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Old 07-13-2010, 02:52 AM   #1
TravisL
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Default Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

I've got a nasty little ditch, it's not that big but pretty darn steep. I've been able to mow 90 percent of it with my 318 w/ 46" deck, but the front end does try to slide down and frankly it is rather unsafe. I could weight it down and do better perhaps, but it really is kind of hard on the deck getting through it. Any ideas? I seriously am thinking about an old snapper RER, maybe put some chains and weight it down? I'd really like to consider buying a zero turn with a larger deck than the 318 but I know there is no possible way one would mow this darn ditch I've got. Push mowing is is impractical as well, it'll slide down the bank and its to long to go down and up 3000x.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

If your sliding it sounds too dangerous to me.
My ideas:
1. Weed eater, some of them have fussy carburators and stinky emissions.
2. Weed eater 4 legged and it goes ba aa aa. No fussy carburators, they might eat your homework and turn them into stinky emissions and leave a few little brown momentos here and there.
3. Let it go back to nature
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Pictures would help, but it sounds like the ditch is too steep for a riding machine. A RER like an old Snapper would be the last thing I'd try to mow a ditch with. If a push mower can't do it, it's time to suck it up and get a string trimmer. It might take a while, depending on the size of the ditch, but would be the safest. I have a ditch in front of my house, along the highway, that I have to trim this way. It's about 75 feet, takes me maybe 15-20 minutes with a string trimmer.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Get a small push mower and connect it to the 318 via rope or cables so you can just drive the 318 forward and backward on the flat ground near the ditch, and you let out a little more rope or cable on each pass so the push mower does a new section of the ditch incline on each pass.

My dad did sort of the same thing with a short steep hill that we had in our back yard when I was a kid. He tied a rope to the rear of the deck, between the rear wheels of our push mower, and he stood on the flat ground at the top of the hill and lowered and raised the mower up and down the hill over and over, moving over the width of the mower each time. I always thought that it would be quicker to tie the rope to the side of the deck and walk back and forth along the length of the top edge of the hill, letting out a little more rope on each pass.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Get a commercial walk behind mower, they come in all different deck sizes, you`ll get a oil pump and filter with one. Or save your 318 for the other areas and get a good used commercial walk behind, they are out there. A gear/belt drive would be alright as long as you don`t try to pull a sulky with it, while on that slope. You may even be able to find a good used one that is a hydro, there better then the gear/belt drive.

Here`s an example on this page 2nd down from the top, I`d look for one equipped with a Kohler or Kawasaki or Honda motor, the Briggs would be alright if it had a oil filter and pump, not my favorite motor, only reason it`s not commercial grade where it life time hours could exceed 2000, with proper care.

A zero turn would be useless on a slope like your, there is only one zero turn mower thats made for slopes, its called the Gizmow, this zero turn comes with a steering wheel and a very high price tag. If you have never seen a Gizmow before this video is worth watching. Here`s the Gizmow in action, first video will show you how the caster wheel are controlled by the steering wheel, you may even notice that the front end tends to slide a little but it`s has better the other zero turn mowers out there that use motion control levers. I think the smallest deck size on a Gizmow is 52" largest is 61"

http://www.gizmow.com/videos-photos.htm

Or do this....... LOL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbmRexwgKaY
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

plant ground cover.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john9001 View Post
plant ground cover.
Best idea, Crown Vetch.

"Get a small push mower and connect it to the 318 via rope or cables so you can just drive the 318 forward and backward on the flat ground near the ditch, and you let out a little more rope or cable on each pass so the push mower does a new section of the ditch incline on each pass."

I've seen this done, use a 2 stroke such as a Lawn Boy.

"you`ll get a oil pump and filter with one. "

Always amazes me how people think an engine with an oil pump will magically pull oil out of thin air.

Walt Conner
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

another idea is to just spray it. use 2,4-d or some other broad leaf herbicide to knock down the worst weeds but let grass grow. you don't want to let it go bare as it will wash out. i cut as far as comfortable into the ditch along my property, then the rest i just let it go. the first couple years at this house i used roundup on it monthly, then started to notice erosion. so now i am letting it grow wild for a couple years to let some hackberry trees fill the sides. i also found out this year that i have a large section with dewberries in it, i could not keep my wife and daughters out of them when they were fruiting!
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouveau Redneck View Post
Get a small push mower and connect it to the 318 via rope or cables so you can just drive the 318 forward and backward on the flat ground near the ditch, and you let out a little more rope or cable on each pass so the push mower does a new section of the ditch incline on each pass.

My dad did sort of the same thing with a short steep hill that we had in our back yard when I was a kid. He tied a rope to the rear of the deck, between the rear wheels of our push mower, and he stood on the flat ground at the top of the hill and lowered and raised the mower up and down the hill over and over, moving over the width of the mower each time. I always thought that it would be quicker to tie the rope to the side of the deck and walk back and forth along the length of the top edge of the hill, letting out a little more rope on each pass.
I've seen the exact same thing done and was about to suggest it my self. This I would think is the safest way to do it.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Time to get one of these remote controlled tracked mowers.

http://www.remotecontrolledmower.com...ope-mower.html

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

ground cover.and forget about it .before you wind up .with the machine on top of you.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

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Old 07-13-2010, 12:11 PM   #13
TravisL
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

I'll try to get pics sometime. It's not overly wide, 3 passes on the steep side and its done, one of which feels safe, the other two not so much. It is roughly 180' long, and is a street side ditch, the street side is steep while it tapers much much softer into my yard. I'll do some looking into good ground cover though, it cant grow up in weeds the city wont allow it even though they are the ones that screwed it up.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

My Simplicity Pacer will mow that if you are slipping but barely getting through it. There is a Warning Decal "This mower will climb hills that it is not safe to be on".

I had a ditch similar to yours. One end was like vertical. Other end easier. I mowed what was easy. Then switched to weed wakker. That was faster than trying to squeeze every last bit out of the mower. Use the wakker.

I can't see buying a special mower for a ditch - do what's safe, then use the wakker.

Another EASY method is the old push reel mower - once you get through the first time, it is easy second time. Lightweight, safe, and the hill will propel it for you.
People don't know these mowers. They buy them, use them once, and sell them. Get a really old one - new ones are junk tin. Learn how to set it up. They are almost effortless after the first mow - people fail because on the first mow, they cut too short in the sheath area of the grass. (effectively scalping)
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best mower for steep hill/ditch?

Put a side boom pole on the rider and attach an old walk behind rotary push mower to the boom with chains. Then just drive back and forth extending the boom out further each time. An old 2-cycle Lawboy is perfect for that as you don't have to worry about oil level in the crankcase. Just keep the carb on the downhill side so it gets fuel.

A 4-cycle engle on an extreme slope can whip up the oil into a foam.
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