Used commercial vs new residential mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by qkrenzien, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. qkrenzien

    qkrenzien LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm currently looking for my first ZTR to use to mow my 2.5 acre lot. The terrain is a bit rugged with various slopes. I've been trying to do my research but the choices are overwhelming. I want to stay around the $5K price range. I'm currently torn between two mowers. One is a used commercial (Scag Wildcat, 61 inch deck, 25 or 26HP Kaw liquid cooled, 444 hours, $5500 and no tax, the seller is a lawn pro with a fleet of these plus others and will also be the one servicing the unit). The other mower is a residential (Exmark Quest, 48 inch deck, 23 or 24HP Kohler Command, is a scratch and dent so it's cheaper than normal, $4199 plus tax, great dealer).

    There is a pretty large difference in price, though I realize I'd be getting much more mower along with that. The questions is, do I really need all that mower for my application. I'm also concerned about buying used since I'm not much of a mechanic and don't really know what to look for to make sure a use machine doesn't have some hidden faults (Is 444 hours a lot?) The thing that I like about the Quest is that it has the Kohler Commmand engine on it rather than the standard B&S ELS, so it does have an actual commercial engine.

    Any insight into my concerns or general thoughts on my situation are much appreciated.
  2. blake101

    blake101 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    I would take the Scag, it still has alot of life left in it. It will be years before you ware it out. Scag hands down.....
  3. GracesLandscaping

    GracesLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    its gonna take a lonnnnggggg time to wear out that scag or any commercial mower with your situation!!! the exmark will probably be a great mower, but if its rough your going to be replacing parts whereas that scag is probably one of the most heavy duty mowers on the market. replacing parts on that scag will be extremely minimal with that few acres.

    However if it is very rough land, the scags ride rougher than any mower ive ever been on i guess because they are so freakin heavy!!!
  4. qkrenzien

    qkrenzien LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks, I appreciate the comments so far.

    When mowing the uneven areas, should I be concerned about scalping when using the 61 inch deck vs the 48 inch deck?
  5. GracesLandscaping

    GracesLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    could not tell you about how the scag does about scalping because i do not know all mowers are different in that area like my dixie never ever scapls whereas the exmark im currently running does. but its easily avoidable if your paying attn to what your doing. other than ditches and being careless, the only problem would be if there was a very small mound in the yard about 2 foot around, and 8 inches high... thats the only time ive had trouble with scalping that cant be avoided
  6. RTR Landscaping

    RTR Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Go with the Scag. The Wildcat is a great mower and you'll need the pumps and wheel motors it has if you plan to use it on hills. The Quest is more comparable to the Scag Freedom Z. The Wildcat is a lot more machine and it will last you a long time with routine maintainence.
  7. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    Is a good choice. Smooth ride, floating deck to limit scalping, full length rollers for striping, 6.5 gallon tank, mulching and bagging attachments are available for it. You also may be able to special order with a Vanguard engine since Briggs owns Simplicity. See link below.

    It also weighs less than 800LBs not 1100LBs or more like most full-blown commercial mowers which could lead to ruts and soil compaction in your lawn.

    Unless your disciplined enough to change your mowing pattern every week and get aeration every year steer clear of commercial mowers. Yeah they are built to last 3000 hours or more so for the average homeowner who runs it 50 hours a season it would last 75 years. So your paying for hours you'll never use. Overkill.

    Many dealers stop carrying most OEM parts for commercial Z-Turn mowers after 7-10 years so if you need a OEM part after that your SOL and stuck with a heavy and expensive boat anchor. A busy LCO will put up to a 1000hrs or more a season on a Z-Turn so after 3-5 years on average they are replaced. Commercial Z-Turn mowers are built and made for commercial users, not residential users.

    Good luck with your choice.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  8. qkrenzien

    qkrenzien LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok, sounds like I probably don't need to worry about scalping.

    Any suggestions on the things I should inspect on the used machine? I have been able to drive it and seems to run nicely, but wasn't able to cut anything because the grass hasn't started growing yet. It seems like the hydros were making a whining noise when I was operating them very slowly while performing tight turns. Maybe they were just cold because it was only 35 degrees out.

    The Scag does still have 1 year and 3 mo. left on its warranty. Do those usually transfer to the next owner. The dealer also said if anything went wrong in the first year he'd fix it for only the cost of the parts.
  9. qkrenzien

    qkrenzien LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Looks similar to the Quest. It seems to have more attachments, unfortunately the closest dealer is 60 miles away. It's not really that far, but would prefer to stay closer if possible.
  10. GracesLandscaping

    GracesLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    thats normal for the hydros, and yes the warrenty transfers (or it should) the best thing you can do is get one of those little extendable magnetic rods such as used to pick up a dropped bolt or something working on a car... stick that in the hydr fluid resoivor (spell check lol) and see if it has metal shavings on it. if it does then stear clear!

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