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Old 04-20-2014, 06:03 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Greenbrier, TN
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ZTR Selection and Safety on This Slope

Hi all,

I just joined the site and hope some of you more knowledgeable can give me some advice. I recently moved from a home with a relatively mildly sloped 0.22 acre yard to a new home with an estimated 2 acres out of 4 acres to be mowed. The grassed acreage is old cow pasture according to one of my neighbors. I know it sure is a bit rough when I cut it last week with my Husqvarna RZ4623 ZTR. It actually made my shoulders hurt after cutting. It took about 2 hours and I was bounced around pretty good.

The main reason for this post however is my concern about the slope on the back of the grassed area. The majority of the slope isn't too bad but the back 15-20 feet gets a bit steeper and I've measured it at 14-degrees. After 3 tries I learned that I can go slow and cut the slope going straight up and down the slope on the largest section that is more open. The part behind the house around the deck and far corner of the house is a little more challenging. I'm having trouble getting the mower turned around at the bottom of the slope (anywhere along the slope at the bottom) to come back up because the mower breaks traction no matter how easy I am with the controls. I've checked all tires and set them at the manufacturer spec'd 15psi.

I tried my dad's John Deere Z425 on it last fall and it felt a lot more stable. I think it's because it is bigger and has much larger tires. I only tried it once but it seemed to turn okay at the bottom of the slope.









So, that's all the background info. I'm now trying to figure out what mower I should buy with a max budget of $5000-$5500, or if it's even necessary to spend that kind of money. The closest dealer I have besides Lowe's (where I got the Husqvarna) sells Exmark, Husqvarna and Ferris. About the same distance is Cub Cadet but I don't hear great things about them from dad as his first ZTR was a cadet and he replaced the same drive part on that one 3 times in 2 years with only residential use.

I think the other dealers that are all around 30 min away include Hustler, Gravely, Deere, Bobcat, Kubota, and others. There's pretty good variety with a little drive. I talked to the owner of the closest dealer selling Exmark, Husqvarna and Ferris and he recommended the Ferris is600z because of the suspension. He said the suspension should help with traction and smooth the ride. I just can't afford to spend $5000+ not knowing for certain whether it will work or not though. He wasn't really willing to come try the slope out with his to be certain.

My dad's JD z425 recently burned to the ground when his wife got it too close to a burn pile that was on fire He test drove a couple different brands and bought the Ferris 600z but having used it only once he's not sure he's happy with it saying it "feels" less stable on his slopes mowing sideways than the Deere was. He hasn't broken traction though. He thinks it may be because the seat sits higher on the Ferris and maybe he leans more because of the height and the suspension. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but plan to.

Should I stick with a zero turn? If so, will any of the larger or semi-commercial units handle this 14-degree slope well? Or, should I get a lawn/garden tractor? I've never had one of those. I just want to be safe first, efficient second.

Thanks!

Last edited by tt0511; 04-20-2014 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:58 PM
dcfas dcfas is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Upstate, NY
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I'd be concerned about that slope if it is at all wet with any zturn. One option, however, is to get the Cub Cadet with the front steering. Another option would be to change out your tires for something that has better traction, as I think traction trumps pivot damage on your lawn. Finally, a 4wd lawn tractor might be worth considering, especially with 4wheel steer, as well.

Just some thoughts. Good luck!

DC
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:35 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Find a used scag turf tiger. Or just about any large frame ztr should hold a slope like that. Also drop tire pressure to 12 psi and should do better
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:51 PM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashlawn01 View Post
Find a used scag turf tiger. Or just about any large frame ztr should hold a slope like that. Also drop tire pressure to 12 psi and should do better
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Thanks. Would you consider the Ferris 600z to be a "large frame" zero-turn?
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:54 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tt0511 View Post
Thanks. Would you consider the Ferris 600z to be a "large frame" zero-turn?
No it's not large frame. Large frame is generally their biggest models.

Walk behind maybe?
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:20 PM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is offline
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First you need some grass
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:11 AM
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JDGlandscape JDGlandscape is offline
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maybe it is just the picture, but that doesnt look steep at all. any medium or large framed mower should be fine. i mow much much steeper than that with both my exmark lazer z and gravely 460. the 460 being a more stable machine
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:59 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Originally Posted by Snyder's Lawn Inc View Post
First you need some grass
This is true. I'm not sure what is here already but last fall when we bought the place there was pretty thick grass/vegetation on most of that slope. Only about a third of my lot is green currently so it must still be dormant.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:02 AM
tt0511 tt0511 is offline
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Originally Posted by JDGlandscape View Post
maybe it is just the picture, but that doesnt look steep at all. any medium or large framed mower should be fine. i mow much much steeper than that with both my exmark lazer z and gravely 460. the 460 being a more stable machine
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Is the husqvarna rz4623 I have classified as a "small frame" mower? I'm trying to get my head wrapped around the frame size thing since manufacturer websites don't separate mowers by frame size, unless I'm missing it.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:26 PM
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nashlawn01 nashlawn01 is offline
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Not sure on husqvarna but scag turf tiger john deere 930,950,997 exmark lazer(big ones). Most large frame is in $9-12k price range new
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