JaZee joystick-pros and cons

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by melmel, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. melmel

    melmel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hi, As a residential user only, I've spent a couple of months enjoying the opinions in this forum. That's also the problem as it has made making a decision to purchase more difficult. I've got two acres of Florida Bahia grass, and it can be tough cutting during the rainy (torrential rains at times) season. My old Craftsman mower has about had it. I have finally decided upon a ZTR mower (rather than tractor), due to many small trees, and lots of edge work. My buget has increased from $2500 to now around $4500 (and that's it). I really like two mowers: Gravely 34Z and the Country Clipper JayZee (19/48). The CC is very maintenance friendly, particularly the rotating deck, allowing for blade changing, cleaning, etc. The joystick also intrigues me. I haven't had a chance to test drive one as of yet. Can anyone tell me the pros/cons of the joystick? The dealer I spoke with steered me very clear of this and tried to get me into what he stocked. I have a problem believing him. He said that it's VERY difficult in keeping a straight line while driving with a joystick. I'd welcome any and all opinions based on your experience using the joystick. Also, what's been the reputation of reliability with Country Clipper?

  2. robertbick

    robertbick LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I never tried a joystick, but what ever you do, don't trust what the saleman tells you. They will try to sell you what they want to sell because they have it in stock or can make more money on it. Try to demo one somewhere.
  3. bantam

    bantam LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 76

    The joystick is VERY easy to learn ESPECIALLY if you are new to ZTR mowers. Seems like folks that have used twinstick mowers for years have alot more difficulty than newbies.

    I would say this, NOT ALL joystick controls are created equal. Some on the market are not as smooth to operate as the one on Country Clipper.

    The Clipper will also do a really good job cutting your Bahia grass, especially if you set it up with the optional high lift style blades. Cannot say how the Gravely will do, never used one.
  4. wvbill

    wvbill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I have no problem at all keeping a straight line with my JaZee joystick.

    I only drove the twinstick style in demos so I had no bias towards them - although I probably have some bias towards the joystick since I used to fly joystick controlled airplanes in the Navy - but that was more than 30 years ago.

    Overall, I find the Country Clipper joystick very easy to use. At slower speed like while running along the edge of flower beds control is very precise.

    To be smooth with a joystick, the key thing to remember is "pressure" on the stick controlls speed - not "movement" of the stick.

    With one hand free while mowing I feel overall more relaxed than I did when I test drove the twin-stick.

    Try both ang get what's comfortable for you.
  5. SAKummer

    SAKummer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have mowed my 2+ acres three times with my new 19/52. I am pleased thus far with the function and manueverability of the unit. I drove twin-stick models, but liked the availability of the free hand.

    As for straight lines, wvbill makes a great point about "pressure." Keep in mind, just because the manual says you can mow at 8 mph, doesn't mean you can mow at 8 mph! I have reclaimed farm land, which has just been seeded this year. No way will my terrain allow for top speed... on any mower.

    My only issue with the machine is its poor hill-holding ability. My ditch banks are a work in progress and the JAZee is not a huge fan of the work. But, considering that is a really small issue, I won't dwell on the issue.

    My recommendation is the same you will probably hear many times. Try 'em out! Not only at the dealers, on YOUR property. See what it will do and make an informed decision.

    As for the dealer, I had one tell me the same thing. But, not all joystick assemblies are equal. Take a good look at how the CC is put together, I think you will be impressed.

    Best of luck. Do not hesitate to reply or PM me if you have questions.
  6. wvbill

    wvbill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Scott (and anyone else with a Country Clipper),

    How do you like the flip-up deck?

    I'm not overly happy with mine - although it is MUCH better than one that doesn't flip up.

    I have not yet figured out an easy way to do the process of loosening and re-mounting the deck drive belt.

    Holding the Idler pulley against the spring tension with one hand and re-positioning the belt on the mid pulley with the other hand - while keeping it securely on the blade shaft pulleys - is a real strain for me.

    I missed the middle blade pulley once and ruined one $50 belt.

    I've only done it three times now and the last time was a bit easier because I made a wood brace to hold the idler pulley tension while I re-position the belt.

    Maybe it will get easier with more experience.

    How often do you flip your deck up for a cleaning?

  7. mowhigh

    mowhigh LawnSite Member
    from Dallas
    Messages: 198

    I flip mine up after every use (much easier when I remember to disconnect the rear deck hangers first!) Don't know if the Charger is any different, but I don't do anything other than pull out the spring tension lever and then push it back in (one-handed, just like the joystick). The 52" deck is pretty heavy for solo lifting (no one standing on the rear guard); the gal on the website demo makes it look too easy (or maybe it's a 42" deck!)
  8. bantam

    bantam LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 76


    The later models have a lever to "****" the spring tensioner. Sounds like you have an earlier model where the spring tension is pushed back by manually by hand. You MIGHT be able to buy the parts from your dealer to convert your tensioner to the newer style???Maybe??
  9. wvbill

    wvbill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hmmm - I just bought the mower a month ago. I wonder how "later" is "Later" and if I got some old stock that has been sitting around on the dealer's lot. (Possible since it was John Deere dealer and CC is NOT his preferred product. There were less than 2 hours on the meter when I bought it though so I know it was "new".)

    I'll check with Country Clipper. Their lever is probably more effective than the wooden push stick I made.


  10. SAKummer

    SAKummer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9


    I have been taking the belt off at the engine pulley, as that is how I intrepreted the diagram in the manual. Hasn't been a problem to date.

    As for the actual lifting, I agree with mowhigh, solo lifting is about all I wish to handle. Not because of the weight, but the front tires always catch on the fron of the deck, as they swivel back as soon as I start to lift. After last week's cleaning, I decided next time I will run a broom handle through the forks to keep them forward. Guess I'l find out soon enough if the plan works.

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