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Kubota ZG20 vs Scag Tiger Cub 19hp 48"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jdlynch, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. jdlynch

    jdlynch LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 32

    I'm new to this forum and appreciate all the experience and knowledge I have been able to tap onto by reading the posts here. I am searching for a ztr to be used strictly for residential use, with a little less than an acre to mow.

    I have narrowed my search for a ztr down to two models: The kubota ZG20 and the Scag Tiger Cub 19 hp 48" cut.

    The Kubota has several selling features including hydraulic deck lift, hydraulic PTO and shaft drive. However, it has a proprietary Kubota integrated HST transmission. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about the transmission or not. Other posters have commented that the ZG20 does not give you a "luscious" cut for well manicured lawns, which happens to be very important to me. Is it true about the poor cut quality?

    The Tiger Cub is a proven favorite by commercial cutters. It has separate pump and wheel motors and a deck that gives professional results on a lawn. It does not have a lot of the features of the Kubota but seems to be more "brute".

    It would seem easy to buy the Tiger Cub, but, a family member of mine sells Kubota and can sell me the ZG20 at a heck of a price, not to mention keeping peace in the family.

    At a significant savings would the Kubota ZG20 be a worthy choice over the Tiger Cub? Does anyone have any comments regarding reliability and, most of all, cut quality with the ZG20 compared to the Tiger Cub?

    Bottom line is, I feel a little uncomfortable with the Kubota based on the comments I have read here. However, i could save serious money on the Kubota and keep peace in my family by buying the ZG20 from my brother-in-law. I need justification, from experienced users, that buying the Kubota over the Tiger Cub would not be a mistake.
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well... the integrated HST on the ZG series is not your garden variety drive.
    It's leaps and bounds beyond the IZT's on all the homeowner ZTR's.
    In fact, it has proven to be a better trans unit than the ones on the Kubota ZD.

    As far as cut quality, I can't really comment on the 48" but I can about the 54" and I doubt there is a lot of difference. When set properly they cut very well. The cut is clean, even in tuff stuff, the discharge clippings are fine chopped, and the discharge spread is good. The cutting speed is also good.

    Overall, it is a very good mower for cutting average to below average areas. Stuff like fields, open areas not well cared for due to size, poor lawns, ect. It is going to excel past most on jobs like this.

    However, on the fine manicured lawns, it is not going to produce the flashy cut like the pictures I see here of Scag's work.... grass sucked straight up, lazer cut and laid into a stripe pattern.

    You might be able to tinker around and eventually extract that level of cut out of the ZG after getting everything fine tuned into the sweet spot.... deck pitch, engine rpm, blade selection, ect.... but it's not going to cut like that out of the box.

    What you will have is a very smooth, very clean, "carpet cut" as we call them here. Nothing at all wrong with that. Some prefer it... others don't.

    Really, I don't think you can really go all that wrong with either machine as long as you are not cutting hills. You could always add something to the Kubota to make it stripe if you would rather keep your business in the family.

    If I were in your shoes, I would no doubt want the promo Scag 48" with the briggs engine for $5,999. But I would probably buy from family due to the service after the sale aspect, and before buying I would let it be known that I expected that special consideration in return for the special consideration I gave due to "keeping it in the family."

    In other words, in private I would confide in the brother-in-law that all things equal, I would much rather have the Scag than the Kubota, but since he is family I would rather buy from him, and know I'll be well taken care of in the event I ever need service....
  3. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,016

    I have a Tiger Cub and it is a great mower. I had two Cubs but just sold one with 600 hrs with no problems. I sold it because we bought a Turf Tiger to replace it. I would highly recommend the Scag ours have been reliable.I have looked at and cranked up a Kubota ZD28 but never used one. The Kubota looks to be well made but I don't have experience with them.

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