mowing the Slope from Hell

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Schlepie, Jun 30, 2001.

  1. Schlepie

    Schlepie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    Went to bid a job today. Customer says we need just the back of the property mowed, we do the front. It does slope towards the river though..... So I took a shot, had to walk to the edge of the upper part of the property by the house to see the bottom of the slope. It goes straight down to the river, with a bank though. I had to slow myself down walking down the 125' concrete driveway/boatramp and was somewhat out of breath after the trek uphill. Property is 100 X 125. The owners have two 21" mowers and a rider, I swear the slope is 30 degrees at least(why arent they mowing it anymore you ask)?. I have 21" SP and exmark 36. Should I venture into this? If so, how do you bid these. Don't plan on mowing many of these, but don't want to loose the business......
     
  2. i do one similar to this. cutting totals up to about 1 1/2 acre. never measured it. the back lawn is on a hill. you can do it with a ZTR if you are careful. the front lawn is on a slope. if you stand up on the road. the house is about 75 feet back off the road. house is 2 stories plus roof. you can see right over the roof. front and side together just to cut is about 1 hr of cutting. you gotta take it slow, and be careful. driveway at this place, you pull in there at the top, look in front of you and all you see is the sky. goin up the hill is about the same thing. just figure that it will take you more time to cut than a flat lawn because you will have to angle the machine up the hill. and lines wont be that great. if you are goin to go with a contract maybe put in a clause stating that you are not responsible for any damages to the turf on the hill due to machine slide. or something like that.
     
  3. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    Very good point about the fact that you wont be responsible for any turf damage, and if the hill is as steep as you say it is there will be. If its steep enough IMHO i dont care who you are if your using a commercial machine your gonna rut it from the same lines all the time or gonna eventually kill some of the grass simple where you rip it off the surface. We obtained an apt. complex this year, our first commercial (large) and let me tell ya, im really really learnign hills i dont think it can get any worse, some we need to do with a whip. Well, i just wanted to put my cents in due to my experiance on the steepness of some hills we do, GOOD LUCK.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Tell him that you will mow it once and give him a fair price. But, until you you have experience the terrain on your mower you can not give a good estimate. Then attach a safety line to your machine and try to mow it. There is no sense in trying to mow only to lose your machine in the river. Take it slow and get a good feel for which way works best. If you are having bad thoughts on mowing it, I would suggest that you take a pass on this job to live another day. Because fear will get you killed. Good Luck
     
  5. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    Most of the properties that have hills that I cut. do not end up in river, that could get interesting! If you had to walk to the edge to see the bottom, that is a serious hill!!!I have found that it is best to take the mower slowly to the bottom and work side to side back up the hill, making turns with the mower heading up the hill. You would need to watch your speed and any sudden movements with the mower. I have a 48 in hydro exmark walk behind, and it does really good on hills, but you said that you have a 36 inch unit. I don`t know if that would be wide enough,or have the weight to hold it on the hills. Also is it a belt drive, that may be another problem, when it is wet.If you decide to do it take it slowwwww, and be careful. I would never think about using my ztr on some of these hills, because I don`t want to take a ride on the white knuckle express to the bottom.:D

    Guntruck I have some hills that it is hard to stand and use the trimmer, so i know what you mean, I learned how to use a trimmer fast because of these hills when I first started. If thats the case you would need to charge more, because of eztra time to do the job.
     
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    if its as bad as you say, sounds like you will sooner or later
    end up in the water with a walkbehind for company.
    id figure a way to do it but they wouldnt like the price.
    almost sounds like this one could get you killed. later
     
  7. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    Don't know if it would work for you, but I saw a guy mow a hill like that once. He tied a rope to the handle of his 21". Stood at the top and let the mower down the hill by the rope, then pulled it back up. Moved over and repeated till he got it done.
     
  8. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I agree with awm. No job is worth risking your life over.
     
  9. syzer

    syzer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,266

    get yourself a Great Dane Surfer =). Best machine we have ever had on very steep hills.
     
  10. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Since you just started your business, could this be the only machine you have had on a steep hills? I was just wondering what you are comparing this machine to. I'm not trying to be a smart ***. :)
     

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