sweetgum balls giving my JD fits, please help!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jrwinter74, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. jrwinter74

    jrwinter74 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I have a John Deere 737 ZTrak. Recently taking on several accounts with a more than normal supply of sweetgum balls has been giving me fits. They are lodging in my mule drive pulley thus causing havoc on my belts. I can usually stop in time to dislodge the ball but it a trmendous nuisance/time waster. Any advise as to what to do? Thanks. James
  2. imograss

    imograss LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 796

    Are they knee deep or something?
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    how are they gettin into the belts and pulleys?

    sounds like a design flaw to me.

  4. jrwinter74

    jrwinter74 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    No on the knee deep, as I pass over the top after cutting,. they kick up into the pulley located just behind the mower deck. I've solved some of the problem by push mowing where they are in the largest quantities and idling down and raising my heighth where they are fewer in numbers but time is money as we all know and I'm not at all crazy about push mowing anything. JW
  5. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    I have one(thankfully) property with alot of those things on the ground and they ARE a hassle.They don't mulch worth a damn and each time you run over them your tires press them into the ground where you have to remove them by hand.They get all underneath my decks and lodge in impossible to reach places.
    I'm glad they're finally off the trees.
  6. hartlawnmain

    hartlawnmain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Try to work out something with the owners so you can charge to remove them. Old fashioned raking is the only good way to get them up, unfortunately. And don't underbid the job. Figure your labor x $/hr. and add 20% 'cause there's always more than you think. I learned the hard way a few weeks ago. Also, be careful mowing over them 'cause they will break a window in a hurry! Good luck.

    TREEGODFATHER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Can you talk the owners into having an arborist micro-inject the trees with Snipper to prevent gum ball production (in the future)?

    Less hassle for you, they get a neater lawn... everybody is happy.

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