View Full Version : Question about ztr riders

03-25-2002, 05:33 PM
I was wondering about the handling ability of ztr on slopes? Basically, can a 48" ztr cut any slope that a 48" garden tractor can? I would assume they can since they have a lower center of gravity but I was hoping for info from those who have some experience with both styles of rider.

I live in a pretty rural area so I can't demo a ztr. My local farm supply has a ztr in the showroom, but nothing I can demo.


03-25-2002, 05:40 PM
You will probally get alot of opinions on this. My .02 cents: I own both a 48" w/b and a 52" ztr. On slopes I use my w/b and on flat areas I use the z. It's just not worth it to me to take unnecessary risks. I give all the credit in the world to anyone who puts a z on a steep slope. Call me a wimp. LOL.

03-25-2002, 05:44 PM
use ur best judgement, if it seems by the least bit dangerous dont do it, use a walkbehind. its hard to say for zs in general, depends on the terrain.

Eric ELM
03-25-2002, 05:57 PM
A 60" ZTR is much more stable on a hill than a 48"

A 72" ZTR is much more stable on a hill than a 60"

I started out with a 36" ZTR, it was horrible on a slight hill. I now have three 60" Dixie Choppers that are very stable oh hills. The wider you get, the more stable it is.

03-25-2002, 06:43 PM
On garden tractors you can hang your butt off the side to change weight distribution. No way to do that on ztr. Hills are dangerous. Ask the question will a Ztr flip sideways? Has anyone ever done it? I know a tractor will. I know its not fun going up bacwards on Ztr. You get this up slam down up cycle going because you are holding on to the sticks. WB easy to get away from on hill.


03-25-2002, 06:56 PM
So then your biggest concern on a ztr is losing traction and sliding down a hill?

I've used a 60" outfront gravely before and we used to run straight up the steep slopes and back down without any major probles. Is this the proper way to do it on a ztr, or is side to side the easier way with mid-mounts?

03-25-2002, 07:48 PM
I started mowing with two 42" MTD hydro riders but had to get ZTR's when our business increased. I think that riders have a slight edge on hills but I do say slight. When a rider wants to tip a Z generally wants to slide. When we got used to our mid-mounts we realized they can take almost any hill that we feel comfortable to be on in the first place. In fact, we have no yard that our Z's can't mow something that our riders could. It is actually quite the opposite. The Z's are truly a world above riders in design and performance. They'll mow an account in a fraction of the time and leave a professional appearance in your wake. If you can justify the cost (if you have enough accounts) get the Z. You'll never go back.

03-25-2002, 08:00 PM
Don't go straight up and down a steep hill!!! YOu can go up a steep hill easy and trust me, you will go straight down even faster!!! I go back and forth on steep hills starting at the bottom and working my way up. If I have to get back down, I back down!! I learned fast about going front first down a steep hill, I ended up running into a man hole cover and bending the deck and castor!!! YOu can go down a hill, but you better have a clear landing at the bottom!!

03-25-2002, 08:28 PM
I really appreciate all this info guys, it helps a lot. I just don't want to spend nearly 10k for a machine that's going to add to my push mowing.

On my route, I only have 4 spots where I need to lean to the light side of the rider when working on a slope, and I have another 4 spots that I don't even try with a rider. Most of my terrain is flat, but rough with alot of dips and obstacles and I feel that a ztr will help knock of some cutting time.

Once agian, I really appreciate all this help.

03-25-2002, 08:34 PM
There is no comparison!

Most garden/utility tractors have (roughly) a 3' to 4' track width at the rear tires. While "most" ZTR's have a 4.5' to 6' rear track width.

Sliding sideways is only a problem on extremely steep hills and while wet or dewey. Sliding frontward isn't fun, a tractor will do this as well (unless its 4wd ) and there is nothing you can do but hold on for the ride! Up hills are no problem with the only limiting factor being it getting a bit light and throwing a wheelie!

But in gereral, the only thing a Tractor can do better is implements, and towing, all things you wouldn't think of doing with a ZTR.

lee b
03-25-2002, 08:40 PM
I started off with 2 Deere tractors, didn't think a z would be much good on any kind of a slope. I finally traded 1 tractor in on a z , my z will go places the tractors fear to tread. I got pretty good at leaning way over the side of my tractor to mow slopes, but the z will handle the same slopes without any problems. Now my other tractor is mostly used for pulling stuff, the z {60"} will mow as much as both tractors together could {54" and 48"}. If a hill is too steep to mow side to side, mow up it and back down, never, ever go down a steep hill nose first.

03-25-2002, 09:20 PM
i agree with most of whats been said. i would advise u to realize
going in that the hill deal is a learned thing.take plenty of time to get good at it . u also may benefit from front wts .
a fellow i know with a stander ,says he backs up hills an drives dn going forward. ive not seen him do it but thought id mention it.

03-25-2002, 11:28 PM

I think you could possibly roll a stander over backwards. He's probably scared.LOL

03-26-2002, 02:12 AM
just to clairfy "YOU CAN FLIP A STANDER" (a great dane surfer).
The wost part is trying to flip it back over by yourself. But as far as mowing hills i mow them side ways and have never had a problem. One of the nice things about the standers are if they start to roll you can get away from them real easy.


edward hedrick
03-26-2002, 11:17 AM
I run a Scag 3 wheel or STHM similar to the Gravely. I prefer this to a Z. you can change weight distribution by raising the deck
slightly. The new Gravley FM-310 wil do 9 mph.