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That'll be the day...
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I have hillside mowing as well and I opted to stay away from Zero-Turn for the exact reasons you mentioned, OP. After a lot of research and finding an awesome clearance deal at a Sears Store closing down, I got this tractor.

Not only is the tractor style much more stable on off-camber, but having the locking rear differential is invaluable. If you don't have a locking rear differential, the free wheel will just spin. It's a little pricey, but it also has a Kawasaki engine that will last forever.

I highly, highly recommend.



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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
If you want a real slope mower look up ventrac mowers. I have used them on very very steep side slopes. So steep the front and rear dual wheels would start to slide on dry ground. Be prepared when you see the price.


Mogli, check this out , my dream machine , every farm woman should have one :


I am sure that gorgeous beast is out of my budget . But that is a dream machine with attachment for other chores too !!!

Here is the price list for the Ventrac 4500 and attachments :

 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
I have hillside mowing as well and I opted to stay away from Zero-Turn for the exact reasons you mentioned, OP. After a lot of research and finding an awesome clearance deal at a Sears Store closing down, I got this tractor.

Not only is the tractor style much more stable on off-camber, but having the locking rear differential is invaluable. If you don't have a locking rear differential, the free wheel will just spin. It's a little pricey, but it also has a Kawasaki engine that will last forever.

I highly, highly recommend.



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Big_John, this Husquvarna is the affordable unit that I looked at our nearest dealer , has the best deck clearance to mow a bit higher in the pasture . At least 3/4 of an inch higher than the other models . I wish that the raised seat was an option instead of standard on that model since other than visibility in front of the machine it diminishes the lower centre of gravity for stability, maybe not much? . They have a mulching kit which I personally prefer most of the time to bagging . This is my far most likely purchace , though now I will forever be sucking on my teeth for a Ventrac 4500 .
 

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MyPrepperLife
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4,264 Posts
I have hillside mowing as well and I opted to stay away from Zero-Turn for the exact reasons you mentioned, OP. After a lot of research and finding an awesome clearance deal at a Sears Store closing down, I got this tractor.

Not only is the tractor style much more stable on off-camber, but having the locking rear differential is invaluable. If you don't have a locking rear differential, the free wheel will just spin. It's a little pricey, but it also has a Kawasaki engine that will last forever.

I highly, highly recommend.



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Big_John, can you explain a little about why the locking rear differential is of benefit to you? I am often in a situation where one of the back wheels on my John Deere 190C lawn tractor ends up spinning. The wheel spins because it isn't touching the ground, which happens when there is a rut or hole under that wheel. I understand that the locking differential would prevent the wheel from spinning, but the wheel still would not touch the ground, so I don't get why the locking differential is a good thing.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #65 · (Edited)
Big_John, can you explain a little about why the locking rear differential is of benefit to you? I am often in a situation where one of the back wheels on my John Deere 190C lawn tractor ends up spinning. The wheel spins because it isn't touching the ground, which happens when there is a rut or hole under that wheel. I understand that the locking differential would prevent the wheel from spinning, but the wheel still would not touch the ground, so I don't get why the locking differential is a good thing.
This happened to me repeatedly yesterday on an Arien lawn mower , where I am trying to lean way over one side to see if I can get enough weight on the tire to have traction where I had to turn at the bottom or top of a slope .

I installed a new starter on my John Deere and went out and first mow of the season trashed the fan blades I just installed a month ago in preparation of mowing season . Frig it . I will not bother , the fan part is cheap, the time it takes to install it cannot be spared when it self destructs each time I use it because the design works on the flat, but the moment I start to go down hill the belt aligns differently enough that it catches the fan and self destructs . The John Deere that I have literally fails to function worth a darn once I get on any slope .
 

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MyPrepperLife
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...I installed a new starter on my John Deere and went out and first mow of the season trashed the fan blades I just installed a month ago in preparation of mowing season . Frig it . I will not bother , the fan part is cheap, the time it takes to install it cannot be spared when it self destructs each time I use it because the design works on the flat, but the moment I start to go down hill the belt aligns differently enough that it catches the fan and self destructs . The John Deere that I have literally fails to function worth a darn once I get on any slope .
That's interesting, Hilltopper, and it's disappointing for you, of course. As I've said, I have many hills and valleys on my property, and my John Deere 190C functions really well on the hills.. As I've also explained, I do sometimes get into a situation where one of the rear wheels is spinning, but I'm always able to free up the tractor by myself.

There are a few places on my land where the hills are really steep. I've just decided not to mow those areas. I'm allowing trees and brush to grow in those areas.

What model John Deere do you have?
 

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MyPrepperLife
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Hilltopper, have you thought about using a hand-held string trimmer/brush cutter in the areas that are difficult to mow, instead of trying to mow those areas?
 

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I'm not "Big John" but the reason it matters (in your example) is while the off ground wheel will still turn the other wheel would "lock" and turn moving the machine and getting the off wheel back on the ground (IOW both rear wheels pull in unison e.g. they're locked together via the diff lock)

Hopefully that is a bit more clear than mud?

Big_John, can you explain a little about why the locking rear differential is of benefit to you? I am often in a situation where one of the back wheels on my John Deere 190C lawn tractor ends up spinning. The wheel spins because it isn't touching the ground, which happens when there is a rut or hole under that wheel. I understand that the locking differential would prevent the wheel from spinning, but the wheel still would not touch the ground, so I don't get why the locking differential is a good thing.
 

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MyPrepperLife
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I'm not "Big John" but the reason it matters (in your example) is while the off ground wheel will still turn the other wheel would "lock" and turn moving the machine and getting the off wheel back on the ground (IOW both rear wheels pull in unison e.g. they're locked together via the diff lock)

Hopefully that is a bit more clear than mud?
I still don't get it. When I have time, I'll look for a video that demonstrates what you've explained.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Oh we have plenty of areas where we weed eat , it is bloody exhausting but has to done in a number of areas .
Goat on a zipline :
361986



Goats tied to eat lawn :

361995

Horses used to eat down the lawn :

361993


361994
 

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I still don't get it. When I have time, I'll look for a video that demonstrates what you've explained.
Without the diff lock the tire/wheel with least resistance will spin- With the lock they both turn equally keeping you moving in the correct direction IOW instead of only one rear tire pulling they both pull together
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Without the diff lock the tire/wheel with least resistance will spin- With the lock they both turn equally keeping you moving in the correct direction IOW instead of only one rear tire pulling they both pull together
What if you can literally see that one back tire is off the ground just rotating in the air ? Does the back tire in contact with the ground lock and that forces the other tire back on the ground? This is the part where I am frantically trying to hang off the mower over the side the tire is not on the ground .
 

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Premium Member
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The locking differential transfers power from the wheel with less/no traction to the other wheel
Very useful
That is why off-roaders have lockers
Trucks, tractors, Jeep’s, atvs, side by sides, whatever
 

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MyPrepperLife
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Hilltopper, I see that your goats do the "mowing" in areas where you can't go with the tractor

BTW, your blue grow bags or plant pots or whatever they are look very attractive.

Major - thanks for the video link, but what's shown in the video isn't illustrative of the problem described by Hilltopper and me. In the video, it looks like the right rear wheel is spinning because it's on some slippery grass; however, it appears that wheel is actually in contact with the grass. My issue, though, is that sometimes one of the rear wheels is literally several inches above the grass, so I'm not sure how the locking differential would benefit me. Same with Hilltopper.

UNLESS the idea is that the wheel that isn't slipping gets more power with the locked differential (as Jack Swilling described), and because of that the tractor is able to move forward in spite of the fact that only one rear wheel is on the ground.
 

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UNLESS the idea is that the wheel that isn't slipping gets more power with the locked differential (as Jack Swilling described), and because of that the tractor is able to move forward in spite of the fact that only one rear wheel is on the ground.
Exactly, the power is transferred to the wheel that is NOT spinning giving you traction.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
I found that very helpful, so I am looking to the tire spinning in the air, the other tire has stopped? Than the energy is sent to that wheel to boost it into bearing and moving the load till the other wheel is back in traction . That is going to be a definite 'must have ' feature .
 
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