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Old 10-24-2002, 02:34 PM
fprintf fprintf is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Cheshire, CT - Zone 7
Posts: 53
Turning technique - zero turn digging turf...

Hi again,

Ok the last two days I have been getting stick time on my new WB and getting better. The Toro video did not help me figure out how to turn the machine at the end of every pass across the lawn.

I do two strips around the outside of my yard. Then I go across the yard. When I get to the other side, I slow down with both handles then turn so that the inside rear wheel is just barely turning and the outside is moving somewhat slowly. Any faster on the outside and the inside tire rolls too much (and messes up the alignment for the next pass) or rips the turf.

Anyway, when I make this turn the inside wheel is now slightly offset from where it was previously and is not really a zero turn, as I know it is not supposed to be. Occasionally if I haven't gone far enough into the 1st strip I get a little peice of uncut turf and have to back up the mower to make sure i get it.

So here is the question: does it sound like I am doing this correctly? Where should I line up for the next pass on my deck - I am so used to trying to get the front caster to ride in the wheel marks from the previous pass (based on my old 21 inch mower) that I hadn't considered maybe I should use another alignment "mark" and fully use my 48".
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Old 10-25-2002, 12:14 AM
Swampbeast Swampbeast is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 463
Well, I dont know if this will help you or not because I mow really tough grass that doesnt tear so easily.
If I am turning left then I bring the left stick to very slow, and the right stick I leave on full ahead, this spins you around very fast, and alligned for the next pass. Again, this is performed on very heavy grass that doesnt rip up easily. So this might not work for you.
My Motto: "Excretus Occurus"
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Old 10-25-2002, 11:51 PM
We do 4 U We do 4 U is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hampton Roads Va.
Posts: 183
First make 2 perimeter passes, then make 3 point turns for going back and forth. If you are turning to your right for the next pass pull up and to te right, back up a little and then make the next pass. The most important thing to remember is to slow a little in the turns and keep both wheels moving. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-31-2002, 12:29 AM
Clewsew Clewsew is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 60

My experinece is such that even if I am not lined up exactly for the next pass at the end of my turn, I have enough room to come back to where I need to be(or adjust accoudingly) If you have your 2 parrameter swipes you should still have enough room to make the turn, and get lined up. Remember that you can go as slow as you need to until you get the hang of it.

Now as far as where to line up your caster wheels, that is going to have to be what feels best to you. Just experiment a little and see how close you can get to the edge of your deck without leaving uncut grass. Leave yourself a little breathing room....My Toro varies depending on which side I am cutting into(left or right). I hate that the grass has just about quit growing, because I was starting to get the hang of it. I will say, though, that I have not had any problems with tearing up the grass. I also have the T-Bar setup. I really like it.

Good Luck,
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Old 10-31-2002, 12:37 AM
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PaulJ PaulJ is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Columbus, NE
Posts: 1,777
How wide is your mower?
I have a 36" gear drive. I usualy make three perimiter passes so I have enough room to turn and line up for the next pass when I'm using my sulky. If I step off or don't use it , then I can get by with just two passes. Just have to pull the inside wheel back a bit as you turn- 3point turn. If you have a 48" or wider two perimiter passed should be enough room.

good luck
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Old 11-01-2002, 01:23 PM
fprintf fprintf is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Cheshire, CT - Zone 7
Posts: 53
If I have to make a 3 point turn do I need to throw it into neutral or is it simple enough to pull the handles/levers enough so that I can do the turn?
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Old 11-01-2002, 09:52 PM
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MacLawnCo MacLawnCo is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,847
Dont do a 3 pt turn. He is refering to a ztr i think. Just turn like you are, but do it further into the two perimeter strips. Dont use the caster as a guide. You are loosing about 10" worth of cutting. I only overlap 2" max.
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