Turning tips for ZTR's?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lewdo, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. lewdo

    lewdo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Need some tips from the pros please.

    I bought my first ZTR this year and having a little trouble turning and tearing up the ground.

    I've got the JD 737, like everything about and I'm sure I'm the one causing the problems! I've watched myself turn and just can't seem to figure out the proper technique. Seems like on thick turf don't have much of a problem, but on thin turf real easy to tear up the grass.

    Any tips greatly appreciated.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    First check to see that your rear tires are properly inflated.

    Making a true zero-turn, with one wheel moving forward while the other is moving in reverse, will lessen the chance of tearing up the turf. Of course thin turf is more susceptible to tearing in general.
  3. waffletown20

    waffletown20 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 100

    It would help to come to a complete stop before you begin to turn around. This will prevent your wheels from skidding as they change direction.
  4. beautifullawns

    beautifullawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    Make sure both wheels are always moving and go slow. Don't pivot on a wheel that is stopped.
  5. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    ALWAYS make sure whateverkid of turn your making, that both rear wheels are moving at ALL times. Making a complete 180, Try doing a 3 point turn. Making a 90 turn, make sure the inside wheel is turning. You will lesson turf damage this way. I run "Super Lug" tires, so I have to take alittle more care when turning. Using the 2 ways I mentioned helps alot.
  6. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    I like to turn using a 3pt turn turn 1/3 way before you stop. turn in rev 1/3 of the way and turn the rest of the way going for:p ward. I try to stop on all my turns. If you can watch your tire and you will see and feel the right flow!!!!!:jester:
  7. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    I've been experimenting with wide radius turns, cutting every third line. When I get to the end, I go back and hit each skipped line. When I get to the end of that, I go back and finish the last line. (Sounds confusing, I know). I know I end up with a lot of overlap, but it sure saves time on turns and I don't tear up the grass.
  8. lewdo

    lewdo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Thanks alot guys. Good points. I appreciate the feedback.
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I bought a JD 717A in May, and feel like I am still learning (about 200 hours). The terrain I drive is often sloping, and it could be in any direction. On steeper slopes, I always mow parallel to the hill. At the end, always turn UP the slope, regardless of mowing top to bottom, or bottom to top. When I have the choice, I try mowing bottom to top.

    Also, it took me a long time to discover a technique that helped with skidding the inside wheel, the one on the highest elevation ... (this is the most vulnearable wheel to tear turf). My tendancy to make a turn is to slow the inside wheel. But, when on the upside and will be the inside wheel on the turn, it will easily skid. But, rather than slow the inside wheel, I have found that speeding up the outside wheel will make the turn, without tearing turf. This often requires slowing the entire machine down a bit before approaching the turn.

    By speeding up the outside wheel, the leverage to turn the machine is primarily generated by the outside wheel, the one with the most traction. Now, this does not insure the inside wheel will loose a bit of traction, but the technique will minimize the tearing.

    This may be confusing, but to summarize: To turn the machine, speed up the outside wheel (greater traction), rather than slowing down the inside wheel (lesser traction).

    Even after a few months, and taking great care, I still find myself tearing turf in some places. Yes, I have gotten much better, but still tear more turn in one week than I have in 10 years with my walk-behind.

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