New toy, Cyclone Rake Z-10!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dwost, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Hey guys,

    OK, so I was able to give it a test run this weekend. While the leaves haven't totally started falling yet, we have had so much rain I've not been able to cut. With the cool temps and moisture my grass was LONG as s#$t so I decided to stick in the "grass screen" and give it a go. Here are my first impressions with a couple pics and my pros and cons.

    Pro:

    -Very maneuverable (except when totally full) with decent viability

    -Quick learning curve getting used to the extended length. Trailing it would be even easier.

    -LOTS of space, only had to dump it 4 times when cutting 3 acres

    -Even when full not too bad to dump.

    -Great vacuum ability, pulled all the grass up and left a great cut even when very wet. Also sucked up tiny acorns without issue.

    -Vanguard runs strong, started on first pull and was decent on gas. Only had to refill once to do a full 3 acres.

    -Will make fall cleanup a snap. The ability to vacuum out the beds is another great feature.


    Con:

    -Gets VERY heavy when full. Granted this was all wet/damp grass. Definitely recommend purchasing the front jack stand (I'm ordering this now) in the event you ever had to disconnect it when full. It would be a nightmare to manage.

    -When full, handling is quite tricky. Kind of a "tail walks the dog" scenario. Must be very careful when changing directions. This is a moot point when trailing but pulling with a Z on a fixed mount takes some getting used to.

    -Got so heavy it snapped the welds on my 2" receiver hitch. Problem solved by replacing with a steel (was aluminum) receiver. Shouldn't be an issue now.

    -When full puts a lot of strain on the hydro system. Wouldn't want to use this regularly as it caused some "chatter" when moving from a stand still and turning. Just need to be careful and not let it get quite so full. Leaves will be better with less weight.

    -Hinge clamps: had a couple where the small piece of metal behind the springs (tough to explain without seeing it) started to slide out making them not work. This was a simple fix by pushing the plate back in. I'm concerned more from a design standpoint but will keep an eye on it and contact CR if they become problematic.

    -In very wet grass, need to go slow or it clogs. Again, can be avoided by slowing down or waiting for it to dry out. The tube never clogged but the outfeed tube going into the bag did causing the grass to back up in the deck. With the increased size of the Z10 (and XL) tube, they should increase the size of the impeller outfeed housing to accommodate.

    All in all it worked great with a few minor items. Nothing that would dissuade me from buying it again. It's a great piece of equipment and should provide me years of use. Just takes a bit of time learning the limits of what it can do and how it reacts when attached to my mower. Here are a couple action shots!

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  2. Birdman

    Birdman LawnSite Member
    from 6
    Posts: 51

    Great post. as for the handling issue, is your yard on much of a hill? The only issue that I have is my yard is on a hill and when it gets heavy it is a big problem. I have an older front deck zero turn and haven got to use it with my Lightning yet. I was sure hoping that it was better but it appears that is may be worse. If so I will not be happy with my new Lightning. Time will tell.
     
  3. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Nope, not hilly at all. I think with the weight in the rear of the mower and the weight of the CR even further back, ANY mid-mount Z will have an issue with this on a hill. If you have a lot of hills I think getting a Peco clam shell or standard bagger would be a better bet. I'd also stick some additional weight plates on the front of your mower. Also as noted before, the Lightning is not a great choice for hill holding. You should have looked at the Outlaw or another brand with a lower center of gravity. The back end more than likely will slide on you. You may want to pick up the bar lugs for it as this will help with traction.
     
  4. Birdman

    Birdman LawnSite Member
    from 6
    Posts: 51

    The factory rep recommend the Lightning because of the rear wheel suspension. He said it would hold the hills better. It was one of my major concerns, because I had problems with my old front deck mower when it got close to full. I am really concerned about my purchase now. I just didn't want to go to a tractor style. The leaf thing is my largests issue. What are bar lugs? What you are stating is that when it got heavy you simply lost traction becasue the bagger picked up the drive wheels...correct?
     
  5. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Unfortunately your "rep" misinformed you. My only complaint (which I've written about on here a couple years back) was the high center of gravity. For me this has been a non-issue since I don't have any hills but I do have a berm in the front of my property and can feel the back end "slide out" if it's wet. I actually did get it stuck once. If you have a lot of hills you absolutely should have looked at the Outlaw. They specifically redesigned this mower for better hill holding. I also would have looked at a Hustler or Scag (among others) which both have a wider stance and lower center of gravity. I'm not slamming BB at all as I absolutely love mine but depending on your situation this model may not have been the best bet. Take it for what it's worth, I've not pushed mine to the limits on hills. Maybe others on here can post up their feedback but you may want to start a different thread for that.

    As for bar lug tires, they are the ones with chevron tread. You can get them directly from BB or from any tire dealer that stocks mower tires. Here is an example. http://www.lawnmowerpartsoutlet.com/Chevron-Tread_c_654.html
     
  6. mallio

    mallio LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 50

    I have owed a CR for about 5 years. Started out on a JD 345 lawn tractor with 54 deck. Here it is hilly and noticed with the bag about 3/4 going up hill the front wheels were lifting. So put 160# of front end weights. Still not enough to handle CR with wet grass or leaves. Finally put it on a JD 485 AWS with 160# front end weight. This is a long unit. Mounted a brush guard on front of the tractor with mirrors for a better view of the rear. When you fill the unit it is quite heavy to dump i have thought about rigging a lift cylnder but haven't done it yet. The smaller tractor was too light in the conditions here.As the bag fills you loose front end weight and a lose of control. Like the unit it is well built.
     
  7. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Yeah I can see how when fully loaded it will cause the mower to wheelie. I'm sure this would get quite dicey on hills. My recommendation would be to use a big garden tractor with weights if doing a lot of hill work. I'll definitely report back when the leaves start falling and see what kind of difference it makes.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    Hi guys,

    I've had about 5 cuts under my belt with the new setup. Overall I have to say this thing is an absolute beast. It really does a fantastic job of clearing out anything sitting on/in the grass. It also handles much better with a higher mix of leaves and grass. With all grass, as stated in an earlier post, it get's a bit hard to handle. There is so much weight on the back end it's definitely a "tail wags the dog" setup. I think some front end weight would help but I've also found just taking it slow and not over correcting makes a big difference. Once the hopper starts in one direction it's hard to stop. This also helps the hydro's out in not stressing them. It really is a very easy setup to connect and disconnect. I can have it setup and ready to roll in about 3 minutes and then converted back to stock with the Powerchute in the same time. Makes fall cleanup a snap. The leaves are really starting to fall so I'll also have some time to give the estate vac a run as well. All in all, I'd highly recommend this unit to anyone with a big yard and some muscle that can pull it.
     
  9. mallio

    mallio LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 50

    Last weekend i mounted a CR on a zero turn and the guys love it. Faster and sharper turns, like it around fence lines and other obstacles. Seens to work a little better than what they ran it on before.
     
  10. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,203

    How long does it take to fill up?
     

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