Trying a zero-turn this weekend - what to know?
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    Trying a zero-turn this weekend - what to know?

    I normally mow the 7 acres of my property that need mowing with a JD x758 garden tractor with 60" deck. It does an OK job but I've never been impressed with the cut (both general cut and unevenness). My dealer is letting me try their shop zero turn this weekend because I'm considering trading the tractor for one. I bought the tractor mainly for mowing and also snow blowing duty, but 1) we haven't had a lot of snow in MN for quite a few winters; and 2) I got a 2520 MCUT after the x758 so I can just use the 54" blower over on that instead. My goal with the switch to a zero turn is to speed up the mowing, get a better cut, and hopefully to reduce my investment a little. The x758 is a 2016 with 205 hours on it and is in very nice condition yet.

    The zero turn I'm using is a Deere Z930M. It has the 60" 7-iron deck, mulch control and bagging system. I'll mostly mow without the bagger but in fall I need a bagger for lots of leaves. I can mow my 7 acres in about 4.5 hours with the tractor. Since this is my first time running a zero turn I'm sure I won't be able to mow as fast as it is really capable of, but hopefully I can tell whether it will be faster than the tractor. I have a lot of trees and other obstacles in the lawn so I'm thinking the zero turn will help.

    Anything I should know about running the zero turn before I head out? My dealer showed me all the controls, I'm talking more about technique or general mowing differences.

    Has anyone else made this type of switch? Was it worth it?

    Here's the zero turn I'm using:


    Also, they are asking just under $11K for this unit with 270 hours on it as it sits, bagger included. Decent price?

    Thanks,
    Rob
    BIGTOOLRACK, jdmich and johnH123 like this.
    2016 x758 w/60" HC mower, 54" snowblower, MC519 bagger
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    Other toys: Stihl BR600 backpack blower; McCulloch chainsaws: 10-10S, 700, 805, 10-10; JD trimmer

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    arlen's Avatar
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    I mowed 7ish acres for quite a few years with an X748. It was slow and painful. I got a 997 5 years ago, but I kept the x748.
    I can’t mow 100% with the 997. There are areas near my creek,along fence lines, ditches, and other slopes that the 997’s powered shopping cart effect won’t cut it.
    Most of it can be mowed fine with the 997 though, and it does a fantastic job compared to the x748. Me and my wife mow at the same time and we can be done in about 3 hours. We are mowing about 10 acres now!
    The 997 can’t replace the x748 because of the mowing stability, snow blowing, tilling, blading, spraying, etc.

    In your case, since you have another little tractor, go for it!
    Last edited by arlen; 07-29-2018 at 12:15 AM.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    There's a great sticky thread about operating Zs in this very forum.
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    userjh160's Avatar
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    We got a Z920M early this spring. For mowing duties, it replaced a 1025r with a 54" deck and an older Cub Cadet lawn tractor with a 50" deck. My wife and I would use both at the same time on about 2.5 acres and it would take about an hour and 15 minutes. Now I cut it by myself in a little under an hour.

    Advice wise, I'd say don't try to make any true 180 degree turns at the end of your path. You have to keep one drive wheel turning forward and one turning backwards at close to the same rate or it will scuff your turf. After mowing with it all season I can't do it reliably, so I make a quick 3 point turn.

    The rear tires also get unloaded easily if you end up off camber going down slopes with a quick break over, so don't expect to be able to back out of this situation. Overall stability feels a lot better to me than than the 1025r or lawn tractor though. You have to "crab" it when going across slopes but that's easy to get the hang of.

    Other than that, just find an open spot away from obstacles to get a feel for control sensitivity and go for it. No way would I go back to tractor mowing.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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    2017 3038E; RC2048, 4' Box Blade, Forks, 5' Rear Blade, 2017 Z920M

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    You don't mention the year model of the Z930M, but, I would guess it is a 2017 year due to the number of hours on the loaner. So, it may still have a year or so warranty left on it. A standard 2017 Z930M with 60" 7 iron deck and that many hours would go at $6,700.00 here in my neck of the woods. So, it seems the dealer is wanting a few thousand ( $4000) for the bagger system. Offer $8200 and start walking away when you say this.

    On the.. www.tractorhouse.com where you can get a good idea what model John Deere Ztraks are selling, gives you some thought the price you should pay. Log on to the website I mention here, and see how many 2017 Z915E with 60" decks are selling for. Most of these are dealer leases models...One year programs.

    I bought a 2012 Z710A with 28 hours in 2013 (one year old) that listed for $8.800.00 for $4.500.00. I still own it with 289 hours and I mow about 7 1/2 acres. It takes me less than three hours and about 6 gallons of fuel.
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    GREENVA's Avatar
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    My biggest advice is don't try to turn on a dime. I have found that if I pull up in the direction of my next pass and then back up and then go, I don't get turf rub. Turning on a dime looks like this.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    *JOHN DEERE 2038R w/ 220R FEL-72" AUTOCONNECT MMM-270B BACKHOE-8"-16" BUCKET-KBOHC-IMATCH QUICK HITCH w/KBOHTH-BALLAST BOX-42" ARTILLIAN FORKS-FRONTIER RC2060-FRONTIER RB2072-LANDPRIDE CA1556-LANDPRIDE FSP 700-LANDPRIDE PD25-12'-24" AUGERS-EA 60" GARDEN BEDDER-EA 72" HD LAND PLANE-NORTHSTAR 55 GAL SPRAYER-TUFF TOP SCR-44-COUNTYLINE CARRYALL
    *JOHN DEERE Z930M 60" MOD-FULL SUSPENSION SEAT-ZGLIDE SUSPENSION-XTWEEL TIRES

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    Quote Originally Posted by userjh160 View Post
    Advice wise, I'd say don't try to make any true 180 degree turns at the end of your path. You have to keep one drive wheel turning forward and one turning backwards at close to the same rate or it will scuff your turf. After mowing with it all season I can't do it reliably, so I make a quick 3 point turn.
    As someone who has only mowed with conventional riding mowers for close to 50 years I must say I am learning a few things about ZTRs. I thought the whole advantage of a ZTR was Zero Turn Radius. But it sounds like you need to make the same 3-point turns that I do. The side hill traction issues sound like another fun feature. I think I'll stick to my 4-wheels for now. :-)
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    userjh160's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    As someone who has only mowed with conventional riding mowers for close to 50 years I must say I am learning a few things about ZTRs. I thought the whole advantage of a ZTR was Zero Turn Radius. But it sounds like you need to make the same 3-point turns that I do. The side hill traction issues sound like another fun feature. I think I'll stick to my 4-wheels for now. :-)
    I'm sure there are people who can take advantage of the full turning ability, and I can if I take my time. That said, the 3 point turn is still way faster than turning a tractor, and mowing goes much faster overall. Actually made mowing fun for me. I understand it wouldn't be for everyone though.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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    One thing I would do before even starting your test mow is check the air pressure in the rear tires. All mowers and tractors seem to come from the dealer with the tires overinflated. Lowering the rears to around 10# will improve th ride big time.

    These things ride hard enough as it is - don’t want you to be disappointed with a very harsh ride while testing it out.
    ~Stan~
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    I switch to a zturn (z445)6 years ago and would never be without one. Mow just ove 2 acres and takes me half the time is used to with tractor. Plus does a nicer job. Problem also,with tractor is I have lots of trees and was tired of backing all the time. Good luck sure you will like it.
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