Zero turn mowers have much greater flexibility than traditional lawn tractors. Unrivaled in speed, power, and maneuverability, zero turns have become standard equipment for lawn care professionals. They are simply the best for mowing customers lawns quickly and neatly. In this article, we will discuss what makes zero turn mowers so useful and recommend three in particular that we think are the best.
How Do Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Differ From Traditional Mowers?
Unlike traditional mowers, which require up to 30 inches to turn around, zero turn mowers will effortlessly pivot a full 180 degrees. This means mowing crew will spend less time positioning their mowers and more time actually mowing. In addition to their fast speeds of up to 13 mph, they can cut closely around obstacles with great precision, alleviating the need to bust out the weed trimmer for the fine details.
Commercial Zero turn mowers do this through a change in how you control them, employing two levers placed on each side of the vehicle in place of a traditional steering wheel. These levers serve a variety of purposes. Not only are they used for turning, including going both forwards and backwards, but they also brake the mower as well.
To stop or slow down, simply release your grip on the levers. If you want to make a large turning circle, pull just one of the levers. If you want to make a sharp turn, pull them in opposite directions to make the mower spin around on a dime.
While all of this takes some getting used to, the end result is that you have far greater control over the movement of the mower than you ever would with a traditional riding mower.
Our Picks For Best Zero Turn Mowers for Commercial Mowing
eXmark commercial zero-turn mowers have long been a standard of excellence. Especially with their Laser Z series. Professionals favor these models for their cut quality and the reduced maintenance since eXmark deploys 40% fewer parts. Productivity and durability are also some of the best in the industry, giving you top-notch performance for your business needs. These models go up in prices depending upon their deck widths, ranging from 48 to 96 inches. Prices nearly double for the top model, ranging between $10,299-$21,999. However, the top model comes with a diesel powertrain for high torque availability at lower RPMs and features a massive deck width of 8-feet.
In the entry-level E Series, you get the value package without compromising n the commercial-grade quality and the overall engineering. You get the same frame that is found in the more expensive models. These models also stand out for offering several options not seen in entry-level series from their competitors. For example, you get a choice of engines: between the Kawasaki V twin or the Kohler Command EFI. You also get to choose the size of your cutting deck, ranging between 48 and 72 inches. No matter what you choose, you’ll also get a seat with full suspension for comfort.
For the top model Laser Z Diesel, expect to pay big bucks. The main benefit of this model is that there’s no job too big or too tough with this mower. As with comparable models, handling is effortless while ensuring operator comfort. Plus, it helps you get the job done fast, letting you cover nearly 10 acres per hour with the 96-inch flex wing deck. You can opt for a smaller deck size; just remember it will take a bit longer to get the job done.
If you’re already loyal to John Deere, be sure to have a look at their line of ZTrak Zero-Turn mowers. The mowers in this product line are directed at commercial lawn mowing businesses but are also ideal for residential lawns. Choose from Series E, M, or R, each with their own specifications and gradually increasing power in that order.
While the E series models are less robust, they still give you the tools you need. The E series features an 11.5-gallon fuel tank for your big jobs. You’ll also get professional, comfortably suspended seats for the long hours that big jobs take, as well as superior rear tires for a strong sense of balance. Some of the models even feature the Michelin Tweel Turf Airless Radial tires, the latest technology in tire design with radial spikes (similar to the ones used on the Mars rover). The E series also offers the gliding suspension John Deere is known for, with select models even featuring self-sharpening mower blades.
For a bit more power, opt for the M Series of John Deere’s ZTrak Zero-Turn mowers. The M series is an ideal mix of performance and durability, reaching speeds up to 31HP. Depending on what you’re looking to use your mower for, the M series offers you many options, such as the Mulch on Demand, which lets you quickly go from mulching to side discharging. With the M series, you’ll also get electronic fuel injectors, helping you use as much fuel as needed at a certain time. Of course, these models appraise about 10% higher than the E series. Also, note that gasoline options are the most prominently available.
If you want even higher power, go for the R series. These go all the way up to 37.4 HP but are also the most expensive series. But this comes with additional comfort and convenience everywhere, such as electronic controls, hydraulic cross porting systems, and super comfortable suspension seats that are highly adjustable and come with lumbar support. Again, the most common option is gasoline. You can expect the R series of John Deere’s ZTrak Zero-Turn mowers to starts at roughly $14,000.
The Ferris IS3200 is a top-of-the-line zero-turn mower featuring the company’s highest top speed. With this model, you’ll get reliability and durability with independent commercial Hydro-gear Powertrain Transaxles. Even if your job is challenging with numerous obstacles, curb climbing is a non-issue with the 26″ large drive wheels with nearly limitless traction. The IS3200 motor gives you 37HP with a 4-year limited warranty. You’ll also get an Oil Guard System over a patented suspension with rear and front coil-over shocks, lowering maintenance costs by 60%. The suspension is covered for five years with the Ride on Mower warranty.
The cutting width is rigid and standard with several models, but the amount of power provided at prices in the lower $10,000s is impressive. Flat free caster tires ensure your big job gets worked on all day long. The company estimates an easy 7.2 acres per hour cut speed with only an 80% efficiency. This Ferris model also features the company’s top speed of 12 MPH, with a reverse speed of half of that. Ferris has several nifty attachments to augment mower capabilities that may swing your decision if you’re heart’s set on accessories. Given these specs, the Ferris IS3200 is worth a look.
The Scag Turf Tiger II is another singularly famous machine that stands out in its series and across brands. With the Turf Tiger II, you again choose the engine, including propane and diesel options, so you don’t have to compromise on power. But, what sets this mower apart the most are the bold design options. For example, the center of gravity is super low for stability, and a driveshaft connects the engine to the deck, removing the need for a long belt drive! This way, the cutting height range is also extended. System life is extended by keeping the hydraulic oil cooler using airflow out of the engine. Like other available models in the market, the top speed goes up to 12 MPH, but you will be rolling fast and smooth over enormous 26-inch tires. Also, the command comfort operator station is carefully engineered for maximum comfort and ease of use. You’ll find the suspension seat is torsion spring supported, on a four ISO mount system, the steering levers are adjustable, as is the deck lift pedal to make it as comfortable as possible while getting the job done.
As you can now see, there is simply no good reason not to upgrade to one of these commercial zero turn mowers. The only downside is maybe the price tag, but when you factor in all that these beauties can do, it is well worth the investment in your lawn care business. With the warmer months approaching, the sun growing brighter, business is going to be picking up again. There’s never been a better time to upgrade, both for your business and for your back!
When it comes to finding the exact zero turn model for your needs, consider the features you want or need, such as the size of tires, operator comfort, etc. Taking the time to try out the models you’re considering can help you gauge how helpful the features are and if it is the right model for you. Remember, you’re going to be spending countless hours on this machine. You owe it to yourself to make a decision only after properly testing each one.