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gec343
03-05-2004, 11:23 AM
I am considering the purchase of a o turn, possibly ZD21 Kubota for mowing about six acres of hilly lawn, with many trees to trim around. Do the o turn mowers do well on hills? Also, any advise on Kubota vs John Deere would be appreciated.:D

MOturkey
03-05-2004, 12:14 PM
I don't have the experience of a lot of guys on here, but see no one else had bitten yet, so thought I'd give it a try.

I've helped a friend of mine for a few years that has the contract on some land leased by the Conservation Department here in MO. Two areas have pretty steep hills. On is actually roadside embankment probably 30 feet high, the other a hillside or perhaps half an acre or so. I've mowed both with his 61 Encore Prowler, and my Gravely 250Z. If the grass is wet, you can have some problems, but if the grass is dry, it is amazing where they will go. I was pretty reluctant to try the hills at first (bravery is not my strong suite), but once you get familiar with the machine, you will learn how to control it.

Perhaps the main thing is remembering to work the controls SLOWLY. Any sudden surge in power or direction change can cause you to lose traction. On a reasonable hill, if you do, all you will likely do is slide sideways anyhow, but it is a little scary. Going across hillsides, you just learn to keep a bit more power to the lower wheel than to the top, as you have no steering on the front. I do believe some models allow locking of the front casters, which, supposedly will give you a bit more control on slopes. Probably the least controllable is going down hill. Any attempt at braking can cause you to lose traction if your tires are worn, or the grass and/or ground is wet. Hope this helps. Neill

Lombardi
03-05-2004, 12:18 PM
Can you post any pictures? Everyone has a different interpretation of the term "hills".

Pecker
03-05-2004, 12:20 PM
MOturkey is right. Personally though, I don't think ZTRs are made for hills other than small rolling hills. However, there are exceptions. Check out this Hustler. http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/products/superatz.html

chefdrp
03-05-2004, 12:21 PM
Hi, I have found it hard to mow straight up and down on a hill. down is the tricky part. alot of mine are on a lake and if i mess up i am in the lake. LOL. Norm i just go at an 45 degree. especialy if it is damp.

JDRep2
03-05-2004, 12:22 PM
Gec,
Best way to answer that question is to put the mowers on it. Anyone can talk their machine across a hill, only you can drive it. Manufacturers make different claims to the degree they can handle (this is a mistake), that fact is for safety purposes that you should steer or make turns up the hills. Also, because of the casters on the front of the machine, it will not handle as well as a machine that has positive steering from 4 wheels (i.e. a tractor). Considering center of gravity and width of footprint is also advisable.
As I said before, any dealer worth their salt will relish and opportunity to demo head to head, I know I do. Win or Lose.
Good Luck.

chefdrp
03-05-2004, 12:25 PM
here is a pic of one i do at an angle

burnandreturn
03-05-2004, 12:26 PM
I have a Kut Kwick mower made especially for mowing hills. Good up to 40 degree's. Another mower is the Hustler 6400, although I've never used one. I have a dixie chopper that does OK on hills but not great.

Lombardi
03-05-2004, 12:47 PM
chef,
You call that a hill? As I said before, everyone's perception is different. Here is a pic of a pond bank I do. You will notice that I did not take the pic with my mower on the hill. That is because it is too steep. Therefore I use my Quad and pull a Swisher brush cutter behind it.

Lombardi
03-05-2004, 12:48 PM
Pic of Quad with brush cutter.

mowerconsultant
03-05-2004, 12:55 PM
You need to look at the Hustler ATZ, we designed this mower for your situation.
This unit is the best mid mount z on a hill.

Pj
http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/images/products/superatz-image2.jpg

Lombardi
03-05-2004, 01:08 PM
MC,
Now those are what I call some steep hills. I have a JD F935 that would probably handle the angle but I do not have a ROPS and would not feel comfortable using it on my hills even if I did. Pond banks are full of ground hog holes and I can't risk rolling a $10k mower down a hill.
I have seen some other pics of a mower where the operator's seat actually rotates to compensate for the slope.

mowerconsultant
03-05-2004, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by Lombardi

I have seen some other pics of a mower where the operator's seat actually rotates to compensate for the slope.

The unit you are describing is a Kut-Kwik, it is a dedicated front mount slope mower, good unit.... but not the best.
Hustler has been making hill mowing machines since 1979.
Here is a pic of the Hustler 6400, this unit has a cab that tilts with the engine to compensate for the slopes, it is also a true 6 wheel drive.
It is also a zero turn unit, you can lift the front and back set of wheels to pivot on the center set and make zero turns easily.
The Hillsider also will handle winter attachments.
.
http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/images/products/6400-image1.jpg

GreenMonster
03-05-2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by mowerconsultant
You need to look at the Hustler ATZ, we designed this mower for your situation.
This unit is the best mid mount z on a hill.
Pj
http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/images/products/superatz-image2.jpg

:eek: :eek: :eek:

nice.

proenterprises
03-05-2004, 02:04 PM
i think i would crap my pants mowing on a hill that steep:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

specialtylc
03-05-2004, 03:00 PM
I have been running a ZD21 for two years on hills steeper than the pictures above . Moturkey said it right. I know a 4wheel drive mower or dedicated hillside machine like the Hustler 6400 will do better.But its not cost effective to own those machines for a couple hours work per week. The Kubota ZD holds on a side hill better than many. I have used HUSTLER Z 60, EXMARK 60 , and the GRASSHOPPER on same slopes as the KUBOTA. The kubota holds 50% better. Alot of this is due to really good tires from factory and the pivoting front axle.

mowerconsultant
03-05-2004, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by specialtylc
But its not cost effective to own those machines for a couple hours work per week.

The ATZ is very cost effective, the 72" lists for $11,595.00 and the 60" lists for $11,295.00, both have a 27hp Kohler.
These are MSRP's, they can be bought for less from the dealer.
Another point about the ATZ is you can mow hills and flat ground, just as you would with a Kubota.

Pj

specialtylc
03-05-2004, 03:31 PM
Yeah I seen one at my Kubota/Hustler dealer already. Looks like the old Honda Odesey ATV from the 1970s with a mower deck. No thanks.

DUSTYCEDAR
03-05-2004, 04:15 PM
used to cut a slope that u sould hardley walk on with a 61 scag walk behind lost it down the slope more that once glad to see that job go

nelbuts
03-05-2004, 04:30 PM
Z mowers just plain suck on hills. Let's tell the truth they break traction if the turf is damp and will slide when dry. I have been running them since the old Wheel Horse 724Z's were out. Some 15 years now.

There are several things that work in your favor though.
1. Deck size. The wider the deck the more weight and that will help because it is low weight.

2. The trend to putting fuel tanks up above the driver seat makes it difficult to shift the body weight which you see in some of the pics. For instance, I can take much steeper stuff with my Turf Tiger than I can with my Tiger Cub. Why shifting body weight can not go as far on the Tiger Cub.

3. The angle that you go into the hill will determine if you can mow it. Example. you don't want to go straight down and then swing a turn. Bad move. What I do is try to go into a hill from the bottom and work my way up. If I can't do that then I will search a good entry angle point to start. That does not matter where it is just as long as it is safe.

Finally, I never do steep hills next to water. I can take much steeper hils and ditches when there is no water. I have always had a fear of being trapped underwater with my mower on top of me. So I don't take those chances. Funny thing is that most of my accounts 80% has canals, ponds, or creeks!

mowerconsultant
03-05-2004, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by specialtylc
Yeah I seen one at my Kubota/Hustler dealer already. Looks like the old Honda Odesey ATV from the 1970s with a mower deck. No thanks.
The unit is 1 foot longer than our Super Z, it has a certified 2 post ROPS and a 4 post roll cage, the cage is the only resemblance to a Odyssey that I can see.....I had a couple of Odyssey's when I was younger...fun times...
Here is a better side pic for those that haven't seen the unit in person yet.

Pj

Doc Pete
03-05-2004, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by mowerconsultant
The unit is 1 foot longer than our Super Z, it has a certified 2 post ROPS and a 4 post roll cage, the cage is the only resemblance to a Odyssey that I can see.....I had a couple of Odyssey's when I was younger...fun times...
Here is a better side pic for those that haven't seen the unit in person yet.

Pj

Well, since you can't fly back and forth on hills anyway, plus they are bumpy and take time to mow, the SWB/bullrider is great alternative, loves mowing straight up and down hills, and "Street priced" under $6,000.
DP

Tonyr
03-05-2004, 05:50 PM
P.J your company certainly makes great gear mate! I've used the Super Z and was totally impressed, the atz and 6400 in those pics are certainly purpose built, clever stuff! Those slopes....I reckon I'd subby them out to a tractor or chemical applicator! :)

Scott37
03-05-2004, 06:20 PM
HEY nelbuts
I know the feeling, I am also in sw Fl Cape coral to be exact, 90% of my accounts are on canals with real steep embankments, The best way i found to cut these are:
Finding the wright angle to go at it, and if that doesnt work I back down slowly get as close to the seawall as possible, and just keep on repeating, I know this takes more time and that means more money per cut

Critical Care
03-05-2004, 09:44 PM
I learned my lesson quickly after first getting on a Walker. Tried to take a hill that sloped right into an iron fence, but needless to say, bit by bit I slipped further and further down until I was totally stuck. Had a devil of a time getting out of that mess. It was one of those times when you look around hoping that no one was watching.

Pecker
03-05-2004, 10:04 PM
ChefDRP, is that a Deere ztr I see?

Doc Pete
03-05-2004, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by Critical Care
I slipped further and further down until I was totally stuck. Had a devil of a time getting out of that mess. .
Having the H bar on my WBs, I realized how/why we sometimes seem to get stuck and cant get out.

All duel motor/pump machines though independent have the same oil to share, which means that are internally connected. When loaded heavily, the system acts like a two wheel drive car, without limited slip. As long as both wheels can drive things are fine, however as soon as one breaks traction, the pressure is reduced on that side and all the pressure seems to go to that pump/motor combo, spinning only the tractionless wheel, faster.
What needs to be done is, regardless if want the machine to turn is, you must adjust the linkage so both pumps get the exact same amount of pump pressure, which unless both wheels have no traction, will move both wheels, and though one may slip a bit, the other wheel, which was not spinning at all, will start to move and get you going.
Give it a try, it works for me.
DP

chefdrp
03-05-2004, 11:22 PM
yes ****** it is. That hill is a little steeper than it looks but the hills you guys are on is crazy. LOL