0 turn mowers on steep hills

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gec343, Mar 5, 2004.

  1. gec343

    gec343 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I am considering the purchase of a o turn, possibly ZD21 Kubota for mowing about six acres of hilly lawn, with many trees to trim around. Do the o turn mowers do well on hills? Also, any advise on Kubota vs John Deere would be appreciated.:D
  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I don't have the experience of a lot of guys on here, but see no one else had bitten yet, so thought I'd give it a try.

    I've helped a friend of mine for a few years that has the contract on some land leased by the Conservation Department here in MO. Two areas have pretty steep hills. On is actually roadside embankment probably 30 feet high, the other a hillside or perhaps half an acre or so. I've mowed both with his 61 Encore Prowler, and my Gravely 250Z. If the grass is wet, you can have some problems, but if the grass is dry, it is amazing where they will go. I was pretty reluctant to try the hills at first (bravery is not my strong suite), but once you get familiar with the machine, you will learn how to control it.

    Perhaps the main thing is remembering to work the controls SLOWLY. Any sudden surge in power or direction change can cause you to lose traction. On a reasonable hill, if you do, all you will likely do is slide sideways anyhow, but it is a little scary. Going across hillsides, you just learn to keep a bit more power to the lower wheel than to the top, as you have no steering on the front. I do believe some models allow locking of the front casters, which, supposedly will give you a bit more control on slopes. Probably the least controllable is going down hill. Any attempt at braking can cause you to lose traction if your tires are worn, or the grass and/or ground is wet. Hope this helps. Neill
  3. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Can you post any pictures? Everyone has a different interpretation of the term "hills".
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

  5. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    Hi, I have found it hard to mow straight up and down on a hill. down is the tricky part. alot of mine are on a lake and if i mess up i am in the lake. LOL. Norm i just go at an 45 degree. especialy if it is damp.
  6. JDRep2

    JDRep2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Best way to answer that question is to put the mowers on it. Anyone can talk their machine across a hill, only you can drive it. Manufacturers make different claims to the degree they can handle (this is a mistake), that fact is for safety purposes that you should steer or make turns up the hills. Also, because of the casters on the front of the machine, it will not handle as well as a machine that has positive steering from 4 wheels (i.e. a tractor). Considering center of gravity and width of footprint is also advisable.
    As I said before, any dealer worth their salt will relish and opportunity to demo head to head, I know I do. Win or Lose.
    Good Luck.
  7. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    here is a pic of one i do at an angle

  8. burnandreturn

    burnandreturn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Germany
    Messages: 303

    I have a Kut Kwick mower made especially for mowing hills. Good up to 40 degree's. Another mower is the Hustler 6400, although I've never used one. I have a dixie chopper that does OK on hills but not great.
  9. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    You call that a hill? As I said before, everyone's perception is different. Here is a pic of a pond bank I do. You will notice that I did not take the pic with my mower on the hill. That is because it is too steep. Therefore I use my Quad and pull a Swisher brush cutter behind it.

    pond angle 4.jpg
  10. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Pic of Quad with brush cutter.

    pond bank mower.jpg

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