Z-Turns and Hills.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pops56, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. pops56

    pops56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    What are some of the special problems that a Z-Turn has on hills?, as compaired to something like a jd 325.
  2. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 657

    Nothing that i know of but i use wb on berms and ditches etc what kind of hills are you talkin
  3. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    You do not have as good of control on the hills with the Z's. But they more than make up the difference in other ways.

    You will slide on some hills and could break traction on wet grass depending the tires.
  4. pops56

    pops56 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Southern Indiana Hills and highway cut banks. The ones where I must set on the side of my 325 to keep from tipping over.
  5. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    A Z will out perform a front deck 2 wheel drive mower on any hill.
  6. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    down steep slopes it is easy to lose traction and slide which is an 'interesting' feeling, lol.

    up and accross slopes Z's are fine, within reason of course.

    but mowers weren't made to replace mountain goats, we must try to remember that....then life would get boring wouldn't it, LOL.
  7. trailjunkee

    trailjunkee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    The problem with Z's on hills is fairly simple when you think about it. Most of the time on a hill if you run into a problem let's say sidehilling you need to break and steer at the same time. Well on a Z that is impossible. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't be without my Z but in the mountains where I work I do have to be very careful with it. I've never felt like it was going to flip probably due to it's very low center of gravity. But I have cussed it on more than one occassion when the front casters get downhill just a little bit and the next thing you know you've turned 90* and are headed straight down the hill through your pretty strippes. Along the way if you haven't really trained yourself you leave these lovely brown stripes from the tires spinning backwards as you try to "brake". You might as well drive it forward as opposed to pulling back because the reverse spin of the tires costs you as much traction. I guess over time I've learned to just let off on the handles and let it ease it's way down and also learned what yards my Z works best on on which ones I need to stay off of with it. But every now and then in some places that Z just has a mind of it's own. That's why I keep a walkbehind around. Although my Hydro walkbehind doesn't behave as well on hills as my old belt drive did. Lack of a true break being the main problem in my opinion.

  8. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    Some Z's handle slopes better than others do to design.
    Our Super Z's and Hustler Z's handle hills as good if not better than most of the competition.
    Then there is the Super ATZ, we designed this unit for mowing slopes.
    Call your Hustler dealer and demo a Super ATZ and you will see that this unit handles hills better than any other mid mount Z on the market.
    Here is a link to some info - http://www.hustlerturfequipment.com/products/superatz.html
    And a pic.....
  9. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Most Z-Turns have low center of gravity, lower than a 325, but also the track width between the wheels is further apart, which yes lowers the center of gravity. Just take a look at the tire tracks of a ZTR compared to a JD tractor.
    A ZTR will easily handle a hill better than a JD 325, and you dont even have to sit on the side of ur seat. Takes a bit of getting used to thats for sure. Have to becareful, and back down hills when turning, always work up a hill when cutting.
    I've put my Turf Tiger's on steep hills with no problem, I feel more secure on my new Turf Tiger cause you sit down lower in the lawn mower, and that picture of that Hustler on that hillside seems to be a pretty good grade which I"ve taken my Turf Tiger on. But on steep hills, you have better control and is safer to use either a WB or push mower, or even weedwack it.
  10. sawman65

    sawman65 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    trailjunkee hit the nail on the head he lives a half hour away from me and we have hills and i mean HILLS never try to mow up and down a steep hill and if you do make sure you have an excape path planed out if you dont dont mow it with your z
    i sell exmark, hustler, and dixie chopper here in east TN. and do well with them all but my fave? the hustler super z even though the cuts not as good as the exmark the speed and toughness make up for it

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