Getting Rid of Tracks in Grass

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ed2hess, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,574

    We got a major complaint today about tracks in the grass. I know I should have been moving over each time but didn't. So we are thinking that maybe aerating might help fix the problem. Have any of you guys used the zrator?

    I would put this on the Turf Tiger and it could take the load and we might be able to put some weights on it if needed. They show it used with Walker and that almost seems like a joke and makes me wonder about the overall design.

    And don't suggest I drag some device to push all the grass down and call it strips:dizzy:
  2. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    Tracks? Are you talking about ruts? Are you mowing in the same tracks each week?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    No, "hiding" tracks by core aerating a yard every time you mow is not a good idea.
    No, core aeration is a completely separate service that serves a purpose far detached from lawn mowing.
    No, core aeration is usually done only once a year, in the fall, and for good reason.
    No, if you want to core aerate as part of what you do then I suggest doing some research first and finding out exactly what is core aeration, why people do it, how, when, and everything you need to and want to know about it.

    Otherwise it will cost you more than that thing is worth and what your customers will say as a result
    will make that complaint about the tracks seem like a compliment.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,574

    I am looking for some feedback from you up north guys that mow these huge yards. I wonder how you aerate them or don't you. With what type of equipment? I guess I will have to post in the other section but I see post all the time about seeding lawns and using aeration before seeding. Surely people don't use a 30" aerator?
  5. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    I'd say for large areas they use tractors with pull behind or 3pt hitch aerators.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    are you talking tracks or ruts. becasue tracks can be fixed by changing mowing directions. shallow ruts you can fix with aerating and topdressing. deep ruts are going to require filling with dirt grading off and reseeding.

    so there is a big difference in them. if you have pictures or can get some it will make it a lot easier for us to help
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I use WB plugger around tight areas and trees
    I converted a ATV 3 point hitch to one my DC 60''mowers I run a 5ft plugger
    For the open areas of the lawns
    The 3 point hitch has down pressure I set it right it will lift mower off the ground

    If you getting tracks in the lawn you need to move over or go a different way each visit and being dry tracks will show more

    But if they are heat tracks add some fert and water they will go away
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,574

    Most grasses like St Augustine and bermuda are pretty forgiving when you run over them with a big machine. Assuming it isn't bone dry the growth will push that marking you call stripes back up and after a few days it is gone. On some grassey weeds like King Rang Bluestein it sends out long runners that sit on top. Repeately running over it mashes it down and kinda stuns it so it gets a little brown so you can see where you run. We don't have any big areas where we can mow in more than on direction. So my one option is move the wheel track over 12" each week. Not so easy up against these long walls a mile long. I could rotate between 48" and 61" and will likely do that. The problem is the growth is so slow I can't handly tell where I have mowed. That was the reason for running over same tracks each week, which obvioulsy was dumb.

    I will get pictures
  9. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Messages: 2,768

    I see this a lot. In most cases there's not much you can do other then rotate mowers so you stay out of the same path each time.

    One other thing that would concern me is the Zrator looks as though it pulls plugs in the path of the wheels making the lower/rutted marks even deeper due to the weight of the mower and taking away some soil. I have a few customers that I aerate each year and I use a 36" Blue Bird pull behind with a garden tractor.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,574

    Good feedback. Is this the kind of aerator that you are talking about? These are pretty cheap compared to a $9K Exmark standon.

    What do you do on turns?

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