Advanced Search

The Green Industry's Resource Center

Old 09-06-2006, 12:18 AM
lewdo lewdo is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: decatur, il
Posts: 86
Turning tips for ZTR's?

Need some tips from the pros please.

I bought my first ZTR this year and having a little trouble turning and tearing up the ground.

I've got the JD 737, like everything about and I'm sure I'm the one causing the problems! I've watched myself turn and just can't seem to figure out the proper technique. Seems like on thick turf don't have much of a problem, but on thin turf real easy to tear up the grass.

Any tips greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 12:46 AM
HOOLIE's Avatar
HOOLIE HOOLIE is offline
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,984
First check to see that your rear tires are properly inflated.

Making a true zero-turn, with one wheel moving forward while the other is moving in reverse, will lessen the chance of tearing up the turf. Of course thin turf is more susceptible to tearing in general.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 02:22 AM
waffletown20 waffletown20 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 100
It would help to come to a complete stop before you begin to turn around. This will prevent your wheels from skidding as they change direction.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 08:18 AM
beautifullawns's Avatar
beautifullawns beautifullawns is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hampton, NH
Posts: 313
Make sure both wheels are always moving and go slow. Don't pivot on a wheel that is stopped.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 09:42 AM
ChadsLawn's Avatar
ChadsLawn ChadsLawn is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Holiday,Florida
Posts: 1,110
ALWAYS make sure whateverkid of turn your making, that both rear wheels are moving at ALL times. Making a complete 180, Try doing a 3 point turn. Making a 90 turn, make sure the inside wheel is turning. You will lesson turf damage this way. I run "Super Lug" tires, so I have to take alittle more care when turning. Using the 2 ways I mentioned helps alot.

6 Years on Lawnsite
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 09:53 AM
noseha's Avatar
noseha noseha is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MI
Posts: 554
I like to turn using a 3pt turn turn 1/3 way before you stop. turn in rev 1/3 of the way and turn the rest of the way going for ward. I try to stop on all my turns. If you can watch your tire and you will see and feel the right flow!!!!!
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 02:40 PM
steve45's Avatar
steve45 steve45 is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Midland, Texas
Posts: 1,325
I've been experimenting with wide radius turns, cutting every third line. When I get to the end, I go back and hit each skipped line. When I get to the end of that, I go back and finish the last line. (Sounds confusing, I know). I know I end up with a lot of overlap, but it sure saves time on turns and I don't tear up the grass.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 08:24 PM
lewdo lewdo is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: decatur, il
Posts: 86
Thanks alot guys. Good points. I appreciate the feedback.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2006, 10:16 PM
Roger Roger is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: McMurray, PA
Posts: 5,892
I bought a JD 717A in May, and feel like I am still learning (about 200 hours). The terrain I drive is often sloping, and it could be in any direction. On steeper slopes, I always mow parallel to the hill. At the end, always turn UP the slope, regardless of mowing top to bottom, or bottom to top. When I have the choice, I try mowing bottom to top.

Also, it took me a long time to discover a technique that helped with skidding the inside wheel, the one on the highest elevation ... (this is the most vulnearable wheel to tear turf). My tendancy to make a turn is to slow the inside wheel. But, when on the upside and will be the inside wheel on the turn, it will easily skid. But, rather than slow the inside wheel, I have found that speeding up the outside wheel will make the turn, without tearing turf. This often requires slowing the entire machine down a bit before approaching the turn.

By speeding up the outside wheel, the leverage to turn the machine is primarily generated by the outside wheel, the one with the most traction. Now, this does not insure the inside wheel will loose a bit of traction, but the technique will minimize the tearing.

This may be confusing, but to summarize: To turn the machine, speed up the outside wheel (greater traction), rather than slowing down the inside wheel (lesser traction).

Even after a few months, and taking great care, I still find myself tearing turf in some places. Yes, I have gotten much better, but still tear more turn in one week than I have in 10 years with my walk-behind.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Grand View Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:09 PM.

Page generated in 0.08904 seconds with 8 queries