The term "prosumer" is often used when it comes to high-end electronics and camera equipment, but this word also fits the Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZTX. It closes the gap between residential mowers that focus on ease of use and durability, and professional mowers that are too expensive for non-commercial buyers. The result is a ZTR with comfort features that would be remarkable for a commercial model, as well as first-class components and designs. However, you don't have to spend commercial mowing money to put one in your garage.
Professional deck quality, maintenance requirements for the consumer deck
All ZTX mowers are supplied with a constructed 10 gauge steel deck. 7-gauge steel is used to make side packaging and an underride protection plate, which are reinforced where you are most likely to encounter obstacles. This deck has a high mowing chamber, sloping sides and overlapping blade positioning to maximize vacuum. The result is a sturdy deck that almost matches the cut quality of a stamped deck. The blades are mounted on spindles with sealed bearings, making them maintenance-free. Anti-scalp wheels are standard.
The ZTX line is available with 48, 54 and 60 inch wide decks. According to Cub Cadet, 48-inch deck mowers can handle 4 to 9 acres, while 54- and 60-inch decks are suitable for lawns of 4 to 10 acres. If your lawn is near the top of this size range, a larger deck will cut the mowing time considerably.
These mowers are equipped with a foot-operated deck lift with a dial. This way, you can raise the deck to drive over curbs and then drop it back to your preferred mowing height.
Built for comfort
Cub Cadet builds the ZTX around a robot-welded tubular steel frame. It has a built-in bumper that surrounds the engine without affecting maintenance. A ROPS bar protects the operator in the event of a rollover. This bar can be folded up, making storage and transport easier.
The seat is mounted on isolators and both the seating position and the armrests are adjustable. A thick rubber mat covers the footplate and stops another source of vibration. The ZTX5 and ZTX6 also have wishbones built into the front steering wheels. This mitigates bumps and keeps the deck planted for a better mowing finish.
High quality engines
ZTX4 models are equipped with Kohler 7000 engines. Based on the block used in their professional Command Pro, this engine doesn't have the Pro's high-end air filter system. However, most functions, including the consistent cut control, are transferred intact. It is designed to help the engine respond quickly to load changes so the blade speed does not drop when driving into a piece of thick grass.
The ZTX5 models are equipped with engines from the Kawasaki FR series. Like the 7000, Kawasaki starts with a commercial engine that removes features to lower the price. The main difference is again the lack of a commercially available air box.
Do you want commercial electricity? The ZTX6 uses the Kawasaki FX. This motor is one of the most popular options in commercial ZTRs and ensures a long lifespan for these recreational mowers. Although it is the most powerful engine in the ZTX range, it is only offered with 48 and 54 inch decks.
Cub Cadet equips the ZTX with transaxles from the Hydro-Gear ZT series. These units combine the pump and the drive motor into one unit, eliminating the need for hoses. All three devices are commercially available and use an external oil filter for easy maintenance. The mower's maximum speed depends on the transmission model:
ZT 3100 – 8 MPH
ZT 3200 – 8.5 MPH
ZT 3400 – 9 MPH
All three have an inverted top speed of 3.5 MPH.
The available accessories largely correspond to what you would expect from such a mower. There is a triple excavator kit for collecting lawn clippings. The mulch kit is supplied with high-lift blades and a cover plug to convert clippings into fine mulch. If you want a baseball finish, you can add a grass striping kit to roll the grass while mowing.
What you probably don't expect is a 52-inch plow kit and tire chains. This makes the ZTX one of the few ZTRs on the market that can move snow.
Kohler and Kawasaki guarantee their engines for three years. Cub Cadet guarantees the rest of the mower four years or 500 hours of operation.
When you think of mowers, you think of shanks
Shank's lawn equipment has been helping professionals and homeowners with their lawn equipment for over 35 years. We carry mowers of all sizes, from walk-behinds to ZTRs from various major brands, including Cub Cadet, Wright and Exmark. Are you looking for parts, accessories or repairs? Our service and spare parts departments provide you with the support you need to keep your mower running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories from us at www.shankslawn.com. We ship to the United States and Canada.