I don't do any striping but I'm sure they have something for that.
  10. GreenBlade

    GreenBlade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    Thank you for all the great info! I'll be sure to let you know how things work out.

Share This Page