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Learning a ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dan1944, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. Dan1944

    Dan1944 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Some of you may have seen the thread of my first ZTR purchase,which I will pick up on monday or tuesday, My question to all you pro's is how long will it take me to learn and use it with confidence. Most days I can think and chew gum at the same time. :cry:
  2. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    It won't take too long. I bought my first ztr about a month ago. The first week was a little shaky, trying not to make divots when turning, hillsides and ditchbanks ect... ect... And the 62" deck, I was a little leary about it scalping on some yards. At first the Zmaster was almost always stuck at the front of the trailer, using it only occasionally:sleeping: Now its the first off every time and yesterday it was the only one I used :dizzy: (except the weedeater) I have only two yards it hasn't been on yet, one is only big enough for a 21" and the other the owner really likes the stripes my 48"wb make and doesn't want me to change(but I keep asking everytime I see him) Also yesterday on the one 2 acre lot the grass was dry and not to tall and I mowed the whole place going full speed:D What fun it was. give it a week or two and you will get on to it. Try your own yard first to do any experimenting. Goodluck Marc

    Are We Having Fun Yet???:blob4:
  3. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Take it nice and slow and you will be doing fine in no time. The best place to learn is where you can go as slow as needed, you can make some mistakes in turning and have a large area to do. Hopefully your own yard fits the bill. The large area to practice turning is really key. At first you will tear up the turf but it will not take too long to become a pro!
  4. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Messages: 648

    Same as above. Practice will give you confidence. Good luck.
  5. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    I spent the first seven years on a Gravely 300H. Got quite comfortable with the bullhorn steering and the deck out in front.
    Went to a ZTR for the speed I was after.
    You should have seen me.:rolleyes:
    You would have been LYAO!
    Tearing up grass,etc.
    Took me some time to get comfortable with the Z.
    Love it now.:D
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    just like any machine . u just have to learn maintenance and operational aspects of a particular ztr. after that most become a fan of their particular brand. unless it was not a good machine to start with. mine doesnt have the anti spike ,or what ever it is that is on the new lazers to prevent the help from tearin it up doing wheelies..
    some times i spin the tires ,which is a no no.kinda wish mine had that on it.
  7. Dan1944

    Dan1944 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    Thanks for all the replies, sounds like I will load the trailer with the Z first then the Cub LT last, it looks like i will be using the LT for a while longer. I have in my development lots of vacant lots with Bahai on them, I am pretty tight with the developer (I do some work for him) I am sure he will not object to some free cutting.

    Pratice, practice, practice

    Dan the lawn care man:cry:
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I can usually pick up things very quickly, but I have been mowing with my Walker for 2 years and still having problems with tearing the turf. I am just having problems getting that inside tire to turn backwards at the same speed as the outside tire is turning. The Walker controls are different than most Z's and you have to use one hand. I really have to pay attention to do it correctly. I guess with continues practice I will eliminate the thought process.

  9. syncom2

    syncom2 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 55

    I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one on Lawnsite that feels somewhat apprehensive about how long it'll to hone their skills for piloting a ZTR. Back in July, at the Expo, that was my very first taste of what it felt like to run one of 'em bad boys. Needless to say, I crawled across that demo area like a turtle with a severe case of arthritis! Last thing I needed to do there, in the Tennessian audience… was to bust one of them bales wide open as I was white knucklin' the sticks across that patch! You see, I'm not a LCO (yet) and am only mowing my own personal lawn with a Cub Cadet… a '77 model, which has 'bout a 12' foot turning radius to the left. Turning right is even worse than that! Hopefully, if all turns out as planned, I will have my self-taught ZTR steering schooling take place (behind the house!) next spring. For me, personally, I can only hope that it's as wet as the past spring was. I am most certain that I'll be chompin' at the bit… waiting for the grass to gain enough height to it so I can buzz it off during one of my many practice sessions!
    So anyway, happy mowing to you on your yellow mini!! Please keep us advised of your new-found shepherding skills. mb
  10. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    Good Luck

    I was able to learn on a Turf Tiger while working for someone else, but I always thought it would take a long time to really hone my driving skills.
    So... I go out on my own and buy a Lazer Z HP..... Much easier to operate smoothly..... I never thought that the 2 machines, having similar design (controls, etc..) could be so different to operate....
    I hope you demoed the machine:confused:
    One thing I found to help me be consistent is
    This keeps you from veering all over as you go over bumps or angled terrain.
    I primarily drive using only my fingers / wrist movement
    The time spent learning will easily be made up later:D

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