Whats the trick to avoid divots?

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Glen, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Glen

    Glen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I have a Lazer Z (20 hp - 52inch) and used it once after I bought it last December. As a novice rider, I would a few times place a rather significant divot in the grass durring sharp turns (caused by one of the rear tires). Any suggestions from the experienced on how I can avoid the divots (perhaps keeping both rear tires moving at all times)? Thanks.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    Welcome to a very large club. This is the single most common complaint about Z's with new operators.

    First your absolutely correct on your diagnosis. The probably cause is from the “pivot” wheel being held stationary when during your turns..

    When starting out I recommend that you practice in the following manner. Before making a zero turn bring the mower to a complete stop. As an example when making a right hand turn pull back on the right stick before pushing the left stick forward so both wheels are turning in opposite directions. This ensures that your not "parking" the pivot wheel.

    Depending upon the grass conditions you may find that a 3-point turn is required to prevent turf damage.

    One of the best placed to practice is on a gravel driveway with the blades off. If you can make turns in the gravel with minimal disturbance of the gravel you'll be driving like a pro in the grass.

    Good luck

  3. Glen

    Glen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12


    Thanks for the tips! I will put them into action.

    BGRANT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I have yet to see anyone that can turn any Z without leaving a mark.It is my opinion if they tell you they can they are not being truthful.You can minimize the damage by doing as the earlier postinstructed you to.They have yet to make a tire that will hold a slope and not tear the grass in the turn.
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    I use a Hustler WB with a zero turn velky, and with normal grass can zero turn without any divot. If it helps, here's the most common mistake guy's make. Slow down before you turn. It makes no difference how fast you mow, but when reach the end of a pass, you need to start slowing the machine before you make the turn. Remember, you've' got about 1,200 lbs that you are making a complete 180 degree direction change, and that can't be done at speed.
    Next, start the turn while slowing the machine down until it's in the first part of the turn and also almost stopped but still turning. Then, keep the outside wheel moving constant, and bring the inside wheel to a stop and immediately begin reversing that wheel, allowing the inside reversing wheel to control the speed of the turn, still holding the outside wheel at a constant slow forward speed. When you keep up the momentum of the front part of the machine turning, "and" coordinate the speed of the turn and the reversal of the inside wheel, you will feel the smoothness and you won't feel jerked around. FWIW, when I hit the turn correctly, my friend says it looks like I'm skating on ice because you don't see any stop in motion only a change in direction.
    For Pete's Sake
  6. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    i pull both levers back until the machine srarts going backward then push 1 lever forward to turn then both forward even in shallow rooted wet grass i almost never leave a mark
  7. Glen

    Glen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12


    Thank you very much for your insightful tips. I will practice my turns per your suggestions. I will let you know how I make out. I suspect (or at least hope) that I will improve on my turns as I put more hours on my Z. Thanks again.
  8. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Practice makes perfect, and YES you can make a turn WITHOUT leaving a mark-you just need to be conscious as to what you are doing. If both wheels are turning throughout the turn there is no way you can make a "divot".
  9. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    ok guys how is this done with a metro. I've run hydro's and that's no prob. I just got this belt drive and am wondering what you guys do to not leave diviots with a metro.

  10. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Quite simple, but it is going to involve getting off your velky if you have one. As you come to the very end of the "row", and lets say you want to turn to your left to make the next cut going back...start to turn your mower to the left, about 45-60 degrees from your original, straight line of cutting, make sure both wheels are still turning through this first part of the turn. Now, here comes the muscle part...well kinda...squeeze up on the pistols...or whatever system you have...to the nuetral position, this will allow your wheels move freely, even while you are still in gear. Pull back on the machine, and turning the front of the machine more to the left. You will find that often times you can use the slope of the ground to help you pull it back, but not always. Now release your drive system to engage those belts and turn a little more until you driving down the next row. I hope this helps, what I wish I could do is just post a little video. Once you get it down, its second nature(with no divots) until then, you will curse and swear at them damn divots! I dont think you can make a complete 180 turn (no divots) without getting off you velky...because you need to PULL it back. Hope all this helps, sorry if it sounds confusing.

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