New SCAG, Turf Tiger, 61", Vanguard 35hp, first impressions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by MacMitch, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. bth

    bth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Could be. My biggest concern, as puppypaws pointed out, is resale value and that I paid 2014 price for it. Down the road when I sell it, I will have to say it's a 2012 and I will take a hit on it because of that, even though it bought it out if a crate in 2014.

    It just irks me because I was concerned about it when I bought it and even pointed out the engine sticker with the 5/12 date on it to the dealer and they said it's not uncommon. They, and SCAG directly, said just because the date on the engine says that doesn't mean the mower wasn't recently built. Then I find the SCAG sticker in the frame under the seat yesterday that says 8/2012. They new I was concerned about it and they didn't tell me. Should have went with my gut when I picked it up and refused to take it. It bothers me, so I will talk with SCAG and my dealer about it.
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  2. bth

    bth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    MacMitch, in the first photo, it looks like your engine sticker says 11/12. Mine says 5/12. Given the date on your engine of 11/12 and someone else just posted that his just ordered V-ride was built in 2012, maybe this isn't all that uncommon after all.

    I also noticed that when I went to download the manual for my mower, my serial number starts with G and is covered by manual back three editions. They are up to serial numbers now that start with K. What does your serial number start with?

  3. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,139

    Let's think about it from a common sense standpoint, why would a manufacturer build mowers so far in advance they would be outdated by 2 yrs...a company that sells mowers in the fast manner Scag moves them should not allow this.

    What this means is the company is either not selling mowers at the rate they are being built (which I do not see this happening), or there is a dealer not moving mowers, and could possibly have gone out of business, either that or Scag has dropped their dealership.

    My dealer has the money to afford buying the stock left over in a dealership that has gone out of business, he has done this on many occasions. He will buy the dealers inventory at an extremely good price, write a check and have the mowers shipped into his warehouse. He then prices the mowers well below what other dealers have the capability to price. These mowers sell extremely fast for the fact my dealer is giving the buyer such a good deal, but he is still making money in the process. The ability to do this comes from the fact he has access to the capital to make the deal happen, whereas most dealers do not have this financial strength.

    I will be honest, if this dealer knew your machine was a 2012 year model mower, you should have been given a better price, a price which would be reduced in the amount of time equity lost if you decided to resale the mower after one cutting season. I am saying you should have paid at least $500 less for a 2012 yr. model mower than a 2014 year model. I say this for the reason if you were attempting to sell the mower to me, I would expect; even with very low hours to pay at least that amount less for the age difference, and $1000 would not be out of reason.
  4. MacMitch

    MacMitch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    My mowers serial # is H9900422.

    In the global market we live in many machines are made with parts from many different places. If I had to guess, my guess would be that the number/date on my motor was placed on the block when it was made in Japan. After that, if I understand correctly, that part went to Briggs and Stratton where various other parts were added to the engine during it's assembly. Some time after that SCAG bought and took delivery of a shipment of engines to use in the manufacture of mowers. I imagine SCAG makes runs of specific mowers with specific engines....I'm not sure how we can trace the manufacture date of a specific mower by a date on a part of the engine. I am confident SCAG mowers contain parts from many different sources, manufactured at many different times.

    The only thing I know to go by is whether or not the feature set on a specific mower is the feature set that years mower is suppose to have to be that model year mower.

    My Ferris 3100Z mower has a rubber tube extending out of the back that I can drain oil from so I don't have to access a remote bolt/toggle up in the engine. I am wondering if I could add a similar tube to my SCAG Turf Tiger? The oil filter remover with the swivel handle gives me a way to get a band around the filter and twist/screw it in or out from directly in front of the filter.
  5. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,139

    No, everything concerning the build of a Briggs Vanguard engine is done in Japan, the only thing not made in Japan is any plastic associated with the engine. The plastic is shipped from the US to Japan, and this I was told is for the reason of US plastic technology being far advanced to Japan's plastic.

    Put Scag as the mower manufacturer in your position, they do not want to install an engine made in 2012 on a mower manufactured in 2014. This is not good business sense for all involved. Can you think of the backlash that would come from a customer finding out his new 2014 mower had a 2012 built engine. As with you, it's the business principal of the transaction that can cause problems, you are not receiving exactly what you believed purchased.

    Even for the fact the 2012 manufactured engine would be no different "probably," than one manufactured in 2014...those dates make more of a difference to the buyer than one may think, as you have found out.
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,742

    The first line in bold is correct.

    The second lines in bold I have to disagree. They do it all the time. Cases in point- I know for sure Hustler, Scag, and Exmark have used engines made in years previous to the year the actual machine is built, and that can be easily spotted by the simple fact that they were selling machines with Kawi's using the old rating labels as late as late 2013, when Kawi ha d stopped using them, and started using the new rating labels at the late end of 2011. The dealers and even the reps have said that they buy in bulk, and use up existing inventory before getting into the newest shipments.

    I'm not saying that it is a good practice. Only that the manu's have been doing it right along.
  7. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,139

    I never said they didn't do it, I said it is not good business sense on their part and really no reason for it to take place.

    When I bought my last Super Z the engine and mower were build at virtually the same time. This is not necessary, but in reality the engine and mower should never be outside a 6 month build date difference.

    With Vanguard built in Japan, it comes off the assembly line and should be mounted on a mower within a few weeks time. They can load a full shipment of engines on a plane and have them back to Briggs overnight. So, for a mower to have an engine installed that was built a year before should not be the norm.

    I would be willing to bet most mowers are equipped with engines built within 6 months of the mower build date. There is no reason for it to be otherwise, the mower manufacturers know the number of mowers they are building within a certain time-frame, they contract with the engine manufacturer to build that number of engines. The engines are built and shipped, the mowers are built, and the engines installed. This is assembly line work and mowers are built very quickly, the same as their engines are built very quickly.

    When you see a mower showing a build date of 2012, as the gentleman stated, the engine was also showing as dated 2012, and this is what one would expect. The problem arises from what I feel assured is the case with his mower, a distributor shipped this mower to a dealer, and for whatever reason, the mower was never sold.

    This could come from many reasons, the dealer went bankrupt and it took time to settle his affairs and sell the inventory. Scag dropped the dealer and he had inventory in storage, and there is always the chance a dealer could have passed away and it took a bit of time to settle his affairs, which left his inventory in limbo. There are numerous reasons mowers can be carried over, but the fact remains it is a 2 yr. old mower, a new 2 yr. old mower, but nevertheless a 2 yr. old mower that has lost time equity.

    Kawasaki changed their labeling in September of 2011, they could have easily had engines built to carry their mower manufacturers through the major buying period of 2012. Then there is always a chance there was an overabundance of engines build based on mower sales not being as strong as predicted.

    Remember, mower sales are much lower in late summer; which gave Kawasaki time to build and stockpile engines to carry the mower industry through the major buying months of 2012. For a mower to show up with the old labeling in 2013 could come from a mower carry over from 2012. As this gentleman has just found out, there are various reasons a mower can be carried over. I am suggesting this gentleman has bought what he believed to be a new 2014 mower that was actually a 2012; of which for some unknown reason was carried over.
  8. bth

    bth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I can understand all of the reasons that have been stated on why a two year old motor might be mounted on a recently built mower. As puppypaws stated, my engine says 5/12 for build date and the SCAG sticker I found says 8/2012 - this time difference is what I would expect. I just didn't expect to be given this in mid-2014.

    When I pulled the trigger and told the dealer I wanted one, he came back to me and said that his distributor had no more "on the shelf" and I would have to wait for one to come off the assembly line. I told him that I preferred a newly built mower anyways, so I was fine with waiting what he said was going to be a few weeks. Then, almost 2 weeks in, I called the dealer for a status update, and he told me they were getting my mower from another dealer about an 1.5 hours away. He said the new ones from SCAG had been delayed and it would be another month. I expressed my concern about it not being new. He said don't worry about it, it's in a crate and it came in the other dealer's spring shipment. So, I thought at least it probably was built in the last 6 months and was OK with that. The dealer and SCAG explained away the engine build date, but I didn't notice the SCAG sticker with 8/2012 on it because it was more inconspicuous. So, I took the mower, only to find out a few weeks in that it was actually built in 8/2012.

    I understand that there have been no feature changes since then; however, my immediate concern was the loss in time equity, as puppypaws stated. The dealer sold me a "brand new" mower and got the 2014 price for it, but I'm the one with a 2 year old mower with 7.3 hours on it today. When I go to sell it, I have to identify it's age somehow and the normal way to do that is to say the year it was manufactured. (Perfect example - I just sold my Hustler Z and the first thing the guy who bought it asked was "what year is it?") I sure can't say its a 2014 when it has two stickers on it that have mid-2012 dates. I would not be dis-honest and take the stickers off. I can explain that I bought it "brand new" in 2014 and show the receipt, but the fact remains, it still will physically be two years older than my date of purchase. I kept my Hustler Z for thirteen years. I bought it in 2001 and it was built in 2001. 13 years down the road when I sell this SCAG, I will have to say it's 15 years old and I'm sure I will get less money for it, maybe not a lot less, but it won't be zero.

    Whether or not this is common practice with the manufacturers, it doesn't sit well with me. Some people may not be bothered by this, but I am. I would expect the dealer, and SCAG, to be more upfront about this. I learned a lesson that if this type of thing is important to me, I better be more diligent in finding out my own information before I buy about another mower down the road.

    I am only using this mower to maintain my own property and spending this kind of money on a mower is a big deal to me. I expected to get a 2014, not one built two years ago. My dealer knew it was important to me to get a brand new one. So, I will bring it up with my dealer and SCAG, although I am not really expecting much to come from it. I'm not sure how much I want to fight about it, either. Lesson learned.

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  9. bth

    bth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    MacMitch, sorry for hijacking your post :)
  10. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,139

    I don't know their pricing structure but would feel assured Scag had at least one, possibly two price increases since your mower was built, meaning your dealer could have made considerable more profit from your sale.

    I am real interested in you getting some answers to these questions, ask Scag the dates and amount their last two price increases were for their TT?

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