Tips On a ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by studentlawn, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. studentlawn

    studentlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    This morning,I purchased my very first ztr. A 1999 Toro Master Z with 42" and 61" decks and a 25hp kohler with only 300 hrs on it. I have no experience with ZTR's so what is everyones input on the obvious things not to do (when using, maintaining, whatever) that might not be so obvious to me?

    Im just afraid im going to start cutting with it and my egine will be shot becuase i was supposed to do this or i ruin somebody's yard becuase i was supposed to do this.. help me out guys

  2. imograss

    imograss LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 796

    first, dont practice on a customers lawn, try it out on your own first. get familliar with the machine, these are very dangerous if not used properly. after you feel comfortable mowing with it practice turning without tearing the turf. (3 point turn). and make sure the engine oil is full before using the mower. also hydro oil, tire pressure ect. good luck with your mower!
  3. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    The obvious things would be, always watch where you're throwing the grass, use the cutting edge side against trees and buildings. I had an employee who kept complaining about getting hit with thrown objects, only to find he was discharging into things. Sharpen your blades regularly. Watch other LCO's in your area for advise on what to do / what not to do.
  4. tralfaz

    tralfaz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    Never go front ways down a steep wet hill. Go backwards or sideways. Watch turning around and scuffing up the yard. Most of the time you need to do the 3 point turn but in some grasses (like Zoysia) you don't. If there is a driveway at the end of the yard and it is lower than the yard itself you can turn around without slowing down on the driveway.
  5. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    Put slime or other leak preventive in all tires.
  6. marvinlee

    marvinlee LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 108

    Number 1: Get the owner's manual if your mower did not come with one, and follow the instructions. In time, you can decide which instructions don't make sense, if any.

    2. It is natural on a new machine to take good care of it. It is even more important to take good care of it when it gets old and tired--a lot like people, I think.

    3. Try not to run into any large rocks hiding under the vegetation because they can really mess up a mowing deck.

    4. A man smart enough to ask for advice will do well.
  7. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    3 point turns are very important When mowing nice lawn
    when your just mowing grass and weed to keep it down 0 degrees turning is much faster and easyer
    And if you ask me don't mow across moderate to step hill as your caster wheels are free to movement and naturly want to face down hill. You'll end up ripping the **** out of your clients turf.
    Good luck mate. Be good to her and she will do the same by your wallet.
  8. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    Is that the one that has 10 sprockets? If so, be sure to put money in the cookie jar for new chains and sprockets!
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    after 2 years with mine I'm still learning but a few things stand out:
    1. even with a proper 3 point turn you need to be careful not to scuff the turf even in dry conditions
    2. check, double check, triple check that your air filters are clean. Change the oil and filter more often than the manual says. These air cooled engines work very very hard.
    3. If you think you shouldn;t take the machine on a certain slope, DON"T...a little hand trimming is better than a stuck mower or a mower laying on your chest or crotch(ouch).
    4. as mentioned above even with properties you know every inch of, you must every second be looking down in front of you for objects that were not there last time you mowed. Pay constant attention to people and pets if they are anywhere in the area. THese machines have more injury/damage potential than a 357 magnum(I read that somewhere recently)
    I'm still learning things about this machine and am not embarrassed to admit it....respect it and it will treat you well ...good luch with it
  10. Ajays

    Ajays LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    1. Most important thing... Check and add oil daily. That motor will burn through 1/4 qt. of oil per day easy. It only holds a couple quarts so a week without oil and you can consider your engine shot. (speaking from experience)

    2. Like everyone else said, watch out on hills.

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