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How to handle slopes and hills on Laser HP 52

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cincimowerman, Apr 2, 2001.

  1. cincimowerman

    cincimowerman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I just purchased a Laser HP 52 with a 23 kawi. I have used it 2 days now and feel very uneasy when getting on hills and slopes. So far I have stayed off the steep areas. Does anyone have experience as to what these machines are capable of doing on hilly and steep terrain. It feels like the machine wants to loose traction and slide sideways. The ground has been mostly dry and same with grass. The problem would probably get worse in wetter conditions. Any help on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Go up and down hills~! Down is usually a controlled slide or fall, up is easy. I don't take on any hilly lawns anymore. Sideways is tough, but it takes a while to master it. If its a real nice lawn, consider using a walkbehind on it. ALL ZTR's will tear and slide sideways on sidehills. This will leave the turf damaged, and the customer does not like this!


  3. Cutter1

    Cutter1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I agree with Thomas. Practice!! I have the hp 52. I'll take it up any hill, down is the interesting part. YOu can back down just about any hill, never turn down a hill unless you have a place to land at the bottom. :) If you do across the hill, start at the bottom, work your way up, like I said before, do not turn down the hill.
  4. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Be careful on any slopes, even the small ones. I do not use my ZTR on any steep slopes except one that I am able to mow up and back down. Sideways on a hill is not really sideways, it is more like a crab sideways effect, by keeping the nose up hill as much as possible. If you let the nose drop you cannot regain it and you will ski down hill.

    The ones you have been mowing for a while and think you have figured out are the ones that will get ya. I have an account that is all flat except two small hills by the back of the house as it is a tri level with a exposed basement entrance. The hills are very small on both sides of the entrance. Never lost traction after 20 or so cuts. Then one day I turned like always and before I knew it I was off the mower rolling on the ground. The ZTR lost traction and slid into the landscape wall stopping the mower cold. I was at a stop when I turned so no speed was involved until I slid down hill.

    Be careful!

    [Edited by Skookum on 04-02-2001 at 05:04 PM]
  5. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    WOW, WHAT A STORY! You are lucky your aren't dead, or even worse, cut by the mower or something! I never came that close to rolling before, and if I feel I am close, I'm outta there! Go back with the 48 WB. The sliding sideways and then the tires grip, thats the worst I have had happen. Had to change my shorts after that one!


  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Like I have said in other posts,this is the reason I don't own a rider. I have commerical properties with hills that are hard to walk on, let alone, ride on. I do not hesitate to take my 48" hydro on these hills. I'm not knocking riders, don't get me wrong, I just feel they are fine on flat open areas but on hills, forget it.
  7. crs

    crs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    Try some weight in your tires. Calcium chloride, tire sealer or just plain water if you can keep it from freezing. I have tried this trick on several machines and it works pretty well. But practice still makes perfect.
  8. MJH9

    MJH9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I would advise you to use extreme caution! Take your time with your machine and get a good feel for what it can and can't do. I have had good luck mowing diagonally on most steep surfaces. I own an 52" Encore Prowler w/22h.p. Kawasaki. It has a rear wheelbase of about 57" so with that wide stance I can feel pretty comfortable in the seat. The Encore's also have a bar lug tire available if you don't feel you have enough traction. Don't know if the Exmark has that option.

    Good luck and be safe!!
  9. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i haven't read all the posts, but on any steep hill i go down backwards. never do you slip, and once you get good enough you cut straight. good luck
  10. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    I put some ATV traction tires on my Great Dane. This has really helped out when it came to mowing steep hills. Since I have had them on, I've only sled once, and the hill was too steep anyways. Of coarse, my great dane is 100% industrial mower, I don't dare put it on a residential lawn because, of rutting, but those tires come in pretty handy on hilly and even wet, muddy ground.

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