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Mowing the lawn is important to keep your grass healthy and green, but sometimes it can be tricky. This is especially the case when your yard has a slope. To not pose a risk to your safety, how steep of a slope can you mow?
With a push mower, a slope that is between 15 and 20 degrees can be mowed. A lighter mower will be easier to steer on slopes and it is best to mow across the slope, rather than up and down it. A ride-on mower with power steering will allow you to mow at a greater angle, but it can be more dangerous.
Let’s go through all that you need to know about mowing on a slope!
Mowing on a slope – how to get the best results
Most push mowers will be suitable for a slope of 15-20 degrees, but always consult your mower manual to be certain. You will find that there aren’t many mowers that will handle more than 20 degrees. Ride-on mowers should not be used for anything above 15 degrees unless it has been specifically designed for more. Not all ride-on mowers are built for slopes, so be sure to check before you buy it.
To get the best results when mowing on a slope when using a ride-on mower, you should only mow up and down the slope. This decreases the chance of your mower toppling over. The only time you can consider using a ride-on mower to mow across the slope instead of up is if it has four-wheel steering. Make sure you test the brakes before you start mowing and go slowly. Avoid starting and stopping on a slope because you risk having the mower roll.
Remember that most ride-on mowers shouldn’t be used for slopes steeper than 15 degrees. However, there are some designed for up to 20 degrees, like the Rover RZT S 46 Zero Turn Lawn Mower.
If you’re purchasing a push mower for mowing your slope, you should look for a light mower because it’s easier to handle on an angle. A two-stroke mower is better than a four-stroke one but can be harder to find because of the emission they release. They will handle a steeper slope, closer to 20 degrees.
When using a push mower to mow a slope, you should mow across the lawn instead of up and down. It’s more efficient and reduces the chance of the mower rolling backwards and becoming more of a danger to you.
Shift the height of the mower up for best results. Be sure to check for potholes or divots before you begin.
Never mow a slope in the wet! This is extremely dangerous, and we don’t want you in harm’s way.
Why mowing a slope steeper than 20 degrees is dangerous
Mowing a slope steeper than 20 degrees can seriously damage your lawnmower. Most push mowers are 4-stroke mowers which means that they have an oil reservoir.
Mowing across a slope steeper than 20 degrees with this kind of mower alternates between flooding the air filter and muffler with oil. This causes smoke clouds to come from the mower because of the flooded muffler. You will also find that the air filter stops working. This disperses the oil and lowers the amount of oil in the sump of the mower. Less oil means your mower engine is more likely to overheat. This can cause the mower to seize and damage its functions.
The other reasons why mowing a slope steeper than 20 degrees is dangerous include the risk of overturning a ride-on mower. This puts you at risk of being trapped under the mower and getting injured.
If a slope is too steep for your mower, you should consider using a quality whipper snipper instead of a mower. It can be more time-consuming, but you won’t be in as much danger.
Factors affecting how safe it is to mow on a slope
There are many different factors that you might have to consider when operating a lawnmower on a slope. Take all of these into account before attempting to mow on a slope:
- The angle of the slope.
- The type of equipment you are using and if it can handle the slope.
- The weight of the machine.
- How much grass is being cut at one time.
- Type of terrain (dirt, gravel, etc.)
Dangers associated with trying to mow too steep of a slope
If you try to mow a slope too steep for your lawnmower, you risk causing yourself major harm. There are lots of dangers associated with mowing on a slope, including the increased risk of slipping and falling. If you fall, you will lose control of the mower and it could roll back over you. If the lawnmower loses traction, it could easily slide down the slope. Pushing a lawnmower across a hill also sues more physical effort which can make you fatigued. If you’re fatigued, you are at more of a risk of being injured.
If you’re using a ride-on mower and attempt to mow a slope too steep for it, you risk overturning the mower.
Preparing to mow on a slope
There are many things that can go wrong when mowing a slope, so it’s important to take all necessary precautions beforehand. Here are some tips for staying safe while mowing on a slope:
- Always use good judgement. If you’re not comfortable with the angle of the slope, then don’t attempt to mow it.
- Make sure your equipment is in good condition and that all safety features are working properly. Get your lawnmower serviced to be sure.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watch out for holes, rocks, or other obstacles that could cause you to lose control of your machine.
- Stay hydrated and take breaks as needed. Mowing on a slope can be physically demanding, so make sure to take care of yourself while doing it.
Can I adjust the height of my blade if I’m going up a slope?
You should adjust the height of your blade if you’re going to mow a slope. This helps to control the speed and direction of your lawnmower. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to adjust the height of the blade. Not all lawnmowers have a feature where the blade height can be adjusted. If this is the case, don’t mow up a slope.
What should I do if my lawnmower starts to slide?
If you notice that your lawnmower is sliding down a slope or you lose traction on the hillside, release the blade clutch immediately. This will stop all motion but still allow you to control your lawnmower with the brakes. Once everything has come to a complete stop, slowly turn off your equipment and check for any damage before starting it again. If your mower continues to slide, stop mowing on the slope.
Sliding can cause serious injury if the lawn mower overturns. You need to use the breaks to stop it as soon as possible. But come to a slow halt so that there isn’t any speed that could cause it to flip.
Looking for more mowing advice? We have plenty of tips in our resources to help you out! We can tell you how to cut long grass without killing it and what the best time to mow your lawn is. For the best quality gardening and landscaping tools, check out our Canberra Diamond Blade Suppliers products!