Lawn tractor and zero turn options

I’ve looked into this before, but it has been awhile, and perhaps there are new ones to consider.
first: do not want/need a literal compact tractor . Property is small enough it would be an overkill waste of $ and unused features.
my ‘fields’ are small / cross fenced that require almost more of a lawn type maintenece in re gards to cutting heights, cornering. I’ve never owned a zero turn but have had higher quality lawn tractors. want engine and set up of a quality to tow / use small implements as product spreader, small chain harrow, newer spreader when wanted. My hardest to find spec : deck cutting HEIGHT. I would love an ability to cut / adjust at 6 inch high on down. I would also like add on ‘bagging’ ability/bins as in growing season some cuts leave too much cut grass laying on top (thus again: needing a higher cut setting to cut more often taking off less ) mulching ability too. Had a husky as my last ride on garden tractor. was fine except of course not the max grass cut height I wanted. When it died, I just haven’t replaced yet. Have been a sole live in caregiver for my mom for past 8 years and her care did not allow me to be outside on a ride on, as her dementia/fall risk kept me living with monitors and alarms 24/7. Lost mom last January and ready to save the money from cutting services (as I had to revert to for her care in last years), and get back to my own mowing. thanks for any suggestions!


I own a "literal"compact Deere tractor. Maximum mid-mount mower cutting height is 4.5 inches (really a measured 4.25 inches with mine. Like you, I want a six inch mowing height. So for the past eight years I have been looking, reading and shopping for a way to mow at 6 inches. There are NO zero turn mowers out here to my knowledge that have a 6 inch mowing height, and I have looked and looked at them.

Finally I bought a rotary cutter, which will adjust up to 9 inches. That was the only thing I found that I could afford with a 6 inch plus mowing height. And, I already had the tractor. I finally sold it, as the cut quality and maneuverability were abysmal.

I am now toying with the idea of buying a ZTR, and then modifying it with larger diameter wheels and tires to raise the whole thing above the ground to be able to mow at six inches. I’ll happily give up the ability to mow at 1 or 2 inches as a trade-off to get up to six inches.


Our previous mower was a Cub Cadet lawn tractor, the beefy one that you could only get from a dealer and not a box store (I don’t recall specs, this was years ago and I don’t know what models they have now). It would adjust to 6" max on mowing height. I loved that thing. Everything I mow is some sort of a slope here, so stability is important, and rough ground is hard on box store type mowers (which we had when first here and they didn’t last). I could tow my little spreader with this one and mowed some stuff I probably shouldn’t have clearing paths through the brush. We had to replace it when something broke that trashed a bunch of other parts and repairs were going to exceed what we paid for it.

We replaced it with a Kubota mower and I honestly wish we had the Cub back. The Kubota is heavier and I hate the way it turns and tears up things. It doesn’t ever feel tippy, which is great on our slopes, but I think the Cub did a better job and I was much happier mowing with it. The Kubota won’t let me go as high as 6" but more like 5" if I keep the deck up high while mowing. The Cub also cost <1/2 what the Kubota did. But my SO just loves the Kubota so he gets to do more of the mowing these days.

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LCDR…yeah. I had considered just that. but it ‘supposedly’ can really goof up the mower that is set to operate with the wheel size they are built with…

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yeah. learned to get product from dealer not box stores. hope I can find SOMETHING close to the specs I need. :frowning:

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I am all about a zero. I bought a John Deer lawn tractor- a larger one, and it just wasn’t as fast or nimble, and I didn’t trust it on the hills.

Zero turn all the way.

I’ve been using a Cub Cadet garden tractor, purchased from a dealer rather than a big box store, for 15 years or so. Pull a chain harrow, and a Newer Spreader; been very satisfied.

Here’s the CC website page that has a list of questions to assist in choosing a model that might be helpful:

I could have written the same post but swap “Kubota” for John Deere zero turn.

We have a JD Z545R. It is one year old, purchased new from the dealer. We have had it back to the dealer 3 times already for major repairs. Currently you can’t even adjust the deck height because that was the latest thing to break on it. It only goes up to like 4” anyway. It doesn’t feel like it’s any faster than a regular riding mower. It will shake and bounce you so badly over level ground that you are sore afterwards.

The Cub Cadet was a LTX 1046 KW. I swear we could get the deck higher than the JD even though it says they have the same height. That thing was a workhorse. The only thing we ever had to replace was the battery. We sold it when we moved cross country; wish we would have kept it.

Zero turns were really directed at commercial operations where speed, not comfort, is king. They bled over into the residential market later.

You can certainly buy a premium zero turn mower with suspension, big tires and and air suspension seat that almost floats over the ground. Just be prepared to pay for that comfort. I found the Exmark Lazer Z X-series really comfortable but it’s close to $25K.

I bought a used little (25hp) Massey Ferguson with a 60” MMM. It mows very close to 6”. I have a FLE but you wouldn’t need on. I looked at lots of options trying to solve this same issue. My used MF cost wise was less than 1/2 a new zero turn with the suspension, etc. to hold up to my field mowing. Good luck. Hard problem to solve!

thanks guys. I was hoping against hope that someone had a suggestion for a garden tractor or zeroturn that they owned/knew that the cutting height of the deck could be set around 5-6 inches for max.height. I haven’t found any . :frowning: most all online brands/models do not give a ‘max’ height in descriptions/details. gotta buy something!

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