When it comes to mowers, the word “value” usually means leaving off so many features that there’s a lot to be desired. Not so with Scag’s Patriot mower: these mid-deck ZTRs still have all the features that make their mowers some of the best in the industry.
More than Just a Choice of Deck Sizes
Scag offers the Patriot in two versions: the SPZ52-22FX, which has a 52-inch deck, and the SPZ61-23FX, which uses a 61-inch deck.
Both models are powered by Kawasaki’s FX Series. These commercial quality engines come with a twin barrel carburetor, electronic ignition, hemispherical combustion chamber and overhead valves for maximum power along with a full pressure lubrication system, cast iron cylinder sleeves and a solenoid-shift electric starter for reliability. These engines are topped with a giant canister air filter that keeps the intake clean while reducing the frequency of filter cleanings and replacements. The 52 inch Patriot has an FX691 rated at 22 hp, while the FX 730 comes with an FX730 rated at 23 hp.
To match these engines, Scag fits the 52-inch Patriot with Hydro-Gear ZT-3100 transaxles for a top speed of 8.5 mph, while the 61-inch model uses Hydro-Gear ZT-3400’s for a top speed of 10 mph. Both models can reach 5 mph in reverse, and both transaxle models have spin-on filters for easy maintenance.
Commercial Features without the Commercial Price
Like other Scag mowers, the Patriot uses a Velocity Plus deck. This design combines a tough fabricated shell combined with inner plating that shapes the mowing chamber for near-stamped deck performance. Adjustment brackets on each corner of the deck make it easy to level, while the discharge chute is built for high flexibility so it can bounce back from impacts. The cutting height can be set from 1.5 to 5 inches in ¼ inch increments using a foot pedal and a clearly marked adjuster knob.
Scag worked with Fisher Martin to deliver OEM blades using their hard wearing Marbain technology. These are available in low, medium and high lift shapes as well as an abrasive resistant version for sandy soils.
To reduce refueling frequency, there’s a 6.5-gallon tank built into the side of the mower. It comes with a molded-in storage caddy and cup holder for the operator. Extra large tires (22/23 rear, 13×5-6/6.5 front) reduce ground pressure to reduce turf damage, and Ausco disc brakes ensure the mower will stay in place, even when parking on hills.
A lot of thought went into the Patriot to make it easy to service. The spindles are made of aluminum and use sealed ball bearings, so they don’t need to be greased, and the rear frame design exposes the oil drain and air filter for quick access. The Ogura PTO clutch has an adjustable air gap so it can be brought back into spec when the clutch plate wears down instead of being replaced. Keeping track of the maintenance schedule is easy thanks to an hour meter that includes built-in alerts for upcoming service.
An adjustable, high-backed seat isn’t a standout feature at this part of the mower market, but Scag also uses a foot plate is mounted on rubber bushings to isolate it from vibrations. Paired with dual steering dampers and thick padded handles, this is an exceptionally comfortable mower.
Scag covers the mower for two years of commercial use and 3 years or 500 operating hours of residential use, while Kawasaki warranties the FX Series for three years with no hour limit.
While most companies offer one option for each task, Scag designs accessories to let you pick the features that best fit your operating conditions and budget.
The mower can be used to mulch by adding a mulch plate while mulching performance can be improved by adding the Hurricane mulching system. This kit divides the deck into individual chambers for each blade, creating the same amount of vacuum as a tall chamber stamped deck. For the ultimate finish, add the Tiger striping kit.
For collecting clippings, there’s a 7-bushel capacity twin bag system that can be used by itself or paired with a spindle drive to help push clippings through when they’re wet or tall.
ZTRs aren’t known for towing capacity, but Scag offers a trailer hitch that can handle up to 250 lbs. which is enough for many pull-behind implements including overseeders and fertilizer spreaders.
Need to see in low-light conditions? The mower can be fitted with 76-watt halogen headlights. Wish your mower looked as sharp as your truck? Add some chrome wheel covers.
Getting Parts and Service for the Patriot
Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a certified dealer for Scag and Kawasaki so we can provide parts and service for your entire mower. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s just off Route 11, or one mile east of I-81 from Exit 10. We also ship parts across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit our site, www.shankslawn.com.