No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: Cub Cadet’s Z-Force S and SX ZTRs really do have steering wheels. This unique control system is easier to learn than lap bar steering, and since it uses four wheel drive, it makes these mowers easier to control on slopes. Combine that with commercial quality components and you have a mower that provides ZTR maneuverability with the traction and power of a lawn tractor.
Being able to use a steering wheel instead of the tank-like controls of traditional ZTRs is enough reason to choose these mowers, but that’s not the only advantage to Cub Cadet’s SynchroSteer system. Unlike lap bar mowers, the controls don’t just operate the rear wheels. Instead, the mower is fitted with dual hydrostatic transmissions to drive all four wheels, allowing wheel speed to be adjusted at each corner. This gives the S and SX better traction on slopes, letting them tackle lawns that could previously only be handled by lawn tractors.
Speed is controlled by a pair of foot pedals: one to go forward and one to back up. Once underway, the cruise control can be set to keep a steady mowing speed. Turning the wheel automatically adjusts hydraulic pressure left to right to steer the mower. Turn the wheel to full lock, and the mower will spin in place.
S models use a Kohler 7000 Series engine producing either 24 or 25 hp, while SX models are powered by 24 hp Kawasaki FR engines. Both engines are based on their manufacturer’s commercial V-twins, bringing advanced engine governors, cooling systems, and full pressure lubrication systems. The result is excellent performance and reliability.
Cub Cadet pairs these engines with Hydro-Gear hydrostatic transaxles. Kohler-equipped mowers use the ZT-2800, which has a maximum speed of 7 mph going forward and 3 mph in reverse. The Kawasaki-powered SX uses ZT-3100 transaxles, increasing speed to 8 mph going forward and 4 mph in reverse.
All S and SX mowers come with fabricated decks that use the tool-free QuickAttach system for easy service. Anti-scalp wheels are standard, as is the SmartJet deck washing system. By attaching a garden hose, the mowing chamber can be cleaned out to maintain performance. Deck height can be set from 1-4 inches in ¼ inch increments.
Comfort and Convenience
A 12 gauge, one-piece frame absorbs bumps and vibrations reaching the high backed seat, and the tilt steering column and armrests make these mowers more comfortable than their lap bar competition. An hour meter is included on all models to keep tabs on maintenance.
Force S and SX mowers are largely the same, so choosing a model is a matter of picking the right deck size and engine. The S 48, S 52 and S 60 have 48, 52 and 60-inch decks respectively. The S 48 comes with a 24 hp 7000 Series engine, while the S 52 and S 60 have 25 hp engines. Likewise, the SX comes in 48 KW, 52 KS, and 60 KW versions, each named after their deck size. All SX models are powered by the 25 hp Kawasaki FR Series.
The mulching kit takes advantage of the stock deck’s tall mowing chamber, adding baffles and high lift blades for increased vacuum. If you need to collect clippings, you have the option of a standard bagging system, or one with power assist to help draw clippings out of the deck. There’s even a lawn striping kit that shapes the grass as it leaves the deck for a smooth, ballpark-like finish.
Need to change the deck height frequently? The power deck lift kit takes the effort out of making adjustments. The 12-volt outlet kit won’t improve your lawn, but it does let you charge your smartphone while you mow.
Both Kohler and Kawasaki offer three-year warranties on their engines, while Cub Cadet guarantees the rest of the mower for three years with no hour limit.
Getting Parts and Accessories for Your Cub Cadet ZTR
Cubparts.com isn’t just a Cub Cadet dealer: we’re also a certified dealer for manufacturing partners including Hydro-Gear, Kohler, and Kawasaki. That means you can get anything you need for your Force ZTR from one place. Ordering is simple thanks to our search engine, which can show you factory information including exploded diagrams and factory descriptions. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.