How To Mow A Steep Hill With A Riding Mower

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Pushing conventional push mowers on steep sloping hills will make you tired quickly. Therefore, a riding mower is a preferable slope mower for people since they require the least human effort.

However, due to inclines, riding a vehicle, especially a riding mower for steep hills is never easy. Of course, the difficulty does not mean impossibility. To learn how to mow a steep hill with a riding mower, just spend a few minutes reading top tips!

How to Mow A Steep Hill with A Riding Mower

Prepare carefully before mowing

As we mentioned from the top of the article, riding a mower on a hilly terrain is not a straightforward work. This may pose some potential threats if you do not take safety measures before you start mowing.

First of all, thoroughly inspect the hill you are going to before you do anything else. If you detect obstructions such as branches, stones, sticks, or so on, try to remove all of them (a snow blower may help).

If you cannot do anything to get rid of these dangerous obstacles, locate their positions, and try to avoid coming in contact with them when you ride on mowers.

Besides, watch out for dangerous spots on and around your lawn, too. Holes, lumps, or rocks can be deadly traps that make your riding lawn mower tip over.

You have to keep away from the edges of embankments and ponds because the soil near these locations can be waterlogged and loose, hence mowing near them may tip your riding mower.

(This is why self-propelled push mowers are not recommended. Only operating manual mowers can avoid threats)

After making sure that you will not meet troubles with impediments and hazardous positions, you still need to prepare one more thing before you are ready to cut grass on the hill.

Adjust the height of your riding mower to its maximum to prevent the vehicle from scalping your yard hence and leaving bald patches there.

Nonetheless, if the grass you have to cut is too long, lower the height of the mower a bit, just sufficient to eliminate the longer sections.

Don’t overlook this step because it is actually the foremost step here. We bet that you will not like it when you and your vehicle are overturned and roll down from the hill.

Failure to detect obstacles on the hill can lead to serious accidents
Failure to detect obstacles on the hill can lead to serious accidents

Proceed slowly and know when to stop

Be cautious instead of hasty. It is necessary for you to spend extra time when mowing hills. Well, make sure that there will be no brake fail so that you are able to stop the vehicle anytime if necessary.

And if you find that the front tires are not creating grooves when you ride the mower uphill, let’s turn to ride the machine downhill slowly. If the front end appears to go up, it is sure that the weight of the back wheels will pull it downhill.

Bear in mind that you ought to never stop, start, or turn directly on the slope. Don’t do this until you are on a higher section of the ground.

Move up and down the steep hill (not side-to-side)

When it comes to using a riding mower (particularly zero turn mowers) on a steep hill, moving up and down the hillside is both safer and easier than moving side to side.

Thereby, you manage to avoid rolling or sliding sideways down from the hill. Still, if your hill is exceedingly steep, merely mow down the hill but not going up.

Hence, it is vital for you to have a broad berth nearby to return to the peak of your hill. And of course, the pathway you select must not be too steep.

Any spot that is too high or hard to reach may be solved with hedge trimmers.

Proper mowing conditions

After you have known the right technique to handle slopes, find a suitable time to mow your hill with your self propelled riding lawn mower or garden tractor.The ideal time to mow steep slopes is when the weather is dry, and the sun reaches its peak in the day so that the slope is not wet or slippery, and the brightness is perfect.

You should mow the hill on a bright and dry day
You should mow the hill on a bright and dry day

Even a small area of shade on the hill can make it hard for you to detect obstacles and jeopardies in front of your eyes in time. Additionally, apart from making the surface that you are riding on slippery, wet grass is heavier and easier to clog up your mower than dry grass.

Hence, mowing wet grass is never recommended no matter you are mowing steep hills with a reel mower, self propelled push mower, ride on mower, zeroturn mower, or any selfpropelled mowers.

Don’t be too subjective and rush to mow the hill at other times as it relates directly to your safety. Bear in mind the words “dry”, “good traction”, and “brightness” all the time to mow your slope safely!

Read more:  How To Choose The Best Corded Electric Lawn Mower

Which riding mower is best on hills?

After all, there is no point in taking the right technique and choosing the proper time for mowing slopes without a great mower for hills.

To optimize your work efficiency and safety, you must own an excellent riding mower. Although each circumstance may have different requirements, the best riding slope and brush mowers should all have a few things in common as follows:

Smooth acceleration and stopping via hydrostatic transmission:

On a hill, you often need to accelerate to overcome some tough paths and stop to avoid contacting with obstacles. As a result, a mower designed with a high-performance hydrostatic transmission system for smooth acceleration and stopping is critical.

Traction tires:

You know how slippery it might be to move on a slope, don’t you? That’s also why your commercial mower should feature traction tires to be more adhesive to the ground and avoid slipping.

Plenty of power:

Given that you will need to reach the top of a steep hill, power is indispensable. A heavy-duty riding mower is your best companion if the hill is very high and steep.

Even weight distribution:

If the machine is too heavy on some specific parts like rear wheels, you can hardly move forward, backward, turn, or control speed. Therefore, it had better come in uniform weight distribution.


Do you see it? That’s how to mow a steep hill with a riding mower. There are risks, but there are ways of tackling them, too.

Buy a good mower, find an appropriate time and condition, and use the right technique as we guide you. Then, everything will be alright.

Thanks for reading!

Source: Gardening 101

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