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  1. #11
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    18,044
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Mowing in reverse on steep hills

    "If you do not have a fel on the tractor, you will have an unbalanced tractor with a cutter on the back (when you lift it). The general rule for going up or down hills with an unbalanced tractor is to keep the heavy end uphill."

    I don't think having the implement in the transport position is a good idea driving or backing up a hill. I've done it with a back blade, but had the FEL on the front. If it's just the tractor and the mower, I just drive up with the mower (or cutter occasionally) lowered, wheels dragging along. This is on grass, of course.

  2. #12
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    3,388
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: Mowing in reverse on steep hills

    <font color="blue"> safety things...WEAR your seatbelt. </font>

    Four letters to add... ROPS!

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    336
    Location
    Summerside, OH
    Tractor
    NH TC33D; RTV900; Gravely Professional

    Default Re: Mowing in reverse on steep hills

    Norcal--

    I regularly mow a dam and a couple of other serious slopes, always backing up and driving down. The HST is an excellent choice for this operation IMHO. The tractor will never flip forward (this seems to me nearly a physical impossibility); it can certainly flip backward; driving up just doesn't feel good to me. I personally would not do this with the loader installed--the FEL just adds more elements to the puzzle--but if I were for some reason goint to be nose up the hill with a rotary cutter I would use front weights.

    As long as you're careful, the only time the weight of the bush hog will have a negative impact is if you are facing up the hill; then the additional weight of the cutter certainly could help pull the fronts off the ground. Following Glennmac's point, I suppose it might be possible to have the tractor start to skew due to tire slip or a tire in a hole, and the tractor might at some point get diagonal enough that the cutter would begin to drift the tractor sideways, but that certainly wouldn't happen in the blink of an eye; you'll be doing this operation slowly and carefully, on dry grass and dry ground, and with great vigilance, so if that started to happen you'd be stopping pronto for recalibration. A rotary cutter at 540 rpm is a heck of a gyroscope, but the tractor at the other end is a heck of a counterbalance.

  4. #14
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    3,044
    Location
    Windham County, Conn
    Tractor
    Ford 2120 , New Holland TN75D, Hitachi UH083LC Excavator

    Default Re: Mowing in reverse on steep hills

    I regularly do what you say with my Ford 2120 and a 5' Bush Hog. I mow both backing up the hills and coming down forward. I definately find it much safer than trying to turn at the top of the hill when there is not a large level arear up there. I have done this for years without a problem. Just make sure that the rear wheel of the mower doesn't dig in.

    Andy

  5. #15
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    0

    Default Re: Mowing in reverse on steep hills

    Some very old tractors had pto's that were driven by the rear end of the tractor -was called 'ground speed' pto - it's possible the pto on those went in reverse when the tractor did. This is an old 'feature' and you will not find it as the only pto option on anything made in the last 40 years. You need a different dealer, this one has issues - can't trust a guy like that.

    Depending on where your mower discharges the grass, it could have some small problems with grass building up under it when backing up - the grass is entering the 'wrong' end, and will have to discharge to one of the other 3 sides. It'll likely work, but something to think about.

    If you already see working on such a steep slope as a risky thing, I don't understand the mower trying to drive the tractor as a major concern.

    ---&gt;Paul

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