Zero-Turn Mini-Zoom
December 2004
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Ariens says that it offers the only residential zero-turn, rider mower with commercial-grade features for under U.S. $2,000.

The mower was designed to be a small, maneuverable machine that first-time users can easily drive. According Mark Wittak, an engineer at Ariens, the development of a residential, zero-turn Mini Zoom rider mower was an exercise in trimming the waste out of the typical zero-turn mower. “The basic principals that were used included minimizing the number of parts, keeping parts symmetrical, only putting the material where it was needed, and trying to make each part do more than one job,” Mr. Wittak says. He also says that the Mini Zoom has 30 percent less parts than the company’s full-sized 1540 Zoom rider, which means the product takes less labor to produce.

One of the mower’s most user-friendly features is a foot-operated deck height adjustment. According to Mr. Wittak, a pedal activates a four-link system with two stabilizer bars attached to the front of the deck. “The pedal and two bell cranks are attached to the cross shaft,” he explains. “When the pedal is pushed down, the cross shaft and bell cranks rotate clockwise. A drag link connects the front and rear bell cranks, enabling both to move in unison. As the bell cranks rotate clockwise, the deck raises evenly. The stabilizer bars help the deck swing side to side and hold the position for proper bell tensions.”

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