Help! Are all Z Mowers this Bad?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mark2, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. mark2

    mark2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Yesterday I cut 4.5 acres with a JD 653. The mower belongs to a new customer. He purchased the property and the mower came with it.

    The previous owners demoed several mowers for the rolling terrain. They chose the Deere. I like most Deere products. I assume that out of several mowers these folks made a good choice.

    Before I cut, I removed the mulch kit because I didn't like the cut I had noticed before. I started out thinking this thing is awesome (compared to my walkbehind) Then I couldn't keep grass out of the beds( alot of beds ). This thing throws big blades of grass a long way. Well I put the much kit back on. I noticed the same old ugly cut as before, even with sharp blades.

    Well I thought I could live with the cut but then on a very slight hill the mower took off sliding and when it slides you have very little control. This happened several times before I finished mowing I even slid into a stack rock wall. This was dry ground too!

    I could have cut these little slopes with an old Snapper mower. I could have used my walk behind, WITH THE VELKE, and stipped it in any direction.

    If all Z's are like this you can have them!

    Does anyone know what I can do to at least get a nicer cut?

    I have to cut again Friday. I would just about take a whippen than to get back on that Z.
  2. P&J Lawncare

    P&J Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    The hustler super z is the best zero turn I have ever used and it handles hills like no other zero turn.
  3. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Does not sound like my Walker at all.
  4. Matt'slawncare

    Matt'slawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Well i have a gravely pm260z and i mow really steep hills and it does a great job. It doesn't slide down the hill like most mowers and you have great control of the mower even on the hill.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    All Z's are like that. They are not made to point forward down a hill with any kind of significant grade. You definitely have to know how to operate one to do it effeciently and safely. You can't just jump on one and go. There are so many things to know. Hills and ditches for instance. You ALWAYS turn around with the nose pointing up if you are turning around in a ditch or on a hill. Done properly, these things will handle hills and slopes like nothing you've ever experienced before. Same thing with the grass blowing in the beds. You think THAT mower is bad for slinging grass the distance, try a Lazer! If you have narrow areas between beds, then you can either layer it cross-cutting forward and backwards, lower the r's and use the discharge chute to control it, use an ocdc, or bag it. Then, of course there is always the option of just blowing the bed out afterwards. There are many things to know in learning and operating these machines, but they are in fact, the most productive machines for doing this type of cutting in the industry.
  6. Plowguy99

    Plowguy99 LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Posts: 23

    I have a 60" Exmark Lazer Z and have the same problem of the grass in the beds. I flip the deflector down and try my best not to blow the grass in the direction of the beds. Whatever does get in the beds I just blow out with the backpack blower. I found that it still took less time to use the Z and blow out the beds than it did with the 52" walkbehind.
    As for hills no problems here. If the ground is wet I will slide around, but my walkbehind will to. You just have to go a little slower and don't try to stop or start fast. Be easy on the controls and you shouldn't have any problems.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    No, all Z's are not like that thing you were using. Dixie Choppers are simply awesome on hills provided you do what Runner suggested. They also come with a OCDC (Operator Controlled Discharge Chute) that can be easily closed from the operator's seat when you go by things that you don't want to get grass on.
  8. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    My Lazer is actually better than my walk behind was on hills! I've puit it in such a slope, that the whole mower slipped sideways....but it never nosed down hill.

    I go really slow, and if I need to I can put power to the lower tire, braking the uphill tire won't do anything, because it has no weight on it, and no traction.

    The Lazer is the most secure feeling mower I've ever been on, on a hill. Better than my JD345, with bar treads and fluid in the rear tires.

    I look foward to hills, now! :cool:
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    If you are having problems with grass in the beds, then you need "THE DIRECTOR" by YSM. I will NEVER own another mower that doesn't have some sort of OCDC.

    As for the other questions that mark2 asked....well everybody seemed to cover the proper way to handle hills, so I really don't have much more to offer on that.

    the director1.jpg
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Its lack of experience with a ZTR! If you know how to negotiate obstacles they are easy to operate. I can put my Z anywhere I can a w/b.

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