Need Some Input On Used Scag vs New Bradley Mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Hiltzy, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Hiltzy

    Hiltzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    **I posted this in the wrong subforum before** Moved to here. Flagged other post to have a Mod delete.

    Hi Guys,
    First, let me say I've lurked out here & at plowsite for years. I almost always I find an answer to my questions...great knowledge base on this forum! This time, though,I have too specific a question, so I'm throwing it out here. I'm a detail guy, so my apologies if this post goes on and on. Cut to the bold type if you don't want to know my life story.

    I live on a 2.4 acre rugged lot with about 1.75 acres broken up into three equal chunks of mixed terrain to mow. I don't have beautiful grass, I just keep it green and's country living where I am.

    There's virtually no flat area to mow. It's a mostly a 10 degree slope with a couple of short (20'-50') but scary 20-25 degree runs that have a side slope, too, terminating with stone walls. Tons of kudzu/wild rose/blackberry surrounding pretty much everywhere else.

    Anyway, been mowing it for the last 15 years with a 1991 belt-driven Snapper Commercial 48" WB, 14hp Kohler. I maintain it myself, still runs and cuts well, but I'm getting a knee procedure soon and I don't want to be walk-mowing all summer, so I think I'm going to make this the year I buy a Stand-On. My budget is $5K or less.

    Seen a few nice ZTs in my price range, but I'm scared to buy a ZT with the hills and I don't have much garage space left for it.

    I put around 60-70 hours a season on my mower...maybe a little more if it's a rainy summer, but never came close to 100 hours in a season.

    Long story short: I was all set to buy a Bradley 52" Stand-On. The specs are good and the guys who run Bradleys seem to be really happy. It's $4500 delivered.

    BUT - Today my local Scag dealer called and told me he had just finalized a trade-in for a 2010 52" V-Ride with 1,703 hours, but in great shape. I think it's powered by a Kawi 26FX, maybe a 23FX, either way it's a Kawi air cooled power plant. $3,300 for this mower. Dealer tuned it up, changed fluids, blades, belts, and whatever else it needed. I went and looked at it, drove it around, and everything looks good with it. Drives good, runs great, no leaks that I could see, hydros look clean, deck's 100%. No rust or anything, just normal wear.

    SO - My gut tells me that 1,700 hours is right about where I would be starting to worry about big stuff going wrong...and it ain't cheap to replace the hydros or motor. BUT - My gut also tells me that I love Scags and they cut so nice.

    HOWEVER - My brain tells me that for $1,200 more, I can still be under budget and get a brand new machine with a 26hp B&S Vanguard and ZT3400 hydros and a 3 year warranty for P&L. I have a shop that'll work on it under warranty if necessary. Yes, it's an off-brand, but I have faith. The specs are solid.

    I'm stuck, Guys. Can you throw me some wisdom?

  2. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    I would go with the new mower and if it does not work out upgrade in a couple years.
  3. Hiltzy

    Hiltzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks, Traveling Man. I appreciate the input!
  4. pondfishr

    pondfishr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Did you get the Bradley? How do you like it. I'm looking for a walk behind to supplement what I have today and just curious?
  5. Greencuts518

    Greencuts518 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,574

    I bought the 36 " Bradley belt drive, walk's a beast. I mowed through some tall,thick and damp grass the other day with it, it did a great job , one pass.
    pondfishr likes this.
  6. pondfishr

    pondfishr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Thanks for the update! Do you know if it will fit through a 36" gate with the chute up?
  7. Hiltzy

    Hiltzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Sorry for the delay getting back. Yes, I ordered the 52" Stand-On. At some point, I'm going to start a new thread to chronicle my experiences with the mower, but I got knee surgery last week, so I haven't used it yet.

    I guess I can tell everyone the experiences so far in this thread for now.

    4/16- I called, asked a couple of questions about the machine, shipping, how it's delivered, lead time, etc. The guy I spoke with, Tom, was knowledgeable and pleasant enough. He told me they had plenty in stock, and it would ship out quickly, within a day of ordering if I ordered early enough in the day and it should take less than a week to residential address in CT. Exactly what I needed.

    4/16 - I called back to place the order, but they were closed.

    4/17 - Called, talked to Tom again, placed the order. He said he was pretty certain it would ship the next day (Wed 4/18), but it might go out on Thu 4/19. - No problem for me, I really just needed it by 4/27 so I could get it off the pallet, get it running, and get the first mow in before knee surgery on 5/2, which would put me out of commission for a at least 3-4 weeks. Tom said he'd email me receipt immediately. He also confirmed that the mower would be coming lift-gate svc w/ call-before-delivery and should definitely be there in my time-frame.

    No receipt comes in the email. Call back, Tom says he spelled my name wrong on my email addy, fixed it, emailed receipt.

    Fast FWD a week - I call because I hadn't heard anything from freight company nor did I get shipping confirmation emailed. Tom says my email addy was misspelled, so I didn't get confirmation sent, but that the mower had shipped on Monday 4/23...WTF??

    First, that's WAY longer to ship than I had been told, second...what's the deal with the multiple name misspellings? I have an easy ain't John Doe, but it's pretty close in its simplicity.

    OK - So I immediately track the shipping. Says estimated delivery on Friday 4/27...whew...still looking OK. Then FedEx calls and says it'll come on Monday 4/30. Not great, but I have everything I need to get it off the pallet and mow-ready in a hour, so I figured I could get it up and running on 4/30 evening...then get a cut in on 5/1.

    4/30 comes. Package delivered, everything's great. The FedEx guy was friendly and helpful despite it being a nightmare to get off the truck (the steel pallet-frame was bigger than the liftgate, and too long for the pallet-jack on his truck). Long story short, I used a 6' steel pry-bar from my garage, and a two-wheeler to pry and wheel the opposite end of the pallet...while FedEx guy used the pallet jack on his end and we got 'er done in about 30 minutes of a hairy 200-point turn. Anyway, not really a big deal. The package came off the truck undamaged and well-secured to the pallet.

    So... I call Tom at Bradley for some hints at taking the mower off the steel frame (it's an impressive packaging job Bradley does). He emails me some well-detailed, photo instructions on how to remove the machine. I start at it...but first, pull all the poly-wrap and sheeting off to inspect everything.

    Greencuts518 likes this.
  8. Hiltzy

    Hiltzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Everything's looking good! I kick the tires, find the owner's manual, check everything on the top-side out...and I'm feeling good about the purchase. Powder coating looks thick and even, the welds are looking and finish passes with flying colors.

    Then I look under the deck...wait a sec...something's missing. FFS!

  9. Hiltzy

    Hiltzy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    So I immediately call Tom. Tell him the discharge-side blade is missing...and I'm pissed, but I know it's not his fault, so I'm calm and don't give him a hard time.

    Tom apologized (and I could tell he was sincerely unhappy about what happened) and says he'll immediately overnight me a blade and hardware...but now it's late in the day and I wouldn't get the blade until Wed 5/2, when I'll be under the knife.

    So there's the story up to now. Stuff happens, especially when freight carriers and no local dealers are involved.

    It's not the end of the world, but I'm a little disappointed (wife's a lot disappointed) I'm not going to get my first mow of the season in until (possibly) June.

    All said, I'd buy again from Bradley and I'm happy with the way they handled the blade issue. I'll probably buy their grass-catcher once they have one for this 52" model, and I'm giving hard thought to their log-splitter.

    I'll post further updates once I put the mower in service. You'll get a good, honest review for how it handles a hell of a lot of 2' extra-thick grass on hillsides.
    Eric502, Mark Stark and hort101 like this.
  10. Greencuts518

    Greencuts518 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,574

    It's 36" with chute off and maybe up but I just take them off to hook up bagger and buying a chute blocker. I just came across first gate it wouldn't fit in, but it's a tiny backyard. 36" gate but door doesn't open all the way, so no go
    Last edited: May 13, 2018

Share This Page