DR Power Battery-Powered Zero Turn Mower Boasts Higher Quality Construction
The second we saw the DR Power ZT5E battery-powered zero-turn mower in person, we knew it was in a class of its own compared to other electric ZTs we’ve reviewed. The more we used it, the more it proved us right.
DR Power ZT5E Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Design
Along with the cutting power itself, we also noticed how sturdy the mower feels while you’re riding on it. There’s a general beefiness to it that feels like DR took a gas mower and swapped out the engine for batteries and brushless motors. It has a solid frame and a 12-gauge steel deck, so it doesn’t feel as weightless as many residential ZTs tend to.
Seat comfort is an important aspect of any ride-on mower and luckily DR nailed the design here. There’s a tensioning knob that gives you the perfect spring support for your weight, as well as a generous amount of front-to-back adjustment. One thing to keep in mind is that the seat adjustment lever is a bit on the fragile side, so pushing it in the wrong direction can bend it out of shape if you’re not careful.
- 8 MPH top forward speed, 3 MPH reverse
- 1/4-inch deck height adjustment from 1 1/2 to 5 inches
- HydroGear EZTe transaxles
- 2 x anti-scalp wheels
- 20 x 9.5-inch drive wheels
- 11 x 5-inch front caster wheels
- Adjustable lap bars
- 2 x USB charging ports
- 2 x cup holders (one on each side)
- Phone holder
Testing the DR Power ZT5E Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
Once you press the power button located on the driver’s left side, you’ll hear a click, and the control panel on the right will turn on. You’ll have to enter the default dealer passcode before you can use the mower, though. Once you do that, you can reset the code to whatever you like.
DR features a touchscreen control panel on this mower. The primary settings you’ll use are the controls for the blade and drive speeds. We set both of these settings on high since we’re running on flat, even ground. If you’re mowing a particularly bumpy yard or you need to extend your runtime, you can toggle these settings to whatever works best for you.
You also have control over the brightness of the touchscreen. There’s a section to view any system faults detected by the computer, the position of the lap bars, and the presence of an operator in the seat.
Once you turn on the mower and disengage the parking brake, you’re good to go. This mower operates almost identically to a gas ZT with lap bars and a pull-up blade engagement button. Steering it feels very natural and the controls are extremely responsive.
Cutting Power and Quality
When you combine wet, soggy ground and a teenager who isn’t exactly enthusiastic about mowing, you’re left with plenty of patchy testing areas. We were prepared to have to take things slow with this mower like we usually do with battery ZTs with long grass like this. We soon found out, however, that babying this machine wasn’t necessary at all. It handled way more than we thought it would.
As to be expected, we did find a few patches of grass that were able to stall the blades, though. We noticed that when you hit thick patches, the blade RPMs can begin to slow, followed by the drive wheels. When your blades stall, a simple restart of the motor gets you going again.
Considering how strong the cutting was, we expected the side discharge throw to be farther. That’s not to say it wasn’t effective, though. Three direct-drive brushless motors give the blades a top speed of 14.9 FPM. It seems they’re trading off a little bit of clipping throw compared to gas mowers to give you the best cutting power possible.
As for the cut itself, we found it to be very even. If you happen to experience an uneven cut along the way, DR Power provides instructions in the mower’s manual to show you how to get it back to that sharp, factory-fresh quality.
DR Power ZT5E Runtime
This mower uses DR Power’s suitcase-style 48V batteries as a power source. Each battery has a capacity of 2.5kWh (2500Wh) and you can use up to three batteries at a time in both versions of this zero-turn mower. We used the 48-inch mower model and DR told us to expect up to 45 minutes with one battery pack, 1 hour and 30 minutes from two packs, and 2 hours and 15 minutes from three packs.
We actually found that this mower beat those estimates. Using two batteries, we cut the grass down to 5 inches and then went over it again to bring it down to 3 inches. When all was said and done, we had run the mower for 1 hour and 50 minutes, which was 20 minutes longer than DR’s estimate using two batteries.
DR estimates a maximum mow of 5 acres using three batteries, but we think this is underselling the runtime a little bit. Of course, your specific conditions can affect your mowing speed, but when mowing a well-maintained lawn we think it would be possible to get between 6 and 7 acres in optimal conditions.
It’s refreshing to have equipment that exceeds our expectations by this much.
Charging the DR Power ZT5E
Charging this mower isn’t quite as simple as just plugging it in, but it isn’t as daunting of a process once you know what you’re doing. The good part about the process is that it happens onboard and there’s no need to lug those battery packs around.
You start by powering up the mower, which may seem strange, especially if you’re used to using gas-powered equipment. Next, you plug the charger into the mower and connect it to a 110V wall outlet.
A brief “No Charger Power Detected” message will pop up, but once the charger finishes powering up, it goes away.
You should plan on letting the charger run overnight, especially if you’re using the three-battery configuration. You should also avoid using an extension cord since you don’t want to starve it by using too small of an extension cord gauge . Plus, DR designed this charger with a generous cord length, so it should be long enough by itself in most circumstances.
DR Power Zero-Turn Lawn Mower Price
The DR Power ZT5E comes in two models. The 48-inch model we tested retails for $12,699.99 and there’s also a 60-inch model which sells for $13,799.99. Both models are actually on sale at the time of writing, with $1200 off on the 48-inch and $1300 off on the 60-inch.
The batteries are sold separately and they run $1599.99 each.
For residential customers, DR includes a 3-year/500-hour warranty on the mower and a 5-year/1000-hour warranty on the batteries.
The Bottom Line
This DR Power ZT mower is a clear step up from any other residential option on the market. It fills the gap between residential and professional models with everything from its build to its performance. If you have a larger property that demands a higher quality than entry-level mowers can provide, consider giving this mower a shot.
Discover more outdoor power equipment at DR Power’s website .