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  1. #1
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    Default Riding mower recommendation for hills

    I need a durable riding lawn mover that can handle difficult hills and tight spots. I need to mow about an acre with a 30 degree slope and another acre in a garden area. Since, I will only use the equipment for mowing I would like to avoid spending a significant amount of money.

    My own research indicates that to meet my requirmements I need at least a JD 500 series or kubota GR 2110. I have not reviewed other brands. Can anyone confirm my research and/or offer alternatives.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Platinum Member OKnewguy's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    534
    Location
    Edmond, Oklahoma (OKC)
    Tractor
    Jinma 224

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    Thou it sounds like you want a tractor style, you might try the tread labeled "Which is better for mowing on hills, ZTR or SCUT?" in the owner operator section. There are some really good points brought up.
    Good luck, Dave
    Jinma 224, Grassopper 720 ZTR, 2 Kawasaki Bayou's

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2004
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    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    The best hillside mower is a Steiner or Venntrac, but both of them may be a bit more than you wish to spend. Most newer LG tractors do pretty well on steep hills. I would prefer the kubota over the X500 JD here as it offers all wheel drive in a smaller package. The X 500 with the diff lock is quite stable on hills, though and I think a bit better overall machine. The ultimate conventional tractor for this work is an Xseries JD, preferably with four wheel steer. They stick like glue to almost any hillside, but again are pretty expensive to buy. Another option is to find a used Gravely Garden Tractor. They have not been made for some years but are really durable and there are still some around. They are extremely stable on hills and cut really well. My dad still has one, one of the best machines we have ever had.

    John M

  4. #4
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    3,539
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    South Central Iowa
    Tractor
    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    Quote Originally Posted by jcmseven View Post
    The best hillside mower is a Steiner or Venntrac, but both of them may be a bit more than you wish to spend. Most newer LG tractors do pretty well on steep hills. I would prefer the kubota over the X500 JD here as it offers all wheel drive in a smaller package. The X 500 with the diff lock is quite stable on hills, though and I think a bit better overall machine. The ultimate conventional tractor for this work is an Xseries JD, preferably with four wheel steer. They stick like glue to almost any hillside, but again are pretty expensive to buy. Another option is to find a used Gravely Garden Tractor. They have not been made for some years but are really durable and there are still some around. They are extremely stable on hills and cut really well. My dad still has one, one of the best machines we have ever had.

    John M
    Get front mount ZTR.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2004
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    2,273
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    western NC
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    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    This is a good point, front mount ZTR's do offer excellent hillside stability. In fact, I should have mentioned most all ZTR's offer good hillside stability--to a point. One concern about all ZTR's I have is that they are quite stable but when they go they go in a big way and are nearly impossible to control. I personally have had two near death experiences with a center mower and front cut ZTR and would say both have their limits. So long as your hillside is not too steep and fairly smooth across its face, you should be fine. Good point made here, though.

    John M

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    Quote Originally Posted by esf_joe View Post
    I need a durable riding lawn mover that can handle difficult hills and tight spots. I need to mow about an acre with a 30 degree slope and another acre in a garden area. Since, I will only use the equipment for mowing I would like to avoid spending a significant amount of money.

    My own research indicates that to meet my requirmements I need at least a JD 500 series or kubota GR 2110. I have not reviewed other brands. Can anyone confirm my research and/or offer alternatives.

    Thanks,
    I have found the best on slopes is the AWS (all wheel steer) lawn tractor. Having good traction to turn on a side hill has been a great feature (and admit it was a surprise) of the AWS.
    Have over the last 18 years, had AWS in the Deere 425, 445, and X487 with 54" and 60" decks.
    Rare to ever have to use the posi-traction lock.

    Give one a trial run and see what your take is, and I think you will be happy with the results.

    Get one where part of the fanny can slide uphill off the seat, as it is more comfortable than hanging on while in the center of the seat. That goes for any rig, IMO.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member locknut's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    543
    Location
    Greensburg Indiana

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    Quote Originally Posted by esf_joe View Post
    I need a durable riding lawn mover that can handle difficult hills and tight spots. I need to mow about an acre with a 30 degree slope and another acre in a garden area. Since, I will only use the equipment for mowing I would like to avoid spending a significant amount of money.

    My own research indicates that to meet my requirmements I need at least a JD 500 series or kubota GR 2110. I have not reviewed other brands. Can anyone confirm my research and/or offer alternatives.

    Thanks,
    You're on the right track.No 2-wheel drive machine will hold safely at 30deg,up-down or sideways.I use the Kubota GR gas model on this nasty 30deg hill(bank,actually).Cheapest thing I could find to get the job done.


  8. #8
    Platinum Member bontai_Joe's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    834
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    northeast PA
    Tractor
    Deere 316 (Kohler) Deere 316 (Onan) Deere 210

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    A 30 degree slope is beyond the ability of most 2 wheel drive lawn tractors or ZTRs. It is also a recipe for a roll over, so you might want a ROPS on what ever you buy. I had cut lawns commercially for over 6 years, acres of lawn per DAY all week long when I was a young whipper snapper. I won't operate a riding mower, garden tractor or ZTR at 30 degrees myself, it's beyond my personal "pucker factor".
    If it's free, it's for me!!!!!

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    360
    Location
    Boiling Springs, SC
    Tractor
    MF 2823

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    Simplicity also now makes 4WD YTs & GTs that are below the Legacy XL line. A Conquest 4WD with a 23hp B&S Vanguard V-twin and 50" deck lists for $7050. As best I can tell, the major difference between the Conquest 4WD and Prestige 4WD is $900 and the Prestige has a 27hp Kohler Command V-twin and hydraulic lift. Both models have the same transaxle, deck, and power steering.

    I'm just presenting this as another option to the GR2100/2110 and JD X series mowers. If you have a local Simplicity dealer, I'd check them out, if not then I'd stick to brands with local support.

    Yard & Garden Tractors / Products / Simplicity
    Simplicity ZT4000
    Shindaiwa T195s, Redmax HB250
    Northern 48" core aerator, Rug'id 250# spreader

  10. #10
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: Riding mower recommendation for hills

    Quote Originally Posted by bontai_Joe View Post
    A 30 degree slope is beyond the ability of most 2 wheel drive lawn tractors or ZTRs. It is also a recipe for a roll over, so you might want a ROPS on what ever you buy. I had cut lawns commercially for over 6 years, acres of lawn per DAY all week long when I was a young whipper snapper. I won't operate a riding mower, garden tractor or ZTR at 30 degrees myself, it's beyond my personal "pucker factor".
    That is only partially true. True is that two wheel ZTR or tractor will not make it uphill due to loss of traction. But front mounted ZRT is impossible to flip over even on much steeper slope. They slide but not flip. We mow a pond dam slope about 300 ft long and 50 ft wide with angle 25 to 30 deg. I can go straight down but to save on number of passes (rounds) I usually go diagonally down. The ZTR is somewhat directionally unstable but not beyond ability to control it. I believe, if I could some way increase traction it would climb up make a U turn on the slope and come straight down. Tractor can't come even close to stability of front mounted ZTR. Mid mounted ZTRs as well as tractors can flip backward going up.

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