Zero Turn Mower for Slopes

charles1218(8 (Alabama))May 24, 2010

I have a new pond, and mowing will be a challenge--especially the dam. I needed to cut the temporary rye grass in preparation of hydroseeding, and I did not feel safe using either my bush hog or my regular riding mower. I finally got my friend to cut it today; he used a John Deere 48" zero turn mower. That got me to reading about them, but most of what I read said they are not really suitable for slopes. I called my local Cub Cadet dealer, since I have an LT1554 I would like to trade in; he suggested two Cub Z-Force mowers that have a traditional-looking steering wheel. Is the steering wheel on those models just a gimmick, or does it really make it more suitable for slopes? I am also considering the Toro TimeCutter and Titan, and the Husqvarnnas. I have never liked the Cub LT1554, because it seeemed so slow and underpowered for such a big engine. Are their zero turns better?



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slvrgost(z5 Ne Iowa)

Depending on how much land you have, a ZTR of the right kind would be a good choice. Most ZTRs have the operator seat up to high to be good on slopes.

I have a Walker and it handles slopes with ease. The center of gravity is several inches lower than GT or other ZTRs. The wheel stance is quite wide too.

To prove it to yourself. Get a local dealer bring one out to your house. Walker dealers will, lots of others won't do that any more. They want you to spend thousands of dollars on a spin around the parking lot.

Once you have tested on your land, you will know what works and what dosen't.

Here is a link that might be useful: On property demo.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 9:08PM
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I don't know what to tell you, except don't do it!!!! Don't let your friend do it again. Ztr's are very dangerous on slopes. Even worse along wet soft turf and dirt on a slope. Then you put that at the edge of a body of water. CRAZY!!!! What happens is the tail end of ztr's lose traction and slide down the slope, hit the water and turn over trapping the driver to drown. Those mowers you listed don't cut it. SORRY! They're find on level to slightly sloping grounds, but they're not going to handle a 10 to 15 degree slope. And your buddy is crazy for mowing that pond edge for you. So he got by that time. But he may not be so lucky next time. So there you are! Think about! I've got a z. I even own a pond! I mow the flat part of the dam. With my lawn tractor because my big Z is just too squally on sloping, uneven terrain. And a BIG NO NO next to water.

Here is a link that might be useful: accident

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:10PM
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Here an almost just from today!

Here is a link that might be useful: Slope

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:54PM
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charles1218(8 (Alabama))

Just for clarification, we had cut the water side of the dam as well as the edges of the pond all around with a string trimmer. The worker who was supposed to finish the back side of the dam did not show up today, which put me in a lurch. My friend just cut the back side. He is in the lawn care business, so I hope he knows where to draw the line. He told me they did all the cutting going down hill, and then made a wide circle to the end of the dam before making another pass.

Safety is the reason I am looking into a solution. One of the possibilities I have looked at is a Kurz or Swisher offset brush mower.



    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 11:42PM
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Mowing downhill with a ZTR tells me your lawn care guy doesn't know his business. Nothing could be worse. ZTRs lose traction going downhill and it's all over. Anyone who has experienced it will tell you. Only one ZTR I know of is built to handle that situation. It's the Gizmow. It's a serious mower and well built. Check out the video. There site has a lot of good information.
The main site is:
The streaming video showing slope performance is on the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gizmow video link.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:48AM
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charles1218(8 (Alabama))

That Gizmow is pretty impressive. Looks like the Cub Z-Force S on steroids. It's probably out of my price range, but I'll check with the dealer next time I'm in Montgomery. I think for now I'll just stick to the string trimmer and wait to see if the new grass even grows.:)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 12:36PM
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charles1218(8 (Alabama))

I did finally wind up taking the advice from rdaystrom, and purchased a Gizmow 61" mower in March. They are no longer manufactured, but I found a dealer with access to them. Compared to the old tractor mower I have been using, it is fast as blazes. But most important, it handles the slopes like a dream. On slopes as much as about 15 degrees, I can just mow across the slope. I could probably go steeper, but that makes me nervous. On the dam, with a slope of about 30 degrees, I mow straight down the slope, back back up the slope, and make another pass. I would not feel safe mowing up the slope.

Cub Cadet makes several similar mowers, including a residential version, a commercial version, and one they call "The Tank." The Tank is probably comparable to the Gizmow.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 6:23PM
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Glad to hear you found one . They are unique, good looking mowers, and well built. Sorry to hear that they are no longer being built. Sounds like Cub Cadet picked up on that technology.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 12:24AM
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earthworm(6 Pennsylvania)

If I owned a slope of grater than 15-20 degrees, on that I'd grow crown vetch, never grass..
A "lawn mower" with a roll-over bar bodes bad, even evil..
These zero-turn units seem to be great....maybe the next generations will have lower centers of gravity....Much like the modern automobile as compared with those of 100 years ago...or 50 years ago..

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 10:41AM
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That's not a slope mower...

This, is a slope mower:

Here is a link that might be useful: slope mower

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 8:56AM
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    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Does a good job!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:45PM
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