Kubota ZD1511 Diesel Zero Turn Mower

This is a new model that replaces ZD331. Let's take a quick walk around here I'll show you some of the things that have changed. The ZD1500 incorporates a lot of the features that have changed in the ZD1200 series which we've done a video on earlier that you can see right up here if you'd like to click there to go and view that video. We'll do a couple of things that are actually unique on this model.

This is a little bit different than the other machines in the 1200 series because of the horsepower that it runs at. If you look down here under the hood, this engine is 31 horsepower power and requires tier four emissions. Anything over 26 horsepower needs to have a diesel particular throttle installed on it. A DPF, basically, takes the place of a muffler catching the soot coming out of the engine and then will burn that set off in order to create a cleaner exhaust stream.

A machine like this being at the engine is running wide open most of the time with a nice hot exhaust. DPF burns won't happen very frequently and you really shouldn't expect any issues with these systems. When you do hear frustrations with DPS, it is typically from guys that are running at low RPMs where the engine is creating a lot of soot causing the DPF to clog frequently. In this case, it really shouldn't be an issue. If you look down here on the side, this engine also has a turbo charger. Who doesn't want a mower with a turbo charger?

That torque should really create a great performing mower. This engine at 31 horsepower turbo charger bolted to it coupled with Kubota's ACS cutting deck without a doubt will create the most powerful mower that Kubota has ever had. One of biggest frustrations that guys had with the old mowers often stem from the fuel tanks. The old series had two separate fuel tanks which was great, a lot of capacity.

Those fuel tanks came together in a switch that you had to flip to one tank or the other in order to choose which one you wanted to use. That was fine. It did the job, but it's one more thing to fiddle it underneath your seat. The newer series now does still have two fuel tanks with their unified fuel tanks. You'll notice a funny air vent that goes over the top of the tank over here to allow fuel to flow from one side to the other without air locking the tanks.

There's also some economic changes that happened up here moving the levers up closer to the operator. The throttle right now with this engine is electronically operated throttle, so it moves really smooth. Cables attached to it, your height control has moved up here close to the operator. It is really easy to turn. If you've not seen these mowers before, the smaller deck also less hydraulically. It has a real hydraulic cylinder to bring it up and down. It's a lot easier to adjust the height than a foot operated pedal.

Over on the other side, there's now an electronic dash available as well that gives you a lot more information than a bunch of lights or gauges from years gone. The new dash gives a lot more indicators to the actual state of the engine and what it's doing. It's getting a lot more information to the operator. One of the other unique features, it's found here in the 1500 series, it's not on 1200 series is an air ride seat. This is a feature that's only found in the most premium zero turn mowers.

If you've ever sat on an air ride seat before in a tractor, it's a vast improvement over a spring seat. Air rides just conform and balance a lot better and a lot more naturally than a spring seat does. It's also very easy to adjust rather than having to crank a knob up or down. In this case, you just have a switch that you can rock back and forth to either compress the seat further or loosen it up.

You can see it right now the bladder is empty the whole way so as I fill it up, I can feel myself raise up a little bit and get a nice cushy bounce out of the seat. The heart of the Kubota zero turn mower is really unlike any other mower on the market. Typically, if you flip the seat up and you look underneath, you'll find a lot of belts and hoses underneath of the machine which are fine.

It's an inexpensive way to build a mower but we all know as years go by belts and hoses leak and need to be replaced just because the rubbers corrode. In this case, Kubota takes their own transmission and bolts to their engine directly. It's a shaft driven system with no belts and hoses involved. You have right here in the middle a central gearbox the wet clutch attached to two pumps which are bolted to two mowers. Kubota was one of the first to pioneer this unified transmission and it's worked really well for us.

As we start to see machines get up into the thousands of hours, we're not having to replace bits and pieces of our transmissions nearly as often as we would on the mowers. Inside this is also a wet clutch as opposed to a magnetic one. Wet clutches are a lot more heavy duty and stand up to being snapped on and off a lot better than magnetic clutches do just like we would have in a big agricultural tractor.

You see that clutch is attached to a drive shaft down here on the bottom, that shaft fits up to the mower deck rather than a belt. Shafts are typically a cleaner transfer of power than belts. Any time you have a belt in a machine like this and its transmission, it produces heat and heat equals lost power. Not only do we have a lot of power back at the engine, but we have a very efficient drive train that's also very heavy duty. If there is any downside to this machine, it's that all these pieces do add weight. This is a heavy mower.

If you're trucking along nearly 10 miles an hour like this thing is able to go and you go to make a quick turn, all this weight wants to keep going. It has a lot of inertia. It may not feel quite as snappy as some lightweight gas machines do. If you're looking for a very heavy duty diesel zero turn mower, you have some really demanding applications. This is a great choice. We can help you with a machine like this. Give us a call at Messick's. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at messicks.com

Tags: zd1211, zd1511