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Gear / Hydro Leaving Ruts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TNLC owners, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. TNLC owners

    TNLC owners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    In the last few weeks I have noticed some minor ruts in a couple of properties. I have a 36" Gravely WB belt drive. I was wondering if any of you who have used both the gear drive and hydro noticed any difference between the two concerning ruts. My mower is one of the lighter ones out there with the smaller deck and I'm thinking that the added weight of a hydro and bigger deck would defeat my purpose of trying to eliminate ruts. I try to alternate mowing patterns about every cut but it only takes one wet cutting to get the ruts in there and they are noticeable for a long time. Thanks for any help!
  2. RobH

    RobH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Gear and Hydro will both leave ruts or rip up grass when you make turns. With gear you need to do a 3 point turn in order to prevent one wheel from pivoting around in a circle. There are numerous threads here on making three point turns. It isn't very difficult to master.

    With a hydro you still have to be careful not to let one wheel pivot around in a circle. However, this is harder to do for you will most likely have one wheel going forward and one going reverse at the same time while you are turning.

    Even a 36 inch machine can leave ruts. You take a large rubber tire and twist it on the turf and it will rip it up pretty easily.
  3. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    I have a 52" exmark walk behind and this is my first year in the business. I have been mowing the same path in all my yards since I started and now I have ruts in them. There not bad but I hope I can fix it by mowing a different path each time I visit. Its been very wet here this summer and I guess that has something to do with it besides my inexperience. I only hope they dont ask me how Im going to fix the ruts cuz I have no idea how I would.
  4. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    you NEED to alternate your mowing paths.
    it is very important.

    easiest way to fix ruts is to use a pitch fork on the sides of the rut.

    stick the tines in at the sides at an angle so the go under the rut and push down on the handle, lifting the rut up. this also alleviates the compaction.
  5. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    At this time of year you will see ruts in lawns that are cut with commercial equipment. The grass is getting very thin and ruts will be more visible during cooler months. Change your cutting path each week, all season long, and the ruts will not be as visible when the grass gets thin.

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

  7. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Thanks for the advice guys

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