Husqvarna zero turn mowers have a great reputation in the market place, but there are quite a few to choose from. I have picked 3 and have reviewed their strengths and weaknesses.
As with any considered purchase, you’ll want to know how good they are AND how easily are they to maintain. Therefore, I’ll also take you through the operation and maintenance of these giants of lawn care as well.
Most of all, you’ll want to know if the Husqvarna range of zero turn mowers offer value for money. Read on…..
Husqvarna are well known for producing quality gardening tools. Their range of zero-turn mowers are some of the best on the market.
They are very powerful, robustly built, and are able to tackle to toughest of terrains and mowing conditions.
Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower Features & Controls
The front heavy duty caster wheels have no tread. This enables them to be turned easily and they won’t rip up your lawn. The rear wheels, on the other hand, have a deep tread to enable sure-footed traction, even on undulating surfaces.
A foot-plate, just in front of the seat, protects the engine, but is easily removable for cleaning and maintenance of the engine’s drive belts.
The rest of the engine (either a Kohler or Briggs and Stratton) is easily accessible, thanks to its ‘open’ design.
The user friendly design of the Husqvarna range also allows for air induction. This promotes greater grass lift, leading to a much better mow of your lawn.
Some of the cutting decks are also armor enforced, which enables Husqvarna to offer an impressive 10-year limited warranty.
The cutting height lever is extremely easy to operate, considering the size and weight of the deck that it is moving.
The controls are well-designed, easy to reach, and operate effectively.
The seat is large enough for even the biggest gardener. It is nicely padded and can be moved backwards and forwards to suit the rider.
Other controls include :
- Two steering levers – used to control the direction of the mower.
- A reliable parking break holds the rear wheels when the mower is not in operation.
- A throttle control ranges from a hare (fast) to a tortoise (slow) speed.
- Some Husqvarna’s can be equipped with lighting accessories.
- There is a big red blade button, which is easily accessible should you need to dis-engage the blades in an emergency.
- The Husqvarna has a manual choke control, allowing for a richer fuel mixture in cold weather.
- There’s also a small digital readout telling you the working time of the mower and also prompting you for when an oil change is required.
The mower works with unleaded gasoline (min. 85 octane) and there is a shut off valve if needed.
There may be times when you will need to manually push or pull the mower. When this is the case, there are by-pass linkages to make this operation easier and to protect the mower’s parts. Be careful when activating these linkages though, as they are close to hot parts of the engine.
Finally, to help the mower keep a straight course, a tracking knob is available. This changes the rotation of the speed on either the left or right wheel, depending on the direction the knob is turned.
|Zero Turn Mower
TOP 3 Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower
1. Husqvarna Z254
This is one of the bigger models, with an impressive 54-inch cutting width and powered by a Kohler engine. This model is also available with a Kawasaki engine – but I should point out that it’s $300 more and is not available from Amazon.
The Z254 zips along at 6.5 mph and even does reverse at 3.5 mph. The cutting height ranges from 1.5 inches to 4 inches and the 3 blades can be raised in any one of 6 positions.
One thing I do want to point out is that, during the engine running-in period, it will take a few minutes with the choke on for the engine to warm up enough to turn the blades. This applies even in warmer weather.
The Kohler powered Z254 certainly provides reliability, efficiency and (obviously) maneuverability.
You get an industry average 3-year warranty with this riding mower.
2. Husqvarna MZ61
This Husqvarna Mower earned 5 stars from its Amazon reviewers so you know it is quality. It has a Kawasaki 24 hp engine and a hydrostatic transmission. It is made of welded steel and has stamped steel brakes for longevity and durability.
When driving the mower forward it can drive up to 8 mph whereas if you are driving backwards it can drive up to 3.5 mph. It has variable speeds to choose from. Its cutting height is 61 inches and it is highly maneuverability, efficient, and convenient for any homeowner to use with its has a rugged steel tube frame with heavy duty front casters.
No matter what your cutting style this machine can accommodate mulching, side discharge, and rear bagging. For ease of getting into and out of the mower, it has folding arm rests on its large comfortable seat.
3. Husqvarna Z248F
This mower gives homeowners all the benefits of a commercial riding mower but at a better price and smaller tractor.
The mower has twin integrated transmissions that are maintenance-free which will save you plenty of time when you don’t have to worry about so many tune ups for your mower. This mower definitely has power with a 747cc Kohler engine that will quickly work for just about any yard you have. The cutting width is 48 inches which is wider than many other riding mowers but not as large as commercial ones.
If you have a large yard or you cut grass for other people this mower will make quick work of your job and have you enjoying other things this summer.
Operating Your Husqvarna
Before You Start
To ensure safe operation, there are a number of steps that you should undertake before you start up the engine :
- Make sure you are seated and that the break is applied. You will not be able to start the engine without these two safety features engaged.
- Push the blade engage button in the down position – this will ensure that the blades are actually dis-engaged.
- Place the steering handles in the outward position. This actually locks the wheels.
- Push the throttle to the hare (full) position.
- Engage the choke if the engine is cold.
- Start the engine.
Release the hand-break and move the steering handles to the central position. This will unlock the front steering mechanism.
Forward Movement & Turning
Moving the control handles forward will move the mower in a forwards direction. Moving the handles backwards of the neutral position will ensure that the mower moves backwards.
When mowing your lawn, you should use full throttle. This will optimize battery charging and also ensure you get the best out of your mower.
Keep the right handle in the neutral position and move the left handle forwards to make the mower turn right. Do the opposite to turn left.
To undertake a zero-turn, move one handle to the reverse position and the other to the forward position.
One of the concerns people have about zero-turn mowers is that there is the potential for lawns to be chewed up. To avoid this happening, turns should be attempted at low speeds and with minimal steering lever movements.
As you can see, the steering of these mowers is extremely easy and effective.
If you maintain your mower well, then you greatly increase the chances of it working for you, and for a greater length of time.
Key actions you can take :
- Make sure that your blades are sharpened at regular intervals and are not used if they are damaged.
- Make sure they are balanced properly. This will ensure a more even cut and reduce overall vibration which could, ultimately, damage your mower.
- When working on the blades, always switch the mower off and never leave the key in the ignition.
- It is also helpful to have the deck in the highest possible position and also have the break on when working with the blades.
- You should be able to remove and replace blades without turning the mower over (as you would with a walk-behind mower).
- A wooden block should be jammed (see video) to stop the blade from turning. This will help prevent injury and also help the removal and re-fit of the blade.
The belts will need to be assessed for cracking or chunks being taken out of them. Do this after approximately 100 hours of operation. The belts will generally adjust themselves.
However, if they do start to slip, then you should consider replacing them :
- Park securely on a level surface and apply the hand-break.
- Lower the cutting deck.
- Remove the belt covers.
- Take this opportunity to clean away any grass, dust, mud, etc.
- The belt should come off after you have released the spring-loaded pulley.
- The belt actually follows a complicated path. So make sure you follow the diagram, printed on the deck, to ensure the new belt gets put on correctly.
- This should always be done on a secure and level surface and with the tires at the correct pressure.
- Use a special measuring tool on either side of the deck, to measure the height of the blade off the ground. Make sure that the readings are the same on each side.
- There are link lift adjustment nuts on each side of the deck. Turn the appropriate ones to get the deck level.
- You are aiming for the front of the blade to be 1/8th of an inch lower than the rear (in low position) and 1/2 of an inch (in the high position). If they are not, then make suitable adjustments.
- The mower has anti-scalp rollers. These are designed to keep the deck height steady which, in turn, will stop the blades from scalping your lawn.
- The rollers are not designed to support the deck, so do not make adjustments to them which would result in them taking the weight of the mower.
- Engine oil should be changed every 50 hours – although when the mower is new, the first change should come between 5 and 8 hours.
- Changing the oil is a simple process, as there are drain holes at the bottom of the engine.
- Just make sure that the mower is on a flat surface and the hand break is applied firmly.
- The oil will drain better with the dip-stick taken out of its housing.
- Take this opportunity to also change the oil filter. This is a simple process – just make sure you have something placed underneath the filter housing, to catch any excess oil spillage.
- Clogging of the air filter can result in uneven engine performance, a contaminated spark plug, or a decrease in power output.
- Regular cleaning and replacement of the air filter will help to avoid these issues.
- Before attempting to remove the air filter, you should clean the casing. This will ensure that no grass or mud falls into the engine.
- The filter is easily removed via the lifting of the casing and the retaining clip.
- Discard and replace any damaged or overly soiled air filters. If there is only light dusting on the filter, this can be removed by tapping or removing with a soft bristled brush.
- Review the operation of the caster wheels at interviews of approximately 200 hours.
- Make sure that the wheels are free from grass, dust and mud, and add grease if the wheels do not move freely.
- A grease gun can be plugged into the wheel pivots and caster wheels to lubricate these parts.
- Ensure that the tires are maintained at 15 psi.
Cleaning Your Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower
- I’d always recommend that you clean your mower after use, especially if it has become muddy or dusty.
- Allow the mower to cool, but don’t wait too long, before you clean it, because this will allow the mud and dust to stick, which will make job more difficult.
- The top of the mower deck is best cleaned with a brush or a blower – never a hose.
- The underside can be cleaned with water. Normal hose pressure is sufficient for this purpose.
- A steam cleaner or high-pressure washer can cause damage and are better left out of your cleaning routine.
- DO NOT get water near the electrics or the engine.
- Some models come with a wash-out port. Make use of this and use the supplied attachment on any garden hose. You will need to start the mower’s engine to make effective use of the wash-out port.