Product Report: Kubota’s ZD-300 series mowers

Updated May 31, 2012

Mid-mount zero-turn mowers are the most popular type of commercial mower sold, and industry shipments escalate each year, says Tamara Youdboulis, turf product manager, Kubota. With that trend firmly in mind, Kubota’s new ZD-300 series diesel-powered zero-turn mowers have been designed and built for professional landscapers. The new line features powerful liquid-cooled Kubota diesel engines and new durable transmissions combined with deeper PRO Commercial decks, resulting in a manicured finish, even in the toughest terrain.

ZD-300 series mowers are available in three models: The 21-horsepower ZD321, the 26-horsepower ZD326 and the ZD331, featuring a 31-horsepower engine. Kubota engineers made the decision to use diesel engines in the ZD series since they claim diesel engines are 30 percent more efficient than gas and offer a higher torque under large-load operations such as wet or heavy grass.

The mowers’ deep deck design, 6.5 inches tall on 60- and 72-inch decks and 6 inches tall on the 54-inch deck, creates better air flow resulting in enhanced mowing performance, say Kubota engineers. Large-capacity dual fuel tanks – one mounted on either side – have a combined capacity of 11.9 gallons. “With the new fuel capacity in the ZD-300 series, you can mow all day on one tank of fuel,” Youdboulis says. “You don’t have to refill.”

Double hydrostat capacity for more usable power
The ZD-300 series sports a new compact body with a shortened overall length, enabling landscapers to transport two mowers on a 16-foot trailer. The front grille is made of a durable steel to enhance strength and reduce damage.

A larger radiator capacity minimizes worries about overheating, even on exceptionally hot days, because the core height of the radiator has been raised to increase the mower’s cooling capacity by approximately 20 percent.

According to Youdboulis, the Kubota zero-turn mower drive system relies on a hydrostatic drive transmission optimized for Kubota’s zero-turn mowers. For the new series, the hydrostatic pump capacity is more than doubled from the previous model. Power is conveyed by shaft drive from the engine to the transmission and the highly durable wet-type multiple disc brake provides reliable braking force to the high-performance transmission.

Enhanced operator comfort and easier maintenance access
The mowers feature an operator platform that is 1.6 inches wider and is 4 inches wider between the fenders, making room for a new deluxe suspension seat with four adjustable controls including back support, weight control, lumbar support and armrests adjustments. The longer operator levers are ergonomically designed with thicker handles that adjust 1 inch up or down, and a hands-free parking brake allows the landscaper to set the machine using a foot pedal.

Monitoring and control functions – including meters and indicators as well as the mowing height adjustment dial and levers other than the two operator levers – are conveniently located on the instrument panel to the right side of the seat.

Access to the upper portion of the mower, the gear box and the universal joint is via the flip up floor panel, offering easy access for inspection and maintenance. In the same vein, the hood and seat fully open at the same time for access to the engine compartment and the transmission.

The mower’s dual element air cleaner with clogging indicator lets you know when the air cleaner requires maintenance. On ZD-300 series mowers suction pulls transmission oil through the filter cartridge before it enters the pump in order to keep out contaminants, increasing overall reliability.

In addition, Kubota’s lift-up mechanism makes it possible for one person to easily raise the front portion of the mower without requiring the use of any tools. As a result, it is possible to not only clean the inside of the mower deck, but also to replace mowing blades when necessary.

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