Got hills and hate using your walk-behind… is doing your lawns become a chore and not no fun no more… if you’re looking to invest some coin in a riding lawn mower and not sure othe best riding lawn mower for hills and slopes… then this article is just for you.
Choosing a lawnmower isn’t the easiest thing to do and getting the right one doesn’t just come down to just price.
A few things you’ve got to consider when picking the right mower for you:
This table summarizes the products we will review.
How to choose the best type of riding lawn mower for you
As we know there are 3 main types of riding mowers we can check out:
- Zero-turn( ZTR)
- Tractors (includes lawn and garden tractors
- Rear engine riding mowers.
Each one has its limits and capabilities and when you start talking about hills, inclines, declines… this leads to a whole new matter.
To choose which mower is best, you need to know what slope your lawn is.
How to measure hill slope
For this exercise you will need:
- 2 stakes, timber or steel. It don’t matter
- A string line
- Tape measure
- Calculator or use this online one
Drive a stake into the ground at the top of the hill and then another at the bottom. If you’ve got a long run you can shorten it by the length of the string line you’ve got.
Tie the string on to the bottom of the stake at the top of the hill.
Then tie the string onto the stake at the bottom of the hill so that the string is level from the top to the bottom. Any of these string line levels will do the job if you don’t have any.
Once you’ve got the string line level than just measure the rise then divide it by the run, x that by 100 and that will give you slope %
So if you’ve got a run of 500 ft and a rise of 15 ft, the calculations will be
15 ÷ 500 = 0.03 x 100 = 3% grade or slope.
If you’ve got a rise of 15 ft you’ll need a stake over that distance of 500 ft of at least 15 ft plus the depth to peg into the ground.
That’s a pretty big stake to try and smash into the ground.
You don’t have to measure the entire slope at once. You can do it in intervals and get an average over the distances or pick the steepest section by eye and measure that.
We’re not looking for a precision degree here just a ballpark of ya steepest grade of the hill.
Once you’ve got this then you can move on choosing the best type of riding lawn mower.
Hot tip: Always mow across slopes when using a walk-behind mower and up and down the slope when using a riding mower.
Some things to think about when buying a riding mower
Everyone has there one things with what’s important to choose a mower for there lawns. So we want to offer a few options of things to consider when the time for when you’re ready to throw down some cash on a newie.
Do you want to bag the clippings and use em in a compost bin, place around the garden or dispose of. Not all riding mowers has this option and many will also have it as an extra add-on. Here you can see a list of 8 of the best riding mowers with baggers.
For small lawns, the average and cheapest is a rear-mounted engine mower. Available in a range of decks from around 28″, versatile and with at least 14 ponies driving the girl
For yards in the one-to-three acre range, a zero-turning rider or front-engine lawn tractor may be appropriate. Look for a mower with at least 14-16 hp and a wide mowing deck – at least 38 inches – to get your lawn work done quickly.
Yards larger than three acres are best handled by a large zero turn mower or a garden tractor. Look for models that have at least 18hp engines and mowing decks in the 44-54 inch range.
Make sure to check the slope degree beforehand.
Best Riding Mower For Hills
Always refer to the owner’s manual as each lawn mower has different specs and whether the slope you’ve got is safe for you to mow.
As a rule of thumb, anything greater than 20 degrees don’t try to attempt with a walk-behind.
With tractors and ride-on anything more than 15 degrees will test the limits and zero-turns, best to try and stay under 10 degrees.
These degrees on angle will variate so make sure to talk to your dealer or refer back to the user manual for more specific details on your mower.[/su_note]
That concludes my best riding lawn mower for steep hills roundup.
Most of us really don’t read the operator’s manual or feel these warning statements are “just guidelines.”
Even staying under 15 degrees there are still ways to tip your lawn tractor or zero-turn mower over.
Mowing commercially for many years I've had my fair share of close calls and giving the old pucker a workout.