The Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hilly Terrain

Updated February 21, 2017

The operator of a lawnmower can easily lose control on hilly terrain, which can result in the mower turning over and the operator being hurt or even killed. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that loss of stability is one of the most common hazards of riding mowers. A mower with a low profile and low centre of gravity is less likely to roll over, according to the Grounds Maintenance website.

Cub Cadet Z-Force S Rider

The Cub Cadet Z-Force S Rider zero-turn lawnmower has a low centre of gravity for use on uneven ground, hills and slopes, according to the Cub Cadet website. It also has a dual hydrostatic transmission and four-wheel steering for additional traction control.

Snapper 285Z Series

The Snapper 285Z series of zero-turn riding mowers have a low profile and a low centre of gravity. Hydrostatic transaxles and a pivoting front axle allow the operator to precisely control and manoeuvre the mower.

Swisher ZT2450A

The Swisher ZT2450A zero-turn riding mower has a pivoting front axle for maneuverability, in addition to a low profile and centre of gravity for stability. Large rear tires add extra traction and stability.

Safety Tips

If a riding mower tips over, the operator can be caught under the machine, thrown off or run over, resulting in serious injuries or death. These tips can help you safely operate a riding mower on hilly terrain:

The mower is more likely to tip over sideways on a hill or slope, so always mow up and down hill.

Do not mow on wet grass, because the tires will lose traction. Do not use attachments on the mower, as they will affect the stability of the machine

Mow in a low ground speed and avoid shifting or stopping on a hill or slope. Sudden changes in speed or direction may cause the mower to roll over.

Avoid holes, ruts, bumps, rocks or other objects that can cause the mower to overturn. Also, avoid ditches, embankments or drop-offs where a tire can slide off solid ground and cause the mower to roll over.

Do not use your foot to stabilise the mower. If you have a problem, steer straight downhill. This may prevent the mower from overturning. Do not steer uphill, because the front of a mower will tip over easier than the back.

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About the Author

Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.