When it comes to zero-turn mowers, obviously you always want the best. However, with today’s advancements in mower technology, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between two different mowers from two different companies. Which one do you choose?
Because of this dilemma, we wanted to look beyond the basics and highlight accessories customers can add on. We’ve compiled a list of each company and what it offers for zero-turn mowers, making it easier for you to determine which mower option is best for you.
Dump-From-Seat Collection System
Available on ProCat, Predator-Pro and FastCat models
Coming out in early spring of 2014, BOB-CAT will offer customers a new collection system unique to the company.
Featuring a dump front seat, the company’s collection system will give operators the capability to dump on seat.
The patent pending design differs from other collection systems out there because it allows you to dump within the footprint of the mower instead of the system increasing the length of the mower when dumping. If you’re dumping into a trailer, you are able to get within an inch of the trailer and still be able to dump.
BOB-CAT’s collection system will be available in multiple styles. For the ProCat and Predator-Pro models, customers can purchase a dump from seat or a 3-bag system. Both styles will have a 12 bushel. For the FastCat model, there will be a dump from seat and 2-bag system, both with an 8 bushel.
Another plus of the collection system is that improvements to it now allow an operator to take it on and off the unit easily. Only one person is required to remove the baggage system from the back, and the front weight kit has a handle on it, allowing it to easily be taken off the machine.
BOB-CAT’s design allows you to look into the hopper without needing to take the time to take it somewhere to dump it. If there’s a clog, or something needs to be cleared out, that can be done right on site. You can get off the mower, go to the back, and just lift up the cover to see what the issue is. There’s no need to take the mower offsite to dump it first.
For more information: www.bobcatturf.com
Air Ride Suspension Seat
All laser models made after 2009.
When it comes to accessories, Exmark sees operator comfort as something very high in demand. Because of this, it’s created an air ride suspension seat to meet customer need.
Built to the same model as the standard mechanical seat, the air ride suspension seat offers its users a more sophisticated ride. While it will still have the same appearance of the standard seat, it will also incorporate Exmark’s 3D Iso mount system, which will maximize comfort for the operator while driving on tough terrain.
With the air ride suspension seat, companies will see an increase in productivity because operator fatigue will decrease. A rider can sit in the mower for eight hours and, due to comfort, his body may feel the fatigue of a four-hour work day.
Exmark’s seat will be released in March, and will be made to fit all its current laser models, as well as any laser model built after 2009.
For more information: www.exmark.com
Discharge Chute Blocker
Available on all Zero-turn mowers.
Everyone’s had one of those jobs that require you to mow extremely close to parking lots, making you watch cautiously as your grass clippings shoot towards unsuspecting cars parked there. Gravely offers a discharge chute blocker on its zero turns which allows you to temporarily close off the chute.
While it shouldn’t be engaged all the time, closing the chute for short durations can cut back on extra time you or your crew would spend cleaning up grass clippings from parking lots, flower bed edges, or around trees.
It also improves the appearance of the yard, because even if you take the time and effort to rake up those clippings, you’re still likely to leave some in the mulch beds. Being able to close off the chute completely allows you to cut close to the edge of the bed without blurring the perfect lines.
A large benefit of Gravely’s chute blocker is that you can take it out of the box in a matter of minutes, put it on the machine and it’s operational.
The accessory itself doesn’t affect cutting quality, so disengaging it has the same outcome as mowing without it attached at all. Because it’s easy to engage and disengage the accessory while you’re mowing the same piece of property, you can keep it on the mower even when you’re not using it.
For more information: www.gravely.com
Available on RZ series Zero-turn mowers.
Available in February, Husqvarna is offering SmartSwitch, a microprocessor enabled electronic interface that will be available on select RZ series Zero-turn mowers, as well as the GT series garden tractors. Some of the features of the SmartSwitch include key-less operation, one touch starting, safer reverse mowing, and system monitoring. The reason behind the creation of the SmartSwitch was that when asked what they’d like to see on mowers, Husqvarna customers responded with “Make it easier to start,” “if something is wrong, tell me somehow,” and “can you make it more secure around my children?”
By providing the key-less operation, the SmartSwitch eliminates the fear of misplacing keys, as well as saving energy because the system automatically shuts down after a certain amount of inactivity. The headlights are controlled by one touch, and can be programmed to shut off at pre-set times.
System monitoring on the interface shows current battery status, as well as status of the reverse operating system. There is also an indicator to signal if the parking break, cutting deck, or steering levers need to be corrected prior to a start attempt.
For more information: www.husqvarna.com
Available on the Z920M, Z925M EFI, Z930M, Z950M, Z930R, Z950R, Z960R and 997 ZTraks.
Found on John Deere zero-turn mowers, the company’s Mulch-on-Demand (MOD) decks allow the operator to move a lever from the operator seat, converting the mower from a true side-discharge deck to a true mulching deck.
Because of the ease in changing decks, MOD decks can benefit operators by allowing them to adjust the deck performance the best fit each job. One job may require you to use a side-discharge deck, and the very next job may require a mulching deck. Because of John Deere’s MOD, both jobs can be done with the same mower, just by pulling a lever. You’re even able to switch deck options while working on the same job, saving time on site.
Another advantage of the MOD decks is that it’s designed to saves the operator time in clean up. This is done by giving them the ability to close the discharge chute when mowing around areas that grass clippings are not wanted, thus saving them from having to sweep up afterwards.
For more information: www.deere.com
Maintenance Lift Kit
Available on Z200, Z300, and Z700 models.
A convenient attachment for any zero-turn operator, Kubota offers a stand-type maintenance lift kit attachment for most of its Z Series mowers. The attachment acts like a built-in jack and allows the front of the mower to be raised without removing the deck.
Because the attachment is attached to the mower, there’s no need for owners to have a separate jack in the shop or on the trailer, thus saving some much-needed space.
A bonus of Kubota’s maintenance lift kit is that if something goes wrong with your mower on site, you’re able to immediately check the problem without needing to take it back to the shop, or take the time to unload a jack from your trailer.
Having an attached jack also allows the operator to perform routine maintenance and cleaning much easier and in a shorter amount of time. You’re able to easily give the underside of the mower a thorough washing to remove clippings and debris. The attachment also makes sharpening the blades much easier.
For more information: www.kubota.com
For more zero-turn mowers, visit www.lawnandlandscape.com/products
Altoz XC Zero-Turn Mowers
The pitch: The 2014 Altoz XC Series of zero-turn mowers is the flagship line from a new brand of mowers built by an experienced team of engineers and lawn care industry professionals.
- They can reach speeds of 19 mph.
- The tapered roller bearings in the front casters are the same ones used in the automotive industry.
- Deck spindles feature massive cast-aluminum housings for optimal cooling and permanently sealed bearings with machined surfaces for extra durability.
For more information: www.altoz.com
John Deere Z950M
The pitch: The new Z950 joins the M Series of ZTrak commercial mowers, designed for productivity and efficiency.
- It has a top speed of 10 mph.
- The model is offered in 60-inch, 60-inch Mulch On Demand, and 72-inch widths, and comes equipped with a 7-Iron deck for maximum durability.
- The new model has the option of an isolation seat or a fully-adjustable suspension seat.
- For easy cleanup on the jobsite, an optional, integrated material collection system provides a Dump-From-Seat option.
For more information: www.johndeere.com/mowpro
The pitch: The new Z700-Series includes three models: the Z723, Z724 and Z725. The new Series is a high-quality and productive zero-turn mower, at a competitive price point.
- The Z700-Series boasts powerful Kohler Command V-Twin Engines and integrated Parker 14cc pump and wheel motors.
- Available with a rugged commercial deck in three popular cutting widths (48-inch, 54-inch and 60-inch).
- The Z700-Series comes equipped with a wide operator platform, a thick high-back adjustable seat and a convenient deck height adjustment dial.
For more information: www.kubota.com