Lawn Tractor Loading Debate

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Giant Menehune, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Giant Menehune

    Giant Menehune LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Hey Guys,
    I'm hoping you can help settle a friendly debate between my father in law and I.
    I have a Craftsman 15 horse riding mower. I have no trailer for it yet since I just started out. So I've been loading it into my pickup with two 7 foot ramps, no problem. The thing is, he's always telling me to load it by backing up the ramps into the truck bed, he said it would be safer and I'd be less likely to outweigh the front of the mower and flip over, (I weigh 175 lbs.), and that's what I've been doing and it works pretty great. A week ago when I was looking at this year's "Masters'" equipment catalog, I noticed that in all the pictures where the mowers are being loaded, they are all facing forward, meaning that they load forward and back out to unload. I would like to have your opinions on this, because I'm very into safety and it's my butt in the seat... :D
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    The point of the flipping backwards is a valid one, HOWEVER, you can NOT back up the ramps safely, as there is too much slippage of the rear drive tires going up. You could get half or 3/4 of the way up, the machine starts slipping (and it will), and it could easily go off one of the sides. Then, you have a machine flipping over sideways. Actually, you should have a couple of 10 footers. These would stick out the back a little, but so what. You will have a significantly less incline to travel up. Ultimately, if you could get the machine to walk up it S-L-O-W-L-Y and walk beside it, then when the tractor get in the bed just hit the key, that would be safer.
     
  3. Giant Menehune

    Giant Menehune LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Yes, I have had the tires slip while backing up, it was scary. I'm gonna try frontways. See how that goes... :rolleyes: :blob3:
     
  4. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,177

    The old JD 300 series where great because you could do this. Since the speed/direction control lever was on the dash. A lot of times I would stand next to the tractor to move it around.
     
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Geez, oh Pete... I'm thinking of two 7' ramps, and the height of a tailgate, and thinking that IS steep! I am NOT suggesting that you go up forward on the tractor using two 7' ramps. your father in law is not 100% wrong..it is flat out dangerous. You need to invest in a little trailer,...even if it's one of those little ones from TSC, or something.
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I bought my trailer for one of two reasons, the first is being able to haul mulch and topsoil and what not but the other is safety! Specifically, the bed of the truck is TOO high off the ground and the ramps are too narrow a path for the tires for me NOT to see the inherent danger. Even if a wheel only comes off the ramp one time, it could spell disaster.
    The trailer's ramp is a full-length gate with a chicken-wire grate that covers the entire area with no air gaps where tires could fall if they should slip, not to mention the angle is a lot less steep because the bed is closer to the ground.
    I agree 100%, buy a trailer, even if it's a little 400-dollar 5x8 or 4x8 without a gate, even then using ramps on a trailer would be MUCH safer and instead of using ramps you could use one big, solid board as well.
     
  7. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    Yeah I would just but a little cheapo trailer for 500$. :)
     
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Brand new 5*8 trailer at home depot for $530 if that is pretty much all your doing. I am upgrading next year. But that 8*5 is actually pretty decent, i like mine!
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Shoot for that money I'm going there tomorrow to pick one up so I can put the 6x12 to rest for big jobs, I'm tired of paying an arm and a leg for the fuel used to haul around a 1000-lb. trailer with one mower on it.
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

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