With the world’s focus on sustainability, many consumers are looking for alternative lawn care solutions. Stand on mowers are a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to keep lawns healthy and attractive, but their performance on hills is a concern for many homeowners.
While stand on mowers are not ideal for hills, they can be used safely and effectively with the right techniques and precautions.
What Makes Mowing Hills More Difficult?
Mowing hills can present several challenges, both for safety and for the equipment itself. The first and most obvious consideration is safety; mowing on a steep grade increases the risk of injury, both to the operator as well as bystanders nearby. The machine itself may also have difficulty maintaining traction and handling sharp turns at high speeds, even when equipped with safety features like anti-slip technology. The uneven surface can also create air pockets that halt the machine and cause it to tip over if not handled correctly.
What to Look for in a Stand On Mower?
When it comes to purchasing a stand on mower, a few features are valuable when tackling hills. Of course, the power of the machine will be paramount. Look for a model that has a high level of horsepower, as well as a wide working width, so that it can cover a greater surface area at once. Not only will this help you finish the job quickly, but it will also reduce the amount of time spent on a steep incline which is the riskiest part of mowing hills.
Although all models vary, the best ones for hills include those that have a low center of gravity, which can reduce tipping and better manage terrain. Handrails, tethers, and seat belts are also critical components for safety, as they provide an extra sense of security and stability when working on an incline.
How to Stay Safe while Mowing Hills?
Using a stand on mower on hills requires additional safety precautions and techniques. Of course, the most important safety measure is following all manufacturer guidelines and keeping an eye out for uneven terrain and dips. Manufacturers often recommend going no faster than 3-5 miles per hour on an incline, and never going up or down a slope for more than two consecutive passes.
It’s also important to adjust the speed of the machine to the terrain, or you could lose traction and control of the mower. Lastly, make sure to look behind you every few feet while mowing so you can detect any pedestrians or animals in your path.
Using a Stand On Mower on Hills
When it comes to using stand on mowers on hills, the most important thing to remember is to always go downhill with the mower. Going uphill increases the chances of tipping, while going downhill will help the machine maintain traction. Also, slow down when approaching any sharp turns and use handrails or seat belts for extra support if necessary.
For the best results and safest operation, stand on mowers should only be used on hills with a grade of 10 degrees or less. For grades higher than 10 degrees, consider enlisting the help of a professional landscaper or investing in a riding mower with a higher center of gravity.
Additional Tips for Mowing Hills with Stand On Mowers:
- Make sure to wear proper safety gear, including gloves and protective footwear.
- Keep pedestrians and animals away from the area when mowing hills.
- Monitor the mower’s temperature, and allow it to cool down between passes.
- Sharpen the blades regularly to ensure a clean cut.
- Replace any worn-out parts or attachments to minimize risk.
Though stand on mowers may not be the ideal choice for hills, they can still be used with the right techniques and precautions. Be sure to follow all manufacturer guidelines and safety protocols, as well as make sure that the machine is in good working order. Additionally, for hills with a grade greater than 10 degrees, it is best to enlist the help of a professional landscaper or purchase a riding mower.