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Scag Turf Tiger Fault and Should ZTR’s cut long thick grass.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by aussiegreg, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. aussiegreg

    aussiegreg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I am a mowing contractor in Australia and I have bought the 2nd hand mower from hell. I have already had to replace a cutter deck gearbox and the latest is that the 30hour old cutter deck gearbox (it’s a driveshaft from motor to cutter deck and this gearbox transfers driveshaft power to the belts on the cutter deck) has a leak from the seal. The reason for this leak is that even though there is a grass shield on the seal grass has found its way past and into the seal which has caused the leak.

    How long is too long for a ZTR to cut, my deck can be raised to about 6 ½ inches for slashing. Scag are saying that the problem is that long cut grass is wrapped around the driveshaft if I reverse back over cut grass i.e. the windrow. This grass then forces its way back into the seal and ruptures it. They say that a ZTR being Zero turn should not be run backwards whilst cutting but turned around and cut in forward mode. A fair comment but nothing is said in the manual about this. So it seems that I have to pay for a new gearbox ($800 + labour)and now new seals ($?? + labour) before I learn this lesson.

    How long is too long??

    Is this seal problem a known problem??
  2. stuie

    stuie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Hey Greg
    Get in touch with Russ.Easycareacres....... He is on this site he runs scags in QLD and knows a hell of a lot about them and im sure he will point you in the right direction.
  3. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    We don't pay any attention how tall the grass is that we mow. If there's a area we need to mow thats growed up then we use our Woods and JD mowers like bushogs and the JD has a gearbox with a shaft driven deck and we havn't has any problems with grass wrapping around the shaft.
  4. aussiegreg

    aussiegreg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    BTW the grass was 1 to 1 1/2 foot high and green but dry kikuyu
  5. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    G'day Greg!
    I too have the shaft driven deck and have cut some real long stuff! Never had a problem, never even had anything wrapped around the shaft! (man that sounds bad! :blush:)
  6. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    Thats the first time I have seen a Turf Tiger refered to as a "hand mower" :D

    I myself have used all, or some of Scag products for 7 years now, and don't plan on any more purchases in the future. I have had numerous failures, and one being the driveshaft on a Tiger. They had a recall on the full Tigers with the shaft about 3 years ago. If yours is older, it may be one of that lot. They upgraded with a new shaft, and some reinforcement plates to handle the torque. I don't like the drive shaft design one bit, but that being said, I wonder if you are just boggin the mower down so much, that it is takeing it's toll and causing unnatural torque to the shaft, wrecking the seal. Maybe it has something to do with the tall grass, I don't know.

    I think you fellas do types of work that we do not do with the same machines over there mate. You do slashing and stuff in very tall growth, where we would have a seperate machine called a bushhog. I doubt the Tiger is designed for that, it is more of a finsish type mower. I would still try to contact the manufacturer if you are under warrentee, I had to do this to get my driveshaft replaced as the dealer would not do anything for me. I would raise a stink with the manufacturer letting them know that your dealer must know the kind of work you fellas do, and should advice you not to purchase their product for your application. To not let you know that the machine willnot be warrenteed for the type of work you do is not fair to you, and will give Scag a bad name.

    They are pretty nice at the factory, I would start their, or at least the regional distributor.

    Good luck
  7. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Messages: 198

    You might also think about cutting at a lower height. I occasionally hack down 3-4' tall/dense seldom-mowed back sections with my Country Clipper Charger (a real workhorse) but not above 4 1/2". My trusty mechanic advised me that going any higher placed undue stress on my belt (by increasing the angle). He said this was even more important with a drive shaft (more expensive than replacing a belt!). Since then, I've heard about (Toro or Cub?) reclassifying the two highest cutting heights on some of their mowers as "transport only".
  8. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,973

    I just checked my manual and mower, the toro 588e has a transport height of 5'', it also says it can mow at this height. My guess is that the pully's must have a wider flange guide to allow this...

    Good luck Greg, nothing worse than downtime, I know how ya feel mate!
  9. aussiegreg

    aussiegreg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I think with the scags that their is not to much of an angle at transport

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