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Old 08-13-2013, 10:05 AM
mgfunaro mgfunaro is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yonkers, NY
Posts: 5
What makes a ZTR good for hills?

Looking for some advice...

I currently have a husky iz 5223 zero turn. Less than thrilled with the machine but overall it's been pretty solid. Tunnel ram deck leaves a lot to be desired in wet conditions but whatever.

One of the lawns I cut has a pretty steep hill on it. It's a long hill (well over 100' long) and the hypotenuse of the hill if you will (measuring the surface straight down) is probably 40-50 feet. Not going to attempt to ballpark the grade as a degree or percent because I'll probably exaggerate but there's probably a good 15 feet of fall in the hill. To make matters worse the yard is shady and has a lot of clay, so it takes forever to dry out and if it's not dry it's incredibly slippery. Like slide off the lawn and into the brush slippery.

My mowing is very part time and not really a main source of income. So getting a machine that's 12K plus or something like that is out of the question.

I realize the husky ZTR that i have is less than loved.

The question--

What's the most important thing you've found in hillside handling?

Does a wider stance and or larger tires make much more of a difference? Does it all come down to center of gravity. I've mowed with a larger hustler (super z?) and it does much better on hills.

I've been looking at some Ferris machines (is 2000) on clearance and they are very attractively priced. I'm wondering how the suspension will affect hillside traction.

I do too much flat work and mowing of lesser hills to get a walk behind and dont have space or time for a WB and a rider.

Before I get anything new I will definitely demo but im looking for some pre-demo advice I guess. Any machines that really really stand out on hills?
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:23 AM
nashlawn01's Avatar
nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southwest VA
Posts: 464
What makes a ZTR good for hills?

Weight center of gravity and tire pressure. Get the biggest mower with the widest deck fuel tank under seat and run about 12 psi in the tires. I can take a scag TT with a 61 and mow anything
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:46 AM
Vecchio Lawn Care's Avatar
Vecchio Lawn Care Vecchio Lawn Care is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bel Air, MD
Posts: 906
What makes a ZTR good for hills?

Exmark x series and toro 6000 series are great on hills. Engine is placed lower on the frame, gas tank under the seat, and a new design of hydros make them great on hills
19 Years Old

John Deere
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:39 AM
Jaybrown Jaybrown is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,162
What makes a ZTR good for hills?

Wright stander.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:55 AM
CurbAppealKS CurbAppealKS is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wellington, KS
Posts: 448
I have taken the ferris is2000z that you are looking at on some steep stuff. The suspension actually helps, it pushes the machine back uphill in a way by giving resistance to the downward pressure, if that makes sense. The 3100z is even better.

I have never operated a turf tiger, but they look like they would be great on hills as well. Basically, if the machine is balanced well, has the right tires with the right pressure and a good operator, they can go almost anywhere.

Hell, the best mower that I have ever used on hills was an old Walker MT side discharge with the 62" deck and all terrain tires. It sat so low to the ground, I would take it anywhere.
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