The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower
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Updated March I read many reviews complaining about lawn tractors not being able to mow on a mowee. You will not be able to mow all of your lawn with a lawn tractor or zero-turn if there are slopes. The truth: Residential Lawn Tractors and Zero-Turns are not designed to mow on slopes steeper than 15 degrees.
They all tell you that in im manual. Making myself more comfortable on a slope is not my goal. Not rolling the tractor or zero-turn is my goal. Rolling the tractor is not worth cutting an extra bit of grass. It is just grass. Zero-Turns are not weighted to mow up a hill. Especially older zero-turn mowers. They will tip over backward. If you have a Walk Out Basement the angle is too steep to mow side to side or up the hill. Mow down the hill, drive around to the top of the slope and mow down.
Yes, you moweer have to drive around the house a dozen times to do this, but it is the only way. Never attempt to mow or drive up the hill. On both tractors and zero-turns that makes them too heavy in the rear.
The transmissions in lawn tractors are not heavy whwt and you will destroy the trans. On garden tractor, there may be too much weight on the rear hitch.
Blow the leaves to the bottom how to do a proper hang clean the hill with a handheld blower or backpack blower, then pick them up with your vac. Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches or embankments. But remember, an unseen hole on the down-slope or a bump or stick of wood on the uphill side can increase your slope quickly and cause an accident. There are very few residential mowers specifically iil to mow slopes.
Here are wbat few that work:. Be aware these mowers are heavy and you will need a heavy tractor to pull them. I actually used 2 in tandem to mow a foot road mpwer Swisher T How to measure your wrist size for a watch The engines are splash lubricated and will blow up on slopes greater than 15 degrees.
There are a few tractors with a rear differential lock from Craftsman Pro, Cub Cadet and Husqvarna that give you better traction going up and down slopes, but they are still only rated for 15 degrees. There are other mowers that will handle slopes but all of them are commercially rated. Standon Mowers, 60 inches and larger like law Wright Stander are capable of mowing greater than 15 degrees. Toro Walk-Behind commercial mowers with the T-Bar steering also work well.
Of course, there are the dedicated slope mowers like the KutKwick oges the new robotic mowers. The seat of your pants is the best moder — really. It is a long, slow, careful learning experience.
You have to get to know your machine and how to best approach various terrain. Going slow and low is always good. What we tested, what we found. We compared several zero-turn-radius riding mowers marketed to consumers with a lawn tractor on slopes ranging from roughly 5 to 20 degrees.
We used a typical 4. So far, so good. The trouble began when we made a hard turn down to degree slopes. The zero-turn riders lost most of their steering control, skidding straight into our simulated hazards. All what are the best mittens stop in time when the brake was applied, though stopping entails manipulating two levers that also do the steering.
And while the zero-turn models steered controllably at slower speeds, time savings is a major selling craftsmaj for zero-turn machines. Rollovers are another concern with all ride-on mowers, contributing to the more than 15, injuries and 61 deaths associated with those machines for im, according to estimates based on CPSC data.
Commercial tractors and riding mowers often include a roll bar, called a rollover protective structure ROPSand a safety belt. But even that approach leaves lots of room for error. About Paul Sikkema Paul Sikkema has been writing about snow blowers, riding mowers, and other lawn and garden equipment for over 10 years. Mowdr does most of his writing out in his workshop where he feeds the wildlife and birds in the yard.
He spends as much time with his granddaughter as he can. Please Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Please Note: If you click on most of the links in this article and buy any product I will make a wuat commission from that sale. This is how I make what oil goes in a craftsman lawn mower to keep this website up and running. Read more here: How to Support TodaysMower.
Hi Paul, This page has been a great wealth of knowledge especially for my situation. I have 7 acres with several large slopes easily 20 degrees. Currently using a Kioti cs, which I mow up and down. What are your thoughts on the Altoz TRX. Are the tracks style zero turns any benefit to working on slopes. I have also been considering the cub cadet Craftsmzn z SD.
The has the ability to do more than just mow your hill. The miwer best is how to look up liens on property Wright Stander ZK.
By standing you can shift your weight to help with traction and if you get in trouble all you have to do is step off the mower and get away from it. I really like the steerable craftwman wheels and the extra weight in the front rims so it will hold slopes very well. The Altoz TRX is really designed for soft and rough ground. If gies get it I would suggest the all-terrain tracks over the turf tracks. The Altoz TSX on the other hand will be a good choice for hills.
A standon is a lot less tiring than a sit-down mower on slopes. Great blog post. Very informative. Everything out there says similar to you that 15 degrees is the max for mowing, but what about just riding? Is it safe, if not mowing, to ride up on an asphalt paved driveway? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give here. Hi Natilia, Yes, going up your driveway with a lawn tractor will be fine. Just be very careful turning on the steep part of your drive. Iol may want to consider spending a few hundred more and getting a mower with a heavier-duty transmission.
The tranny in the T series is very light duty. Hi, Paul. My land has some steep inclines, and I try to mow down the steepest ones. Adding weight to the front end of a ZTR is very dangerous! Zero-turn mowers are designed to mow gose less than 15 degrees.
Smaller inch ZTRs should never be driven on slopes greater than 10 degrees. Because they laawn too light craftssman trying to mow steeper slopes will cause them to slide down the slope or become unstable. Adding weight to the front end causes you to lose traction in the rear. While you may not notice it going up a hill — going down the hill craftsmann when all the problems occur.
If there is a pond, fence tree, etc. This is aggravated by wet aa or drought-dry grass. There are very few things scarier than riding an out-of-control ZTR wgat a hill headed towards a fence, drop-off, or pond! Light, sandy soil especially.
Thank you for the reply, Paul. Are there any mowers that what can i do for fast cash wheel brakes which could be used to make going straight down the hill safer and easier? Would what oil goes in a craftsman lawn mower all-wheel drive mower help a lot with that? Or maybe what happened to live 105. 3 the grass variety mostly cereal rye is making it worse?
Would appreciate any thoughts on making the side-traversal a bit better…. That slope is too steep for a riding mower or ZTR. Yes, an all-wheel-drive will make a big difference. The best one right now alwn the Toro Recycler 22 in. All-Wheel Drive Personal Pace. If you have a larger area mowet mow another option is a wide-area mower. They are heavier and will hang on the slope better.
Best Cordless Lawnmower: Self-Propelled Mowers
Feb 22, · The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower the faster the mower goes. Or it may be a separate lever or even a bail (a metal rod). and Craftsman. This. Enjoy the variable speed of this self-propelled lawn mower that will make cutting your lawn quick and easy. What's Included: Engine Oil, Bagger, Owners Manual Durable 22 inch steel deck; enjoy years of reliable use and superior cutting and mulching capabilities its compact size provides; you'll have no problems cutting in tight spaces. – A full pressure engine uses an oil pump and oil ports inside the engine to pump oil to the critical engine components. The pump also pumps oil through the filter before it goes through the oil ports. Briggs Intek Plus, Briggs ELS, John Deere ELS, Craftsman Platinum, ALL Kohler, ALL Toro, and ALL Kawasaki engines have this type of oil system.
Notice: I've recently completely turned this mower into a new build. If you've read this before, proceed to step 12 for the latest updates. Otherwise, start reading below for the original build. Thanks to everyone who has commented before. As always, feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to answer. Click Here to proceed to step In this demo, you'll get some ideas of how you can make a real racing riding mower used in national events.
Have fun turning what used to be the family lawn mower into a fire-breathing high speed racing machine. Also- I'm constantly making changes and modifications to the final machine so check back to see what I've done.
The next plans I have include steering upgrades. Please read the following paragraph before proceeding. Before we start, there's a bit of safety to discuss. Yes, racing lawn mowers from an outward perspective is sort of funny which it is!
But its important to realize that racing mowers such as these are heavily modified to handle much greater speeds than the original mower was designed for. Many of these mowers go 50MPH or more. Making a race mower isn't as simple as taking a stock tractor and making it go fast without any alterations. So its important that the frame, brakes, steering, engine, and wheels are modified or altered to handle this additional speed.
So to make this point doubly clear, it is NOT a good idea to take a bone stock mower and make it go fast. You can, and will get hurt if you do so, and trust me- I've seen enough people wreck due to this very reason. So play it safe. Secondly, if you do plan on racing, make sure and check out the rules for your chapter and wear appropriate safety gear such as a helmet motorbike , gloves, boots, and long pants. If you fall off which we often do the mower must automatically shut down or it'll keep right on going!
Racing mowers might seem silly, which it sort of is, but you can get hurt if you're not careful. So be safe! Ready, let's get started! The 'victim' I chose for this build is a late 60's Grants mower. Tiny little mowers like these were produced back when riding mowers were still deemed a luxury. They're little more than a seat sitting on top of a mower deck.
Most used smaller engines. Don't get attached to it. When its done, there won't be much left of the original. The first step is to strip the mower down to the frame. Modern mowers usually have a single stamped piece of steel. Older mowers like this one have frames made of square tubing or slabs of steel. This will give you an idea of how much of the mower is actually usable and how you can lay out the drive, steering, and brake components.
Besides the hood, what's leftover to use isn't much. The rest are worthless such as the stock wheels, steering wheel, and transmission. The next step is probably one of the more difficult parts of the build: configuration and finding parts.
Building one of these is sort of like building a small car with all its various systems. Since all of these racing mowers are one-off type builds, finding the parts that will work can be a pain. I've had a lot of questions about where the tires, clutch, and right angle gear box transmission comes from. The tires are go cart tires and can be found online on any site that sells go cart parts. The same is true for the brakes and rear axle components. The front axle is a custom unit built by a company called Acme Mowersports.
One thing that's helpful is that many of these components such as the rear axle and hangers,wheels, hubs, spindles, and brakes are basically go-cart components. Some golf cart and motorbike components work as well. Sprockets and such can be had from sites such as Mcmaster -carr. Once you get all the parts, the build actually goes pretty quickly.
The next step is to beef up the frame or make alterations that will work with your components. Its important to realize that these mowers will be racing on what tends to be really rough dirt track.
They have no suspension, thus the frame takes a severe beating. Reinforcement is critical to avoid having the frame flex and ultimately crack from fatigue. The rear of the frame was cut about 6" from the rear. Throughout the build, I used 1x1 square tubing which is easy to weld and work with.
This is what I used to create the square frames in which the mounting brackets were welded into to hold the rear axle bearings. These square frames were welded into the frame, then the end I cut off was welded to the back. The minimum height requirements for my class is 4" from the frame to the ground. So its important to know what size wheels you plan to use and where to mount the axles in order to meet that requirement. The lower you can go, the better handling the mower will be.
Mine site just at 4" off the ground. Next, I welded two lengths of square tubing along the top of the axle brackets to the front tubular frame.
I did this because the transmission will go underneath. A piece of diamond plate will cover it, and above will be the seat. This will give me easy access to servicing the chain and transmission and also protect me from flying debris or potential chain failures.
I am using a right angle gearbox for this build. Because the other choice is to use a speed gearbox used as standard equipment on mowers. These work fine, but it also means you'll have to change the grease in them and perhaps invest in hardened gears since the originals will strip out much easier. With a right angle gear box, or RAGB, there's only two moving parts. Plus, they are made for higher speed applications and therefor perfectly suited for this application.
More simplicity means more reliability. Additionally, I am using a centrifugal clutch. This is a higher quality, higher HP rated unit that is heavier duty than typical go-cart clutches. The springs can be adjusted for higher or lower engagement.
The next step is one of the most important of the build. Many people go out on the track with the stock steering setup. That's a big mistake for a number of reasons. For one, the stock components aren't made for going 50MPH, as is none of the other stock components. Secondly, there's more to steering besides making the wheels turn.
You also need to have the proper caster, pitch, and turning radius so that the chassis will handle corners better. Most mowers come with a gear driven steering setup. These are worthless and tend to pop out of place. So you'll need to make a "direct steering" system. In other words, a solid connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels.
For this build, I bought a pre-built front axle from a guy in Texas. He has a small business called " Acme mowersports" and can be found at www. His front axles are a good deal because even if you were to build your own, the cost would be only slightly less.
With the Acme axle, the proper caster and degree of inclination are already built-in, which will save you lots of time. These come with the radius arms as well as connections for the steering axle, which on mine runs down the center of the front of the mower over the top of the engine. Next up is the installation of the steering shaft running along the front of the frame. This mower has an unusual setup where the steering linkage runs over the top of the engine.
An a arm runs from the steering wheel pitman arm to a shaft running down the front of the frame to the radius arms of the front axle spindles. On each end, I placed a bearing in which the steering shaft fits through. The top of the front steering shaft has a removable lever to attach the piece of linkage coming from the steering wheel.
This enables you to remove it if needed. If you look at the pic entitled "pitman arm detail", this is the steering wheel shaft with the pitman arm welded on.
As you can see, the arm on the end is rounded and has three holes. There's a reason for this, which is to prevent the heim joints, which are the screw-on ball bearing pieces on the ends of the rods from binding.
The reason for the three holes is to give you adjustments to the steering sensitivity. Further out gives you more slack.