Scag's new walk behind SWZT review!! With pics!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by GMLC, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    Due to the interest on LS I decided to review the new Scag walk behind SWZT. Like all of my reviews these are my honest opinions and feelings based on my personal experience. They are not intended to offend anyone or be taken as absolute fact. I try not to start brand wars but I will compare other brands that I have experience with.

    Honestly I went into this review with a negative view on the SWZT. Im a huge fan of Scag’s velocity deck and couldn’t understand why it was not on this mower. Also I was under the impression that this was a high end home owner/entry level commercial unit based on Scag’s info that I read online and the original literature calling the deck the “freedom” deck. Well I was kind of right and wrong…..and didn’t realize what the SWZT’s niche market was until I started to operate it.

    SWZT - Product Highlights:

    36" or 48" Scag commercial-grade, fabricated cutter deck options
    Ultra-comfortable, highly ergonomic control system
    Powerful Kawasaki engine options (481FS and 541FS)
    Dual hydraulic ZT-2800 transaxle drive system with cooling fans
    Heavy gauge handle tower and main frame for durability
    Ground speeds up to 7.4mph for more productivity
    5.5 gallon fuel tank with built-in fuel gauge and cup holder
    Sealed, no maintenance, aluminum blade drive spindles
    Flat-Free front caster tires
    Massive skid plates to protect the bottom of the mower and drive system

    SWZT - Product Dimensions 36" SWZT 48"SWZT

    Length: 75.5" 75.5"
    Height: 44" 44"
    Tracking Width: 36.25" 41.5"
    Width (chute down) 48.5" 60.5"
    Width (chute up) 37" 49"
    Weight: 550 lbs. 585 lbs.

    So I went to my Scag dealer this morning to take my first look at the SWZT in person. My first impressions were it has the typical great Scag craftsmanship and fit and finish. Perfect welds and powder coat. The machines layout was thought out very well. The build is of great quality but I have to be honest the frame is tiny as are the front casters and wheels. I was turned off by this at first but now understand that this was intentional. After spending 10 minutes or so inspecting the machine I was able to operate it in the dealers back lot and parking lot for about 20 minutes.

    Now the good stuff!! The new SWZT is the smoothest WB I have ever operated!!! The ZT2800’s operated like silk and are super responsive. Also the best reverse I have ever used on a WB, very fast. I tried to scuff the tires during zero turns on tar and sand with no luck. The way the trans was designed is to almost eliminate one tire stopping completely. I couldn’t believe how light the machine felt and how light the foot print was. Scag hit a home run with these controls. They are in the perfect position and don’t have a long pull for guys with small hands. The controls felt stiff with the machine off and parked but when in operation they are the easiest controls I have ever used (the least effort). Better than the ESC and DD controls IMO. I have not tried the Z style controls on a WB yet so I can’t compare to those. Within minutes I was completely comfortable with the machine. The deck height system is amazing!

    So after operating this machine I realized what it was designed for. Small high end residential and commercial accounts that cant take the weight of a full sized ZTR, WB or Stander. Accounts that are smooth and with high quality turf that requires little to no impact. BOP fans will LOVE this machine!! What this machine is not is a mower you send out to large rough properties, have crew members curb hop or areas that have a chance of impacts on rocks, foreclosure properties etc. etc. Its just not built like the SWZ that can take a crazy amount of abuse. I consider it a small framed mower that has a niche market, a huge niche market. High end gated yards, commercial/residential properties in town or small suburb yards.


    Smooth operation
    Light footprint
    Great Reverse
    Easy on turf
    Deck Height System
    Gas gauge


    Tiny frame, casters, front end and tires
    Not the velocity deck
    Deck only has a 10 gauge top (sides are 7 gauge)
    No anti scalp wheels

    Next week I will be going back to my dealer to see if I can get a full demo. When I do I will continue my review. Which will be on cut quality and this mysterious deck….The deck opening did appear good sized and it has high lift blades. It did not have adjustable baffles or much protection around the skirt.

    Enjoy the pics…








  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,626

    Whay does it have a 7 "notch" speed control?

    Is the Kawasaki series engine homeowners grade?

    What the price?

    Wheres he sulky?
  4. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    Just like most WB's you choose the speed and go. I found it easy to adjust the speed on the fly. It uses the commercial Kawi FS series which does not have the heavy duty filter like the FX series. I will hopefully get a price next week. Looks like plenty of room to mount a sulky if you wanted to.
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,807

    The FS series are basically FX engines without the dual element air filter.

    From the Scag website for this mower-
    "When it's time to mow, simply set your desired forward speed, flip the thumb releases and you are off to an enjoyable mowing experience. Use the numbered forward speed selector to find just the right speed for the job at hand."
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,807

    Another great review bro. I'm interested in hearing your experiences cutting with it.
  7. Church2224

    Church2224 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 560

    Pretty much the vibe I got from it. The SWZ and SWZU are/were tanks. This looks decent but honestly there seems much better built offerings out there. I hope Scag releases something similar in build to the SWZU with these controls, I like them.

    Excellent review as always!

    BTW You should do a demo and review of the Gravely Pro Walk Hydros. Those machines are NICE!
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,553

    In our market the snapper pro sw20 is the competition for the new scag.

    We have one of these and it is in its fourth year of pretty heavy use. Kinda funny we was looking at buying a second one next year and was waiting on scag. I have driven both units....kinda a wash both are easy. The snapper has bigger tranaxles and greaseable spindles. The front to back length is shorter on the snapper. Height control better on scag got to crank the snapper but that isn't bad.
  9. dathorpe

    dathorpe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Man, I have to find the time to demo one of these. When I was at the Scag dealer the other day, he asked me if I wanted to try it out. I was pressed for time and declined the offer but I did look it over and I think it might fill a need for me. He told me the selling price was 4999.00 but said he could do better. Your review pretty much states what I was hoping the swzt could be - smooth hydro operation, light weight, quick, easy on the turf, large discharge. The fact that you found the reverse to be excellent makes it even better. I love the height adjustment and for me, that's a huge selling point. This seems like it may be the WB I've been needing. I love ECS handles and I really like my Turf Tracers and Viking except for the height adjustment and the clumping. I don't need anything larger than a 48" for my WB needs so the swzt may be just about perfect.

    Another great review, GMLC. Thanks for the info.
  10. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    Thanks man! Im trying to get more companies to participate in LS reviews. Its been tough to say the least. Not all companies are as accommodating as Gravely.

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