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What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

Posted by kyfyrefly (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 17, 09 at 10:34

I have a 2 acre hilly lot, some of it has steep hills. I used a 1995 Kubota 1560 for several years, very carefully. At times I had liquid in the tires and used chains. When I first started mowing this yard in 2002, I noticed if I tried to go straight down a steep hill, it would take off, free wheeling, braking didn't help. Lately, the tractor started free wheeling backwards when going up a steep hill, wery scarey. Since it's 14 years old, I sold it and started shopping for a new one. I test drove a John Deere X520 and was extremely disappointed. When trying to back up a small hill, the tractor simply stopped, not spinning or stalling. The differential lock did nothing. The same thing happened when trying to go up a small hill forward. Any suggestions on what would be a good tractor. I've started looking at Cub Cadet 2500 and 3000.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

"I test drove a John Deere X520 and was extremely disappointed. When trying to back up a small hill, the tractor simply stopped, not spinning or stalling. The differential lock did nothing. The same thing happened when trying to go up a small hill forward."

I have a GT225 that's 10 years old with only 15 HP and there is not a hill on my property that it will not only mow going up, but it will also do it pulling a loaded cart, and I have some pretty steep hills.

I remember seeing a GT225 once at the local dealers (it was in for repair) that was set up with for mowing steep hills. It had the rear wheels reversed, had wheel weights, and tire chains. It was equipped with a 48" deck.

And so I have trouble understanding why the X520 wouldn't go up a small hill, either forward or backward. I would suspect a loose drive belt.

Also when going down a steep hill on a tractor, either big or little, you never take it out of gear; you let the gearing hold it back. On a hydrostatic tractor pushing in the brake takes it out of gear, and the brakes were not made to hold back the tractor going down a steep hill.


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

Kubota GR Series gas or diesel.Will put a big smile on your face when you tackle those hills.


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

Also, if it is a "hydrostatic" drive, you need to keep the engine RPM high, even if you want to go slow on the ground. You decide how fast you want your ground speed to be by adjusting the hydro controls accordingly, not by raising or lowering engine RPM. The engine RPM needs to be high to make certain the pump section of the hydro can flow the volume of oil to meet all the requirements of what you are trying to climb or pull.


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a machine with four-wheel-drive. Can you get them in your locality? Here in the UK there are plenty to choose from, starting with the consumer-level Countax, Westwood and Stiga.

I use a Stiga Titan, which has independent hydraulic four wheel drive to each wheel. I've never known it to lose grip yet, even in the wettest conditions, and even on the tightest turns it doesn't scrunch the turf because it has articulated steering.

OK, the Titan is a commercial grade machine, but Stiga and Husqvarna do make cheaper machines for the consumer market that also have four wheel drive and articulated steering.


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

I agree with Locknut. Stick with the Kubota and look at the GR series. I have had my GR2100 for 4 years now and still very happy. Its made for hills.


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

I have 2.6 acres at my place, sadly the yard could be termed a roller coaster of a property.

I wanted a machine which could help me level the low spots with a plow blade and wood chips (or clean fill) as I get them. I decided to get a used late 80's Case/Ingersoll 444 (with the installed holding valve). Im still saving/looking for a plow blade.

I have been told that my C/I's holding valve is kinda like a hydraulic brake - which I dont completely understand yet... But I'm told its used to descend "safely" down very steep inclines - which my property has plenty of. Im told - this hydraulic holding valve is frequently installed on older cases tractors (22x/44x) which didnt have them - and are working on properties hilly/mountainous like mine.

The tractor is completely hydraulic to the back axles - kinda like a bulldozer (not to be confused with hydrostatic on many other tractors).

I can say that there are zero issues going down any steep inclines at my place. I dont have to use the brakes or anything - just relax and let the valving do the hard work. It has an interesting sound when dealing with these inclines - sort of a high pressure squishing sound.

In addition with the 16 inch rims and very large tires it can just as easily climb those same inclines too. (I have not used chains - yet).

One interesting point - the fenders for my model are rather large and eventually become the foot rests to the tractor (the stamped steel is very heavy gauge). Anyway there is an angled lip on the tip of the foot rest (where your toes would be), which looks a bit oddly angled upwards - too steep to be of any use...

Well - when your going down a very steep incline those angled tips are what allow you to sort of stand onto them to support my butt from sliding down off the seat - which would ultimately be a crotch slapper into the steering column (or worse - my feet sliding into the front wheels! )

Another nice feature is that reverse on this tractor is as strong/forceful as forward is, and I dont have to rev the motor out to climb or descend the steep hills (which I have tried in reverse!).

Pictures of these foot rest can be seen here.
http://s247.photobucket.com/albums/gg160/njdpo/ing444/

Ive had the machine now for about 2 months - overall I'm very pleased with the abilities of this very well built machine.

Good luck with your search.


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My bad - Foot rests and fenders

My bad
the foot rest and the fenders are not one piece
Very sorry


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

JOHN DEERE 700 SERIES 4X4 ....My x534 is good on hills this mower is not a 4x4 ,,skinny tires put weight to the ground.not seeing your grounds you should have 4x4,


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

I can't afford the Deweze, so I use ag tires with 5 gallons WW fluid in each tire. I'm sure it is hard on the tranny, but whatcha gonna do? Can't get a HD tranny unless you buy an expensive GT, or find a good used one...

Here is a link that might be useful: Deweze side-slope mower


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

I wouldn't get a tractor type mower at all for hills. I'd go with one like this:

http://www.gravely.com/Commercial/outfronts/outfront/320hd/Pages/default.aspx

It steers by the rear wheel and has a very wide stance. You will be able to go around hills as well as up and down. Not a zero turn (although it nearly is). It's like the old Yazoo master mower that I've been using for the past 5 years or so.


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

Not sure if anyone will respond to this post or not. But I purchased a 2013 B3200 4x4 Kubota. I have had two experiances which scared me mowing on a steep hill. The last incident almost did me in for good. I was mowing up hill low range in 4x4. It suddenly kicked out on me and free wheeled backwards. I tried pushing the breaks in but nothing would slow down the tractor. IT was out of control on a steep hill and rolled over ontop of me. Luckly the rollbar and seat belt worked. The company doesnt believe me when I told them what happend. I heard that these tractors have a pressure release valve and could be set off when the ratio of the incline and the weight of the tractor is unstable. Has anyone heard about this or have any ideas?


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

JMHO... shoulda never been on that steep of a slope mowing to begin with...


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

  • Posted by exmar 6 SE Ohio (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 15:05

FWIW, I'm in the "foothills of the appalachians" in SE Ohio and my yard has some pretty steep slopes and sidehills that I mow. I "get by" with a Craftsman GT5000 manual trans, loaded "ag style" tires and NO chains, those are for winter use.

Having attended the funerals of a few neighbors who had a farm tractor flip or roll on them on these same hills, just be aware you're "pushing the safety envelope." That being said, I was driving a farm tractor on these slopes when I was 10 and am now in my 60's with no serious incidents.

Rules: On steep slopes, go SLOW. Side hill mowing, watch the front uphill tire to verify it's making a solid depression in the grass. If it isn't, SLOWLY turn downhill. Alway have an escape route when in rough ground so if the machine kicks out of gear or the brakes fail or both you can steer to safety. Keep the brakes properly adjusted and maintained. Be very, very aware that going up a steep slope how quick and easily a tractor will flip back on you. If the front end does come up, the rear wheels provide the motive force to flip it back. Generally speaking brakes are for stopping, NOT slowing down in tractor usage, that's what the trans is for. The "GO SLOW" mentioned above means choose a lower or lowest gear, with a hydro do the same, as Mownie said, keep the RPM's up.

Just my two cents.

Good luck,

Ev


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

At work, I use a Kubota B2320 with a geared transmission. It is pretty inconvenient for mowing in tight spaces where you have to back up a lot, but the tranny is bulletproof going forward, backward, uphill, downhill, any speed. Something to be said about the simplicity and reliability of a geared transmission!


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RE: What is a good tractor for mowing on hills?

I did not read all the posts in this thread.I mow the dry side of an earthen dam for a pond with a larger tractor and a rear mounted mower. No way could it mow uphill. The procedure is to start a the top in the lowest gear, mow straight down and use only the steering for control -never touch the brakes. The area at the bottom in this case is adequate for turning to the side after reaching level and riding around up to the top again.
The mention of a wheel turning backward is normal differential action if the other wheel is locked. Such could result in the mower steering itself to the side and rolling over to the side. Stay off the brakes, use the steering wheel.


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