zero turn LAWN TRACTOR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Hey... have you guys caught wind of this yet?

    The new Cub Cadet iSeries line of mowers combine zero-turn maneuverability with the comfort and simplicity of a lawn tractor.


    The iSeries line of lawn tractors is perfect for people who:


    * Desire a way to cut their lawn maintenance time in half

    * Want the comfort and steering of a traditional lawn tractor

    * Want something that is capable of mowing on inclines and small hills

    * Need a mower that works with attachments

    * Prefer a steering wheel over the lap bar used by traditional zero-turn mowers

    * Wish to share mowing with other family members who might not feel comfortable with zero-turn mowers


    Specifications:


    MODEL#: i1050

    ENGINE: 25 HP Kohler Courage twin-cylinder

    TRANSMISSION: Dual HydroGear EZT

    PTO: Electric

    FRAME: Heavy duty 12-gauge steel

    DECK: 50" heavy duty triple blades with mulch

    FRONT AXLE: Cast-iron

    ATTACHMENTS: QuickAttach

    FRONT BUMPER: Tubular steel

    TIRE SIZE: 15" front/20" rear

    TURNING RADIUS: Zero-turning radius

    WARRANTY: 3- and 5-year limited warranties


    [​IMG]

    I just happened to trip across it today... and it is a zero turn, but will not be the flop the John Deere SST units were.... because as you can see they have integrated steering instead of casters.

    Anyways, I know this probably doesn't mean crap to 99% of people on here.
    But to me, I see a trend developing in an attempt to go this direction with zero turns.

    Kubota Glide steer (not zero turn but tight)

    John Deere SST
    Gizmow
    Cub iSeries

    My thoughts are that someone is eventually really going to get this concept right and develop a real presence in the zero turn market. I mean eventually someone will iron it out and apply it to another commercial application and take it further in marketing/distribution than Gizmow has. A company like Cub or Kubota has the money to put behind it to do that if they can develop it.

    Just a topic of conversation.......
     
  2. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    I can see where a solo operator might find something like this attractive.
    However, I doubt the market exists for further commercial development as larger companies usually do not multi-task one unit.
    That and the lack of an easily attachable bagger are just a few of the drawbacks to this design.
    I agree that for homeowners a unit like this would be feasible.
     
  3. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,335

    Ok, I don't get it. How can it be a zero turn, without having casters in the front?
     
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, if we are discussing strictly the 'tractor-style' format... yes, it does make it easier and a BUNCH cheaper to multi-task it. Myself, I still keep a tractor around for multi-tasking because I don't tow anything with the ZTR's... and if I did, I would have to buy new, very expensive implements... because nothing can be manual on them (can't reach it).

    ********************

    Outside of that... just the 'steered' ZTR technology has further reaching abilities because it doesn't have to be installed on a lawn tractor. It could be on your favorite commercial ZTR someday... in a similar and possibly better format than Gizmow. Or it could be applied to big front mowers, WAM's, compact tractors, ect-ect...
     
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    That's the whole point... getting rid of the casters... as that is where the CONTROL problem is.

    That unit has independent drive in the rear, and 'gear-driven' front steering tuned to match the rear. See the gearbox right above the front tire?
     
  6. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    With a conventional wheel setup like this unit has, I see it being a 4 wheel steering unit, not a zero turn unit. I agree that zero turn cannot be accomplished without casters.

    The John Deere 4 wheel steer units, such as my father-in-law's 445 are very nifty units. It has many pluses and a few minuses. Manouverability when blowing snow, cutting grass, or pulling impliments is great. I do however find it hard to run in a straight line with it when cutting flat surfaces. The 4WS is so sensitive that you tend to wiggle back and forth at higher speeds. An option to lock out the extra rear wheel steering on demand would be nice. I have heard that the unit tends to lean a bit when steering, thus the deck tilts a bit resulting in uneven cut when cornering. I have not noticed this myself, but I don't have a lot of seat time on the tractor.

    So, this looks like a neat 4WS unit, not a zero turn unit. John Deere has been doing the 4WS for a while, quite successfully.

    deej
     
  7. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Envy,

    I couldn't agree more about the need for a tractor for towing impliments. I will always have one for that reason and for a front-mount snowblower.

    Casters are the only front wheel setup that will give you zero turn. Nothing else will provide the range of motion required. These units are certainly tight turning, but not zero turn.

    That said, I own zero turn Exmarks, and never zero turn since it tears the turf too much. So I maintain that tight turning is great, since actual zero turning is something I avoid anyways.

    deej
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Must be someone in the mfg'ing dept felt they were due for a raise, and this is their justification.

    What's this, yet another riding lawn mower?
    Ohhh no, this one's different from all the rest, see?

    But no, I don't see it.

    btw, the only true zero turn is one where both wheels are moving at the same time (one moves forward, the other backwards: the machine spins in place).
    Because a turn with one wheel standing still is NOT a zero turn, that's a pivot turn... Hence why Wb's aren't true Zero turns.
    But I'm sure with a corporation as big as the one responsible for this riding re-invention, these concepts will never get past all the department heads.
     
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Helloooo... knock knock....

    This unit is zero turn topsites.... and it's already on it's way to the market.

    The rear wheels do run independent of each other just like on a ZTR.
    The front tires are gear driven...

    This means the unit CAN do a zero turn, not just a tight turn. The front is not a typical lawn tractor steering setup. No tie rods and so forth. It's gear driven on both sides at the spindle.... so it does not suffer the limitations of conventional steering, yet it retains all the advantages.
     
  10. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Envy,

    You may know more about this unit than we do.

    I don't see that a front wheel, mounted on a spindle, will be capable of turning 90 degrees to the side, or further, as required for zero turn ability.

    If the front wheels won't do this, then how will it zero turn without dragging the front wheels? The back wheels can operate independently, but the front wheels had better be doign something special. I don't care if they are gear driven or tie-rod end driven, they have to swing through a wide range of motion to support zero turnability.

    When I read your original description and saw the first picture, I scrolled down expecting a second picture showing the unit zero turning with the front wheels spun around. Didn't see a picture, so I can't see that it is possible with what I see.

    Please enlighten us.

    deej
     

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