Best diesel zero turn mowers

7 Best Diesel Zero Turn Mowers in 2020

You're looking for a new commercial zero turn mower… is a diesel mower the best option for you? While they will usually come with a higher price tag there are definitely some advantages to them.

In 1984, John Deere introduced the first-ever diesel engine on a lawn mower. Since then, most manufactures have incorporated their own version of a diesel mower. Almost all of these mowers are top of the line zero turns. They will usually have similar specs to the manufacture's top of the line gas engine zero turns.

Diesel VS Gas Zero Turn Mower

Pros of Diesel zero turn mower

  • The maintenance aspect of diesel zero turns is definitely an advantage. You will not have to pay much attention to the taking care part. Diesel mowers do not have plug wires, spark plugs, rotors or distributor caps. Also, it runs efficiently more efficiently.
  • Diesel mower saves 700 gallons of fuel every day, and it saves money for the long term.
  • It also emits less carbon monoxide
  • The lifespan of a diesel engine is historically much longer than a comparable gas engine.

Cons of Diesel zero turn mower

  • Diesel mowers are perfect for big yards and larger jobs. If you have small lawns you can always go with a gasoline zero turn mower.
  • The cost is a bit high than a comparable gas option.
  • There is some maintenance part that comes with diesel engines.

Pros of gasoline zero turn mower

  • Gasoline mowers have a much larger selection of mowers making it easier to get the exact specs you need for a mower.
  • If you have small yards, then gasoline mowers will have an option.
  • New technology like EFI and Vanguard's Oil Guard system can make maintenance easier.
  • Costs are less

Cons of gasoline zero turn mower

  • Gasoline zero turn mowers typically require more maintenance.
  • The lifespan of a gasoline engine is typically less than a diesel engine.
  • Low-quality gas can cause a lot of problems, especially for carbureted engines.
  • A higher amount of emissions.

So, looking at the differences between each fuel mowers, it can be argued that diesel mower is the best option to go with. Although the cost is a bit high, it will give you a long terms service and value for your money.

Different Diesel Engines

There are different types of diesel engines out there. You can look at the specification of the same while buying the zero-turn lawnmower.

Kubota Diesel

The best part of Kubota diesel is that it responds to the requirements of the environment, and in its application. It has received the CARB certification of emission for the first time in the world as a small industrial part in 1993.

These engines are widely accepted across the industry. They are seen on several mowers and definitely a trusted name in the tractor industry as well.

Yanmar Diesel

Yanmar is another popular company in diesel engines for a mower, and it started manufacturing from 1933 and has produced 15 million diesel engines. Yanmar is the leading company in the US, and they manufacture, generator sets, agricultural equipment, construction parts, and so on.

Cummins Diesel

These are another one of the most powerful engines in the world. It works both on-road and water work sites. Cummins engines have a displacement of 2.8 to 95 liters. This is made for the need of every lawn care owner.

There are also two strokes and four strokes diesel engines in the market. You will find several brands that satisfy your requirements.

Best Diesel Zero Turn Mowers

Mower:Kubota ZD1500John Deere Z994RToro 7000Hustler Super Z DieselBad Boy Renegade DieselExmark Laser Z DieselGrasshopper 400D
Deck Size:60″ or 72″54″, 60″, or 72″52″, 60″, or 72″60″ or 72″60″60″, 72″, or 96″61″ or 72″
Engine:30.8 HP Kubota liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder, diesel24.7 HP 3TNV80F liquid- cooled, 3 cylinder, diesel25 HP Kubota, liquid-cooled25 HP Shibaura, liquid-cooled24.7 Perkins, liquid-cooled, 3 cylinderYanmar liquid-cooledKubota, liquid-cooled, 3 cylinder
Drive System:2-HST w/gear reductionTuffTorq dual hydrostatic wheel driveHydro-Gear 16cc HydraulicHydro-Gear 21cc hydraulic Hydro-Gear 16cc HydraulicHydro-Gear 18cc HGM-L Hydro-Gear 21cc Hydraulic
Speed:10.6 mph11.4 mph11.2 mph11.5 mph13 mph11 – 12.5 mph11 mph
Fuel Capacity:13 gal.11.5 gal.12 gal.14.4 gal.13 gal.12 gal.12 gal.
Deck liftHydraulicManualManualManualManualHydraulicHydraulic
Warranty:2 Year unlimited hours2 Year unlimited OR 3 year / 1500 hours5 Year / 1200 Hours2 Year unlimited OR 5 year / 500 hours2 Year Unlimited2 year unlimited hours OR 5 year / 2000 hours3 Year Unlimited hours OR 4 year / 800 hours
Price*:Starting at $25,401Starting at $18,129Starting at $16,699Starting at $16,499Starting at $13,599Starting at $21,499Starting at $18,375

*Pricing is updated as of April 2020. Pricing may vary by dealer and by region. Note: some mowers offer different size decks… this will cause the price to appear higher/lower if you are comparing different deck size. If you need pricing for a specific mower please send us a message or leave a comment below.

1.Kubota ZD1500 Zero Turn

kubota zd1500

Kubota diesel zero turn mower is professional, especially the ZD1500 Series, which is the most efficient one. You will get a solid set of a feature with this mower. You will find better rear discharge and airflow, which helps it stay on the ground. Other features like,

  • You will get state of the art diesel engine… arguably the best diesel engine on any diesel zero turn mower
  • Very comfortable mower
  • high capacity HST transmission.
  • It provides a great quality of cut. Available with hydraulic deck lift, a height adjustment feature

Other things included like lumbar support, adjustable armrests, higher backrest, and dual armrests.


  • Great, reliable engine
  • Hydraulic deck lift
  • Highly versatile
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Clean cuts
  • Great fuel efficiency
  • Perfectly stable
  • Comfortable ride and seat design
  • Easy maintain, handling and operation


  • Price

Price: $25,401

This model of Kubota is a great choice. It is a well-built machine with a proven diesel engine. The only downside is the price is a good bit higher than many other comparable diesel zero turns.

If that's not a concern… go buy one! If it is, keep reading…

2.John Deere Diesel Zero Turn Z994R Diesel Mower

john deere z994r

The John Deere Z994R diesel zero turn is definitely a fan favorite. Of course, it's a John Deere… it HAS to be great. We'll take the hype of the brand away… this mower is a solid machine.

If you're looking for a mower that is solid built, cuts grass, and last a long time this may be the unit for you. The price is pretty competitive as well.

  • Easy to find and use, instrument control is simple
  • wheel motor hydrostatic drive delivers speeds up to 11.4 mph and durable pump
  • Equipped with heavy-duty classic components, that gives the sturdiness and strength
  • The diesel engine provides the best performance and better efficiency
  • Made with Michelin airless tire technology which makes it smooth for the ride and gives more uptime, with high-quality suspension and seat.
  • You will get the best safety operation and high-quality controls.
  • Increased uptime and better convenience
  • Get the best performance in each application.


  • Cut quality, easy handling, and tons of power
  • A trust brand for diesel engine equipment
  • Starts at a good price point


  • The price can be a bit higher.
  • Pretty standard features… nothing is really above and beyond.
  • Cut quality is not the best

Price: $17,874.00

If you're a John Deere fan you definitely won't be disappointed in this mower. It is a well built machine that will accomplish the task of cutting grass for a long time.

3.Toro 7000 Diesel Zero Turn

toro 7000 series

This series of Toro is one of the best diesel zero turn mower, that has a high volume deck, and powered by 25 hp high-torque, Kubota diesel engine.

This Toro diesel mower is definitely one of the best. It doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles but it does have a very nice seat and a high quality of cut.

  • Fast speed on ground 11.2 mph
  • Deluxe suspension seat… it's super comfortable!
  • Durable and powerful engine (Kubota engines are great)
  • The 7-Gauge cutting deck will last
  • Large caster and rear tires
  • The discharge chute is of best quality


  • Very comfortable seat
  • Toughest spindle assembly
  • Bullnose bumper has a smart design
  • Crisp and flat blades
  • Turbo force deck
  • Good price


  • There is no fuel gauge

Price: Starting at $16,699

The Toro 7000 series diesel mower is one you really can't go wrong with. It is definitely a durable machine that will last a long time. There may be other options that are faster and have more bells and whistles, but it is still a great mower!

4.Hustler Super Z Diesel Zero Turn

Hustler zero turn mower is another great choice for a diesel zero turn. If you've ever seen it in person you'll know it is an absolute tank. The engine choice may not be the best but it is definitely one that will get the job done.

Shibaura is an engine manufacture in Japan with a very big name and knows for its quality product. The model equipped on the Hustler Z diesel may feel a bit underpowered compared to some larger gas engines. This may be very noticeable on the 72″ macine

  • Shibaura engine of 25hp
  • 60” and 72” decks
  • Suspension seat
  • The mowing speed is 11.6mph
  • VX4 Deck
  • It works fast and a great addition for your lawn need


  • Incredibly durable mower
  • Great cut in most conditions
  • Very large pumps and wheel motors
  • Very long lifespan on the engine and mower


  • The Shibaura diesel engine may be underpowered at times

Price: Starting at $16,499

The Hustler Super Z diesel is a mower worth considering. It is durable and provides a high quality of cut.

5. Bad Boy Renegade Zero Turn

Well, I think we can all agree that Bad Boy has the best-looking diesel zero turn. But, how does it perform? Overall, it is a pretty decent mower. It is one of the lowest-priced diesel zero turns on the market.

There may potentially be better gas zero turns with better specs and around the same price point though. If you are 100% set on a diesel unit this may be a good option though for the price point.

  • 24.7 Perkins, liquid-cooled, 3 cylinder
  • Fuel capacity is 13 gallons
  • The ground speed is 13mph… this is fast for a diesel zero turn
  • Made with hydro gear pumps


  • Better stability on the ground
  • Cool looking mower
  • Comfortable seat
  • Get support isolators and a deck wear pad
  • Provides a smooth ride
  • Better cutting speed


Price: Starting at $13,599

Bad boy renegade is still a worthy mower for the list. If you have a good dealer in your area and you need a great mower for the price I would recommend test driving the Bad Boy Renegade Diesel

6. Exmark Laser Z Diesel

Obviously the best part of about the Exmark diesel zero turn is the option for the 96″ deck. I remember seeing this mower when it was introducted at GIE and I was blown away. The thing is a TANK. About the price of a tank as well (I think about $40k??) but still a bad ass mower.

Outside of the huge 96″ mower, Exmark also has 60″ and 72″ diesel zero turns. These units are pretty similar to the Toro 7000 series with a few minor differences.

  • Better handling
  • Reduced services and maintenance
  • Hydraulic deck lift
  • The ground speed is faster than its counterparts
  • The diesel capacity is 12.0 gallon with two tanks
  • Get the next generation RED leverage, and machine efficiency
  • Durable and easy to use


  • Reduced maintenance
  • Durability
  • Comfortable suspension seat
  • Hydraulic deck lift
  • Cut quality
  • Best warranty


  • Possibly Yanmar engine option
  • Price

Price: $21,499

Exmark is a leader in the zero turn mower industry. Their diesel mower is no exception. It is a solid machine, a bit expensive, but a great mower.

7. Grasshopper 400D Zero Turn

Grasshopper is known for its incredible durability. These mowers are the prettiest or best looking but they last a really long time. It also happens to be the best priced mower on the list that has a Kubota diesel AND a hydraulic deck adjustment.

  • Kubota diesel engine
  • Very good warranty
  • Hydraulic adjustment of height
  • Equipped with heavy-duty deck
  • Less maintenance


  • Durable
  • Kubota diesel engine
  • Low center of gravity


  • A little slow
  • Not very comfortable
  • So ugly… lol

Price: Starts from $18,375

Grasshopper is still a good mower for lawns. You will get value for your money and a very long lifespan between the mower and Kubota engine.

Which Diesel Zero Turn is Best for you?

Well, it really just depends. Any of the above mowers are great or they wouldn't be on the list. It will come down to your personal situation.

Is it tough for you to raise and lower a heavy deck with your foot? Go with the Kubota, Exmark, or Grasshopper diesel mower. Maybe you mow huge fields? The 96″ Exmark would be the best option if you have the budget.

I think by viewing the chart toward the beginning of this article you will be able to pick the best mower for your situation.

Wrapping it up

You've made it this far… have you decided which mower is best for you? If you have, be sure to leave a comment below. If are still stumped and have questions feel free to ask us anything below.

Happy mowing!

2 Replies to “7 Best Diesel Zero Turn Mowers in 2020

  1. I have a Kubota ZD1211. motor and controls are pretty good. We use our mowers to cut for a local power co. Grass heights range 7 to 16 inches at times. The pro deck pulleys are poorly made . I have had to replace 6 pulleys over a year and a half. Same thing with back rims 26x12x16 . Replaced 3 already They put 4 ply tires on. High priced mower .Around 15000 out the door. They have tried to cut costs and affected some major components for durability. Parts are also pretty expensive 58 to 85 dollars for pulleys . And tires and rims are specific to that model. Quality of cut I would rate at a 6 at best. I would suggest demoing the mower before you buy .Good Luck . I have owned 8 of these mowers since they came out with the ZD21 model. I am looking for new mowers now. I think another brand .Hope this helps the people with deep pockets in business.

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