Mower choice

Nitro-Fish

LawnSite Member
Location
Warrenton, Va
Looking at a new purchase, narrowed it down to the following three:
Bobcat 6000MX w/Kawasaki FX850V 61" (9996006; HG Pumps & Wheel motors)
Scag Cheetah w/27HP Kawasaki 61" (SCZ61V-27FX; 2 speed ZT-5400's)
John Deere 930M w/25.5HP Kawasaki 60" (F801V; Tuff Torq integrated Pumps/WM's)
Pretty much listed in order of personal preference, but looking for any experiences good or bad from members here. The Cheetah has the lowest price, but not enough to rule out the others. Dealer network about the same for all.


May also consider the Scag Tiger Cat II w/23HP Kawasaki (STCII-61-23FX; 12cc Hydro-Gear pumps & Parker wheel motors as a 4th position depending on feedback here.
The TCII doesn't look to be built nearly as well as the others (although I do lean towards the pump/wheel motor set-up, hence the Bobcat being first on the list). Any insight is appreciated.
 

ARN Greencare

LawnSite Senior Member
I would say Cheetah. Two instances I never thought of on the AirFX deck have occurred recently. If you hit something, I mean something most other mowers would spit out, it can hit the front baffle between the left and center blade and knock the baffle over into the center blade. I seen this twice this last month and it couldn't have been much cause the blade in both instances were hardly affected. After seeing this I am beginning to have reservations about this deck.

The Bobcat you listed I believe has zt4400 integrated pump/motor.

The Scag Turf Tiger and Grasshopper's mid-mounts are some of the last few offering separate pump/motors.
 
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Nitro-Fish

LawnSite Member
Location
Warrenton, Va
Thanks for the info on the deck, that 's the kind of feedback I'm looking for, bad or good, just haven't heard too much about them, did the owners mention anything about quality of cut?

The Bobcat ProCat 6000MX (the 9996006 model) is the model with the separate pumps & wheel motors (as is the non MX ProCat 6000; the 9996002 model).

Until recently I was unaware that the Scag Tiger Cat II was available with separate pumps & wheel motors, that's why I plugged it in as a possible 4th choice, but I think it gives up a bit in the frame department.

I did look at the Grasshoppers,the mid mower 329 Big Block, they look to be solid machines, but the dealer network is almost non existent in my area, as a matter of fact the one I looked at was the only one they had on the lot & it had been sitting outside with no cover for so long the paint was faded and much of the hardware around the control panel etc. was rusted. I did like the build, looked to have a quality deck, and did I mention I like pumps & wheel motors?

Thanks for the info.
 

ARN Greencare

LawnSite Senior Member
My neighbor has a 61" AirFX deck, and it doesn't cut quite as good as my Grasshopper 61." But it seems, which is hard to tell cause of different mower weight, drive differences, and different engines, that the AirFX doesn't need as much power to cut heavy grass. I am running the 29hp Vanguard and he has an FX730V. The Bobcat cuts clean and does it at a pretty fast rate, but two of the people I know running them professionally admit it needs a stripping kit to leave as nice of a stripe as a Scag or Grasshopper. I personally think Bobcat stripes just fine.

I too am an advocate for the separate pump/motor design too. The ZT4400 is a huge step in the right direction, but is still a throw away design. Anything that has to be fixed requires you to open the unit up, even the park brake. I know what comes into my shop and needs repair, therefore I will be purchasing separate pump/motor designs as long as I can...

I would take a second look at the Tiger Cat. Separate pump/motor, velocity plus deck. The components are all there to sum up a quality machine for sure...
 
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K&L Landscaping

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
western NC
Of those you have listed I would rank the Cheetah first, then JD, Tiger Cat 2 and then the Bobcat. The Velocity Plus and 7 iron decks are the best in the industry.
 

Ethan's Total Lawn Care

LawnSite Member
Location
Lake Elmo, MN
I haven't had any experience with the other two mowers, but I have had extensive experience with the Scag cheetah and turf tiger 2. Cost aside, I would personally recommend the cheetah over the TT2, but that's just my opinion. Here are the pro's and con's of each.


Cheetah

Pro's


Larger fuel copacity (2x 7.5 gallon tanks = 15 gallons total)

Faster ground speed (16mph in high range, and I wanna say like 12 in low range)

Better suspension. The entire platform is floating vs just the seat. Much better ride. (Your back will thank you later)

The roll bar tucks in next to the engine block in an inconspicuous way. (However, that does make it a bit more difficult to mount a light bar. I eventually decided to go buy some super powerful magnets and plugs for the wires. )

Better hydro pump system (idk much about that, other than what people tell me)

Cheaper


Con's


There are only two real con's in my opinion, and they both have to do with the fuel tank placement.

First, the fuel tank blocks the view of the cutter deck. However, it's not a huge issue for me. I know the boundaries of my machine, and for those who don't, it's still not a huge deal. Just lean over a bit when going around objects till you get the hang of it.

Second, the tanks hang over the top of the spindles, preventing you from just putting the impact on top of the nut to remove the blades. You have to go get a mower Jack and get at it from the bottom. (This is an issue they fixed on the cheetah 2 by making the tanks smaller, bet I'd personally prefer the larger tanks and deal with the hassle)


TT2 pro's


Single fuel tank with lower center of gravity, but only 12 gallon fuel capacity.

Wider stance

More foot room. Larger platform

Better visibility of the deck.


Con's

Has cheaper hydro setup. (Again, I know nothing in this subject. Just what I've been told)

12mph top speed

Has none of the above features listed for cheetah.



Both


I love the setup for the bagging system. You can get it either as the clamshell, or as the cloth bag system. I personally have the 3 bag system, and I love it. I get no blowout when doing leaf cleanups in the front, or in the back.

The Velocity Plus Deck is legendary. I get perfect, vibrant stripes, (strait too, I might add, but that's another story lol) discharges the clippings perfectly, no clumps, and over the course of the summer, I never once had to scrape the deck out. And that's having spend many an hour mowing in the pouring rain.



All that said, what exactly are you in the market for? New or used? What will the mower be used for? Ie. Leaf cleanup, or just normal mowing. Do you already have one picked out somewhere? If using for leaves, I'd go bigger on the engine. Mine is a 31 kawi, but sometimes it still bogs down when doing leaves.


Hope this helps.
 

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