Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor)

   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #51  
Greetings ld1,

As part of your post you stated this Paragraph:

"ZTR's not good on side hills.....another fallacy. I mow my pond bank which is 20-25 degree slopes without any issues at all. Very little risk of rollover too on a ZTR. They are so low and wide that sliding is much more likely than rolling."

You must give everyone the name of your ZTr because it seems to do everything well.

From 2006 thru 2014 I attended each year the Minnesota State Fair specifically to see tractors and mowers and trailers from many many vendors and dealers. I'm told it's one of the largest in the country for such things and has been for many decades.

Anyway, often each brand represented had booths staffed with multiple dealers so the was very good knowledge of he brand. But pretty much universally during all those years and all those brands directly from the mouths of representing dealers. . . thy would tell me of the qualities and capabilities of their ZTr mowing equipment . . . Except when asking them about sidehill cutting and steep slopes, they always recommended other products in this lineup because "swivel wheels" don't steer . . . They are "driven or pushed" in directions by rear wheels used to overcoming each other to force direction.

And for that reason front swivel wheels were not held in place by the operator creating issues with sidehills and slopes. Different brands and many dealers all said for those purposes you needed a steering wheel or method that actually held a steering direction instead of swivel wheels.

In addition the other concern is that virtually all ZTr units are heavy in the back and light in the front making them very much an issue for tip over when going up hills. Some front deck products are much better in that regard than the majority

I own an exception to the rules . . . Known as a ZTt (zero turn tractor) . It is a zero turn unit that looks like a garden tractor but acts like a Billy goat for traction on sidehills and steep slopes and does directly control the front wheels.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #52  
Some ZTRs hold a hill better than others my grasshopper is a hill mowing beast. I’d guess it it would do even better with some bar tires. There’s no way a compact tractor or a garden tractor could compete with it unless you like mowing on its side. My Dixie chopper is probably comparable to a regular garden tractor on hills. I’ve climbed some pretty bad hills and the front of my zero turn has never picked up. My Dixie chopper with bar tires will out mud a 2wd garden tractor. BTW I have a B7200 with a finish mower and a MMM. It goes in mud a lot better and can lift the finish mower higher off the ground so I use it for rough mowing. And the B7200 is tough as nails. It’ll take pretty much any level of abuse. Aside from that it stays in the barn while my ZTRs do the mowing.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #53  
Speaking of Zero turns and tearing up grass... A tip (probably obvious)mow like a Zamboni on an ice rink... down one side along the edge and split the difference by returning in the middle and do successive loops working to the other edge.

On side hills I don't do well as I hoped. I need to make up/down passes with a quick pivot at the top where it is steep. I know there are better Z beasts for this but I couldn't justify the cost.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #54  
Greetings ld1,

As part of your post you stated this Paragraph:

"ZTR's not good on side hills.....another fallacy. I mow my pond bank which is 20-25 degree slopes without any issues at all. Very little risk of rollover too on a ZTR. They are so low and wide that sliding is much more likely than rolling."

You must give everyone the name of your ZTr because it seems to do everything well.

From 2006 thru 2014 I attended each year the Minnesota State Fair specifically to see tractors and mowers and trailers from many many vendors and dealers. I'm told it's one of the largest in the country for such things and has been for many decades.

Anyway, often each brand represented had booths staffed with multiple dealers so the was very good knowledge of he brand. But pretty much universally during all those years and all those brands directly from the mouths of representing dealers. . . thy would tell me of the qualities and capabilities of their ZTr mowing equipment . . . Except when asking them about sidehill cutting and steep slopes, they always recommended other products in this lineup because "swivel wheels" don't steer . . . They are "driven or pushed" in directions by rear wheels used to overcoming each other to force direction.

And for that reason front swivel wheels were not held in place by the operator creating issues with sidehills and slopes. Different brands and many dealers all said for those purposes you needed a steering wheel or method that actually held a steering direction instead of swivel wheels.

In addition the other concern is that virtually all ZTr units are heavy in the back and light in the front making them very much an issue for tip over when going up hills. Some front deck products are much better in that regard than the majority

I own an exception to the rules . . . Known as a ZTt (zero turn tractor) . It is a zero turn unit that looks like a garden tractor but acts like a Billy goat for traction on sidehills and steep slopes and does directly control the front wheels.

Flipping a ZTR is nearly impossible. The weight is toward the rear so flipping forward would require you dropping the entire front end in a ditch while going downhill at speed. Zero turns extend the rear of the unit backwards from wheels so if the front end comes up, the overhang will hit the ground acting as a "wheelie bar". Hustler actually puts wheels on the overhang, just in case.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #55  
This mower does just fine on slopes. Grasshopper mower, L2050 head 004.JPG
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #56  
Mine is a scag wildcat with AT101 tires.

Used to have a JD240 garden tractor....beyond about 15 degree slope it took enough weight off the uphill tire that it would just spin and go nowhere. Typical of a rider.

Tractor, gets a bit dicey going around the pond at the 20-25 degree area. Gotta use caution and know what you are doing, like no sudden uphill turns.

The ZTR, can fly around the pond at speed with no problems. Only issues is if the grass is wet or damp....sometimes it will slide down the hill.

A good wide commercial grade ZTR has no issues side-hilling within reason. IF you are on a slope that it wont side hill.....you are probably looking at a dedicated hillside mower.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #57  
I was concerned about getting a ZTR due to one part of my yard having a pretty steep slope. It really hasn't been an issue. A couple things I've learned: Don't mow the grass on the hill if it is at all wet, go slow and avoid making turns on the hill.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #58  
I think in my case with only a 42in Z turn and turfs, I just can't do what some of you are doing on side hills. I also think I might add some weight up front as I have an area that is only accessible by going up a steep slope and even with leaning forward, my front wheels come off the ground :eek: The way back down can be an adventure as well when the grass is damp.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #59  
This mower does just fine on slopes.View attachment 556672

Those things are probably in the range of real slope mowers. I’d bet money on a compact tractor, lawn tractor, and especially a sub compact tractor being on its side before the front mount Grasshopper gives up. In like to trade my F series Kubota for one of those. If anyone was wondering I have a lot of mowers.
 
   / Help me understand (zero turn -vs- tractor) #60  
I mowed this ditch with my Dixie chopper and bar tires. My riding mower would have been stuck. My B7200 would have done it as well. IMG_4255.JPG I also mowed this with the Dixie chopper. IMG_4259.JPG
 
 
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