Kubota Z400 Series Mowers

These are a prosumer-oriented mower positioned between the commercial V700 series and the residential Z400 series. Take a quick walk around here with me, we'll show you some of the new features on these new models.

It can really be challenging in order to find a good zero-turn mower for you. It can be really daunting to sift through all the different options that are out on the market because there are over 40 different companies that produce zero-turn mowers. Part of the reason for that is because the mower itself isn't really radically different from one company to the next and for the most part they're sourcing a lot of components from outside manufacturers.

Generally, you find engines from one company and transmission pumps from another. All the motor company themselves is actually building is the chassis and the mower deck that all the pieces are positioned upon. Generally, what we try to look for a good value in a mower or places where the company is pulling down those higher quality components from higher-end models and placing them into a lower price point machine.

Kubota is definitely doing that here with the Z400, so you're going to find a better quality engine, better quality hydraulic pumps. A lot of components that you typically would find in a lot of manufacturers, commercial models in this prosumer model, these are typically put in the price range between six and seven thousand dollars for 48 to 60-inch models.

That's a really good value for the type of components that you're getting.

One of those components is obviously, the engine and typically, in a commercial cutting application, if guys have opinions about engines more often than not we find those opinions slanting towards Kawasaki. Obviously, just like cars and trucks and you name your product, you can find some people with varying opinions about every product on the market, but Kawasaki does seem to get a majority of the mind share when it comes to commercial mowers for making a good quality engine, a fuel efficient engine, a reliable engine.

Kawasaki has really always done a good job and across the Z400 series all of these mowers are equipped with Kawasaki engines. In this case the FS series, FS series 651 and some larger displacement options as we go up into larger mode sizes. One of the very first things that I do when looking at a zero-turn mower is walk over and flip up the seat because you know that's where all the working guts of the machine are at.

In this case here, when you flip it up, you can't see a whole heck of a lot because of the fuel tank, but if you look back in the corner right here, you can see the hydraulic pumps. In this case, Kubota is using a unified pump where the pump and the motor are built together which eliminates a belt and a hose that can often be found in these systems, just removing those parts that wear and leak over time.

You'll also notice that there is a fan on top of this hydraulic pump. A lot of ways that manufacturers will reduce costs in these lower price point models is by removing the fans and the cooling mechanism from them, just to save cost. A machine like this whether you start to plan on longer operating hours or if you choose a prosumer model, when we get into entry-level commercial mowing, these fans will help keep the hydraulic pumps cool over long operating periods reducing problems and expanding the life of the pump.

As you can see down here underneath the machine, this uses a hydro-gear 3600 series transmission. Really well-regarded, very common transmission in commercial mowers. As I said before, this is also a unified transmission where the pump and the motor are bolted together. Older designs typically use hydraulic hoses between those two pieces. Hoses just by their nature can leak and corrode over time so it just removes more maintenance items from the machine.

Right down here on the bottom protected by this bar right here is a PTO clutch so if you do happen to tear the belt or throw the belt off the mower, somehow, getting down here to put the belt back on is very, very easy. The clutch isn't hidden or obstructed by paneling or shields or anything like that. It's very easy to get to and has a nearly dead straight shot back up to the mower deck so it's a very clean, dry belt path underneath to prevent belt layer.

From the seat of the machine, I also have a lot of options for adjustability to make this machine comfortable for different operators. Once I close my sticks right here, for me, they sit at right about the right spot, but if I was a smaller or larger operator, I can move these sticks closer or further away from myself by adjusting these different positions right here for the position of the sticks.

Another nice feature on here is the way that the mower deck is moved up and down. A lot of times when you raise and lower mower decks on mowers, you often have to reach down for a lock. In this case, Kubota has the lock for the mower deck automatic. So when I want to raise the deck up, I simply push the foot pedal down and when I remove my foot, it locks in place. When I want to lower it back down, I push the pedal a second time and it drops right back down.

I don't have any pins to monkey with or levers to pull, I can just push this right here. To change the cutting height on my right hand side over here, I have a positional dial that I can change. These are not inch markers that are always relative to the way that the deck is leveled, but it's very simple to be able to turn this dial and then drop the deck back down again and by changing the adjustment on that dial, it will change the stopping point when the deck is lowered.

The parking brake on this machine is also really refined as well. In order to release the parking brake, I can just push down on the lever to release it and to set it again, I can push down on the pedal and then hit the opposing pedal right here to lock it in place. This is nice and easy to do and a lot of other machines that we've had in the past, you're often reaching down here under the floor underneath the seat to grab levers. It's just nice and very simple to be able to do with your feet from the seat.

Another thing that I like as well is that we have a 12-volt outlet right down here at the side. We all know anymore, we're all out with our cellphones all the time, right? So if we're out listening to music and that kind of stuff, you have a convenient place in order to be able to plug your phone in and storage pockets back here on the side in order to set it while you're mowing. Adequately large cup holders, just a lot of thought at convenience features that make this nice comfortable motor to own.

That's the Kubota Z400 series. We here at Messick's literally sell hundreds of zero-turn mowers every year. If we can help you out with a machine like this, give us a call and let us know. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at messicks.com