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Why am I losing control on hills?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by agrostis palustris, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. agrostis palustris

    agrostis palustris Banned
    Messages: 117

    I have the old style GD super surfer which I use to cut 1 of my lawns. The place is on a hill. I sometimes start at the top and work down, or other times I will start at the bottom and work up. The house as well as some other things are at the bottom of the hill. So if the machine loses its hold of the hill it's a COSTLY fix. I go across the hill as going straight up would result in it flipping back, and going straight down would result in crashing through the front door. I have been finding that when I go from left to right I can hold the hill no problem. However when I go from right to left, the machine loses its hold of the hill and I go for a ride down the hill with it. I have come VERY close a few times to doing damage. I find that when I lose control if I just push my left wheel as far forward as it will go I can regain some control. Does this happen to anyone else? The lawn itself is just sloped down for the most part with some very shallow low spots every now and again, but not bumpy at all.
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    The rear tire on the down hill side must keep traction to go straight. Maybe you have different air pressures in rear tires. One that grips may be lower.

  3. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    how old and how much tread is left on those tires. maybe one is a little balder then the other
  4. agrostis palustris

    agrostis palustris Banned
    Messages: 117

    The thing has MAYBE 100 hrs on it.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Tire pressure and your speed could both be the problem. In those 100 hrs if you've done lots of turning on concrete you could have some wear on them already.
  6. The machine's not old enough to have one hydraulic motor worn more than the other. And I'm assuming the GD doesn't have the deck offset a significant amount.

    Mowing with a ZTR on a hill is accomplished like this. The wheel on the high side of the hill sets the pace. The wheel on the low side speeds up and slows down to steer.

    Going left to right, your right hand controlls the "steering" tire while the left hand wheel remains relatively constant. No problem if you're right-handed.
    Coming back, the left hand tries to steer and fails, or you try to "steer" with the wheel on the high side of the hill, and that doesn't work either. Or, even worse, you attempt steering with both wheels at the same time. You end up breaking both wheels free, and it's the quickest ticket to the bottom.

    I've watched myself do this on ZTRs. The left hand stays put, and the right hand is in constant motion. But then I'm so overwhelmingly right handed, my left hand only exists to hand stuff to the right hand.

    The best solution I've found is to have Doug mow the hillsides. He's ambidextrous.:D

  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    These are Titan "Turf Tamers". They're on my WB that can climb anything. They are super soft, wide, and give the best traction you can get. However, if you are lazy and don't zero turn, these puppies will really dig up the lawn. But, "on the lawn" they leave almost no foot print.
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    OOPs....... the pics

  9. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 511

    This may be a problem with GD. I have a Super Surfer and have had the same problem. I think it has something to do with the hydro tank-not enough fluid it the tank. When I go from side to side on hills, when the left wheel is on the low side I tend to loose some control and some of the drive is also gone. Going the other direction things are fine. It does get a little hard to control going down hill. Uphill is always good. I bought a Scag Turf Tiger to solve the problem. The GD does great on flat areas. If I do use it on hills, I just go slow and take er easy.
  10. agrostis palustris

    agrostis palustris Banned
    Messages: 117

    I actually find that when I do this hill that if I go from left to right I push the right handle forward a bit more than the one on the left. If I go from right to left I push the left handle forward more. You have to keep the machine facing at least somewhat uphill on this thing otherwise you are done for. When I go from right to left the gas tank is on the uphill side. Not sure if that helps at all?

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