In June 2011 I bought a Scag Freedom Z 48" 19hp Kawasaki to supplement a Dixon Estate B&S 17hp hydro I have had since 1997. The Dixon has MANY hours on it, has mowed literally thousands of acres, and has been bulletproof. I actually intended to buy another Dixon but the deal on this Scag I felt was too good to pass up.
I presently use this mower as a finish mower on about 2 1/2 acres around my farmhouse and outbuildings and around part of my lake.
I like the Scag so far EXCEPT for one very annoying problem for which which I believe (hope) an engineer at Scag and my dealer may have found a remedy.
The Scag blows, what I consider to be, an EXTREMELY excessive amount of dust and grass clippings out the front of the deck resulting in the operator being COVERED in dust/dirt in almost no time at all.
It is super bad in dry conditions or if you run over any bare ground such as at the edge of a rock driveway or the edge of a field. At first I was told "that's just the way they are - you'll just have to live with it".
If that was true - I was prepared to take my lumps, sell the damn thing, and buy another Dixon. I tuned up the old Dixon, put the Scag in the shed, and began to try to find some help.
After several calls to Scag, I spoke to an engineer who was not unfamiliar with the problem. While not admitting any design flaws, he suggested having a baffle (which is part of the optional mulching or bagging attachment) bolted under the front of the deck.
I was only able to mow once this fall with the new baffle attached - and it seems to be working okay. At least there is a LOT less dust. I'm hopeful the problem is cured. I'll know more this spring after I use it a few times.
Other than the dust, the mower is comfortable, very powerful, and fast. I'm hoping it turns out to be as good as my old Dixon which has been relegated to duty at the relatively small yard of my house in town.