endurance of hydraulics on a z

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DSIM, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. DSIM

    DSIM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    I have read on here many times about how careful you should be with the hydro's on z's and wether you should pull this or that and many on here seemed to feel that you shouldnt tow with these mowers.

    So I just asked my mechanic who was an aircraft mechanic and has worked on small engines since he was a kid. He is a genius at his trade.

    He said, that you can pull a car with these mowers. He also added that you need mobil 1 oil and most of these mowers were set up to keep cool enough that it wouldnt be an issue of them heating up too much.He also said that you would need to change the oil more often under this type of condition.

    Reason I brought this up because I was wondering how the hydro's differ from ztr's compared to forklifts or heavy construction equipment.
    Hydraulics is what makes these machines so powerful yet everyone is so cautious about them.
    What do you guys think? I know I've read on here that an owner of a DC states he can tow 1k lbs with it.
     
  2. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I agree that these mowers can pull a heavy load, but I don't think it's a good idea to over stress the hydros. You have to remember that the engineers designed the hydraulic system on these mowers to be a used for mowing purposes and towing light loads of about 350-500 pounds.

    That being said, the hydros on a good ZTR should last longer than the engine, provided that the oil is changed as specified and the mower is not abused. I have a friend that owns an older Scag ZTR that he has replaced the engine on twice and the hydros have never given him a problem. Each of those engines had over 3k hours when they were replaced. That is a lot of use from the original hydraulic system. I'm not suggesting that you should expect that kind of service from all hydros, but it does show that a well cared for and properly operated machine should give years of service.
     
  3. TURF DOCTOR

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    keeping clean fluid and making sure it is full,try not to spike your machine on a steep grade.
     
  4. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    Does an airplane have hydros like commerical mowers do?

    An aircraft mechanic and someone who works on small engines is an expert on hydros?
     
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I find it amazing how many of you guys are scared of your hydros. These are not wimpy hydros on strong machines.

    I have 1st hand knowledge of heavy loads being pulled with a Z, even on pretty steep slopes. With over 1000 hours on one machine and 500 on another, I would say the hydros have held up very well. But based on many opinions here, I should have replaced lots of hydros by now.
     
  6. DSIM

    DSIM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    yes he works on hydros to Alarsh,
     
  7. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    Ok, I wasn't real sure. So it sounds like he knows what he is talking about.
     
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Actually the DC is rated at 2,000 pounds. They do use a different hydro system from all other mowers though. They use what's called a Quad Loop System in addition to twin oil filters, large oil tank and oil coolers. Basically the Quad Loop System keeps supplying cool fluid to the pumps and wheel motors long after normal systems have boiled their fluid off. If it actually works or not I can't say but I do know that Dixie gets very few warranty claims against it. Dixie also runs each and every mower up hill for a couple of miles (stationary of course) before it ever leaves the factory. Usually if a mower is going to break down it will do it at initial startup.
     
  9. DSIM

    DSIM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    thanks Richard for the info. thats sounds like a major plus for the DC for anybody considering buying one.
     

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