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What Mower Best for Steep Slopes

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Glenn, May 28, 2002.

  1. Glenn

    Glenn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have about 1/2 acre to cut. There are steep slopes. What would be the best mower for this type job? I would prefer a self propelled cutter upfront walkbehind.
    Thank you
  2. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    I'd go with a Scag SW 36 belt drive walkbehind mower. Awesome machine!
  3. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    I'll agree with CSRA on the Scag, however, look into the hydro drive instead of belt. More so because you have the hills and won't have to worry about belt slippage and such when things may be wet.
  4. lawnjob

    lawnjob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I'm picking up a Billy Goat Contour mower today for my steep slopes. I'll let you know how it goes.
  5. Glenn

    Glenn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks lawnjob!
  6. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    I've been having to use this machine for every job I have for the past two weeks, so I really got to know it pretty well. It did very well on a slope of about 25º or so, even in dripping wet conditions. I didn't notice any belt slippage, either. I'm happy with it. :cool:
  7. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I have to disagree with the 36" belt drive scag. As long as you're going directly across the face of the hill, I suppose it's ok. However, in our experience, when you went up the hill you had to learn to slip the belts just right to govern the speed you wanted to go. Too much and it got away from you, too little and it kept rolling back down on you.

    Now, when you pointed the mower down the hill, it simply free wheeled faster and faster until you had an accident or let go and it crashed all by itself. Try it early in the morning when the dew is heavy and the belts will get wet and slip and it's even more fun!

    I'd like to meet the person that invented the belt drive w/b so I could slap the **** out of him. I hate them and I sold em all years ago.

    But the hydro is an entirely different matter. No belts to slip, no spookiness and the hydraulic pressure acts like engine compression. If you've ever gone 4 wheeling in an old Jeep CJ5 with the 6 cyl and a 4 speed tranny, this is what a hydro feels like. I used to take mine and put it in a lower gear and with the engine idling, I could let the compression of the engine hold the car back so that it would creep down a hill.

    Much like that, the hydro holds back and doesn't run away from you. It also has instant forward or reverse which becomes second nature with a little practice. It is without a doubt the most surefooted mower made. I have a Scag 52" that I bought in 1992 and I still use it to do hills. I love it. Even with all my ZTRs it has a place on my trailer.
  8. lawnjob

    lawnjob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    The Billy Goat works great, I'm adding a disc brake to help with backing down hills. The slopes I'm mowing are 30 degrees with some at 45. (checked 'em with my magnetic protracter hung on the goat.)
  9. lawnjob

    lawnjob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    The disc brake from a snowmobile I added works great. WWWdenniskirk.com for the caliper, and www.northerntool.com for the cable and lever. Just in case somebody else is as nuts as I am.:dizzy:
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Golf shoes and a Stihl trimmer. :D

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