View Full Version : Tearing up turf with a ZTR

05-17-2010, 01:33 PM
Anybody with some driving advice. We have had a bunch of rain in TN and the ground is very soft, with our ZTR we are consistently tearing up turf in turns. Not the most experienced so some driving advice, much appreciated. Thanks.

05-17-2010, 01:45 PM
Most manuals will show you the proper way to turn a ZTR. The best method I've found in wet conditions is to add a 2nd header lap/outer ring to increase your turn space and then continue to use the Y turn. Turn slightly into or away from (your preference) your next line and then back into your next line. Make these turns slower on wetter ground and remember that both rear/drive wheels need to be moving or you will tear up the turf regardless of the conditions.

One other thought is that based on the amount of rain you received it may be best to wait a while. You could end up doing more damage by trying to mow than just letting the grass grow and mowing multiple times (using different patterns) once the ground has dried some. Good luck!

05-17-2010, 01:50 PM
I live in a sandy valley region of Illinois near the Illinois river. I have to take it super-slow on turns, especially in newer housing developments where most of the black topsoil has been scraped off and sold for profit.

I generally use a three-point turn, and take minimum two, but preferably three outlining laps prior to mowing in the middle.

However - the big question mark, since it sounds like you have employees is how to get them to do all this. You have to enforce it - have them go and repair a few "divits" in some yards sometime and it may help. I agree also with the wait till it's dry theory. Good luck!

05-17-2010, 02:00 PM
3 point turn


SouthSide Cutter
05-17-2010, 02:02 PM
You have to do the same thing going around trees even though it is a bigger arch cause it will still teat up the turf

05-17-2010, 02:21 PM
Yea! I stopped ringing around trees. Go in, back out, back in, then out, and so on. That stopped that torn turf around trees and bushes Seems like it takes longer, but looks better.

05-17-2010, 03:53 PM
When turning, make sure the inner wheel is slowly moving. If it doesn't turn the turf will be damaged. Years back it took me a week to adjust..

05-17-2010, 04:24 PM
And in my experience (I'm a residential who cuts a lot of grass) at least on the Scags and Land Pride I've used, you have to pull back harder on the inside wheel than you push forward on the outside wheel. One tip someone gave me a while back was to get going in reverse, then only move your outside hand forward, keep the inside hand where it was.

05-17-2010, 04:52 PM
you guys are great, thanks. i'm assuming that mowing straight (I grew up on tractors) gets easier and easier on zero turns.

05-17-2010, 04:54 PM
My best advice, and again, I'm but a wee novice compared to most folks here, but it's like driving my boat really. Pick a point and mow to it (like a tree or something depending what's on your grass' "horizon"). Don't look down at the grass right in front of you or the caster, deck edge, etc.

05-17-2010, 05:05 PM
boat is a great guage with me as is a plane. I am use to driving like a car, not a boat. I have a a bunch of plots and the first day I mowed with a zero turn it looked like I was intoxicated. I take great pride in mowing in nice patterns, just is going to take some getting used to. I would also like to get a roller for stripping which I have never had, but some of these vets can make a lawn look like Augusta on Sunday with them! Thanks for the advice.

05-17-2010, 05:08 PM
One other thing my dad taught me was not to let the front casters just whip around in place, they can dig up turf too. It's hard to explain how he taught me to do it but if you do a 3 point turn like the video, kinda keep the front casters in a rolling motion vs a stop and total turn of direction.

05-19-2010, 05:28 PM
Also make use of driveways and streets when zero turning.