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f50lvr2
06-13-2011, 05:54 PM
I went out to do my normal Monday yards today and noticed two yards that had terrible striping right underneath where my tire tracks were from last week.

Let me preface by saying that I only to the mowing maintenance on these two properties, they are serviced weekly, grass is bagged, cut at an appropriate height (3.5-4"). I had sharp blades on that morning and the mowers were clean top to bottom and under the deck from washing them during the weekend.

These first two pictures are of the worst occurrence of this on the customers front yard followed by two pictures of the back yard. The back yard had this damage as well, it wasn't as severe and is mowed with a different mower.

Mickhippy
06-13-2011, 05:57 PM
Wow! subscribe

f50lvr2
06-13-2011, 05:58 PM
These pics are from a separate yard mowed the same day but several hours apart from the first. The first two are of the back yard which had the damage and the last picture is the front yard, which had no damage and looked fine.

I know for a fact that these folks water their front yard and not the back yard. Last week we had a severe heat wave come through early in the week and is the only thing that was different that week. I'm talking very hot also, 102 degrees plus, we even hit 101 degrees at midnight last week.

jhouchins
06-13-2011, 06:04 PM
Looks like damage from the heat. Brittle grass with a heavy mower on top. That would be my guess.

f50lvr2
06-13-2011, 06:07 PM
Just to give you an idea, here are some pictures of the neighbors yards mowed the same day, in the same conditions, etc.

I know these pictures aren't very good quality, they were taken with my old blackberry.

GMLC
06-13-2011, 06:17 PM
Looks like damage from the heat. Brittle grass with a heavy mower on top. That would be my guess.

Ditto...My feelings exactly.

f50lvr2
06-13-2011, 06:33 PM
Ditto...My feelings exactly.

That's the only thing I could think of. If you can see, you'll notice that the areas with shade don't have much damage and on the first picture the first couple of passes along the edge are still pretty green where the sprinklers give the best coverage.

Can this be reversed just by watering the crap out of it? I told the customers to water more frequently and deeper to help the yard recover. Is there anything else that can help bring it back quickly?

Here's another pic taken from a yard mowed that same day. No damage here and I know he waters regularly.

GMLC
06-13-2011, 06:39 PM
Watering will help but the top soil is most likely the real cause. Lawns that burn up quickly usually don't have enough top soil and are very sensitive to heat, drought, heavy equipment etc. etc.

MowHouston
06-13-2011, 06:46 PM
The heat wave did it.

SLMGT
06-13-2011, 07:26 PM
High temps and drought conditions cause something similiar in this area. The discolored areas aren't usually as wide though.:usflag:

Golfpro21
06-13-2011, 07:27 PM
yes its heat stress............will dissappear over time with water

Merkava_4
06-13-2011, 11:17 PM
Your mower is contaminated!! You got some kind of fungus on your mower and it's spreading the disease to every lawn you cut. :eek:

Lawn Dog2001
06-14-2011, 12:01 AM
Heres whats happening, I had the same problem last year. When the temps are extremely hot, the rubber on your tires heat up to really high levels. Running the the high temperature rubber tires, on lawns will cause the lawns to burn out tire tracks everywhere your mower has been, except of course for well shaded sections. Lawns with full day sun are the most effected. I got to the point last year where we would actually wet the tires before doing certain lawns. Not much advice to give. Affected lawns should be done in the late evening or early morning to avoid damage.

Hawken Cougar
06-14-2011, 12:03 AM
Grass roots are typically shallow in the spring. The un-watered lawns were experiencing heat stress. The recent heat wave was earlier than normal and the grass didn't handle that stress because it had not yet developed deeper rooting system that it typically has by mid to late summer. Cutting the grass during the heat spell added to that stress and in the tire tracks the weight of the machine was simply too much stress for the grass to handle. Cooler weather and a little water will go a long way toward recovery.

Pretty much all our garden plants were showing the results of heat stress by end of last week and they weren't cut or driven over.

AzLawnMan
06-14-2011, 12:10 AM
Fix-a-flat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or some other chemical you used in your flat tire.

dKoester
06-14-2011, 12:41 AM
Your grass was at the wilting point and when you mowed it, the damage to the turf was the result. This is why we don't mow on very hot days of a certain temperature.

MOturkey
06-14-2011, 12:58 AM
I've had this happen several times, but on one large lawn last year, an area on top of a hill was totally killed in the tire tracks, and still haven't filled in totally. It was around 100 that day. I don't necessarily buy the hot tires thing, just don't see how the contact is long enough to cause damage. I think it is more the weight of the mower crushing already stressed grass.

BINKY1902
06-14-2011, 01:03 AM
Nice stripes...:rolleyes:

f50lvr2
06-14-2011, 02:02 AM
Nice stripes...:rolleyes:

Thank you. :cry:

It sounds like it was the heat then, I'm glad to hear that. I don't think it's a fungus or anything that I picked up since it only happened on that one yard front and back and one other back yard out of 20 on the schedule. I was worried so I drove to my Tuesday and Wednesday yards and they look ok also. I talked to the homeowner that had the damage on the front lawn and they said they had the yard sprayed for grubs the day after I mowed so I thought that might be a contributing factor.

The tires aren't flat either, and they have never had fix-a-flat or anything but air put into them.

It's not unusual for us to have 30+ days over 100F here during the summer but I've never seen it this early.

tjlco
06-14-2011, 06:46 AM
dry dry dry, hot hot hot

Sammy
06-14-2011, 09:59 AM
The hot tire one is full of hot air ! :hammerhead:

Heck, I have seen foot prints, where someone has walked across the lawn while the grass was stressed from the heat.

Kiril
06-14-2011, 10:11 AM
I'm betting on soil compaction + inadequate irrigation + shallow roots as a result of the compaction.

hackitdown
06-14-2011, 10:16 AM
I did that once, it is from running the mower over a dry hot lawn. Now we don't mow when it is over 90 or so. That is rare around here.

topsites
06-14-2011, 11:04 AM
See why I get so high on my soap box about watching out for the heat of summer,
see why I say as soon as it starts to warm up you need to lay off the mower,
see why I always cut high even when it's cool outside, that heat wave can come
around anytime and smack your lawn upside the head just like that.

But yeah, heat stress.
If it makes you feel any better I have a few the heat got to as well.

Runner
06-14-2011, 11:33 AM
Heat stress is EXACTLY what it is. Crushed crowns and stems...broken off as they were crisp. Every last bit of moisture gets squeezed out.

zlssefi
06-14-2011, 11:50 AM
Any chance your mower leaks gasoline?

Sammy
06-15-2011, 12:57 AM
Yup, that's what it is, a gas leak on hot rubber tires..... how the heck did we not think of that !

STIHL GUY
06-15-2011, 07:52 AM
seems like heat damage to me...theres not much else i can think of that would cause it to look like that

gravelyman50
06-15-2011, 09:02 AM
I've had this happen several times, but on one large lawn last year, an area on top of a hill was totally killed in the tire tracks, and still haven't filled in totally. It was around 100 that day. I don't necessarily buy the hot tires thing, just don't see how the contact is long enough to cause damage. I think it is more the weight of the mower crushing already stressed grass.


This is exactly what it is. The guy saying the tires are hot, well:dizzy:

When it gets really hot outside and sunny, and the grass is not being watered, the grass stem starts to become stresses and weak, and when you drive a 1200 lb mower over it, it crushed the stem right off, but the roots are still in the ground, therefore it will greenup later with cooler temps and rain.. Ive even killed grass walking on it before, you could see dead grass in your footprints... And i think it does happen more with a sandy soil because it become stressed so much faster then a soil that is going to hold the water more.

topsites
06-15-2011, 09:07 AM
This is exactly what it is. The guy saying the tires are hot, well:dizzy:

When it gets really hot outside and sunny, and the grass is not being watered, the grass stem starts to become stresses and weak, and when you drive a 1200 lb mower over it, it crushed the stem right off, but the roots are still in the ground, therefore it will greenup later with cooler temps and rain.. Ive even killed grass walking on it before, you could see dead grass in your footprints... And i think it does happen more with a sandy soil because it become stressed so much faster then a soil that is going to hold the water more.

Some people here are really smart, the rest might do well taking lessons from them.

Lawn Dog2001
06-15-2011, 04:58 PM
All factors contribute, but if you guys dont think your black rubber tires dont get hot on a 90 degree day your fooling yourself.

Lawns are already stressed during a prolonged hot spell. Your tires, especially on zero turns are large heat magnets that absorb the sun and stay hotter, even by only a few degrees that the outside temp. Running them over a already water stricken lawn in the hottest part of the day will cause the compressed turf to wilt.

You guys can call me crazy if you want, but had the exact same problem. I figured it out, and corrected the problem. If its easier for some of you guys to blame the customers lawn, or watering practices, then by all means, do that. Thats just not my way.

f50lvr2
06-15-2011, 06:41 PM
Thanks for all the input everybody. I've never had this happen to me before. We almost always have a heat spell here but it usually comes much later in the season and builds up to it. When I mowed these yards the heat spell was just starting, I was not expecting it to stay over 100F for several days.

I've told the owners that the root system should still be ok and to go ahead and water the whole yard heavily for a while. It may take a while for it to come back but it should come back. So far they've been very understanding.

I have noticed this all over town now, unfortunately it caught out several other LCO's around town.

ed2hess
06-15-2011, 07:41 PM
All factors contribute, but if you guys dont think your black rubber tires dont get hot on a 90 degree day your fooling yourself.

Lawns are already stressed during a prolonged hot spell. Your tires, especially on zero turns are large heat magnets that absorb the sun and stay hotter, even by only a few degrees that the outside temp. Running them over a already water stricken lawn in the hottest part of the day will cause the compressed turf to wilt.

You guys can call me crazy if you want, but had the exact same problem. I figured it out, and corrected the problem. If its easier for some of you guys to blame the customers lawn, or watering practices, then by all means, do that. Thats just not my way.

Nothing to do with heat on tires......I see this with a little 21" Snapper, it is a pressure thing. You simply can not cut grass when it is dry like that shows. Customers get mad when you tell them it definitley is underwatered and if you keep mowing it the grass WILL NOT come back out. Been there and we are there again. You use weed eater to trim the entire lawn or stay off it.

gravelyman50
06-15-2011, 10:39 PM
All factors contribute, but if you guys dont think your black rubber tires dont get hot on a 90 degree day your fooling yourself.

Lawns are already stressed during a prolonged hot spell. Your tires, especially on zero turns are large heat magnets that absorb the sun and stay hotter, even by only a few degrees that the outside temp. Running them over a already water stricken lawn in the hottest part of the day will cause the compressed turf to wilt.

You guys can call me crazy if you want, but had the exact same problem. I figured it out, and corrected the problem. If its easier for some of you guys to blame the customers lawn, or watering practices, then by all means, do that. Thats just not my way.

dude, you are making a Fool out of yourself. Why dont you do a little test for yourself.. Next time its really hot ouside and the conditions are right, buy about 10 bags of ice and cover your tires completly and get them nice and cold, then hurry up and take them off and go more the lawn. Come back a week later and look at the lawn you mowed with your cold tires.

You have got to prove yourself wrong before you try and explain that to your customers or other people.

Winnipeg Lawns
06-16-2011, 12:53 AM
I've had this happen several times, but on one large lawn last year, an area on top of a hill was totally killed in the tire tracks, and still haven't filled in totally. It was around 100 that day. I don't necessarily buy the hot tires thing, just don't see how the contact is long enough to cause damage. I think it is more the weight of the mower crushing already stressed grass.

No. I've done this sort of damage with my foot prints.

americanlawn
06-18-2011, 07:08 PM
1) We painted our tires "white".
2) We also carry 1000 pounds of crushed ice in each truck so we can ice down the tires when the white paint starts to wear off. :laugh:

Honestly, we're currently seeing many lawns like this. Damage from mowers (commercial & residential). Damage from ride-on spreader/sprayers. Damage from footprints, etc. About 10 days ago, we had 85 - 95 degrees with no rain. Full sun too. Heat index exceeded 100 degrees. Since then we've received at least 2 inches of rain & cooler temps, and the damaged areas are recovering, but we are still getting service calls regarding "what happened".

We leave the customer a "fact sheet" that explains this. We commonly see this damage on compacted/clay lawns in full sun when the homeowner failed to water a parched (cool season) lawn during near record heat.

This type of damage would not have occurred if the homeowner would have followed land grant university recommendations regarding "proper watering during summer months". Yet the customer expects a weekly mow.

I did one of these service calls yesterday where the homeowner wants "monetary compensation". >>>> What would you guys do? Back down & give 'em money? Would you stand by your guns & say we don't carry a 'crystal ball' in each truck, and we cannot control how/if you water a drought-stressed lawn?

rsvp, thanks