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What's a reasonable slope for a ZTR?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmeister, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. grassmeister

    grassmeister LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    I have a 15 degree slope that I'm planning on mowing with a ZTR. My plan is to purchase a Ferris IS1500Z and I'm curious as to how it would handle such a hill. I suspect this mower wouldn't be too different from other zero turn mowers. Do you think it should be ok?
  2. CBB

    CBB LawnSite Member
    from MS/LA
    Posts: 147

    I am not sure about the Ferris. I do know that Exmark has their slope setting for a max. of 15 degrees. If you are cutting slopes, I would definitely look into mowers that come with ROPS. Its better to be on the safe side.
  3. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Posts: 2,207

    Most mower manufacturers say that 15 degrees is the maximum slope to cut with a ztr but that does not mean that all ztr's will hold a 15 degree slope the same. A lot would depend on what size deck the mower will have because the wider the deck the wider the wheels will be. I would say the Ferris should be fine though but it will probibly take some practice for you to really get good at it.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062


    Just don't buy ANYTHING without an on site demo of cutting your slope.

    15 degrees is not that bad of a slope though. To me, that's flat lands.
    Myself, I'd be happy if my entire block of business was 15 degrees.
  5. grassmeister

    grassmeister LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    I'm specifically wondering how a 1500z will handle this slope. A dealer read a sticker off of a 1000z that said it should only be used up to 10 degrees. To me, this sounds like something their legal department recommended and isn't based on reality. I'm wondering what's realistic for a 1500z. Unfortunately, the dealers in my area won't let me demo it on my own lot, only their lot - which is flat. Since the 1500z isn't a full size Z, I'm not sure how it will fare. My gut feeling is that 15 degrees isn't so bad and that it should be fine.
  6. THill3

    THill3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    I have two of the 1500,s and have never had a problem. I do have the 52,s and I know I have put them on hills that they were not intended to be on. I would say you will be fine.
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Yes, the stickers are to help with their legal liability. The MFG's know that the very nature of zero turn riders can make them unsafe, even on moderate slopes, hince the sticker.

    The 1500Z is so new it's hard to say what is realistic to expect from it. If I had been on one I could tell you, and would tell it to you straight. But I haven't demoed one.

    Anyways, the truth is, I just would not lay down a large sum of my hard earned money on a machine that they would not let me demo. PERIOD!!! Since your dealer will not let you demo, I would suggest the following...

    - Tell the dealer you don't feel comfortable with a 'blind' purchase. Then ask him if he bought his truck/car without test driving.

    - If he does not come around, tell him you hate to, but you will have to take your business elsewhere if he can't arrange something. Worst case, he has to call your local Ferris rep with your info so the rep can contact you and arrange a demo. My Ferris rep would show up with a trailer load of equipment, with bells on if I asked.

    - If your dealer will not do this much for you, he doesn't need your business, and you don't need a dealer like him. If he's that sorry when it means making a sale and getting something ($) from you.... just imagine what it will be like when you need something from him, like service.

    If you can't get a demo and you have concerns with hills, send me a private message. I'll make some alternate suggestions to hook you up with some equipment that can handle the task and a demo to prove it.

    As far as the part of the quote I made bold.... don't sweat the size of the machine. Don't let people fool you into believing if it ain't a full size Z it ain't chit and can't hang. Everybody seems to think they have the formula for hills all figured out.... bigger and wider is always better.... and that's not the truth. The fact is, the majority of the big mowers can't come close to hanging where some of the well designed mini/compact ZTR's will go. It's more about the 'total package' and how well it is set up, not just one or two features, like how big the mower is or how wide the rear track is. If that were the case, these guys wouldn't get off their ZTR's and step behind a walkbehind to do hills.
  8. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    By the pic, 15 degrees isn't much, up near 30 degrees and more is where the danger sets in.


  9. spoolinaround

    spoolinaround LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    I have played with many mowers and to be honest nothing sidehills like the John Deere F735 I had mine on a 40 degree slope cutting away, granted I was sitting half on the fender and half on the seat

    most of the z's I have had a chance to use got VERRY unstable at about a 20 deg angle.
  10. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,177

    This is were the stander and sentar shine :cool: . Most ZTR are out at 20 to 25 degrees. 30 to 35 is no problem for the stander and sentar. And if you a little nuts like myself you can take a stander to 40 degrees.

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