Cub Cadet Pro Z 500 Series Makes Quick, Comfortable Work of Mowing
June is here, and the grass is already coming in thick and fast. Fortunately for us, Cub Cadet’s timing with having us review some of their premier ZT mowers has been timely. For instance, we just had the opportunity to put the Pro Z 972 SD zero turn mower through its paces on sloped yards full of rich, thick Bahia and St. Augustine grasses. Unsurprisingly, the whole mowing experience was a success. But, we’ve also had the chance to test out the 60-inch Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW as well. We looked at handling, cut quality, speed, comfort, and usability—among other things.
RecommendationThe Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW has enough power and grit to get through our thick Florida grasses quickly and easily. After reviewing the Pro Z 972 SD, this comes as no real surprise. What was surprising was how deftly it handled the detail work. Smooth steering, a comfortable ride, and the ability to pivot around small objects in the yard marked this as a nimble 60-inch ZT mower. We had no trouble at all with the responsiveness—something you don’t always find with lap bar steering. Perhaps just as important as power and grace, this zero turn mower actually felt comfortable to work with for several hours at a stretch. Its high-back dial suspension with EVC cushion makes it a great choice for those looking to spend all day in the seat. Overall, we can easily recommend the Pro Z 560 L KW mower to any Pro landscaper.
Features We Paid Attention To
One of the standout features on the Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW is the feeling of being able to drive through a wall. As a matter of fact, one of us (who shall remain nameless…it was one of Clint’s sons, though) did try his best to put this mower through a fence. He succeeded in banging the fence up some, but the mower rolled away without a scratch. Of course, he blamed the effectiveness of his IsoTunes Bluetooth earphones for his lack of awareness to this event.
This is due to the near-indestructible build of the mower cutting deck and frame. Cub Cadet uses 7-gauge fabricated steel for the cutting deck, including the top and bottom reinforcement plates. Meanwhile, the rolled leading edge reinforcement uses 1/4-inch steel, and the trim and discharge sides go with 5/16-inch steel. The rear bumper/engine guard uses the same thick plate, but with pre-drilled mounting points for attachments. The frame uses a fully-welded 3/8 x 5-inch laser cut steel with integrated tie-down slots. Short story long, this mower could double as a small tank.
Pamper Your Bottom
The Pro Z 560 L KW, like the more robust Pro Z 972 SD, includes a high back, EVC-cushioned seat with adjustable suspension dial. Our managing editor considered this one of the most comfortable seats he’s used on a lawnmower, and I have to agree. You might not think that a super cushioned seat with good back support would really be worth the extra investment, but you’d be wrong. When spending 6-8 hours in any chair, you quickly learn to appreciate the ones that make an effort to keep your backside cradled.
A couple of armrests and an angled back adjustment round out the chair, giving you one comfortable ride when things start to get bumpy.
The Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW has your safety in mind as well. It comes with a seatbelt and a 3-position ROPS system that adjusts simply by pulling on a couple of spring-loaded locks. We had to drop ours down one position to get it into our Bull Shed. And like all great life lessons, we learned this one the hard way.
Where the heavier 72-deck on the Pro Z 972 dualie used the electronic power lift, this one has a spring assisted manual deck. Spring-assisted decks are great for quickly rolling over bumps and barriers and they don’t require thought or fancy buttons to work on-the-fly. The pin lock made it super-easy to set cutting height as well. Adjustments can be made in 1/4-inch increments between 1 and 5-inches. A manual lock-out lets you keep the deck raised for transport.
- 3/4 length padded bars with tool-less quick adjust dial
- Standard electronic hour meter
- Travel lock that keeps the deck locked into place when on a trailer
Show Some Hustle
The Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW comes outfitted with a Kawasaki FX850v 852cc engine. It puts out 27 hp, getting the mower up to 10 mph forward and 5 mph in reverse. Likewise, this mower comes with a 12cc Parker HTJ Series transmission and twin 7.5-gallon fuel tanks.
What does all this mean? Primarily, it means that this mower not only has some hustle but also some really responsive steering. Obstacles in the yard are not as difficult as they could be to navigate around, and wide open spaces get finished in no time. Plus, if you come to the job prepared, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to stop to refuel over the course of the day.
The Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW has enough power and grit to get through our thick Florida grasses quickly and easily, which, after reviewing the Pro Z 972 SD, comes as no real surprise. What was more surprising was how deftly it handled the detail work. It takes corners and pivots around smaller objects in the yard easily and with the responsiveness you don’t always find with lap bar steering. Just as important as power and grace, this zero turn mower was comfortable to work with for several hours at a stretch thanks to its high-back dial suspension with EVC cushion. Overall, the Pro Z 560 L KW is an easy mower to recommend to any Pro wanting a well-built, comfortable zero turn mower.
Pricing and Warranties
Right now, and until the end of October, you can pick up the Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW for just under $9,000. That includes a $950 savings promotion for this specific model. Furthermore, this model comes with a 3-year limited commercial warranty with no hour limitations, and a 5-year/1,750 hour limited deck construction warranty.
Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 L KW Zero-Turn Mower Specs
- Engine Type: 27hp 852cc Kawasaki FX850v
- Fuel capacity: 2 x 7.45 gal. tanks (14.9 gal. total) with dial gauge
- Speed (forward/rev): 10 mph/5 mph
- Transmission: Parker HTJ 12cc pump / 260cc wheel motor
- 7ga. fabricated 60 in. deck
- 5/16 in. steel trim and discharge sides
- 7ga. top plate
- 7ga. bottom reinforcement
- 1/4 in. steel rolled leading edge reinforcement
- 8″ sealed cast aluminum spindle housing (maintenance-free)
- 3/4 in. thick UHMW-PE replaceable trim-side wear guard
- Cutting height: 1 – 5 in. (1/4-in. increments)
- Blades: 3 x high-lift Fisher-Barton Marbain blade
- High-back dial suspension with EVC cushion
- Discharge chute w/high-density, impact-resistant rubber
- Anti-scalping: 2 front HD w/bushings & grease zerk
- Trim-side wear guard
- Cup holder
- Electronic hour meter
- Dimensions (discharge chute up/ROPs down): 84 in. L x 62 in. W x 50 in. H
- Weight: 1,324 lbs.
- Warranty: 3-year (no hour limit) commercial; 5-year/1,750 hour limited deck construction
- MSRP: $8,999 (Save $950 until 10/31/19)
For more information, check out the Cub Cadet website.