Walk Behind question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nfisher330, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. nfisher330

    nfisher330 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    OK, bought the new equipment as many of you know. My question is regarding walk behinds. I have a JD GS75. My question is this....you steer it by squeezing the brake levers. Put it in gear below with a shifter and just move forward. Very difficult for me to be precise with it, or do a straight line.(I am hitting a lot of stuff, and having to let go of the upper levers to kill the engine)

    Am a a terrible WB operator (as I would expect) or is the JD an inferior product?

    Thank you,

  2. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Never fight a WB. It will fight you back. Steer it in the direction you want to go, and think ahead. If you find yourself unsure of whats happening...Grab the brakes and stop. Look around, figure out whats happening..then continue. GO SLOW at first so you can plan ahead your course. If your ever unsure, brake to a stop and evaluate where you are.

    Most guys I train on their first WB, try to fight and manhandle it like a 21". You simply cannot do that. You have to think ahead, and plan your route...then steer (using brake levers) into it. If it ever gets outta control...BRAKE! Do not freak out and try to manhandle it out of your current crisis, you can't do it...just brake it to a stop, dont let go...brake.
  3. furball3

    furball3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I started off life with a used 48" Lesco w/b. It was a belt drive. It was wired to run - no safetys at all. (not really safe but time saving when needing to move somthing in my path)

    It took me a while to get good lines with it. The first year I had it I only used it to mow my 4 acres. I had to mess with the tension for the belts to get the mower to go in a straight line too.

    I would check to see if it does go in a straight line or if it wants to wander off to one side. Then spend time with it. FOr me going at a medium pace was easier to controll her overall while I was getting used to it.

    Good luck
  4. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Practice,practice, practice.
    Take it out in the open and run it around and around and around until you are comfortable with running it,it beats running into someones mailbox.
  5. bettergrass

    bettergrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    take it on your street if its not busy i drove around my neighborhood with mine forever to get used to it
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    nfish--I have used the unit you specify and I wouldn't give a tinkers damn for a trailer full of the things.

    but that doesn't mean you shouldn't like yours and everyone else like theirs as well.

    do this: lower the RPMs, put it in 1ST gear and take off with it.

    it has to go straight and it can't go fast. then learn how to handle it.

    before you know it, you'll be up to full spped with the thing and hating it just like I do. just kidding. ;)

    seriously, there is no reason that the unit shouldn't work for you.

  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Make sure that your (opc) operator presence controls work before you begin and if you get into trouble just let go. Funny story, I had my cousin helping me aerate a couple of years ago with a Ryan V. I told him over and over how to operate it especially the "JUST LET GO" part. He came up to the edge of a driveway and don't you know he had a brain fart and was trying his best to hold that thing back! It was digging a pretty good hole! You need to practice somewhere that you can't get into trouble. Also, you can use your body weight to augment your control. I'm not talking about manhandling but, subtle pressure.
  8. nfisher330

    nfisher330 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    So all WB's are steered the same as this JD? There is no hydro-static sort of WB?

    I have a 4 acre lawn, I can get plenty of practice on mine....which I will start doing. I dont have the (I think) sulky? so I am just walking behind it for the moment...and going very slow accordingly.

  9. Steve9

    Steve9 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 228

    Dont ever let go! My little 36 Skeg would go through a brick wall if i ever just let go in a high gear. These things dont stop on a dime. They will coast to a stop but would definently take out a fence easy.
    Well i guess you would let go intead of going through the fence with it. Leaving the cartoon cut out of your mower and your body for all to see.
  10. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Training yourself to let go is hard to do because we think we can "save it". I would rather see a walkbehind sitting upside down below a 6 foot retaining wall than me being down there under it. Practice and knowing your limitations will save you too. My Bob-Cat slows down pretty quick when I let go, besides, I never cut in high gear anyway.

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