Zero turn mowers and damaged heads?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    We are finding damaged heads on properties cut with zero turn mowers. Usually in the corners. The heads are RB 5004's and 1 yr. old. And all of the adjustment is gone. Another customer has "guts" coming out of the bodies of PGPs'.

    These heads would all really increase the % of defective heads. Usually 1% for us.

    I would think if the stationary wheel on a zero turn mower was on top of a head and the machine turned, the head could be internally damaged. Or at a minimum, take it out of adjustment. Looking for opines. All heads have been replaced and all are within warranty period so am debating whether to charge the customer.

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    You might want to experiment with heads that have an internal clutch that prevents the gears from being stripped.

    there's always Maxipaws :)

    Messages: 18,668

    I maybe wouldn't charge on the first replacement but I would give out the bean ball warning that next time it will be charged so you better talk to your zero turn lawncare company.
  4. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    If you have obvious physical damage (guts of pgps popping out) and clearly visible marks on them then I wouldn't warranty the heads nor the service call.

    IMNSHO, exploded popups are very often the work of vandalism. The roaming skateboarding/ bicycling teenager trolls get their jollies by kicking and otherwise running over popups in operation.

    However, the little dears keep us in service calls.
  5. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,632

    Whomever is mowing needs to understand that it's best to keep both wheels moving on a ztr and not have the one just sitting. It'll tear the heck out of the turf too.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    The first appearance of modern landscaping mowers killed a lot of the common 2-inch popups on cheap cut-off risers. Never an issue until those powered wheels tugged at them.
  7. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,473

    I perform both irrigation work and mowing so it is fair to say I am unbiased on this subject. If a head is properly installed (slightly below grade) and no unusual conditions exist then a mower will not normally damage a head. If the damage is occurring at the corners check to see if the top of the head is being chopped off by the blades. What I see on corners is there may be a drop off on the hardscaped side of the corner and the person mowing will put one wheel on the concrete and one on the grass side which is higher, this causes the grass to be cut lower than normal or scalped which damages the head. If this is the case the mowing person may need to change the way they approach this area.

    Is the head is not slightly below grade then this needs to be adjusted.

    The theory about the stationary wheel on top of the head spinning on it doesn't happen at least not the way I have ever mowed. If anything the inside wheel would be the one spinning in place, although I never do it that way as it leads to bare spots in the lawn.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    MFR instructions place the top of the head above grade, not below grade. Twas ever thus.
  9. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    If heads being damaged are near the curb or driveway .... then vehicles are running them over.
  10. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,202

    I suppose the best way to find out is to watch the Mower do his thing....

    Have the H.O. Go undercover...Tell him you will wave the warranty head charge.. but the Service call to cover curb time can't be waived....


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