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View Full Version : Making the perfect stripe


momow
05-25-2008, 12:49 AM
Other than practice, how do you make a perfectly straight line? I have only cut with my new ztr 3 times and my lines are a little jittery. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 08 Lazer Z AS

tacoma200
05-25-2008, 01:07 AM
Set your eyes to a point in the distance and continue strait for it. When you turn set you eyes on where you started and head strait back toward that mark. Practice will help. Exmarks hydraulics are so sensitive all it seems to take is a bump to throw you off. After saying all that I have a hard time on the rougher properties keeping it perfectly strait. A wider deck seems to make the job easier or at least look better.

To sum it up concentrate on a point in the distance instead of right in front of the ZTR.

jim163
05-25-2008, 01:17 AM
Go faster.

KevinACrider
05-25-2008, 01:37 AM
How do you make the stripes go 'right through a tree'?

F3Nelson
05-25-2008, 01:49 AM
I still cant figure out how to stripe with a 36 stander, my smaller strpes are string straight


But cant do a longgggggggg stripe for shyt

Give me a WB and they are perfect

tacoma200
05-25-2008, 02:00 AM
Here you go! Everything you always wanted to know about striping but were afraid to ask. click on the link http://www.scag.com/lawnstriping.html

momow
05-25-2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks to all,

Yeah my yard is real bumpy and hard to keep straight. But the pics actually look better than in person. Thinking when I get better will make a striper roller for the Z similar to scags (spring loaded rear mount) the first shot is from yesterday and second is from last week. By the way, big thumbs up to Tacoma, Mo

aaronm
05-25-2008, 03:16 PM
You can always fix a ****** up line on the way back.. once you have one good line in. the rest are simple.. just follow your previous line.

bill8379
05-25-2008, 03:36 PM
Here you go! Everything you always wanted to know about striping but were afraid to ask. click on the link http://www.scag.com/lawnstriping.html

Nice link.
http://www.scag.com/images/stripingart-trees.gif

KGR landscapeing
05-25-2008, 03:40 PM
I always circle the tree i guess i am strange

aaronm
05-25-2008, 04:16 PM
Maybe its better not to? I usually do it as well but end up turfin around it to much

Mic_bug
05-25-2008, 08:18 PM
Nice link.
http://www.scag.com/images/stripingart-trees.gif

why don't i get thoose green and white stripes....:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:


then for the straight line i use a laser pen light strapped to the side of the z-turn.

KevinACrider
05-25-2008, 08:21 PM
I see how the right side of the tree (white strip) is done but the left side (green strip) also looks like it needs to be swung around which would affect the far left strip... I don't get it.

ALC-GregH
05-25-2008, 09:46 PM
Somehow I managed to glide right through the tree on the hill, it rides so smooth. :)http://momentoffame.com/photopost/data/501/Dscn2617.jpg

ALC-GregH
05-25-2008, 09:49 PM
there's a hump in the lawn, not sure why it's there
but it sure does make the stripes look bad.

tacoma200
05-25-2008, 10:12 PM
there's a hump in the lawn, not sure why it's there
but it sure does make the stripes look bad.

It looks fine.

STIHL GUY
05-25-2008, 10:42 PM
looks good

bill8379
05-25-2008, 10:55 PM
I actually hate stripes and the more pronounced they are the more tacky I think they are. Looks like a football field or something.

CFB
05-25-2008, 11:36 PM
I actually hate stripes and the more pronounced they are the more tacky I think they are. Looks like a football field or something.

Finally somebody who agrees with me. I bet most customers would prefer them not to be there also.

jim163
05-25-2008, 11:40 PM
I actually hate stripes and the more pronounced they are the more tacky I think they are. Looks like a football field or something.

true story....customers do not notice them. They notice if you show up every week at the same time though, thats what matters.

A-Land
05-25-2008, 11:58 PM
Obviously you have no high end accounts??

Martin Mowing
05-26-2008, 01:06 AM
I like stripes but agree that most do not notice them. On one really nice yard I do the customer is very picky and I'm sure he notices the stripes, however I have mentioned "stripes to several people who do not maintain lawns for a living and they are like WTF are you talking about. I took my wife past four lawns in a row that I do to show off the stripes and she did not even notice, trust me they were there, just not something she looks for.

tacoma200
05-26-2008, 01:31 AM
I like stripes but agree that most do not notice them. On one really nice yard I do the customer is very picky and I'm sure he notices the stripes, however I have mentioned "stripes to several people who do not maintain lawns for a living and they are like WTF are you talking about. I took my wife past four lawns in a row that I do to show off the stripes and she did not even notice, trust me they were there, just not something she looks for.

For the most part you are correct. Customers do not look at lawns the same way we do. They want the grass cut just like they want the electricity on and the phone to work. Grass is not the highest priority for most people regardless of how important we think we are.

93Chevy
05-26-2008, 07:33 AM
I'm my own toughest critic, sometimes, and I do my best to make my lawns look perfect. Even if the customer doesn't notice, I do, and if I think it looks good, then I know I did my personal best job, and I can rest easy.

Martin Mowing
05-26-2008, 12:25 PM
I'm my own toughest critic, sometimes, and I do my best to make my lawns look perfect. Even if the customer doesn't notice, I do, and if I think it looks good, then I know I did my personal best job, and I can rest easy.

Yeah, its all about personal satisfaction to, plus there is someone that notices your stripes; the guy that mows the lawn next door:)

JohnnyRoyale
05-26-2008, 01:00 PM
Most people have no clue. We drove by a John Deere office building (nicely cut and striped) on the way to Buffalo Saturday night, and my uncle in the passenger seat asked me why they would have installed two types of sod?

ALC-GregH
05-26-2008, 01:26 PM
Most people have no clue. We drove by a John Deere office building (nicely cut and striped) on the way to Buffalo Saturday night, and my uncle in the passenger seat asked me why they would have installed two types of sod?
LOL, thats too funny... :)

My neighbor behind me noticed my lawn and the stripes I've laid down, he said it looks very good. I agree though, most don't even notice and if they do, they think something isn't right or wonder why it looks like it does.

Green Team Landscaping
05-26-2008, 03:20 PM
future customers will notice them though.

93Chevy
05-26-2008, 03:43 PM
Friends don't let friends make bad stripes!

THEGOLDPRO
05-26-2008, 03:53 PM
i make em go through swing sets. :)
http://www.msprotege.com/members/THEGOLDPRO/haxhi2.jpg

aaronm
05-26-2008, 04:03 PM
Thats one hell of a stripe job!

THEGOLDPRO
05-26-2008, 04:08 PM
lol thanks. this is the same yard.
http://www.msprotege.com/members/THEGOLDPRO/haxhi.jpg
http://www.msprotege.com/members/THEGOLDPRO/haxhi4.jpg
front yard.
http://www.msprotege.com/members/THEGOLDPRO/haxlawn.jpg

TomberLawn
05-26-2008, 04:21 PM
Alright, did you move the swings and put them back after you mowed? lol
That's a good looking lawn.

naturescape
05-26-2008, 06:22 PM
Alright, did you move the swings and put them back after you mowed? lol


He had to have. If you look closely, there is no other way it could have been done.

BTW, not only do I love stripes, but even if you think your customers do not notice them, subliminally they do. I have had so many few customers asking whether or not I had cut a certain week once I started striping, about 10 years ago. Even if you're cutting high, customers can then tell the lawn's been cut.

THEGOLDPRO
05-26-2008, 08:38 PM
lol yeah i moved the swings :)

KatKutter
05-26-2008, 10:40 PM
Time on the machine helps. Give yourself time to learn. But the reply about keeping focus on a fixed point at the other end of your pass really works well. Honestly it just takes time to learn on a z. I been useing them since they first hit the market, and some lawns are just to damn rough to hold a straight line. Others look awesome. Just keep the grass flying and it will all work out.

Pjslawncare
05-26-2008, 10:55 PM
Circling the tree, you have to be careful, after a while the grass gets weak and week after week, it starts thinning out. Also, in addition to Tacoma's response, set your eyes on something in the distance and drive at it. Or, if riding a ZT, sitting with your legs apart, set that distant object between your feet/legs and drive at it.

gorknoids
05-26-2008, 11:30 PM
I actually hate stripes and the more pronounced they are the more tacky I think they are. Looks like a football field or something.

Nobody does it here. In fact, (And for a fee) some customers ask that the tire tracks be removed with a blower. There is apparently a huge market for it, though.
For straight lines, pick a spot no bigger than a quarter and don't take your eyes off it for a millisecond.

TomberLawn
05-26-2008, 11:36 PM
Circling the tree, you have to be careful, after a while the grass gets weak and week after week, it starts thinning out.

I've had this problem. I usually trim around everything, even when there is mulch or pine needles, and the trimmer width gives me enough room to not scuff bad. I also have been using some advice I found on this forum. When mowing straight by a tree, make a turn half around the tree, then back up, and keep going straight with the stripe you were making. When you come back towards the tree, go around it on the unmowed side, and mow the other side. Back up a little bit and continue with the stripe you were making. Coming back, you'll cover your tracks from going around the tree and your stripe will look like it went straight through, plus you won't make a full circle around the tree and damage the grass.

I couldn't get the Paint picture to load (file too large), but here is a crude drawing pasted into a Word document.

naturescape
05-26-2008, 11:36 PM
Actually, trying to do the "stripe through the tree" is not safe, even with a blade blocker (fairly safe with a mulch kit on though). You'll be blowing debris at the tree, often bouncing it right back to you. It looks good, but I'm making it a point to leave a circle around each tree, discharging away from the tree.

Martin Mowing
05-27-2008, 12:39 AM
I've had this problem. I usually trim around everything, even when there is mulch or pine needles, and the trimmer width gives me enough room to not scuff bad. I also have been using some advice I found on this forum. When mowing straight by a tree, make a turn half around the tree, then back up, and keep going straight with the stripe you were making. When you come back towards the tree, go around it on the unmowed side, and mow the other side. Back up a little bit and continue with the stripe you were making. Coming back, you'll cover your tracks from going around the tree and your stripe will look like it went straight through, plus you won't make a full circle around the tree and damage the grass.

I couldn't get the Paint picture to load (file too large), but here is a crude drawing pasted into a Word document.

This is exactly what I do, no one ever told me just got tired of the grass wearing out around the tree. It works well and since I bag there is no safety issue with stuff hitting the tree and then coming back at me.

If you ever looked at a farmers crop and wondered how the rows are so straight (well here anyway since its pretty flat) sometimes a half a mile or more; they use the same principle as mentioned in some posts, focus on a small object in the distance and never take your eyes off of it. You will end up right there with a nice straight line behind you.

TomberLawn
05-27-2008, 08:51 AM
Farmers now have GPS guidance and steering, so straight stripes are computer controlled. Claas/Lexion combines even have laser "eyes" that scan the crop and steer the combine to make sure the header is completely full, but without missing anything. I wonder if a zero turn will ever have something like that to improve productivity by keeping the deck width full of grass.

Martin Mowing
05-27-2008, 09:05 AM
Farmers now have GPS guidance and steering, so straight stripes are computer controlled. Claas/Lexion combines even have laser "eyes" that scan the crop and steer the combine to make sure the header is completely full, but without missing anything. I wonder if a zero turn will ever have something like that to improve productivity by keeping the deck width full of grass.

Yeah, I wondered if someone would think of that, however there are a lot of farmers that aren't that technologically advanced yet and still can make a straight row. Seems like we have to many variables on a lawn to make that kind of technology work such as sticks, toys, sprinkler heads that didn't go down, but one never knows.

naturescape
05-27-2008, 01:01 PM
Plus it's going to take the fun out of mowing!!

TomberLawn
05-27-2008, 01:02 PM
There are just a few farmers around here who have GPS, and probably fewer actually use it. Row markers on the planters really help farmers keep planting straight and have the right spacing between rows.

Seems like I heard rumored a couple years ago that Gravely or somebody had a GPS unit on a mower. The John Deere GreenStar system can get down to accuracy within 1". It probably wouldn't be worth much on residential yards, but on large commercial properties or athletic fields, it could make a difference.