Getting to Know the Tractor on a Slope

   #1  

davidcbaker

Bronze Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
52
Location
Nashville, TN
Tractor
Kubota M5-111
Third time I've mowed the huge field out back today. I'm getting more comfortable with the tractor and what's safe and what isn't. The first time was NOT relaxing. Second time was a little more familiar. Third time I wasn't stupid, but I knew where/how to maneuver. This is an M5-111 pulling a 15' batwing. I leave HD pallet forks on, low but pointed up. Rear wheels are spread. Cast iron weights on the rear. Four wheel drive. Unlock the brakes at the touchier parts and ready to turn down the hill while tapping down-slope brakle side.

While inclinometer showed this several times, tractor felt very stable at every point.

I'm still (and will ALWAYS) treat it with great respect, but it's a slow process of learning the machine and the field.

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   #2  

redman135

Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
862
Location
nz
Tractor
no tractor now
The inclinometer is a tidy looking design, where do you get them?
Also how do you adjust the read out to suit different size tractors?
 
   #3  

Argonne

Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
276
Location
Paris, TX
Tractor
JD2210, Ford 4400, Case IH 685, Terramite T7, JD 6x4 M-Gator
My self imposed limit on side-hills is 20 deg, and then only if I'm in 1 low and it's dry. It took me 2 seasons to sneak up on that number. 20 degrees feels like a LOT.
 
   #4  

oosik

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
15,227
Location
AMBER, WA
Tractor
2009 Kubota M6040
Interesting - - of little value here on my land. Its either dead flat or vertical drop-off. Have to be real fast to read the tilt meter before hitting the bottom - KERSPLAT.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#6  
OP
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davidcbaker

Bronze Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
52
Location
Nashville, TN
Tractor
Kubota M5-111
My self imposed limit on side-hills is 20 deg, and then only if I'm in 1 low and it's dry. It took me 2 seasons to sneak up on that number. 20 degrees feels like a LOT.

It does feel like a lot! I am not looking at the meter--I use it to train my butt, and just rarely glance at it to inform my instincts.
 
   #7  

GirlWhoWantsTractor

Platinum Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
948
Location
The Mountains of Virginia
Tractor
2018 Mahindra 26XL HST, Husqv GT48XLsi & YTH48LS
Thoughts from another nervous new tractor owner with a lot of steep.

I thought about an inclinometer, but in the end decided it wasn't much use ON my tractor as by the time I get a reading I'm already on the slope. There's an inclinometer or "Clinometer" app on my smart phone. So I got that and went around measuring the various slopes. Plan to do this for each new area I tackle. My pond trail ended up being around 21° (40% slope), with a few short scoots a bit steeper and some less steep. Took me a few weeks to head down (I document all this in my "journal" thread) but the tractor did fine.

I'm sure your huge M series is more stable than mine. But with a big tractor you're sitting up higher so it FEELS worse. :) That was one of my dilemmas when choosing a tractor. I still haven't taken my tractor on most of my trails....yet. And my garden tractor and riding mower have been all over them. Supposedly the GTs are less stable, but it sure doesn't feel that way. :)

If it's any comfort, rollovers seem to be relatively rare and according to statistics, with ROPS up and seatbelt on, 99% are survivable.

Filled tires, ROPS up, seatbelt on, 4WD, low range, plenty of ballast on the back, avoid going sidehill, watch for rocks/stumps/holes, everything held low as possible, and never on wet ground.

If you're going downhill and the rear gets light, back up. Don't know why but it helps.

If you're tackling a scary downhill for the first time, inch down a little, then back up. It's reassuring to know you can back out of there.
 
   #8  

oosik

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
15,227
Location
AMBER, WA
Tractor
2009 Kubota M6040
Most of my 80 acres is flat. The exception - the ten acre lake on my property. The basaltic lava walls are vertical and drop straight down into water that is 45 feet deep right at the wall. The lake is 80 feet deep down the center line.


View attachment 566435 Picture is off my front porch. Looking across my little ten acre lake you can see the vertical rock cliffs. I don't even get close to the "edges" with my ATV - let alone my tractor. Many - my young son and his friends - have found it fun diving off these cliffs. I'm old enough to know the meaning of pain and don't participate.

This side has the same basaltic lava rock walls - straight down into the water. There is one spot where we "normal" people can access my dock and the lake. Another couple weeks of our hot wx and the lake will be warm enough to swim in.

I could strap anything I wanted on my tractor but plain old common sense works just fine - "stay back from the edge".

BTW - this lake is typical of most all lakes of all sizes in this part of the country - called - - The Channeled Scablands of Ea WA.
 
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   #9  

Argonne

Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2005
Messages
276
Location
Paris, TX
Tractor
JD2210, Ford 4400, Case IH 685, Terramite T7, JD 6x4 M-Gator
I put an inclinometer on my Ford. Worked out well in that location. I got it on ebay if I remember correctly.
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Steppenwolfe

Super Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2012
Messages
5,593
Location
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Tractor
Kubota MX5400, ZD 331, L3301, 1140 RTV, KX 71
Nashville... my hometown. Anyway, I feel your pain on those hills. Here in the Blue Ridge it is a way of life. I pick my battles carefully and use what little sense I have to stay off certain area's. Mowing is tricky if the grass is just the slightest bit wet. I NEVER take my tractor out of 4wd on my property. Learned that lesson real fast.
 
 
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