Scary ZTR Ride

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by Fooltergeist, May 18, 2005.

  1. Fooltergeist

    Fooltergeist LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    My lawn has a gentle 10 degree slope that tapers into a 15 – 18 degree hill on 2 sides. One day, I was happily mowing along on my new Hustler Mini Fastrak 36” ZTR and was on the edge of this slope when all of a sudden, the front caster wheels unexpectedly and without warning swung down towards the steeper hillside even though my steering levers were pointed straight ahead. So now I was hanging on the steep hill with the front casters pointing downwards on the 18 degree slope. When I tried to drive in reverse, the back tires just kept turning with no traction at all. The only thing that was keeping me from rolling downwards was the ZTR’s integrated brakes and the pressure from the dual EZT hydros. So I gingerly stepped out of the seat, and when I released the brakes and the two hydro levers behind, the Hustler took off without me and ended up in the ditch about 30 feet below. Luckily, it did not roll over, presumably because of its low center of gravity.

    Other than avoiding mowing that section of the lawn, which would defeat the purpose of my buying this ZTR, is there any way I can keep the front casters from swinging in an unintended direction? I seem to recall that a competing model, the Ariens Mini Zoom 1740, has lockable front casters, and perhaps that would help me avoid this near-disaster. Any equipment mods, or change in operating technique, that would help?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. mowerconsultant

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

    There are no caster lock options on any of our mowers.
    I would check your tires pressure front and rear, for maximum control on any type of slope you want them down around 8 to 10 PSI.
    Even then there is no guarantee of any type of slope performance, and that goes for any brand of ZTR, you just have a narrow wheel base unit, and you need to be real careful on slopes.

  3. hustlerflier

    hustlerflier LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    My 20/52 Fastrac does the same thing in one spot of my yard. It is steep and it only occurs when I am going 45 degrees to the downward slope. I am kind of a slow learner, so I tried it 3 different times to be sure. Once with full fuel, once dry grass. I finally learned and now go up that same slope (still 45 degrees to the uphill slope). It is never a problem now. I have other slopes that I travel at right angles with no problems. Also it is amazing how steep a ditch/hill it will climb going straight up. I have had this mower for 2 years now and love it.

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