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Scared the life out of me!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I was cutting a new property for the 1st time today. It was pretty tall but not terrible. As I was cutting around the border I got the suprise of my life!!! I came very close to turning the mower over and hurting myself bad.

    At the lower side of the house, whoever did the grading created a bank between one lot and the other. I'm talking steep enough to really need a retaining wall, literally atleast 75-80 degrees.

    As I was mowing along the top at the edge the mower just kinda suddenly slowed down. I just let off the levers and sat there a second confused. The area was only maybe a 10-15 degree slope and I was confused as to why I had lost traction there. I hadn't bottomed out or anything.

    So I turned off the PTO and kinda lokked around me. Then I just lightly pushed the controls, very little movement. So I leaned over and looked at the right tire. It was slipping so I let off the right and put a little more on the left to turn up away from the edge. Right then the rear kicked sideways right off the hill.

    IT all happened very suddenly but I was somehow able to bail off. The mower slid on off the hill and to my amazement didn't turn over. Man I really don't know how it didn't roll...

    Anyways, after calming my nerves and getting the mower on off the bank onto level ground (yes somehow it caught and stuck on it) I went stomping back up to inspect the area to try to make some sense of what happened.

    With the high grass, I had mis-judged and was closer to the edge than I thought for starters. Also that high grass was hiding a washed out area. The front caster wheel was hanging over it causing a weight transfer to the left front, plus I think some of the deck weight was resting on the gage wheels.

    All that cause that little loss of traction. As the mower fish tailed, the left rear tire fell into another washed out rut causing it to tip over the bank.

    I guess it was just one of those multi condition situations that was hidden in the tall grass. A perfect little spot for disaster to strike!

    I still don't know how I managed to get off with one stick still over my lap, nor have I figured out how it didn't roll on over or how it managed to stop and stick on the side of that place! I mean it was tumbling over when I bailed off.

    Needless to say, I am counting my many blessings tonight as I sit here with no injuries and no damage to the Z. Yall be carefull out there. I just found out the hard way how you can get suprised like that when you least expect it.
  2. Husky

    Husky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    You better becareful out there mowing those jungles like that!!! Believe me I'm daring on the thing, but what happened to you could be fatal, I would have had to ask how that got there.

    I'm also SURE that is aginst some County code...
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    That's why I like a walk behind. Much much safer and more stable on slopes and rough ground.
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    And can't afford one.....lol:D
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Can't afford what? To lose a machine because it was the wrong tool for the job and then it rolls over and about kills me? :dizzy:
  6. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Here's one for ya.

    We started a new account on Tuesday & my brother took the tiger cub behind the units to cut there. The strip that goes behind them is just barely wide enough for it (48" deck) and there are AC units back there. At the edge there is a 45º slope with a 35-40 foot drop to the bypass, with a 6' privacy fence about 6-8 feet down it. He thought he had enough room to go around one AC unit and he didn't. The left tires slipped off the edge and the deck bottomed on the ridge. He came and got me and we took the other rider out back to try and pull it out.

    Everything we did made it go farther & farther down, getting closer to the fence (mower weighs 1,000 lbs dry). It was raining, too, by this time. In the process of trying to get it out with the Cougar, he fell off once and rolled down towards the fence. Next time, the mower slid and almost turned over on top of him. That's when I said, forget it, we're going to get a come-along and get it out.

    So we went and bought a come-along, got back, took out a section of the fence, gently winched it down the hill, and when we got it down there, pulled it out of the deep, wet, soft ditch with the truck & chain (on a busy road after stopping traffic) and got it back on the trailer, all with no damage to any equipment or, most importantly, people. Praise the Lord for no injuries.

    (The reason we had to go down the hill instead of up is because there was nothing to fasten to at the top of the hill.)

    Guys, be careful out there, you're worth more than the equipment any day.
  7. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    frankenscagmachine Isn't it past your bed time? Does your mother know your up? :D
  8. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Thank God for Guardian Angels!

    My neighbor bush - hogs on the weekends and he said he has to be very careful in the high grass because it will grow the same height out of a ditch as the grass on the high ground sometimes. So you can be going along and not see a drop - off. Be aware of this on the overgrown props. I have also experienced this myself while riding my 4wheeler (luckily while going slow). Be careful and don't overwork your Guardian Angels!
  9. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Haven't you guys ever heard of walking an unfamiliar property before blindly assume it's OK to mow? Your guardian angel may be busy elsewhere one day when you try to call them.
  10. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    I did walk it. That's why we tried it with the little mower.

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