Anyone else have a Gizmow ?

58jeff

Forum Newbie
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Threads
2
Messages
3
Not mine but my wife's , 60" zero turn with a steering wheel 12" bar tires in the rear 27 HP twin
she mows 25 acres now - hilly former farm fields in Virginia - looks like a park now 400 + hours with no real problems ( most were dealer created ) great tech's at the factory helped me out
I have been lurking in the background due to a slow dial up connection but no longer, 3G wheeee
JJ
 

JDgreen

Lawn Addict
Joined
May 14, 2010
Threads
248
Messages
2,887
Not mine but my wife's , 60" zero turn with a steering wheel 12" bar tires in the rear 27 HP twin
she mows 25 acres now - hilly former farm fields in Virginia - looks like a park now 400 + hours with no real problems ( most were dealer created ) great tech's at the factory helped me out
I have been lurking in the background due to a slow dial up connection but no longer, 3G wheeee
JJ
Yes, I do have a "Gizmo"...not worth a darn for mowing but a wonderful pet...honest, that IS his name...:laughing:
 

Attachments

KennyV

Lawn Pro
Joined
May 6, 2010
Threads
26
Messages
5,447
... in the background due to a slow dial up connection but no longer, 3G wheeee
JJ
Hey 58jeff... good to have you here...
now use that 3G up and post more including some pics of your mower... :smile:KennyV
 

Two-Stroke

Lawn Addict
Joined
May 7, 2010
Threads
23
Messages
1,585
I've never heard of the brand but it's a very clever name. Please post a photo... and welcome.
 

demhustler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Threads
8
Messages
100
Not mine but my wife's , 60" zero turn with a steering wheel 12" bar tires in the rear 27 HP twin
she mows 25 acres now - hilly former farm fields in Virginia - looks like a park now 400 + hours with no real problems ( most were dealer created ) great tech's at the factory helped me out
I have been lurking in the background due to a slow dial up connection but no longer, 3G wheeee
JJ
are they still in business?
 

noma

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2010
Threads
34
Messages
557
Welcome aboard 58jeff


Hope to hear a lot more from you,there is a lot going on here so welcome aboard again. I know where you are coming from with your slow dial-up been down that road to,i think its just part of rural living and we love it. later
 

173abn

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2010
Threads
38
Messages
869
welcome jj,lets see this Gizmow.Know what you mean about dialup.That's a lot of acreage to mow.Does she do it for fun or as a business? russ
 

demhustler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Threads
8
Messages
100
neet midmount ztr with regular dual hydrostatic drive integrated with steerable (not caster) front wheels
been on the market earlier than resent cub cadet ztt and tankS -like systems
site Gizmow Formula
[video]http://www.gizmow.com/video1.htm[/video]

Gizmow pros: better stability and traction (if on regular ztr one wheel got in mud and lost traction, mower would spin around it like tank without one track (unless someone will keep nose of mower (and caster wheels) pointed in direction of travel; with integrated steering you point front wheels like on car or regular, not ztr, mower but with wider angle (180 degree), which allows zero turn.

Gizmow cons: more complex, heavy, slow (only 10mph vs 12-18mph of industry leading MFGs); more weight on front; on tight spots you have to spin steering wheel a lot back an force, while on regular ztrs - only slightly move levers; reliability concerns; maintenance; cost (price)
 

Attachments

JasonB

Member
Joined
May 6, 2010
Threads
3
Messages
28
I looked over a Gizmow ZTR at a lawn maintence trade show once, neat looking machine with a steering wheel and all.. but I have not yet seen anyone in area running a Gizmow. I am sure thoses who dislike levers will enjoy the Gizmow with the steering wheel.

Anyone run one of those Cub Cadet ZTRs with the steering wheel? How did you like them.
 

FarmerCharlie

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
5
Messages
29
Last year I thought about getting one of these, because I have a pond, and I'm afraid to mow the slope of the dam with either my bush hog or my Cub Cadet SLT1554. I hate the Cadet, because even with that Great big engine, it's slow, and is bad about clogging with grass. I couldn't find anyone locally who had a Gizmow, so I decided to stick with the Cadet for the summer. Well, yesterday, I did my first cutting of the year. I had to clean out the deck a half dozen times. Then the belt finally came off again. So I'm fed up again, and back looking for a new mower. The nearest Gizmow dealer is 50 miles away, and he doesn't keep them in stock.

I sure wish someone with experience using a Gizmow would post a review. It looks like just what I need, but it's a lot of money to spend on something sight unseen.
 

FarmerCharlie

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
5
Messages
29
I went to the Gizmow dealer today. He happened to have an old 52" in for repair, but does not have any new machines in stock. He also said he can get only the 61" version. I'm beginning to wonder if these machines are even still being made. Does anyone know for sure?

My other option is a Cub Cadet Z force S 60" residential or commercial version. After reading some reviews on those machines, I guess I am a little less negative than I was based on my SLT1554 experience. I'll be back at the Cub Cadet dealer tomorrow to pick up my SLT1554, so I may test drive their Z Force S models again.
 

Jetblast

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
4
Messages
273
FarmerCharlie, my experience with an SLT-1554 wasn't great either, but despite that I went ahead and bought a Cub Cadet Commercial Z-Force S 60 a couple of weeks ago. It's the one with the black deck, Kohler Command, and ZT-3100 hydros. Fortunately it doesn't remind me of the SLT-1554 in any way except for the color.

I've only run it twice on my 2.5 acres so far to chop up some leaves left from the fall, but I'm completely impressed. I couldn't buy a regular ZTR because I have ditches that are forever muddy at the bottom, however I ran that Z-Force down them laterally with the tires just an inch from disaster at a pretty quick pace. There's an very secure feeling much like a lawn tractor, but it felt less likely to tip due to the track width and non-pivoting front axle so I didn't feel like I had to hang off the side like I did on my lawn tractor.

Seems well built and well assembled. I put a wrench or a screwdriver on every nut, screw, and bolt that I could get to and they're all secure. The belts are tracking true, the deck was adjusted perfectly even from side to side and there's an exact 1/4" front tilt. All the grease fittings were full.

The handling is excellent. The front axle does not pivot which is not as good for flotation, but as far as the ride goes it's kind of a wash. The front end does go up more if you hit a bump with one front wheel, but unlike a pivot axle it doesn't drop when one front wheel hits a dip. Of course it's more stable running across slopes because of the front corner support, whereas a pivoting axle is more like having just one wheel on the front, smack dab center. The steering is very light and easy compared to a lawn tractor and it performs zero turns beautifully. It only took me one or two quick turns to master the art of zero turning without leaving any damage, and that was on a soft and damp lawn.

Most surprising was the ride quality. My lawn is pretty bumpy and my SLT-1554 beat me to death, but I had no problem running full speed with this. The springs below the seat are huge and the seat is very well cushioned, and together they work very well.

Since it's so new to me I can't give you more than newbie impressions, but since you're looking at these I thought I'd go ahead and toss this out there. I really wanted a Hustler, but because of the ditches I couldn't do it. Now that I've had a chance to crawl all over this thing to examine it's design and engineering and have run it, I'm happy how this turned out and probably would have done the same for a flat lawn. It's nice to cruise around with one hand on the wheel. The 11 gauge deck is thinner than what you'll see on a Hustler, Skag, or Gravely, but I never had a problem with my old stamped deck because I don't mow lower than 3" and I don't set my rollers/scalp wheels so low that the deck bounces around. With good technique and care, I don't see why this deck won't hold up as long as the rest of the machine and since I have lawn soft spots and a drain field to mow, I can benefit from the lighter weight.
 

FarmerCharlie

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
5
Messages
29
Thanks, jetblast, for the good info. Have you tried going up and down or across any substantial slopes? That is why I can't use a regular ZTR. I have a dam with about a 1-to-3 slope, and the thought of working that with my tractor/bush hog or a regular ZTR scares me to death. I guess the benefits of the Cadet are that it is lighter weight, and I have a dealer pretty close. The Gizmow looks more substantially made, but I worry about service and parts availability. It is also a lot heavier. Once I make a decision, I'll post whatever info I have.
Charles
 

Jetblast

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
4
Messages
273
No sweat, glad to help. I have a couple of inclines that beat the drive system on my SLT-1554 when approached head on (couldn't keep drive belts from slipping and shredding) but the Z-Force scooted up like they were nothing. I'm a big guy so hopefully it'll stand the test of time. As far as working slopes sideways, it's definitely more stable than the SLT-1554 was. I don't know what the actual angle of my ditch banks are but it was enough to make me hang off the side of the tractor and sometimes it would slide sideways a bit and tear the turf. No problem with the Z-Force in the same problem areas so far. One of the advantages of the commercial Cub over the residential version is having wider turf tires on the front and bigger diameter tires on the rear. That should help. If there are any riders at this price point that can handle slopes better, I don't know what they would be. The Gizmow is a beautiful beast for sure, but it's more mower than I needed for my 50 hours per year of use and priced accordingly. The parts availability issues do favor the Cub as well. I blew a spindle on my SLT-1554 and was able to buy a new one off of Ebay for $60, and I had it in two days. I'm sure Cub is going to sell boatloads of these things so hopefully the same will hold true.

Apologies to 58jeff for the thread hijack. :)



Thanks, jetblast, for the good info. Have you tried going up and down or across any substantial slopes? That is why I can't use a regular ZTR. I have a dam with about a 1-to-3 slope, and the thought of working that with my tractor/bush hog or a regular ZTR scares me to death. I guess the benefits of the Cadet are that it is lighter weight, and I have a dealer pretty close. The Gizmow looks more substantially made, but I worry about service and parts availability. It is also a lot heavier. Once I make a decision, I'll post whatever info I have.
Charles
 

FarmerCharlie

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
5
Messages
29
When I picked up my SLT1554 today, I did look at the Cadet Z-Force S 60. It was the residential model, and it had a 26HP Kawasaki engine instead of the Kohler listed on the WEB site. It rode pretty nice--at least compared to my SLT1554. But it did not have cruise control, and the foot pedal was stiff enough that it would be a problem for me. The dealer did not seem familiar with the commercial model, although he did have a Tank in stock.

I think I'm back to the Gizmow. I called the factory yesterday. I don't know if the man I spoke with was Jeff Huncilman, but he did seem pretty knowledgeable. He said they were not making them right now because of the economy downturn. But I did find a dealer who says he can still get one. Normally I would not buy something that has been discontinued, but as best I can tell most of the Gizmow parts (except for the steering/hydraulic couplers) are mostly off-the-shelf standard parts. Unless someone can give me a good reason not to do it, I think I'm going to go ahead and try to get one. If I do, I'll post the results.
 

FarmerCharlie

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
5
Messages
29
I ordered a new Gizmow last week and picked it up today. Here she is:


This afternoon, in a couple of hours I managed to cut the approximately 4 acres surrounding the pond and my house. I had planted grass around my new pond last year and installed about 15 PVC irrigation pipes radiating out from the pond. Cutting around the pipes makes for lots of turning. The Gizmow made this a lot faster than with my old Cub Cadet SLT-1554. I was a little surprised that it really does do a zero turn. When I reached the end of a pipe, I easily turned 180 degrees to cut along the other side. The mower is very fast, but when you make a sharp turn, it slows down just enough to feel comfortable with the turn. And the electric deck lift makes it easy to raise it a little while cutting parallel to a pipe, with the edge of the deck sticking slightly over the pipe. The one thing I did not like was that it stops VERY quickly when the cruise control disengages; it feels about like it feels when you run into a low stump with the deck. And sometimes it did disengage for no apparent reason--almost throwing me into the steering wheel.

So far I haven't worked up the nerve to try the back slope of the dam. But I did cut both sides of a ditch that runs in front of the house. As advertised, it held steady while mowing across the slope, which is about 10 degrees. It did not want to turn up the slope, but it never felt unstable.

I sure wonder why this brand was not successful. I have never used another traditional ZTR to compare with it, but I feel sure the Gizmow would compare favorably.

Charlie
 

KennyV

Lawn Pro
Joined
May 6, 2010
Threads
26
Messages
5,447
Charlie .. that's a good looking machine ... Just curious... when turning sharp is it pivoting on the inside rear tire or is it actually reversing the wheel on the inside of the turn?
Heavy looking deck also... :smile:KennyV
 

Jetblast

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
4
Messages
273
Congratulations, FarmerCharlie. That's one serious piece of metal. Love the paint, it reminds me of the Kawasaki Racing Green of my reckless youth.

While I was researching my own recent mower deal, your machine was on my short list but the only dealer in Ohio is 200 miles from me. A shame, because the Gizmow specs out on paper like a the $13,000 - $15,000 Cub Cadet Tank S, but is currently available at a price closer to the lighter Cub Commercial Z-Force S that I bought. I think you pulled off a major score there. Why Gizmow, as a company, ran into such difficulties is puzzling, but I suppose only God and the accountants will ever know for sure. New technology during an economic free-fall is a dicey proposition, but either way, seems a good bet that this 4-wheel steering idea is the future of ZTRs as there are enough of us out there who have steep slopes and ditches to deal with, and the only sit-down remedy in the $4000-$9000 range used to be a lawn tractor. I love a good lawn tractor but no matter how good they are, they won't blow your hair back on the straightaways and get you back to the house before your beer gets warm. All the speed and maneuverability advantages of a ZTR, with all of the slope stability of a lawn tractor. What's not to like?

Please let us know how you do on the steep banks of your pond when you get to them. One thing I wondered about is the 13" x 5" slicks the Gizmow runs on the front. There's a good compensation with the agricultural treads on the back, but if your front end slides around or your uphill wheel tears the grass while traversing slopes, it appears that your front forks are wide enough to accommodate 13" x 6.5" tires with some meaty tread on them. I certainly get the idea that you're dealing with some major inclines, so that may be a cheap and easy adjustment just in case.

Spring is here, happy mowing.:smile:
 

FarmerCharlie

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Threads
5
Messages
29
Just curious... when turning sharp is it pivoting on the inside rear tire or is it actually reversing the wheel on the inside of the turn?
Heavy looking deck also... :smile:KennyV
I assumed it was reversing on hard turns, because I did not notice it tearing up the turf when I did 180 degree turns at the ends of the irrigation pipe. But to be sure I just took it out to the driveway to check. The inside wheel does indeed turn backwards when I turn the front wheels to 180 degrees. It spins around like a top. That's in forward only. I think the zero turn hydraulics are disabled in reverse.

I did another test a few minutes ago. Normally in the fall I use my mower with a DR Lawn Vacuum to get up the leaves. But that has never worked on pine straw with my SLT-1554. The Cub would just not suck up the pine needles effectively; it didn't do all that great a job even with leaves. I haven't yet hooked the Gizmow to the vacuum, but when I went over some pine straw, it came flying out the chute like gang busters; I'm pretty confident the Gizmow will work well with the vacuum if I can find a Gizmow grass catcher chute to adapt to the vacuum.
 
Top