Kubota ZD28F

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Pelican, Jun 3, 2002.

  1. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    I recently purchased a Kubota ZD28F with a 60" cutting deck. I had been following a few threads on the ZD21F but it seems Kubotas aren't in good favor around here. When I compared the features of the Kubota to Skag and Exmark, it seemed like Kubota was a lot more machine for the money. For those of you who favor other brands, only Skag , Bobcat, Kubota, John Deere and Exmark are handled locally here, which influenced my decision.

    My Kubota replaced a Skag SSZ 60/22 that gave me troubles from the day I bought it. It gave me a poor quality of cut and was plagued with little nuicence breakdowns. When I shopped, I was looking for a diesel powered Z rider and looked at Skag's and Exmark's offerings.

    The Skag mower cost $15,000, rode rough, was noisy and didn't cut much better than the machine I was replacing. I wasn't crazy about the fact that the engine was turbocharged either. I couldn't see my men allowing the turbo a proper cool down after each use.

    The Exmark I was looking at cost about $13,500, but unfortunately I was never able to demo it. I stopped twice at the dealer's and was promised a call to set up a demo, but there was no follow up on the dealer's part. I decided I wasn't interested in this type of service and moved on.

    My Kubota dealer also carries Skag and I had used them as an alternate when my own dealer was out of stock on parts, which occurred far more often than I felt should have. Out of stock on belts, blades? Very annoying, and the alternate dealer always came through for me.

    The Kubota ZD28F is feature packed, with a built in jack to lift the machine for blade changes. It also has hydraulic lift for the mower deck and a hydraulic PTO clutch, which I believe will prove more reliable than an electric clutch. The deck is also shaft driven to the center spindle which supplies power to the outer spindles via belts, another reliable set up. The radiator has a protective filter screen that is easily removed to clean as does the air filter. The grease points are easily accessable and oil changes should be fairly easy as well. I had read of concerns about the deck's strength, but it is constructed of 7 gauge steel as are most other brands.

    The mower cuts well and rides better than any other mower I've used. It's also much quieter than other machines I've used, even with the blades on. When working side by side with my Skag SWZ52/20, you hear the Skag, not the Kubota. It doesn't cut very well at top speed, which is fast enough to blow your hair back, and is sometimes frightening in small yards.

    Another issue I had read about was quality of cut and striping capabilities. If run at about 1/2 speed, it cuts very well, and does a good job of blowing clippings. When grass clippings are laying, I raise the deck 1/2" and cut again and the clippings are dispersed well. I feel the striping is comparable to that of my Skags and took this photo to demonstrate.

    Sorry for the legth of this post, but I thought some might be interested in the info. I'll keep you posted on and problems or longevity of the machine as time goes on.

  2. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    Forgot to list the negatives:

    This machine is twice as heavy as the one it replaced and I had to re-arrange my trailer to get the proper tongue weight. It also skuffs up the turf very easily if you aren't careful, again I believe due to the weight. I'd like a tachometer on the console just to keep track of things, too. This machine came with a ROPS that was cumbersome and prevented me from mowing under trees so I removed it, which was easily done.
  3. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    Good report. Let us know how it's doing after a few hundred hours. You just can't beat the Kubota engines if you want a diesel. I have two Grasshopper midmounts with Kubota diesels. One has the 21hp and one has the 28hp. You are right about how quiet they are. I had an older Grasshopper with 3000hrs on the Kubota engine and it was still running strong when I sold it. While I prefer the Grasshoppers, the Kubota machines do look pretty tough. The diesels used by Exmark, Dixie Chopper and others are really loud compared to the Kubotas.:)
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I thought that the Kubota decks were 9 gauge not 7? No biggie. Have fun with the new mower!!!
  5. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    28 hp 3 cylinder diesel

    kubota a.jpg
  6. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164


    kubota c.jpg
  7. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164


    kubota d.jpg
  8. Walser's Lawn Care

    Walser's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from Tn
    Messages: 1

    How much was the Kubota? Just curious.
  9. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    I guess I forgot that part in my original post, mine ran me $ 10,800. I thought this was a bargain compared to the other machines I was looking at, we'll have to see how the Kubota holds up. Dealer support played a big part in my decision, and I got a surprise in the mail yesterday, a card signed personally by the dealer owner thanking me for my purchase. I never had this happen before.
  10. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    looks good, and a good price for the machine too. But what I don't understand is why it doesnt' cut good at top speed? I realize that most Z's aren't meant to cut quite at top speed, but most do have a good cut at top speed. I don't think I'd want one that doesn't cut good at a top speed unless I was in smaller areas (1 acre or less?). But it does stripe good. The stripes look doubtful out in the sun but alot of stripes get goofed up in the sun, look under the trees in the shade nearer you and they look super! Cut looks good too. I would like the ROPS feature for some areas but I can see it a pain for other's too. Maybe if you have alot of smaller trees to mow make a screen from expanded sheet that would go from the ROPS curving forward like a windsheild and have part of it just plexiglass. That would be neat for an orchard I mow.... it has more than 50 miniature apple trees and they're a pain. For that I would want a setup like I described with a Flex-Deck to get under the trees. This guy wants a push mower used around the trees too so the trimmer doesn't zap the trees. Understandable. But I am good with a trimmer, but he doesn't wanna take any chances. So it is a pain to do this place. He has a ton of trees all over too not just the orchard. Takes along time to mow and trim (around 4-6hrs with a 46" garden tractor for just 3/4 acre!). Have fun with your machine! Looks great!

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