Walkbehinds SCAG vs eXmark....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TLS, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Probably been discussed a few times, but what I am looking for is kinda rare. Hopefully not too rare.

    I need someone with experience on a Newer SCAG AND a newer eXmark 48". Walkbehinds only please.

    Some of you may know, I'm looking into upgrading from my latest Belt Drive 14hp 48" SCAG to a Hydro. Fixed deck is PREFERRED, mainly due to compactness/weight and the fact that I only cut one height, so the main benefit of a floater being quick height changes doesn't intrest me. I never had a scalping problem before, so that isn't an issue either.

    I'd like to go with Exmark, but I'm worried about the lack of HP (15) that the Viking comes with versus the 18 (Honda) that the SCAG comes with. Plus I really like the electric clutch and pistol grips on the SCAG (yeah, I DO like pistol grips!) The SCAG deck is built stronger (important on a fixed deck, as its part of the overall structure) as is most of the other hardware, handles, etc.

    What I'm mainly concerned about is overall cut quality. My 60" Lazer deck is just about a perfect a deck as your gonna get. I don't know how their 48" rates though.

    I'm quite sure, from all my research, that the Exmark decks cut better than the SCAG's, but just how much better? Are the new SCAG decks MUCH better than their predecessors, or just a little bit better?

    So, as you can see, I really want the opinion of someone who either owns(ed) both brands, or better yet, has owned both, AND an older SCAG deck as well.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. BareFootLawn

    BareFootLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Just bought an X-Mark "Turf-Tracer" after demoing between them and Scag. The X-Mark had a better cut, but I thought the Scag "T" bar was kind of neat.
    It's a close call between the two, I would test drive both to see what fits you the best.
    Just a note - you mentioned quality of cut. 48" fixed deck tore up two high-end residentials that I now cut with my floating deck turf tracer.
    I look for high end residentials with scalped lawns and leave a brochure. Seems to work if they are using a service.
    Good luck!
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Thanks Barefoot.

    You mentioned "Turf Tracer", so that means a minimum of 52" and a floater, I want opinions on 48" fixed decks.

    What is this Scag "T" bar that you think is kinda neat?

    Dealer doesn't have either of my preferred models, so test driving anytime soon is kinda out.

    Like I said, I 've never scalped a lawn before unintentionally, and I've been using fixed deck SCAG WB's since 1986.
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Jeeze, I knew it would be rare to find people experienced with both, but I thought comments would be flowing a bit faster than this!

    Keep em coming!
  5. greenback

    greenback LawnSite Member
    from L.I.
    Messages: 175

    i like the 48 scag, pistol grips is my choice. the electric clutch sucks though, i just replaced mine $180 (the guy did not charge me labor so you could imagine). i also have a 36 exmark, pistol grip, manual pto, i like them both. scag probably my first choice
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I have my original electric clutch in my '96.

    My manual clutched SCAGS however required constant adjustment of turnbuckles, worn out rods, levers, etc.
  7. Fareway Lawncare

    Fareway Lawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 2,222

    TLS...You Want a High HP fiXed Deck so Bad why not Look @ the 42" Stander w/18hp BV? That Puppy should Smoke both the eXmark & Scag in Productivity....or You could go w/a 48" Viking & Just Swap the engine for a 19hp Kaw....The last eXmark Walk I bought I Swapped for a Larger HP engine....Worked out to Not that Much More $$$....

    Check Out the Easy Blade Belt Adjust on the Tracer HP's that the Vikings Don't Have...I prefer the Manual Clutch....
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I want to walk, and hop curbs, both things that a Wright Stander cant do.
  9. sawman65

    sawman65 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 754

    i sell the exmark so i am a bit slanted the tthp48kac has not had many changes in the past three years.but i think the exmark uses biger pumps and the parker ross wheel moters and it floats
    the scag dont float
    they all use the same engines,thickness of steel,warrantys the same ect.ect. one thing i do notice is when i drill holes for the velkes i have to drill two holes in the exmark one starter hole then the three eights on the scag i can do it with one drill bit
    this leads me to belive the exmark is a better quality steel
    you rarely hear of an exmark deck cracking you hear it in scag all the time seems like it is normal.
    if qualty of cut matters get the exmark
  10. BareFootLawn

    BareFootLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you TLS.
    You can get a Turf Tracer in a 48', that's what I've got.
    My only complaint with it is that the front is a little lite. It will "pop" up on you if you take off with a little too much power. I would hesitate to use it on a large account because of that. Turn and take off with power and you'll have to go back to cut all the little "islands" left when the deck floated up.
    With that said, I use mine on residentials and it's worked great! Best cut of anything I've used or even seen here in my area. I think I can add some weight up front to solve my problem, but as of right now, I'm very happy with it.
    I looked at X-Mark, Scag, Hustler, Ferris, and Gravely before I bought, the X-Mark was one of the higher $$$ mowers, but I still bought it.
    Oh, another thing. You need to put a mulch kit on it and gator blades if you are going to use it for high end residential. That thing will sling grass for a mile!! One of better customers almost choked me when she saw me slinging grass in her flower beds. I learned how to use my blower on low and "pick" them out. Next day was in ordering the mulch kit with the blades.

    Mine has a 17hp Kaw on it. I cut one lawn that's thicker than cement right now and I'm cutting it at 2 1/2 inches. She's handling it fine. Once again, I cut more high-end commercial and would hesitate to go out and cut a "rough" lawn, would probably pull out the dixie chopper for something like that, at least until I got it down to a reasonable cut. As far as maintenance is concerned, I really like the belt adjustment feature, you look down and line up a bolt with an control arm in a little "window" to see when the belt needs tightening. Takes out some of the guesswork.

    Pistol grips - Seem to have put me farther away from the mower, maybe that was just a perception, but with close quarters to mow, I want to be right on top of the machine, also in tight turns up against trees, seemed like I was almost getting my hands pinned several times.

    Sawman is correct, it does seem like a better built machine. I looked a quite a few. For quality of cut, it is the best.

    Just my thoughts.

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