Hills and ZTR's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JoeT, May 16, 2007.

  1. JoeT

    JoeT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hi, I'm new to this board and have a question regarding my ZTR. I have a new Ferris 48 inch zero turn and I am having problems with sharp, hilly lawns. I was using a self propelled mower before buying this mower and I am having a hard time adjusting to it. Is there any advice on which way to cut on a sharp inclined lawn with a ZTR? Should I be cutting from side to side or trying to cut up and down? I am worried that I am going to roll it one of these days, so I end up bringing out the self propelled mower and walking behind it with my brand new ferris just sitting there. Any help would be most appreciated!!!!
    JoeT:confused:
     
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    You need a walk behind for hills. ZTR's are dangerous on steep hills, you will roll it one of these days.
     
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    He's right. Each ZTR is different in what kind of slope it will handle. You need to learn you machine well and if ever in doubt stay off the slope with the ZTR. It's not worth your life. Some one with a lot of experience can probably cut grass safely on a ZTR with out ROP (roll over protection) because they know what a machine can and can't do. If you don't have them on your machine get them installed right away. Some ZTR's hold a hill like a goat and some scare the heck out of you and will get you killed. Be careful and talk to your dealer about what kind of slopes that mower is capable of.
     
  4. ZX12R

    ZX12R LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 787

    I just bought a 56" Exmark Lazer and that thing scares me on hills.On one hill,and not a very steep one at that,I started going down,tried to slow it down,and finally slid down the rest of it.:cry: Luckily,my feathers were numbered and I did not run into anything.:dizzy: So,for hills,I walk.
     
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I am a female, just so you know.
     
  6. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,380


    Usually you are better off mowing across the hill/slope. With a ztr you have little control when going down a slope so if there is something at the end of a steep hill, chances are you will not be able to stop. I prefer to mow across the hill when I can, starting at the bottom and turning up hill at each new cut, until i reach the top. But you alwasy have to use common sense, do what you are comfortable with and what you know your machine is capable of. I would not attempt to mow across thje same hills with a 48" ztr as i would a 60" ztr. The wider the mower the more stable the machine is too.
     
  7. ED'S LAWNCARE

    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 361

    I have one property that I go down backwards then up forwards. You can't go down this thing frontwards. It takes a while but the customer pays for it.
     
  8. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I just want to make sure the original poster didn't get hurt learning to use the new ZTR on hills. I was agreeing with you that if the hill is very steep a WB is the right tool. I can agree with a female can't I?
     
  9. JoeT

    JoeT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks for your replies, I just am going to stop cutting the large lawns with a steep incline due to the dangerous hazard it could create, it not worth dying for 55 dollar lawns. I am not using a self propelled 21 inch mower either for a large (acre or more) steep incline lawns, unless it is for a heck of a lot more money. Now that I have invested in the Ferris, I can't get a larger walk behind for sometime. Thanks again for all that responded, might have saved my life!!!!
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    One trick I learned over time, this is when I have no choice but to start at the top...
    Obviously starting at the bottom would be ideal, but I find I just can't always do that.

    Is to go sideways, obviously, but when you reach the end, as they say, NEVER turn down the hill!!!
    LOL omg don't do it, never ever point those front wheels down (this is to say, I think we can all relate).

    What I do when I reach the end is turn up so I point straight UP the hill, then back down a bit slowly in reverse, turn and head back sideways across. So you do a 3-point turn, again the first part point UP, then reverse down going backwards just a tee bit, and now just turn into the cut path and go.

    You'd think you'll flip over backwards, but I am amazed at how stable the machines are when pointed up hill, thou I still lean way forward in my seat cuz I'm scared :laugh:

    Thou if I think about it, if given the choice, flipping over backwards would actually be my accident of choice, as compared to over sideways, for instance.
     

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