View Full Version : Burnt grass from W/B tires ???

07-29-2001, 11:52 AM
I just went to see a client today, yes Sunday ! He actually had a legitimate complaint. His back yard was stripped with browned and green lines. Never saw anything like it before ! The yard is in full Sun. The only thing I could think of is that the tires got soo Hot they burned the grass as I mowed. Anyone have any Ideas or am I right ? ? What should I do to fix it ?? or should I ??? Can it be prevented in the future ?? His whole lawn is weak and I mentioned to him the heat and dryness and he informed me that he waters the lawn for 4 to 5 hours a day ?? Think that may be related ?? Thanks in advance...

07-29-2001, 12:08 PM
Your tires weren't "too hot", the turf was stressed to the point that the tires broke the plants "crown" and died. I doubt the client has put any water on it.
When the turf is stressed like that it is best not to put a mower or even WALK on it.

Eric ELM
07-29-2001, 12:09 PM
This will happen when the grass is stressed from heat and not much rain. If he was watering his lawn 4 to 5 hours a day, this would not happen. I think he fibbed. ;)

I water mine about that long in a weeks time and I am not having that problem. We went 3 weeks with only 1/4" of rain, so we are really dry. We then got a gusher with a bigger amount of rain, but it mostly ran off since it came down so fast.

Tell him this is a natural thing to happen when the grass is stressed from no rain. As soon as we get some rain, it will come back nice and green, even where the tire tracks are.

This has been discussed here before and here is the link to the other discussion on this.

07-29-2001, 12:22 PM
If he were truly watering his grass that much, the brown stripes would be mud tracks on the turf, not dead grass. You would be able to tell that the soil was wet, which evidently isn't the case.

07-29-2001, 01:06 PM
I have heard that fungus can be spread on mower tires and cause striping. I can't verify the source or the accuracy of this.

07-29-2001, 01:07 PM

Just think what it would look like if you used a proslide !!!:blob2:


07-29-2001, 02:35 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys , I think I can confront him with an intelligent explanation and resolve now .. Thanks for your help..

Jeff.. yeah , the funny thing is I do use the proslide on this account ! But all that showed brown were the tire tracks .. Thank God !.. But maybe it would have not been targetable towards me if the whole thing went brown..

Thanks again guys.................

07-29-2001, 02:47 PM
The guy is really fibbing, the grass blades are broken off at the crowns due to lack of water. Tell him to water the lawn for real and the grass will recover. A soil sampling probe is a great tool for checking the soil to see how dry it is. I'd stay off those stressed lawn till you get some rain. ED

07-29-2001, 02:51 PM
This happened to me earlier this season. It was a vacation client. When he came home he called to raise hell. He thought I had gotten Roundup on the tires and killed the grass. :rolleyes:

bubble boy
07-29-2001, 07:09 PM
i have had this happen. It was mentioned by someone here that fert could also cause the lines. If the lawn had fert on it, when the mower drives over the lawn the wheels break the granuals down, and then water releases the chemicals into the lawn too quickly. i don't know if this is actually possible, can anyone verify it?

07-29-2001, 07:34 PM
Very possible that sulfur coating on fertilizer can be broken by running on it with mower tires & when lawn is dry it could cause a burn due to excess nitrogen being released. ED

07-29-2001, 09:23 PM
As everyone else stated ...you should have stayed of the grass, but this happens a lot. Purdue University mentions this in the turf tips section at www.agry.purdue.edu They have a few pictures of this also. They do reccomend on the scorchers if you mow tomow early or late, stay off the turf during the peak heat hours, which really shouldnt be hard to do because if its that hot and dry you shpouldnt be super busy.......just my two cents....

07-29-2001, 11:20 PM
He didn't water.

I know of a residence near me (not my customer) that mowed to 2" and had the boys from Vhemlawn do a granular ap in the heat. I can walk on all of the tire tracks from the spreader. If the guy gives you a hard time, get rid of him. Not worth taking crap from a liar that doesnt care about his lawn.

07-29-2001, 11:22 PM
That happens really often when is getting dry, but I have found that one solution to this problem is to mow in different directions everytime you do it, and also don't go more than once in the same track, even if you have to double cut, Cause it maybe true that he's been watering he's lawn but you've been squeezing the water out with the weight on the tires.

About the fertilizer teory and the fungus on the tires, that's just nonsense.

07-29-2001, 11:36 PM
tell him that for a nominal fee you could mow the opposite direction and give him a really great looking checker board effect.j/k:p

07-29-2001, 11:38 PM
It might have been the way you are cutting the lawn the same way all the time. You know the way we cut the lawn is some times due to the fastest way to cut it and go on to the next client. But, I have found out that if we change the way we cut from one time to the next. And I have seen the way some of my clients turf is done weather it is soft or hard ground. I have a 52 cut textron bobcat and it is a pretty heavy machine and after a while it will start making rutts. So, try this and let me know how it turns out. Ron......

07-30-2001, 09:00 PM
I do mow in a diff direction everytime I go, with all of my clients. It's better for the lawn and it also looks alot nicer too.. In looking at the lawn it just looks burnt and dry throughout.. It's in full sun all day. The front yard looks fine but it's in partial shade all day.. ?

Thanks again guys.......

07-30-2001, 11:06 PM
belive me the grass was stressed...I was the thread starter for this last year......you tink i would have learned however I large commercial account today and noticed several sections of wheel marks........when we mowed last week it was about 95 and the grass was stressed should have stayed off...ut it happens.....we are going to skip it this week...temps are to be about 95 again mid week....however I do belive by next week with the rain we recieved this weekend it should be in good shape....you live and learn........and guys like me learn everything the hard way...

07-30-2001, 11:25 PM
I had a customer who thought that my exhaust caused the lines like this in his lawn. Needless to say I fired him, now I just have to collect the money from the Lowlife.....

08-02-2001, 08:52 PM
I gave some advice......that i didnt listen to on this.....now I need some advice!!! The account that we left wheel marks in from stressed grass, has grown and is need of mowing except for the area of the wheel marks........should we go ahead and cut????? Or shpould we hold of until the wheel marks cure????? Any suggestions, We do not want to cause more damage then we already have to the turf............Thanks...

08-03-2001, 11:49 AM
Eggy, cut the lawn, but stay off of the stressed areas. I have been doing this for a month on some properties with ineffective irrigation in some areas. If any seedheads or long blades in stress area, just touch up with string trimmer. But be careful about walking on it - footprints will show just like wheel tracks.

Eric ELM
08-03-2001, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Greenkeepers
I had a customer who thought that my exhaust caused the lines like this in his lawn. Needless to say I fired him, now I just have to collect the money from the Lowlife.....

I have noticed that several have fired their customers. :confused:

You can only fire an employee and since your customer doesn't work for you, how do you fire them?

If you worked for me and fired me, guess who would get fired? ;)

Since you work for him, I would say he either fired you or you quit working for him.

I sure am glad we have this all straightened out now. :)

Samurai WeedWacker
08-03-2001, 11:49 PM
Eggy, go ahead and do it. The tracks are doubtlessly on the road to recovery. More than half of the grass blade should not be cut off, or the roots will get stressed. Cut it before it gets too tall.

08-04-2001, 12:03 AM
If your fired then your being let go of - in this case he let go of one of his customers . I thought it was a good choice of wording myself - being as the one getting fired is the one getting the short end of the stick . Perhaps that is his meaning. I know I wouldnt be loosing much if i let go of one of my customers - or ten for that matter for being a freak of nature .

08-04-2001, 01:38 AM
When I was in sales, we always used the term "fired" when referring to customers that we recently chose not to do busines with for one reason or another. Usually because they were being unreasonable.

The use of the word "fired" has such a powerful conotation in the corporate world that to do so to a customer, even figuratively, is very empowering. Actually, gratifying.