View Full Version : ztr's and ruts in the yard

Green Finger
01-26-2001, 11:54 AM
Ok guys here's the situation.

I'm am in the process of looking into purchasing a ztr. I run a solo operation and from what I hear Ztr is the way to go.

A friend of mine has a ztr and I saw some of his yards and they have big tire ruts in the yard. "imprints" I really don't like that look.

You guys that are using the ztrs how do you prevent from having the ruts in the yard.

Give me some feedback.

Eric ELM
01-26-2001, 12:05 PM
By using the widest tire available for the ZTR you get. I have used heavy machines for the past 13 seasons of the 16 I have mowed. What I find is that my 1200 mower with 12" wide tires will leave less of a imprint in a lawn than if I get off and walk through the same area. Your shoe will sink in more than the wheel did. You will get to know where your soft areas of a lawn are, so do that area with a lighter mower. This is how we do it and have had no problems putting ruts in lawns. If the whole lawn is soft, just make sure you don't drive in the same tracks each week. If the lawn is so soft you sink in with a ZTR, your feet will sink in worse with a walk behind. I guess you could wear some snow shoes. :)

cutting edge
01-26-2001, 12:13 PM

What about mowing the perimeter? How do you alternate that?


Eric ELM
01-26-2001, 12:34 PM
When it's so soft that your afraid of making a rut, go close one week and move over a foot the next week. Use a trim mower around the whole perimeter to do the 1 foot or your string trimmer will cut at least 17" wide. Normally the whole lawn isn't soft, so just do this in those areas.

cutting edge
01-26-2001, 02:38 PM

What about mowing the perimeter? How do you alternate that?


Eric ELM
01-26-2001, 02:43 PM
I answered that question right in between the last 2 posts you did on asking me this question.

John DiMartino
01-26-2001, 02:49 PM
Derek.as long as you move the pattern,you wil be fine.I never owned a WB,but my Dixie weighs about 1200 lbs in the spring with the bagger on it,and it will only leave ruts if you do something stupid and put it in a soaking wet area that you couldnt even walk through.If you keep running in the same tracks all yearm,then you will leave ruts,i can feel the ruts when i cross cut my lawns,especially.

01-26-2001, 04:49 PM
1.Change your pattern often.
2.Try to give extra time to dry if possible.
3.I have even used different mowers so the tires will hit in different places.

I have found that my walkbehinds are the worst at making ruts. Like Eric Elm said, its in the small tires.

cutting edge
01-26-2001, 05:44 PM
Sorry about that Eric. Sometimes when I move BACK with my browser I have noticed that it will post again. I did not realize that this had happened. Sorry for the confusion.

cutting edge
01-26-2001, 05:52 PM
My trouble has not been ruts due to wet lawns. Some of my customers do not have irrigation and it has been DRY in south ga lately. My trouble has been the tires wearing out the grass. No rain plus clay equals poor stand of grass. Add a 900lb Lazer HP and it wears it out. I do change my pattern where I can. But there are some spots you can mow only one way, or use the 22".

01-26-2001, 06:46 PM
For the perimeter, even if you stagger 6 to 8 inches or so (about a front caster width) this will help.

double e
01-26-2001, 06:47 PM
ALot of people make rutts by turning. You just don't turn a 180 degree turn in less than a second. You either take your time or do what I prefer and do a 3 point turn.

01-28-2001, 12:37 AM
Try dropping tire pressure to 9-10 lbs. This should
help. Craig

Mueller Landscape Inc
01-28-2001, 12:55 AM
We change our mowing pattern everytime we mow.