The New Cub Cadet Ultima ZTS: A ZTR with a Steering Wheel

Zero Turning Radius mowers are faster than lawn tractors, but their lap bar steering system is difficult to learn. These bars control the drive motors independently, so the operator has to carefully adjust their speed to turn and drive straight. Cub Cadet’s Synchro-Steer replaces the lap bars with a steering wheel and a pair of pedals. If you drive a car, you should feel right at home. Originally developed for their commercial mowers, this steering system is now available on their Ultima residential mowers.

The Synchro-Steer Advantage

Synchro-Steer replaces the lap bars found on other ZTRs with a steering wheel and pedals for forward and reverse. Electric motors turn the front tires to aid in steering. This doesn’t just make the Ultima easier to learn, it makes mowing faster. In Cub Cadet’s development tests, they found experienced lawn care professionals mowed 15% faster on average, thanks to decreased overlap. For residential operators, this difference should be even bigger.

What Do You Get with an Ultima?

The mid-deck Ultima series uses a 2 x 2 inch tubular steel frame that extends around the engine, protecting it from bumps when backing up. Top forward speed is 7 MPH, and reverse speed is 3.5 MPH. The low slung chassis is stable on slopes up to 20 degrees.

Cub Cadet outfits these mowers with their AeroForce fabricated decks. The shell is made from thick sheets of steel, helping it withstand impacts. Inside, baffles enclose the area around the blades, increasing vacuum. This helps these decks deliver the smooth finish of a stamped deck. In fact, it works so well that the mulching kit for this mower doesn’t need additional baffles.


The Ultima ZTS comes in two versions. It launched with the ZTS1, which comes equipped with a Kohler 7000 Series engine and Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 hydrostatic transmissions. It’s available with 42, 46 and 50 inch decks.

The ZTS2 comes out this spring. It uses a Kohler 7000 Series Pro engine and a Hydro-Gear ZT 2800 transmission. Both the engine and transmission have upgraded components compared to the ZT1, but offer similar performance. The ZTS2 will be sold with 50, 54 and 60 inch decks.
All models have an adjustable steering column, a rubber-covered foot plate, seat isolators and
LED headlights. Cub Cadet also offers an hour meter, striping kit, mulching kit and bagging kit for these mowers.

We’re Your Mower Headquarters

Is it time to get a new mower? Do you want to add something to your ZTR, or need to have it worked on? Shank’s Lawn Equipment is an authorized dealer for Cub Cadet and Kohler. We don’t just sell these mowers, we have a service department and a massive parts warehouse with everything you need to keep your Cub Cadet running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

Need parts or accessories for your Cub Cadet? We ship across the United States and Canada. You can order what you need and check our inventory of new and used lawn equipment at

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