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I saw a former client today and we got to talking about his lawn. He told me that he hired somebody new this year. No big deal. Then he told me how the new guy was cutting it and my jaw pretty much hit the floor. The whole property is a big hill, the front being the worst part. In the middle is the house, pool, fountain, and 3 car garage. The driveway alone is bad enough that masons are afraid to pave it. Apparently this new guy who is cutting the lawn goes in with some form of rider. He goes straight up the hill and then backs down. I tried going up that hill a few times on a rider. Going straight up you can do a very small part. If you go on a slight angle you can do a bit more, however if you let the machine get pointed downhill even a little bit... well you had better start praying. That is not saying what you can do as in quality wise.. that's as in what the machine will actually be able to climb. Personally, each time I would go to cut this place I would say a small prayer in hopes that I would not get hurt, or go through the house with the machine. Came close a few times. What kind of machine would do a hill like this going straight up and backing down? Where can I find balls of steel like this new guy apparently has?
 

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I have a few like like that, but they go down to the water and if ya let go you better have a winch and a truck to get your mower out of the mud. Other wise than that my yards are pretty much flat.
 

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D.O.T state tractor with a boom mower.thats what i would use
 

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How steep is steep? I carry a protractor, a long straight edge, and level. Some of my accounts have 25-degree slopes that my 52” Stander handles, mowing across the slope.

In spots, it can do 27-degrees or so. Anything steeper than that and I won’t take the account. It’s just too much of a hassle and unforgiving, even when it’s dry (but not too dry) to mow.

Some of the really bad accounts around town have push-mower tracks on them, but I haven’t seen anyone working them.
 

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Does the "new guy" have balls of steel or just nothing between the ears? Not worth wrecking equipment or ending up in hospital - no matter how much they are paying him!

Mike
 

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Originally posted by CSRA Landscaping
I know nobody wants to hear it, but a garden tractor, such as a John Deere, etc., actually does hills FAR better than any Z out there. That said, I do not currently run any garden tractors but there are places that I wished I did!
I had a lot to say about that before I bought a Z. I caught a lot of heat about it because nobody wanted to hear it. But, nontheless it is very true to a degree.

Owning and running both I can honestly say that both have there places where they shine as far as hill performance. The best blanket statement I can make is that my mini Z has amazing hill holding abilities and bad hill holding manners.

By this I mean take for example, a smooth surface flat 35 degree incline, my Z will do up and down or across, but down diagonal...forget it. To add to this, if the slope is a little uneven, totally forget it because when ou get to that rough spot going across or down, the Z is going where It wants, end of story.

I have experienced minor loss of control on far milder slopes with poor terrain and sometimes it's hard to predict. So there! That's what I mean by amazing ability and bad manners.

Now with that being said, I hate to say it but I'd rate the Y/K mini as a "goat" compaired to other Z's I tried. Plus some hills I can mow up and down where as I might not even be able to get up it with the lawn tractor to start with. But add differential lock and that would probably be a different story.

As for the Lawn & Garden Tractors, ones that are built low and wide with good balance do very well. You can predict what they are going to do and they are effected much less by changes in the terrain on the hills. They can take a lot of the "pucker factor" out of slope mowing compaired to Z's....a lot less surprises to worry about!

The End

About backing down

I just wanted to say that I can mow straight up and straight down places I would not even dream of trying to mow up and back down. I have been forced to back down a 35 degree slope once because it was to wet and I couldn't make it to the top without making a mess. I will tell you right now, that scares me! Me no like!!!! I just get that feeling....one little mistake and this thing is coming over on me.....

If I can't mow it up and down forward or across....I ain't mowing it.
 

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Originally posted by GrassBustersLawn
Does the "new guy" have balls of steel or just nothing between the ears? Not worth wrecking equipment or ending up in hospital - no matter how much they are paying him!

Mike
Both!!! I just push things a little too much sometimes. If the horse bucks you, just get right back on! I also raced motocross for 7 years. It really doesn't bother me to take a calculated risk once to increase my efficiency, as long as I don't hurt the property.
I also charge double!
 

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I just tried another lco's dixie chopper for a few minutes today. First time I've ever been on one. I like how sensitive the controls are, but on steep hills? It feels like there's not much weight on the front, and would worry about it comming up and over. With all the torque that 29 hp generac motor puts out it would be too easy to flip it over while climbing steep grades. Do any of you worry about that with your Z's?
 
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