New to the country thanks to Australian owned Powerup Lawncare Products is the American made Spartan commercial zero-turn mower. It is a smart-looking piece of equipment and will be creating some interest as it infiltrates into the landscape maintenance scene.
Powerup are well known for importing and distributing many quality landscape maintenance products and have dealers throughout the country, which means backup service and parts will not be an issue with this new zero-turn.
At first glance it is evident that the Bushranger Spartan is a quality piece of American manufacturing. It just looks tough and with a heavy-duty fabricated single-piece frame, fabricated 7-gauge deck with minimal welds, 7-gauge reinforcement around spindles and additional reinforcement around wear areas, it is constructed to cope with Australian contractor punishment.
The SRTXD 61 is powered by the iconic Kawasaki FX1000V, producing 35hp – I really don’t think there is a better choice for a petrol machine. This engine combined with the huge Parker integrated 16cc wheel motors provides ample power for cutting and drive at pace.
Access for maintenance on this machine is exceptional with loads of room around the whole engine for access to spark plugs and oil filter as there is under the seat for access to the battery, hydraulic reservoir, wheel motors and even the rear of the deck.
The foot platform with rubber top hinges up and completely removes from the machine revealing a huge opening for access to the top of the deck. The cast aluminium spindles have four bearings rather than two like many other machines and all pulleys, including the idlers, are solid single piece and large. A dampener is fitted alongside the spring to the main deck idler pulley to reduce vibrations and initial engagement force, therefore increasing belt life. The spindle pulley covers, which remove without tools, are open at the base on all sides, not just the ends like most, which will reduce debris build-up in this area that can often be a problem.
Comfort is an important factor with zero-turns and the Bushranger Spartan has addressed this in a few ways. It is fitted with independent rear coil springs, and a very flash seat, which is comfortable and supportive on its own and adjustable to the operator’s weight. It is independent from the rest of the machine, sitting on elastomer rubber dampeners ensuring a comfortable ride. Adding to operator comfort are the stress relief pads on the steering levers. To be honest, when I saw these I thought they were a waste of time, but after using them for a while, especially on longer straight runs, they were extremely comfortable and supportive.
Fancy mag wheels with radial tyres make the Spartan stand out from the crowd and enable operation at low tyre pressures, although the tyres look quite aggressive so I would be gentle on the tight turns. The Spartan has a large and easy-to-use control panel with the notable difference of the absent key.
The engine is started via a four digit code and a press button. Feelings about this will be mixed but it is a great security feature. An LCD panel provides not only an hour meter and service reminders, but also an hour meter for cutting times separate to engine time and a tacho.
A handy 12-volt socket is also situated on the control panel along with the switch for the 10” LED light bar in the front frame. Cutting heights are easy to adjust with a shock-assisted foot deck lift and a dial in front of the control panel to select heights. This is fast and simple even on the go, but the dial must be turned to select transport position because it does not automatically lock into this position when the deck is lifted up like some others.
The Bushranger Spartan SRTXD 61” EFI Zero Turn Mower was a pleasure to use, performed well and has some nice features with a bit of a difference to the run-of-the-mill zero-turns we are used to. It has a RRP of $21,999 and a two-year commercial warranty, which is backed by a well-respected Australian company.