Zero Turn Radius mowers get the job done
Zero Turn Radius mowers (ZTRs) continue to increase their share of the riding mower market, especially for those with large yards who enjoy a quality cut with the efficiency of a zero-turn. There is no shortage of units on the market to choose from, each with a different mix of features. We turned to Nathan Ryan at Briggs & Stratton who gave us four things to look for.
- Size matters. There are entry-level ZTRs for homeowners with big backyards, but if you’re mowing some serious acreage you should consider a heavy-duty ZTR with a wider deck and bigger fuel tank.
- Try it on for comfort. While faster than a traditional lawn tractor, you still might be on it for awhile, so make sure it’s comfortable. Look for a good suspension system, a cushioned seat with arm rest, and easy-to-use controls.
- A long-term commitment. A ZTR is an investment, so it needs to be durable to withstand years of wear and tear from the terrain. Look for features like a welded steel frame or fabricated mower deck, a commercial-series engine, and a protective rear bumper.
- Getting attached. Many zero turns offer attachments to suit any task. From mulcher kits and grass catchers to headlights and hitch attachments or even a cargo bed, your ZTR can be more than a mower.
Ryan suggests looking at a range of units and talking to experts at your local outdoor power equipment dealer to ensure that you find the right zero turn to meet your needs.
Let’s take a look at some of 2021’s most exciting ZTR mowers.
Ultima Series ZTX
Are your mowing acres “challenging?” The Ultima Series ZTX is a commercial-grade residential zero-turn from Cub Cadet with enhanced strength and durability to cut at maximum speeds and tackle challenges on every acre. The tough Kohler or Kawasaki engines are backed by a 4-year/500-hour warranty; the AeroForce Max deck allows for superior grass flow through a 9-inch diameter boot, and an automotive-class seat and padded armrests deliver all-day comfort.
Deere’s new Z365R is equipped with a 24 hp, V-twin John Deere ELS engine, and boasts two industry-exclusives: the Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System and MulchControl, along with rubber floor mats, a foot lift, and premium handlebars. Also included: a 48-inch triple blade Accel Deep mower deck, and a heavy-duty dual Hydro-Gear transmission for a maximum speed of 7-mph.
Zee 2HP Series
New this season is the Zee 2HP series ZTR from Dixie Chopper, available in 48- or 54-inch mower deck sizes. A 24 hp Kawasaki engine powers through commercial-grade transaxles for a top speed of 8 mph. Large drive tires grip hillsides and provide speed with stability. The Operator-Controlled Discharge Chute (OCDC) keeps clippings away from driveways and plantings. The Zee 2 HP comes standard with a plush two-tone seat and ISO 360 Seat King mount more comfort in rough lawns.
For 2021, Exmark has updated its Quest family of residential zero-turn riding mowers. The upgraded Quest S-Series mower features a new 54-inch Series 2 cutting deck, with improved clipping discharge for a cleaner, more consistent finish cut quality. The commercial-style four-point, foot-operated deck lift offers maximum deck stability in any cutting conditions. The Exmark 708cc V-Twin engine features a dual-barrel carburetor, pressurized lubrication and an innovative quick drain system for easy, tools-free oil changes.
FrontMount Model 735BT6
Made for large acreages, the Grasshopper Model 735BT6 FrontMount mower is equipped with a powerful 35 hp Vanguard Big Block engine. Coupled with a revolutionary T6 drive and AntiVibe Power Platform for a vibration-free ride. True ZeroTurn maneuverability lets you get into tight spaces, reducing secondary trimming. Extra deep DuraMax decks make quick work of heavy grass and are available in 61- or 72-inch cutting widths. The deck easily removes to accommodate year-round implements for collection, snow removal, turf renovation, and debris management.
The Grasshopper Company
The TITAN MAX features the same tubular steel frame found in Toro’s commercial Z Master Series. Powered by a 26 hp Kohler 7000 Series engine, the MAX has fully serviceable hydros, producing ground speeds of up to 9 mph. Massive 23-inch drive tires elevate the rider for enhanced visibility. Toro’s IronForged cutting system boasts a bullnose leading reinforced edge made from grade-50 hardened steel. The IronForged deck also includes a heavy-duty rubber discharge chute which optimizes overall durability.
The Toro Company
Featuring powerful engines from Kohler or Kawasaki, this zero-turn rider has large estate owners in mind by delivering commercial-grade results at an appealing value. The machines have 52- or 61-inch cutter decks for a beautiful quality-of-cut. Its strong hydro-drive system delivers ground speeds of up to 8.5 mph (52” model) or 10 mph (61” model). To keep the operator comfortable, the Patriot features a thick-cushioned, adjustable torsion spring suspension seat. Scag mowers feature a 3-year / 500-hour non-commercial mower warranty.
Scag Power Equipment
KIOTI’s ZTR mower line comprises the ZXR, ZXRSE, ZXC and ZXCSE, with a total of 12 models ranging from 21- to 27-horsepower Briggs & Stratton or Kohler engines. Travel speeds of 8- to 10-mph are possible with reliable Hydro-Gear transmissions. Owners can choose from 48-, 54- or 60-inch mower decks, each with a fabricated, reinforced 10-gauge steel deck and standard notch blades. Seat and deck lift lever positioning ensure the mowers comfortably accommodate users of all builds, and optimized control connections and linkages create a precise and responsive driving experience.
Kubota’s new models come with standard 6.5-inch-wide front caster tires and a deluxe adjustable suspension seat with 3 inches of travel for operator comfort. The new models share Hydro-Gear ZT-3600 transmission, 24-inch low profile rear tires, and 22 to 24 horsepower Kawasaki engines. Durable 48-, 54- or 60-inch decks provide superior cut quality across different types of turf and terrain.
Kubota Tractor Corp.
The all-new Bobcat ZT3500 mower has commercial-grade durability and performance. Powered with a powerful Kawasaki FX series engine, this zero-turn mower also boasts a heavy-duty drive system for quick ground speeds of up to 10 mph. Standard features: 7-gauge steel frame, Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 hydrostatic transaxle, rugged dual fuel tanks with capacity up to 7.8 gallons, and a 2,000 hour bumper-to-bumper warranty.
The new Snapper 360Z XT offers commercial grade components including commercial engine options, a fully welded steel frame and a Hydro-Gear ZT 3100 transmission packed into a compact homeowner-friendly frame. The large 13″ front caster wheels and 22” rear commercial turf tires give you traction with the confidence that you’re not tearing up your lawn. Both 52″ and 61″ deck options and an 8.5 mph max speed help make quick work of any sized property. Snapper 360Z XT offers solid construction and premium comfort features. to
Briggs & Stratton - Snapper
New for 2021, the Simplicity Courier XT builds on Simplicity’s reputation for upgrading the mowing experience. The Courier XT features Simplicity’s patented comfort system with 4-point suspension, improving the mowing experience. A Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series engine powers the Courier XT at an 8.5 mph max speed, and has 52″ and 61″ deck options. A pivoting front axle makes navigating rough terrain more comfortable while delivering the quality of cut that Simplicity is known for. An integrated LED headlight extends your mowing day and a premium 18″ cut-and-sew seat provides added comfort.
Briggs & Stratton - Simplicity
When your acreage demands a commercial-grade zero turn, the Ferris ISX 2200 delivers. A top speed of 10 mph and an 11-gallon fuel tank enable increased productivity while Ferris’ ForeFront Suspension System provides excellent operator comfort. The Ferris ISX 2200 is driven by a commercial-grade EFI Vanguard engine consistent starting at all temperatures and reduced fuel consumption. This unit also features Vanguard’s Oil Guard System which increases the oil change interval 5x, for less maintenance. Dual, commercial Hydro-Gear ZT-4400 transaxles deliver power and durability while a redesigned back bumper provides additional ground clearance.
Briggs & Stratton - Ferris