Mowing slopes

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by rlrct, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. rlrct

    rlrct LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2

    Our yard has a 25* slope in the front. I alternate mowing across the slope and going up/down the slope. I've been using a Toro 2-cycle (Suzuki) commercial push (not self-propelled) mower for the last 15 years to mow it. It's a great little mower, doesn't have any safeties on it, so as long as I'm not stooopid enough to run over my toes or stick my hand in to clean grass out while it's running, I won't get hurt. The mower itself has been great - starts on the second pull every time. That's the problem. I know this thing will go another 15 years as long as I keep cleaning the air filter.

    I'm looking at something larger and self-propelled like a deck mower, zero-turn or even a lawn tractor. Our yard isn't that big (40 to 60 minutes to mow assuming I'm not bagging), but I'm plain getting tired of pushing and this summer's heat drove that point home a little. Getting out and sweating isn't a big deal, but it takes me a long time to cool down and - to honest and blunt - I'm getting lazier as I get older.

    I looked at and "drove" a Ferris 36" HydroCut at the dealer, but realized their place is pancake flat. Have a Wright demo coming out next week - they're bringing the 36" Sentar sport, although the model I'd been considering was the Stander 32". Have looked at few of the homeowner grade Zero-Turns like the Ariens 1534 or Toro TimeCutter Z. Was at a John Deere/Gravely dealer and the guy's comment was that the smaller ZTR's will likely have traction problems on the hill. He also commented that going downhill with some of the machines I'd looked at could be a little interesting when gravity started pulling the machines down the hill because they really don't have brakes. He recommended at least considering a JD tractor (same or less $ than a commercial walk behind) even though he had Gravely Pro w/b's sitting on the floor for more $.

    I have a width issue - my shed door allows 40" total width. That could be expanded to about 52/54" clearance without a huge amount of work to allow for a 44-48" deck, but I've been mostly looking at 32-36" wide mowers.

    I typically run without a bag and mulch, except in the fall for leaf cleanup when I bag and take the leaves to our town leaf dump. Maybe first cut in the spring gets bagged, but not always.

    Our yard has a medium number of obstacles - 4 trees, curving walls and planting beds, mailbox with planting bed in the tree belt, window wells, hatchway, etc. to mow around or edge by.

    What are your thoughts on a mower that would be a good fit for me? What sort of a factor is our hill going to have on my mower choice?

    I don't mind spending the $ once to get a mower that will make my life easier for the next 10-15 years. We're also very likely going to pull a Japanese Maple out of our front yard (it's gotten huge and hides the front of the house) and we'll probably just go for a nice lawn in the front, so a mower that provides a really nice cut would be good. I don't want a gear/belt-driven w/b because there are enough places where I'd need to dead-end a mower and backup it up, that I don't want to be pulling a big mower backwards when I'm pushing 60.

    I appreciate any thoughts you have.


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