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You may agree on this- using a zero turn mower for the first time is a hard nut to crack. It becomes worse if you are mowing on a hill. We’ve gone through the same problem multiple times and therefore, came up with the immediate solution in today’s content.
A mower usually refers to a machine for cutting small plants or grass grown on the ground. Of course, different types of mower are available regarding what type of surface you like to mow. Also, it requires a separate process than that on a plane lawn.
Residential lawn mowers are not suitable for mowing on a hill. As a first timer, knowing only the procedure is not enough. You also need to know the things you suppose to do or not to do while mowing. In short, the safety tips. Also to know the better way that will cost you less time and labor.
Types of Mowers for Steep Hills
First thing first, let’s talk about the types of zero turn mower for hills. Two types of mower are suitable for Mowing-
1. Riding Mowers
As mentioned before, typical lawn mowers or Zero-Turns aren’t mainly designed to mow a hill. Especially, if the steepness is more than 15 degree, there’ll be a bigger possibility of tipping over. Still, you can get your work done using a lawn tractor. But you need experience in that case.
As a first timer, you may find it difficult. Better to practice in the plane yard first. To lessen the chances of overturning, avoid riding side to side. Instead, ride up and down. Besides, a specifically designed riding mower can mow sharp inclines with lesser risk. But they are worthily expensive.
2. Push Mowers
Compared to riding mowers, push mowers have fewer chances of overturning. They are self-propelled. An operator pushes the handle to operate the motor. A safety feature controls the mower. As a first timer, handling a push mower will be easier for you. But at the same time, it’ll be more laborious and time-consuming.
Related Guide: Tips to buy a dump cart for zero turn mower.
Procedure for Mowing On A Hill
Step 1: Pre-Mowing Conditions
- Inspect, whether the grass as well as the ground are wet or not before mowing on a hill. Wet or moist grass easily clogs up in your machine which will require frequent cleanings. Also, your mower may slip down.
- Mow the hill in dry, sunny weather. Mowing the slope in the late afternoon when the sun is low can be too risky. In shadow, the grass may contain moisture due to frost or morning dew.
- Look for obstacles like rocks, stones, sticks. If there is any, remove instantly to protect your machine.
Step 2: Selecting Machine for Mowing On A Hill
As I mentioned before, two types of mower are available. Between the two, choose one that’ll serve your purpose best. As a first timer, I’ll suggest you choose self-propelled push mower.
Step 3: Adjusting the Height
Once the ground is ready to mow, it’s time to start working on your machine. Fixing the height is imperative. If it is set too low to the ground, it may scalp the surface completely. Again, if it is too high, the grass may remain long. As a consequence, you may have to repeat the whole work. So be careful about the height.
Related Review: Mower tire reviews.
Step 4: Operating the Mower
If you are using a push mower, run it from side to side. Moving it up and down the hill can warn your safety. While moving it up, it can roll back to you down. Again, while mowing down the hill, it may slip from you and speed down.
On the other hand, run a riding mower up and down the hill instead. Moving side to side with a riding mower is more likely prone to flip over. A serious injury may cause if you stuck in the tractor while it topples down.
Things to be Noted
While you are mowing on a hill, there are some additional mowing tips for you-
- Go slow as well as gradual while running the mower.
- Watch out for holes or bumps that may increase your slope.
- Like wet grass, the drought-dry grass is also unsuitable for mowing. It may cause tires losing traction.
- Avoid mowing on a hill near ditches or embankments.
- Adjust and maintain the break properly in the case of a riding tractor.
- Select an escape route so that if the break fails, you can still manage to steer to safety.
- Don’t stop, start or turn abruptly on the slope.
- Never stabilize the tractor exerting a force on the ground with your foot. There’s a good chance of foot wrench.
First time mowing on a hill is almost like first time riding a bicycle. Once you learn all the manuals, it’s time to apply them practically. But remember that safety comes first. In fact, as a first timer, it’s the most important thing for you.
Many people neglect the manuals and warning issues provided by the manufacturers. It’s not the right way to start. Go through the operator’s manual first and know your machine well. Know, whether it’s suitable on a hill or not. What to do next, has been described above.