The Cub Cadet RZT-L available in 42 or 54 inch deck sizes is a great middle of the road entry level residential zero turn mower that delivers responsive maneuverability and a smooth ride. First time zero turn owners check out the Steering Wheel version, the RZT-S before deciding on what to buy. Though the RZT-L may not come standard with all the “bells and whistles” it works well for everyday lawn mowing jobs. The Kohler V-Twin has plenty of power for the RZT-L to handle most cutting environments. The adjustable control bars and seat ensure comfort for most operators. It is optimal for riders from 5ft – 6ft 4” tall.
It uses two hydrostatic EZT 2200 transmissions that are synchronized for smooth fully automatic control. This allows you to utilize zero turning capabilities without tearing up your lawn. Yes there are several other zero turns with bigger decks, engines and transmissions but this a great choice for the average homeowner's cutting approximately 1 to 2 acres. However the EZT 2200's are not designed for heavy hauling or pulling. If you plan on using a lot of tow type attachments keep in mind that hauling over 250lbs will put a lot of extra stress on these transmissions. If you plan on using a roller maybe just fill it 2/3 instead of completely full.
Cub Cadet rates the RZT-L for slopes up to 15 degrees. Really you have to decide for yourself whether you feel safe tackling slopes or not. Remember it is a best practice to go up and down slopes rather then side to side. Check out some of the bigger more heavy duty residential zero turns if you plan to do a lot of towing or cutting on slopes. Ariens Max Zoom 60, Toro TimeCutter SS5000, Toro TimeCutter SS4260 or the John Deere EZtrak Z425.
Cub Cadet RZT-L 42-Inch
Number six on our Top Ten Residential Zero Turn Mower list the Cub Cadet RZT-L 42-inch received an overall 4.5 out of 5.0 rating.
Ease of Use: 4.7/5
This information was gathered from 195 consumer reviews.
Brand: Cub Cadet
Manufactured By: MTD/Cub Cadet
MRSP:42 inch 2499.00 / 54 inch 2999.00
Online on Ebay or Online at Tractor Supply or Local Authorized Dealers
When you buy the Cub Cadet RZT-L from an authorized dealer near you. The dealer will have the item in stock or be shipped the item which they will assemble and perform a complete inspection to ensure operation. At the time of delivery the Certified Professional will teach you on site how to operate and properly maintain the zero turn mower. This is one of the most valuable things for a first time Zero Turn owner.
If there is not a authorized dealer close enough you will have it shipped to you. You will have to take it out of the crate and get it ready to mow yourself. It’s not a big job. You’ll need a wrecking bar or heavy claw hammer to take the crate apart and a few hand tools to install the steering wheel, seat, grass deflector and battery.
Click Here for Cub Cadet RZT Tractor Supply Pricing and Shipping Details
Cutting Width: 42 inches
Acres per Hour: 2.45 acres at 7mph
Top Speed: 7mph
Warranty: 3 year/120 hours
Engine brand: Kohler
Horse Power/CC: 22hp/725cc
Height Cutting range: 1.5”-4”
Fuel Capacity: 2.8 gallons
Discharge: Side-discharge, mulching or bagging.
Drive System: Hydro-Gear EZT 2200
Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes Manufacture rates up to 15 degrees.
Mow in Reverse? Blades automatically shut off while going in reverse, however blades will stay on while zero turning.
RZT Bagger for 42/46 inch deck:
The Bagging system available for the RZT is cheaper than most other baggers but it has a reputation for not picking up fresh grass clippings well. It does fine with dry grass or leaves. If you don't want to wait a day to clean up your clippings then it is suggested to get a good quality pull-behind sweeper. The bagger includes two bags with a 6.5 bushel capacity, a hood, chute and weight bar for the front.
RZT Mulching Kit:
The RZT-L 42 inch deck mulches well with a mulching kit. This comes with a set of mulching blades and a plug that goes into the side discharge hole. Unlike the bagger there has not been any complaints reported with the mulching abilities of the RZT.
There are several other accessories available such as dump carts, sweepers, aerators, rollers, spreaders and more available that will work with the RZT-L. Just remember the EZT 2200 transmissions are not meant for pulling and really shouldn't be used to pull over 250lbs.
-22 Horse Power professional grade Kohler® 7000 Series V-Twin Engine
-Fully adjustable comfortable high back seat
-Mulches great, leaves fine grass clippings with little to no clumping
-Side discharge mode disperses grass clippings evenly
-42 or 54 inch deck has spring assisted lift and washout port
-Top Speed of 7mph
-3 Year/120 Hour warranty
-Not recommended for pulling over 250lbs
-Poor Bagging reputation
-Cutting blades cutoff automatically when in reverse
-EZT 2200 transmissions not meant for pulling over 250lbs
This Signature Cut 42 inch duel blade cutting deck is a great option for most residential yards and have received high mark from it's owners. The deck is equipped with an advanced cutting system with optimal airflow and blade overlap so no random uncut tall spots. It has great mowing, mulching and bagging capabilities. For safety reasons the deck automatically shuts off while in reverse, it does however still run while zero turning. Most owners find this to be annoying and Cub Cadet RZT's are the only zero turn mowers that have this feature from our Top Ten Residential list. There is also a triple blade 54 inch deck made of the same quality.
Leading consumer magazines have given the Cub Cadet RZT a “Recommended best buy” award in 2013.
There are 8 cutting height positions available ranging from 1.5” to 4”. The deck uses a spring assisted lever located on the left side to make adjusting the height easy. The 3-point linkage makes deck leveling easy. 1 link levels side to side, 1 levels front to back and the other is for removing the deck which makes servicing easier than most other brands.
The 42 inch deck on the RZT-L is 12 gauge stamped steel. There is forever a debate about which deck is better, welded or stamped. For residential applications stamped decks do the job just fine. Welded decks do take more abuse but have a lot of added costs. On this particular model the welded deck is $900 more, not to mention welded decks airflow is poorer than stamped decks. This means you will need to purchase a separate blower to use with the bagger. This can cost up to an additional $700. The additional $1500.00 in cost is really not beneficial unless you plan on running over stumps, metal debris and other various yard debris. So for most homeowners a stamped deck is the best option. Besides Cub Cadet did a great job engineering their decks. They have strengthened them up with channels and stiffeners built into the design. The powder coated finish helps resist rust and scratches which provides better corrosion resistance.
The aluminum spindles are vented with sealed bearings. This mean no maintenance or lubrication required. With proper blade maintenance and cleaning the spindles will last the life of the mower. There are only two reasons spindles may fail. That is improper blade maintenance or operator abuse.
The Cub Cadet RZT-L 42 inch is equipped with an 725cc 22 Horse Power V-tiwn Kohler 7000 series engine. Kohler's 7000 series engines feature cast iron cylinder walls and professional grade cylinder heads with overhead valves, vertical-shaft, connecting rods and pistons. Full pressure lubrication system ensures constant and even oil distribution. The fuel cell is 2.8 gallons and can run approximately 3 hours on a full tank. There is a clean window to check the fuel level on the side of the gas tank.
The RZT-L's maintenance is smooth with all oil and fuel points being located on the same side of the engine for quick inspection. Oil capacity is 2 quarts with a large oil filling tube. This allows oil to flow faster and minimizes spilling while filling. The air cleaner is accessible from the top which allows for a tool less quick inspection or replacement.
The Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 series is one of the more popular transmissions used in residential zero turns. EZT's are known for their responsive maneuverability. You will find this transmission is easy to use and comes in many zero turns for under $3500. They are easy to use and dependable for the everyday homeowner's lawn cutting needs.
Though Cub Cadet does rate the RZT-L to work on 15 degree slopes the EZT transmission is ideal for flat terrains. If you plan on mowing on a steep inclines or pull heavy loads it is recommended to upgrade to a zero turn with a Z-2800 or Z3100 transmission. The RZT-L is designed to do what most homeowners want to use this mower for, which is to cut grass and pull a cart or leave sweeper around. This is exactly what it's designed to do. Check out our Top Ten list's better suited options for inclines. Ariens Max Zoom 60 inch, John Deere EZtrak Z425, Toro TimeCutter SS5000 or Hustler Raptor 42.
The Cub Cadet RZT-L has traditional control bars. Check out the RZT-S which is the same mower but with a steering wheel. The control bars are designed with grips and 2 adjustable positions. Like many of the other residential zero turn mowers on our top ten list the parking brake is integrated into the lap bars. When they are swung out the brake is engaged. The EZT transmissions make steering very responsive. As with any traditional zero turn mower there is a bit of a learning curve for any first time operators. Check out the video section to view some how-to's and safety videos.
The deep platform provides extra leg room over other ZTR's in this price range and the gripped adjustable lap bars ensure operators to find optimal arm positions. Fully adjustable high back seat slides back and fourth 6 inches and the lumbar and side supports slide back and forth with ease. There are multiple adjustments available to maximize comfort for the average operator ranging from 5 ft to 6ft 4in person. Getting on and off is easy with a lot of space between the steering console and seat. No worrying about banging your knees. The deluxe seat, great field of vision, and easy to use controls make for a very comfortable ride.
Owners are saying the Cub Cadet RZT-L 42inch is among the best and most reliable residential zero turn mowers. It has been reported that belts tend to come from time to time. Lets face it this will be a common issue with most ZTR's in this price range. There have not been any build quality issues reported. The most common servicing would be to balance the blade and deck. Which it is recommended to have a professional do. If you do need service you can take it to any of the thousands of authorized dealers and service centers found on cubcadet.com Also when buying this mower you can be “homegrown” proud since Cub Cadet zero turns are made in the USA!
Consumer Reports and Owners Reviews:
Consumer Reports states “Cub Cadet has been among the most repair-prone brands for zero-turn-radius riders in our reliability surveys.” This is truly in the past. Current data does not support that comment anymore. It is however common to sometimes have issues with car gas mixed with ethanol. Current reviews show that being an issues of the past.
Click Here to read reviews from Tractor Supply Customers
What Cub Cadet RZ-L 42 inch Owners are saying:
-”It took about 15 minutes to get used to the controls–a bit touchy at first, but figured it out pretty quick.”
-”I love the mower so far but the drive belt for the blades keeps falling off.”
-”The only thing I don't like is that you can't cut in reverse.”
-”Cuts well and tackles inclines just fine.”
-”I looked and researched for at least a year before I purchased the Cub Cadet RZT L 42" mower. It has surpassed all of my expectations.”
-”Cuts the grass beautiful and fast! We have plenty of trees and the cub cadet zero-turns right around all of them.”
-”This zero turn cut my mowing time in half vs my old tractor.”
-”I've owned mine for three years and have never had an issue mowing up slopes and I have a very hilly yard.”
-”When I got my Cub Cadet I didn't want to stop mowing it was so much fun to use!”
Other Comparable Residential Quality Zero Turn Mowers:
Cub Cadet RZT-S 42-inch
Ariens Zoom 42-inch
Toro TimeCutter SS4260 42-inch
Hustler Raptor 42-inch
Buy with Confidence
Check out specials on TractorSupply.com. They usually sell below MSRP.
Or, Check out the deals that can be found on ebay below.