Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions

   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #1  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
4,020
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
Been looking at a ZT for a few years and it looks like I will be pulling the trigger this month. There are two reasons we have decided on the Country Clipper. First is the joy stick controller...my fiancé loved the test drive and found it much easier to use than the steering bars. The second feature favoring the CC is the flip up deck. It makes blade changes and cleaning easy.

Will be mowing two acres of grass in rural MI. There are two dozen trees, a pond, small fence line, and a patio to maneuver around. Ground is flat with a few undulations but no slopes, ditches or depressions to deal with. The mower will be used to mulch leaves in the fall. I will be having Gator blades installed by the dealer. I use them on my current rider and they do a good enough job.

There is only a $200 price difference between the 54" and 60" deck. Which would you recommend and why? The model I am looking at is the Boulevard ($4800 for 54") and it has a Kohler engine with ZT 2800 drive system. To upgrade to a Kawasaki engine and ZT-3100 drive system will cost an additional $1700. I am 70 years old so upgrading does not seem to make sense. I am surrounded by forest so mowing more acreage is not going to happen. I mow the lawn in just under 2 hours with a 48" Husqvarna rider and cut/mulch about 25 times a year so 50 hours a year. I assume that will be reduced to 25 hours a year with the ZT. Dealer tells me the Kohler engine should last over 1000 hours...so 40 years life on the "cheap" option.

One last thing. The dealer is Amish and has a very good reputation. He strongly recommends using ethanol free fuel and that it is better than adding Stabil or SeaFoam to regular gas. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks in advance for any insights. This will be our first (and hopefully last) ZT.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #2  
This will be season 6 for my CC Edge XLT w/60" deck, Kaw. engine and joystick. My approx. 6 acres I cut is pretty rough and some hilly and I've had very little scalping problems. My front axle pivots which allows the deck to follow the ground better plus I don't cut my grass as short as pool table felt like a lot of people do. The only change I made to the mower was putting knobby 4-wheeler tires on back instead of those turf tires - they were almost just as slick on real dry grass as on wet grass. It was a slight learning curve making turns without tearing the grass but I do well now after the first year using the tires. No more slipping/sliding wet or dry.

I don't think I'd want the smaller deck for my size yard even though I do have a lot of fruit trees, fencing, ditches etc. That joystick makes it a whole new game when you need to hold a tree branch or whatever out of your way and still keep on mowing with the other. I also used my front flip-up step to mount a wood platform to hold my 15 gal sprayer and I can spray my fruit trees with one hand and drive the CC with the other. I've got the Kawasaki 24 hp and it swings the blades just fine for even heavier grass and performs very well. I use nothing but 90 octane non-ethanol from our Co-op, no additives at all. I have about 330 hrs. on the clock.

Oh yea, don't plan on snatching that deck up on the 60" and maybe not even the 54", I use my FEL on my tractor to pick it up for cleaning and blade service. I'm 6'4" and 225 lbs. and pretty sturdy for my age but can't pick it up by hand.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions
  • Thread Starter
#3  
skip,
Thanks, for the great report and suggestions.

I was thinking of getting the hand crank lift for the deck so that may wind up being a necessity.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #4  
70 years old with a fiance sounds good :cool:

Despite what you said about the extra cost, I would get the larger deck model for sure.

We have been mowing a similar size area with a 61 inch deck Grasshopper since 2003 and I am currently in process of rebuilding 72 inch deck Kubota F3060 as our second mower (in order to have his & hers).
Both mowers are non-computerized Diesels just to save on fuel cost, but I realize that's not for everyone.

I have not had any problems using regular ethanol gasoline in our other gasoline powered equipment (like our old John Deere 300 lawn tractor), but I make sure always to add Sta-Bil 360 whey buying it at a station. It seems to work pretty good.

I am well familiar of what untreated gasoline can do if left sitting in equipment for few months, so where possible I always run the carburetor empty if long storage is expected.

Cheers
 
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   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #5  
Mowing 50 times per year? So you will be keeping fresh gasoline running through it, not sitting a month or two to burn a tank? Park inside out of the weather? Then use E10. If stored outside in the rain then the unsealed vented gas tank will accumulate moisture. Ethanol isn't a problem until it gets wet.

Country Clipper is an excellent brand. Seems to be designed and built by people who actually use their own product. The joystick is unique to CC. CC built the joystick Snapper of many years ago.

On some models the step on the front is an option. Have you seen the handrails? Haven't seen on any other brand, but CC has optional handrails that combined with the step make it really easy and safe to climb in and out.

It seems silly there be 48", 54", 60" and then jump to 72" cutting decks. I was talking to a professional lawn service manager one day who had a very specific preference for one over the other. I forgot which. Said it had to do with width of the wheel tracks and overlap with the mower deck, so his optimal deck size would depend on the specific mower. The biggest wasn't his preference although one would think the bigger deck the more ground one could cover.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #6  
I've got a CC Charger with a 60" deck. The joystick is really handy around bushes and trees. The flipup deck is nice. It does take some effort but I have no problems getting it done. I am a youngster though at 62.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #7  
I've got a CC Charger with a 60" deck. The joystick is really handy around bushes and trees. The flipup deck is nice. It does take some effort but I have no problems getting it done. I am a youngster though at 62.
My CC dealer observed those who have many hours on twin stick ZTRs are not always comfortable with the single stick so CC makes most models both ways, same price.

Those who are new to ZTRs love the single stick.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions #8  
I previously had a twin stick and it took me about 15 minutes to get the hang of the joystick.
 
   / Buying a Country Clipper ZT and have questions
  • Thread Starter
#10  
Kallie can do it:

Well....I have a big strong guy telling me he uses his FEL to lift it. and a video of a scrawny kid doing it. He has a 60" deck on a 850 lb XLT...she may be lifting a 42" deck on a 600 lb Avenue.

But it is an easy thing to check out at the dealer. If my 57 YO fiancé can lift it, I will let her decide. Of course, knowing her, she will say, "Get the deck lift you cheap old bastard!!!" LOL
 
 
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