how do i mow a very very steep hill side

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grass disaster, May 13, 2006.

  1. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,583

    i have this hill that is evtremly steep. i cut it with my tthp 48" ecs controlls and let me tell you.... i had a tough time with it. it's actually dangerous scary.

    it was so steep it was sliding sideways. i should say my mower and i were sliding sideways.

    it is quite a long stretch to mow and they also threw in some evergreens in there to make it even more of a challenge for me.

    is there an easier way of mowing this???
     
  2. dcplace2004

    dcplace2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 423

    but here in Washington State, there are many lawns that CANNOT be accessed by a WBs...MY OWN LAWN cannot be accessed by a WB because of the landscaping...now, many stay away from these lawns, which is good for me into my second year as I build...I have lawns that are impossible and dangerous to mow with anything but a small self-propelled mower...this is not LUBBOCK TEXAS where the land is flat as a pancake...people have sloped and tiered landscapes...I would NOT rick rolling yourself and that thing over...period...it ain't worth it...get a group of Mexicans with push mowers and have them get with it...legal or course :usflag:
     
  3. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    Use a good ol pushmower I suppose.
     
  4. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I saw a picture of a Scag with dual wheels. I'd bet that would do it. Chevron or lug tires would work too. They don't tear the turf like you'd expect them to.
     
  5. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    A good hydro walk behind with a good operator will go places you can't even stand on without sliding.

    Try it with a push mower....won't work. Especially if bumpy. More dangerous too, in my opinion, than a walk behind.

    Your next option is the weed eater, or decline the job.
     
  6. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 649

    I mow a comm. with a big retaining pond (always dry) I throw my 52" exmark tracer in there an we have fun!!.It is right by a busy road ,an i think the drivers have fun watcheing me !!
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Be REAL careful man, I have one like that and I had the scare of my life one day when the mower grabbed instead of slipping, and the deck reared itself and the machine came towards me as it got ready to flip. I got out and away from it just in time to watch it flip end over end, saw the blades spinning in slow motion and it was a Kodak moment but not one I would reproduce for the camera.

    Lessons learned:
    NEVER allow yourself 'underneath' the machine at any time. Always be either beside or above it on a hill, and if things go wrong, be ready to get out of the way fast and in no panic. What I mean is, do not be afraid to let the machine go if it comes to that, get out of the way because it can and will kill you or hurt you very badly.

    Techniques next...
     
  8. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 649

    Thanks topsites...It's been a 10 yaer account .An i have started ith weed eating it then push mowing it an now ....safty first ...this pond is my friend,,, I wish i could send you a pix . But we are always safty first !! It is fun to mow !!
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Tips and hints:
    If you must ride UP the hill (sooner or later you have to), pick the least steep part of it to do so, and diagonally in LOW gear (1st or 2nd) works best. Always a LOW gear, the higher gears have tons of torque as well, unlike a car, a Wb can spin tires in 5th gear easily, so pick a low gear so there is less wheel speed, and it reduces slip considerably.

    I say diagonally up so you are not under the machine. If you ride straight up, you are under the machine, so go diagonally.

    Sideways works good, side to side.

    They say to turn the machine DOWN-wards and this is the safest but also the least effective. Unfortunately for safety, I find turning UP the hill causes less slippage, but you want to do so slow and in LOW gear (1st or 2nd) and there will be a moment where you must place yourself underneath the machine... Turn it until such time where you must get to the other side, then fully engage the brakes and hold it nice and steady as you carefully walk to the other side and watch it the whole time. Do not move the machine again until such time you are no longer under it. If you get hurt, you are in violation of safety rules, but then with steep hills like this, we're likely already in violation and that is why they hired us.

    The last method doesn't always work, but if there is a large area below the hill where the Wb can ride itself out, here's what I found:
    On my older machine, the operator-presence override switch never worked, and on my new one I unhooked a cable so the blades always run, whether I am present or not. This is against safety rules.
    - Ride the machine UP the hill along the shallow part.
    - Pick a spot and aim the machine straight down, and let it go.
    - Walk down and go pick the machine up at the bottom.
    - Ride it back up, pick a spot right next to where you just let it down, and send it down again.
    - Repeat until you've had enough or the hill is done lol
    But you MUST have a considerable area at the bottom where it can run itself out, the machine builds good speed going down, but this is fairly safe if you can do it.

    As for anything else, practice makes perfect, today I diagonally striped that hill where I spoke about the machine almost killing me years ago, same hill. Tough, but with time it gets better.
    Just go slow and be real careful, don't allow yourself under your machine and be ready to get out of the way fast if it even looks like an uh-oh.

    p.s.: I think you'll be fine.
     
  10. KCLandscape

    KCLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 526

    Topsites pretty much hit it on the head.
    I saw a guy/kid (or vice versa) drop a 61 in. in a creek last week.

    NEEDED A serious WINCH TO GET IT OUT, PLUS REPAIR WORK ON THE UNIT
    That is what a trimmer is for....Saves money in the long term
    N
     

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