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View Full Version : What's your un-cut circle diameter?


unit40
03-29-2008, 11:10 AM
I know a ZTR can merely spin around in its own length, but what is the smallest diameter circle you can maneuver them around? For example, a six inch diameter flagpole?

tb8100
03-29-2008, 11:35 AM
Wow, I totally expected this to be an R-rated thread by the title....;)

The smallest thing would really just depend on how much you want to slow down. But if you're already gonna have it hit it with the trimmer, why slow down to get super close to it. It would only take a second to trim either way.

tb8100
03-29-2008, 11:37 AM
oh and FYI, I'm cut, so I couldnt tell you what my uncut diameter would be. Really big though. Think Summer Sausage. :drinkup:

topsites
03-29-2008, 11:43 AM
oh and FYI, I'm cut, so I couldnt tell you what my uncut diameter would be. Really big though. Think Summer Sausage. :drinkup:

omg i could a told you not to order them pills btw if it lasts over 4 hours u have to go see the doctor and I probably shouldn't laugh but it is kinda funny

unit40
03-29-2008, 12:24 PM
It really is a serious question, because a lot of ZTR's can't negotiate a real tight circle around an obstacle. I'm wondering what your machines realistically can do without doing any damage to the lawn, the obstacle. or hitting the obstacle or running over the mulch ring with a tire, etc.. Like my example above, my machine can flawlessly cut around a six inch diameter object. That is a continuous cut with no backing or repositioning, etc. What can your machine do?

Runner
03-29-2008, 12:28 PM
Stick a pencil in the ground, and I'll mow around it.

LawnBoy89
03-29-2008, 12:35 PM
When it gets to a certian point if you really feel the need to get as close as possible all you must do is drive away from the object slightly and then go back with the inside tire which is going to take a couple extra seconds rather then just going around it and trimming it after.

hackitdown
03-29-2008, 12:39 PM
You can cut around a tiny object, however, your inside tire will tear up the lawn. The inside tire will be grinding since it is not rolling. That is why we create big mulch rings around these obsticles...less tearing or trimming.

mag360
03-29-2008, 12:49 PM
We're talking about trim overhang here folks. Also proximity of the rear tire to the back of the deck. If your deck is left offset and tight against the drive tires you're going to get the best results mowing in a circle around any object.

This comes in handy around mulch rings because you don't disturb the mulch or leave the inside tire scuff. Other than that I don't consider it to be important in a commercial machine. A centered deck and wide rear track will stripe the nicest.

unit40
03-29-2008, 01:01 PM
Stick a pencil in the ground, and I'll mow around it.


What type of machine are you using to mow around that pencil?

unit40
03-29-2008, 01:02 PM
You can cut around a tiny object, however, your inside tire will tear up the lawn. The inside tire will be grinding since it is not rolling. That is why we create big mulch rings around these obsticles...less tearing or trimming.

Thats what I'm talking about. The smallest diameter you can cut without ripping up the turf.

Sweet Tater
03-29-2008, 06:52 PM
oh and FYI, I'm cut, so I couldnt tell you what my uncut diameter would be. Really big though. Think Summer Sausage. :drinkup:

WAY too much information :laugh:

grass-scapes
03-29-2008, 07:29 PM
Stick a pencil in the ground, and I'll mow around it.

I'll just pick up the pencil before I mow and stick it back in when Im done... No trimming required that way.

Flex-Deck
03-29-2008, 07:51 PM
Stick a pencil in the ground, and I'll mow around it.

I need to see a video on that one. a 360 degree continuous motion around a pencil with a ZTR keeping the trim side of the deck against the pencil without running over it with the back wheel. I Really Need to See That. Z's have the wrong end swinging free to be good at going around anything.

I MOW ALONE
03-29-2008, 07:52 PM
I'll just pick up the pencil before I mow and stick it back in when Im done... No trimming required that way.

hell i would just mow right over the pencil. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Abes
03-29-2008, 07:54 PM
hell i would just mow right over the pencil. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Exactly what i was going to say!!!

Lawn-Sharks
03-29-2008, 08:00 PM
hell i would just mow right over the pencil. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

.........LOL :laugh:

I MOW ALONE
03-29-2008, 08:00 PM
i have chewed up way bigger things than a pencil. :cool2: :drinkup:

hackitdown
03-29-2008, 08:34 PM
Thats what I'm talking about. The smallest diameter you can cut without ripping up the turf.

Who knows...maybe 4 or 5 feet across. The bigger the better.

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-29-2008, 09:03 PM
if you can keep your inside tire rolling, then you shouldnt be getting any tearing. thats why i k-turn at the end of a pass rather than swinging it around as fast as i can

shovelracer
03-29-2008, 09:10 PM
Tearing depends on the turf. Because the deck is forward of the rear wheels the deck will miss a small area if you turn with one wheel locked. So the answer to your question varies with the mower, but is probably around 1-2 feet the would be uncut if you locked one wheel and swung the rest around. If you are going around an object you could manage in the 2-3 foot range, but your gonna rip more likely. I try to do anything under 6-8 feet in a multiple Kturn pattern. All this depends on how much you like the customer. Sometimes you just need to hit the gas and spin that puppy around.

unit40
03-29-2008, 09:25 PM
Those un-cut circle numbers seem pretty high. I thought there might be a ZTR out there that could do a better job than a JD X744, but haven't seen it yet. The only exception so far are the commercial Husqvarna articulating riders like the PR21 that will leave a 4 inch un-cut circle. I think a commercial front-mower with an off-set deck and turning brakes still might do better numbers than a ZTR.

Flex-Deck
03-29-2008, 11:47 PM
if you can keep your inside tire rolling, then you shouldnt be getting any tearing. thats why i k-turn at the end of a pass rather than swinging it around as fast as i can

This is exactly why the moder tractor style mowers are efficient. The hydrostatic transmissions are as quik as a Z. and the turning radius allows very small uncut turning radii. without tearing. We can do the K turn also.

CFB
03-29-2008, 11:57 PM
I would guess a couple feet diameter to cut flawlessly with no tearing and no slowing.

Oh and as far as uncut diameter, stick a pencil in the ground and imagine it "cut".

shovelracer
03-30-2008, 12:05 AM
OK here is the exact answer to the question. The circle diameter will be exactly twice the measurement of the distance from the center of the tires contact patch to the nearest blade tip edge. Any less than that would result in the inside tire traveling in reverse. Just as well you cant make a turn like this around an object unless the inside edge of the tire is traveling around the circumference of the object thereby enlarging the uncut circle.

Happy Frog
03-30-2008, 01:34 AM
OK here is the exact answer to the question. The circle diameter will be exactly twice the measurement of the distance from the center of the tires contact patch to the nearest blade tip edge. Any less than that would result in the inside tire traveling in reverse. Just as well you cant make a turn like this around an object unless the inside edge of the tire is traveling around the circumference of the object thereby enlarging the uncut circle.

Very true,
In fact, trying to cut too close to a tree or pole will likely be a waste of time.

tb8100
03-30-2008, 02:10 AM
WAY too much information :laugh:

oh. my bad. :waving:

02DURAMAX
03-30-2008, 02:14 AM
hell i would just mow right over the pencil. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

same here...

Runner
03-30-2008, 03:56 AM
LOL. No, I can NOT do it in a continuous motion, as a matter of fact, with a Z, that can't be done even WITH tearing up the turf. I do love some of these replies on this thread, though...especially Shovelracers. What a great point. Flexdeck's point of Z's having the wrong end swinging is exactly right. With a front eck,...like the Gravely 300, you can go right up and glide around in one continuous motin...the same you can essentially do with a walk behind. I say essentially, because with a wb, you have the left gripping and the deck "chopping in" minutely to form that tight circle, but still running a continuous forward motion.
To Proscapes, even though you may have an inside tire rolling, it is STILL possible - very possible to get tearing.
Which brings us to the main point. As was mentioned before, the width of the deck and the overhang makes a big difference. There has been much discussion about, and those that have run Z's with a 48" compared to a 52 and above (where the edge of the deck overhangs the width of the left tire) know the difference in the ability of trimming. With a Z, even a 60", a tree ring as large as a 3 ft. diameter still has o be oversteered and backed up on to complete the circle without putting stres on the turf directly around the circle.
When going around a pencil with one of the Lazers, I see myself reversing no less than or 6 times to complete the circle. When going around it with the gravely or a wb, I know it would be one fluid motion. Thanks, guys, because this is a pretty interesting thread with alot of good input.

KGR landscapeing
03-30-2008, 07:48 AM
Question are we talking about trees or r we talking about turning around at the end of a cut because its diffrent. and with a Hydro anything changing speed is instant so what would it matter. go up to the tree circle counter clockwise around it till ur back to going the way u want to and go. or some people just K at the tree come back the way you came then cut past the tree on the next cut.

unit40
03-30-2008, 10:55 AM
I'm thinking of an obstacle, whether it be a tree, flag-pole, birdbath, well-head, etc.. If a mower can mow right up to it and around it in one contunuous movement without stopping, backing up, taking multiple stabs at it, and without tearing up the turf or ground, without having to take the extra time to go back and trim around it. From what I am hearing, a ZTR is incapable of doing this unless the diameter is something much, much larger than 6 inches - more like several feet.

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-30-2008, 11:27 AM
To Proscapes, even though you may have an inside tire rolling, it is STILL possible - very possible to get tearing.

i know its still possible, because of the lateral stresses on the turf. its just that your chances of it is greatly reduced.

if there is a small diameter object in our cutting path, say like a light post. and you have enough overhang, you go just to the right of it with your trim side, then just swing around it, but not coming in a complete circle, you continue the direction you were going and on the return pass you do the exact same. i have to do this on a couple of our clients and it works pretty well. i can get the overhang to "wrap" around the object like that, and by doing it with two passes you reduce the stress on the turf and are pretty much guaranteed to get everything around it.

unit40
03-30-2008, 01:12 PM
In that one case, you are striping the lawn, knowing you will come back the next pass. But once you vary your mowing pattern, which you should be doing, then what? In any case, You still can't mow close around that light post without tearing up the ground or hitting it, or having to come back the other way. So far, haven't seen anything that will mow a tight, under 6 inch diameter un-cut circle, smoothly and continuously, without ripping up the turf.

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-30-2008, 01:21 PM
we do switch up our striping patterns. i was just explaining what works for us on our accounts. of course everyone will encounter different situations and have their own techniques for dealing with them. i think thats why ztr's are so widely used, b/c of their ability to perform well in a wide range of situations. like was said earlier, a machine with an offset deck and narrow track is good for trimming and maneuvering around objects but at the sacrifice of straight line performance. The time savings you would get from being able to trim around everything is probably not worth it based upon what you give up in return.

unit40
03-30-2008, 02:56 PM
Anything will mow in a straight line. And any machine can make a "k" type turn at the end of each pass for a particular type of striping or mowing pattern. But not every machine can maneuver tight. A ZTR is not going to save any time, in fact in many cases, it appears to add time because you need to trim what it missed, or it takes more maneuvering just to cut up close that something like an AWS X744 series Deere can handle just fine. So the purchase of a ZTR hasn't really been justified here, especially taking into account it's limited abilities.

Happy Frog
03-30-2008, 03:05 PM
Anything will mow in a straight line. And any machine can make a "k" type turn at the end of each pass for a particular type of striping or mowing pattern. But not every machine can maneuver tight. A ZTR is not going to save any time, in fact in many cases, it appears to add time because you need to trim what it missed, or it takes more maneuvering just to cut up close that something like an AWS X744 series Deere can handle just fine. So the purchase of a ZTR hasn't really been justified here, especially taking into account it's limited abilities.

:laugh: Are you on drugs or something? :laugh:
May be you should go see a ZTR in action...

Happy Frog
03-30-2008, 03:08 PM
In that one case, you are striping the lawn, knowing you will come back the next pass. But once you vary your mowing pattern, which you should be doing, then what? In any case, You still can't mow close around that light post without tearing up the ground or hitting it, or having to come back the other way. So far, haven't seen anything that will mow a tight, under 6 inch diameter un-cut circle, smoothly and continuously, without ripping up the turf.

There is no need to cut arround a smal pole in one circle :confused:

unit40
03-30-2008, 03:27 PM
:laugh: Are you on drugs or something? :laugh:
May be you should go see a ZTR in action...

No drug use here, get random tested by the Feds. The ZTR mowers that I have are a Toro Z355, a Scag Cougar, an Excel 251K, and an Excel Hustler 4600 with range wings. Just looking for something better than a ZTR.

lawnguyland
03-30-2008, 03:44 PM
someone needs a rabbi

unit40
03-30-2008, 03:47 PM
There is no need to cut arround a smal pole in one circle :confused:
Since I purchased a JD X744, I realized it could outperform all of my ZTR machines, including my JD1445 and my Kubota F3060. I have a need to cut circles around anything I will encounter, even a small flagpole. If there aren't any ZTRs out there that can outperform my Deere AWS, I can't justify buying one.

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-30-2008, 06:25 PM
do you run solo or have a crew for cutting?

unit40
03-30-2008, 06:43 PM
do you run solo or have a crew for cutting?

Beside myself, I have six full-timers and usually 5 seasonal college kids. But we do more than cutting. We line fields, prep 11 ballfields, handle all the trash and litter, soil testing, rolling, overseeding, aerations, deep-tine, fert app,. spraying, landscaping, playground installs, irrigation, etc....

KGR landscapeing
03-30-2008, 06:56 PM
Beside myself, I have six full-timers and usually 5 seasonal college kids. But we do more than cutting. We line fields, prep 11 ballfields, handle all the trash and litter, soil testing, rolling, overseeding, aerations, deep-tine, fert app,. spraying, landscaping, playground installs, irrigation, etc....

well my mom is marketing manager for pioneer athletics if u stripe anything you should know this company. just let them trim if ur cutting that much anything with a high ground speed is gonna be your way to go.

Flex-Deck
03-30-2008, 07:39 PM
i know its still possible, because of the lateral stresses on the turf. its just that your chances of it is greatly reduced.

if there is a small diameter object in our cutting path, say like a light post. and you have enough overhang, you go just to the right of it with your trim side, then just swing around it, but not coming in a complete circle, you continue the direction you were going and on the return pass you do the exact same. i have to do this on a couple of our clients and it works pretty well. i can get the overhang to "wrap" around the object like that, and by doing it with two passes you reduce the stress on the turf and are pretty much guaranteed to get everything around it.

Right on ProTouch - Imagine having over 18" of offset to the trim side.

Jason Rose
03-30-2008, 08:04 PM
Thats what I'm talking about. The smallest diameter you can cut without ripping up the turf.

SInce I really don't feel liek reading 50 posts on this topic, I'll stop here and give me $.02

I feel that 5 to 6 foot diameter circles are about as tight as you can safely navigate around in a circle without tearing up the turf. Anything smaller and it's best to "triangle cut it" Now with different sized machines, say a 42" walker, you can probably go smaller. A 61" ZTR with 12" wide tires, you may not even be able to get a 6' circle with no turf damage.

And "trim" on the left side is VERY important to me. I don't understand WHY so many mower builders think that none is acceptable. None is fine if everything in the world was just straight lines, but it's NOT. Mowing around curves of a landscape bed, for example, is a mess with no trim on the left side of the machine. I like to see 4 to 6 inches of trim on a mower. If the tires are even with the trim side of the deck I'm off to find another brand.

mowerbrad
03-30-2008, 08:34 PM
I agree with jason, about 5 feet is probably as tight as you can go with out doing damage. Of coarse there are mowers that will do tighter circle but definately not the large mowers. With mine I can probably cut a 4 foot diameter circle without any damage easily.