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scag diesel turf tiger vs scag cheetah

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by lawnpro@home, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. lawnpro@home

    lawnpro@home LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Hello lawn site, so I finished my second year in the lawn business, and I want to get new equipment for my third year, as the past two years I have been using a Bradley stander, very reliable, but I think it is time to upgrade to something more heavy duty. I am leaning towards SCAG zero turn mowers, I demoed a few, and since I market towards very large lawns, around 1\4 acre to 2 acres, I'm looking at either a 61" diesel turf tiger or a 61" cheetah with Kawasaki. I'm leaning towards the diesel, as it has more power and a better fuel economy, but is diesel really necissary? also, I'm looking at stand on mowers, but there is a dizzying array, I want one that has great cut quality and stripe capability, that disperses clippings evenly and doesnt clump too much in wet grass,as well as good hill stability,comfort, and power a lot of the name brands have only one-two of these factors, which is frustrating. after about a week of web surfing, 3 brands that seem good in the stand on area are wright, scag, and ferris. I researched them more and heard lots of things, that wrights cut quality is horrible, while others said it cuts beutifley, that scags cut quality was awesome, but its hill stability was bad, and that ferris has lots of power, but OK cut quality, I will be demoeing the vride, wright stander intensity and zk, and the ferris z2 and z3x, in the meantime, can you give me some advice? thank you! I'm sorry this article is so long.
    Cam15 likes this.
  2. K&L Landscaping

    K&L Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 754

    If you're going to be cutting wet grass the Velocity + deck on the Scags has no equal in my opinion. I've run exmarks, Toro and Ferris and they are all very poor in wet grass.

    You mentioned hillside stability being very important to you. If that's indeed the case, I would avoid the Cheetah. They are notoriously poor at holding a slope. However, the Turf Tiger 2 is probably the best Z I've ever used on slopes. You cannot go wrong with a Turf Tiger 2. As far as the diesel option goes, its going to be heavy...REALLY HEAVY in a TT2. If you're in wet conditions a lot I can see that machine putting some heavy duty ruts in the lawn over time.
  3. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 41,833

    :nono:Duck mania:nono:
    Cam15 likes this.
  4. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,312

    It's hard to compare the Diesel TT and the cheetah. One is all about power, the other speed.
    If I was buying a Scag ZTR, it would most likely be a TT2 with the big vanguard. Plenty of power, very efficient for a big gas engine, and way lighter then a diesel.

    For standers, I really like the Ferris machines. They seem very heavy duty, and comfy.
    I'm quiet happy with the ferris cut in wet conditions.
    Cam15 likes this.
  5. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TX
    Messages: 603

    In my opinion, the diesel is a waste of machine and money on anything but massive properties where you're mowing ALL DAY LONG. You will never make your money back otherwise. Honestly, all machines mentioned are decent. I own both the Ferris Z2 stander and the Ferris Is3200. Both are great machines. The suspension on the 3200 is amazing. Combine that with the full suspension seat and it seriously feels like you're cheating while mowing. All mahcines have advantages and disadvantages. Get something that has local support near you and demo every model to see what cuts best.
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,444

    Diesel is overkill and overweight. I own one to use in parks with a 72" deck. Besides that all gas engines.

    Leaves, do you eventually need a bagger? A rider can hold more than a stander.

    No leaves? Then vride 61" deck. You will love it and your body will too. The bagger works, just about 60% less capacity.

    The turf tiger I choose over the cheetah. The speed is unusable for cutting. So little advantage for that. Turf tiger with a 31 Kawi and a bagger would be a nice combo.
    Cam15 likes this.
  7. OP

    lawnpro@home LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Ive also been looking at john deere, and i heard there 7 iron decks rival scags velocity plus in cut quality
    Cam15 likes this.
  8. OP

    lawnpro@home LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    ok, i was wondering about the leaves, then a friend told me about john deere, he has a z930m, so he let me try it, the cut was amazing, and he said the bagging system is great, so that is what i might get. And also, isnt a 61“ stander big? But its definitly more compact, so il look into it thanks
  9. OP

    lawnpro@home LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Cam15 likes this.
  10. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    The Kubota diesel would outlast any of the gas engines, but depending on your local conditions you might find yourself with a still-excellent engine on a worn out frame. And for the extra upfront expense of the diesel you should be able to pay the cost of a new gas engine if one is needed in a few years and if the condition of the frame and other components justifies it.

    I am a Turf Tiger guy. I ran a 52" TT with Kohler engine and it served me well. This year I replaced it with a 72" TT2 with the 31 hp Kawasaki. That engine cost more than the Vanguard, but I am probably saving some money on fuel and it probably will last a bit longer than the air cooled engines. I was concerned that it might not have the power needed to drive the big deck in the local dense, damp vegetation (it can hardly be called grass), but it does fine.

    Because I mow rough, rural terrain the rugged frame of the TT is important to me. I think I would have killed a Cheetah long ago.

    My mowing includes some side slopes as well as up and down. The TT2 has a low center of gravity and wide wheelbase and I am comfortable with it on slopes I do not dare with other equipment.

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