How Fast to Run a ZeroTurn Mower

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I've always had rider mowers where they say to run them full throttle when mowing grass. Well, I did that today with my ZTurn and I am assuming it was very entertaining for my neighbors. At what speed do I run a ZTurn?
 
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I run my toro zturn at full throttle. But the hydro's control forward speed. I have a two speed selector for fast/slow.
 
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The sales guy at the mower dealer said they're designed to run at top speed. Assuming it's smooth enough and the grass is at your standard weekly 3" long. Now this is only if you have a side discharge. If you have a mulch kit, you'll probably have to slow down a bit. I find a mower is like a boat, it's usually too bumpy to run them at full speed.
 
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You run the engine at full throttle for the steering pumps and blade speed to operate correctly. You adjust your traveling speed via the control handles to match your conditions (grass height, ground roughness, etc.). Commercial ZTR's have faster blade speeds (and other attributes) to handle faster mowing.
 
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The same. Full throttle for fastest blade speed and adjust your driving speed according to grass/terrain. What were you doing "entertaining for my neighbors"? Spinning in circles? crackmeup
 
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Just be aware that while you can " zero turn" , doing so on wet grass at the shortest turning radius will tear the grass.
 

JTK

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Are we talking max ground speed or max governed engine RPM? Running the engine at max RPM is recommended for pretty much all OPE. For ground speed, you can go as fast as your terrain, mowing and safety needs dictate.
 

Gebo

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I am talking about the engine speed. It seemed hard to control the ground speed and turning and such when I had the engine RPM's at full throttle. And I do have a mulching kit. I felt out of control but it was my first time using the ZTurn.
 

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Most repeat full throttle as most ZT makers suggest that. Mine says a minimum of 3000 rpm- I found about 3150 rpm the sweet spot for great cutting and maximum fuel efficiency. That comes in handy when your lawn is literally a country mile. I do have a built in tach and it makes it easy to remember your calculated "sweet spots" when you move over to other areas. In the end you will know after you get used to it. Same with actual speed- your terrain dictates that.
 

JTK

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Gebo, when I had my Cub Z-Force ZTR, it felt the same way at full throttle. The drives put out max torque at max engine RPM, so ground speed and direction changes will be more herky-jerky unless you use a softer touch. I get it that the manufacturers recommend full throttle for "proper engine cooling", but you don't need to run them at full throttle. You'll burn less fuel throttled down a bit and IMO, it's easier on the equipment and you throttled down some.
 
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Gebo

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I'm leaning towards JTK. One thing I have noticed is that it still creeps forward in neutral with the bars laid out. I need to do a little research. IT's a Snapper/Simplicity from 2008 I purchased from my neighbor. Since I'm running all Amsoil, that's all I need for cooling. wink
 
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Doesn't the cut look rather ragged when mowed at a really fast pace? I usually mow at a moderate speed and the 'cut' looks pretty good after. My 2¢
 
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Always run a mower engine at full throttle. Ground speed is another matter, you don't want to go any faster than 4 mph for the best quality of cut.
 
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Originally Posted By: JTK
Are we talking max ground speed or max governed engine RPM? Running the engine at max RPM is recommended for pretty much all OPE. For ground speed, you can go as fast as your terrain, mowing and safety needs dictate.
Originally Posted By: Gebo
I am talking about the engine speed. It seemed hard to control the ground speed and turning and such when I had the engine RPM's at full throttle. And I do have a mulching kit. I felt out of control but it was my first time using the ZTurn.
Originally Posted By: dwendt44
Doesn't the cut look rather ragged when mowed at a really fast pace? I usually mow at a moderate speed and the 'cut' looks pretty good after. My 2¢
I think the mulching kit will make you need to slow down. IF its easy to remove, try it without. Most zero turn mowers have a higher blade speed than the old lawn tractor type mowers. My toro ss5000 does a good job of making fine clippings with the standard blades. But i don't know if a snapper has high blade speed, you could inquire at a dealer or remove the mulch kit and try it. You will get used to the sound of the deck and you will know if you are going too fast. It will make a whonnnhing sound if you are too fast on ground speed,( i can hear the change even with ear plugs in) you can also check the cut behind you until you get used to it. Make sure the blades are sharp before you make your judgements. I use a gator blade in the fall/ spring as i have a lot of leaves and it works much better. But the lawn is not as nice as the standard toro blades, they cut smoother.
 
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Gebo

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I'm not being clear. I am not running the machine fast over my yard. I am doing slow mph's. I was running the engine at full throttle and it was making it very difficult for me to control the mower. I am going slooooowww over my terrain. It's the engine that is running high rpms at full throttle. My son has mowed three times and I asked him about it and he said he only mowed at 1/2 throttle. He said I was nuts if I tried to mow with the engine at full throttle.
 
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Originally Posted By: Gebo
I'm not being clear. I am not running the machine fast over my yard. I am doing slow mph's. I was running the engine at full throttle and it was making it very difficult for me to control the mower. I am going slooooowww over my terrain. It's the engine that is running high rpms at full throttle. My son has mowed three times and I asked him about it and he said he only mowed at 1/2 throttle. He said I was nuts if I tried to mow with the engine at full throttle.
Hard to say, not seeing it or having used a model like yours. I will just say that the blade speed is what you want, you don't want part throttle for good blade speed. It is possible that there is a problem with the hydrostatic controls.
 
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How about a variable transmission ( engine to blade coupler). For some who cut once or twice a week then who needs all the juice a av-twin engine can provide to cut something as 'soft' as grass? But if you are doing a heavy cut and dont want to do it twice ( a no-no. I know) then I understand the need for full throttle. I mean, a human powered reel mower or a string trimmer with a 2lb battery can cut just fine, so why would one want to run around cutting 1" of grass at the max rpm? Wouldn't it be less stressful to the operator, neighbors, and the mower to loaf along?
 
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