Your Opinion Of Zero-Turn Lawn Tractors

Cub Cadet's ZT lawn tractors are considerably more expensive thanCub Cadet's lawn tractors of the same size but without ZT capability. Are they worth the higher price? Do they save considerably more time, and presumably more gas to make them worthwhile?
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On May 6, 2:42�pm, snipped-for-privacy@home.org (Jack) wrote:

That would depend entirely on the layout of your property... if you have lots of trees, bushes, nooks, and crannys to navigate then ZT will assuredly save time and effort... but if most of your mowing is straight line then ZT is frivolous, a waste of dollars to buy and expensive to maintain. Won't your dealer let you test drive, that's really the only way to know what's best for you. Concerned dealers will have demos and a piece of land to test them out, in fact they won't sell you a machine unless you try it.
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I'd sure like to have one! I waste a lot of time on the lawn changing gears, backing up, and turning around. I've been looking at the Cub Cadet zero turn model that looks like a regular lawn tractor. I think one of these would be great for a smaller lawn. It doesn't 'look' like a zero-turn, and uses regular lawn tractor accessories such as a bagger. I also think it would be nice to have a steering wheel instead of two levers for steering.
Of course my old Poulan tractor is running strong, so I can't justify replacing it right now. My next rider will be a ZT.
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I love ZT, but I have a big piece of property. When we first moved here over 20 yrs ago, I spent part of every spring, summer and fall day on my riding mower: probably ten hours a week mowing. After about 5 years of that I got a skag ZT with a 48" deck, and that cut mowing time to about 3 hrs, and made it a lot more fun. I still have it, but haven't started it in a few years.
I replaced it with a Toro ZT with a 6ft deck, 28hp liquid-cooled engine, a seat belt and roll bar, even a cup holder. Now I can do all 5 acres of lawn in around an hour, depending on how high the grass is, and how slippery the hills are. The big deck is offset by a foot to the left side, which makes for easy trimming around gardens, etc, and the job it does is really great. I've never had such an even looking lawn.
The bad news is the price, of course, but it's dead-reliable, and surprisingly good on gas. I get about 8 hours on 5 gallons.
There are now NINE hours in each week where I used to be mowing the lawn and I'm not anymore. With the advent of grandchildren I find far better ways to spend that time.
That's me, with 12 acres and 5 of it grass, which I know isn't average. Even if I move to a smaller place, I'd still buy another ZT. You lose the PTO, so it's a dedicated mowing machine, but the ZTs do a much nicer job in way less time.
Still, there is a lot of potential utility with a garden tractor which doesn't exist with a ZT. If you want to clear snow, tow a trailer, or any of myriad other possibilities with a tractor, then a tractor is your better bet.
k
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For the sake of the topic, a ZTR is better than a standard mower.
As far as labor saving devices, I have a theory on those.
Riding mowers were not invented so one could cut the time it takes to mow the grass and use those extra hours fishing or napping or visiting the neighbor. It's so you can have MORE GRASS.
Steve
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on 5/6/2008 2:42 PM Jack said the following:

Well, you don't have to back up and turn to get around small obstacles. That saves some gas and time.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Jack wrote:

The ZTs certainly save a lot of time when mowing relatively large areas. They cost a lot more because the drive system is a lot more complex with more expensive parts than a basic gear transmission. Certainly the fact that pretty much all commercial landscapers use them points to their efficiency.
If you have less than a couple acres to mow, the efficiency advantage will begin to disappear. Another caution is that the hydrostatic pumps and wheel motors, like all hydraulic components can be destroyed in short order by improper maintenance and contamination of the hydraulic fluid, and are very expensive to replace.
Sam's club has had a decent ZT mower for a couple $k, that is probably a better deal than an over hyped and over priced brand like Cub Cadet. I'll note that you will see the commercial outfits running mostly SCAG ZT mowers, with some Deere and Ferris thrown into the mix, and not a single Cub Cadet to be found.
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Last fall, I bought a 50 inch ZT Cub C, and have been quite happy with it. I purchased it through a company called, "Tractor Supply Store" and got a three year warranty instead of the one year everyplace else. I asked how they could do this and was told it was a deal Cub made with TSC. I have the documentation showing a three year warranty.
I really wanted a Scag, but it was just too many $'s, and settled for the next choice.
Bob,tx
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