Scag Tiger Cat 2 vs JD 950M

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Olympus, May 17, 2018.

  1. Olympus

    Olympus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    Guys, most have probably seen or been following my Ferris 3200Z cut quality thread. I'm slowly working on the wife to see if she will approve the purchase of a new mower. It may not happen, but I want to be prepared if she does. I think I've settled on these two mowers. I'm a homeowner and my yard is 3.5-4 acres. It's a combination of mostly fescue with some weeds mixed in. I mow at 3.25" and don't ever let my yard get overly tall. I mow every 5 to 6 days. My issue with the Ferris is deck packing constantly.

    The Tiger Cat 2 would be a 61" deck with the 29hp Kohler EFI. There is a really good dealer that is only about 5 miles from my house. They have one in stock and on special for $8999 cash sale.

    The Deere 950M would also be a 61" deck with the 27hp Kawasaki carb engine. The dealership is a very large one, but they are about 20 miles away. They have the 950M priced at $9200 after rebates such.

    Both mowers have suspension seats. I've been reading tons of old threads about the Velocity deck versus the 7 iron Pro deck and it seems like the Velocity has a slight edge over 7 Iron, but not by a huge margin. I think I would probably be happy with either deck. I know the 27hp Kawasaki is a "tried and true" engine, no surprises there. I'm not familiar with the Kohler EFI though. My neighbor has a 27hp Kohler on his Grasshopper and it has a ton of hours and has never needed any work. It's just loud. I'm not sure how the new Kohler EFI models are though. Anyway, I would definitely appreciate any advice or recommendations. Thanks!

    I also rode the Tiger Cat around at the dealer today. Didn’t want to engage the deck on a showroom machine, but I was impressed with the way it rode and handled. They have an incredibly steep hill beside their building. It climbed it without any problem. Stuck to the side of it like a goat. And eased itself straight down without skidding. My Ferris won’t do that. It would pull the hill with ease, it would slip a little going sideways, and it would leave skid marks going straight down. The Scag dealer said they were approached by Ferris when that local ag dealer closed their doors. The gu said the owner loved the Vanguard engines, but decided not to carry the Ferris brand because Ferris wanted them to carry Simplicity and also their smaller models and the owner said he wasn’t interested in trying to sell Simplicity and he wouldn’t sell the cyclonic filter Briggs engines on any machine.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. whammer33024

    whammer33024 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    as far as decks, flip a coin.

    being the scag dealer is 5 miles away, i'd be leaning that way.

    as far as machines, i don't have any experience with the tiger cat 2, but i've read some people find the cockpit to be a little cramped compared to the full size models(cheetah and turf tiger). i'd be sure to sit in one at least if you can't demo it and make sure you aren't too cramped. i own and love a vride so i hope this doesn't come off as me bashing scag because i'm absolutely not.

    i will say i own a z950m with the 27 horse kawasaki and i love that machine.

    as long as the TC2 is big enough for you, i'm sure either machine would make you quite happy
    13Razorbackfan and Ridin' Green like this.
  3. JayinKs

    JayinKs LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 518

    I own a Tiger Cat II. It has the 29efi Kohler and it is good on power. It’s smooth and no louder than anything else. So far at 75hrs I really like my machine. Ride is very nice and cuts awesome! One of my little complaints is the hydros are a bit stiff. They are responsive but just take a little more effort to move the levers. Overall, I love the mower. And the price he quoted you of $8999 is a steal!

    Can’t comment on the Deere as I’ve never been on one.
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 20,557

    Last year I demo'd a Cheetah, TT II and TC II all on the same place and on the same day back to back to compare them. I'll take a TTII first every time. Personally, I do not care for the TC II at all. Way too cramped in the cockpit IMO, and the controls are stiff compared with most other commercial mower I have been on. All three mowers had about the same amount of hours this dealer allows for demo's which was right around the 100 hour mark, so all had a chance to break in/loosen up equally. My Z950 was like getting back on Cadillac after the TC II, both for comfort and the way the controls worked. I actually like my controls much better than the 5400's that were in the Cheetah as well. I preferred the TT II to mine by a small margin.

    As far as the cut.....either deck will do the job as good as it gets, but the clippings from the JD are a little smaller than from the Scag due to the front tips of the JD blades being closer to the front baffle than they are under the V+.

    As long as the TC II felt good to you and you aren't just suffering from new machine syndrome LOL, get the one from the best dealer to deal with regardless of the distance from you they are.
  5. Olympus

    Olympus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    The only thing I noticed with the Tiger Cat was that the bars were lower and sat down closer to my lap. They were actually perfect height for you use to use the arm rests on the seat. My Ferris seat has never fit me well. The backrest is leaned too far back so I never can use it when mowing and either my arm rests are too low or the bars are too high. You can’t use the arm rests while mowing.

    I noticed that the operator station was smaller on the Scag, but didn’t think it was too cramped. It had the suspension seat so I just slid the seat back and got more than enough leg room.

    The hydro controls on the Scag were much more similar to my old Grasshopper. They weren’t stiff, but they weren’t as touchy as my Ferris. My Ferris also has the 5400 transaxles. I don’t think I really have a lot of preference between my Ferris and the Scag. I need to get down to the JD dealer and try out the 950M.
    Ridin' Green likes this.
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 20,557

    Most arm rests are adjustable for height.
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 20,557

    That was supposed to say most armrests and joysticks are adjustable for height.
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,827

    those prices are a steal. i would probably go with the deere z950a. those are normally more like $10-$11k brand new.

    i have a scag cheetah 61" with the 29hp kohler efi and a deere z920a 54" that i've put the kawi 27hp engine on basically turning it into a z950a.

    the 27hp kawi has more power than the 29hp kohler from what i can tell. it's hard to give an exact comparison as the decks i have are different sizes and both mowers have different transaxle setups.
  9. Olympus

    Olympus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    I’ve heard from several dealers that the 5400 transaxles are power hogs. Maybe that’s why it seems like the 27 Kawi has more power? I don’t know, just wondering out loud.
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 20,557

    The Kawi is more CC's for one, but Kawi's in general seem to have more power than a fairly equivalent Kohler.
    weeze likes this.

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