When it comes to handling a highly leveled lawn, you will surely find the zero-turn lawn mower very efficient and useful for this kind of slopped hill. But, there are some safety aspects that you must take into consideration too.
Zero-turn mowers, of course, are known for their greater agility and speed. However, it has a significant downside. This weakness is inherent in its design. Since it makes use of caster wheels in front of the machine for smooth steering, it can quickly and efficiently move along curbs and challenging areas to navigate. However, when it comes to moving through steep slopes, these wheels are not so much reliable and do not provide enough traction and stability.
You may argue that your zero-turn mower can perfectly handle steep grounds. In fact, my zero-turn mower can also handle up to 15 degrees slant without buckling up. But what I am trying to point out is that zero-turn mower’s caster wheels are not comparable to the wheel stability and traction of the forward-steering mowers. They become quite challenging to maneuver once the slant is beyond 15 degrees. So, before you purchase a zero-turn lawn mower, you should try to figure out if the model you plan to buy is designed to handle steep inclines.
As mentioned above, you should refrain from using your zero-turn mower when working on more than 15 degrees inclines. However, if you plan to operate the mower on a steep hill with a 15-degrees slope, you need to make some adjustments to keep it safe.
One adjustment is in its speed. You should slow down your mower to 4 to 5 miles an hour so that you can safely handle the steep. Slowing down to this speed gives you enough traction to safely work out the hill and help you avoid a tip over.
Avoid Making Turns on The Slope
Another thing you should bear in mind when using your zero-turn lawn mower is that you should avoid making turns when threading the incline. If you want to make a turn, you should drive beyond the slope and make your turn on level ground. You should do this until you have covered the entire slope.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Zero-turn Lawn Mower For Slope Mowing
There are myriads of zero-turn lawn mowers on the market today, and this makes it difficult for buyers to choose the ideal zero-turn lawn mower to buy. Hence, we have delineated here several factors that you should consider when buying a zero-turn lawn mower for hills.
And there are several essential factors that you need to consider when purchasing a zero-turn lawn mower for mowing hilly grounds. These factors include the following:
1) How is it mounted? Mount Type
There are two types of mowers baed on the grass cutter mounting. At first sight, you may not be able to figure out what type of mount a mower has. Yet, upon closer scrutiny, you will readily see the difference between the two mount types. Based on the driver system, the two mount types include the mid-mount and the out-front mount.
The mid-mount zero-turn lawn mowers have a mount that is suspended over a four-wheeled chassis. This type of mount offers a higher level of control and balance. It is safe to use, especially when tackling inclines, and it provides great performance.
On the other hand, there is the out-front mounted zero-turn lawnmower. This type of mowers comes with a centralized drive wheel system. In such type, the rear caster wheels help the front wheels. This leads to rare occurrences of loss of traction and loss of steering.
2) Consider Its speed
Many manufacturers usually advertise their products as high-speed mowers. They make the high-speed tag as their selling point. Yet, when it comes to zero-turn mowers, you should slow down when you are maneuvering up a hill or down a hill. As mentioned above, you should slow down to around 4 to 5 miles per hour when tackling hilly grounds.
Moreover, you should not make sharp turns when tackling a hilly ground. And you will surely be courting disaster if you do so. You should not think that—simply because the zero-turn lawnmower model that you’ve bought is advertised as high-speed—you could always drive on high gear.
3) Consider Your Comfort & Ease of Driving
If you are not an experienced lawnmower driver, you should at least look for a model that is easy to maneuver and operate. In our opinion, you should go for rear-wheel-drive ones. The reason for this is that front-wheeled mowers are not prone to cutting on an inclined surface. Moreover, you should consider something that does not have speed as its selling point, for you don’t need much speed when tackling hills. You should go for a decently moderate-speed lawnmower. In a nutshell, you should go for something that you can easily control and drive.
4) Go for Better Safety Features
If you are often tackling a 15-degree incline or more, you should go for a front-wheel driving mower or a walk-behind one. This will help you avoid getting entangled in injury or accident when driving down or up a hill. You should also buy mowers with a safety seat belt along with protective roll bars. Roll bars can surely protect you from injury in case the mower rolls over. You should maintain slow speed likewise while tackling hills and ensure that you are engaged in accurate steering if you are using a zero-turn lawn mower to avoid an accident.
The Best Zero-turn Mowers for Hills
As mentioned above, if you are a beginner and are not quite experienced in mowing hills with the zero-turn mower, you may end up buying something that does not really address your needs. We have delineated here a list of highly recommended zero-turn mowers for you:
1) Husqvarna Z246 23HP 747cc Kohler Confidant Engine 46" Z-Turn Mower
The Husqvarna Z246 23HP 747cc Kohler Confidant Engine 46″ Z-Turn Mower is a zero-turn mower that is popular among households and farms. It provides ease of use, and you can be very sure to have a smooth ride along slopes.
Husqvarna Z246 comes with a powerful engine that could mow around 2.4 acres of land per hour. It has a maximum speed of 6.5 mph. It also features a 46-inch reinforced steel deck with a two-blade cutting deck that has a 13-gauge thickness. It is also known for greater durability and power for tackling difficult terrains. You should not use this mower, however, when the ground is wet because this mower has enough power to tear up your ground.
It also features a mowing technology called “air induction” that leads to better grass lift and quality cut. This technology lets you produce a consistently clean cut every time you engage in mowing. Furthermore, it features a hydro-gear transmission system that ensures smooth movements and maneuvering on slopes. You will surely find this mower easy to operate.
2) Ariens Zoom 34 - 19hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin 34" Zero Turn Lawn Mower
The Ariens Zoom 34 is a compact mower that is designed for tackling small and medium-sized yards or lawns with hills. It is a mid-range mower that is good for maneuvering along the tight spaces. It offers excellent maneuverability and is nicely designed with great color. It features a 12-gauge steel stamped deck that is 134″ wide. It also comes with 2 Spindles EZT Transaxles that provide quality results.
It features a powerful Kohler 6000 Series twin engine with 19HP and 660cc capacity. It would surely provide you with exceptional performance. It also features an electric start system along with a dual EZT transmission that allows for a more comfortable mowing experience.
Furthermore, it also features a 7-point deck height positions that range from 1.5″ to -4.5″, allowing you to set it to the desired cutting height. You can also add a trailer hitch kit to readily transform this mower into a multi-purpose machine. Lastly, it comes with an ergonomically designed padded seat for a more comfortable mowing ride experience.
3) Swisher ZTR2454BS Response 24HP 54-Inch B&S ZTR Mower
The Swisher ZTR2454BS Response is a powerful mowing machine that comes with an innovative rapid-response control system. The Swisher, of course, is a company that leads in manufacturing garden and lawn equipment. This offering of swisher is indeed a testament to the quality of its products.
It comes with a 24HP engine made by Briggs and Stratton. It has 54″ 11-gauge cutting deck along with three Gator mulching blades. It also comes with an 8-gallon fuel capacity. Moreover, it has a heavy-duty welded frame that would surely surprise you and enthuse you to buy it.
It also offers excellent maneuverability with Hydro-Gear 2800 transmissions along with an Ogura clutch. It also comes with other features like battery compartment, full-engine wrap, and cup holder. Its maximum speed is 8 miles per hour. However, the only downside in using the Swisher Response is that it is a bit noisy when operated.
Finding the right zero-turn mower to mow the sloped ground, as mentioned above, is not an easy task for beginners in the use of mowers, given the fact that there are myriads of brands and models of mowers on the market today. Yet, if you carefully read the abovementioned tips and follow our leads as to which zero-turn mowers are highly recommended, you can readily narrow down your choices to the best zero-turn mowers on the market today.