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View Full Version : Zero turn mowers and damaged heads?


jcom
08-16-2011, 08:26 AM
We are finding damaged heads on properties cut with zero turn mowers. Usually in the corners. The heads are RB 5004's and 1 yr. old. And all of the adjustment is gone. Another customer has "guts" coming out of the bodies of PGPs'.

These heads would all really increase the % of defective heads. Usually 1% for us.

I would think if the stationary wheel on a zero turn mower was on top of a head and the machine turned, the head could be internally damaged. Or at a minimum, take it out of adjustment. Looking for opines. All heads have been replaced and all are within warranty period so am debating whether to charge the customer.

John

Wet_Boots
08-16-2011, 08:46 AM
You might want to experiment with heads that have an internal clutch that prevents the gears from being stripped.



there's always Maxipaws :)

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-16-2011, 09:18 AM
I maybe wouldn't charge on the first replacement but I would give out the bean ball warning that next time it will be charged so you better talk to your zero turn lawncare company.

WalkGood
08-16-2011, 11:19 AM
If you have obvious physical damage (guts of pgps popping out) and clearly visible marks on them then I wouldn't warranty the heads nor the service call.

IMNSHO, exploded popups are very often the work of vandalism. The roaming skateboarding/ bicycling teenager trolls get their jollies by kicking and otherwise running over popups in operation.

However, the little dears keep us in service calls.

BrandonV
08-16-2011, 11:31 AM
Whomever is mowing needs to understand that it's best to keep both wheels moving on a ztr and not have the one just sitting. It'll tear the heck out of the turf too.
Posted via Mobile Device

Wet_Boots
08-16-2011, 11:36 AM
The first appearance of modern landscaping mowers killed a lot of the common 2-inch popups on cheap cut-off risers. Never an issue until those powered wheels tugged at them.

ArTurf
08-16-2011, 01:57 PM
I perform both irrigation work and mowing so it is fair to say I am unbiased on this subject. If a head is properly installed (slightly below grade) and no unusual conditions exist then a mower will not normally damage a head. If the damage is occurring at the corners check to see if the top of the head is being chopped off by the blades. What I see on corners is there may be a drop off on the hardscaped side of the corner and the person mowing will put one wheel on the concrete and one on the grass side which is higher, this causes the grass to be cut lower than normal or scalped which damages the head. If this is the case the mowing person may need to change the way they approach this area.

Is the head is not slightly below grade then this needs to be adjusted.

The theory about the stationary wheel on top of the head spinning on it doesn't happen at least not the way I have ever mowed. If anything the inside wheel would be the one spinning in place, although I never do it that way as it leads to bare spots in the lawn.

Wet_Boots
08-16-2011, 02:19 PM
MFR instructions place the top of the head above grade, not below grade. Twas ever thus.

WalkGood
08-16-2011, 02:28 PM
If heads being damaged are near the curb or driveway .... then vehicles are running them over.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-16-2011, 07:20 PM
I suppose the best way to find out is to watch the Mower do his thing....

Have the H.O. Go undercover...Tell him you will wave the warranty head charge.. but the Service call to cover curb time can't be waived....

fair?

irritation
08-16-2011, 07:30 PM
We are finding damaged heads on properties cut with zero turn mowers. Usually in the corners. The heads are RB 5004's and 1 yr. old. And all of the adjustment is gone.

What a joke, 90% of lawns are cut using zero turns. Sounds like a homeowner's been trying to adjust them. :laugh:

Gilmore.Landscaping
08-16-2011, 09:11 PM
hahaha I direct your attention to this thread...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=359053

jcom
08-16-2011, 09:12 PM
Easy boy (Irritation). I am looking for opines and no need to get nasty.:rolleyes:

JDiepstra
08-16-2011, 10:00 PM
We cant avoid something we cant see. Bury them a little deeper.

ArTurf
08-17-2011, 10:26 AM
MFR instructions place the top of the head above grade, not below grade. Twas ever thus.

I've read those instructions. Do you actually install them that way? If I did it the way the mfg suggested I would constantly be replacing them.

As Walkgood stated if they are on the corners of the driveway it is very possible that cars are running over them. If you have very much experience you can tell if damage was done by a mower blade or the weight of a car.

On the warranty I state that damage done from outside physical forces are not covered. Just materials and workmanship.

txirrigation
08-17-2011, 11:10 AM
I've read those instructions. Do you actually install them that way? If I did it the way the mfg suggested I would constantly be replacing them.

As Walkgood stated if they are on the corners of the driveway it is very possible that cars are running over them. If you have very much experience you can tell if damage was done by a mower blade or the weight of a car.

On the warranty I state that damage done from outside physical forces are not covered. Just materials and workmanship.

Same with my warranty.

Honestly though when I am finished with an install I spend about 30 min going over the contract again, and making sure they understand the warranty. Basically if I pull up and there is physical damage to anything, it is not covered. This is because it was out of your controll and was not your doing, or "an act of God."

My warranty states I cover workmanship, and defective parts. Acts of God, damage by H/O or lawn compaines are not included. Also all invoices are to be paid by H/O not the lawn co. that broke it. Any reinversement by lawn co is between the h/o and lawn co.

Wet_Boots
08-17-2011, 11:47 AM
I've read those instructions. Do you actually install them that way? If I did it the way the mfg suggested I would constantly be replacing them.

As Walkgood stated if they are on the corners of the driveway it is very possible that cars are running over them. If you have very much experience you can tell if damage was done by a mower blade or the weight of a car.

On the warranty I state that damage done from outside physical forces are not covered. Just materials and workmanship.The image on a Hunter PGP case is a good guide. It shows the top of the head slightly above grade. That figures to change as the turf builds up, but at least you can start off with the critical cap-piston junction above grade.

Above grade installation was also the mfr recommendation way back in the days of brass popups. Grass roots can grow into below-grade heads.

Any below-grade head can hang up, and those heads are more likely to be damaged than a head a fraction of an inch above grade.

The real point about head installation is that it is not done for the convenience of landscapers. It is they who have to cope with established practice over half-a-century old. Systems are not to be made less reliable for a landscaper's convenience. The old push mowers never clobbered heads. It's the modern machines with decks that are much closer to the ground that do the most damage.

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-17-2011, 03:09 PM
You tell em boots. What's the biz of showing up with a 42" deck on a 25'x50' lot? Large mower cuts don't look nearly as good as push mower cuts. Add compaction on top of that. I installed heads a tad above soil grade. At least in the south the grass gets more thatch which helps.

BrandonV
08-17-2011, 10:15 PM
:Here here:drinkup: