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Best way to stop sled, I mean zero


LawnSite Member
Pittsburgh Pa
I was wondering what everybody did when their zero starts to run on its own going down hill. I bag alot of my yards with weight set on front and it happens ever so often.


LawnSite Member
Hope and pray...and once you get halfway under control yell "YEEHAW" Found myself doing that once last week. It worked. :rolleyes:

Seriously tho most of the time I try to keep my cool and get it spun sideways because if it loses grip there isn't much stopping it from going downhill if its going in a straight line. I push one lever all the way forward and pull one all the way back and usually it works.

About two years ago I was on my Toro mowing along the top of a bank when one of back tires hit a little dip. It spun me sideways and sent me straight down the 10 foot bank/drop off. How the mower didn't flip on top of me I don't know. Still to this day hills make me nervous and I still haven't gotten up the nerve to mow that area with a Z.


LawnSite Fanatic
I don't have a solution for stopping a slide but I learned that you have to get off the controls because the unit can grap all of a sudden and throw you in a different direction. And I cut of PTO as quick as possible. I do several banks along busy roads and I am getting more afraid....I try to always mow with front wheels pointed up hill and try not to turn down. When I am going to turn I stop and go backwards with front of unit headed uphill. On another thread a guy said scag tiger was good on hills, hate to see the others.

Envy Lawn Service

LawnSite Fanatic
North Carolina
You can't stop it.

It does what it wants once it breaks loose.
Since it's powered and steered by the rear tires it goes where it wants and stops when it wants.

You have to have it happen to you enough to get a feel for it in order to learn how to make it though it best with the least damage.

At one point, I did quite a bit of development testing in my terrain, which did include pushing mowers past their limits and having them break loose on me.

While doing that, and also normal operation day to day, I've lost it enough times that I have in a way lost my nerve. It's happened to me that many times.

Anyways, what I have learned is, when it's gone, it's gone, there is no saving it and really no steering it. So I have gotten to the point now where I can push one past it's limits and ride it out with minimal to no turf damage. That's how many times.

So I have gotten a feel for it, and when one catches me by surprise and breaks loose, I just drive out of it. In other words, I give it just enough stick to keep the wheels from sliding... and sometimes, that can be a lot.

I just drive it down as fast as I need too, and slow it to a stop where I can.


LawnSite Fanatic
Man, lol, most enjoyable when there's a deep cement ditch or culvert at the end.

NEVER point down hill, and always take it easy riding alongside slopes, best I can tell you, easy on the sticks, nice and slow, easy does it.


LawnSite Senior Member
I apologize for the hijack here ....

Has any manufacturer done anything with a "four wheel drive" version of a ZTR?

It would seem logical that if you could give the front wheels some degree of grip, it could provide a moderate amount of safety in situations like this. I don't necessarily mean "drive" , but maybe a small degree of front brake. If the operator could apply it like on a motorcycle...
I don't think a pedal would work too well as we are sliding and our weight is headed down also. Maybe a grip or trigger on each stick?

Back to topic: I have a few places where I lose it every time I cut. I know it's coming and I prepare for it. I make sure I'm headed downhill and I can feel on the sticks just how much resistance I can give to keep the slide as slow as possible. I also never cut this area when wet.
I don't like it, but I am comfortable enough that I will not break out a 21.

Just keep your head and try to slow it the best you can. You will not stop it. No herky-jerky moves and try to aim for a flat area.


Jimmy Williams

LawnSite Member
Littleton, NC
We run Gravely 260's with the bagger systems for leaf removal, cleanup, etc. The baggers came with three 50 pound weights for the front axle. I tried them the first time we installed one of the systems and it made the front end so heavy we couldn't hardly steer the machine. Have been running without the weights with no problems so far. You may want to try and remove some of the weight on the front axle and see if that helps as long as it doesn't mess up the balance of your machine----safety first!!


LawnSite Member
We use Carlisle Field Trax HD tires and unless it is extremely wet we don't have a lot of trouble hanging onto banks that most people wouldn't even consider mowing. The only disadvantage is that they are hard on on the turf. A heavier mower would be another option.

Envy Lawn Service

LawnSite Fanatic
North Carolina
We use Carlisle Field Trax HD tires and unless it is extremely wet we don't have a lot of trouble hanging onto banks that most people wouldn't even consider mowing. The only disadvantage is that they are hard on on the turf. A heavier mower would be another option.
For my mower, there is actually an OEM kit, including rims and a set of those tires.

This mower is already the best I have ever used on slopes.
It has more ability than I have nerve.

But here and there, usually not on what I call hills, I will loose traction.
Like trying to back up or turn on a very slight grade of fresh cut clover.

The turf masters will just spin there, and dig just enough to rip a small place bare.

So I have been thinking about trying these tires for a long time now.
Been considering trying the AT101 bar treads too.

But reviews here have been mixed on both.

So I have never been able to decide if they would be a waste of money or not.


LawnSite Senior Member
My Turf Tiger does really really well on hills.......better then other mowers I owned before ;cub cadet z-wing , exmark lazer , Encore .....But every once in awhile it will get away from me and i think what works best is let go of the sticks and the mower will slow it self down of course if your pointed down hill and not going to hit anything...if you are i try to give it more stick and get pointed towrds saftey...atleast this is what works for me on my turf tiger...and if I'm that worried about it i'll go get the w/b off the trailer