MOWER REVIEW: 2014 Cub Cadet Commercial z-force sz 48" zero turn

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by snoozeworm, May 28, 2014.

  1. snoozeworm

    snoozeworm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    So I did ALOT of research before buying this mower today, and I found that there were no reviews for the new 2014 commercial z-force SZ models (zero turn with steering wheel), so I thought i would write a few things down from my first day of mowing.

    I bought this mower because of the recommendation of a few other lawn care guys locally.

    This specific model is Zero Turn but still has a steering wheel! It is powered by a 23hp Kohler Confident engine and two HydroGear 3100 transmission in the rear.

    I bought the 48" deck, and it seems to have more power than it needs, which is a good thing considering I was mowing at the max 8mph in grass that hasn't been cut for 12 days!

    Has amazing traction, no need for chains or knobby tires. The zero turn works as well as a machine with lap bars, but is much easier to pick up AND 100% better on slopes because you can turn the front wheels as opposed to castor wheels needing counter steered on normal zero turns.

    The seat is super comfortable. Im not just saying that! Its worth a trip to the dealer just to sit on it! All the controls are very easy to reach and adjustable seat + steering wheel help a lot. I will say the reverse pedal is too high, you have to pick your heal up to reach it!

    As for the price / warranty. The website claims the msrp is $7,199. I walked into my dealer and he said to take it home it would be $5,499! I then asked if I had to buy it that day in order to get that price, and he said that's what he sells them for to anybody, so I wasn't getting any deal. Therefor, the only haggling I did was to get a free Hat and Keychain, which I wore home!

    In all, I tested stand on mowers (toro grandstand), multiple lap bar zero turns, and of course some garden tractors, but the day I drove this I paid for it cash. In my opinion, its the best zero turn on the market for sloped terrain.

    I can take a few pics tomorrow and post them up for you guys, for now here are some from google image.


  2. snoozeworm

    snoozeworm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    So I have 25 hours on the machine now, and I'll give a little update.


    Cuts hills like no other going ACROSS
    Very fast and smooth to operate
    Trimming around objects, aka zero turn trimming, can be done with one hand


    It threw the transmission belt at 9 hours and destroyed the plastic fans. Putting it in the shop for 6 days. Cub cadet recognized there was a problem with the spacing of the idler pulley, my dealer shimmed it, and it shouldn't happen again.

    Going up steep hills and backing down doesn't work with this mower the reverse is very jumpy and it WILL lift those front wheels up pretty high.

    The rubber broke off the key already

    The tread is starting to fall off the tires in chunks

    There are ZERO tie down points for trailering

    In all, if I had to do it again, I would still drop the $5500 on this mower. There are better mowers out there, but this one works well and my dealer is very good about getting the warranty work done quickly so I can't complain too much. And I love my Cubs.

  3. snoozeworm

    snoozeworm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Just to update you all, the transmission belt failure was fixed under warranty. BUT 2 WEEKS LATER I am climbing a steep hill when a pulley snaps off the transmission sending me backwards down the hill. Mind you, the mower had 40 hours on it now, leaving me with 2 transmission failures, a broken ignition key, and broken cruise control spring, not to mention the rubber tread was falling off the rear tires in chunks. I returned the mower and was charged $300 for my use, a small price to pay IMO.

    I say stay far away!!
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    Sorry to hear it cost you $300.00 to learn that Cub no longer builds anything of commercial quality. The name "Cub Commercial" is a joke. I hope you have much better luck with your next ZTR.

    KODAKMOWING99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    yeah wish I could've saved you some money cub cadets are JUNK, not one of them is worth the cost of the paint used to paint them, ive owned two so I know personally, I always laugh when I see lco with cub products on trailer, wonder why you can buy a 60 ztr for half the cost of a real commercial ztr no quality, on cheap only cheap junk.
  6. joe crumpler services

    joe crumpler services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Out of curiosity, what was the make and model of the transmission? And the tires?
  7. lawncommander

    lawncommander LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I have essentially the same mower, but with lap bars. It's the 48inch LZ. Has the fancier seat, etc. I will say it's a great fence mower. That's the only reason I bought it. We have 3 other 48 inch mowers and for the money I thought the Cub delivers the best performance for your dollar. I hate the safety backup feature, but I'm never on it so they will have to get use to it until it goes through our shop this winter to take that feature off. Otherwise I think the cut quality is very good, and it always starts right up, even when it's cold, without choking it.
  8. TPCLandscaping

    TPCLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    when did cub cadet start making something commercial?
  9. Borgey401

    Borgey401 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Honestly it's a Cub, this should of been expected. These things are an absolute joke. I am glad you came to your senses and returned it. In my opinion it was worth the $300 just to get rid of the thing. Go buy yourself a Walker or Wright Sentar.
  10. VampireCat019

    VampireCat019 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    That sucks! I was really interested in the ZF SZ48KW. I'm a one person operation, so I don't have a lot of money yet, and I don't want a 15k mower on credit for 10 houses. I don't want a walk behind either, or the sentar style. Are the ExMark versions of this also crap?
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