Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money 2018 Reviews
Commonly known as a Z-turn or ZTR mower, the zero turn mower, just as the name suggests, literally has a zero turning radius. Because of this, the best zero turn mower will mow your grass much faster compared to the lawn tractor or the self-propelled lawn mower.
These units are designed with caster wheels to eliminate the U-turn that is common with other mowers. This in essence means that they will make a 180-degree turn to mow each lap without leaving patches of uncut grass.
Most Z-Turn mowers are best suited for even terrains or gentle slopes. However, you may come across a few particularly in the Prosumer or commercial grade categories, which come as the best zero turn mower for hills.
Our review today analyses only the top rated Z-turn mowers based on expert trial and review as well as user reviews. We have also followed it up with an informative buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.
- 1 Finding The Best Zero Turn Mower in 2017 – Reviews
- 1.1 1. Husqvarna 967324101 V-Twin 724 cc Zero Turn Mower, 54”
- 1.2 2. Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 24 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 54-Inch
- 1.3 3. Husqvarna Z246 21.5HP 726cc Kawasaki Engine 46 Z-Turn Mower #967324001
- 1.4 4. Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero Turn Mower, 61-Inch **BEST CHOICE**
- 1.5 5. Ariens Zoom 50 – 21hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin 50″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- 1.6 6. Troy-Bilt XP 25HP 60-Inch FAB Deck Zero Turn Mower
- 2 Zero Turn Mowers Buyer’s Guide
Comparing the Top Zero Turn Mowers
|Zero Turn Mower||Deck Material||Cutting Deck Length||Max Forward Speed||Engine type and power||Cutting height range & positions|
|Husqvarna 967324101||Reinforced stamped steel||54”||5.5 mph||Briggs &Stratton 724cc v-twin endurance; 24hp||0.5” and 4”|
Pro 967331001 P54ZX
|Reinforced steel||54”||6 mph||Briggs & Stratton Professional Series, 24 HP||1.5”-4”, 6 positions|
|Husqvarna Z246||Reinforced stamped steel||54”||6.5 mph||726cc Kawasaki FR651V V-Twin OHV, 21.5 HP||1.5”-4”, 6 positions|
|Husqvarna MZ61||11-gauge Welded Steel||61”||8.5 mph||Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Endurance Series, 27 HP||1.5”-4.5”, 12 positions|
|Aries Zoom 50||11-gauge stamped steel||50”||6 mph||Kohler 6000 series 660cc V-Twin OHV, 21HP||1.5”-4.5”, 7 positions|
|Troy-Bilt XP Fab Deck||Heavy duty steel fabricated||60”||7 mph||V-Twin Briggs & Stratton, 25 HP||1.5”-3.75”, 15 positions|
Finding The Best Zero Turn Mower in 2017 – Reviews
1. Husqvarna 967324101 V-Twin 724 cc Zero Turn Mower, 54”
The 967324101 Zero Turn Mower by Husqvarna comes with a revolutionary design and exceptional power thanks to its Briggs & Stratton 24hp V-twin endurance engine.
Additionally and quite impressively, its design takes into account safety features like the electric clutch, automatic parking brake system, rear engine guard, ergonomic control panel, and the anti-slip foot area reason why it has dominated several zero turn mower reviews. Let’s look at its features in more detail.
Briggs & Stratton 24hp v-twin endurance engine
V-twin engines are called so because of their shape. These engines are the same ones used in some motorcycles like Harley Davidson and vehicles like Mazda, which means that in your mower, they will certainly deliver greater power, more durability, and an easier ride particularly in harsh conditions such as snow.
It is powered by Briggs & Stratton and has a 7254 cc capacity which is considerably high and although it is a bit noisy while in operation, it is considered powerful.
It features quality air filtration system, chrome plated valves for durability, finely finished bearing surfaces and well as a sizeable cooling fan to keep your engine in operation longer without heating up and damaging.
54-Inch reinforced stamped cutting deck
The 54-Inch cutting deck is another feature to behold. It comes specially designed to deliver an effortless cut. It is also quite tough and durable as it is stamped and and reinforced with heavy-duty flat-stock steel on the cutting and trimming edges.
A spring assisted deck lift system located within reach makes it easy for the operator to simply stretch out his arm and operate the blade. In addition, the powerful engine facilitates the the circulation of air from the top and bottom of the deck, which in turn lifts grass for a fine cut.
The electric clutch allows for easy and safe blade engagement.
Dual hydro-gear EZT transmission
The EZT transmission is mostly used for residential mowers but looking at it in terms of performance, it makes a good option if you are looking for maneuverability. The dual hydro-gear EZT consists of two levers on either side which steers the mower either to the left or to the right depending on the lever you will push, making it quite easy to operate.
Each rear wheel comes with its own transmission, which is what makes a zero turn radius possible. To your advantage, they are maintenance free needing no oil change or or filter change. However, for it to keep you going, you must keep it in good condition. Once damaged or broken, it is not repairable, it must be replaced.
Safety and Convenience Features
Husqvarna 967324101 features a control panel within an arm’s reach which pretty much puts you more in control of your unit. Furthermore, it is built with a solid frame and tough casters making it quite a durable unit. A unique tube-style chassis with a detachable foot pan to letS you access the top of the cutting deck with ease.
Other safety features include a non-slip foot area, headlights attached to the bumper for better visibility as well as an automatic park brake system which applies brakes automatically when the engine is shut off and releases them when the engine is turned on.
Another useful safety feature is the engine guard which detects temperature change realtime in time to prevent overheating and eventual damage of the engine and any risks that come with the engine overheating.
Finally, the package includes 4 anti scalp rollers for easy maneuvering on uneven terrain.
What we Loved
- LED headlights for visibility
- Automatic parking brake system
- Ergonomic control panel
- Dual hydro-gear EZT transmission
What we Didn’t Like
- Noisy engine
- Some experts were of the opinion that the brake interlock system was not quality meaning that in some instances the brakes may fail to work.
This is a high level zero turn mower with the performance of a residential-commercial mower thanks to its powerful engine. Quite importantly, its design details several safety features which is a plus especially for novice users.
It is also quite easy to use given the ergonomic control panel and the added convenience features like the LED lighting makes it an all time, any time operating unit. It also makes a great choice if you have a large lawn.
2. Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro 24 HP Cutting Deck Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower, 54-Inch
The 967331001 by Poulan Pro is a solidly built Z-Turn mower that will charm you with its performance especially if you have a lawn.
With a remarkable 10 year warranty, you certainly have the guarantee that this is the most durable and quality constructed mower you can come across in the market. To add to its utility, this unit has great maneuverability thanks to its hydro gear EZT transmission.
24 HP Briggs & Stratton V-twin Pro Engine
First things first Briggs & Stratton defines power and durability. The 24 HP V-twin Pro engine fitted in the P54XZ is actually a commercially graded engine that will manage a rugged, overgrown yard with tall tough grass and twigs quite well.
It is also well suited for the sloppy yard and this makes it more or less a jack of all trades. Equipped with a 3.5 gallon fuel tank, this unit can take you a full yard’s mow session uninterrupted and quietly. To be precise, it takes averagely one hour to mow your 2.6 acres yard at 6 mph mowing speed.
Dual Hydro Gear EZT Transmission with 54-Inch Cutting Deck
The P54ZX like the 967324101 by Husqvarna comes with a hydro gear transmission along with an electric clutch making its operation as easy as can be for both the experts and the new users. The greatest advantage of EZT transmission is that you get to control each wheel individually which makes it possible to turn to literally any direction or make a zero turn radius therefore maneuvering around obstacles will be an effortless.
Coming to the deck, 54-inches is wide enough if you need to mow your lawn in the shortest time possible. Its durability draws from the reinforced steel it is made of plus it also gives you 6 settings of cutting heights between 1.5-4 inches.
Comfort and Ergonomics
An electronic clutch for a quick, easy, and safe blade engagement. Together with this a high back seat at 15-inches with a lower center of gravity gives you the comfort you need to mow for low hours. The handles are conveniently positioned within comfortable reach and are designed with foam padded grips for utmost comfort on your palms.
What we Loved
- Large capacity fuel tank to eliminate frequent refilling
What we Didn’t like
- A higher emission mower, not CARB compliant
If you need a power packed unit that would mow literally any ground, then the Poulan Pro P54ZX is it. It comes designed with several convenience features and all you may need for a faster mow.
Again if your yard is full of obstacles, this mower happens to be one of the best and easiest to maneuver around obstacles. A larger engine capacity definitely places it ahead of others in the pack.
3. Husqvarna Z246 21.5HP 726cc Kawasaki Engine 46 Z-Turn Mower #967324001
With a 15-inch steel cutting deck and 21.5 HP Kawasaki engine power, the Z246 Z-Turn mower by Husqvarna comes as yet another great performer on large yards, 2 acres and above.
21.5 HP 726cc Kawasaki Endurance Series OHV Engine
The 726cc Kawasaki FR651V V-Twin OHV engine comes with 21.5 HP of power, smooth performance and less noise. It comes with a 3.5 gallon fuel tank capacity along with full pressure lubrication system integrated with a full-flow filter.
You can zoom through lawns with the combination of a 46” reinforced stamped cutting deck and top speeds of 6.5 mph.Smooth operation and variable speeds are provided by the hydro-gear hydrostatic transmission.
Hydro Gear EZT Hydrostatic Transmission
The Hydro Gear EZT Hydrostatic transmission stands at the top of maneuverability. It comes integrated with 10cc pumps and wheel motors on each of the drive wheels. To prevent overheating, a cooling fan is installed to cool the pumps.
With an impressive forward speed of up to 6.5mph, you can rest assured that the next 1 hour or so will not find your still struggling to finish mowing your lawn. However, check that with the hitch you do not pull loads more than 250lbs as this may damage the mower. On the upside, being able to drag loads with your mower is an added advantage ordinary mowers will not afford.
EZT transmission is most popular as it is maintenance free needing no oil or filter change. However, you may want to consider another mower if yours is an overly hilly yard as the Husqvarna Z246 may not be the most ideal.
46-Inch Reinforced Stamped Steel Mower Deck
Z246 Z-Turn mower is designed with a 46-inch deck that is reinforced with 14-gauge steel tubing to make it tough and durable. The 2 mower blades and the spindles on the other hand are constructed with 13-gauge steel for that quick, clean, and precise cut.
For more efficiency, grease the spindles regularly. The deck is designed to cut between 1.5 and 4 inches at 6 different settings. For an easy clean, a wash port is included in the package. As a quality guarantee, the mower deck is backed by a 10 years warranty which is way better compared to other warranties.
An electric clutch allows you to operate your deck more safely and efficiently. Furthermore, this unit comes with 3 anti-scalping wheels
Comfortable and Convenient Operation
Some comfort and convenient features that come together with the Husqvarna Z246 Z-Turn mower include LED light for an all-time enhanced visibility, a 15-inch sliding seat designed with spring suspension, a cup holder, a deck wash port and removable foot pan to give you an easy time and access to service points during cleaning and maintenance.
In addition, the choke, throttle, and the ignition are located conveniently within arm’s reach for easy access. Also included is an hour meter that monitors the mower and alerts you when it’s time for servicing or maintaining it. With a 3-year warranty against defects, this unit boasts of high quality and performance.
What we Loved
- Comfortable sitting and ergonomic controls
- EZT smooth and maintenance free transmission
- Durable deck and blades
- Handy accessories included in the package
What we Didn’t Like
- Z246 mower is not ideal for slopes
- No towing load above 250lbs which others found a bit limiting
For the homeowner needing a high performance mower for his large 2-3 acres even yard, this is the mower to go for. It also happens to be a great tool around obstacles.
Coupled with bagging, mulching, side discharge, and towing capabilities, there is a lot more one can do beyond mere mowing. With better features, ergonomics and improved functionality, this unit will certainly be a worthwhile investment.
4. Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP Zero Turn Mower, 61-Inch **BEST CHOICE**
The MZ61 is one of Husqvarna’s heavy duty Z-Turn mowers with great performance for the homeowner with a relatively large yard or frequent mowing sessions.
27HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Endurance Series Engine
The MZ61 comes equipped with a Briggs & Stratton engine with 27 HP motor power and a 5-gallon fuel tank capacity. The V-twin engine is a 2-cylinder internal combustion engine that comes with full pressure lubrication and a spin oil filter.
Hydrostatic Gear Transmission
Husqvarna MZ61 makes use of the Hydro-Gear ZT3400 hydrostatic transmission which is great for high capacity residential or commercial mowers. This system is integrated with 12 cc pumps that are cooled using fans and wheel motors on each of the drive wheels. You can actually mow almost 5 acres in just an hour thanks to a max speed of 8.5 mph and the 18-inch rear drive wheels.
Besides the sitting area are two levers used for directing the mower on the left or right depending on the lever you will be pushing forward making it easy to maneuver mower in different directions.
The 61-inch 11-gauge heavy-duty welded steel deck is one of the longest and along with 8.5 max mower speed, it should take you half the normal time to mow your yard. The deck comes with three cutting blades reinforced with ¼ -inch twin steel sheets for added strength and greasable spindles for efficient and precise cuts in a single pass.
Quite uniquely, the deck is designed with an impact resistant discharge shield, 2 anti scalp rollers, and a nose roller. It comes with all three capabilities mulching, bagging, and side discharge.
For utmost comfort, the MZ61 comes with a 15-inch high-back seat adjustable to convenient positions. The seat is designed with 2-arm rests and easy access to controls and levers to add to its comfort and reduce fatigue during longer mowing sessions.
What we Loved
- Hydrostatic Gear Transmission is great on bumpy terrain
- Triple blade system enables precise cuts in just one pass
- Long cutting deck for faster mowing
What we didn’t Like
- It’s large size may make it a bit difficult to negotiate Zero radius turns
- Quite a heavy mower at 770 lbs
If you are out for a heavy duty Zero Turn mower for commercial or heavy duty residential use then the MZ61by Husqvarna will come in handy. It is solidly constructed with heavy duty steel frame and tough durable components to take you smoothly through tough jobs like overgrown yards.
It is rated commercial grade which means it may be too bulky and a bit difficult to operate for some users. All the same it will deliver some great results. It also comes recommended as the best zero turn mower for hills.
5. Ariens Zoom 50 – 21hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin 50″ Zero Turn Lawn Mower
The Zoom 50 by Ariens is another Z-Turn Lawn mower to look out for. It features the powerful Kohler 6000 series V-Twin engine together with EZT Hydro Gear to deliver an immaculate cut on your medium sized yard. One outstanding feature in this unit is 4-point deck mount design that keeps the deck stable when mowing. It features:
Premium Kohler 21HP/660cc V-Twin OHV Engine
The premium Kohler v-twin OHV engine comes with 21 HP of engine motor power and 660cc capacity to tackle any serious yard mowing in the shortest time and with little effort.
With an aluminum head and a crankcase with cast iron cylinder liner, this unit is definitely engineered for toughness and durability.
The full pressure lubrication system with full flow filter and bypass protection all help to keep the engine continuously lubricated and maintain peak performance for your engine. The package includes an engine hood that contains noise and heat within the engine and away from the operator.
Dual Hydro-Gear® EZT Fully Integrated Transmission
EZT Hydro-Gear transmission is found in most Zero Turn mower is equipped with two levers positioned at either side of the seat for ease of maneuvering without the need for shifting on your seat. It comes with cooling fans and a large hydraulic reservoir which holds enough fluid which when pumped transmits enough pressure to the wheel motors. Cooling fans are equipped to prevent overheating.
4-Point Deck Mount Design
The 50-inch deck is made of 12-gauge stamped steel with a doubler plate and works at an amazing speed of 17,800 blade tips per minute. Quite a unique feature is the 4 deck support positions intended to keep the deck stable and prevent it from excess movement in order to deliver a neat cut without scalping your lawn. A mechanical foot lift and 3 spindles facilitate the lifting and lowering of the deck during mowing.
With a cutting height range of between 1.5 and 4.5 inches you should be able to trim your lawn to your desired height.
Comfort and Convenience Features
The Ariens Zoom 50 comes with a high back seat enhanced comfort while working, a wash port to make it easy to clean the mower, trailer hitch in case you will need to tow your small trailer, parking brake that is automatically applied when the mower stops and is released when it starts operating which is conveniently located on the handlebar, as well as small shocks to absorb impact for a smooth operation and less vibrations from the mower.
Another feature to note is the typical handlebar control that has been improved further by making it adjustable to three positions. It is integrated with a vibration dampers for comfort.
What we Loved
- Hydro-Gear EZT Fully Integrated Transmission
- Easy and accurate mowing
- Cutting deck stability
- Comes with more accessories including a wash port, trailer hitch, parking brake, and vibration dampers
What we didn’t Like
- Will not pull loads more than 250 lbs
The Zoom 50 by Ariens makes a great residential ZTR mower for medium sized yards. On the overall, it will deliver exceptional cuts thanks to the powerful Kohler 6000 series V-Twin 21 HP engine working together with the dual EZT hydrostatic gear fully integrated transmission. It is also solidly built and comes with a C-Channel steel frame to enhance its durability. It is recommended for medium use and will offer great value for money.
6. Troy-Bilt XP 25HP 60-Inch FAB Deck Zero Turn Mower
The XP will certainly charm you with its sleek design. It is not only impressive aesthetically, it comes packed with some remarkable features which are a true definition of performance, convenience, and quality. For the homeowner with 1 acre or more of mowing space, the Troy Bilt XP comes as a much recommended Zero Turn mower.
25HP Briggs & Stratton commercial turf engine
Powered by a 25 HP V-Twin Briggs & Stratton Engine with an electric power take-off for a quick and easy blade engagement. The engine is equipped with a 2.8 gallon fuel tank
Dual EZT Hydrostatic Transmission
Like others in the same league, the XP comes with a hydrostatic transmission system in which levers are positioned on either side of the mower seat within an arm’s reach for convenient steering of the mower to the left or to the right depending on the lever you will have pushed. The EZT hydrostatic transmission system needs no maintenance but proper use.
60-inch fabricated deck
The tough 60-inch deck reinforced with a heavy-duty steel frame places it among the toughest and the largest. Infact, of Troy Bilts Z-Turn mowers, the XP 60-inch deck, mower is the largest. With this deck you can comfortably set your triple blades to any of the 15 height adjustments within a range of 1.5″ and 3.75″ and mow at a max forward speed of 7 Mph. Along with a wash port, cleaning your unit is made much easier.
The 2-way adjustable lap bars are designed for users of different sizes. However, the most remarkable feature is how the automatic brake is applied when you open the lab bars to rise up. And when you sit to operate the mower, the brakes are automatically released.
Speaking of durability, the front axle is made of premium cast iron making it tough and durable.
Comfort and Convenience features
- Comfortable rubber handle grips for comfort and to prevent slipperiness
- Comfortable 18-inch high-back seat designed with double suspension grips
- Greasable front caster wheels for a smooth operation and durability
- 2 anti scalp and 1 nose roller wheels
- Rear Bumper
- Cruise control
- Bagger and Mulch kit (optional)
- Backed by 3-year limited warranty
What we Loved
- It falls in the silent mowers category
- Tough steel frame makes it durable
What we did not Like
- Not ideal for commercial mowing
This z-turn mower comes with top of the range features however if you are looking for a commercial unit, this might not be the right tool for you. It works well on large yards of 1 acre and above and is quite remarkable on terrains with obstacles. As far as its design is concerned, it is built to utmost quality with quality components therefore you can expect nothing less than a good performance.
Our Top Choice!
Out of the top z-turn mowers we have analysed in our review, there has got to be the best of the best zero turn mower.our top pick today is the Husqvarna MZ61. it is not just about its power but also performance.
This unit comes with a 61-inch deck equipped with triple-blade cutting system to deliver the most precise cuts in the shortest time. It is a commercial grade mower that ny serious landscapper will consider. The comfort element was not compromised as it comes detailed with features like 15-inch adjustable high-back seat, 2 arm rests and easy access to controls.
Zero Turn Mowers Buyer’s Guide
Zero turn simply refers to a zero degree turn radius which is the advantage that Z-Turn mowers have over other mowers.
They will literally turn within their own footprint. For some, each rear wheel is powered by its own motor and will be maneuvered independently. The zero turn mowers are ideal for large scale mowing of yard sizes of an acre and above and come as the most ideal where lawn tractors are too bulky and the walk behind lawn mowers to little in capacity.
Is a Zero Turn Mower a lawn Mower or a Lawn Tractor?
A zero Turn mower is not a Lawn tractor, it is a type of a riding lawn mower. The main difference between a ZTR mower and a lawn tractor lies in their pattern of mowing grass.
The ZRT mower at the end of mowing a swath of grass, will make a 180-degree or a zero degree turn radius turn within its footprint to mow the next swath of grass in the opposite direction without leaving any patch of uncut grass. This is because, as we had mentioned earlier, each of its rear wheels is designed with an independent motor on either side and are directed by the steering handles.
The lawn tractor on the other hand, will make a wide turn and mow in the other direction at the end of the grass swath it is mowing. This leaves a patch of uncut grass which the mower will have to go round in circles or mow in a reverse-forward mode in order to cover the entire yard leaving no patch of uncut grass.
Why Have a Zero Turn Lawn Mower
A ZTR mower has obvious advantages that any homeowner will identify with.
- It mows faster, precisely, more efficiently, and reduces mowing time significantly.
- They are the best at maneuvering and will cut neat and clean around any obstacle and near the edges without much effort.
- Most models come with adjustable cutting height settings making it convenient to use because it gives the user options to choose from.
- The ZTR features a 2-lever control system with the levers set on either side of the mower and within an arm’s reach for ease of speed and direction control.
- They are also quite easy to use and newbies in mowing take a shorter time learning how to use them.
- Finally and most importantly, these units have hydrostatic transmission, which eliminates the complications often associated with shifting gears.
Types of Zero Turn Mowers
ZTR Mowers can be categorized based on:
- Their utility
- Deck positioning
Based on their utility, there are four types of lawn mowers
- Entry Level/ Purely Residential ZTRs: these are typically the smallest in size and are ideal for smaller yards, usually they will have just one or two blades which is just what an average family with a small lawn needs.
- Midgrade ZTRs : These come with a more powerful engine and a wider deck compared to the entry-levels. Most mid-grades are fitted with Kawasaki engine, although you may come across a few that will be fitted with Briggs & stratton or Kohler engines. They are actually a heavy duty version of the entry level units. They are ideal for smaller spaces yet they are built for tougher tasks and are more durable. Their comfort is also on a higher level and they tend to be much faster.
- Semi-Pro/ Prosumer ZTRs : these units are designed for larger even yards without too many obstacles. They are solidly constructed and will withstand more frequent use, reason why professional landscapers prefer them. These come with more powerful engines and larger capacity fuel tanks because they can mow up to 5 acres uninterrupted with their forward speed going up to 8 mph.
- Commercial ZTRs: For extremely large mowing requirements like a golf course, these are the most ideal. They are built with commercial grade components. Higher mowing speeds, bigger fuel tank capacity, wider cutting deck, and a higher engine power. A commercial zero turn mower can mow up to 4 acres in an hour and are popular among landscapers. Some more powerful commercial models are diesel powered and these are considered very efficient. The downturn however is that they tend to be heavy and bulky. An example of the best diesel zero turn mower brand is Kubota and Bad Boy.
Based on the deck positioning there are two types of mowers:
- Mid-Mount ZTR mower – the mid mount ZTR has its deck positioned right under the mower just like in most other riding lawn mowers.
- Front Mount ZTR mower – unlike in the mid-mount, the front mount mower has its deck positioned at its front.
How Do ZTR Mowers Work?
As we have seen. Most ZTR mowers are four wheeled with two rotating front wheels and two rear drive wheels. They come with two levers on either side which control each individual wheel through a hydrostatic transmission system which makes use of pressure fluid to generate the force needed to rotate the wheel. The Zero Turn radius is typically achieved when the operator stops one wheel while still engaging the other.
What happens is that as the engine runs, it delivers force to turn its pump which then delivers pressure to the transmission fluid. You can the move the steering lever to control the flow of this pressurized fluid, the rotational speed of the drive wheel as well as the forward or backward direction of the drive wheel.
When the engine is turned on, the power take-off system transmits power from the engine to the cutting deck and the motors connected to the rear (drive) wheels. You then engage it to turn the cutting blade(s) and the levers. Push both levers forward and the mower will move forward, pull the back for the mower to reverse.
If you push the left lever forward and the right lever remains at its neutral, the mower will make a right turn. Do the opposite and the mower will make a left turn. As you do this, the blades will be rotating under the deck to cut grass. You can also push the right lever forward and the left backward for the mower to make a complete spin rather than a turn.
Some Popular Z-turn Mower Brands
Husqvarna mowers come in a simplistic design and are easiest to use compared to others in the market. Most Husqvarna units are 4WD which makes them easy to negotiate on rugged or smooth terrain. In addition, they are relatively quiet and quite comfortable too. They feature the popular hydrostatic transmission system but have gone a step ahead to incorporate vibration cushioning and easy access to controls in their mowers.
- Troy Bilt
MTD Troy Bilt stands out for two things, solid construction and great performance however they are almost limited to only residential use. They are also designed with hydrostatic transmission system, a stamped deck and engine motor power ranging between 20 HP and 24 HP.
Craftsman is a family run business manufacturing mowers with an inclination to quality and affordability. Craftsman produce both residential and commercial units. Hence they have managed to manufacture some tough reliable units you can count on to give you considerable service for years.
Equipped with powerful Kohler engine for most mowers with good fuel economy and just like most others, a hydrostatic transmission.
What to consider before Acquiring a ZTR
- Durability – check that the frame and the deck are sturdily built. Most commonly, steel is the most popular material because it is tough, corrosion resistant, and durable. Also confirm that necessary protective measures have been taken on the vital parts of the mower such as the engine and the rear because these too are pointers to durability.
- The Engine: looking at the engine, v-twin (twin cylinder) engines are powerful and more efficient than the single-cylinder engines. It is also important that an overhead valve (OHV) be incorporated in the engine for enhanced fuel economy and minimum emissions. The most common engines used in ZTRs are Kohler, Briggs & Stratton and Kawaski engines.
- Transmission – Most if not all ZTRs have adopted the hydrostatic gear transmission as it requires no maintenance and is quite easy to use.
- Comfort and Convenience Features – Features like an adjustable high-back seat, foam padded grip, arm rests, wash port, and an easily accessible control panel are a definite mark of quality in any mower. Mowing takes time especially since ZTR mowers are geared to mow larger yards and comfort features are vital for the user because they will reduce fatigue and create a good mowing experience.these features also make it easy to clean and maintain your unit.
- Deck construction – the choice of deck will depend on whether you are looking for a commercial or residential unit. Commercial decks are usually constructed with heavy-gauge steel. Some decks will be designed with single, dual, or triple blades also depending on their application. Some decks will be designed with supports to keep them stable. A good deck will prevent scalping.
- Adjustable cutting height – it goes without saying that people have different height requirements for the grass on their lawns. This is why most decks will come with an adjustable cutting height within a given range and with a number of cutting height settings. In this case, a good mower will let you adjust your cutting height fast and easy.
Safety Tips when using a Zero turn mower
- Never use a ZTR mower up and down slopes as this can be dangerous particularly near water sources, ditches, retaining walls and lamp posts. It may be a bit difficult maneuvering the mower down a steep slope. Most ZTRs will not exceed a 13-15 degree incline.
- Even though these units are easy to use, you need some learning and getting used time to be on the safe side while operating them.
- Always try and maintain a 3-point turn with your mower.
- Safety gears are essential e.g. safety glasses to protect the eyes. You can also consider ear protection if your mower is too loud.
A List of Some Important ZTR Mower Accessories
Accessories are great additions to any tool. In a mower, they will extend versatility, keep you safe or make operation comfortable, convenient and easier. Some common accessories include
- Baggers for keeping your lawn clippings
- A mulch kit for finely chopping your clippings to turn it into mulch
- Tow behind cart that attaches to the mower from the rear to move extra load.
- Lawn sweepers for collecting leaves from the grass before mowing
- Headlights to improve visibility
- Non-slip mats for the footrest area to reduce the risk of accidents caused by slipping.
- Armrest kit for arm comfort while at work
- Rear sprayers and spreaders for ease of applying chemical, fertilizer and seeds on your yard
The best zero turn mower for your needs will be determined greatly by your requirements and preferences. All the same the advantages that come with a zero turn mower far surpass those in other types of mowers and it is definitely a worthwhile investment both for residential and commercial applications.
Meet the Author
Greetings, I'm Oliver! My love for garden and DIY projects started since I was in my twenties. Wonderland Gardens is my 'digital land' where I talk about everything garden and home improvement.Learn more