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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Tractor
    1949? Ford 8n

    Default Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    I recently relocated out in the country to a 10 acre piece of property. About 7 acres is flat pasture/fields and the other 3 acres is woods. I'm a new tractor owner (I'm new, not the tractor!), and I mow the pastures using a Ford 8n with a 5' bush-hog. Since everything I mow is flat, I haven't had any instances where I felt real nervous or anything.

    However, last week I made a partial pass to cut along the ditch at the road (between my fence-line & where the county mows the roadside) and I did not like the feeling of it at all. The ditch is relatively smooth and is not super steep or anything, but the sensation of mowing "unlevel" kinda spooked me, so I elected to not mow the rest of the ditch.

    I'm wondering if I was just being too cautious (i.e. scared), or is the "unlevel" sensation normal and is just something that people get used to the more they use a tractor?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,020
    Location
    Guernsey Co. Ohio
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    Without actually seeing the slope, no one can say for sure. A person does grow accustomed to hills with experience. Some people are scared to even drive down my driveway, where as I don’t even thing twice about it. But, there does come a point where it can become dangerous. I’m GUESSING you didn’t reach that point, you were just uncomfortable because it was new to you. But again, that’s just a guess.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Tractor
    1949? Ford 8n

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    Thanks for the response. Below is a pic of the ditch. The county cuts the left side of the ditch (by the road), and you can see where I made one pass on the right side of the ditch. You can also see where I need to make another pass or two up to the fence line.

    Maybe it just feels steeper than it really is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -ditch1-jpg  

  4. #4
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    10,280
    Location
    Industry, Maine
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    From the picture, it doesn't look all that steep. I assume your 8N has no ROPS or seat belt, that takes away from your safety.

    If you go at it again, just remember to turn downhill if you think it is feeling tippy.

    Better safe than busted up.
    Dave.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,120
    Tractor
    NHtd75

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    If you have a string level or a piece of lumber and a level, measure the rise over run and someone will be able to calculate the angle and possibly give you a more concrete answer as to the safety of that slope. Pictures are sometimes worth a 1000 words and we like them but in this case an angle number may be better.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Wolfy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    765
    Location
    a small town
    Tractor
    Ford 1710, 1600 Kubota L3710, G6200, Simplicity, Allis Chalmers, Montgomery Wards garden tractors

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    Wheel weights or loaded rear tires does wonders for hillside stability. I mow my very hilly back yard with a Ford 1600, which is very close in size to a 8N. There is still scary moments, but I feel much better with the wheel weights.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,953
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    The 8N is about the best there is for slopes. I'd take it on that slope in the pic no problem. Still follow your seat instincts. Keep some 3 ph lift on the deck to take advantage of the mower weight and you will be fine. And the "turn downhill" is good to keep in mind. Using the individual brakes at the right time for traction works as the uphill wheel will slip/spin if there is too much tilt. Just if you have to use the uphill brake to stop a wheel, it is time to turn downhill (and it can be done) on the slope. If you keep traction, you don't have to worry about tipping over.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    950
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Tractor
    '51 ford 8N

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    From your pic, and assuming the angle doesn't appreciably steepen anymore than that, then I'd be fine with it.

    I've done a lot of shredding on the 8n or NAA over the years and more often when cutting on a slope I've experienced a sensation of lateral, downhill slippage more than a concern about reaching a point at which the tractor might tip over.

    My rule of thumb is that, when on a slope or angle, the point at which I don't feel I can control the tractor completely is the moment I know I'm working on something too steep or angled. With that said, as stated above everyone's internal danger meter is a little different so if you're not kosher with it then maybe it's not a good idea to force it.

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    16,854
    Location
    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    Quote Originally Posted by blount2000 View Post
    I recently relocated out in the country to a 10 acre piece of property. About 7 acres is flat pasture/fields and the other 3 acres is woods. I'm a new tractor owner (I'm new, not the tractor!), and I mow the pastures using a Ford 8n with a 5' bush-hog. Since everything I mow is flat, I haven't had any instances where I felt real nervous or anything.

    However, last week I made a partial pass to cut along the ditch at the road (between my fence-line & where the county mows the roadside) and I did not like the feeling of it at all. The ditch is relatively smooth and is not super steep or anything, but the sensation of mowing "unlevel" kinda spooked me, so I elected to not mow the rest of the ditch.

    I'm wondering if I was just being too cautious (i.e. scared), or is the "unlevel" sensation normal and is just something that people get used to the more they use a tractor?
    Stay on the safe side and let the county maintaine their own ditch!
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    498
    Location
    East Coast
    Tractor
    JDs:

    Default Re: Mowing Roadside Ditch?

    back the mower deck down the hill keeping the tractor on flat part - move over each pass until its done - i do this in a spot i have and it does not take that long - as you would think - i use a 60in brush deck

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