Scag versus Ferris

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Senior Member
Hey guys I am keeping my eye open for a second piece of commercial equipment. Right now I have a Ferris IS 2100z which has been an amazing machine. Having that said, I would like some feedback on what you guys would do if you were in my position.

Scag Cheetah or Scag Turf Tiger
I have been looking at these two for quite some time. They were actually my first choice over Ferris but dealers seemed more like used cars salesmen around here. The Ferris dealer was a family owned business that did not try to push me into buying anything, so I ended up with a Ferris.

My Ferris a 52" which is great for some of my properties where the 61" just would not fit. However, I am thinking my second machine is going to be a 61". I have heard that a major difference between the Turf Tiger and Cheetah is the Turf Tiger is a little lower to the ground and has larger tires, so it is more stable on hills. This would be a huge advantage for me because I do mow a lot of hills. Is the Turf Tiger much better on hills than the Cheetah?

I also know the Turf Tiger has a drive shaft. Does the Cheetah also have a drive shaft? I never figured that out. I am guessing this drive shaft just simply goes into the wheel pumps instead of belts? Does this make a big difference in anything really?

Something I am sold on is suspension. I love the Independent Suspension on the Ferris, so one of the reasons I am leaning towards the Cheetah a little bit is because of the suspension platform that may or may not compete with the Ferris.

Also anyone think I should shoot for the new Turf Tiger II or Cheetah II?

Ferris
Anyone think I should stick with Ferris? It is hard to navigate away from them given that this thing has been so reliable. I have just always wanted to try a Scag. I have always wanted those stripes that the flap on the Ferris just cannot achieve. I have been looking at IS 2100's and IS 3200's. I am thinking I might stick with the IS 2100. The dealer told me the IS 2100 is much more maneuverable with the 61" deck. Just like with my 52" the frame of the mower gets in the way a little bit when you are trying to circle trees and other obstacles. A larger deck would probably keep me away from those better.

New or Used
I bought my Ferris new because it was my first true commercial zero turn. I did not want to purchase one used and have issues with it. Now that I am more familiar with them I may not mind saving the money and buying something used. Having that said, the piece of mind that comes with a brand new mower having warranty is definitely nice. I would like to know what you guys think of this?

Can you guys tell me what I could expect to pay for a used piece of equipment like this? For instance, the Cheetah is around $12,500 with a 61" deck and 37 HP Vanguard. If I am buying on used can you guys give me a rough estimate on what I could pay? As in will I pay half of what it is worth or three quarters? If you guys have bought a used piece of equipment please tell me your experience. Did you buy it from the dealer or privately? How many hours and what did you pay? Are you happy you bought it used?

There is a lot for me to consider because of the type of yards that I do. I am on a lot of terrain that could be described as anything but flat. Also things like comfort are extremely important to me as well. So the decision is anything but easy. You guys don't have to try to answer everything on this flood but any feedback would be greatly appreciated. As in if you just want to share what you recently paid for a similar used piece of equipment that would be great.

I am not really even in the market to purchase as second piece of equipment. Just if one comes up used or I expand my business next year it would be nice if I had some of these things answered instead of making a horrible split second decision.
 

jetson

LawnSite Senior Member
Man what a delima! I have owned not the cheetah and the turf tiger. I bought a turf tiger 2 last spring with the expectation of it holding hills well. We mow a lot of hilly properties. To be honest I returned my turf tiger 2 and went back with the tiger cat 2. The turf tiger was just everywhere on hills and we seemed to have better traction with the tiger cat 2. The Ferris is ok. I demo all of them but I just didn’t like the Ferris much. I know ur looking for advice on the cheetah and turf tiger but the price of the cheetah was too much for what u get to me. I don’t need 16 mph because u can only cut around 12 on a perfect surface anyway. I’ve owned the tiger cat 2 for 2 years. And the original tiger cat for 5 years prior to that. They are 61s. Best of luck to you. I always buy new. It works for the tax write off every 2 years and it also stops me from
Having to come out of pocket for any issues. I had pumps go out on my walk behind. It was under warranty. It would have cost about 900.00.
 
OP
Hexa Fox

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Senior Member
Man what a delima! I have owned not the cheetah and the turf tiger. I bought a turf tiger 2 last spring with the expectation of it holding hills well. We mow a lot of hilly properties. To be honest I returned my turf tiger 2 and went back with the tiger cat 2. The turf tiger was just everywhere on hills and we seemed to have better traction with the tiger cat 2. The Ferris is ok. I demo all of them but I just didn’t like the Ferris much. I know ur looking for advice on the cheetah and turf tiger but the price of the cheetah was too much for what u get to me. I don’t need 16 mph because u can only cut around 12 on a perfect surface anyway. I’ve owned the tiger cat 2 for 2 years. And the original tiger cat for 5 years prior to that. They are 61s. Best of luck to you. I always buy new. It works for the tax write off every 2 years and it also stops me from
Having to come out of pocket for any issues. I had pumps go out on my walk behind. It was under warranty. It would have cost about 900.00.

Thanks for the advice. It is also ironic because when I first started looking at Scag I was looking at a 52" Tiger Cat. I think the 52" Tiger Cat has bigger tires than my 52" Ferris as well. Anyway I could not get anyone to work with me on the Scag side over here. I know dealer support varies from place to place but over here the Ferris dealer seems to be the only local reliable place to go.

I know that I can get a striping roller on the Simplicity variant of my Ferris. I don't know why they don't have those on the Ferris.

I think the 5400's hydros give you more than just speed. As in they are going to last longer, especially on a smaller machine. That is probably even more true if you are constantly on hills like I am. Unfortunately I bought my Ferris the year they downed the 2100 z from 5400's to 4400's.

Also they might be an advantage for me because I have a lot of local customers. So for many jobs I just drive the mower there. Which is definitely more wear and tear on the wheel pumps. My dealer told me the wheel pumps would probably start giving me trouble on this machine before the engine. He said after they fail to just get a new machine. I am sure it depends on how many hours you have but still seems like a better idea to just look at a new mower after that.
 

Johnagain

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Altoona, Florida
If you're happy with the Ferris stay with Ferris. I have run both Scags and Ferris mowers. The Scag is probably a little better built. but the comfort of the Ferris can't be beat. I have one property that I have run a 61 Ferris and a 61 Cheetah and the Ferris saved me 2 hours in mowing time due to the comfort of the ride being able to run wide open all day. Couldn't so that with the Cheetah. As for holding hills a 61 will hold hills better than a 52. If you put the chevron AT101 tires on either of them they will hold hills better than stock tires.
 
OP
Hexa Fox

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Senior Member
If you're happy with the Ferris stay with Ferris. I have run both Scags and Ferris mowers. The Scag is probably a little better built. but the comfort of the Ferris can't be beat. I have one property that I have run a 61 Ferris and a 61 Cheetah and the Ferris saved me 2 hours in mowing time due to the comfort of the ride being able to run wide open all day. Couldn't so that with the Cheetah,

This is definitely truth. People just don't understand the difference until they use a mower will full suspension. I have not tried the "My Ride" from Toro or Exmark yet, but that is suppose to be a full independent suspension system.

Having that said, have you been able to try the newer Cheetah models yet? They are advertising them as having a full suspension system like the Ferris. It looks like the entire operators station has a suspension system. I wonder if it is as comfortable as a Ferris?

I am definitely happy with Ferris. I have good dealer support and a quality mower with a Vanguard engine. Just you can get more with Scag for cheaper so it is hard not to consider looking at them harder at least.

I have been looking into the Simplicity line too. Which Briggs owns that too so they are exactly the same as Ferris except for some reason they have a stripe roller on their decks like Scag does. I don't know why they don't put them on Ferris units. The only bad thing about Simplicity is you cannot elect for a bigger engine or anything like that. Each of their models come as they are and cannot be special ordered to your liking as far as I know.
 

Johnagain

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Altoona, Florida
The Cheetah has always had that suspension platform. and no it's not as comfortable as the Ferris. I work at a dealer that sells both Ferris and Scag mowers. My advice for buyers is if employees are going to operate the mower get the Scag but if the owner is going to use it then get the Ferris. Save your back. No other mower comes close to the Ferris ride. They've been doing this suspension since the 90's they have it down pat.
 
OP
Hexa Fox

Hexa Fox

LawnSite Senior Member
The Cheetah has always had that suspension platform. and no it's not as comfortable as the Ferris. I work at a dealer that sells both Ferris and Scag mowers. My advice for buyers is if employees are going to operate the mower get the Scag but if the owner is going to use it then get the Ferris. Save your back. No other mower comes close to the Ferris ride. They've been doing this suspension since the 90's they have it down pat.
The older Cheetah’s I see don’t have the lever right below the operators seat though. So you are saying they had it but they were not adjustable?
 

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