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Best WB for Steep Swells/Hills

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Larry Davis, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    To John Gamba, Rodfather and all other long-time LCO's ........... Need to find out which WB's in the 36" to 52" deck size will hold best on fairly steep swells. From the bottom of the swell to the top is only about 8 feet, however, they are over 600 feet long. I am estimating the grade at about 45 degrees. Mowing length wise (not up and down) is there a WB that will hold this much of a slope? I really do not want to spend another growing season doing this with a string trimmer! At my age it's a killer! And, I could use a good WB in other areas too.
    Thanks in advance of any input you may have ............
  2. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Look at the hUstler superWB they have the largest widest tires of any WB on the market. It will climb and turn and go across any hill you can walk on.
    I have the 48" and since the tires are almost as wide as the deck there is little chance of scalping with the deck edge.
    Plus the h-bar controls are the best I've seen.
    I think there is even an all terrain tire option.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Whoa! 45 degrees is gonna be hard just to walk across much less running a mower Larry.

    Hustler is a good choice. FWIW, I've been running Ferris WB's for 12 years now, all hydro, and we're extremely pleased with their handling capabilities. Ferris makes a 48 and a 52 inch dual drive hydro WB. You can get the 52 in either 17 hp or 23 hp. I have 61" models as well, but I wouldn't use something that big on that severe of a slope. A 48 or 52 should do it. You might want to consider (no matter what mower you go with) adding a front deck weight to keep the nose down when reversing direction.

    Hope that helps. I know about age, I'm 51. Good luck.
  4. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    I do the backside of a dam in a highend residential area weekly. Measures about 600' long and about 150' high,with about a 35 degree slope. I use my old 17 hp Skag 48" wb. The big rub is it's a belt drive. I just lower the drive tire pressure a few pounds (not too much) and cut across the face. It can be a real job making the turn around at the end, if you don't do a couple of perimater passes first. I have to kind of "crab walk" the mower (turn it up hill slightly so it tracks straight while trying to slide down hill) at times, but it's no big deal.
    By all means don't even think about a "Z" or cutting up or downhill. You've been around enough to know to stay above the mower when turning on this kind of slope.

    The Captain.....
  5. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I've got the Hustler Super Z so I know they make good equipment. I've also got an eXmark Lazer Z which I really like. I only buy new equipment and the WB you have is over 6 grand. Is there anything else you might recommend that isn't quite that high in price?
  6. skurtz78

    skurtz78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    and tie some strings around it and you can stay on top of the hill while controlling it. They are so easy to use
  7. amvega

    amvega LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    We have used 36, 48, and 52 Exmarks on steep slopes before. I think the 36 or 48 do a lot better just because of the weight difference. You can usually control the 36 the best if the grass happens to be a little damp. Just gotta be careful. It's definitely doable with wbs though.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, I don't have anything you could even call experience with WB's compared to these other guys here. But I'll throw my 2 cents in here anyways....

    In my mind, the trouble is that walkbehinds are zero turns too. So they are going to inheirit SOME of the same downfalls that ZTR's have.

    With that said, you'll certainly be able to do more safely with a walkbehind. Plus you'll probably be able to do some more extreme slopes as well. But not without investing a good deal of money in a walkbehind (new) and not without wrestling it a good bit.

    Now, this is coming from a novice operator though. But from what I used walkbehinds, my dominate impression was this....

    I would not really want to walk behind a mower for any period of time on the degree of slopes I am already able to mow... much less walk and wrestle a WB across steeper slopes.

    However, that is not to say that I wouldn't like to have one to use in the manner you are suggesting. I imagine that in some cases it might be easier to do that than string trim big places like that.

    I pretty much feel the same way you do about whacking places like this too

    Personally, if I were hunting a mower like this, I would specifically be looking for a USED 52" eXmark Turf Tracer (full size) with the ECS controls.
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    I love the Turf Tracer 52" and 60" for hills. Low center of gravity and handles you can hold on to, Lots of nut and a great cut to boot..

    23 kaw, 52" ultracut. nothing better. I just bought a 2006 23Kaw, 60" and till the end of march you get a FREEEEEEEE stand on sulky:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I think one of the wider walks, 48 or 52, should do just fine. The only downfall is that a WB tends to want to leave a rut on really steep hills where you drive it especially when the ground is damp. I'm using a 36" gear drive Ferris on the few really steep (over 25 or 30 degrees) hills I do and it does tend to want to rut one hill. As soon as I see it starting to rut I switch back trimming it for a while.

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