ZTR and hills

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rowski, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Rowski

    Rowski LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    What makes a ztr good for hills?

    Here's my thoughts...

    -Large diameter wheels, front and back, with rears being wider.

    -Separate hydro pump and motor with fan cooling.

    -Low center of gravity.

    -loading of rear wheels with Rim guard (aka beet juice)

    Is this thinking right, or out to lunch.

    Anything else to consider?



    Over the last 15+ years I've been using a John Deere 318 with 50" deck. I'm looking to cut down my mowing time. I would like to stay under 60" deck

    Any ideas as to what model might work well with hilly terrain?

    Thanks!

    Derek
     
  2. Ferdelance

    Ferdelance LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    According to many people, a Wright Sentar or Stander handle hilly terrain pretty well.
     
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Turf Tiger and Hustler Z have a good rep on hills. Dixie doesn't excel in this area. The Lazer Z isn't bad but not as good as some. The LCO's here seem to like the out front Grasshoppers for going across hills and banks. The Turf Tiger has been the best for me so far because the with and the tank in mounted under the seat for a low center of gravity but you need to approach a steep incline carefully with a Turf Tiger because the rear sticks out and is low. I've gotten stuck a couple of times going strait into a ditch that the Lazer would have cleared but the Tiger will catch on the back. Just need to hit them at an angle at first. The Hustler Super Z is very stable on hills but doesn't have the power to climb like a regular Huslter Z. But don't fool your self, a lot of ZTR's are dangerous on a slope, especially damp.
     
  4. youcallwemow

    youcallwemow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I operate a 60" Bad Boy for a school in Madill, OK and much prefer it over my own 50" Dixie Chopper that I've used for over a year. There are pro's and con's for each, but my overall preference btween the Dixie and BB is the BB.
     
  5. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    I would say weight distribution....Look to see how far out the engine is from the rear wheels...If there is a lot of weight past the rear wheels you are in trouble...for example I tried a Walker and the engine and hopper are both behind the drive wheels meaning it has to pull the weight up a hill...it doesn't climb.

    I know that you said ZTR but in my opinion the best mower is a WB for the hills....add speed to the equation and it is probably a Wright Stander. The engines are so far forward on the stander/sentars that it allows the drive wheels to push instead of pull the mower.
     
  6. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 711

    For me there only 3 factors when it comes to mowing hills and slops. 1. operator expense and the proper use of its power. 2. a low center of gravity. 3. Wheel width, I like my 60" beck with a 60" rear wheel width.
     
  7. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 711

    For me there only 3 factors when it comes to mowing hills and slops. 1. operator expense and the proper use of its power. 2. a low center of gravity. 3. Wheel width, I like my 60" beck with a 60" rear wheel width.
     
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    The Cub TANK's / Lesco ZTWO's are very good on slopes for a ZTR also.
    The best I have been able to find so far.

    Country Clipper is very good also (twin stick) and might even be better?
    Not enough seat time to judge that.

    The keys I have found are these...

    Low center of gravity
    Wide rear stance
    Rear weight ballast
    Good all-around weight balance
    Heavy enough for good traction

    And some seem to argue this... but a short wheelbase.

    As far as the wheelbase issue goes, I think the less weight and length you have out in front of the tires, the better the machine is able to track across slopes. Less leverage pulling downhill if you will. But I think some of the machines with a longer rear end (engine out farther behind the tires) can kind of offset length.
     
  9. Midwest Lawn Services

    Midwest Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    GRASSHOPPER!!!!! I have 2, an older 616 and a newer 616, front mount. They hold to side hills quite well, and have plenty of power. For real challenges, we have 2 X485 John Deere's w/54" decks. When a ztr does not handle the terrain, a standard rider such as the X485 is our choice. Good luck!
     
  10. bantam

    bantam LawnSite Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 76

    Read Envys' post, I think he hit EVERY detail of what make a ztr mower hold a hill. Especially the "dead weight" on the front. On a ZTR the front caster wheels do not keep a mower on a side slope like a regular lawn tractor, that is why you want low weight up front. Engine sticking farther out the back can sure help as a counterweight. Only part of his post I would argue with is "heavy enough for good traction", the way I see it, as long as you got most of the weight on the rear wheels and not the front, a ztr will go regardless of the total weight of the mower????
     

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