John Deere z225 or Cub Z-Force 44

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by daverupe, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. daverupe

    daverupe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I just wanted to get some thoughts on the John Deere z225 or Cub Z-Force 44. I currently push mow (Honda 21" self propelled) around a little less than an acre. I know these are bottom line mowers, but I don't have much more than 3500 to spend. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    Like I was told when I was looking for a Z. The Hustler Mini fastrak is a great machine for your size lawn, I got a 42" and I love it. It is close to your price range and comes with a homeowner warranty of 3 years. I paid somewhere around 3665.00. If you look at one you will see the difference from the two you looked at. I am assuming these are the H depot models.??Click on the Hustler link at the top of the page and look up the MFT..Tell em Murph..
  3. eaglejrl

    eaglejrl LawnSite Member
    from 75681
    Messages: 63

    Capemay Eagle is probably giving good advice.

    I don't know anything about the John Deere.

    I did own a z-force 44 and it was nothing but trouble. Spindles were constantly going out. Electronics would mess up. Things were not put together correctly and were falling off. Would suggest you stay away from that machine.
  4. daverupe

    daverupe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    The z225 is available at Depot. The Z-Force is only available at the dealership. I've done enough research to know to stay away from the box stores. I've looked at the hustler and really like em, but is seems like it would be too much for say an hour and a half a week. I'm actually leaning more towards the cub. bigger engine, w a vtwin, foot pedal for height adjustments. The frames are essentially the same. Again I'm just a weekend warrior...

    Any other thoughts advise???
  5. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    You will not spend an hour and a half on less than an acre with any of those machines. It will be MUCH less.

    Also, the MFT is not too much at all if you intend to ride. It is built exactly to the standards you need if you intend to have a machine that lasts damn near forever. And it is very reasonably priced, in line with the others you are looking at. The frame on the MFT is vastly superior to the others, as is the overall build quality. Do yourself a favor... go look at the decks on these machines. You can stand on the Hustler deck with all your weight an it will not move. Do that on the other machines and I bet you rip the deck half off. It's not just about the frame and deck, either. The individual components used on the machine are all very high quality including spindles, clutch, steering components, etc. Go yellow.
  6. eaglejrl

    eaglejrl LawnSite Member
    from 75681
    Messages: 63

    The Z-force is available at more places than just dealerships. I've seen them at Tractor Supply right next to Cub RZT's. The Cub Tanks are true commercial mowers and are only sold at dealerships. And, as far as I understand, they are manufactured at a totally different plant.

    I know you like the idea of the big engine, but from my experience, it's too much power for a poor quality deck. I've already mentioned having to replace spindles. But I also had to replace idlers. I went through about 6 belts in less than 200 hours (and they are not cheap) - the belt would get loose and the tension spring would end up pushing the belt into itself. I had to have the deck welded and reinforced in several places.

    You might buy it and have no problems. I'm just sharing my experience.
  7. shop22

    shop22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    check out the simplicity champion if you have a dealer close by. Nice little machine with commercial drive system and a nice cut.
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    The Z Force series is not the bottom level mower from Cub. The bottom level is the RZT series. The Z Force is probably as good as, or better than the JD you mentioned. Neither are real "quality" mowers. As a Cub dealer, I see a lot of older Z Force mowers come in that are pretty junky. However, Cub made some quality improvements to them this past year and the current Z Force machines we have sold to homeowners have been performing well. At least Cub gives the buyer a 3 year warranty, so most problems can be resolved before the warranty runs out.
    All in all, at the price range you have mentioned, the Z Force is probably one of your better choices, and should be a good mower for what you plan to use it on.
  9. daverupe

    daverupe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Bought the Z Force. I love it. Cutting grass is fun again!!! Went from 3 hours to 45 min. The dealer I bought from was a real help. When I bought I ordered the mulch kit. It was backordered. When It came in they called me to pick up the mower so they could install the kit for me. They also said that they'd give me the 50 hour maintenance for FREE... I think I made the right choice.

    Not to say the other makes in this post aren't good machines... I'm just happy with the purchase I made. I'll let you all know how things work out in the future.
  10. weeble67

    weeble67 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    I bought a new Z-Force 2-yrs ago from my local dealer. A great little mower. I do however regret that I didn't just buy a commercial mower. I had zero problems with mine. It cut nice and ran great. Ample power, had I just used it as a homeowner, I would have been perfectly happy. You compare it to my Exmark, and you see the big difference. If your going to just use it as a homeowner, and nothing more. It'll make you a nice mower. Make the dealer install a mulching kit on it for free too. You'll be glad you did.

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