The Differences Between Tuff Torq TZT7 M vs. Hydro Gear

A lot goes into chosing a zero turn mower. Front or back mounting, fuel type like gasoline, diesel or propane, horsepower etc. Another thing to consider is Tuff Torq TZT7 M VS. Hydro Gear on a ZT mower.

These are two mechanical solution brands that famously produce zero turn mower transmission. But what are the features of Tuff Torq transmission? Is Hydro gear better? Which one should you pick when buying your Zero turn mower?

Ask no further! This article has just the information for you. Take a look at this detailed but brief article to get a direction on your purchase decision.

Tuff Torq TZT7 M VS. Hydro Gear: Quick Comparison Table

There are some differences between Tuff Torq TZT7 M VS. Hydro Gear. These are stated below:

Tuff Torq TZT7 M VS. Hydro Gear:

FeaturesTuff Torq TZT7 MHydro Gear
Speed9 mphup to 7 mph, [up to 11 mph]
Gross Vehicle Weight1,210lbs900 lbs
Torque15.8 Nm291 Nm
Brake Capacity310 NmNA
Pump/Motor Displacement7/10 cc/revNA

What Are The Difference Between Tuff Torq TZT7 M VS. Hydro Gear Based on Features?

From Tuff Torq’s own definition, the TZT7 Type III is a strong zero-turn IHT or hydrostatic trasmission for household mowers. These devices provide increased speed, weight capacity, and torque.

The Hydro gear transmissions on the other hand, A hydrostatic transmission is made up of a variable displacement bi-directional axial piston pump and a fixed displacement bi-directional axial piston hydraulic motor.

The pump is powered by something outside of itself, usually a v-belt from a gas engine. Depending on a few important consumer criteria, these two are distinguished below:

1. Performance:

The Tuff Torq is quite famous among users, almost as same as the hydro gear is. The TZT7 M is a nice tranny. However, there have been reports stating leakages within 50 hours of usage.

Most dealers do not help with this. (Read about it in the after-service warranty section of this article.) The oil seems to leak from the place where the control lever is.

The EZT is Hydro-gear’s most popular residential model used extensively by many zero-turn manufacturers. It is a residential grade integrated hydrostatic transmission featuring infinitely variable speed and bi-directional control.

It is positioned both in price in performance between the value series ZT 2100 and the estate grade ZT 2800 the integrated design.

The Hydro Gear designs feature hydraulic technology and gear reduction in an aluminum housing. They have two advantages over a separate pump and motor configuration.

First is by eliminating the hydraulic hoses that has 89% fewer potential leak. And second is the integrated unit has a lower center of gravity improving traction and stability.

Looking at these facts, it is safe to pick the Hydro-Gear transmission over the TZT7-M, based on performance deliverance.

2. Ease of Use and Comfort:

Many of the Hydro-Gear transmissions, especially the residentially used EZT piston has a 10 CC seven piston variable displacement pump. It also has a 10 CC five piston fixed displacement motor.

The lower hydraulic ripple results in a quieter transmission when mowing. Torque is an important factor in a mower. The overall performance torque is needed to make smooth starts and accelerate quickly.

In climbing hills as well, the Hydro-Gear produces better continuous torque of 125 foot-pounds. The gear train smoothly transfers this torque to the wheel.

The brakes require low activating force. Each transmission is equipped with a bypass to disengage the hydraulics. This allows the vehicle to be moved without starting the engine!

3. Durability and Reliability:

The transaxles namely K91 used in the 4×5 and the K92 used in the X7XX series of Tuff Torq are more reliable in terms of Tuff Torq. The JD700 series tractors are well compatible with these. Other brands like Simplicity, use the K72 for 2WD and the K66-64 for 4WD their GTs.

The Hydro-Gear uses a heavy-duty one-inch axle and bushing to support the wheel and keep you running. The HydroGear G730 is used by the Husqvarna GT52XLS and Cub XT3s. A big, external automotive-style filter is included with the G730.

The metal gears on the Hydro-Gear are powdered, therefore, lightweight. The gear uses a four-stage spur gear. It is durable and easily able to withstand the stresses of residential mowers.

However, the TZT7-M is a step up from the ZT-2800 series of hydro gear due to better gears and spin-filter. 

4. Price Comparison:

HydroGear is way more expensive than the Tuff Torq TZT7-M. They cost around $600-700 while Tuff Torq TZT-M approximately costs around $300-400.

5. Maintenance:

Many people mistake non-servicable as non-rebuildable. Hydros like the EZT (HydroGear) and the Tuff Torq TZ17-M are non-serviceable. This just means that there is no maintenance to perform in unit in question.

In this case, by maintenance, I mean draining the fluid, replacing the filter, and putting in new fluid in hydros. These maintenances have to be done in the HydroGear ZT-2800.

6. After Service & Warranty:

The Tuff Torq needs to be rebuilt if you find any leaks in it. The seal may be broken and leak within 50 hours of use. Ditch hood may get exploded too.

The unit needs to be rebuilt. You can do it following this.

A sudden loss of power in the transmission is pretty common in HydroGear transmissions. The reason may be a leaking underside. The excessive spinning of the hydro when there is no fluid to operate with causes problems.

Sometimes HydroGear pump bearings go bad and blows out a seal. Replacing the bearing does the job.

7. Overall Efficiency:

Over all efficiency of both the transmissions is more or less the same. However, the HydroGear may be a better option for you in terms of running on low fuel.

8. Resell Value:

The resell value depends on the mower it is attached to. However, the resell value of the HydroGear is slightly better. I can make this prediction based on the price it is sold at. And it’s withstanding qualities against time.

Tuff Torq TZT7 M or HydroGear, Which One to Choose?

Between Tuff Torq TZT7 M and HydroGear units, I would suggest you to go with HydroGear. They are more user friendly, and efficient. Yes, they do cost slightly more and some maintenances need to be done on it.

Yet, I think it is overall a better choice, despite the price hike

But if you are on a budget, the Tuf Torq TZT M can work fine for you.


Q: Which is the most popular Tuff Torq IHT?

Ans: K46.

Q: What is HydroGear EZT suitable for?

Ans: Residential Use.

Q: What kind of oil goes in a Hydro-Gear transmission?

Ans: A 20W-50 motor oil/15W-50 synthetic motor oil.


Now you know which unit between Tuff Torq TXT7-M and HydroGear is best based on this article. I recommend getting the HydroGear for the best results. If you don’t have the budget, you can merely use the Tuff Torq TXT7-M and be good with it!

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