View Full Version : mowing straight with a ztr
12-31-2001, 02:45 AM
I took the plunge and bought a ferris 60''ztr last spring. This machine replaced my exmark 60'' turf tracer. I bought the ferris because it had a really smooth ride and plenty of power. The downside is that i cannot seem to cut nearly as straight a line with it as i can with a walk behind:angry: . Yes i have checked the air pressure and many other things with this mower but it still does this. I was supposed to save time with this thing but when i have to slow down, this thing is costing me money. Thinking i might go to a grasshopper simply because of frustration. Yes i tried the exmark lazer and it did not seem any better than the ferris plus the ride was much more harsh. Any suggestions, tips or advice is appreciated. :blob2:
12-31-2001, 02:56 AM
Are you geting alot of bounce from the mower?You might have to slow down when mowing and this might eliminate the bounce poss.I think with a w/b it easier to mow straight, less weight mach,more control from operator. It took me less than a hour to mow striaght with lazer 60.One key is to just focus on some object and mow towards it.Its alot of eye-hand cordination etc.Possibly try moving your hand position on the controls.This helped me.The abuse from a ztr is just part of the game sometimes it really sucks,try a backbelt like warehouse guys use it helps. Good luck:rolleyes:
01-01-2002, 09:02 AM
Does it drive straight on a hard surface ? Is it "pulling" to one side or the other ?
01-01-2002, 10:12 AM
i agree with fivestar lawn. you need to focus on an object to get a straight line. i too have an exmark lazer and learned very quickly how to mow straight. i dont know how many hours youve had it so far, but maybe you just need somemore seattime. either something is wrong with your mower, or you just need some more practice, because switching mowers probably wont solve the problem.
01-01-2002, 11:44 AM
I pick object 30" from cut line (61" Ferris) and center point on mower and line them up all the way down. It does take some of the concentration off other things though. But when concentrating straight as arrow. The ferris controls are quite grabby at first. Small movement in sticks = large movement in wheels. If the sticks are even and it pulls to one side, try tightening the hydraulic relief valves( nobs you loosen to move mower when not running) If one of these is leaking it can cause uneven operation. What I want to know is how to mow straight with WB. I have lesco Hyd and my lines with ferris are much better. I have tried to correct with pistol grips and just by giving directional pressure to handles to make small steering changes. I still use object and centerline method, but WB not as straight.
Could it be your tracking? One wheel might be turning slightly faster than the other one. I'm not familar with Ferris mowers, but perhaps some one else could tell you how to adjust the tracking. On Grasshoppers, you just turn a bolt to adjust it.
01-01-2002, 02:35 PM
1 .you have to get the first pass right.even if you have to do it more than once.
2 .starting pick the longest pass to do first not the shortest.
it takes me some times a few passes to get the first pass strait on new lawns but after that theres stripes to go bye.
01-01-2002, 02:56 PM
Is your Ferris one of those ones with independent suspension? If so, you might want to check the ride height and make sure it's level - that could cause you to pull to one side.
01-01-2002, 07:10 PM
I don't know if your doing this or not but......................only use one hand on the control levers. If you try and use 2 hands each one is going to move around every time you hit a bump. Your hands are attached to your arms and they are attached to your shoulders. By removing (my right hand) and only using my left to operate I've reduced my movement by 50%. When I come to a stop and need to make a spin I throw the other hand up until I get the mower lined up............then it's back to the left hand again. Using micro-movements with your wrist is all you need once you've pointed the machine in the direction you want it to go.
If your already doing this then I don't know what the problem is. Takes a while I guess to get it down.
01-01-2002, 07:26 PM
If mowing staight lines try a Ferris or Scag 3 wheel since they are steered with a bar or yoke alot easier to go straight. Also try
a Graveley F310 its capable of 9 mph almost as fast as a Z
01-02-2002, 12:35 AM
Homer hit on a good point. When I stepped up to a Z I was having the same trouble. I still use 2 hands, but I made a very important discovery. I was lazily leaving my elbows on the armrest. By taking them off and letting the naturally hang I eliminated the movement that was knocking my arms around. Everyone that has worked with me I have told them the same thing and it worked well for them as well.
01-02-2002, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by mdb landscaping
i agree with fivestar lawn. you need to focus on an object to get a straight line. i too have an exmark lazer and learned very quickly how to mow straight. i dont know how many hours youve had it so far, but maybe you just need somemore seattime. either something is wrong with your mower, or you just need some more practice, because switching mowers probably wont solve the problem. i have been riding pro dragbikes for years, and have found the above to be true. if you will focus on an object in the distance you will go straight too it. if you are looking down there is no telling where you will end up. with these high power bikes there is no steering for the first 600 feet (front wheel lifts to about 3.5 inches then it will set up on the wheelie bars) you must use body english to correct it. now this is an extreme example but it Does hold true. find an object and focus on it..
01-02-2002, 07:27 PM
Now after you get done with what they are telling you, you turn around and look at the line you just made. Now you have some sort of a refferance to use as you go back down. Make you adjustments to make the next line your doing strait, then when you go back over the first line you made, it will disapere.
Not all my first lines I make on a lawn are stait the first time, but after the lawn has it's stipes in it, they are always strait for the next time.
Sometimes you have to make adjustments as your mowing to keep the line perfectly strait. Not ever line has to be 61" wide.
Then once you get the hang of this they will all be 61" wide and strait.
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