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Turning a Zero Turn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by vettenuts, Oct 4, 2004.

  1. vettenuts

    vettenuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Well, I finally got my Simplicity Zero Turn and am as happy as a pig in you know what :blob3:

    Only problem I am having is learning how to turn it without tearing up the lawn (maybe I should practice at the neighbor's house :rolleyes: )

    Is there a tutorial somewhere that can help with this or does anyone have any pointers as far as coming to the end of a cut and then turning around and going the other way?
  2. GripB

    GripB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    Be sure to keep both rear tires rotating on your pivot turn. Your pivot tire (rotating in reverse) and your other tire rotating forward in your next direction of travel. It takes a little practice to get used to it. Tell your neighbor you'll cut his grass for free a couple of times :p (till you get it down pat)
  3. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    There are some good posts on the general commercial forum about this, including one with a diagram. I just got a Toro Z-Master Z-453 for residential use and I am learning as well -- I have about 5 hours on it and I am still learning.

    There are two techniques I've learned, primarily from others on this site. Most important, I suggest you try each on your driveway to the point where you are not thinking about which arm to push and pull. That way, maybe you're leaving a little rubber on the driveway, but your lawn isnt paying the price.

    First -- a true zero turn. When you come to the end of a row, slow down to a stop. After you stop, very gently pull back on the lever for your inside turn wheel to get it rotating slowly backwards. Once that wheel is going very slowly backwards, spinning you in the direction you want to go, push forward very gently (but not quite as gently as the inside wheel lever) on the outside wheel lever to bring the outside wheel around. With a little practice, this should line you up pretty well for the next row. When practicing this, do it slow, slow, slow and build up your speed as you get better. The natural tendency will be to bring the outside wheel around quickly, which will still cause lawn damage by your inside wheel if the inside wheel isn't moving enough to sompensate. If you are going forward and then quickly slam a wheel into reverse, that's as bad or worse than forgetting to keep your pivot/inside wheel moving.

    Second -- a "Y" turn. If you had a lawn tractor, you should be pretty familiar with these although they are still faster than on a tractor. At the end of a row, bear left at a 45% angle for a few feet. Stop. Then Back up at in a semicircle until you are at about a 45% angle to the direction you want to head. Stop again, and then go forward into the next row. Its more intuitive to keep both wheel rolling on a Y turn. A Y turn is always the safest.

    The basic advice is to keep practicing, even if your neightbors think you're nuts. Another bit of advice is to wait to do the final pass around the perimeter of your property until the end -- that way, you can create a nicer stripe over where you did all of your turns.

    Good luck.
  4. vettenuts

    vettenuts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks for all the advice. Interesting that I went from dreading cutting the grass to "it can't grow fast enough" :laugh: I am sure it will wear off with time though.
  5. rbeitz

    rbeitz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Same feeling here! Since I purchased my Turf Tiger it seems the grass has just stopped growing! I have only gotten to use it 2 times so far. Oh well there's always next year I guess.
    As for turning, I really tore up the grass the first time out. I was flying across my yard and was trying to turn way to fast. I found that if I came to a complete stop and then started the inside wheel in reverse and then the outside wheel in forward it worked a lot better. I have also tried the 3 point turn and that is working well for me also.

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