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ZTR Turning Tips

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by blewis3412, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. blewis3412

    blewis3412 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    I have up graded my mower this year to an eXmarke Phazer 44". I have read the owners manual and practiced turing the "zero turn". Can you give me some tips on how to zero turn without tearing up the grass?
  2. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    instead of trying to make a zero-turn try it like a T. when you make your first pass and get ready to turn around, don't lock up one wheel but slow one down,turn to the right or left,stop,back up,then turn back and cut along side of the first pass. do it slow to learn and it will get faster w/ time. do you understand me or am I to confusing?
  3. timmac

    timmac LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    good tip, i understood you.
  4. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    The key is to keep the wheels moving and not "lock them up" as stated above. in essence as you come to at stop and you are beginning to turn pull back slightly on the opposite lever to reverse one wheel while the other is moving foreward. Gentle inputs on the levers as apposed to jamming them forward and back will keep your turns smooth, not jerky and eliminate the "pivoting" on one wheel.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Yes. In doing a 3 point turn, each one of your forwards and reverses are don in gentle hooks ) ( by pushing (if forward) or pulling (if reverse) one stick a bit farther than the other. Also, these "3 point" turns in many cases actually become more of a 5 point turn (or more) at times. It may seem extreme, and even make you think it looks like it doesn't know what you are doing. However, the fact is, a true experienced operator WILL use these practices...especially in wetter or weaker or stressed conditions. These machines can stress areas out very easily with an inexperienced or careless operator. When you get good...I mean REAL good, you can avoid this at all extents. Some other things, are like when you come to an inside corner in a yard. I always think it is funny when I go in to treat a lawn that we don't mow, and have to explain these small 6" bare areas that are 4 ft. inside 45 degrees from the corner of the fence or yard. Also, even going around trees and even tree bed rings that are 5 ft. across can stress the turf close to the rings. The idea behind this, is to oversteer and go out straight at different points around the tree, and back up and snug back up to the tree - remember...always keeping both wheels moving whenever the machine is moving. I hope this helps.
  6. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,512

    very good tip
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    One thing someone else told me and I did it since day 1 is to take it nice and easy on the sticks, slow and gradual changes are the trick to not only keeping the engine running but also to keep from tearing up the yard.

    In my case, I slow down to a stop, then gradually ease one stick forward and the other back until both wheels are turning opposite ways but it takes practice and you need to stop one more time before you get going... Actually, once you get it down you can do it all in one fluid motion and it appears you no longer stop (but you still do).

    Basically I ease both sticks back to stop, then without hesitation one stick keeps going back while the other goes forward and once the turn is near completion I push the back one to go forward but pull off the forward one a bit to even them out as well and then I'm off again. But nice and easy, it's a slow turn and you have to have both tires turning at all times and keep the sticks in one constant fluid motion or you'll divot...

    Anyway, the trick is easy does it.
  8. blewis3412

    blewis3412 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Thanks for all the great tips. I am getting ready to go mow my first lawn with my new machine.
  9. TNT Lawncare

    TNT Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 263

    Basically, a 3 point turn around is the best way to do it. Practice on concrete or ashpalt. If the tires make any noise when turning around, then you are tearing up the grass.
  10. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    we basically slow down quite a bit and do a 3 point turn keeping both wheels moving. anther thing you might want to try is powering around something, by this i mean rather slowing the inside tire around a tree or other obsticle, slow both down then speed up the outside tire. this keeps from the inside tire from being forced to slow(which is what tears up the lawn more) to traveling at a constant speed while the outside tire speeds up

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