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how to prevent scalping?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by PUDGE, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. PUDGE

    PUDGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Am new to the business and also to ZTR'S. I bought a new Exmark 46 rider and when I cut yards that are uneven the mower scalps, also low side cuts lower when cutting on slight slope. Is it cockpit trouble or the way the mowers made?
  2. anj

    anj LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    Its part of operating zriders. You must learn how to raise the deck as you cut. There is nothing you can do about the slope, but just touch up with the trimmer after.
  3. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    Mow higher if needed. slow down; bouncing is a common scalp maker. Learn the best approach on hills and learn the sound the blades make. the sound changes the closer it gets those poor crowns. Become one with the mower young grasschopper. The low side problem may be solved by a slight tire pressure increase.
  4. TarheelTLC

    TarheelTLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Are your anti-scalp wheels low enough? I have an everride hornet 48 and have never scalp. I have hills twice the recommended steepness and cut them three ways. Up and down vs. across vs. angled. I don't have any problems. My problem is I keep destroying the grass by locking up one side or the other wheel. In yards that matter I can't do the complete yard without tearing up the grass at least once. Maybe I am just in a too big of a hurry or maybe it is the 1000+ lbs. Again I don't have any problem with the scalping but anti-scalp wheels are wearing so they are being put to use.
  5. fergman

    fergman LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 286

    the deck only hangs by chains. the anti-scalp rollers HAVE TO BE kept in the right place. if there not your screwed. a striping roller helps more than just the two anit scalp wheels on the back because the roller is solid bar all the way accross. before you know it youll be using your foot to slightly raise the deck and learn to mow SOME crests before you even start mowing. it will be second nature. youll start to wonder why other people cant do it.
  6. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    The yard your cutting is the reason for the scalping. Just raise the deck an inch and go from there. Cant fix it unless the yard is top dressed
  7. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    First slow down. I know these mowers will move but if you have turf that counts slow down. Next check those anti scalp rollers. a 48 should not scalp bad at all unless your deck is to low your anti scalp rollers are not set right or you are just flying. Also to the other person who is having truble with tearing up turf slow down before you start to turn. I will say it again these mowers are fast but fast sometimes is not best especially where soft dirt or damp turf is. The weight of the mower will actually help you wheel spin. I learned this one from experience. Heavier mowers work better.
  8. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    It takes time to learn each and every lawn, and even more time to fully learn how to operate a ZTR. I run a 61 TT and I rarely scalp lawns, and we are cutting at 2.5 inches.....Like said in the above, you are going to have to get used to raising the deck in certain areas. Your trimmer will be your new best friend as well. Once you have a lawn cut a few times, it conforms to your mower. You are probably cutting a lot of Bermuda, and if so keep some sand with you. Fill in all scalp spots, and within a few weeks it will be covered, and your mower will not scalp that spot anymore. JMO
  9. PUDGE

    PUDGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge. One more question. If the mower is set at 2 1/2or 2 3/4, where should the anti-scalp wheels be set? Exmark says 1 notch below your deck height, but what if your in between?
  10. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Messages: 1,346

    On lawns new to you / your mower it make take a couple times to get used to each dip hill, etc. Turning on a hill is a scalp problem . Sometimes you have to pop the height up a little on a turn. Make sure to not cut too low. Better to cut too high!

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