Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    42
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Tractor
    JD L-120; Kubota B-6000

    Default Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    I have a JD L-120 (48" deck, 22 HP). I pull a 60" offset Swisher mower and cut 9 feet at a time. I mow 4 acres in about 2 to 2.5 hours. I am worried I am going to take the transmission out of the tractor, and I'm starting to think about upgrades.

    Two thirds of my property is too rough to drive at full speed with the L-120. Will a zero turn have a similar speed limitation, or will it ride smoother? Anyone pull an offset mower with a ZTR? I know it defeats the purpose of ZTR, but most of my property is wide open. Most of the lower end mid mounts appear to have small front tires - I think I have gopher holes that big Is tire size the main factor affecting ride quality?

    Are there any lawn tractors with a tighter turning radius than the L-120 (I believe it is 18"), that are capable of pulling? I've heard of a $1000 transmission upgrade for the L-120, that intrigues me. But if there is a better tractor, I'm all ears!

    Thank you,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    834
    Location
    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    You have already guessed that the small front wheels on a ZTR will greatly affect ride quality, especially if you have gopher holes. If your property is relatively flat, I wouldn't worry about the tranny too much, it's pulling stuff up hills that taxes the hydro in these. I'll risk suggesting that your ride quality would improve if you go slower than full speed, but I get the impression that you are pulling the offset mower to minimize your time cutting. Have you tired lowering your tire's air pressure, to something like 8 or 10 PSI in the rear and 12 to 14 PSI in the front? You will have to probably relevel your mower deck if you lower tire pressures. Another possibility is to get a better seat for your tractor. Some of the more expensive Deere tractors have a better seat that might be adapted to fit your machine.
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    42
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Tractor
    JD L-120; Kubota B-6000

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    I do have some hills that are steep enough to challenge the traction of the mover, but they are only 10 or 15 second climbs. Are there any tell tale signs that you are being too hard on the tranny? Overheating? How do I tell? The transmission does "groan" when cold - I don't remember it doing that when new.

    I haven't tried lowering tire pressures. Thank you for the tip - I will investigate in the spring.

    The seat on my tractor seems plenty good enough. My body isn't taking that much of a beating - I am more concerned about the tractor and the jarring it takes (which is why I slow down). I can often feel the frame twisting on this tractor when I drive through ditches at 45 degrees, and only 3 wheels are touching. I hope it's just my imagination, but I don't think it is

    Chris

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    16,854
    Location
    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    Quote Originally Posted by JDKu View Post
    Two thirds of my property is too rough to drive at full speed with the L-120.
    1*Will a zero turn have a similar speed limitation, or will it ride smoother?
    2*Anyone pull an offset mower with a ZTR?
    I know it defeats the purpose of ZTR, but most of my property is wide open.
    3*Most of the lower end mid mounts appear to have small front tires -
    4*Is tire size the main factor affecting ride quality?
    5*Are there any lawn tractors with a tighter turning radius than the L-120 (I believe it is 18"), that are capable of pulling?Thank you,
    Chris
    1*It will be worse due to the higher speed.
    2*You can't pull the off set mower that fast .
    3*So do ztr mowers.
    4*No it's the condition of the land surface.
    5*How would towing an offset mower affect that?
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  5. #5
    Gold Member botamike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    338
    Location
    Kokomo, IN
    Tractor
    Allis Chalmers 920 Diesel

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    The frame of a L series will twist if you cross a ditch at a good angle, just how these new machines are. You can take the back of your hand and put it near the hydro case after a long mowing spell, if the case is hot enough to fry and egg, you might be pushing it to far. Remember the 318 has little cooler radiators for the hydro drive since it also runs the power steering on the 318 tractor. I would make sure the hydro case is clean and free of grass, grease and dirt, and that the fan has all its blades and is clean. Unless you buy a huge ZTR with a 72" or larger mower deck your probably better off with what you have. The larger ZTRs usualy have diesel power plants, larger tires and can go very fast which along with the zero turns makes up for the slightly smaller cutting width. Like a car, make sure your engine rpms are up to full power to keep fluid pressure up inside the hydro trans, and that the fluid is kept clean and filter changed if it has one.
    Head Technician, Quality Outdoor Power, home of Simplicity, Snapper/Snapper Pro and Scag mowers
    Allis Chalmers 920 Diesel

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    42
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Tractor
    JD L-120; Kubota B-6000

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    Thank you,

    Clarification on #5: About 10% of my mowing is without the offset mower (in tighter areas), which explains why I want a tighter turning radius.

    Question on full RPM: I seldom run at full RPM. It burns way more fuel, and I have plenty of HP even at 3/4 throttle. Botamike indicated this is bad for the transmission. Can you explain why? The car analogy went over my head because I almost never run my car beyond 1/4 throttle.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    834
    Location
    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    Both your engine and your hydro are air cooled, and that air is provided by fans attached to each. Running at 3/4 throttle slows blade tip speed reducing quality of cut, and allows heat to build up in the hydro and engine. These are designed to run at full throttle, ESPECIALLY under load such as running the mower deck while pulling an offset mower.
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor
    R.I.P.
    jinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    21,014
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Ride Quality of ZTR vs L-120

    Chris, I think your L120 has 15" od tires on the front and 20" od tires on the rear. The newer LA165 and larger have 16" front and 22" rear with a slightly beefier TuffTorq K46 hydro transaxle. I don't know that you'd gain anything in going to one of these except a wider deck width and slightly better ride. It's probably not enough to justify the upgrade. Lowering the tire pressures evenly may help some, but the real solution is to add sand in your low spots and smooth out your rough areas so your mowers and you don't take such a beating.
    Jim


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.