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Compaction/ruts...especially Walker users

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by igm, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. igm

    igm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Wondering how any of you using riding ZTR's deal with ruts and or compaction. Here's my situation. Running a Walker. Mowing mostly Bermuda at 2" or so. Along curbs or on lawns where the pattern can't be altered, the grass grows a tad differently in the tire grooves due to compaction and slight rutting. On a finely manicured Bermuda this is noticeable, although it still looks very good. On fescue or other coarse bladed grass, unnoticeable.
    Right now the best I can do is Aeration and scalping, but looking for alternatives to reduce ground pressure and prevent this problem. These big riders are heavy. Me and the walker 1100+ pounds.

    Anybody running the low profile tires on Walker see any difference. $400 is a lot to spend for trial and error. I'm trying to figure some way I can lower the ground pressure, e.g. wider or double tires, etc. Any ideas?


  2. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    Do whatever you can to change your pattern with every mow. I realize up next to the driveway and curbs will be difficult if not impossible. You could always pull up to the curb then back away (thus only having the lighter wheels of the deck on that particular area). Or if worst case you could use a 21" around the perimeter of the property. It's pretty much a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Good luck
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If you have a wb you could use it some to make different tracks. If not, overlap your wheels differently to help change the ruts.
  4. Same problem even with 21' wb. So you must ease off with the mower or it will get worse! I use trimmer to go approxe 6-10 in in from curbs/sidewalks (more work). Back filling with sand may be the only long term way to deal with a constant problem with Bermuda. Zoysia/Bermuda lawns very unforgiving on grade/level situations.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Alternate directions, but for the same directions, offset and stagger your tracks by about a tire's width to the right or the left. This will smooth out the ruts by compacting the swollen, mounded soil on each side of them.
  6. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Messages: 404

    I know what you are talking about. I have the Walker diesel with a 42" deck.
    I did put the low profile tires on and like them. Probably the best thing I have done for the Walker. I agree that the cost was way over what it should have been but glad I made the change. I needed new tires anyway and just went for the low profile. Makes a lot of difference not only in lower contact pressure but on slopes and hills. I had always had a few spots on some customers yards where I could not use the Walker when the ground was damp or soft. Now I go everywhere.
    I also have the same problem you have near streets and curbs. And of course, this happens no matter what mower you use. Even the small Honda 21" units do the same maybe even worse. I generallly try to change the pattern every other cut by going back in a half pattern. This makes the tires move over half a cut on successive cuts. I hope I worded that right. It seems to make some difference later on.
  7. Grassman

    Grassman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    You may try lowering the pressure in each drive wheel by about 8psi for the problem yard. Good luck, Russ
  8. igm

    igm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thanks for the tips fellas.

    Cleve, when did you buy your Walker. I was reading back posts and read one from Cleve in Clarkston about whether or not to buy Walker or Exmark. I clicked on the e-mail to send a message but the address indicated it was going to someone named jones. I must have gotten things screwed up somehow. Did I send it to you or some other person who's wondering why I'm e-mailing them? I bet I read the date wrong on your post...must have been Feb. 2000.

    Thanks for the tip on the tires, I've heard similar things about them and may give em a try.

    Russ, good tip on lowering the pressure, don't know why I didn't think of that.


    [Edited by igm on 02-21-2001 at 07:50 PM]
  9. Cleve

    Cleve LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Rockmart, GA
    Messages: 404

    Sorry, I didn't get the post.
    Got the Walker in late 94'. Bought it new.
    I think the post you referred to was a few weeks ago. There was someone in Woodstock that was looking at a Walker. I do believe he finally bought the Exmark.
    I don't know about lowering the tire pressure. The pressure is already kinda low with factory specs. anyway.

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