ZCat_studio2006_450 For the first time in decades I bought a non-John Deere riding mower.

I’ve had a long affair with John Deere, but I felt I needed a change, and my local tractor dealer (who also sells John Deere) made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

The Scag is a wonderful machine – built to run all day, every day, it is truly a commercial grade piece of equipment.  I seriously think it is the last lawn tractor I will ever own.  It has an amazing feature set, and everything is built for quick servicing.  Need to change the belts?  The deck folds up so you can access them.  Need to change the battery?  The seat flips up, giving very easy access to the battery (and a bunch of other things I don’t recognize).

This is a commercial tractor in a very friendly form-factor.  It fits through standard gates, and isn’t too big to put in the garage (or on a small trailer).

 It’s also a blast to drive – it uses a tank-like steering mechanism and it does over 8 MPH (which is very fast for a freaking lawn mower!)

It’ll be delivered tomorrow, or Friday. My neighbors are going to freak seeing me on something that isn’t John Deere green.

But they’ll be green with envy when I mow my yard in the time it takes them to get their mowers started πŸ™‚ 

The Scag Z-Cat. Ultra-Compact Size. Big Time Results. The Scag Z-Cat boasts an ultra-compact design while delivering full commercial-grade performance. This efficient, economical machine is available with a 36″ or 42″ Advantage cutter deck, and engines ranging from 16hp to 19hp. The Scag Z-Cat is designed to mow smaller properties and fit through gates and into tight spaces. Don’t be fooled by it’s smaller stature, the Scag Z-Cat is a true commercial-grade mower. Unlike other low-priced, de-featured mowers on the market today, the Z-Cat is built to the same exacting standards as the rest of the Scag Cat Family of mowers. A dual pump and wheel motor hydraulic system, commercial-grade electric clutch and Scag cutter deck spindles are just a few of the full-size features you will find on this little cat.



  1. Oh – I just remembered – that price was with a trade in value of $1000 for my last John Deere. So your mileage may vary.


  2. @John – Why shouldn’t you buy one? Well, you could run over a piece of re-bar like I did and break the main belt. That cost over $110 to purchase – but replaced it myself in ten minutes with only a large screwdriver to use as a lever.

    On my last John Deere I had to drop the mower deck to replace the belt. The belt cost me $30 and took two hours to change. Winner – Scag.

    If you are lazy like me you will forget to grease the grease points (all easy to reach). I haven’t had any issues, but I haven’t greased it enough, I am sure. I should do it every second time I mow. Every time, if I used it commercially.

    And I got the 36″ because I have some spots a 42″ just can’t reach (my last John Deere was a 42″).

    Mine was about $5.6K, if I remember right.

    As far as mowing times – it takes me about 45 minutes less time to mow my acre than it took with the 42″ John Deere. Why? The blade configuration, cutting deck design and engine power let me just mow faster and still cut my grass. Of course, once you master the steering you’ll add even more productivity (took me one full mowing to feel really good “driving a tank”).

    Hope that helps.


  3. Johnhoward68 says:

    So… you’ve had your SCAG since June… tell me why I should not buy one myself. And did you get the 36″ or 42″, and what did it cost?