Kioti Tractor is throwing its hat in the ring when it comes the zero-turn mower market.
While the brand has been supplying tractors in the 22 to 110 horsepower range to the U.S. and Canadian markets for more than 30 years now, Kioti announced at this year’s GIE+EXPO its first mower line.
The line consists of 12 models across four series: ZXR, ZXR SE, ZXC and ZXC SE. The ZXR and ZXR SE models are designed for property owners and hobby farmers. The ZXC and ZXC SE models are made for commercial cutters.
“At Kioti, our priority is continued product-line optimization to meet the desires of our customers,” says Peter Dong-Kyun Kim, president and CEO of Daedong-USA, Inc., Kioti Tractor Division. “Our teams put in a lot of time and research to ensure these mowers provide an exceptional experience and great value to our customers. We are thrilled to expand the Kioti offering with these brand new ZXR and ZXCs.”
According to Greg Bibee, business development marketing manager, Kioti took top-shelf components and combined them with in-house manufacturing to create its mowers. As for why the company decided to enter what many would consider a saturated market, Bibee says Kioti felt like it could offer some differentiation.
“We’re able to look at a lot of manufacturers and see what worked and what didn’t and improve from there,” Bibee says.
One example of a need Kioti has worked to fulfill was improving the ergonomics of the controls, which were harder for smaller framed people to reach. The seat and deck lift lever on the mowers are positioned so the ZTRs comfortably accommodate users of all shapes and sizes. Kioti says optimized control connections and linkages help create a precise and responsive driving experience.
There are no keys with Kioti’s ZTRs. Instead operators enter a code to start the mower. The screen will also display basic diagnostics. When it is time for maintenance, landscapers can easily access all the necessary regions by lifting the footplate or the seat to reach the parts.
The commercial series also features a 12.5-gallon gas tank, which cuts down on refueling.
Customers can choose from a 48-, 54-, or 60-inch deck size. Each mower has a fabricated, reinforced 10-gauge steel deck, 7-gauge leading edge and standard notch blades.
The ZXR and ZXC Series both have standard and premium models. The premium commercial models feature the Kohler Command Pro engines and the standard commercial models use the Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series engines.
The ZXC models engine horsepower ranges from 23 to 27 while the ZXC SE engine horsepower runs from 22.5 to 25.
Kioti says these engines paired with Hydro-Gear transmissions provide reliable, hardworking performance. The belt routing has also been optimized to reduce vibration and improve belt life.
Another difference between the premium and standard ZTRs is the seat suspension. The standard commercial models have 1.5-inch suspension, while the premium commercial models come with 3-inch suspension and a high back seat. Headlights also come standard on the premium models.
“All aspects of these mowers were built with the operator in mind — from easy-to-reach controls and an ergonomically designed seating position to a digital control panel with keyless start and simple dial-type deck height adjustment,” says Joel Hicks, senior product development manager.
Kioti began shipping its zero-turn mowers to dealerships across North America last week. For more information contact your local dealer or click here.