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mongson

Hills and Angles

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mongson
I will be mowing on our new lawn for the first time this spring. Our yard butts up against a lake and there are several hills and angles in the yard. Some questions: What things do I need to do to ensure that I won't tip over? How can I determine if I might tip over? Is there any modifications that I will need to make to the tractor? 1997 Regent 14G.

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DaveM
1)Dual tires will help (but will probably make tractor wider than the deck). 2)When at all possible, only mow up and down the hills, not across them. 3)If you have to mow across the side of a hill, try to put as much of your body weight to the "high side" as possible (by leaning). 4)Practice grabbing the lever to stop the blades and jumping off of tractor at the same time (good distance is a plus). 5)Find your religion. Well, the first three, anyway. DaveM

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thedaddycat
Filling the tires with windshield washer fluid will add weight and lower the center of gravity. Wheel weights will do the same. I have one tractor set up with filled 23X8.50-12 ag tires, fluid filled with 75# of wheel weights. They go for 150# per wheel set up that way and help hold a side hill fairly well...

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Dutch
Mowing up & down rather than across is wisest (just be sure you can stop). Lowering the center of gravity as stated above helps. There are gadgets available that indicate the tractor angle. You could even install outriggers like bicycle training wheels. Above all, use common sense and pay attention. Almost every time I went too far and over the limit, I knew in advance that I was pushing the envelope.

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mongson
Thanks for the replies. I sort of had a gut feeling about that pushing the envelope option. I plan on taking it in for service before the grass grows. In addition to an oil change, blade sharpening, deck conditioning, brake job I was thinking of having weights installed. Anything else anyone would suggest would be great. Thanks.

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D-17_Dave
quote:
Originally posted by dutch
You could even install outriggers like bicycle training wheels.
Dutch, do you have some pics or drawings of these outriggers? I need a set so I can use them for row markers so the wife won't get too close to anything:D

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BLT
If you have some severe angles, you might want to check your operators manual to find out what are the safe operating angles of your mower. This is important so you don't starve your crankshaft of lubricants and shuck a rod and not know why.

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BigSix
The site I give a link to at the end of this post is excellent, includes diagrams and discusses the Center of Gravity in a tractor, and it's role in rollovers. The article is good and there are many other, related articles located in the same place, if you back up one level toward the source website. In addition to the mods mentioned by others here, sit on the high side fender. Also, watch your front wheel on the high side for lift, to gauge when it's getting too light, as a doublecheck on your feel for balance. Above all, train yourself to always turn to the downhill side, (quickly!) when crossing a sidehill, if you feel/see you're starting to tip. This is harder than it sounds, as it may be the way you never go, i.e., toward the mailbox, duckpond, etc..., all of which are preferable to rolling (...provided you can swim, of course ;)). The point is, if you're just starting to tip, and you turn uphill, you will only accelerate your rollover. If you turn downhill, you will retard and possibly reverse the impending rollover, so you can head straight downhill and (hopefully) stop. If this is very obvious, I appologize, but I believe some might react on instinct, which I think is to head uphill, away from the way you're falling. With tractors, going downhill, while counterintuitive as you will go faster this way, is the way out of rollover trouble, generally. Also, when I sit on the left fender, I have trouble reaching the clutch pedal (on the right) with the same degree of countrol as when seated normally. For non-hydro tractors, practice pressing the clutch fully for a stop, from the "sidesaddle" position, as sometimes even a small bump will cause the tractor to heave, if you're already "pushing it" in terms of a possible rollover. Being able to slip the clutch in 1st to go slower, and/or to stop quickly, can also bring the front end down, if the lift is moderate, even without the emergency downhill turn. In the same vein, be wary of getting into wheelspin when sidehilling, say when turning uphill (which, per the above, you shouldn't be doing anyway...). If you have a spinning wheel that suddenly "hooks up" this can lighten the front end momentarily. If you were already close to a rollover, this could push you over the edge. This is another reason to make your turns downhill, in the first place, at least until you're confident you know where your rollover limit is on that terrain/tractor. Here is a link to the Tractor Safety site on the CDC's website that I mention above: [url]http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000701-d000800/d000746/d000746.html[/url]

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Charlieson
I live on the side of a hill. I spend most of my time sitting on one side of the seat or the other. Havent had a tractor flip over yet. I actually wear the seats out on the sides. I told the wife that the next house we get is going to have level ground. ddh

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