Zeroing In on a Great Lawn—ZTRs Offer More Than Just a Clean Cut

Zeroing In on a Great Lawn—ZTRs Offer More Than Just a Clean Cut
Zeroing In on a Great Lawn—ZTRs Offer More Than Just a Clean Cut

Mowing can be a tedious chore without the right equipment. Few acreage owners have the luxury of a putting-green-smooth lawn that is free of trees or plantings. Enter the zero turning radius mower (ZTR), which can turn on a dime—literally.

If you haven’t piloted a new one in a few years, you’ll be surprised at advancements that haven’t diminished their incredible (and even fun) maneuverability—greater comfort, quieter and more efficient engines, better control of clippings, and even cup holders. Here are nine ZTRs sporting recent updates.


Although aimed at entry-level buyers, the new BOB-CAT XRZ Pro RS is made for the lawn care professional—or the homeowner who wants to mow like one. Bob-Cat’s TufDeck Pro deck and patented Double Wave Baffle System™ pulls grass vertical, so the high-speed blades can slice cleanly for a better mowing job. Powered by a 726cc Kawasaki FX engine, towing speeds of 10 mph are possible, while dual fuel tanks have a 9.5-gallon capacity for all-day mowing. Bob-Cat also offers a unique 6-year or 1,200 hour limited warranty.

Schiller Grounds Care Inc., 866-469-1242,

Cub Cadet PRO Z 160 S

Cub Cadet introduces the first-of-its kind drive system featuring four-wheel steering with efficient steering wheel control, claimed to give operators a higher level of stability and precision on any terrain to virtually eliminate turf damage. The PRO Z 160S features a sloped-nose, triple-blade floating fabricated deck, 10-gauge reinforced leading edge, and trim-side discharge to evenly disperse grass clippings for pristine results. A 12cc commercial-grade transmission ensures optimal blade tip speed and superior quality of cut at speeds up to 9.5 mph. Accessories include a 12-volt outlet, power deck-lift kit, light kit, and more.

Cub Cadet, 877-428-2349,

John Deere ZTrak Z300

“Entry level” may never be the same with the introduction of Deere’s new ZTrak Z300 series ZTRs, featuring improved cut quality, easier-to-use ergonomic controls, enhanced engine performance, and upgraded comfort features. Deere’s Accel Deep mower deck, available in 42-, 48- and 54-inch cutting widths, offers better grass dispersion and faster mowing speeds. A wider tire option on some models provides a smoother ride, while a foot-operated deck lift option means operators stay seated. Horsepower ranges from 20 to 25 hp.

Deere & Company, 800-537-8233,

Exmark Radius S-Series with Suspended Operator Platform

The Radius S-Series ZTR from Exmark now offers a suspended operator platform to isolate the operator from bumps and vibration. That means reduced fatigue for all-day mowing. The suspended platform is virtually maintenance-free and easy to adjust without tools for operator weight and ride quality preferences. Available in 48-, 52- or 60-inch cutting decks, the machines are powered by an air-cooled 708cc Exmark twin-cylinder engine with a heavy-duty canister air filtration system.

Exmark Mfg. Co., 402-223-6300,

Poulan Pro PPX46Z Zero-Turn Mower

Poulan Pro’s PPX46Z is powered with a twin-cylinder Briggs & Stratton 22-hp engine. It offers a 46" welded and reinforced steel deck and has a dual hydrostatic drive system; ergonomic steering lap bars with foam-padded grips; and 18" rear tires for sure control at fast ground speeds. An electric clutch engages mower blades with the flip of a switch. A comfortable 15" mid-back seat, water hose connector for cleanup, built-in cup holder, and optional headlights make this mower great for large yards.

Poulan Pro div. Husqvarna AB, 800.849.1297,

Scag Freedom Z

The Freedom Z features an efficient Kohler 7000 Series engine paired with a 48” or 52” cutter deck, which is designed to handle lots of grass with an excellent cut quality. Operator-focused design is reflected throughout, from the comfortable operator’s station to the low-maintenance mower design. A new ultra-plush bolstered seat, large diameter steering handles, and rubber iso-mounted foot plate give the operator a comfortable ride. Offered with a 3-year or 500-hour non-commercial or 1-year commercial mower warranty.


Toro TimeCutter SW4200

Toro’s 42-inch TimeCutter SW series blends the best of a zero turn mower and lawn tractor. Operators get the controls and side hill stability of a lawn tractor with the maneuverability of a ZTR. The cutting deck was redesigned with a larger, wider-angle chute opening to help spread clippings up to 80% further than the previous cutting deck assembly. The 42-inch TimeCutter SW4200 features a 24.5-hp 708cc Toro Commercial V-Twin with self-cleaning air filter housing. Available spring 2018.

The Toro Company, 888-384-9939,

Wood-Mizer Wood-Mizer WR Series

New this year, the heavy-duty, commercial grade Wood-Mizer WR series ZTR is available in 52” or 61” cutting widths. Powered by a 26-hp Kohler gas vertical engine, the WR Series’ premium components include Kevlar belts, commercial-grade drive motors, welded steel decks, a heavy-duty fabricated frame, and a powder-coat paint finish. The ergonomically designed adjustable operator seat and large diameter control handles offer comfort and accurate cut. Includes a 3-year or 300-hour warranty.

Wood-Mizer LLC, 800-553-0182,

Ferris 400S

Value is something Ferris has designed into their new 400S, combining ZTR maneuverability with durability. Available with either a Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series or Kawasaki FR series engine, the 400S features large coil-over independent progressive rate shocks for day-long comfort, even when mowing at the 8-mph top speed. The fabricated steel tubular bumper protects the 400S’s engine and accepts attachments for bagging or towing. Offered with 4-year limited suspension warranty and 3-year engine warranty.

Ferris, div. Briggs & Stratton Corp., 800-933-6175,

If you have steep hills on your property that might not be safe for a riding mower, learn about quality walk-behind options.

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