Needing some ZTR Education
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    Needing some ZTR Education

    Hi everyone. I'm toying with the idea of adding a ZTR for my mowing chores around my property. Out of my just-under 3.0 acres, I mow roughly 1 acre, most of it gets done weekly, a portion bi-weekly. My X500 w/ 48" Edge Deck is a good mower, but I'm looking for more speed as well as the maneuverability around things (mulched tree circles, mulched flower beds around house, etc.).

    So in my reading, everyone states that the cut quality of a zero-turn is very, very good. My X500 does an OK job - not fantastic (mulching kit is installed). But I find I can't mow that fast, even with very sharp blades. I end up crushing and pushing over grass instead of cutting. Is this issue eliminated (mostly) with a ZTR? If I bought one, I'd go with the 7-Iron deck, which advertises higher blade speed.

    I guess my question really comes down to: What makes the ZTR so much better at mowing other than you can turn on a dime? That part is obvious. What makes the cut quality that much better?

    My ground is lumpy here and there...some uneven areas....I do not own a golf-course type of lawn, unfortunately.

    Thanks for any information.
    John

    2015 JD 2025R Classic - 54D, 220R FEL, JD iMatch, JD Ballast Box, Frontier AF10F Plow, Frontier AP11F 42" Pallet Forks
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM45 View Post
    Hi everyone. I'm toying with the idea of adding a ZTR for my mowing chores around my property. Out of my just-under 3.0 acres, I mow roughly 1 acre, most of it gets done weekly, a portion bi-weekly. My X500 w/ 48" Edge Deck is a good mower, but I'm looking for more speed as well as the maneuverability around things (mulched tree circles, mulched flower beds around house, etc.).

    So in my reading, everyone states that the cut quality of a zero-turn is very, very good. My X500 does an OK job - not fantastic (mulching kit is installed). But I find I can't mow that fast, even with very sharp blades. I end up crushing and pushing over grass instead of cutting. Is this issue eliminated (mostly) with a ZTR? If I bought one, I'd go with the 7-Iron deck, which advertises higher blade speed.

    I guess my question really comes down to: What makes the ZTR so much better at mowing other than you can turn on a dime? That part is obvious. What makes the cut quality that much better?

    My ground is lumpy here and there...some uneven areas....I do not own a golf-course type of lawn, unfortunately.

    Thanks for any information.
    Zero turn mowers usually have faster blade and ground speed. However how rough the yard is will have a lot to do with how fast you can mow. Some ZT's will handle bumps better than others. Would recommend getting one to road test on your lot before taking the plunge.

    Maybe try removing the mulch kit on your 500 and see if that helps. Was cutting my daughter's place with my 540 last week. It was a long day and I just wanted to be done with it. So I was pushing the 540 a lot faster than usual. To my surprise it handled the extra speed no problem. However I always run it side discharge.

    You can also try moving the position of the seat springs to see if that helps. Depending on your weight moving them forward will give you a softer ride.
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    We just bought a new zero turn. Brought it home yesterday. It's much smoother than my old 332 we had and we can cover a bunch of ground quick. One of its benefits is the deck is shaft driven and then there is one huge belt that runs the deck spindles. I'm a pretty big Deere guy but check out the kubota commercial mowers. It's hard to describe how much faster it is. If you were close you could come take it for a spin. Its one of those things you have to experience to know what we're talking about.

    Brett
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustyshakelford View Post
    We just bought a new zero turn. Brought it home yesterday. It's much smoother than my old 332 we had and we can cover a bunch of ground quick. One of its benefits is the deck is shaft driven and then there is one huge belt that runs the deck spindles. I'm a pretty big Deere guy but check out the kubota commercial mowers. It's hard to describe how much faster it is. If you were close you could come take it for a spin. Its one of those things you have to experience to know what we're talking about.

    Brett
    That looks a lot like my 10-year-old ZD321. I can attest these are great machines, never a problem with mine. Does the new model still have the front jack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spferdil View Post
    That looks a lot like my 10-year-old ZD321. I can attest these are great machines, never a problem with mine. Does the new model still have the front jack?

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    Yes. It's very handy. We're excited to have it. Never thought I'd spend what I did on a mower but never used anything like this before. Probably not much changed besides the design of the deck, thickness of blades, both fuel tanks are tied together and have a 12.9 gallon capacity and an LCD screen. Put them side by side and they'd be twins

    Brett
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    2017 5100E CAB H260
    ---FRONTIER BB4296
    ---MX15
    ---MX8
    ---EA 72" GRAPPLE

    2017 KUBOTA ZD1211R
    2017 KUBOTA RTV-X1100C
    4K winch, 2”lift, 27s

    GONE AND FORGOTTEN
    2013 AND 2014 5055E CAB H240

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    ztr vz tractor

    I have a 1025R with a 60" deck and a ztr915 with the 60" deck. The ztr cuts much better and much faster. I cut my mowing time in half with the ztr mower. I decided to take the deck off the 1025R and just use it for attachments.
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    Looked at the ZD1211 my self this spring very nice and diesel. around 15,500 around here. You might want to look at the Deere 900 series, Maybe find a demo the dealer wants to get rid of this time of year. If you want to try one they will bring out their Demo for you. I had a Z970R I bought used with 220 hours with a 72" deck. It was a great machine and mowed well and fast. Problem I am a large man and when I went to his reverse my BELLY was in the way. I mowed with it one time and took it back and put the money towards a 2038R I have on order. The mower was very nice and rode great but not enough room for my belly.
    2018 2038R 220R FEL, 72" Mower, Radial tires, wheel spacers, dual rear SVCs, CtA grapple, single point for FEL, 60" broom with front hitch;2018 1025R 54"auto connect, HDAP tires, Quick Hitch, Ballast Box, Etc...;1967 1020 3cylinder gas, #47 FEL, 72" Landpride Grooming Mower, 6ft box blade, For Sale(no Hurry); life Member NRA since 1974

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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    Speed and maneuverability are the plus things with the Z Trak, comfortable ride on rough ground, not so much.
    Get some kind of suspension seat, the standard seats just don't get it.

    Ground can be smoothed out with time and patience, slowly been smoothing my ground out over the last 3 years,
    can run full speed probably 70% of the time now.

    Has cut my mowing time more than in half, very nice cut appearance for a 72" deck.

    Think blade tip speed is 300 FPS, which is the length of a football field a second, or 18,000 FPM which figures to be 204 MPH.
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    Neil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    Looked at the ZD1211 my self this spring very nice and diesel. around 15,500 around here. You might want to look at the Deere 900 series, Maybe find a demo the dealer wants to get rid of this time of year. If you want to try one they will bring out their Demo for you. I had a Z970R I bought used with 220 hours with a 72" deck. It was a great machine and mowed well and fast. Problem I am a large man and when I went to his reverse my BELLY was in the way. I mowed with it one time and took it back and put the money towards a 2038R I have on order. The mower was very nice and rode great but not enough room for my belly.
    We are usually the ones to have bad luck and that was the motivation for the kubota diesel. If Deere had a diesel zero turn besides the 997 and it's price point we would still be green. When we went to the dealer we started 3 mowers....I use that term loosely. The first one wouldn't start, second would only stay running while you had the choke on and the third one was smoking like a freight train. These were 10k mowers. Some with mod and tweels. After that I decided there was no way I was getting a gas. I would be having to have work done every year for bad gas at the way my luck goes. Deere makes a great mower, just wished they had another diesel offering that was less expensive than 20k

    Brett
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    2017 5100E CAB H260
    ---FRONTIER BB4296
    ---MX15
    ---MX8
    ---EA 72" GRAPPLE

    2017 KUBOTA ZD1211R
    2017 KUBOTA RTV-X1100C
    4K winch, 2”lift, 27s

    GONE AND FORGOTTEN
    2013 AND 2014 5055E CAB H240

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    Quote Originally Posted by rustyshakelford View Post
    We are usually the ones to have bad luck and that was the motivation for the kubota diesel. If Deere had a diesel zero turn besides the 997 and it's price point we would still be green. When we went to the dealer we started 3 mowers....I use that term loosely. The first one wouldn't start, second would only stay running while you had the choke on and the third one was smoking like a freight train. These were 10k mowers. Some with mod and tweels. After that I decided there was no way I was getting a gas. I would be having to have work done every year for bad gas at the way my luck goes. Deere makes a great mower, just wished they had another diesel offering that was less expensive than 20k

    Brett
    I agree with this.

    My next machine - weather it be a zero turn or not - will be a diesel. Not only for the obvious reasons - I am setup with a bulk fuel tank that I fill with diesel and always have plenty on hand.

    I owned a 757 zero turn which was just great - a real mowing machine. The only thing I didn't like about it was the gas engine even though it was a Kawasaki. I know it's just a personal thing but I just couldn't get used to having to have the throttle up to at least 1/2 throttle to engage the PTO or it would stall - and having to shut it down at 1/2 throttle or more or it would backfire.

    I've had nothing but Deere equipment for my little business since 1973 or so. While it's hard to think about anything other than Deere, their only diesel zero turn (997) is just way too much mower for my needs now. So the Kubota ZD(?) 60" diesel fits the bill perfectly for me.
    BigJim55 likes this.
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