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Rut prevention and ZTR's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Most of us are all too familiar with how much these machines weigh...(if you ever get one of these beasts stuck you'll find out real quick that you're not as strong as you THINK you are) and we know that if you mow the same pattern month after month, you will permanently 'rut' the turf...and thats sure not a good thing...well....obvoulsy we change patterns where we can ....but...how do you handle a property where you have almost no choice but to keep mowing in the same general pattern ?? For example I have a 2 acre account this is very very long and narrow....if I were to change directions on this I'd be there an hour or more longer going back and forth back and forth...just wondering if tire pressure can help this but I suppose weight is weight regardless....anyone else run into this problem ???
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    I have one account that i have to mow the same direction every week due to it being on a large hill. I can mow it diagonally, but its pretty sketchy and takes a lot longer. I really dont have that bad of a rutting problem, but you can see where i mow every week.
  3. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I know what you mean kitzy. When I have a property like that, I usually stagger my wheels, meaning I will try not to run in the same tiretracks every time. Just move your wheels over 1 foot, so that you are just outside your previous tracks. You might loose some of the striping effect, but it is better then the ruts. Certain yards just flat out get abused by a ztr, whether I like to admit it or not.

  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Jay...I know what you mean...Z's are great machines but I have to be flat out honest and admit I have a love/hate relationship with mine....great production, great cut, good vacuum....but...there are times when I want to chuck it...but I wont....mostly because I'm on the other side of 45
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    It sure is easier on the body! Yeah, I have some properties, maybe a combination of soil composition and grass root health, where the ole Z just works em over. Then again, maybe a walkbehind may not treat them that much better. Maybe I should use a 21"???? Perish the thought. No one would want to pay that much for me to do it. OH well.

  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    That is ONE reason I don't own a Z anymore. A lot of my customers didn't want that "big heavy thing" on their lawns. I also try to change direction of cut with my w/b's each time I mow. I do remember a few times getting stuck with my Z, not fun. As far as ride I do some VERY rough properties so it's hard on the body no matter what you use.
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    I only have "rut" problems on a few realy WET areas. A lot of my lawns are only mowed "one way" due to size, and me not getting paid enough to crosshatch it! :eek: I mostly see the results when its a new property thats never had anything but a 21" on it. Seasoned lawns with 30+ years of garden tractor mowing will not even notice. My ground pressure is much lighter than you would think. With the 24x12x12 tires in the back and the wide/smooth casters up front, she just floats lightly over most without any damage.

    To those customers that don't want that "BIG HEAVY MACHINE" on their lawn.....tell them to MYOB!!! :eek:
  8. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I have the same problem with my own lawn. I just move the mower over a few inches each mowing to prevent the creation of ruts or the total compaction of the soil. This is better for the lawn but results in more trimmer time.

  9. jason r.

    jason r. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 338

    I also have a love/hate relationship with my ztr. Yesterday I got stuck in the mud with it and as soon as I got off to start digging it out.... there came the rain. Last month got stuck so bad had to get a tow truck to get it out. I got paid $60 for the job and the towing cost me $55. Ended up there all day for $5. The customer offered to pay part but i'd have to wait untill she got paid next month. I told her to save her money and just don't call back. I'm looking into hydro walk behinds now. I'm getting rid of a few large props this winter so a big ztr won't be a necessity next season. Oh yeah, to top it off the tow truck got stuck pulling it out. After the ztr was out I had to get in front of the tow truck and help him get out with the ztr!:p
  10. We do 4 U

    We do 4 U LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    About getting stuck, the other day I got REALLY stuck. It has rained every other day since Sept. and the ground is soaked! Well, I was doing my last cut at a townhome complex when my z got stuck. So I tried to get it out with ratchet srap and a tree ( I'm going to get a come-a-along) to now avail. So i pull my truck into the grass to pull it out and get my truck stuck! Now before you say any thing, my mower got stuck doing a ditch, it slid down and all hope was lost, my truck was on flat, relitively dry ground. I had to call a tow truck to pull my truck and my z out. Thank God for AAA, it cost me nothing excpt for a little grass seed to plant where my tracks where.

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