zero turn lawn tear

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tallcoopscoach, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. tallcoopscoach

    tallcoopscoach LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    I have the hustler 60" and I'm having trouble stopping the tear at each turn when I stripe lawns. Some yards are strong enough and can take it, others are not. Any suggestions besides take a wider turn or slow down? I do turn in drives a lot to keep from tearing the yard, but it's frustrating. My home yard and my biggest customers two yards can take basically anything and not tear, but then all of my others are wimpy yards with lighter grass and have some spots where I turn.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Its all in practice buddy. Some are just gonna tear because of conditions but the three point turn is the way to go and you do have to slow down. If you are just pivoting on the inside wheel you will definately tear turf and over time even "tough" lawn will suffer. The key is to always keep the wheels turning and not pivoting like a skid steer. It takes practice but it beats complaints.
     
  3. tallcoopscoach

    tallcoopscoach LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Thanks. Had not heard that before and I knew I had to keep them moving so that makes sense. I appreciate the advice and will use it today.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok here's what I do but it does take practice.

    The learning process:
    Come to a complete stop.
    Now watch your wheels because you want them to react at the same time:
    Push one handle forward and the other back, do it slow, nice, and easy until both tires are turning in the opposite direction.
    Once turned around stop again, then get going.
    Blam you are turned.

    Sorry but I had to repeat that slow process a lot, it is time consuming and frustrating but do it until it leaves no more tears.

    ..........
    Then once you get good at it you don't have to stop, you slow way down and stop the other wheel and reverse while the one side keeps rolling, then when you're turned you again reverse the turning wheel and off you are, but THIS is what takes practice.
    If you're still tearing, start over until you can do it, took me a while, months, not sure...
    I still leave a few tears, so long it's no worse ...
     
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    And some lawns just can't handle the abuse... I have several that I can't hardly even make a curve with the Z and not tear out hunks of grass. Dosn't matter if I'm doing a Y turn, K turn, 3-point, or just doing as topsites stated. No matter what turn you do, there's a point where the wheels have to alternate from foward to reverse, and when turning, any kind of turn, there will be a very breif period that the wheel is not turning but the machine is still making the turn (as the wheel changes from fwd. to rev.) THis is the point that will tear up a weak lawn.

    Only solution: Use a smaller machine.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Also, depending on the conditions, the 3 point turns have to become 5 point turns. Whatever it takes to be gentle. Even doing tree rings....you understeer. By this I mean you go part way around (maybe 1/3 of the way), then go straight out. Back up a little bit - at a curve, like to align the mower back up with where you left off, then go part way around again and repeat. This keeps that inside rear wheel from stressing the grass out too much. It takes some getting used to, and from an outside untrained eye, it may even look like you don't know what you're doing...like you are having trouble aiming or something. When in fact,...you are REALLY operating the machine proficiently - as to do the best job with the minimum amount of damage or stress to the turf.
     

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