Pros: Price,built solid,cuts grass.
Cons: No options when compared to others.
The newest craze in mowing grass has to be the ZTR.
Everyone has seen the commercial mowers zipping around yards all over town on these crazy things and no doubt you have wondered."Can this really be a better way to mow?"
That question leadme to start looking at these new mowing machines. The process can lead in many different directions with many different brands and price tags.
Almost every main maker of lawnmowers has one now and there are quite a few that you may never have heard of.
In the later group you may stumble across a brand called Swisher. Yes like the cigar. The name may not stand out like JohnDeere or Cub Cadet Or even Snapper.But these folks have been around for a long time making zero turn mowers.In fact they may have been the first.That's what their website said. They are made in the heart of the USA...missouri.With grass comes a need and some guy named Swisher met that need...the rest is history.
I own a Swisher ZT2350. What that model number stands for is a zero turn 23 horsepower engine and a 50 inch cutting deck .Simple formula.They have other sizes as well bigger and smaller.
Before buying the Swisher I looked at many different brands and I found that most had some fancy named mowing deck that was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.Who knows.I did not try them I just figured grass is grass.
The Swisher mowing deck may not have a fancy name to describe it's "cyclonic Grass decapitation" but one thing that stood out was that it has a solid welded steel deck. The other "homeowner" models have a stamped or pressed steel deck that is thinner and weaker.
That's one for the Swisher.
Another thing I noticed was the other models had a bold and bright shiny paint scheme. They looked sharp and fancy when compared to the flat black look of the Swisher.My personal favorite though was the Swisher. It reminded me of a classic 50's hot rod paint job that only needed some flames added to be cool. You may want a nice shiny lawnmower however and if so the Swisher 2350 is not the one for you.
The options you find on ZTR mowers are just like a new car.Cup holders,electric starter,molded injected seats with arm rests and fancy spring suspensions.It goes on and on.
The Swisher does not have these fancy options. They choose to focus on building a solid mower that cuts grass.My seat is not the most comfortable,the cupholder makes me laugh because it is simply a piece a steel with a hole cut in it bolted to the fender.It does not work to hold a beverage.The ride is bouncy.But it cuts grass well.No frills just function.
The engine is a Briggs&Stratton extended life series.It has plenty of power and mine has started great everytime. It may be louder than a kawasaki or use more fuel but it gets the job done and keeps the price down.
The hydro drive on the swisher is nice. It has two hydro pumps that work independent of each other. This is a step up from some other brands which only have one pump. The pumps are made by Eaton which is a very well known brand with a good reputation.
They move the mower at a top speed of 5 mph.Not the fastest ZTR out there.But how fast do you need to go?If you crave a ZTR that goes faster you may have to upgrade to the bigger model.I found that 5MPH when cutting grass is plenty.Unless you find a way to put shocks on the mower the bouncing will shake your guts loose.5mph is plenty.
The controls are ok.I find that it is easy to tear up grass when turning if I am not careful.I have heard that some brands are better and some are worse. In all most ZTR mowers will tear the grass a bit when turning.
The controls are nice when driving around trees or signs or even gardens. The mower tracks nice and responds fast.
I would say the ability to drive on a side hill is the biggest limitation to a ZTR type mower. I have hills and they are not easy to do side to side.The mower is stable not tippy but the front wheels are free turning and so you can end up making a break away down the hill with little warning.This is not a big deal if there is only more grass at the bottom of the hill but if there should be a drop off or a lake....yikes.The rear tires have a hard time stopping the decent, they spin and slip,and so they recommend in the manual to go up and down hills. I do both and with practice side hills are not too bad.Just be careful.
Features of this lawnmower are very basic.
3 blades,4 tires,steel,an engine and hydrolics. Nothing fancy but it works.Oh and a seat.
I bought this mower because the price was great. I purchased it on sale for 2500 bucks.NOthing else was even close.I was worried at first because of this but after using it all summer I am happy with it.My mow time is faster and the mower has not had any problems.
I am sure there are much better ZTR mowers on the market but for the price, I will hold my covered drink in my lap.