Scag Tiger Cub or JD 717A Z Trak?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rh455, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. rh455

    rh455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I'm considering a Scag Tiger Cub(26 Briggs ELS) and a JD 717A ZTrak(19 Kawi). The JD dealer is within 3 miles from home. The Scag dealer is about 18 miles. At this point I'd rather the Scag, but I'm leary of the Briggs 26ELS. I like the Kawi 19, but I'm leary of the JD. The Scag dealer has a Briggs 26 ELS 48" of his own and loves it, but my concerns are durability. I know the Kawi 19 is good, but is another $800 on the Scag. A lot of guys around here don't care for the JD as they think the Scag is better built and seems to have a few more features. What should I buy?:dizzy:
  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    John Deere has really stepped it up with their mowers in the past couple years. Our JD rep took me to the factory in NC where they build the ZTRs last year and I was really impressed. You can't go wrong with their parts ans service either. We've had good dealings with JD.

    BUT Scag makes a great machine. I've run them for 12 years. Rarely have problems other than standard stuff (belts, etc). You have a tough choice. If it's an even wash on the machine, go with what dealer you think will be the best for you.
  3. 02DURAMAX

    02DURAMAX LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,801

    I would buy the scag with the 19hp uncle has one and loves it...its a 2005 with 325 hours on and has never had a problem with it...very good machines...
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    The 717 was the best mower I ever owned. However, as I posted in another thread I would not buy another deere because of dealer support. Your dealer maybe a lot better than mine are.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I was confronted with exactly the same choice a bit of a year ago. I chose the JD 717A, 19 Kaw. I am very pleased with my choice. I was reluctant to go with the B&S ELS, despite threads on LS that said it was an OK engine. Yes, there was a price difference, just as you have found. But, I was looking for what machine I wanted to own and operate, not just price shopping.

    The quality of cut on the JD 7 Iron II deck is superb. I use mine about half of my working time (still need my 36" w/b for gates, bagging, etc). I now have about 350 hours on the meter, and have experienced no problems.

    In my case, the Scag dealer is about 1 1/2 hour drive away, and looks to be an excellent dealer. His business is selling top-end equipment to commercial cutters, and equipment to golf courses. Despite not having done business with them, I felt they were a good dealer. The JD dealer is closer, about 30 minutes, but doesn't sell much commercial mowing equipment. They primarily sell ag equipment. When I bought my machine, I had not seen a 717A -- didn't see it until check was written and I was ready to load and haul away. I had seen another model. But, I had done much spec study, and read many comments on LS about experiences with JD. For me, however, dealer support isn't a big issue. I have not been back to the dealer for anything related to my 717A.
  6. rh455

    rh455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks for the replies, guys. I made the plunge and got the JD. I went back and took another look at it and it's better built than I originally thought. The only thing I noticed is that the Scag deck is about 1/2" thick at the spindles and the JD is thinner. It also has a cup that the spindle sits in which is good for holding water when you wash it. The final straw in my decision was JD has 36mo/0% interest thru July 31. So that made the decision much easier. The dealer is about 3 miles from my house and they have at least 6 trucks and even more trailers for service calls. That place is hoppin' with work. They're suppose to deliver it at 4:00 today and haul away my old one. I do enjoy cutting my grass, but now I think I might water it at night to make it grow faster!:laugh:
  7. Grass Cake

    Grass Cake LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone C
    Messages: 303

    Please update us after you've mowed the whole neighborhood :laugh:

    Also notice under the deck that the spindles have a reinforced ring(maybe not 1/2 thick...but
    they are sturdy)
  8. rh455

    rh455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I took your advice and went with JD. The dealer is about 3 miles away and the service dept is busy. They have several trucks/trailers and mobile service units. I got it this afternoon and cut my yard with it immediately. I'm impressed but it seemed to bog a little at about 1/3 speed. Maybe it'll get better when it's broken it.

  9. 02DURAMAX

    02DURAMAX LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,801

    very nice mower!!!!....Congrats!
  10. Stinchcomb Lawn

    Stinchcomb Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    I have a 717A and I will own many more. I use mine in all types of conditions, most are to much for the machine!! There is no doubt the 717A is the best mower in it's class. I noticed you said it bogs down, it will get better as it's gets some hours on it, make sure your listening to the motor and not the deck. I thought the same thing when I used mine for the first couple of times. I later noticed it was the deck moving the grass through, not the motor. I guarantee you will love this mower!!

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