moderate slopes with 24HP honda engines

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by NH Lawn Snob, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. NH Lawn Snob

    NH Lawn Snob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I recently purchased a super mini with a 52" deck, 24 HP Honda engine, and a BAC VAC. I am not in the business and will be using it to cut my own personal residence..

    I have a question regarding the 24HP Honda engine and in particular if anyone has seen power issues when going up moderate slopes? The day I got my unit home I was using to cut the lawn and found that it had a tendancy to bog down when climbing a moderate? 30-40 degree slope. In fact I actually snapped the pump drive belt and the dealer said it was the first time he had ever seen this happen. Having not had much experience driving a commercial mower or a ZTR I chalked it up to inexperience, however after using a few more times now I still feel like there is a problem with the machine and that the 24HP engine should be more than adequate to climb this particular slope.

    Could there be something other than the engine that might cause the problem? Any feedback would be appreciated.
  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    Welcome to Lawnsite and thank you for purchasing a Hustler.
    I first would have your dealer look at your drive system belt. Have them look at the pulleys, tensioning spring and routing to make sure there is not a problem there.
    A 24hp Honda is adequate for climbing moderate slopes, just remember you have a large machine and the added weight and handling characteristics with the Bac-Vac make this unit a little more tricky to use on slopes.
    Also, we suggest traversing slopes instead of going straight up and down them.
    Also, the Mini Z and Super Mini Z is not rated for 30 - 40 degree slopes, I know the unit will handle excellent on steep slopes, and caution needs to be taken when operating in these environments.
    What dealer did you buy your unit from ?

  3. NH Lawn Snob

    NH Lawn Snob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    thanks for the reply.

    The dealer's mechanic checked out the system drive belt when they replaced the broken belt and said that the system was fine. The dealer is very reputable in the area so I took his word at face value, but wanted to understand if there were any other issues.

    As far as the slope ratings of the machine go, It was my understanding that the slope ratings given are ratings for traversing a slope and are stated more from a rollover and safety standpoint. There were not any ratings for driving the machine directly up a slope - not that I could find in the manuals or website anyway. I think there is room for interpretation in the way the specs are worded.

    being that I am new to the equipment and don't have a lot of hours on it yet, I am more concerned with making sure that by driving it directly up the slope that I am not damaging the machine. Given the slope is outside the stated specs you can see how I would be hesitant to traverse it, which is why I decided to mow in an up and down the slope. There is no doubt that the added weight of the bac vac plays a role in the performance of the machine in this situation. Since I'm located in the northeast I'm using the system for leaf collection right no and I will say the bac vac kicks butt! I'll see if the performance changes with the bac vac off the machine in the spring, but I can't help thinking that this machine should just eat up the slope. I see landscapers in my neighborhood using similar mowers on laws that are nothing but a slope. I'm talking about one small area of my property. Even with that said I am still extremely happy with my purchase and I don't think I could of gotten a machine with the same features and quality of a hustler for the price.

    btw...the I purchased the machine from Dunn's Equipment in Haverhill, MA. So far they have been excellent in all aspects.
  4. hustler1

    hustler1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I have the same machine and have no such problems. I don't know the angle of the hills I do....but they're so steep I cannot traverse them sideways without the machine trying to slide down the slope. I have to do them straight up and down and keep the deck raised to the max to not scalp the top when going over the crest.
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Any machine will slow down trying to climb a 40 degree slope. Actually, I don't think many of us would even dare that amount of slope. It seems rather odd a homeowner has the nerve to try something that steep. Just my two cents.
  6. hustler1

    hustler1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Well...some of us are stuck with these kinda slopes....thats why I bought such a beast of a machine instead of some pussy kawasaki powered ex-mark without a hydraulic oil cooler.....the dealer tells me it will handle it....and I do have to slow down a little bit so as to not do a wheelie all the way up it... at least I turn it a bit and cut the next stripe on the way down the hill in the slow reverse mode. The only problem I have is the throttle levers are nowhere even....if I throttle them both wide open I have to back off the left one to prevent the machine from turning to the right (I'm talking like when going down the street to the gas station type of stuff).....
  7. hustler1

    hustler1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Thats why I bought this beast...some of us are stuck with hills on our properties...the dealer said it would'nt slow down or have trouble with it even though it would do a wheelie all the way up the hill with a little goose of the throttle. I did'nt want some pussy exmark with a Kawasaki engine and no hydraulic oil cooler for the drive motors.....I paid the same price for the hustler as the local Weingartz wanted for the smaller exmark with a kawasaki engine no I think I got an incredible deal
  8. b & t lawn care

    b & t lawn care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    We haye not found nothing wrong with our Kawasaki . 1 with 1030 hrs . An no problem with power ..
  9. gr8pyrs

    gr8pyrs LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 19

    30 to 40 degree slopes with a ride on machine?

    Given that is what you have to deal with good luck. You have more guts than I do.

    My grade at max is 17 to 20 degree. With wet or damp conditions that is a challenge even for a good walk behind regardless of the HP.

    Be careful!
  10. hustler1

    hustler1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Quite correct....I won't attempt to do it on wet turf. Actually I've found another method of handling the steep slopes.....I go about halfway up till the machine starts working hard...then back down n reverse...then I attack the next stripe the same way till the end of the line. After I finish doing that from the bottom I go to the top of the hill and do the same thing from the top to finish the top half. I know it sounds stupid...but it does work and gives me more control without spinning the wheels and tearing up the turf. I'm gonna put an angle meter on that particular hill this week out of curiosity...but like I said earlier...I cannot traverse that hill without the maching trying to slide sideways and getting the feeling that its about to roll over...I'll post the number from the angle guage......

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