Hustler lawn mower battery. Hustler Zeon All Electric Mower

Hustler Zeon All Electric Mower

Update: While you are welcome to read the post below, make use of the documents shared, and learn from the Комментарии и мнения владельцев, I have come to a crossroads with this mower. The deck motor driver has failed twice on me. I’ve tried to repair them and they are quite difficult to service. A Hustler OEM replacement will cost ~1,600. It is available for ~900 from other vendors (though they are difficult to find). So I believe I will be purchasing a new unit. Since the Zeon is discontinued, I will likely go with a 60″ Raptor (gas).

It is a zero turn riding mower with a 42″ mowing deck.

This is what it looks like. Other images with the bulky front and accordion control protectors are either a different year or a prototype model.

Before taking the plunge, I searched the web for some intel. What I found were skeptical posts dating back to when the mower was introduced (2009?) and a few posts of dissatisfied customers:

The skeptical posts of the unit were by people who did not actually own a Zeon, their arguments were based mostly on the predicted pitfalls of battery life and assumed lack of power due to the power source. Most of the customers’ complaints were corrected, others did not follow up with how their complaints were handled.

So, what I found was intel, technically. it was just not very good/detailed intel. Anyway, I decided that if I were to get a Zeon, I’d be sure to make some posts about my experiences.

My Circumstances

My lot is about 1.7 acres. There are trees and some sloped areas. The very back of the lot borders a pond with a sandy soil. When I mow, I find that I don’t usually have several hours at a time to mow. often than not, I can only work for an hour or two before running kids here/there or tending to something inside. So having a unit that can only mow for 60 – 90 minutes at a time fits my needs. Having my own mower, I intend to mow often so the lawn doesn’t get out of control. I doubt my neighbors expect this of me right now due to my mowing history, but I’ve been borrowing a mower from a neighbor and have always tried to limit my use with it. Long story short, I think cutting the grass more often after only slight growth is a good fit for an electric mower (cutting tall grass takes longer and you won’t be able to mow the same area as shorter grass).

My wife and I really don’t want to store a lot of gas or deal with fumes in the garage. Some day I may have an outbuilding. Until then, the mower will need to be in our attached garage. I never like buying 1st generation equipment, especially when very expensive. Being 2013, my expectations are than most of the bugs in the early units have been hashed out.

UPDATE: When I first got the mower, I was playing catch up with overgrown grass. The Zeon does not handle very thick and tall grass as well as a suped up gas mower. It tends to choke out and give an error code a lot if you progress too quickly. What I had to do was raise the deck to its maximum height, trim, then go at it again at a lower height. It was an unfair test for its first use, but I learned its limits pretty early. Once I got into a rhythm, I went along fine.


Notable Points: Experiences So Far

Regarding safety, I know that the roller bar is important. But wow. it can be really annoying! I like that it can be folded down, but even that can get in the way. I popped a wheelie a couple times on trees with low branches or others growing at an angle. Lesson learned: a little situational awareness is in order!

When mowing heavy grass, if the motors get choked out, expect error messages on the LCD display. It’s a little disconcerting at first, but Keep Calm and Power Down. Make sure the hand controls are in the parking position and the blades are disengaged before powering back up. If that doesn’t work, while the mower is “on”, move the controls to the drive position, then out to the parking position. Then you’ll likely get the “ready” read-out.

The size of the mower is great! For a 42″ mower, you can get into very tight spaces and do circles around trees like no one’s business. However, what I’ve noticed so far is that my comfort level in dealing with slopes is not as great as the larger framed 42″ gas mower I borrowed up to this point.

Charging takes a while. 21 – 22 hours between uses can be too much to wait for some. I use the down time for trimming and other chores, so it works for me– But this could be a real issue for those with different schedules/mowing cycles.

Motor effectiveness does not decrease as the battery charge goes down. This is crucial! It’s not like a battery operated drill that begins to lose torque or rpm’s due to low battery charge. The motors in the Zeon continue at full pace even when the LCD display indicates only one bar.

To Wrap Up.

I’m happy with the machine so far. The lot I’ve been working on was originally 24″ in some spots and very thick. I first mowed at 4.5″. It left a clipping heap with each pass and a line of grass that had to be mowed again. But honestly, at 24″, that’s likely with most any mower. I’ve since gone over some of the lot with the deck set at 2.5″. It handled it just fine; choking out a couple times on the clipping heaps from the day before. My bagger is on order and I’m looking forward to putting it to use!

Resources (links open a new tab)

Helpful Documents:

  • Zeon operators manual
  • Zeon parts manual
  • Smartec guide to error codes: smartec-ts-guide
  • Hydro-Gear manual for drive system: smartec-zt
  • OEM Batteries:
  • OEM Batteries Spec sheet

Other Posts/Blogs

  • Hustler Turf Zeon A post about charging and testing batteries. Last active was 2011.
  • Inaccurate Display blog post
  • Sensor Location and Available Reference Voltage Technical post about troubleshooting sources of performance issues.
  • Zeon light kit A blog post about an owner’s experience installing a light kit
  • GE-ElecTrak forumVery informative discussion on batteries and chargers for the Zeon (make sure you advance through all of the pages of the discussion)


Batteries: The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) batteries are Trojan 31XHS (~200 a piece), not to be confused with ordinary Group 31 batteries you might find locally. As Christopher points out, there is a significant difference. Something to consider. if you are buying a Zeon “new” now, recognize that the batteries may be old. Even if they weren’t ever really used, they’ve been sitting (likely without a healthy charge or water levels maintained). I would recommend getting some assurances from the dealer the batteries are current or have been replaced with factory OEM batteries or an equivalent (compare the specs). Otherwise the life of the batteries may be significantly reduced.

Chargers: Related to batteries, there’ve been some Комментарии и мнения владельцев about chargers. I still use an OEM charger, simply because my first one failed and I got a replacement for free because it was still under warranty. However, I am really tempted to upgrade to an onboard charger as commented on by Brandon Friesen and Bob Hutchinson. These chargers have four separate leads that can remain attached to the batteries, charging them individually rather than in series like the OEM charger does. This permits the charger to manage each battery independently which cannot be done with an in-line series hookup as in the OEM charger. (The advantage of this is some chargers are capable of reconditioning/prolonging the life of batteries if charging only one at a time). Those mentioned below in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев include:

Another advantage is that some of these kinds of chargers can typically be kept outdoors; even permanently fixed to the mower for convenience. This is not the case with the Hustler OEM charger (see next paragraph).

OEM Charger Must be Indoors: If you think you can get away with putting the charger under the mower tarp while it’s outside charging, you are mistaken. This is a bad idea. The charger needs ventilation and a low humidity environment. It will fail over time if used outside, subjected to daily humidity. I speak on this from experience.

Loose Nuts: Check the nuts that hold the deck in place from time to time! I’ve started replacing nuts that have loosened with locking nuts (the dome shaped ones with the plastic inserts).

Battery Update: After 110 hours logged with the original batteries, I am finding that they are not performing well. I’m not sure if this is due to their age, use, or the chargers. The first OEM charger failed due to moisture getting in its housing. That was replaced with a new OEM charger by Hustler. That unit was kept dry but also failed (there was a loud “PoP,” and it was done). So I’m now using a NOCO Gen4 charger. I’m not certain if the OEM chargers caused damage to the batteries, but the Gen4 charger is giving me error codes after a couple cycles.


I bought mine in June 2013 and love it. it’s great not coming in smelling of gas and oil, and I recharge the mower with electricity generated by solar panels.

Yes!! No gas smell or oil messes are a huge plus! Don’t be fooled though, they are every bit as fast/powerful as a gas mower. I heard that some have had issues with battery life if the batteries were not kept charged over the winter months with a trickle charger. My batteries kept their charge pretty well without trickle chargers–I checked them frequently. I charged them only a few times during the winter (they weren’t ever low on charge for an extended period of time). This summer will be the mower’s second mowing season, so I’ll be able to report more on this in a few months. I’m very interested to learn more about your solar panel charging system. Is this just during the summer months, or do you use them for trickle charge in the winter, too? I’m actually looking forward to mowing this season. It’s the Zeon mowing bug!

Really happy with mine. Mow about an acre every week on one charge. Haven’t had any issues period. I also like not having to wear hearing protection, or go to the gas station like everyone else on Saturday morning.

I have four 100 watt panels that I added last year on a garden shed (used to be my kids’ playhouse that we built in 2002) and another 90 watts of panels (the original power installation for the 12 V RV lights, fans, and car stereo I installed in the playhouse). I have eight 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries for storage 186Ah each. (8.9kWh storage) hooked up to a Xantrex Pro 1800 inverter

Thank you for the link to your photos! Are you able to use the solar power for other things besides charging your mower?

Thank you all for your Комментарии и мнения владельцев. We’ve owned our Zeon since 2010 and we still love it. Our environment is very similar to stevemaier. We are very interested in setting up a solar system to recharge our Zeon!

Thank you! How have your batteries held up–do they still have the original battery life? Just in my second season and after second use it seems the battery life is a little less. It’s early in the season though, so may change after a few charging cycles. I’d love to set up a solar charging system, too! Likely not cost-effective, but if I could use it to charge all battery operated tools, that would be handy!

Thanks for sharing this information. Is it possible to tow anything with the Zeon? I was thinking along the lines of a small lawn aerator.

The Zeon has a 1/2″ mounting hole for attaching towing items. I’ve used it for getting out of mud (pulled out by another vehicle), towing a lawn striper and moving a pretty heavy paddle boat. It would do fine towing a seeder or aerator. Just watch the zero turn and going in reverse!

Thanks very much for your reply, Steve. I’m not knowledgeable in this area, but I assume that would involve attaching a towing hitch (ball) to the mower. If so, a hitch of what size? Thanks!

After looking at a Lowe’s catalog, I see that the towing option for the Zeon is pretty standard. It should accommodate BlueHawk mower accessories nicely. See|1pl=1currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1facetInfo= Or, just search for Blue Hawk mowing accessories on the web.

I am totally angry about the outcome of my 5000 investment in the Hustler Zeon! i used it for 55 hours of mow time and the batteries were toast and now it is in the shop for speed control mechanism issues. I am ready to take legal action to get my money back.

Wow Al. Sorry to hear that–let me know what you find out about what the causes are. I know the Zeon is a significant investment, and so I fully understand your frustration! My Zeon’s left drive seems to lag behind the right a bit, but it doesn’t slow me down. I only notice it at full speed (I don’t mow at full speed very much). Still, I may get it checked out. Was your issue subtle, significant or did it start out small and grow? I’ve not had any issues with the batteries so far but I’m only up to 38 hours on my Zeon. I thought the batteries might have lost capacity after a season of non-use (last winter), but they are holding charge very well after a few cycles–as good if not better than new. On my to do list: I need to get in the habit of checking the batteries’ water levels more frequently. I also need to set up a trickle charging station for the winter months. I used the Zeon charger off and on during the winter to maintain charge. My logic: Battery life expectancy is 5-7 years, from what I’m told. I hope to be able to extend that to 7-10 years.

I am with Al Walker, almost ready to take legal action against the company for their failure. I bought one of the early models [2010] and almost immediately I started having trouble with the charger that came with the mower. It is totally unsophisticated, and would restart the charging if there was any electrical interruption during the charge. I lived in an area that had numerous short outages, and the charger boiled the water right out of the batteries. I had to take it back within a year. After much arguing, they did replace the batteries, but not the charger, which was likely the culprit in the first place. When I bought the mower, I lived within two miles of a dealer, so I was able to make connections when I had any issues. Wintertime charging was a disaster, what with the dumb charger that was not at all “Smart.” But I moved to another state, and when I got there I discovered that the nearest dealer was 40 miles away from my home and no one locally had a Zeon mower. I do see some commercial Hustler gas models, but no electric models at all., Now my charger just went on the fritz, just quitting altogether. As it is my only mower, and I am 74 years old and can’t walk up and down with a push mower, this is a big issue with me. No one here is able to work on my mower, at least not the electric components, which is what the mower is all about. I would give this a single star. It is a pain to own this expensive thing, and I won’t do it again. And because of my experience with the company and the dealers, I will not buy Hustler again ever. I am done with them. I am going to try to sell my gigantic paper weight of a mower, but I suspect that a sane buyer will not want to put a 1,000 into the thing to get it working right. Hard lesson learned.

Victor, it sounds like multiple issues: charger problems and poor customer service. I suspect the poor customer service is a local/regional thing. Knowledgeable dealers who place customers first can accomplish a good many things, even if national corporate is not well known for great service. The trick is finding one who’s not already tapped out with other responsibilities. In my area, farm equipment needs trump all other needs, so I worry about the time when my residential model Zeon requires serious attention (I may be the only Zeon owner in the county). That said, when my charger failed I simply called and arranged for a replacement. I took it in and told them it stopped functioning. We swapped chargers and that was that. As for the charger’s quality and interaction with the batteries, your post and others’ posts motivate me to find out more about alternative chargers. I set my countdown alarm for 22 hours every time I begin charging, because our power has a tendency to go out, which resets the charger. And, like you point out, the manufacturer’s charger might not always know where it left off when the power comes back on. I am tempted to dissect the pinout of the Zeon proprietary charger cable, order compatible connectors, and create a line coming from a different “smarter” charger. I will likely do this if my replacement charger fails and/or the mower’s warranty runs out. Unless there are onboard electronics between the batteries and the plug in on the mower, then all we should have to match the charger to are batteries’ properties/capacities. I should point out that in my case, the original charger failed due to being exposed to the elements—it was not due to defect. This is where customer service can do wonders. I was expecting to have to pay for my replacement but the dealer worked his magic with Hustler and it was replaced free of charge. FYI, just now on ebay I found a Zeon charger for sale: 149.99. I searched “zeon mower.”

I bought mine used from a dealer in spring of 2013 for 3000 with the digital read out saying 45, though the dealer purchased new batteries. I am 2 winters in and at 110 now. the only problem is that the batteries sometimes are on the charger for 24 hours and don’t charge at all. then I plug it back in, and it charges as it should. It’s weird. other than that, I have had absolutely no issues whatsoever.

You got a pretty good deal! Though, because they are not being manufactured any longer you could probably find unused units now for about the same price. Something I’ve noticed is that after charging the batteries, sometimes the battery LCD meter indicates only 1, 2, or 3 bars. Yet, I know I’ve charged it. As an experiment, I tried mowing anyway (knowing that I charged it and yet seeing only 2 bars indicated on the battery LCD output). I was able to mow as if the batteries had a full charge. I have been a bit OCD with my batteries, as advised by the salesman: –never let them freeze –charge immediately after use –make sure the water in the batteries never dips below the plates in the cells –only use distilled water in the batteries This is my third mowing season and I’m at about 60 hours. My mower holds more charge now than it did when new. So! I figure one of two things is going on: 1 The LCD output is buggy 2 If battery charge exceeds the pre-programmed setting of the LCD console, maybe it “flips” and then doesn’t count down properly?? At any rate, Zeon users need to unite!! The Zeon mower has been discontinued, so as time goes by there will be less support for this unit.

Thanks for this blog, Steve. As I searched for a new mower, I found a demo Zeon from a dealer with 13 hrs, and got it for 2050.00 (5-18-15). Don’t think I would have bought it without the info you provided here! There is not much on the internet about Zeons. It will be delivered in a few days and am quite excited. I have a 1.5 acre lot with maybe a little over 1 acre of grass and am hoping to get done on one charge. Does anyone have any experience with dealer service or worries about getting Zeons fixed in the future since they no longer are in production?

Joel, glad I could help! I was told by the dealer who sold me mine that Hustler will support their product, even though the model has been discontinued. I’ve not tried to make due on that statement yet, so I’m all ears for others if they have comment on this. When just starting out with your mower, be prepared for a bit of a learning curve with the error messages. I recall getting errors more frequently when I first began using my Zeon. Now they are seldom. The error triggers I’ve learned.When you reach over the side to pick up a stick or dog toy, reduced weight on the seat may cause an error and shut down the motors. Just power down, count to 5 and power back up.When powering up, make sure the blades are disengaged at first. When the LCD panel says “Ready”, then engage the blades.When going over thick or tall grass too quickly, you’ll be able to tell when one blade motor is getting overloaded. Slow down and/or stop, let it recoup, then continue. Otherwise, the other motor will overload and everything will stop with an error codeIf an error code appears and you don’t know what’s up, while it’s still on, put the mower in park, then power down and wait a half-minute or so, then power back up.

hustler, lawn, mower, battery, zeon

Hi everyone, Well, the Zeon arrived today and I’m having a problem that I thought I’d run past you. Dealer said the batteries are charged, and when I put the charger on it says it is charged after about 5 minutes. I go to start the Zeon and the battery indicator shows one bar(no charge), I engage the blades, take off and about 5 seconds go by and error code 02A42-low battery comes on. I have probably tried to start it 20 times with this same outcome….except for 2 times when the battery level showed full on the Zeon. Those times I was able to cut for about 5 minutes before the blades stopped with the dreaded 02A42 coming on again. Will call the dealer in the morning.

Joel, I found this blog post that has information on charging batteries. Could it be that the water level is low in one or more of the batteries?

Hi Joel, sorry for the anti-climax in your Zeon’s operation. There really is nothing worse than something not working just after purchase, especially if it’s a significant investment. Don’t let buyer’s remorse set in! –Though, I would be sure to get some clarification on any 30/60/90-day money back guarantee policy from the seller; just to have in your back So something’s up if the mower stops the blades from operating. I don’t think this is the same as the possible false low charge indications I commented on up above. In that case, the blades were never disengaged by the mower/control. I’m not a Hustler tech, but maybe one of the batteries has a bad cell that is preventing proper current once turned on? Or maybe there is a loose connection, causing poor current flow. This could explain intermittent full charge readings and then the machine cutting out. But like I said, I’m not a tech so these are just guesses. If you have a moment and want to share, let us know what the outcome is.

Hi I’ve had my Zeon for 3 years and am in need of new batteries. A battery salesman is suggesting AGM a sealed glass matt type battery. Vision EV31-115A-AM Just wondering if you’ve replaced your batteries and if so, what type did you use? Thanks

Hi Bob, sorry for the delay in replying. I’ve only had my Zeon for two years and am at 69 hours, so I’ve not had to replace batteries yet. The literature isn’t specific about the battery details other than “lead-acid.” The Hustler rep I spoke to indicated he thought they were just 12V deep cycle (4 of these in series makes the 48V required to power the mower) and referenced “Group 31.” He was going to call Hustler tech and see if he could get more info. I’ll post a follow up if I get more details.

IndianaFarmer’s comment might be helpful to you. you may be eligible for at least a partial warranty on your batteries.

The correct factory OEM batteries are Trojan 31XHS. This is a group 31 battery with 130AH of capacity. Don’t confuse it with the group 31 batteries from your local store. They have about seven pounds more lead than batteries that look exactly the same. Yes, they are more expensive, but almost doubles the run time over the cheap batteries. Just about every post I see about someone complaining about run time has mentioned the batteries had been replaced by the dealer as part of the sale… think the dealer is going to put 750 worth of batteries in? No way.

Thank you for the details, Christopher. I’ve updated the post to reflect your Комментарии и мнения владельцев. I’m at 75 hours and batteries are still holding; this is my 3rd mowing season with the unit.

Just an update on my issue. My dealer replaced my batteries under pro rated warranty. I had 138 hrs on mower after 2yrs and 10 months. approximately 75 charge cycles. Most of my mowing was 2 hrs therefore the batteries were down 90 to 100% depth of discharge, sometime the blades cut out. Now that I have new Batteries and much more education on lead acid batteries I will be running the mower to 50% discharge and charging with a Noco Genius 4 bank Smart charger. I find after running mower an hour the meter is down to 5 bars out of 10. Hope to get much more than 138 hrs on this set of batteries. I would have to agree on Christopher Rhode’s Комментарии и мнения владельцев.

Joel, I bought my zeon new and am now have 78 hrs on it. The batteries are warranted for 4 years (1st year 100%, 2nd year 75% of cost, 3rd year 50%, etc). I had a similar problem with only 8 hrs of use on the meter. I had failed to completely tighten the negative cable when I removed it to check the battery water level. Once I tightened the negative cable it would then charge normally and has worked perfectly ever since.

From what I understand, when replacing batteries they should all be replaced at the same time. Each battery will likely be 120. So keep track of the batteries’ ages and make due on any remaining warranty!

I just bolted a Minn Kota four bank charger MK 440D behind the seat of my Zeon mower as the OEM charger bit the dust and many sources indicated charging the batteries in series wasn’t doing them any favors. This new charger monitors and charges each battery separately but simultaneously. In addition the charger is waterproof and fanless. If anyone has the gizmo needed to calibrate the levers let me know. I would be interested in renting it as my mower keeps throwing codes because the levers are out of calibration. I would also consider buying the tool and renting it out if there is interest.

Thanks for the post, Brandon. Is this the charger you mounted to your mower? MinnKota 440D I’m using a replacement manufacture’s charger now. The original failed last year due to moisture. So do you leave your batteries still connected in series while separate leads run to this charger while using the motors? Having to disconnect and reconnect each use would be a pain.

I have a Genius 4. It’s a 4 bank charger with 4 sets of leads that connect to each battery separately. And I don’t have to disconnect and reconnect each use. It certainly doesn’t boil the water off as much as the stock charger.

I bolted the charger behind the seat and the leads stay connected at all times. Also you may want to nab a Smartec programmer to diagnose your Zeon in the future. There are a few on ebay right now. They are used to calibrate your levers among other uses. I live 10 miles from the factory that made this mower and I have all of the service info on hand that they provided to the dealers. It’s about 14 different PDFs.

Brandon, are you willing to share the PDFs? The documents I posted above from Hustler’s website are just basic general documents for consumers.

I would love to see the pdf’s! I have one with 700 hrs and blades stopped turning. Fan comes on but no blades and no codes…

Wow–700 hours! I’m at 96 hours. I posted some technical documents for the motors…they might help some. Steve

Good Day Zeon Users, I just moved to South Mississippi and have a 1/2A patch to mow. Looking out across the yard, it became clear that my my battery powered BD wasn’t going to be a time efficient way to keep the place trimmed. After some research, I found a 2nd hand Zeon in good shape. It arrives on Friday and I’m excited to see it run. I loved the electric BD, I could talk on my cell phone while I mowed the grass with it. No fumes, no spring carb clean up, very little noise, hardly any maintenance. Does anyone use a mulching kit on Zeon? Mike in Mississippi

Hi Mike, thanks for the comment! You should be able to mow 1/2A on a single charge without any problems–provided the batteries are in good shape. I’ve not used a mulching kit on my Zeon. I have used the bagging kit, which requires a different blade and attachments. I was not too impressed with it, though. The tube leading to the bags kept clogging up. While the Zeon is quieter than gas mowers, the blades still make a fair amount of noise. I can’t imagine trying to have a phone conversation while mowing with it. If just towing stuff around, then yes! Steve

Thanks Steve, My BD had a bag and when the grass was damp at all, it stuck and clogged too. I switched to the mulching plug and it seemed to work well unless I let the grass get too long (too long is 6″) I’m looking forward to trying out the Zeon, it will be my first foray on a zero turn. I saw a mulching kit for a 42″ Hustler Raptor. However, I’ll try it as is and see how it goes. The grass is just starting to grow here, so I may not know until we get deeper into growing season. Mike

I don’t see any reason why a mulching kit wouldn’t work. As dry and windy as it is where I’m at, I’ve just used the side discharge. Be advised that the Zeon isn’t quite able to power through tall grass like a gas mower can. Tall grass can still be mowed, just at a slower pace than its gas-powered cousins. Let me know how it turns out!

hustler, lawn, mower, battery, zeon

I have been using the NOCO charger. My batteries are perfect after 20 hours use and one winter, parked outside plugged in. My mow takes a mere 15 minutes, and knocks off 2 chicklets of the gauge. I replaced the oem batteries, twice, and then matching type twice. Using the oem charger. Then I just put in deep cycle cheepos. The deep cycle marine batteries are essentially flawless with the Noco charger. I put the Noco inside the battery compartment and just leave it there with the aligator clips. All I do is plug in the charger.

Jason C, which NOCO charger are you using? I’m using Gen4 and it is not handling the original OEM batteries well. It’s time to replace the batteries, I suppose–I just don’t want to replace them with an incompatible set. If I get any word from NOCO reps about a recommendation, I’ll post it here. They did tell me that the Gen4 charger is designed to charge batteries while they are still connected in series or parallel. Which is nice: you don’t have to disconnect them to charge. Just like you said…make the connections and just plug it in to charge.