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Dead grass tire tracks

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Timbo, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Timbo

    Timbo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    I have a new phenomenon happening to me recently. Dead grass in lines where my tires have been. It is not because I go over the same lines all the time. I change 3 directions week to week and always move over a bit from previous lines. It seemed to have happened during a dry spell we had here. I am thinking maybe it could be air pressure issues or possibly newly fertilized lawn burn. Any suggestions?


    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    i have seen this before its a big problem when your in a drought and its dry as hell, only thing you can do is cut down on your mowing when it gets this hot and dry and pray for rain.
  3. acm8705

    acm8705 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 71

    I noticed this on a few of my lawns. I think it is from too much rain. Here in Central Florida it rains every afternoon, which causes fungus to grow in the grass. The fungus seems to attack the tire tracks faster than the other areas. Maybe the tire tracks weaken that area of grass.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,201

    When you run over dry grass it will definitely leave tracks and you can change all kind of things and it won't help. Got to stay off grass that is wilted and use trimmer....probably not possible on large areas. And if you cross cut it makes it worse ...this is very common in Texas and we have tried every trick including using a small 21" and it left tracks. In our grasses like St Augustine it will die and those tracks will remain after rain...so be prepared to lose customers.
  5. launboy

    launboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 273

    I've been doing this for ten years and come across this every summer when it gets dry. The only thing that i have noticed that solves this is to sharpen your blades more often. I only notice these dry grass tire tracks is when i skip a blade sharpening session. Also have the customer water a little more till the problem goes away. Thats what i've noticed it may be different for you circumstances.
  6. bblawncare

    bblawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Here is my slightly educated guess: plant cells lose water under drought stress- they "collapse" and lose their shape causing the wilting. When we take a heavy mower over the wilted grass, the weight (under the tires) completely crushes those poor collapsed cells and basicly kills them or at least severely damages them causing the brown spots. I am still learning my plant physiology...but I've always wondered why that happens.
  7. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    Thisa is a very common occurence when the grass is distressed and very dry. If it crunches under you feet, don't mow. Skipping the cutting that week will be a lot better for the turf. This happens every year at some point. The weight of the machine breaks the blade at the surface thus leaving you with "track marks".
  8. Timbo

    Timbo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    Thank you all for your replies.

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