If you’re a homeowner struggling to mow the slopes on your property, it could be time to take your operation to the next level with a versatile lawn tractor. Lawn tractors and residential riding mowers increase efficiency and cut mowing time by allowing you to put down the push mower and let the machine do the work for you.
Before you begin mowing your sloped landscape with a powerful lawn tractor, it’s important to know how to drive a tractor on a hill. Despite sharing a few key qualities, lawn tractors, particularly when operated on slopes, differ greatly than traditional push mowers. As you start your search for a new machine, check out our lawn mower safety tips for mowing on hills and see what our experts recommend for the best lawn tractors on hills.
MOW WITH EASE
No matter which series or model you choose, the operation of a riding mower or lawn tractor differs greatly from that of a push mower. Follow these steps to make sure you stay safe on your hilly landscape mowing job and maintain tractor stability on slopes.
Dos and Don’ts of Operating a Riding Mower on a Hill
- Do add weights to the front of your lawn tractor before mowing for increased stability on hills
- Do clear the area of rocks, toys, wiring, and other obstacles to prevent materials being thrown by blades
- Don’t mow horizontally; mow straight up and down the hill to avoid tipping over
- Don’t shift into neutral when you’re on the down-grade of a slope to avoid losing control of the tractor as it rolls downhill
- Don’t stop your lawn tractor in the middle of the hill to avoid backsliding, and especially to avoid tipping
- Do operate your mower at a low speed on the slope for greater traction and response time
- Don’t change directions on your machine until you reach the flat area at the top or bottom of the hill
- Don’t mow on wet grass or soft ground, in case of slippage
- Do trust your gut – if a slope looks unsafe to mow or you feel uncomfortable mowing your hill, don’t mow it yourself!
If you follow these simple tips and tricks, operating your riding mower on a hill will be safe and increase productivity. You can benefit from a perfectly landscaped lawn without the added effort of a push mower. Now that you know how to safely operate a lawn tractor on a slope, see what lawn tractor models our experts recommend for sloped mowing.
The John Deere X380 offers large wheels and tires, a 22HP engine, and a 54-in. deck option, all of which make this riding mower capable of tackling uneven terrains and sloped lawns. The X380 also has a strong transmission that makes climbing hills and towing a trailer safe and easy to accomplish.
The X380 is the right option for homeowners with light to moderate slopes who want to invest in a sturdy lawn tractor that will get the job done without costing a fortune.
- 48- or 54-in. mower deck option for cleaner blade cuts
- Twin Touch™ hydrostatic transmission
- 4-year or 300-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty
John Deere X500 Series mowers tackle tough landscaping jobs with their low-effort steering, and the durable steel frame creates increased mower stability on steeper hills. With heavy-duty tires and a large transaxle, the X500 series lawn tractor takes slope mowing up a notch without sacrificing safety or durability.
The X570 has two deck sizes – 42-in. and 48-in. – that allow you to cover more ground on your property in less time. With a 24HP power system and an optional MulchControl Kit, the X570 combines power and precision to take on your sloped lawn.
- Hydrostatic transaxle with traction assist
- 4-year or 500-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty
- Lever action and electric one-touch MulchControl™ options available
For the steepest mowing jobs, the John Deere X700 series offers four-wheel drive and electronic fuel injection to maximize productivity and strength. The X739 offers full-time 4-wheel drive and 4-wheel steering, as well as heavy-duty tires to be able to maintain stability while ascending and descending slopes on your property.
The 25.5HP capabilities of the X739 is approved for commercial use and provides the most powerful engine to tackle the steepest slopes. With the option for heavy-duty attachments, the X739 can take on landscaping jobs year-round, from hill mowing to snow plowing.
- 54-in. mower deck for the cleanest cuts
- V-Twin liquid-cooled power system with electronic fuel injection
- Rubber engine mounts for lower noise and vibration-free operation
- Low exhaust emissions to meet EPA clean air standards
- High-capacity 20-amp alternator battery charging system
At Papé Machinery, it’s our top priority to keep you safe while you operate your lawn tractor. Our experts will help you find the right riding mower that works best for your landscape, regardless of tough terrain.
Whether you’re a homeowner with a light slope or a daunting hill, we offer the best lawn tractors for a range of conditions so you can tackle your mowing job safely and effectively. Contact a Papé Machinery dealer near you for a quote on our versatile lawn tractors.