Dual Wheel Zero-Turn Mower
American brand Cub Cadet has been manufacturing machinery since the early 60s and now, almost 60 years later with a wealth of manufacturing knowledge behind them, they have a new beast of a mower on the market.
The PRO Z 972 SD is a dual wheel zero-turn mower designed to tackle slopes that were previously out of bounds for conventional zero-turns.
At fi rst glance of the PRO Z 972 SD it is evident that it is a solid, well- constructed machine built for large area commercial applications. The frame is constructed of fully welded 3/8 inch x 5 inch steel and the fabricated deck is 7-gauge steel with 7-gauge top and bottom reinforcements, which makes it one of the toughest on the market. Large dual rear wheels widen the machine’s footprint and provide excellent traction and stability on the slopes it is designed to tackle, as do the weighted front wheels.
The machine is a zero-turn but different to most because it has a steering wheel rather than levers. It is fi tted with power steering making it effortless to control with all four wheels steering the machine, unlike only the rear wheels in a conventional zero-turn.
The PRO Z 972 SD enables mowing of large sloped areas safely and effi ciently with the capability of mowing slopes up to 25 degrees. Operating the machine on a steep slope was an excellent experience once I was aware of how this large unit handled. I could easily turn whilst going across and down steep declines with no wheel spin or loss of traction, which would be an impossible task on a conventional zero-turn. The unit is powered by a Kawasaki FX1000V producing 35hp – these engines are renowned for their quality and reliability. With a 72 inch cut and a top speed of 19.3km/h, the PRO Z 972 SD is a productive and efficient machine ensuring it is just as comfortable on large flat areas as it is on steep terrain making it a true dual-purpose mower.
Operator comfort is essential with these types of machines because they are often used for extended periods and on uneven terrain. Sitting in the air suspension seat was a pleasure with a large range of air ride settings to suit any operator. The seat also has angle-back adjustment, adjustable lumbar support and padded armrests, which aid in operator comfort. The steering column tilts giving the operator easy mounting and dismounting access and enables the wheel to be set at a comfortable position to suit any operator. With such a large, heavily constructed deck, an electric deck lift is fi tted, which makes lifting and lowering of the deck a simple task. Just push the button located on the control panel to the right of the operator’s seat to quickly raise or lower the deck. Often, operators of zero-turn mowers with hydraulic deck lift can fi nd raising the deck slow but with the PRO Z 972 SD’s electric deck lift, the operator can quickly raise the deck to clear obstacles with little effort.
Located next to the handbrake lever is a hydro pump release lever. This allows the hydro pumps to be disengaged easily with the fl ick of a lever rather than the often arduous task of accessing pump releases that require tools and are hidden in the depths of the machine.
I have to say that I have never been more comfortable operating a mower on slopes than I was on the PRO Z 972 SD. It took a few turns to be comfortable with the machine’s capabilities and confi dent that it was safe to make fast zero-turns on such steep slopes, but once I was used to it I could see what an advantage this machine would be to anyone who has large areas of sloped terrain to tackle. Cub Cadet offers an excellent warranty with a 3-year no hour limit commercial warranty and a 5-year/1750 hour deck construction warranty.