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Mower Scuffs on turns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Clark Landscaping, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Clark Landscaping

    Clark Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    I am buying a new walk behind mower this spring, up to date I have been using a 52" Toro ZTR with SFS deck. I am sure you are all familiar with the basic layout of this deck or one similiar. My issue is this. When I am traveling across a slope and then turn downhill the outside antiscalp wheel digs in and tears up a strip of turf. I try really hard not to do this but cant seem to avoid it at times. So... I would take any suggestions on how this deck may be not adjusted correctly or what I am doing wrong and make modifications but with regards to the walk behind I was thinking of getting a fixed deck rather than a floating. Two reasons, 1 cheaper, 2 hopefully large wheels out front will avoid the scuffing problem, a floating deck it would seem would have the same scuffing problems as my ZTR Just wanted a few suggestions and check my thinking. I live in NH and everyones lawn has an issue like this. I do my best and can usually avoid it but it happens often enough so that I would like suggestions.
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Tires get softer and more bouncy with age. You may need to put more air in the tires.

    Does that mower not have a foot assist? If so, you could apply just a slight bit of pressure on turning that would help.
  3. Clark Landscaping

    Clark Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    The mower has new rear tires, but I misposted the first time it is the inside mower antiscalp wheel that tears up the lawn. The antiscalp wheel is actually a hard plastic rounded wheel. It would help to take pressure off mower with foot assist but I have hand lift, could do that.
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Dont know if this helps with your particular situation, but we mow a whole lot of slopes and Ive learned to never point the deck downhill while turning. How we do this? well when we come to the end of our pass we turn mower 90 degrees uphill then back and turn placing mower at the start of the next pass. Hard to explain, but we have gotten real good at this and it is second nature for us. Dosnt take hardly any longer (yes a few more moves, but with practice goes real fast) and eliminates tire spins and gouges. Works good for us
  5. Gabriel Turf

    Gabriel Turf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    I do something similiar to pjslawncare. My turn is kind of like drawing a "Y" on the ground with the mower. As I approach the end the row I make about a 45 degree turn uphill, reverse and do a half circle downhill, at which point I am in the correct place to mow the next row of grass. It is hard to explain but someone had a great picture posted in a previous thread on zero and three point turns that would illustrate it.
  6. greensideup

    greensideup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    We also do as others have described on hill turns. Also, we have become accustomed to lifting the deck in areas we think it may scalp. We just lift up on the deck lever & let it back down when it's clear. Another point, the scalp wheel height is adjustable. There are 3 or 4 holes to mount the scalp wheel. Which hole you use depends on the mowing height that you use most often. The decals on the deck on my exmark instruct which holes to use with the corresponding cutting height. Hope this helps. SCOTT
  7. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    Ditto on what the others have said already.....check the position of those wheels... mine are also the rounded type, and I hardly ever have this problem....... we are probably cutting similar turf types.

    I also try to not point the Z downhill..... I use the method that Gabriel described above,.... My Lazer is A LOT more sure footed pointed up or across the hill then when pointed down.... less weight on the drive wheels (and therefore less control) when pointed downhill.....
    Begin with the basics... check deck pitch and level..... check tire pressures..... check height of anti scalp rollers..... perhaps move them up one notch and see if this cures it......
    As for the Idea of a fixed deck WB being less likely to do this, consider this: If an edge on the deck digs in, it will have more weight behind it than just the deck.... I have a fixed deck Scag, and given the choice (price not a factor) I would much rather have a floating deck.... many benefits....
    Gonna be a while before you can report any success on this topic, but post when the grass gets green again, and let us know what you find.............................................................
  8. Clark Landscaping

    Clark Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it. I will try to work in the Y cut, thus far all I have had is the ZTR so with Walk behind I think it will be easier to raise the mower for that first pass which is along a garden so I can't turn uphill, I also may add a foot assist this winter in the shop to the ZTR.

    Price is a factor with the WB but could probably go the extra bucks, I rarely change grass cut heights so I was not inclined to want to pay the extra money for what is primarily height adjustment, Weight is a factor on the scuffing however. Any other distinct advantages I am missing?
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I am aware of this. I was talking about the front pnematic tires. Let me explain. As the tires get older they get more bouncy. This means a little more flex. When you stop and turn they will allow the mower to dip some. Thus, letting the antiscalp wheel drop enough to tear the turf. My old lazer did this, me and eXmark finally figured out that was what was happening.
  10. GTLC

    GTLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    I have the same problem with my Timecutter

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