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  1. #1
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    NH TN-70A, Cub Cadet 109, Kubota U-35 mini-ex,SCAG Wild Cat

    Default How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    I've got a SCAG Wildcat, 25Hp Kawi. I've started a landscape and field maintenance business and yesterday found myself cutting a lawn on a not so steep grade. I've read stories on this siteof guys sliding down a hill on wet grass on a zero turn, so was extra careful. With all precautions in place I was fine, but realize its not to hard to loose control if things go out of place. So I'm wondering what guys do to increase traction on these machines to help avoid this situation. I don't want to tear up lawns but figure there must be some kind of tire or add on straps or something that will help make a difference. The SCAG has stock tires, and maybe 150 hours on them so its not a wear issue. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Lakes Region, Maine
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    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    I had a ZD28 kubota and found out the hard way about going "downhill", it would break traction and slide. Going up hill, easy, you'd swear it was ready to do a wheelie. I talked to a few guys and I don't think that there is a solution. Just learn what your machine will handle and work with those limitations. Side hill is not an issue either, I think that most (operators) will run out of nerve before the machine will loose traction. My mower would back down as well as it went up, and found that depending on the slope, a diagonal approach to the hill was sometimes the best. Good luck!
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  3. #3
    Gold Member PossumHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    I had a ZD28 kubota and found out the hard way about going "downhill", it would break traction and slide. Going up hill, easy, you'd swear it was ready to do a wheelie. I talked to a few guys and I don't think that there is a solution. Just learn what your machine will handle and work with those limitations. Side hill is not an issue either, I think that most (operators) will run out of nerve before the machine will loose traction. My mower would back down as well as it went up, and found that depending on the slope, a diagonal approach to the hill was sometimes the best. Good luck!
    Rusty Iron has it right - use that diagonal track up and down the hill to moderate the wheel slippage; it will still slip occasioally but that pattern minimizes it.

    PH

  4. #4
    Silver Member Mpking's Avatar
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    Southwest Washington
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    Kubota L3240HST-3, Hustler Fastrak 54" ZTR

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    Not sure if its really what you're after but I came across these a few weeks ago:

    TEDBRAKES Zero Turn Mower Front Brakes - Bad Boy Mowers

    The same guy who runs Everything Attachments makes them. I've never bought anything from him but Lots of others have and seem to be very satisfied. He's a forum member as well.

    Looks like they might be helpful if you ever did lose control on a hill.
    L3240 HST-3, R4s loaded with Rim Guard, LA724 FEL with 72" quick attach bucket, 3rd function valve for loader, Sunshade, Woods BB60X rotary cutter, Woods 65" box blade, Land Pride GS1572 grading scraper, Quick Hitch.

    2011 Hustler Fastrak 54" deck Pics
    Brinly 42" lawn sweeper

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    You need to lower the air pressure in your back tires, and mount wheel weights, that did wonders on my garden tractors.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    NH TN-70A, Cub Cadet 109, Kubota U-35 mini-ex,SCAG Wild Cat

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    I find that traction is lost more so when accerating after coming to a stop, and when changing direction when on a hill. Tedsbreaks looks like a nice product, though not sure if they help in maintaining traction while cutting. They seem most effective after having lost traction, and needing to stop the slide (also a good thing for sure). Maybe someone needs to come up with a 4WD ZTR.

    Thanks for the input all, I'm very appreciative.

  7. #7
    LD1
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    Super Member LD1's Avatar
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    Central Ohio
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    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    What you have is a catch 22.

    If you get more agressive tires, it will minimize slip in EXTREME conditions, but it will also tear up the yard more when turning and going around obsticals.

    And NEVER try to go directly up or down steep inclines. ZTR's arent made for that unless they have a tailwheel. I personally like sideways, because as mentioned, even on dry and very hard ground, they will slide LONG before they will roll. But a hill steep enough to slide off of you would definatally be doing a bacflip if you tried to go straight up.

    I agree that you just need to learn the limitations of the machine and work within those parameters. If it is too wet or too muddy, wait till it dries. ZTR's can get stuck and make a mess in a hurry
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
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    Ford 3910

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    Loose the turf tires and put on bar tread tires. I found I had less turf damage even in turns on flat ground because I had absolutely no wheel slippage whatsoever. Many will argue that but with the turf tires I had spin marks all over the lawns I mowed. I went to bar tread because of a lawn I was doing that had a steep hill (and the turfs were getting worn anyway) and wished I had done it a long time ago.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    central Wisconsin
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    Kubota B7800, B26 TLB

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    That's exactly the feedback I have been looking for. Very unsatisfied with the control on slopes with the ZTR. Perhaps bad on me for selecting it in the first place! I really like the speed and quickness but care is needed on slopes especially with full bags. Thank you Birdhunter1!
    Working to increase the scope of the small tractor experience, one quick attach at a time.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Birdhunter1's Avatar
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    Ford 3910

    Default Re: How to Get Better Traction with A Zero Turn

    Remember to always have both wheels moving and preferably do a 3-point or "K" turn at the ends of your lawn, learn to do that and with the bar tread tires you will have no tire marks on your lawn anywhere. Attempting that same turning style with turf tires I get marks from where the tire spins.

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