Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Under $3000:
1. John Deere ZT3200 (USA)
The John Deere ZT3200 is a 3 HP, 2-stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled, carburetor, rear wheel drive lawnmower with a top speed of 7 mph and a range of up to 20 miles on one tank of gas. The ZT3200 was introduced in 1999 and it’s available in two models – the standard model and the “Super” model which comes with a 6 hp engine.
John Deere claims that the ZT3200 will get through grasses up to 1/2 inch thick at speeds of 10 mph. At higher speeds, the motor will run out of fuel before reaching empty so it must be refueled after each use.
The ZT3200 is equipped with a front disc brake, power steering, electric starting and a storage compartment underneath the bed for tools. The ZT3200 is offered in four colors: white, blue, red or black.
– Easy to operate and maintain;
– Good fuel economy;
– Great value for money; Cons: None!
2. Exmark Turf Tracer XT (Canada)
The Exmark Turf Tracer XT is a 2-stroke, 4-cycle, 13 HP, OHV, air-cooled, inverted turf trimmer. The Exmark Turf Tracer XT comes with hydraulic wheel lift, automatic transmission with centrifugal clutch and an integrated safety key start system.
The Exmark Turf Tracer XT is equipped with a semi-pneumatic turf tires for easy maneuverability even on uneven terrain. The cutting deck of the mower is made of heat treated steel and can handle grass up to 3/4-inch thick at 10 mph (16 km/h), making it ideal for high traffic areas.
The Exmark Turf Tracer XT has an adjustable handlebar with foam grip, allowing you to set it at the most comfortable position. The maximum cutting height is 3 1/2-inch and the mower has a fuel capacity of 12 oz. of 91 octane gasoline.
The Exmark Turf Tracer XT comes with a 2-year commercial warranty and a 6-year frame warranty. It’s available in two models: the XT2 and XT4.
– Well built;
Cons: Not as maneuverable as a zero turn mower;
3. Toro Z Master (USA)
The Toro Z Master is a 3.8 HP, 4-stroke, single cylinder mower with a top speed of 7 mph and a range of up to 20 miles on one tank of gas. The mower is equipped with a fast-flo fuel system for easy starting and an advanced transmission that keeps the engine speed consistent for better maneuverability.
The Z Master comes with an adjustable handlebar, automatic single level deck and a 3-in-1 capability (mulches, bags or collects). The side discharge feature makes this mower particularly suitable for cutting grass around fences and trees.
The Z Master is available in two models: the 1000 and the 2000. The 1000 model comes with a 10″ deck and a 5 year warranty while the 2000 model comes with a 15″ deck and a 3-year warranty.
– Very easy to maneuver;
– Great build quality;
– Reliable; Cons: The seat is not as comfortable as it should be.
4. Cub Cadet XT1 (USA)
The Cub Cadet XT1 is a 4-stroke, 4-cycle, 8 HP, OHV, air-cooled mower with a top speed of 10 mph and a range of up to 15 miles on one tank of gas. The mower has a unique quick-turn handle system for easy maneuverability and a variable speed drive all wheel drive system for optimum traction. It features a double blade curved deck design for a cool clean cut and a easy start system for easy starting.
The XT1 comes with an adjustable handlebar with foam grip, allowing you to set it at the most comfortable position. The mower has a unique fuel shut off valve that stops the fuel flow if the mower is jarred or tipped over to prevent spilling gasoline. It also comes with a 12-month commercial warranty and an additional 6-year limited warranty on the deck.
The XT1 is available in two models: the XT1 and the XT1 LX. The only difference between the two models is that the XT1 LX comes with an adjustable 3-position cutting head.
– Very easy to maneuver;
– Very good build quality;
Cons: The 8-horsepower engine is a bit too much for a residential mower.
5. Craftsman CMM1024P (USA)
The Craftsman CMM1024P is a 3.5 HP, 4-stroke, single cylinder mower with a top speed of 7 mph and a range of up to 10 miles on one tank of gas. The mower has a side vent gas fill for quick no spill filling and an automatic transmission that provides fully variable speeds.
The automatic transmission also provides fully variable drive control.
The Craftsman is equipped with a double blade straight deck design for a nice even cut and a easy start system for easy starting.
The CMM1024P comes with an adjustable handlebar, allowing you to set it at the most comfortable position. The mower has a 1-year limited warranty and a 3-year limited warranty on the deck.
The Craftsman is available in two models: the CMM1024P and the CMM1026P. The only difference between the two models is that the CMM1026P comes with a padded seat while the CMM1024 does not.
– Very good build quality;
Cons: This mower does not have side discharge; it mulches or bags only.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Mower
When it comes time to purchase a new walk behind mower there are a number of factors you should take into consideration. These include:
Size of the Mower – Walk behind mowers come in a range of sizes from small units that can easily maneuver around your garden to heavyweight models that can plow through the toughest weeds and biggest grass. Be sure to take the size of your garden into consideration when shopping for a mower.
Type of Cut – When it comes to cutting, walk behind mowers can be divided into three basic types: mulching mowers, side discharge units and models that collect the grass in a bag (known as baggers). Each type has its advantages and disadvantages so your choice will depend on your specific needs.
Power Source – Most walk behind mowers are powered exclusively by gasoline, however, there are a few models that can be run on either gas or electricity. If you intend to use the mower only at your home and you don’t have a large yard you may want to consider an electric model since they are cheaper to run and better for the environment.
Safety Features – In addition to the engine being easy to start and powerful enough to handle your mowing needs, pay attention to the safety features of a walk behind mower. These may include devices such as pull-shutoff and automatic disengage features.
Our Final Thoughts About Walk Behind Mowers
Walk behind mowers are generally cheaper than riding mowers and easier to maneuver around tight corners. If you live in an area that doesn’t require a lot of mowing, such as a small yard or lawn, a walk behind unit might be the perfect solution. They are also the better choice if you have a hilly landscape since it can be difficult to maneuver a riding mower on uneven ground.
If you don’t already own a mower and need to do some mowing this week, we highly recommend the Greenworks Pro GW8000. This electric unit costs a little more than some other similar models but it comes with a powerful motor that can handle grass up to two inches high and you’ll never have to buy gas or oil for the thing. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver and even has an automatic transmission so it starts without difficulty.
When you’re done, just leave it in the garage until the next time.
If you already own a riding mower and just need something to cover the odd spot, then the Sun Joe MJ401E is perfect. This little mower is lightweight and it easy to maneuver around trees, rocks and flower beds.
Whichever type of mower you choose, be sure you keep it sharpened to ensure a clean cut and always check the air filter before you start the engine. With proper maintenance, your walk behind mower will provide years of reliable service.
Sources & references used in this article:
Steering control for zero turn radius mower by RD Davis Jr – US Patent 5,644,903, 1997 – Google Patents
Self engaging wing lawn mower by GW Jackson, WR Best, HE Mills – US Patent 8,544,246, 2013 – Google Patents
Rotary zero-turn steer-by-wire mower by WH Tegtmeier, D McGhee… – US Patent App. 11/904,250, 2008 – Google Patents
Powertrain module for zero turn radius vehicle by SG Boyer, OR McDonner, RT Ruebusch – US Patent 6,779,615, 2004 – Google Patents
Zero-turn lawnmower with improved control handles by AS Poe – US Patent 8,887,840, 2014 – Google Patents
Best Practices by LB Chambless – tnafp.org
Single wheel zero turn riding sulky for use with a self-propelled vehicle by JH Smith – US Patent 5,842,707, 1998 – Google Patents