2014 John Deere 54 in Model Z425 Zero-Turn Riding Mower Review – Is this the best zero-turn for you?

When you get done here stop by and read this new, updated article: Which New 2018 John Deere E100 Series Lawn Tractor Is Right For Me?

Is the 2014 John Deere  54 in Model Z425 Zero-Turn Riding Mower Best For You!

I don’t review commercial zero-turns on this site so this is one of the more expensive zero-turns I will review. Yet it is one of the best values.  Although the 2014 John Deere  54 in Model Z425 sells for around $3999 – in the overall market it is a better deal than many of the other zero-turns in this price range. I know … I very seldom tell you that the “Deere” is the best buy… but in this case it is.

It is still a residential mower designed to mow you large estate lawn well but it is not designed as a commercial mower.  Don’t buy it to make money with.

You will not find many reviews from magazines or websites on this mower. So I will give this mower a very detailed review. It is a niche mower designed for large residential and farm properties so most review magazines and websites don’t even know it exists.

Consumer Reports does not rate zero-turns with a 54 inch deck.  They limit their reviews to homeowner models less than 50 inches. Mother Earth News did go through 27 models in 2013 ( Best Zero-Turn Mowers  ) but they did not review this zero turn mower.

This zero-turn is comparable in features and benefits to the Craftsman Professional 54″ 26 hp Pro Z7400Ariens 54 in. 24 HP Zero-Turn 91517300,
Toro TimeCutter Mx5060
, Cub Cadet Z Series and the Husqvarna MZ 6128

One of the biggest advantages of buying this zero-turn from Home Depot is it is expertly set up and delivered to your home for free. When you purchase it through the links below a local John Deere dealer will assemble the mower, go through it and make all the needed adjustments so it is ready to use. The dealer then delivers it to your home and teaches you how to use it. I’m not aware the other box store does this.  

See All Buying Options, Special Offers: John Deere Lawn Mower. Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

For 2014 the John Deere the Z425 EZtrak zero-turn mower has upgrades which include a new top speed of 8 1/2 MPH, thicker grips on the motion-control levers and wash ports on the mower deck to reduce grass-clipping build-up. The Z425’s heavy-duty frame is one of the strongest in this price range and ensures durability, performance and long life.

Is This The Right Zero-Turn For You?

First features of the deck- Psst…It’s all about the deck

clean_under_z425

  •  54-in. (137-cm) mower deck:
  • This zero turn mower can side-discharge, mulch, or use a Power Flow™ collection system.
  • The wide deflector spreads grass clippings evenly across the lawn, is hinged, and can be lifted to minimize the storage space required.
  •  The 54-in. (137-cm) mower is a deep-deck design:
  • Deep-deck design does a superior job of lifting grass for a clean, even cut.
  • Smooth underside of the mower prevents grass buildup and evenly disperses grass clippings.
  • Mower deck is stamped from heavy, 10-gauge, 0.135-in. (3.4-mm) steel for superior durability and long life. (Most stamped deck are 12 or 14 gauge)
  • Rolled outer edge of the deck provides extra strength and protection.
  • Dual-stage E-coat and powder-paint coatings provide extra protection from rust.
  • Standard front roller and two anti-scalp wheels give a more even mowing job and reduced chance of scalping.
  • Mower wash ports with hose connector are provided to make cleaning the underside of the mower deck easy.

Power Flow™ Collection System.

bagger_rs_z425

  • An optional Power Flow collection system is available for the Z445. The blower is powered from the deck and the system is designed to fill the 6-1/2-bu (230-L) rear hopper.
  • Standard or mulch blades may be used with the Power Flow collection system.

22-hp V-twin 44.2-cu in engine

  • A 22-hp* (16.4-kW) V-twin engine with 44.2-cu in. (724-cc) displacement provides plenty of power and torque to handle tough mulching, mowing, and bagging conditions:
  • a382a920-8626-44aa-8626-7eba48810980_1000
  •  V-twin cylinder design for greater torque, lower vibration, and improved sound quality
  • Large 44.2 cu in. (724 cc) displacement for plenty of torque in all conditions
  • Electronic ignition for fast starts
  • Cast-iron sleeves for longer engine life
  • Overhead valves for excellent power and fuel economy
  • Spin-on oil filter with full pressure lubrication for keeping the oil cleaner for long engine life and extended time between oil changes. Full pressure lubrication allows you to use this mower on an incline.
  • Easy access to the no-tools oil drain valve for oil changes
  • Rear engine guard protects the engine and provides extra strength and integrity
  • The Z425 engine has extended life series (ELS) features for enhanced performance and longer life.
  • Replaceable fuel filter and oil filter are easy to access and change to minimize service time and cost.

Motion-control levers (Lap Bars)

430898_control-adjust_z445

  •  Shock absorber for motion-control lever. These dampeners give you a much smoother experience when driving the machine. A standard shock absorber for the motion-control levers makes maneuvering EZtrak™ Mowers easy and comfortable. Shock absorber modulates the movement of control levers for smoother operation.
  • 430897_shock-absorber_z445_1
  • Increased operator comfort
  • The Lap Bars are adjustable for most users and give you precise control of the machine.
    • The motion-control levers can be adjusted to three different height settings and fifteen different fore-aft settings:
  • Any size operator can smoothly and precisely control the machine.
  • Tracking adjustment
  • 455901_using_track-adjust_tool_eztrakTracking adjustment
  • Making the tracking adjustment from the operator seat is quick and easy. The cut-height pin doubles as a convenient tool for adjusting the motion-control levers:

Control panel

color-coded_controls_z445

  •  Control panel (Z425 shown)
  • The operator control panel is conveniently located and easy to use.
  • The following instruments and controls are included:
  • Hour meter
  • Ignition switch
  • Power take-off (PTO) control
  • Engine speed/choke control
  • A “choke” position is built into the engine speed control.

The park brake is conveniently located:

  • Large lever is easy to use.
  • Park brake effectively holds the machine in the parked position.
  • Park brake must be engaged (in the upper position) to start the engine.
  • Once the engine is started, the park brake must be disengaged before operating the motion-control levers.
  • Mower deck lift/cut-height adjustment
  • mower-deck_lift_z445
  •  Mower deck cutting height adjusts from 1 in. (2.5 cm) to 4 in. (10.2 cm) in 1/4-in. (0.64-cm) increments for excellent cut quality and performance.
  • Mower-deck adjustment has built-in memory so the operator can easily return to the desired cutting height after raising the deck.

 

Smoother ride

  • EZtrak™ Mowers are designed around a heavy-duty formed and welded steel frame for strength and reliability.
  • Large front caster wheels and large rear drive wheels provide several operator benefits:
  • Smoother ride
  • Better slope performance
  • More operator comfort over uneven ground
  • Better traction
  • The operator platform is roomy and uncluttered for maximum comfort, and the controls are convenient to use:
  • 3caba2cd-d8af-4a9d-a13d-1e4e97caac76_1000Easy to get on and off the mower
  • Ample leg room for comfortable operation
  • Adjustable motion-control levers for height and position, enabling the operator to stay comfortable while using them
  • Color-coded and logically placed controls
  • 1abb557eExcellent visibility forward and to the trim side of the deck makes operation easy and comfortable for the operator.
  • Comfortable seat
  • Comfortable seat (Z445 shown)
  • Fore-aft seat adjustment
  • Comfortable seats with two suspension springs and no-tools fore-aft seat adjustment, with a 3-in. range, that can be used by the operator while seated:
  • Medium-back, 15-in. (38-cm) seat with adjustable armrests
  • seat_springs_z645_275s
  • Cup holder and storage compartment

Flip-up foot platform

footrest_up_z445One of the first things I look for with a zero-turn is: Can you raise up the footrest to inspect, clean and repair the top of the deck.  This really saves a lot of time because you don’t have to remove the deck to really clean it.

Being able to remove the footrest also lets you inspect the belt and replace it a lot easier.  This is a minor feature in the toughness and longevity of the mower, but it is a great time saver and convenience factor.

Dual transmissions are efficient and have large, 1-in. (2.5-cm) diameter axles for durability

trans_in_vehicle

  •  Unitized hydrostatic transmissions set low in vehicle for excellent hillside stability.
  • Dual unitized transmissions efficiently power the EZtrak™ forward and reverse and give steering capability:
  • z400_z600_transTuff Torq® TZT7-D transmissions are reliable and durable.
  • Beefed-up 1-in. (2.5-cm) axles for greater strength
  • Maintenance-free, the transmissions are sealed and have no hose connections to leak hydraulic fluid.
  • Four-bolt hubs provide a reliable and convenient wheel-mounting system.
  • Transmission expansion tank and tow-valve lever
  • Tow-valve controls are provided and allow the vehicle to be moved without the engine running
    The valves are located on the transmissions near the expansion tanks so they are easy to reach and use.

Complete Product Description: John Deere Lawn Mower. Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

See All Buying Options, Special Offers: John Deere Lawn Mower. Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

See All Pickup and Delivery Options: John Deere Lawn Mower. Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

See All Financing Options: Credit, Special Financing  John Deere Lawn Mower. Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower

California Model:  John Deere Riding Lawn Mower. Z425 54 in. 22 HP Hydrostatic Zero-Turn – California Only BM24632

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Don Cotter
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Don Cotter

Hi Paul,
I have a 2011 John Deere Z425. The left drive transmission is out,which would be better replace with a new one,or rebuild the one I have or can I update to the “Tuff Torq TZT7-D with 1-inch axles” ?? also do you know what transmission John deere uses in my 2011??

Thanks
Don

jer145
Guest
jer145

I had a Z425 for less than two years. At 13 months, the engine missed and popped. It kept losing power and finally just quit in the middle of a mow. I was told it the valves were out of adjustment. The next year (2015) i attempted to start the mower to begin the mowing season. It would turn over but not start. At 22 months after purchase, I had to have the mower worked on again. I was told the right valve needed to be replaced and readjusted. Luckily, it was under warranty. Who knows what is going to… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

Paul, Some of the links in this article takes me to a JD D170 riding mower. The ones that do work tell me that the mower isn’t sold in stores in my area. Id I just go to Home Depot’s website I can pull up the Z425 and it shows available with free home delivery. I’m curious about what makes the Z425 a standout option in 2015. When I read your recommendations from the past JD was not on the list. I’m SE of Denver on approximately 3 acres. Almost 2 acres is grass and a little over an acre… Read more »

sam saxon
Guest
sam saxon

enjoyed yourreview. I have a 2011 z425 that wont chankbut about once every hundredth time I turn the key to start. sounds like a knock nothing turns over . want to shoot it but when it does kick on its wonderful. people tell me it the starter cylinoid. does it have one ? can an idiot find it on the b&s engine?

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[…] Compare it to:  54 inch Craftsman Model 20414, or the 54 inch John Deere Model Z425 […]

John
Guest
John

Still don’t know which machine to buy, Garden tractor or zero turn. I had a Craftsman 22 HP yard tractor that did my 8 acre field just fine until I sent it to be tuned up. 30 minutes after i got it back, it caught on fire and burned up. (They adjusted the carb) lol. The fields are a bit bumpy but not very hilly. Garden tractor or zero turn? Deere or Craftsman? Kohler or Briggs?

John, Tuftonboro NH

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