Kubota - Scag - Hustler

EddieWalker

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I bought a 60 inch Scag Wildcat with the 26 HP water cooled Kawasaki engine about ten years ago. I looked at the other brands mentioned, and a few that haven't been brought up yet. The Scag impressed me the most. When it starts, it's a beast. It has plenty of power for the thickest grass, and if I haven't mowed an area in awhile, I can lift the deck a couple inches by pushing a lever with my foot, and mow it quickly no matter how tall the grass is. The seat was night and day better then anything else that I looked at back then!!!

Now that I've had it for 10 years, I would not buy Scag again because of all the gremlins that I've had to deal with in getting it to start. The safety switches all failed on me multiple times. The pull switch to start the blades has been replaced 3 times. The Generator went out after about 5 or 6 years. It blows 20 amp fuses about once a month. I never know if it will start or not, or what I will have to do to get it to start. For me, a good day is when it fires up without me having to figure out what is wrong with it now. I haven't checked the hour meter in awhile, but it's not a lot. I mow a couple acres a week around the house, the driveway and sometimes our walking trails. I have Bahia grass and I replace the blades 3 times a year. Removing the blades is quick and easy.

The dealer that I bought it from lost his contract with Scag and they went to an Ace Hardware for a few years. That really sucked. They never had any parts, but fortunately, I was able to get what I needed online. Now there are two dedicated lawn mower type dealerships in my area. One is pretty good.

To add to the fun I have with getting it to start, now I have about a 50-50 chance that the belts will jump off of the pullies when I first turn them on. If they do not jump, I'm usually good for the entire time I mow, no matter how many times I stop the blades and start them again. If it does jump, I have to put them back on, and then it's fine for the entire time I'm mowing. It's rare that they will jump off of the pullies a second time. I've replaced the belts without any change. The pullies look perfect. It might be the springs, but I really don't know. I keep a breaker bar with a 6 inch half inch drive extension on it to put turn the pullies so I can put the belts back on. It has two belts and they both come off at the same time.

Whatever you buy, be sure to get a sun shade. It lowers the temps to a point that it doesn't really matter how hot it is outside, mowing is still bearable.

I tried a variety of blades, but nothing cuts or lasts as long as the factory Skag blades.

The Kawasaki engine has been fantastic. If I was buying again right now, I would want another Kawasaki engine. or maybe Honda. But nothing else.
 
  
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OP
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ZeroTurn

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Thanks for the feedback.

Ive narrowed my choices down... seems like before I know it price just went from 6500-12,000, its like "but thats just 1500 more" yeah and then the next thing that has X improvement is only 1500 more and before you know it its double of what I initially started with.

So now that I got a better idea of my needs etc... I am not cutting acres of lawn, its around the house, a push mower 21" deck takes me about 1 hour to do the front yard, if i try to do front/side/back it takes about 2-3. So its more like 400-800 square meters id say. Front is like 4 car lengths wide and about 3 -4 long if that gives an idea.

I figured for the price, if i stick to the 42" - thats more than sufficient for here.

That at the price point... means scag Liberty Z is out (as its 8500 compare to 6500) - Sure it comes with 48" deck... but still its 2k more than initial plan.

1: If I ask about "what makes scag that superior cut" - is that on all the mowers (liberty Z included - its base model) or is that for the velocity decks on the higher end ones?

2: When people talk about "i want a manicured lawn" and thats why they go Scag due to its 'superior clean cut' - what exactly are we talking about here? Are people implying that other mowers chew grass up and leave stuff looking all torn up which gives it a poor quality look since the grass looks chewed up instead of nicely cut or are we talking about the way it discharges the grass finely everywhere leaving the lawn looking clean finished rather than the actual 'cut' itself? If I go mulching blades, it will clean it up nice, then the 'discharging' thing won't be as relevant... I mean 'whats a good cut'? If it cuts grass to the height you need... what determines if its a 'nice cut' (scag) or worse cut (something else) - I kinda don't get that as to me any lawnmower cuts the same, you put the heigh you need, n thats where it cuts... what the hells a good or bad cut?

Having that out of the way... back to the price...

I have the choice of the Kubota Z231 - With Kawasaki 21.5 hp motor. Kubota is 10 gauge steel and I think it has a 4.5" deck depth (more expensive ones have 5" and then the pro deck at 6") - does mower deck depth matter so much if I mow every week or 2 when the grass isn't long at all?

Or the Hustler Raptor X 42" or the Hustler Dash XD 42"

Essentially:




Prices within $500. - Whats going to be 'better' (stronger, durable, cut quality etc).

And is the Scag Liberty Z going to be $2000 better in terms of cut, or if im mowing weekly/fortnightly, won't even notice the difference and therefor no point spending 2k more?
 

RickB

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I have zero Hustler experience so I'm not qualified to comment on your brand choice. A clean cut to me means that the grass is cut cleanly, not torn or shredded. Clippings are distributed evenly (mulching blades/kit or not) whether the grass is wet or dry, short or taller. Obviously sharp blades are required no matter what. Deck construction is a factor, usually deeper decks with strong baffles perform better.
 

LD1

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Rather than quote the long post by Eddie Walker....this reply is directed at his post.

I have a scag, and have had many of the same issues. Switches, safety's, etc etc

Thing is ....most these parts are generic. Scag, Toro, exmark, hustler, etc etc all use same/similar switches, safety, pto, ignition...etc.

Same with all the other frequently changed parts like idler pulleys, belts, mower clutches, etc
 

EddieWalker

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I've wondered if other brands had similar issues with safety switches. I've also wondered if those issues where fixed?

To the OP. Before buying my zero turn, I had a Crafstman 42 inch riding mower that I really enjoyed. I only mowed about half an acre with it at the house I owned before moving out to where I live now. It quickly fell apart out here from abuse, and over use. I figured that a zero turn would be better able to handle country life over a manicured city lot. This has proven to be true, the Scag is a beast and it leaves a beautiful cut. I have no complaints about how well it cuts grass. Even after ten years, I'm impressed with how well it cuts. But I also miss the relaxing time I used to have on my riding mower. For me, the riding mower was enjoyable. The zero turn is work. For your amount of lawn, I would seriously consider a riding mower. I'm thinking about getting my wife a riding mower. She wants a John Deere. She doesn't care how much power it has, what size cut it does, or too much of anything other then that it's John Deere green. She hates the zero turn and refuses to use it. She keeps telling me that if she had a riding mower, she would help with the mowing.
 

DK35vince

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I have had a Hustler Super Z for 8 years (35 hp Kawasaki with 72" deck. Bought new in 2013)
Around 400 hours, never an issue.
But it is a full commercial model (built like a mini tank)
Can't speak for a Dash or a Raptor.
 
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Boss 302

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Scag puts their resources in building zero turn mowers and they build a very good top shelf product, there are a lot of good mowers on the market but, pretty much all of them take a back seat to the Scag
 

LD1

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In reality there are only a few minor differences between all the major players and their commercial ZTRs. Hustler, Toro, exmark, scag, Deere, gravely, ferris, etc etc.

Most have the same engine and hydro options. Use the same switches, non proprietary clutches, switches, idlers, etc. The biggest differences are ergonomics and deck designs with regard to airflow. And they are all pretty good at cutting.

For me, a mower decision will come down to what is available on your area at a price that meets your budget, and ergonomics. Nothing more.

There are a few more differences on models less than commercial grade. Because the lines between commercial and homeowner become blurred....and it makes it harder to compare. Some higher end mowers marketed toward homeowners may have more commercial features than other manufactures similar models. But on higher end stuff, you are pretty much just picking a paint color and ergonomics.
 

lilranch2001

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Rather than quote the long post by Eddie Walker....this reply is directed at his post.

I have a scag, and have had many of the same issues. Switches, safety's, etc etc

Thing is ....most these parts are generic. Scag, Toro, exmark, hustler, etc etc all use same/similar switches, safety, pto, ignition...etc.

Same with all the other frequently changed parts like idler pulleys, belts, mower clutches, etc
20 years on my eXmark Lazer ZX and not a single control/safety part has gone bad.... my only problem has been steering dampers (about every 6-7 years ) and belts.....

Did have a few oil leaks on the Kaw engine, but the dealer sealed them up pretty inexpensivly
 

big bubba

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may consider to post question in Lawn & Garden Equip as well. you are going to be overwhelmed with opinions, esp when it comes to name brands. best regards, wise to post on his forum 1st given your investment.
 
 
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