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View Full Version : Tips for new ExMark user: Tearing turf on turns


thebland
05-22-2005, 08:20 PM
Just picked up a 52" HP 23 Kohler. Great machine.

However, when turning after each pass, I am tearing turf up on my turns.

1. How do I avoid this?
2. Is there a pattern cut to follow to minimize this?
3. Should I slow down

What can you veterans tell me to get me cutting with less damage? Any tips appreciated!

Jon99
05-22-2005, 08:37 PM
Make sure the pivot tire keeps moving, which means making wider turns..

all ferris
05-22-2005, 09:01 PM
three point turn.

Mower For Less
05-22-2005, 09:11 PM
Is this a Metro HP (Belt) or TTHP (Hydro)? If it is a TT, you will need practice reversing the inside wheel slowly while reducing the forward speed of the outside wheel. Lots of practice and you will get it.

If it is a Metro (Belt) then the first thing you need to do is adjust the wing nuts that control the brake tension. You want to be able to pull the lever back half way without engaging any break. It needs to freewheel. My dealer always cranks the wing nuts so the break is at MAXIMUM engagement, which is just asking to tear up the turf. When you loosen it, it is much easier to regulate between freewheel (Neutral) and light breaking pressure. Once you have that adjusted, it is a matter of practice. I slow both wheels comming into a turn, and then alternate between light brake, and freewheeling to get me through a turn. You want just enough freewheel that you dont tear up the grass, but enough break that you are turning tight enough. I can turn my belt drive on a lawn in just under 1.5 times the width of the mower without doing any damage.

Kevin

thebland
05-22-2005, 09:48 PM
Thanks guys!

Kevin, it is a Lazer Z HP..So you are saying to slow down the speed on the outer tire on the turn while reversing the inner tire. As I tried today, it is that inner tire that seems to come to a stop as the machine rotates on it and there goes the turf...Is the inner tire always reversing or is it supposed to be stationary when turning the machine??


What is 3 point turn?

BladeRunner1967
05-22-2005, 10:07 PM
I've had my 52 for a good year now and I still tear. It's not worth the aggrevation. As you are slowing turn right, stop. reverse straight back, then turn right again. 3 point turn. It takes some "stick time" to learn.

Mower For Less
05-22-2005, 11:49 PM
Thanks guys!

Kevin, it is a Lazer Z HP..So you are saying to slow down the speed on the outer tire on the turn while reversing the inner tire. As I tried today, it is that inner tire that seems to come to a stop as the machine rotates on it and there goes the turf...Is the inner tire always reversing or is it supposed to be stationary when turning the machine??


What is 3 point turn?

Go to a local park and practice. You can turn without doing a 3 point turn, thats the whole purpose of having "Zero-Turn" ability. Otherwise just run single hydro's.

You can also practice is on dry pavement. Any mistakes you make will result in tire squeeling, so you know you would have torn up the grass. If you can turn on pavement, you should be able to turn on grass. Realize that reverse is not as fast as forward, so you need to slow down the outside wheel during the turn. You may need to come to a complete stop at the end of your run, and then start your turn. There is a slight pause on the inside wheel before it starts reversing, you need to practice to find the right duration of this pause, if you reverse too quickly or too slowly you will tear. If you are not reversing the inside wheel at all, you will definitely tear like crazy.

The main thing to remember is you need to be comfortable enough with the machine and its controls to make your direction changes fluid and consistent. Do not try to throw the controls forward or back to try and hurl your way through the turn, start slow, feel the movements, and get a feel for the machine. You will have it down in no time once you are comfortable with the machine.

Kevin

Soupy
05-23-2005, 12:00 AM
Most importantly you need to change patterns every week so you are not turning in the same spots except for every few weeks. This will give the grass some chance for recovery. I still get bare spots in tight corners but luckily no one complains. You do not want a run of bare spots however spanning across the lawn.

clncut
05-23-2005, 12:21 AM
Three point turns as mentioned earlier

John

jackflash
05-24-2005, 11:23 PM
keep both wheels moving all the time. the inner tire needs to reverse slightly, and you'll get a fast whip around. a tire that is rolling (forward or backward) isn't tearing up grass, but a stationary wheel that is pivoting will almost always tear up grass.

nobagger
05-24-2005, 11:30 PM
Just picked up a 52" HP 23 Kohler. Great machine.

However, when turning after each pass, I am tearing turf up on my turns.

1. How do I avoid this?
2. Is there a pattern cut to follow to minimize this?
3. Should I slow down

What can you veterans tell me to get me cutting with less damage? Any tips appreciated!
thebland, I to had the same problem and this is how I fixed it- I make 2 passes around the property, and when I go to do the straight cuts and near the end of a pass I (about a mowers length) turn into the already cut line and that allows me to make a wider turn into the next line to be cut. And when comming back it will allow you to catch the patch that you were unable to cut. I haven't left a divet since!

South Florida Lawns
05-25-2005, 12:03 AM
When I got my first z i was wrecking havock on my yard, did it first to get the hang of it. I had up to 16 hrs on the machine when i finally worked out all the jitters now I am smooth and consistant. I know i can get even better with speed but i just takes time.

KathysLGC
05-25-2005, 03:27 PM
You can also practice is on dry pavement. Any mistakes you make will result in tire squeeling

Not sure what tires your using or how fast your going but i've never heard a mowers tire squeal. A gravel driveway is perfect to practice on. One idea also is to not be afraid of the reverse speed on the wheel thats going in reverse. Many will concentrate on the wheel going forward more then the wheel going in reverse. With a mower you can not do a zero degree turn and be in line for the next cut. You will need to K or Y turn it to be in line for the next pass. It's easy to do once you get it figured out. I can do it with my Z one handed but for safety reasons I use two hands on the turns.

betterlawn
05-25-2005, 03:37 PM
Three point turns as mentioned earlier

John

What then, is the point of a ZTR?

Green Pastures
05-25-2005, 03:38 PM
Learn how to 0 turn right. These three point turns are defeating the purpose of getting a 0 turn mower.

You have to keep both tires moving.

It's easy, just slow down and practice doing it right. Pretty soon you can do it by feel.

It becomes second nature and you'll be able to feel when you're not doing it right.

ztoro
05-25-2005, 03:49 PM
its more like a 1.5 point turn... Actual zero turns will put you back on your same track...
at the end of the cut I turn the mower so I am perpendicular to the next line, then from there do a partial zero turn..... its all in a fluent motion...Try not to look like Austin powers doing a k turn in the golf cart in teh middle of hallway....

Cleanmaxx Brian
05-25-2005, 04:45 PM
"Try not to look like Austin powers doing a k turn in the golf cart in teh middle of hallway...."

Oh! now that was FUNNY!!!!


Now if this is the inside wheel, try this starting at the top moving right to left:

-->
__________now go up a little / now make your right\ all the way back.

<--

So basically you go left a little before you make the hard right. (Just keep the inside tire moving by not letting it be a piviot point.

Grrr there has to be an easier way to explain! ;)

johnnyusa
05-25-2005, 04:56 PM
watch to see if your anti-scalp wheels are doing the turf damage. if they are low and the lawn is wavy they will dig in on turns. if thats the case, move them all higher.

rick2752
05-25-2005, 05:27 PM
Until you get the hang of it, go to the end of your pass that you are mowing and slow almost to a complete stop. Now look down at your inside turn tire and put that tire into reverse. When you see that tire moving in reverse then push the other stick forward slowly while holding inside tire slightly in reverse. As long as your pivot tire is moving it shouldnt tear out the turf :blob3: