Zero Turn Mowers

Jugtown

New member

Equipment
B9200, B2710, Iseki G174
Oct 31, 2019
9
0
1
Asbury, NJ, USA
Looking for some advice on zero turn mowers. I have about 2 of seven acres that I keep mowed in the summer. I have been doing it with a Ferris commercial mower. It's a lot of walking but I don't mind it in the cooler months, it gets brutal when it gets to be July and August. Since I'm pushing 70 it's may be time to make life easier.
I do have 3 tractors but they all have R-1 tires, and I don't think they would be as maneuverable as a zero turn.
The area I keep mowed is mostly gentle slope or flat, small percentage is maybe 15 degree slope.
Does anyone have experience with the smaller Kubota mowers?
What angle of slope could I expect to mow with a zero turn.

Any advice is welcome.
 

RBsingl

Active member

Equipment
Kubota F 2690 72" rear discharge deck, Deere 955
Jul 1, 2022
198
167
43
Central IL
I have mowed just under 5 acres since 1995 using a John Deere 955 compact utility tractor with a 72" midmount. I came close to buying a ZTR this summer but ended up making a deal for a Kubota F-2690 front mount mower, the dealer had the new F-2690 on the lot but I am waiting for them to get the 72" rear discharge deck so that it can be delivered.

I have several areas with pretty good slopes including mowing near a creek in part of the pasture. My Deere 955 is still in great shape but there are a bunch of areas where I would still be using it to mow after I got a ZTR due to traction issues. There are several places where the slope is steep enough that I have the 955 in 4WD when mowing if the grass is even slightly moist. So for my terrain, I decided the front mount commercial with its 4WD system is a better deal for me. It will be more maneuverable than the Deere 955 and it will be very nice to be able to stick the mower deck only under trees instead of driving under loaded apple, peach, and pear trees with the 955.

I would get your dealer to bring out a ZTR and let you try it out to see how it works for you. And I am sure that I could get used to it but I don't like the twin lever steering of a ZTR, I much prefer a steering wheel.

Rodger
 

Dave_eng

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Lifetime Member

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M7040, Nuffield 465
Oct 6, 2012
4,680
662
113
Williamstown Ontario Canada
I am 76 and not well.
I started with a 6' Landpride pull behind on my M7040.
Nice to have a cab with AC when its hot but..........
A zero turn cut my mowing time in half.
I did not realize how much time I was wasting turning the real tractor.
You want to cut up and down not across slopes.
Mine is a 24 HP 60" commercial grade Toro my brother sold me when he was upgrading to a model with a seat suspension system.
The speed when mowing provides enough breeze to keep temps bearable.
Slope limits: The maximum slope you can safely operate the machine on is 15 degrees.
Dave
 
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motionclone

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L345DT with Lp mower, forks and grapple thumb, Bobcat 337 Midi Ex
May 4, 2018
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Maine
Get a used commercial zero turn. You will mow twice or 3 times as fast as a tractor pulling a mower. Used because its alot cheaper but one designed for commercial use because they are built to last unlike big box store zero turns. I have a used Exmark Laserz 60
 
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Kurtee

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BX2660, BX2680 cab, JD 2032R, Honda 5518, JD X590, JD X739
Oct 3, 2013
248
41
28
Nicollet, mn
I will throw something else at you. Look at Deeres x739 all wheel drive, all wheel steer machine. I have one with a 60" inch deck. I walks right around most trees and handles slopes like a mountain goat. It will mow at fairly high speeds. I have an Exmark Lazer Z and had a front runner before the x739. I am not sure I would have bought the zero turn if I had tried the all wheel steer before I owned a zero turn. I can tell you that with zero turns and slopes bigger is better. I have mowed some fairly steep slopes with both machines and would take the all wheel steer over a zero turn on slopes. If you can keep away from rocks and such Deere offers self sharpening blades for the 60 inch deck. Not trying to bash any other machines, just know what works for me.
 

Bill hopkins

Member

Equipment
7100 kubota
May 23, 2022
34
2
8
Ga
What ever you decide on, try to find a brand that has a dealer near you. My place has 4.75 ac. sold my big tractor and got an Exmark Lazer 60in. (commercial) never looked back.
 
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RalphVa

Active member
Jan 19, 2020
578
227
43
Charlottesville
I've a Ryobi 48v ZT, 2nd year on it now. Good thing I got it because the wife broke her leg in June. Before, she was doing it by almost running behind the Ryobi 21 inch cross cut 40v mower. She could do our approximately 1/2 acre around the house in about an hour. Before, it took me about an hour for each 1/3 of the lawn, walking very slowly behind it and resting in between the 1/3s. After getting the ZT, I could do the whole thing in slightly less time that it took her to do it.

With Carlisle super lugs on in place of the original turfs, I could even do a sloped lawn around the blueberries down the hill behind the house.

I agree with the other poster about doing slopes. With super lugs, you can do probably more than 15% because the back yard piece is probably steeper than this, and the blueberry hill about that. However, DO NOT DO very steep parts. I did a wheelie on the ZT and it rolled back on me but I kicked it to the side such that it ended up on its side. With help from the wife and a neighbor we righted it, and it is fine. I had to take tylenol for 2 weeks to help with sore back muscles from the tumble. I'll leave that really steep part to the Kubota with brush mower.
 

Mowbizz

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Bx25d
Aug 19, 2021
226
114
43
New Hampshire
I bought a Kubota Z422 54” this spring. So far it’s fast and comfy with the suspension seat. I used to mow with my BX 25d 60” and it would take 3 hours…now It’s a little over an hour. Night and day.
I have hills and with my he ZT it’s more challenging than the BX was but if I go as straight UP AND DOWN as I can, the ZT is more than capable…and way more fun! Haven’t had any “pucker” moments as long as I control the speed on the steeper sections. I did mow commercially with an Exmark ZT years ago so it was easy to jump on the new one.
 

hedgerow

Active member
Jan 2, 2015
141
98
28
Malcolm NE
Been running Grasshopper zero turn's for close to thirty years. Mow lots of banks, ditches and such no problems. Current one is a 325D with a Kubota diesel engine. I would never go back to mowing with a tractor style.
 

PaulR

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Equipment
BX 23S -- 77.1 hours seat time so far
Aug 3, 2020
498
362
63
Hadley, MA
Toro Commercial Timecutter HD 48" with the MyRide Suspension system. Cost me ~$5000 about 4-5 years ago. No complaints, fast, heavy duty, runs great, runs like new. Glad I ditched the $1,000 throw away big box mowers and invested in one of these.
 

Clint from Flint

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Kubota L2350, Covington Planter, Landpride tiller, 3 pt. tandem disk,log split..
Dec 12, 2020
40
33
18
81
Flint, Texas
I have the Flip-Up style by Hustler 54" cut...I got tired having to lie under my mower to change blades....getting down wasn't so bad but at 80 years old trying to get back up was the problem...Now I can stand and change the blades and wash the deck.....just push a button and the deck flips up...very nice.
20210802_202321.jpg
 

mikester

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M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
1,743
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113
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
I'm not trying to slight you age but my Kubota ZTR's operators manual gives a warning against operators over the age of 65 due to slower reflexes. These things go crazy fast and you can get into a heap of trouble quickly, especially operating on slopes - steering can be counter intuitive when you start sliding.

There will be a point where I trade my ZTR for a cabbed 4WD SCUT with A/C.
 

Clint from Flint

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2350, Covington Planter, Landpride tiller, 3 pt. tandem disk,log split..
Dec 12, 2020
40
33
18
81
Flint, Texas
I'm not trying to slight you age but my Kubota ZTR's operators manual gives a warning against operators over the age of 65 due to slower reflexes. These things go crazy fast and you can get into a heap of trouble quickly, especially operating on slopes - steering can be counter intuitive when you start sliding.

There will be a point where I trade my ZTR for a cabbed 4WD SCUT with A/C.
Yep...already been down that road....got my left foot jammed up against the inside of my tandem trailer one day.....I learned to keep your damn hands off the controls while off the machinery and the machine is running. Experience is the best teacher....OUCH
 

RBsingl

Active member

Equipment
Kubota F 2690 72" rear discharge deck, Deere 955
Jul 1, 2022
198
167
43
Central IL
The age warnings are "interesting" since people age at very different rates AND they age from different starting points.

There are plenty of people in their 40s who shouldn't be allowed to operate anything more dangerous than a bumper car in an enclosed setting while there are farmers around me in their 80s that I would trust completely to operate machinery.

Age is just one variable in a complex equation.

One feature I really like about the Kubota F-2690 I have on order is the tilt up deck. The last time I mowed with my Deere 955 compact, it picked up a length of twine I didn't see and wrapped it around a spindle. Of course it was the center one so it was the most difficult to reach from either side. I run 7 to 8 miles every other day but I still look forward to easier deck maintenance that doesn't involve driving the Deere up on ramps to go underneath for a proper cleaning or to change the blades.

Rodger
 
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PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,304
517
113
NZ
The F series mowers are awesome. Also awesomely expensive unfortunately.
 
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RBsingl

Active member

Equipment
Kubota F 2690 72" rear discharge deck, Deere 955
Jul 1, 2022
198
167
43
Central IL
The F series mowers are awesome. Also awesomely expensive unfortunately.
They are expensive but it should last a very long time with my use and do a nice job of mowing. When possible, I buy commercial/industrial quality to get better reliability and to avoid the worst of planned obsolescence.

I hope it gets here in time to do some summer mowing. Having gone from drought to 7" of rain in the past two days, the grass is going to be growing fast again.

My Deere 955 compact turned 27 this year and it still performs like it should so I don't regret paying a lot for it and its implements back in 1995. I keep it properly maintained and I expect to get many more years out of it for mowing part of the property with its rear rotary cutter, working with the loader, and moving snow as needed with the blade and blower. Other than fluids, filters, and blades it has required very little work. I have had to replace the idler pulleys on the midmount finish deck along with the belt and that has been it for parts failures.

Rodger
 
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Jugtown

New member

Equipment
B9200, B2710, Iseki G174
Oct 31, 2019
9
0
1
Asbury, NJ, USA
Thanks for all the replies.
The Kubota F series looks like a serious mower, but I'm not sure I want to spend that much at this point. When I stop by the dealer I may change my mind.
The Kubota dealer is only about 10min away, that's one of the reasons I'm leaning towards a Kubota.
I wouldn't mind having to do the small areas with higher slopes using the Ferris commercial mower.
Think i'll stop by the dealer this week.
I let you know what I decide.
 

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,304
517
113
NZ
The Kubota ZTRs are great machines.

If you buy an F, you'd normally buy second hand - they are heavily used by municipalities etc, and they're very durable so a high hours machine is still good buying.

I always feel like I want one, but my justification for my tractor was to mow the lawns mostly. So buying a dedicated mowing machine would cast doubt on whether I really need a tractor (plus there's not enough room to store both).
 

Motion

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Kubota MX5100HST/FEL
Aug 17, 2020
350
137
43
Mandeville Louisiana
I went from cutting an 11 acre pecan orchard with a gravely 72" with the Kubota diesel, back to the Bulher 7' finishing mower pulled by a Ford 4000, even though slower, I cut an extra foot and get to observe tree conditions and irrgation system. Plus putting out 24 tons of chicken manure and add the rain and irrgation it must be cut weekly or else it's rotary mower time. I don't like cutting in wet conditions but I only have weekends, if wet the ZTR has limltations, at least with 38" tractor tires I know I can pull through.