Tearing up grass with ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JaysLawns, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. JaysLawns

    JaysLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 202

    I know people say its the way the person operates the ztr, but I was mowing a big residential yard with a Exmark 60" Lazer Z Ultracut and i would come to a complete stop then slowly turn the machine to make my next stripe. Is there something I am doing wrong? Help pros? Thanks

  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Your inside tire can never stop and pivot.

    Keep it moving and do more of a K turn.

    You cant just lock up one tire and turn.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Even if you come to a full stop on the ZTR before turning, and keep all the tires rolling all the time... some tearing can still occur.

    How much depends on how soft and loose the topsoil is, and how weak the turf is.

    I find that when coming to a full stop it still happens here and there, and usually it happens the split-second the reversing tire starts to go backwards. Many times it will spin just a hair before the mower gets moving in that direction.

    This can be reduced by never stopping with the front tires pointed straight forward. It's better to turn a little in the direction you are going to zero the mower.

    I usually do a curve, then zero 90 degrees.
    Then I drive my rear tires to the center of the next pass.
    Then I zero 90 degrees again and I'm lined up dead ahead into the next pass.

    Places that can take it more I do a j turn into the next pass.
    Then zero 90 degrees and I'm lined up for my next pass.
  4. lawn1787

    lawn1787 Banned
    Messages: 5

    When you turn with both wheels going the oppiste way so one wheel does not tear up the yard also you could try not making a 0 degree turn and making a turn that a tractor would make. It could also be the tires if they are old or it might be air pressure in the tires.
  5. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    even though it is a zero turn u cant make zero turns
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Also, in wet and/or soft conditions, a 3 point turn must become a 5 point turn.
  7. johnnywill08

    johnnywill08 LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA z6
    Messages: 383

    every 5pt turn i do i get a little depressed at that profit margin creepin down, lol!!!!!
  8. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    Same here!.. I especially always hate when your at a job and then it's taking a long time and your thinking "man I'm about down to 28 per man hour" or something like that.

    To answer the question, I normally do a three point turn which includes reversing some, and it still will tear the heck out of the ground sometimes.

    Of course it depends on how soft the ground is at that time, but especially with the bar tires on my mowers I probably have the potential to put 3x the damage as turf tires in the same given situation. Basically just be real smooth and easy, do a three point turn, and expect damage to an extent. You will especially see the damage a ZTR makes where you turn around a tree or something every week, although I normally try to change up those types of things to prevent that.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Never ring a tree every week.

    You still have to trim there anyways... well until the tire ring develops... LOL.

    What I do is line up my passes where I drive on by on one side and half loop around the other side on my way back. All my stripe angles are set up this way... and I run enough line out on my trimmer to cut a 20" +/- swath anyways... so I NEVER have tree rings.
  10. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    old tires??? did you mean the tires may be bald?? there are many factors, if you are careful it depends on how wet the soil is, how well the roots are established, and how think the grass is. if the ground is dry and the roots are across the surface it will pull up easy. then you need to aerate. if the roots are deep but the grass is thin with some dirt showing, the weight of the mowr is enough to tear it up......and so on....

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