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front weights for ztr on hillside, opinions? help!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by captken, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    I have a Hustler Z. There are 2 accounts with steep hills. One is a corner lot, with the corner being a lake.
    The owner states that in the 30 years he has lived there more than once a mower has gone into the lake.
    I started mowing this property using a John Deere 14 sc, wearing cleats and will refuse to do the job unless the grass is completly dry.
    I like the challenge. It could be an hill climbing event, like the Lawn Mower X Games!
    I've heard about the stability of the Hustler Z, but have yet to try it out on this yard.
    1. Is any one else doing the same thing?
    2. What is the safest technic for mowing hills with a ZTR?
    3. Whould weights low at the very front of the unit help things?
    This is a very Good paying account and feel it can be done safely with my equipment, using the cleats and walking only on the steepest part then weed eating the rest.
    4. Anyone use ROP?
    5. Will the oil pump starve, destroying the engine?
    6. What do you feel is the safe limit never to exceed, thinking of installing a incline meter.[Level Gauge]
    There is no room for trial and error on my part.
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Captken, I read your signature line and got a laugh out of it when reading your post.
    If you lose sight of the shore while mowing you are gonna discover oceans of bills to pay trying to get that z off the bottom.:p

    I am curious myself and I have already set a demo up for the spring with the Hustler going head to head with an Exmark Lazer. I already do these hills with a Walker 52"SD and don't have a terrible time unless iut is real wet but I have tried a Yazoo and a Scag (Z's) on the hills and have had some harrowing rides. It might be inexperience but then again , I will find out.

    I would advise you to contact your dealer and have him come out and try these moves on your hills. They like selling mowers and I like seeing what they can do. The all say, holds hills great. Best on the slopes, on and on in the showroom but that showroom isn't my lawns. If they want to sell me then show me how they work on my lawns.

    Good Luck and in this case, stay on the shore.
  3. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    1. Not really steep, but a nice slope going into a pond. I came close to dumping it a few times on bald tires in wet grass. I do some bigger hills, but not by a pond.
    2. Side to side, bottom to top.
    3. I don't think so. Might make things worse.
    4. No. If it's that bad I'd use a wb.
    5. ?
    6. If you don't feel safe, don't try it. A level gauge would just tell you where you are. I don't see what that would help.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Leave the Z on your trailer and use whatever WB you have. If you don't have a WB, I suggest you get one. Z's don't hold a hill nearly as well as a decent WB unit.

    just my 2 cents
  5. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    I burned up my first mower running it on ditchbanks. The reason was explained to me as oil pump starvation.
    I want to save time mowing and don't want to risk roll over or expensive engine damage.

    The Kawasaki engine uses pressurized lubrication [oil delivery system] Idealy if we only mowed on flat ground we wouldn't have this problem. but if you operate a 4-cycle engine at a severe enough angle, you run the risk that the heated oil will flow away from the oil pump sump [suction pickup]. If this occures, the oil pump will starve and no oil gets to where it is needed. Friction builds up and engine damage can occure.
    A 23hp Kawasaki engine is plenty expensive, but this is commercial equipment, designed for more demanding condititons.
    I wonder what operating angles would put us in a postition to damage our engines?
    This would influence the way the equipment is used.
    I quess it boils down to looking at a diagram of the engine to see how and where the oil pump gets it's oil.
    Does anyone know? Any mechanics among us?

    I see this as a reason that the 2-cycle Suzuki Toro mower is so popular.
    And the reason I see not to use the new 4-cycle string trimmers and such. 2-cycle is the best choice.
    It adds up to dollars and sense.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Captken, Take MowEd's word for it in the 1st of what he said. While I was at the Exmark dealer a few months ago, a guy came in with his 60" Lazer. He had sunk it in the lake that morning. What an expensive mess!

    Mow Ed, which Yazoo model did you demo? I'm curious about this because their line of ZTR's is what I'm considering for a Z rider. I have a demo coming up and I'm trying to arrange a demo for all 3 frame styles, the Max 2, ZT Max & Mini Max to see what's best on slopes. So far I have the ZT Max confirmed and I'm waiting on the rest...
  7. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    How about NOT cutting it. Did you ever concider using a PGR? Pant Growth Regulator. If you need more info, look in the Pesticide forum.
  8. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I don't think anyone has adressed the question about weights on the front. No, weighting the front will not improve hill stability on a ZTR. It could possibly make it worse. ZTR's are steared 100% by the back wheels. When a Z starts to veer towards the bottom of a hill, it is because the downhill rear wheel is slipping and does not have enough forward bite to push the front end up the hill. This is when going perpendicular to the slope. ZTR's have little or no control when going directly down a hill.

  9. IBGreen

    IBGreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    My Husqvarna ztr is the worst machine you can put on a hill. I'd rather mow a hillside with a pair of scissors. :angry:
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    You have the small frame right? 42" or 48" just like this but orange...


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