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Can't get my mower to go straight

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jeff11, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. Jeff11

    Jeff11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hey all, my name is Jeff and this is my first posting. Have been consulting this site for a while and appreciate all the help that is out there. I am brand spankin' new at this business (only 2 customers). I have one mower (snapper 48" WB ~2 yrs old), a craftsmen trimmer w/ attachments (hoping to change this soon), and most importantly a lot of inexperiance! Now for the problem which I assume is an easy fix for most of you. My mower keeps pulling to the right! I have played and played with those large butterfly nuts that go up and down by the drive belts, but nothing works. I have also searched this site for various topics that I thought might work, but haven't found one yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated seen as my left hand is getting very tired of keeping constant pressure on the steering bar. Thanks.
  2. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Hey Jeff, if you can't fix it by now, take it to your dealer b/f you do some damage and really mess it up. They might not even charge you, but that doesn't matter, b/c customers hate crooked lines. Well at least I do.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    You didn't indicate wether it was a hydro or belt drive.

    If its hydro, they must have some sort of tracking adjustment on them. Check your owners manual.

    If its a belt drive, you have to check the drive tires. They MUST be the same make and size tire. They MUST be inflated equally (not close, EXACT!). Get a measuring tape and measure the circumference of both rear tires, they should be equal.

    Don't know what else to tell you.
  4. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 363

    Yeah, check the tires, check the air pressure.

    BTW: he said the drive belts so its a belt drive...

    How are the belts? Is one streached out?

    If you tried adjusting the nut thing. Are you sure you went the right way with it? and the drie one not the break one? (dunno if there is 2 on the snapper)
    You could always adjust the left side one to make it go slower, expecially if you allready adjusted the right as far as you can.
  5. GrassChopper

    GrassChopper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    Check the front tires too. One may be rubbing due to a worn bushing. This would also cause the mower not to go straight.
  6. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    You should also check the drive pulleys. As dirt and other abrasives get in under the belts, they will wear into the pulley and cause it to slip. You may need to compare the way the belts ride on a new mower to yours. It's what I did, and it's what was wrong. Less than $20 for parts, and the thing's as good as new. BTW, when you do fix it, post what was wrong so the rest of us can learn from it also.
  7. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    my 36" toro used to do that when I got it . The problem was that the belt on one side was missaligned with the pulley. It would run at a slight angle and run itself off track and tighten the belt so it would pull more than the other side. That was 5 yrs ago and I don't remember exactly but I think it was a matter of adjusting the pulleys to align the belt. My wb are at my storage but I'll look at them later to see exactly how I adjusted them.
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    bet it would straiten out after the 3rd bud.:D
  9. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Okay, here's what ya do. Find an open field with plenty of space. Start mowing a long line. While you go, count to yourself " one mississippi, two mississippi,.." and so on. Eventually you will notice that on every certain number of "mississippi"s, you will need to pull the handle on one side of the machine to correct the straightness of your line. Now, just remember on which # mississippi you need to pull that handle, and you'll be goin straight in no time!

    I actually had a mechanic at an old job tell me to do this.
    His philosiphy was " If it's broke, paint it. "

    Nice, huh?
  10. RYNK

    RYNK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Check and make sure the bands for the wheel brakes are not dragging. You should be able to adjust the tension that controls each brake. I run a hydro so this is from memory. hope this helps and good luck!

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