Best for hills?

dustin727

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I'm going to buy a new mower. I am trying to decide between a zero turn and a lawn tractor. I have a few pretty steep slopes, I will add pictures because I don't know what the angle is. I am trying to decide between z330m and x350. I will probably be mowing these slopes side to side, as opposed to up and down, or would maybe cutting up at a angle would be better. I've always cut it with a push mower and string trimmer. I'm getting to old for that now. I know I'll still have some weed eating to do. I want the mower that will get the most of this done and being safe. Any advice would help.
 

MParr

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You need to calculate your slope angle.
In general, a lawn tractor is going to be better on slopes.
The Kawasaki FR651V powers the X350. The engine manual states that it is designed for continuous operation at 25 degrees.
The John Deere X350 owners manual says 15 degrees is maximum for safety.
 
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dustin727

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I will be mowing from side to side. I'm not as worried about sliding as I am about tipping over sideways. I'm also not worried about tearing up the grass. I was thinking that maybe the zero turn would be wider and have a lower center of gravity, making it less likely to tip over. Am I wrong?
 

ILENGINE

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Justin, what is at the bottom of the hill that you will be mowing. Z-turns for the most part don't do well on slopes. Especially if trying to mow side to side. There is nothing on the front of the mower to help hold the slope so all steering and slide prevention is on the back wheels. The moment that the tire on the low side of the slope looses traction ,front of the Z-turn will rotate down hill and your stopping point will be whatever is at the bottom.
 

dustin727

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At the bottom of the hill is flat land. So I'm more worried about rolling than sliding down the hill. Would I be better off with a lawn tractor. Also I will probably change to more aggressive tire on either one I choose.
 

dustin727

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What about popping a wheelie and rolling backwards while going up the hill? Is that something to worry about with a lawn tractor?
 

Rivets

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If you are worried about popping wheelies going up and down, in my opinion the slope is too extreme for either unit. Only way to really answer this question is to tell you to test both units on your slope first. This is one time where your gut will give you a better answer than any opinions on this site.
 

dustin727

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I think I have decided on the x350. It will be more versatile as far as doing other things too. Another question I have is about deck size. 42 vs 48. Which would be better for uneven terrain, and would a larger deck help with balancing the machine. I have a little over an acre to cut, about 1/3 of it is on a slope.
 

GearHead36

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I would consider a ZTR with a steering wheel. Unfortunately, that seems to lock you into Cub Cadet, as they're the only ones selling them. I have one because of the slopes I have to mow, and it does MUCH better on slopes than the lap-bar ZTR it replaced. It's better on slopes than a standard ZTR or a lawn tractor. It has the lower COG of a ZTR, and slope holding ability of steerable front wheels. Plus two hydrostatic transmissions. Lawn tractors have only one transmission, and and open differential. Which means that if one wheel loses traction, both wheels do. With two transmissions, it acts more like a limited slip differential, which is better on hills and slopes.

Edit:
Re: deck size... if you have a full acre to mow, I'd go with at least a 48" deck, unless you have specific limitations, like a 46" gate to your back yard.

There are several YT videos showing the steering wheel Cub Cadets, but here's one that shows how well they work going across slopes.
 
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