The John Deere Z994R Diesel ZTrak™ Zero-Turn Mower has been specially developed to supply a well-priced diesel machine suited to contractors. It looks like it is built to cope with the punishment that contractors subject their machines to – it’s a really solid looking machine.
Operator comfort is an extremely important factor when considering a zero-turn mower because they are renowned for being bouncy and uncomfortable on even the slightest rugged terrain – mowing at speed and spending all day in the seat can take its toll on the operator.
As soon as I jumped on the machine it felt really comfortable. The fully adjustable suspension seat with lumbar adjustment and the usual armrest adjustment make mowing a pleasure. It was extremely comfortable even at high speed on slightly uneven ground.
A respectable top speed of 18.3km/h combined with a 54-inch/137cm cutting deck (60-inch/152cm also available) means this is a productive and efficient machine.
The pressed deck is of heavy-duty construction made with 7-gauge steel (4.55 mm) and also reinforced in critical wear and stress points. The 7-Iron™ deck has proved itself in the past on other John Deere models, renowned for an even cut and it expelled the cut grass well. Plastic spindle covers are removable without tools for maintenance, as is the foot platform exposing the top of the deck for belt and pulley inspection and maintenance.
Access to the engine is also simple because the rear protective cowl is easily removed with two bolts on each side to reveal ample room to work on the 24.7hp power plant. This is where it gets exciting: the engine is a three-cylinder Yanmar diesel, liquid-cooled, low emission and high torque beast providing outstanding performance. A couple of nice features added are the radiator cover to minimise debris accumulation and the air cleaner indicator lets the operator know when the two-stage canister-style filters need cleaning.
I really like the simple and easy-to-use height adjustment system. A foot-operated deck lift with good chunky grip to eliminate slipping when lifted allows the operator to select a cutting height or lock the deck in the highest position with the turn of a dial. This dial has easy-to-read cutting heights and is conveniently located to the front of the dash pad within easy reach for the operator; no bending, stretching or fumbling with pins.
The handbrake is foot operated on the left of the foot platform. It is simply activated and disengaged and also eliminates bending and stretching, which is often the case on models with manual hand levers.
I also like the front castor wheels, which are wide, hefty and flat free eliminating downtime and maintenance.
The brand new Z994R Diesel ZTrak™ Zero-Turn Mower from John Deere is definitely worth a look for contractors who are after a diesel machine. It is packed with worthwhile features, performs well, is comfortable for the operator and very well priced for a machine of its calibre at under $22,000*. John Deere offers a 36 month or 1500-hour warranty, which is impressive for a commercial machine. *Price shown is starting from Recommended Retail Price (RRP) in Australian dollars including GST of base unit only with a 137cm (54 in. deck) at participating dealers. Price does not include pre-delivery, freight, assembly or dealer charges, these are determined by the supplying John Deere dealer.