Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers

   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #1  


New member
May 30, 2014
Rogersville, TN
MF GC1705

Considering a cash buy of ZTXS5 series (steering wheel) mower. No prior ownership experience of ZT mowers, but have rented Exmarks a few times in the past and probably have 40 hours practical experience with the lap-bar ZT usage.

Interested to hear from respondents with experience in both lap-bar and steering wheel mower usage. Pros/Cons of steering wheel versus lap-bar other than cost. Already have read the sales literature, but looking for inside skinny warnings/positives, etc.

Thanks in advance to any who choose to reply.
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #2  
Never used a steering wheel. But my lap bar unit has the parking brake integrated into the lap bar, which is nice. Also, never had a problem holding a hill like some have claimed, with my traditional ZTR. I actually find the lap bar nice, because Im never reaching forward to a wheel, my arms are on the arm rests and my fingertips on the lap bar to gently correct direction, in a very natural position. The lighter my touch on the bars, the straighter the track. Not sure how responsive the wheel would make it, or overly sensitive

   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #3  
I am also considering the exact same machine. Following the OP on this thread who just bought one and waiting for more feedback:

I have 20 degree slopes all over my property and about 2 acres to finish mow. For last 17 years, I have been doing it with a JD 2520 with a 72" rear finish mower. This delivers a beautiful cut and I have never felt unsafe side-hilling with this setup. Biggest problem is I have to be in 4WD all the time which makes it harder not to tear up the grass.

It takes me over an hour to cut-in around all the buildings, trees, etc. with a lawn tractor before I even start mowing with the big machine. Winds up taking me 2 1/2 hours most times to mow 2 acres.

I'm not in a big hurry and really enjoy the seat time, but just feel frustrated by the process. Also, the lawn tractor is getting old and I'm thinking of retiring it. So, my choices are either get a new JD X354 lawn tractor with bagger and keep doing it the old way, or I might just step up to a CC ZTX5 54 zero turn and do the whole lawn with one machine.

I know people do mow slopes with ZTR's. I've watched guys mowing around highway overpasses with Dixons and actually survive, but it doesn't look like much fun. Due to the layout, I need to be mowing side-hill and don't want to have to be on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Not crazy about the negative comments I've heard about Cub Cadet, but also thinking the upper-line models may be a little better built, especially with the Kawasaki engines. Messik's sells them and I can't imagine they would sell anything that wasn't a pretty decent machine.

So, going to my local dealer to look at a CC ZTXS5 series myself in the near future. I will report back on my experience and decision also.

Good luck with your search and I will be following this thread.
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #4  
I'm the OP of the thread Runner linked. I honestly don't have strong enough opinions yet to really make recommendations to anyone, but will share some brief observations now that I've mowed 5 or 6 times with the ZTSX4:

* Overall it works and cuts well

* My only criticism: the seat presence sensor is way too sensitive. It disengages the PTO way too easily when going over bumps, then I have to back up, re-engage the PTO, and go on my way. I need to either disable it, or find a way to make it less sensitive

* Stability-wise I've not had it slip while side-hilling, but there's only one part of my property that's bad. I don't have enough time on the machine to be totally comfortable mowing all parts of that hill (may not ever be), but my fear is rollover, not skidding down the hill due to lack of traction

* The steering wheel makes 180deg turns more effort than I believe it would be with a lap bar. I've never owned a lap bar ZT, but having to turn the wheel a bunch/quickly isn't as nice as turning with lap bars when I test drove them. But overall the steering mechanism works well, it can make tight turns, etc.

Happy to answer any specific questions not covered above..again, i don't have enough seat time to have too much to offer (12 hours on the machine right now) but will do my best.
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #5  


thanks for that response, appreciate you taking time to respond here. I'm watching your thread for any updates too.
I went to one of my local CC dealers two days ago (there are 3 relatively close to me). Don't know what it's like in other areas, but around here, CC dealers are not like your typical JD or Kubota franchise. They are more like lawnmower shops that carry CC as one of their products.

This particular shop said they "just started carrying them" and so didn't know much about them. Not very confidence inspiring. They didn't have a ZTXS5 54, but did have a ZTXS5 60 inch model. Unfortunately, it was in a crate, 5 feet off the ground in a stack and not yet put together. I asked if they were planning on getting it out and assembling it any time soon and he said "only if someone buys it".

So I guess at that place you have to pretty much just buy one before you can actually sit on it or even see the finished product. Maybe I'm just being unrealistic, but I kind of expect a little better presentation for a possible $10,000 purchase.

From what I could see, it seemed beefier that what it looks like in the pictures. A little concerned about the points where that transaxles mount to the frame - the brackets are kind of a folded metal box, but the seams aren't welded. Probably not a big deal since it is thick metal and the whole part is mostly in compression.

If I got one, I would want to get a bagger and the bagger kit comes with a set of front weights, but I can't figure out how the weights are mounted. The instructions show brackets just like the ones used to mount the same weights to the front of a regular ZTX model. However the frame is different and there doesn't appear to be enough room to mount these brackets on the ZTXS models because of the extra steering gear spindles, etc. Dealer didn't have a clue.

So, didn't really get much information from Dealer#1. I'll probably visit Dealer #2 in the near future. Maybe have more success there, but not holding my breath....
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #6  
I'm not sure what the strategy should be to find a dealer that's familiar with and carries the 'professional' models. The dealer I wanted to work with didn't have the ZTSX4 (they had the lower-end models) and would only order it if I paid in full. I just got lucky another member here pointed me to a dealer near them that had what I was looking for.
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #7  
I notice on the dealer listings for my area, there are some shown as "Elite" full-line dealers. So I think my next visit will be to one of them which is about 25 miles away. Maybe their presentation will be a little more appetizing. :)
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #8  
No experience with that particular mower. But I do have lots of experience mowing with a tractor style and traditional lap bar zero turn. I love the lap bars and always prefer them. As was mentioned earlier they are so much easier to turn quickly. With a wheel you need to turn turn turn to make a sharp turn. With the lap bars it's just a few inches of movement to make an even tighter turn. I have both at my house and always pick the zero turn over the tractor type.
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #9  
I'm pretty sure that I would prefer a regular lap bar type machine too, but I don't think a regular ZTR could handle my slopes (at least not without some drama).
   / Recommendations/Warnings - Cub Cadet ZTXS5 Series ZT Mowers #10  
My wife has a Cub with the steering wheel and she likes it and candidly, so do I. I like it so much I traded in my Cub 60" Tank for a used Kubota F series with you guessed it, a steering wheel.