The Cub Cadet PRO Z 560 S is a good example of why the Cub Cadet brand has become so popular in Australia in recent years.
The brand is no newcomer to the mower game with its first machines made in Kentucky in 1960. After 63 years of manufacturing, constant research and development, the results we see today in this new PRO Z 560 S is a machine with capabilities far beyond its 1960’s ancestors.
Built to last
At first glance the PRO Z 560 S looks a little different to most zero-turns as it has a steering wheel rather than lap-bar controls. This development by Cub Cadet, known as ‘Synchro Steer’, uses the zero-turn capability of the rear wheels integrated with the front-wheel steering. The front wheels are steer wheels also, not castor type as on conventional zero-turns, and this gives much more stability on slopes, with the machine rated for use on up to 20-degree inclines. Also, with all four wheels turning, there is considerably less damage to the turf surface when making tight turns. That results in a neater finish, especially on sloping terrain.
The PRO Z 560 S is a commercial machine and built to stand contractor punishment. The 60-inch fabricated deck and top and bottom reinforcements are manufactured from 7-guage steel – hence the ‘Triple 7’ name of the deck – and adding to the deck toughness are leading-edge and side reinforcements of ¼” and 5/16”.
The front steer wheels hang on solid, cast-iron axles, increasing the toughness in the front end where the highest impact and stress occurs. Continuing the durability throughout, the machine sees a fulllength 3/8” x 5” chassis and a very solid rear cowl protecting the engine from the inevitable knocks.
Ergos and drive
Sitting in the operators’ seat is a comfortable experience even on rough terrain, with a weight-adjustable suspension seat, adjustable armrests, forward/back slide adjustments and an angle-back adjustment. Combined with a simple-tooperate adjustable steering column and rubber-bush-dampened footrest platform it is easy for any operator to get comfortable and stay comfortable for a long day.
The power plant on the PRO Z 560 S is the impressive Kawasaki FX921V, a 999cc engine producing 31hp and giving ample power for the 60” cut size and 12cc Parker transmissions that drive the machine. This engine is proven for this type of application and known for its reliability, power and longevity. There is ample room around the engine for all maintenance task, and a handy oil drain hose enables fast and clean oil changes. Huge dual fuel tanks carry 56 litres, ensuring long intervals between refuelling.
I like the simple, drop-in pin-height adjustment system. It’s easy to see desired heights and make changes, even while on the move. A travel-lock position to hold the deck in the highest position is also fitted and simple to operate.
Another great feature is the quickrelease hydro lever located to the left of the operators’ seat. It allows the operator to release the hydro drives if the machine needs to be pushed for any reason. It’s much better than most other machines where the hydro release is buried in the depths of the mower and awkward to use.
Operating the machine was a pleasure. It’s reasonably fast with a top speed of 16.5kph and once used to the steeringwheel operation it’s very manoeuvrable at speed, even around obstacles.
The Triple 7 deck cut and expelled grass with force, leaving a neat even finish with only one pass on very long Buffalo and Kikuyu grass. I also operated on some very bumpy and uneven terrain where the grass wasn’t long, but I was able to operate at full speed and still be comfortable in the operator’s seat.
A very impressive commercial warranty applies to the PRO Z 560 S: three years on the unit and the engine and five years on the deck shell. This would give great peace of mind for commercial operators.
The ability to have a universal machine that is great on level and undulating ground, as well as steep slopes to 20 degrees, is also a a very attractive proposition for contractors as it enables them to have one machine for two jobs, rather than a specific slope mower and another for general use.
See the Cab Cadet range at cubcadet.com.au.