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View Full Version : Are mid-mount ZTR's a problem on hills?


palmtree
05-23-2005, 03:43 PM
I have heard it both ways. They are wider than most lawn tractors with a lower center of gravity--why would they be worse on hills? Also, I have heard that front mount ZTR's are better on hills than mid-mount. Why is this? I have a pond dam to mow and I want to make sure I buy the right mower. As much money as these babies cost I want to make sure I get the right thing the first time around.
Thanks again.
Brett

C&KLawnCare
05-23-2005, 04:05 PM
ANY time your driving wheels are your Steering , Brakes , Traction. theirs trouble on hill's .... I see many brag about Z turns . but i wouldnt have one if it was gave to me . I have ran enough Z turn walkbehinds . both ridingn the velkie and walking behind it , Ya may be ok acrossed the hill if ya can keep the damn rear end where it should be and not crab walking like 90% time the mowers i was running did... god sakes dont turn down the hill if its a bit damp away she go's ... Turning up hill hope the steering tire has traction or ya may have a hard to handle beast straight up and down a steep hill and guess whats between you and what ever it slides backwards into . Even backing up to get it going again can be a night mare. Or ya fall and their ya are holding on to it... Ill take my Riders any dang place they can stick a Zturn . anytime . I may not be able to whip it around and start back the other direction but i can pop in reverse and mow backwards .

(As much money as these babies cost I want to make sure I get the right thing the first time around) If that pond dam is as steep as i picture most pond dam's in my mind , a weedeater or a goat tied up would be the safest

gunner27
05-23-2005, 06:09 PM
ANY time your driving wheels are your Steering , Brakes , Traction. theirs trouble on hill's .... I see many brag about Z turns . but i wouldnt have one if it was gave to me . I have ran enough Z turn walkbehinds . both ridingn the velkie and walking behind it , Ya may be ok acrossed the hill if ya can keep the damn rear end where it should be and not crab walking like 90% time the mowers i was running did... god sakes dont turn down the hill if its a bit damp away she go's ... Turning up hill hope the steering tire has traction or ya may have a hard to handle beast straight up and down a steep hill and guess whats between you and what ever it slides backwards into . Even backing up to get it going again can be a night mare. Or ya fall and their ya are holding on to it... Ill take my Riders any dang place they can stick a Zturn . anytime . I may not be able to whip it around and start back the other direction but i can pop in reverse and mow backwards .

(As much money as these babies cost I want to make sure I get the right thing the first time around) If that pond dam is as steep as i picture most pond dam's in my mind , a weedeater or a goat tied up would be the safest
What? My brain hurts from reading that.

GreenUtah
05-23-2005, 07:10 PM
I can only speak to the exmark/walker lines about midmounts and outfronts. Far and away, the lazers would handle hillsides far better than the outfront decks, like walker and the old explorer model, for the very reason you listed, wide footprints and short wheel bases. The only "safe" mower on a steep, wet hillside is the old FlyMos with cleats on or the 50k dollar articulating mowers they'll use on huge mountain projects. If you'd drive a truck across the face of something of the incline you have to do, the midmounts will handle the traction the best.

ROCKYM
05-23-2005, 10:39 PM
I will take my grasshopper out front deck on a bank any day of the week over a mid mount and I have both. The out front deck can go straight down a bank till you get to the edge of the water then turn. The mid mount you have to back down than turn.

grassmanvt
05-23-2005, 10:50 PM
ANY time your driving wheels are your Steering , Brakes , Traction. theirs trouble on hill's .... I see many brag about Z turns . but i wouldnt have one if it was gave to me . I have ran enough Z turn walkbehinds . both ridingn the velkie and walking behind it , Ya may be ok acrossed the hill if ya can keep the damn rear end where it should be and not crab walking like 90% time the mowers i was running did... god sakes dont turn down the hill if its a bit damp away she go's ... Turning up hill hope the steering tire has traction or ya may have a hard to handle beast straight up and down a steep hill and guess whats between you and what ever it slides backwards into . Even backing up to get it going again can be a night mare. Or ya fall and their ya are holding on to it... Ill take my Riders any dang place they can stick a Zturn . anytime . I may not be able to whip it around and start back the other direction but i can pop in reverse and mow backwards .

(As much money as these babies cost I want to make sure I get the right thing the first time around) If that pond dam is as steep as i picture most pond dam's in my mind , a weedeater or a goat tied up would be the safest

I coundn't DISAGREE more. I have two ztr's, I would ride em uphill or across before a tractor. I will say that there is more of a learning cuve but the notion that Z-turns can't do hills is something that people that don't have enough seat time on one say to justify their tractor. If your pond area is pretty steep I do think you should have ample practice time before you try it or you might end up in the pond. Try to get a dealer to demo one for you or find a local lco and get their opinion on the area.

deereman
05-23-2005, 11:38 PM
WE run both Tractors and ZTRs , of which both see hills. That 757 Z-Trak is unbelievable on hills!!! Yes the tractors are a LITTLE better than the ZTRs on hills but not buy much. Our Deere ZTR has wide rear tires, very low center of gravity, plus a ROP. If the grass is wet stay off with ZTRs. But I have a lot of hours on the seat of both and I will take a ZTR any day. And C&k Lawn care if somebody gave you a ZTR you would not take it? C-mon dude. ;)

Itsgottobegreen
05-24-2005, 12:03 AM
I will take my standers on any hill. Since I can shift my weight to gain traction. I have flipped a JD garden tractor on a hill more than once. Never flipped a stander and have tried to.

oughtsix
05-24-2005, 12:13 AM
I have a John Deere F725 front mower that does an excellent job on hills. The JD Fxxx series aren't zero turns but they are pretty close in turning radius. They are many times more manuverable than a tractor because of their rear wheel steering. The F725 also has a differential lock pedal and a knob to adjust the weight of the deck both of which help tremendiously on hills.

C&KLawnCare
05-24-2005, 12:13 AM
((I coundn't DISAGREE more. I have two ztr's, I would ride em uphill or across before a tractor. I will say that there is more of a learning cuve but the notion that Z-turns can't do hills is something that people that don't have enough seat time ))))))

Well the ride on Z-Turns must be alot better on hills than the walkbehind Z-turns . I ran a Toro, Bunton, and a snapper Zturn walkbehind and all three was not worth **** on hills . Always a ride i hated , id get off the velkie and walk kinda below the damn things trying to keep the thing from going out the hills sideways . and id get cussed at but **** i could mow better with a rider than them darn things was doing . I dont know but i threatend to stick chains on the bunton it was just damned worthless out of the three 3 mnths of that crap daily and my knees hurting from the velkie beating my legs to death i quit ,,,,, I may demo a ride on Z-turn ill give them the benifit of the doubt but the Z-turn walkers are just junk on hills

TClawn
05-24-2005, 12:42 AM
C&K,

I'm suprised that you haven't flipped one of your garden tractors on the hills. with a ztr, the operater is in a much lower stance than a garden tractor. not only that, the engine is also mounted lower and in the back, so that it puts more weight on the drive wheels. the time when ztr's are dangerous on hills, is when you go up and down them. I have had some scary moments going down hills.

C&KLawnCare
05-24-2005, 12:50 AM
Auctulay I have never seen a time where they wanted to flip. The new big red one of mine . the 54 inch deck is heavey and its hanging low under their . Plus im thinking of loading the tires but . if i dont get anything steeper than i already mow . i doubt ill load em . I have ran diffrent makes of riders on hills and i feel safer with my craftsmans than any of the others . they seem to just take on hills , Course than again living on a farm mowing Hay on hillsides gave me lots of hillside experince . Its all in knowing how much the equipment your on will take .

Dashunde
05-24-2005, 12:59 AM
Grasshoppers are outstanding on hills. (The type with rear end and deck on castors.)
Years ago I ran them and they would climb up a hill backwards that you would have trouble walking up. The rear end will come up off the ground, transferring all of the weight to the drives, they bite in real well that way.
Just go up backwards, and down forwards.
Grasshoppers are even pretty well balanced for running the sides of hills.
But... they do kinda suck in tight spots. The rear will swing out and smack stuff if your not carefull.
They're also kinda rough riding.

Kelly's Landscaping
05-24-2005, 01:06 AM
Bigger is better for hills with the Zs My 44 lazer scares me its an HP so its short and has very poor hill abilitys. My 52 lazer is much better and you can take on some steep hills its full size lazer Z. But my 60 is the way to go the tires are wider she holds the ground much better. With her I will do slopes i will not touch with the smaller mowers.

green acres lawns
05-24-2005, 01:23 AM
My Scags hold hills much better than my 60" exmark. Longer and lower is better. The center of gravity is higher on short wheel base Z's and lawn tractors.

Envy Lawn Service
05-24-2005, 02:39 AM
C&K,

I'm suprised that you haven't flipped one of your garden tractors on the hills. with a ztr, the operater is in a much lower stance than a garden tractor. not only that, the engine is also mounted lower and in the back, so that it puts more weight on the drive wheels. the time when ztr's are dangerous on hills, is when you go up and down them. I have had some scary moments going down hills.

Actually it has been my experience that lawn tractors without differential lock will actually get stuck before they are anywhere near turning over while side hilling. The differential will swap to the uphill side, which can't grab enough traction to keep moving forward without the operator shifting body weight uphill.

Envy Lawn Service
05-24-2005, 02:41 AM
My Scags hold hills much better than my 60" exmark. Longer and lower is better. The center of gravity is higher on short wheel base Z's and lawn tractors.

Never been on a Scag. No dealers anywhere near here that I know of. But all in all, the big Great Dane Chariots gotta be dang close in performance as well.... no?

SOMM
05-24-2005, 03:06 AM
what kinda hills ya talkin about ?

we're good on most 20-45 degree grades.

steeper than that - get a walk behind, or even a dually walk behind!

palmtree
05-24-2005, 05:48 PM
Thanks for the great advice. I am really excited to try out this ZTR.

Lawn Masters LC
05-24-2005, 06:00 PM
Scag turf tiger, need I say more?

C&KLawnCare
05-24-2005, 10:30 PM
45 degree grades
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

45 degree slope . Thats not only stupid but death waiting to happen 45 degree hill is pretty damn steep thats weed eater material their , Only mower id ever dare to stick on a grade like that is the ones that level the body out ..../----- Is pretty dang close to what 45 would look like How in sam hell do ya keep engines togather .