Zero Turn wheels taring up grass!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hitsy, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Hitsy

    Hitsy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Anyone have suggestions on how to eliminate the pivot marks left behind by zero turn wheels? I'm not going fast when I turn. I'm trying to keep both wheels moving as I turn, but it doesn't work. Need help. Thanks.
  2. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Kubota and Ferris both use pivoting anti scalp wheels on their decks. I have a Kubota and it doesnt tear up the turf like all the other mowers I have had. If you are handy with a welder and can do some fabricating, you could put some on your machine. Go look at a Ferris or Kubota to copy.
  3. chimmygew

    chimmygew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    Do a 3 point turn.
  4. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Are the tires new? I've found when the tires are fresh they grip ALOT. Normally i can make zero turns and not rip up the grass, the other day on a brand new toro was a different story.
  5. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I have a Ferris and it tears the turf. I have come up with something that works, this is what I do. At the end of your row go out to the left at a 45 degree about 5 feet. Then stop, spin slowly, stop, and proceed. The real key is the stopping each step. It only takes a few seconds to do this and it does not tear. Give it a try.
  6. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    I believe he was talking about the drive wheels tearing up the turf. While I do not have an answer directly, possibly try turning in the opposite direction. ie: instead of turning right, turn left and swoop around instead of trying to pivot to what you already cut. This is harder to try and word out.

    If you just cut and your uncut is on the left of you when you go to turn, instead of turning counterclockwise, turn clockwise away from the uncut portion.. nevermind, i'm confusing myself now.
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    New tires on a new Z are harder on turf. Also the WEIGHT of the Z you are running... I demoed a 54" JD Quicktrack the other day and there was NO WAY to keep it from making a diviot at every turn. Most say to "not ever let your wheel stop turning" well that's sound advice, meaning don't piviot around on one stationary wheel. But.. any time doing a "zero degree turn" your inside wheel has to shift from going forward to reverse, and in that split second that it is, it's going to be not turning. The faster you are traveling and turning at the time dictates just how many degrees you rotate when it's stopped between rotating forward to reverse. Obviously faster= more and slower=less.

    Some machines, ie. most commercial mowers, weigh in at over 1,000 pounds, and that's starting at a 48" cut. I have tried about 5 different brands and none will do a true zero degree turn without tearing sensitive turf. the only way around it is to do a 3 point turn or any tactic you see possible to avoid the turf damage.

    I run Dixon mowers. 50" cut and they weigh in at around 700 lbs even with the catcher system. Most say they are crap and not "built heavy enough" but I can mow nearly any lawn and NOT tear the turf even in shaded areas and wet ground IF I'm paying close attention.

    Hop off the mower and see how bad the turf really is. I have honestly seen grass that can be torn up by twisting your foot. Sometimes it's not your fault....

    That being said
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,592

    I can't stop from tearing up turf either, but my Walker that I just got does a lot better. It is a 36: unit with small tires, but I can do a 360 with little marking. I think that the secret is this unit is responsive in reverse so when you turn you can get one wheel to go backwards.
  9. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    What Dixons are you operating? Our local dealer is a very helpful and honest guy and if we ever need a large Z we'd sure like to throw him some money :)
  10. lawnrangeralaska

    lawnrangeralaska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 433

    to stop ripping up the grass you need to stop fully at the end of a row, then reverse the inside wheel and match the opposite with the same amount of speed. or a three point turn.
    walkers tear turf pretty easy ed2hess, espically when going fast the front of these mowers have no traction so you like spin the wheel with no traction and it looks worse then riping grass when turning.

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