Best lawnmower for sloped yard

terric_2010August 10, 2010

I have a backyard with a slope of about 25-30. The back yard is about 90 feet wide x 200 feet long. I currently push mow it, which is difficult even with a self-propelled. Is there a riding mower that I can purchase that is safe to use on this degree of slope?

Thank you.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Steep slopes are not tractor-friendly but if you can push mow what you have, then you can cut it with a tractor by using some simple rules.

1. Always mow either UP or DOWN...

2. Never mow across the slope

3. Never attempt to turn the tractor while ascending or descending a slope.

4. Choose a true garden tractor, not a lawn or yard tractor.

5. Change the rear tires bar tread agricultural or use 2-link chains on your turf tires.

6. Find a dealer locally who can install beet juice in your rear tires. See link below.

7. Buy all the heaviest wheel weights your tractor will accomodate.

8. Make sure you read the Owner's Manual from start to finish before you use the tractor and read it again and again until you thoroughly understand all the safety-related issues.

9. Never mow wet or damp grass. Moisture makes grass slippery.

  1. Make sure you understand how to keep your tractor under control by using the brakes and the hydro control.

  2. Don't let anyone else cut your grass for you. Slopes are dangerous and not for the novice operator.

I suggest that you go see your local John Deere dealer and ask him to send someone knowledgeable to your property to see it first-hand and then make a recommendation as to which model would best suit your needs. Print out this thread and show it to him. This about putting as much weight on the rear tires as you can without changing the balance of weight between the front axle and the rear axle.

Therefore, rear-mounted suitcase weights are not the way to go because they make the front end lighter and you want all the steering control you can get. Wheel-weights and the Rim Guard beet juice put the weight where you want it and both of them lower the tractor's center of gravity making it much harder to roll over. But weight must go with traction and that's why you need to have the 2 link tire chains or the Ag bar tread tires.

If the dealer says you don't need these items, then tell him to bring the tractor to your home and prove it. Some dealers have really top guys working for them and some have talking heads who tell you waht they think you want to hear. This is nothing to fool with. Garden tractors easily weigh 1000 pounds or more so if you want to run the risk of having one flip on you and then hunt you down as the two of you roll to the bottom of the hill, then be my guest.

Tractors like that can kill you or maim you for the rest of your life so you better respect them and follow the rules at all times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rim Guard

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My father lives in a mountainous area and uses my GT262 to mow his very hilly areas. I highly recommend a garden tractor with weighted agricultural tires, such as Carlisle Tru Power or Super Lug. You can buy them on eBay for around $200 for a pair. And you can expect to pay about $300 for a set of good cast iron wheel weights. That will do two things for you 1) give you a massive traction advantage, and 2) lower the center of gravity. If $500 sounds like a bit much to turn a $4,000-6,000 garden tractor into a hill traversing machine, you can buy cheaper asian import tires for about $120 a pair and fill them with $20 worth of windshield washer fluid. It's been a while since I filled mine, but I seem to think it took something like 8 gallons per tire. I also have wheel weights. Those are some heavy wheels.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 5:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I own JD now and like them a lot. However, at my former property I had hills larger than yours and one tractor stood out above all others I tested, Gravely. I bought an refurbished 18G that was so steady I could not believe it. It has more weight on the back wheels and its overall beefy weight makes it feel as stable as a tank on sloped country. I sold it with the property to give the new owner the right machine for the job. I suppose a Kabota four-wheel drive might be an option too, never tested it due to price.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 8:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wrager(Z5 OH)

How about a commercial, self propelled walk behind machine?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is a similar machine to my old one and I think in your state. They typically go for about $3500 used in good condition. Tranny was bullet proof and it bailed me out of more than a few messes that I got myself into out there. Trust me, I have a lot of experience mowing steep country and although the above poster is right on regarding being careful, this is far above the best GT for this purpose.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your final decision will probably come down to cost. Don't make the mistake of buying a lawn tractor (typically anything under $3000-$3500. These have light-duty transmissions that will not stand up to heavy use on steep slopes. So, if you aren't prepared to drop $4k on a decent GT, then you have two options: 1) purchase a good used GT for what you'd pay for a new LT, or 2) use a self-propelled hand mower like a previous poster mentioned.

If you want to get fancy, they make robotic mowers that handle slopes pretty well. If you want to think out of the box, you can get one of those hover mowers, tie a rope to it and walk it back and forth on the slope while you stay up on the flat.

If money is no object, you can get one of those fancy commercial mowers that are designed to mow on steep slopes (extra wide axles, pivoting cabs to keep the operator level, etc.).

Go with fluid in the tires before going with wheel weights. It will get the weight lower for a lower CoG, and I believe it is easier on the transmission than wheel weights.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kubota GR - series.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 30 degree sloped road ditch 200 yards long that I mow with a 60" JD 425 AWS. I can turn up hill or down hill with no problems. I also pull a 42" Dixon (with the drive chains off) beside/behind (for a 100" total cut) and I've never even had it slide or spin on wet grass. The 425 also has a rear wheel lockup pedal that gives great traction if I need it. I mow sideways the whole 200 yards, I weigh 240lbs and have never had the uphill tire spin which would indicate that its close to tipping. The AWS is an excellent tractor becuz it doesn't tear up the grass on tight turn arounds.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
John Deere 425 pto not working
I bought this tractor used,the pto worked when I bought...
Briggs and Stratton 25hp els OHV help!!!!
I got a this motor attached to a mover off a craigslist...
H&M Contractors
Craftsman 917.289244 - Starter will not turn the flywheel
I am working on a Craftsman 917.289244 with starting...
Kohler Engine Question
I bought a Kohler Lawn tractor engine. New. sv740-3024.Two...
Tuff Torq K46 Tranny
I've been reading many of the posts on this site and...
Sponsored Products
Montana Woodworks Chairs Patio Deck Chair with Exterior Finish MWDCV
Home Depot
Leisure Season Patio Screen & Room Dividers Folding Patio and Garden Privacy
Home Depot
Henry Hedgehog Garden Statue - 310
$44.99 | Hayneedle
Campania International Checkmate Frogs Cast Stone Garden Statue - A-406-AL
$44.99 | Hayneedle
Campania International Warwick Planter - Set of 6 - Cotswold Mix - 6306-AG
$249.99 | Hayneedle
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Bungalow Flooring Rugs WaterGuard Medium Blue Snow
Home Depot
Rulon the Ring-Tailed Lemur Garden Statue - QL57479
$32.90 | Hayneedle
Hampton Bay Cushions Garden Cashew Outdoor Chaise Cushion 7407-01238100
$42.98 | Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™