Car salesman are renowned for making excessive claims about the turning circle of vehicles they’re hustling. In the case of a zero turn mower, however, there is no room for exaggeration. Their turning radius is exactly as advertised: zero.
We’re talking here about the technology used by professional landscapers and contractors. But, with their Z Series, Kubota has brought this high level machinery into the residential market.
Why go with a Kubota zero turn mower?
While the machinery is complex in its construction and capabilities, Kubota like to keep things simple on an operational level. Everything from changing the deck height to changing the oil is easy and accessible. This translates to life being a whole lot easier for you. At least in the mowing department.
The main difference you’ll feel when you transition from an old, steering wheel mower to a zero-turn model is in the controls. The rear wheels each have an independent wheel motor, controlled by two steering handles. This gives you infinite maneuverability and, once you get used to it, can cut your mowing time in half (pun not intended but lets go with it). With their clever design, zero-turn mowers cut so closely around trees, flower beds and other obstacles, there’s no need to go back and trim. They can pivot 180 degrees, within their own footprint, without leaving a blade of uncut grass.
The joy of operating Kubota’s Z series mowers has made them a favourite among customers. As one reviewer astutely put it:
“If you have to mow, it might as well be fun.”Blake Kirby
You get to feel kind of like a formula 1 driver, drifting round corners with your zero turn capabilities.
The Kubota range
Kubota have created not just one, but 15 zero-turn lawn mowers to ensure they have a model to suit every need.
What they have in common
Kubota builds their own engines and the Z series offer the brand’s original, hydrostatic transmission. This gives you a quick and smooth response, regardless of loading conditions. The transmission is hermetically sealed with no belts to change. The only maintenance required is an occasional fluid change.
The seat panel lifts up so you can easily get to the transmission if you need to. And there are three, easy-access maintenance hatches on the operator’s deck.
All of the models feature cushioned, high-back suspension seats (with seatbelt). The armrests are also padded and adjustable. The operator platform is uncluttered with lots of leg room. While deck sizes do differ, they all offer a hydraulic lift system. This allows you to easily manipulate the deck height with the push of a pedal so you can navigate over bumps and obstacles with ease. There’s a one-touch lock to keep the deck raised during transportation.
They all include roll over protection (ROPS) and are all designed to power through daily use.
Where they differ
The range includes a choice of diesel and petrol models with deck sizes varying from 42
inches, right up to 72 inches. You can also choose between side and rear discharge for your grass clippings.
The GZD15-3HD (pictured) is a hybrid model that combines zero-turn capabilities with a unique, dual-blade, glide cutting system that channels the clippings directly into the integrated grass collector. It’s ideal for golf courses, manicured gardens and pedantic lawn enthusiasts.
The Z121S is Kubota’s premium model. It features LED headlights, Kohler Confidant engine and a commercial grade, hydro-gear transmission. It includes cup holders and storage boxes to carry anything from your tools to your lunch.
You’ll also find LED headlights and storage boxes on the Z122R, a step down from the premium model in price that still boasts a lot of the same features (we’ve provided a comprehensive review of the Z122R here).