Spartan Mowers’ new RZ series is available in 54-inch and 61-inch models, featuring Briggs & Stratton 25 horsepower or Kohler 26 horsepower engines.

Spartan Mowers set sales projections for 2016 when it launched last fall — and it’s already beating those projections by 300%, even though they’ve only been shipping Spartan zero-turn mowers for 8 months, says company owner Robert Foster. Spartan is part of the Intimidator Group, of Batesville, Ark., founded by Foster and his wife, Becky.

“This is the hottest thing I’ve ever built,” he says.

“Dealers are moving mowers fast — within 31 days, as opposed to the target of 75 days for average floor planning,” Foster says. The company’s distribution network includes 60 dealers now and they’re in the process of adding 90+ dealers, a good share of them specializing in powersports.

Foster shared this with Rural Lifestyle Dealer at its launch last October at GIE+Expo: "The mission behind this mower was to change the turf industry by raising the bar on simplicity and functionality in a top-of-the-line mower. We did it ... this one is special. We believe the Spartan is the best mower on the market for the best possible price," says Foster.

The company recently unveiled its RZ series at this year’s GIE+Expo. The series includes a 54-inch and 61-inch model, with a Briggs & Stratton 25 horsepower or Kohler 26 horsepower engine. Features include 5-inch Xtreme Turf Flow deck; turn dial height control; and a patent pending brake system with foot touch to lock and unlock.

“Dealers thought this machine would go for $7,500-$8,000, but for the first year we’re letting dealers retail this machine at $4,799 for the 54-inch cut and $4,999 for the 61-inch cut. This is a great value for the homeowner who wants a commercial machine but hasn’t been able to afford one before. Now, they can buy a full-blown commercial machine for a residential price,” Foster says.

The company, which also manufactures Intimidator UTVs, Bad Dawg Accessories, Ground Hog Max ATV plows and Gourmet Guru Grills, recently announced that it plans to add 400 employees over the next 4 years as part of a $12 million expansion. The company has 8,000 square feet of space now and plans to add 24,000 square feet.

Foster also hopes to improve and streamline production by incorporating lean manufacturing processes. They can produce a mower every 15 minutes now and he wants to drop that to 7 minutes. “I want to build the best product on the planet for the best price,” he says.

View a video interview with Robert Foster.