Best Lawn Tractors for Mowing Slopes: John Deere Garden  -- Lawn and Garden Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Best Lawn Tractors for Mowing Slopes: John Deere Garden -- Lawn and Garden Tractors Discussion Forum

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 04-04-2014, 18:31 Post: 189923
Hunky01



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 Best Lawn Tractors for Mowing Slopes

I think I've narrowed it down to the John Deere X304,X320 or Snapper NXT with the welded deck. I mow/maintain 2 acres,mostly sloped with lots of trees and landscaping.

Question 1. Will the 4 wheel steering give me better traction when cutting uphill around trees. My past problem has always been wheel spin when mowing around trees,etc. I'm thinking the 4 wheel steering will keep both of the tires planted instead of unloading one,causing wheel spin. Right? or am I just fulla' crap

Question 2 The JD X304 is only 18hp. Is this enough if I also want to bag leaves?

Thanks






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 04-05-2014, 08:35 Post: 189928
greg_g



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4WS will not improve traction under any conditions. In actuality, you have a 1 wheel drive mower. Two ways to improve traction; 4wd, or 2WD w/differential lock. Cheapest JD with diff lock is the X500. And standard on the X500 is a 25hp V-twin.

//greg//






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 04-05-2014, 11:37 Post: 189929
DennisCTB

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Hi Hunky,

Welcome to TP.

I had a Garden Tractor with differential lock before I got a 4WD drive tractor. Differential lock is much better than none at all, but what I found was that you can only use it going straight, cannot be turning at all, you generally only engage it after you start to slip. If there is much of a slope you would need chains to get some bite, and even then it may not do the trick if the grade is to much.

Around here we have many properties that have too much grade to even use my 4WD tractor. The landscapers use front mower deck ride ons that go up and own the grades at high speeds that get the job much faster than I do with the 4WD.





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 04-06-2014, 07:20 Post: 189940
Murf



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 Best Lawn Tractors for Mowing Slopes

Dennis is right.

You have two options really, 4WD or 2WD front deck commercial-style mowers

This latter type puts both the operator and the engine over the drive wheels, but also it means that each wheel has its own drive motor so it really is 2WD, not 1WD. This allows both back wheels to assist while at the same time preventing wheel slip.

IMHO this setup gives as much if not more traction than a 4WD unit.


Best of luck.






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 04-06-2014, 07:25 Post: 189941
greg_g



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Don't want to rain on your parade, but I returned a $5200 Ferris ZTR because is was worse than useless in my hillside pastures. Cut fine on level ground, or when I was zooming along at speed. But when I wanted it to trim up close to my cross fencing, I found the traction to be somewhere between extremely lacking and non-existent. Slow maneuvering around objects on a downhill slope and reversing uphill were the weakest attributes. The turf tires would spin to the point where they were nothing but expensive balloons. With the tires spinning in reverse, gravity still caused the machine to continue to slowly slide downhill. Twice I had to take the fence apart to untangle the machine. The third time that happened, I returned it to the dealer for a refund.

Those guys you saw racing on the hillsides likely got by with speed alone. If they had to perform slow or reversing maneuvers on those slopes, my guess is that you would have seen a different story.

//greg//






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 04-06-2014, 09:50 Post: 189943
Murf



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I don't know what machine you had Greg, you weren't happy is all that matters.

Our Ferris 5100Z's and Kubota ZD323's and ZG332's are monsters. I'd have to work to make them spin in anything less than a mud puddle or a monsoon.

In fact we have a snow plow on one of them and a snow blower on another to clear our office areas that are too tight for a truck. No issues.



Best of luck.





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 04-06-2014, 10:10 Post: 189946
DennisCTB

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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_g | view 189941
... If they had to perform slow or reversing maneuvers on those slopes, my guess is that you would have seen a different story.//greg//



I am probably one of the only people around here that cuts his own lawn. My comments were about commercial crews that cut lawns day in and day out on flats, grades, you name it. They cut in the early morning and in the rain. My neighbors lawn is so steep I have trouble walking up it when it is dry.

I do not know the brands that they use but they all look like the Scag front mower I attached. They handle it so well that they can take the grade from any possible angle. So on the these steep grades they cut across the grade this week, up the grade next week, 45 degrees the next two weeks. Just to make nice patterns for the home owner.

The property grades that they work on are so steep I would never ever take my 4WD Kubota on them dry let alone wet and never in any of the angles they do effortlessly.

Probably some brands are better than others, sorry you had a bad experience Greg. Sure would be frustrating to spend $5k and still get no traction So Sad

For me a front mower unit was out of the question because I wanted a loader, snow blower with 4WD just one all in one machine.






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 04-06-2014, 10:24 Post: 189947
hardwood

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 Best Lawn Tractors for Mowing Slopes

Gregg;
I've never owned a front deck two wheel drive, but was advised by the Deere dealer to avoid them, even theirs.
We attended a Deere mower demo day a few years ago, the dealer was aware of our hilly lawn, they had a side hill for a demo lawn, I drove one, he was right. Even if you could successfully fight it to keep going straight making a 180 turn toward the uphill direction was a struggle. I have no idea the model number, probably 12 - 14 years ago.

Frank.






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 04-07-2014, 09:32 Post: 189959
kthompson



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I ran a Bushog ztr mowere for a few years and late last fall bought a big Ferris. It has much larger motor but for hills the big thing is how big the tires are. Must have twice the ground contact the Bushog has.

We don't have much in real hills here, but my mother in law's side yard very sloped to a branch. A lot of rain runs from a field to that area and even this past Saturday there was water on it where some shrubs were removed last year.

No idea with the heavier weight and bigger wheels how the Ferris ZTR will handle that slope wet but my Bushog was about helpless other than going down the slope. Could take my B27?? Kubota with rear finish mower and loader tires and run up it with no issue when the Bushog ZTR was hopeless on that slope. If the mower had better tires it probably would have handled it as loader tires on the tractor are not the best traction there is.

As to the Bushog we had would not recommend it for cutting on a wet slope for it does pull with both wheels but when you are turning sharp one wheel maybe pulling uphill and the other down hill and it would just slide at times.

I think Dixie Chopper offers tires about like tractor now I assume for that reason. As far as mower on slope I do trust the ZTR over tractor due to how low it's center of gravity is. Never had my ZTR (either) show any tipping action regardless of the slope even when I ended with it in ditch with one side of it.

One good thing about using ZTR near a ditch over tractor with rear finishing mower is if mower slides into ditch the deck is under it limiting how far it can drop compare to a tractor higher ground clearance. kt






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 04-07-2014, 09:45 Post: 189960
yooperpete



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 Best Lawn Tractors for Mowing Slopes

A completely different approach would be to use a pull behind mower deck and pull it with an ATV that has 2 and 4WD with a turf mode. My Polaris 550 has a turf mode that doesn't tear up the yard. It is push buttom operated so you turn it on and off as often as needed. You can also do steep inclines and has hill descent mode.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > John Deere Garden Forum

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