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Scag TT vs Exmark NLZ 60" demo results...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jjurich, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. jjurich

    jjurich LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I'm no pro, just a home user mowing 3 acres. I've been studying what all you pro's buy and these two brands seem to best fit my lawn, which is basically one long hill. I had been mowing with a Kubota FZ2400 72" 24hp diesel. It needed repairs for the 1st time in 8 years of me owning it, so sold it and started looking. And yes, these are probably both over kill, but I like buying quality and really want to minimize the time on the mower.

    I demo'ed the 29/60 NLZ and the 29/60 scag TT as they hold the hills well, and both dealers are great here. Here are my observations that I'm sharing to try and give back to all those that have helped. I'm no expert, so here goes...

    Exmark Pro's:
    Air cooled engine has noticeable more torque.
    Mowed much quicker then TT. Did lawn in 70m vs 90m on the TT.
    Easier to control hydro's, less divets turning.
    Seemed more stable on the hills and more maneuverable then the TT.
    5 year residential warranty (2 yr engine).
    Deck is easier to set height on by a tiny bit (rod that you turn on NLZ that lines up w/ a groove vs cotter pin on the TT that has to be pulled for it's rod).
    Superior weight distribution vs TT.
    Cut. Clipping smaller, though potentially not as dispersed as TT's.
    0% financing for 3 years. This is nice even though I can pay cash, I'd just as soon get the interest from my credit union (4%). Yes, it is really is 4%.

    Exmark Low's:
    Had the ISO mounted seat and it wasn't even close to the comfort of the TT's full suspension seat. Coarse, I was mowing faster on the NLZ, but that doesn't account for all I felt.
    Fuel consumption will be higher then the DFI TT, though less stuff to break.
    Build just doesn't feel quite as nice compared to the tank like TT.

    TT High's:
    The ride on this thing was sweet! I can see how you could ride this all day vs being pretty shook up on the NLZ. My lawn has lots of natural aeration via moles :)
    Velocity deck. D*mn near have to wear goggles with this thing. Drove over our sandy asphalt road and still digging sand out of my hair and eyes.
    Cut. I did mow at like half the speed of the NLZ due to the under powered engine, but the cut was dead on, though the clippers were larger then NLZ's.
    Build quality. Frame is so solid and rigid. Seems built heavier then the NLZ by far. Multiple hydro filters, shaft drive, slightly more accessible engine, more gauges, etc

    TT Low's:
    The 29 kawasaki water cooled, dfi engine seemed like a dog compared to the air cooled kawasaki 29 on the NLZ. I think peak torque on the LC is 44 and the air cooled is 53 is my memory serves. You could tell. Engine bogged down severely going up the hills pushing any speed in thick grass. I had to mow slower, 90m vs 70m on the NLZ going same direction. The engine about dies if you engage the PTO at half throttle. I suppose the weight difference might contribute to this as well.
    The front deck seemed to lift more on hills turning then the NLZ. The whole weight distribution seemed superior on the NLZ as I almost got stuck on the TT mowing around landscaping trying to back up a hill. Wheels spun multiple times on the TT in various odd spots on the hills and don't remember that happening once on the NLZ.
    Weight. Seemed like the TT was had more skidding and sliding vs NLZ on my property. I felt that I could really feel the extra weight the TT had vs NLZ and that it was a detriment in so far as handling is concerned. That likely gets better with experience and I have next to none on any ZTR, so take it w/ a grain of salt.
    3.9% for 60m.

    So, I'm leaning towards the 34/60 NLZ with the iso and Michigan seat. I really would love to have the scag as the engineer in my is drawn to the over engineering of that model and that velocity deck mows some serious grass. The 35 vanguard will solve the power problems, but I'm not sure about the handling issues I encountered. Maybe the ground was a bit softer/wetter. Sure was noticeable though. I also really like the 5 year warranty on the exmark though. Decisions decisions...

    Ok, I've typed enough. I welcome your comments, especially from those who've mowed with both. Tacoma, when are you doing your demo???


  2. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,548

    Thanks for the review. The 29 has torque for sure. I have been engaging the PTO at like 1/4 throttle with no trouble. My 26 LC KAwi on my other mower had to be at 3/4 throttle or it struggled/died.
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Thanks for the great review JJ. It may take me a while before I can arrage a demo because of the rain and amount of work I'm doing. Sometimes hearing a review from some one with a fresh perspective is refreshing. I'm sure a greater percentage of people will favor the Lazers and I understand why. I expect to enjoy the Lazer demo but I know at the present time I need at least one tank of a ZTR for some of the heavy stuff. Power and traction haven't been a problem with the 35 hp model Turf Tiger Two great mowers no doubt. Who knows, I may have a fleet of each one day, but the buiness is not there yet. Thanks.
    PS do yourself a favor and get the full suspension seat on the Lazer. You might as well be comfortable.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. marcuslawnguy

    marcuslawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Im surprised no one has done a up to date comparison with a Scag turf tiger and a Gravely equivalent. Here it's Scag, Gravely, Deere or Exmark. But I don't know much about the gravelys. But glad to see the comparison with the scag and exmark. I was looking at the gravelys the other day and they seemed built like a tank like a scag but I did not demo it or look at it very very closely. but it seemed more scag tank like than a badboy or exmark. not knocking the brands just saying what I saw.
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    Good review and comparison.
  6. FastMan

    FastMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    jjurich, I did a comparison review between the TT and the NLZ here a couple weeks ago, and it was very similar to yours on so many points. I even had the same issues with the 29 hp on the TT. I thought something was just amiss with it, it was that bad.
  7. jjurich

    jjurich LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Got pricing on the 34/60 with the suspension seat and OCDC, $11400. The Z3 equivalent minus OCDC is $11,8000. Thought the toro might come in cheaper. Both have to order it in, as it isn't a model they have. That's the price if one does the 0% for 3 years. Both said would be $200-$300 less for cash. People seem to like the ultracut deck better then the toro's.

    Oh, I demo'ed the 29/60. Handling was great, will the extra 30lbs of the 34/60 make that much difference on the hills with wheels lifting or overall balance? Hard to think it would.

  8. FastMan

    FastMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    It's a good question. I've seen comments from a few people on here who have the 34, and they seem equally enthused with the handling as you and I were on the 29. That suggests to me if there is a difference, it's not significant.
  9. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    Based on your review, it sounds like the Exmark is a no brainer once you deal with the ride quality. A suspension seat option may do the trick. Or adjust teh air pressure in teh back tires. The better ride may make it feel more solid like the Scag. The only other negative was fuel consumption. But will cutting one large lawn per week...

    The Scag list of negatives was quit long, with no easy fixes.
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    For what its worth I complained about the 29DFI being underpowered last year. After 3-400 hours it loosened up and isnt so bad. Main reason for feeling underpowered is the shaft drive deck setup the scag runs. Step up a few horsepower on the scag and it will be a better comparison. I have had and love both mowers. The exmark leaves as cleaner appearance because of the smaller clippings on regular grass, but the scag can outmow it in the heavy stuff. Scag is much more sensitive to setup with all the baffles and such and harder for new guys to learn on. The exmark is pretty much idiot proof with less adjustments necessary. The scag is a better mower IMO once it is setup for your conditions. Although perhaps overkill for your needs. Good review non the less.

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