If there is anything other than logs and large debris that could be considered the bane of lawn tractors, it would be hilly terrain. Hilly terrain presents different challenges to that of flat ground when it comes to mowing and it takes equal parts tractor and equal parts operator skill to effectively navigate.
Some lawn tractors are better suited for navigating hilly terrain as they have a lower center of gravity and a wider wheel base. Also, these types of tractors have the driver positioned in the standard position as opposed to in the rear like a zero turn.
The Ubiquitous Lawn Tractor
There are numerous different configurations when it comes to lawn tractors and some are better suited for hilly terrain than others. The common technique for hilly terrain, depending on the type of hill, is to go up and down the hill as opposed to on the side of the hill.
However, this also requires a tractor that can execute said maneuver. Zero turn mowers, for example, tend to locate the operator towards the rear of the tractor, directly over the rear wheel mechanism which alters the balance and thus makes them typically unsuitable for hilly terrain.
standard lawn tractor, or the ones with the semi-centrally located operator, tends to perform better for going up and down hilly terrain and it capable of side maneuvers on hills with less than thirty degrees. Additionally, tractors that are lower to the ground, and by this meaning, the operator is closer to the ground, also tend to perform better. The same applies to those that have a wider mowing deck that have some wheel contact with the surface but often these often cost more than many budgets allow for, so many just stick with the standard types for this application.
Five Great Lawn Tractors For Hilly Terrain
New Lawn Tractor Model for Professionals
The Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Series Lawn Tractor from Troy-Bilt is their entry to the latest advancement in automatic transmission tractors. It has a 42 inch deck so it can handle both flat and hilly terrain while without requiring shifting. This makes it easier on the operator to maintain control and the soft steering allows for better overall maneuvering during operation.
The deck has dual wheels for added stability even when in difficult terrain and this model is backed by a two-year warranty. Those that use this model really like how well it performs in a variety of situations.
Advanced Lawn Tractor for the Price
The first of two Husqvarna on the list, the Husqvarna 960430211 Series Lawn Tractor performs equally well in both commercial or residential service. It has the standard Husqvarna air induction technology to pull air from the deck to allow the grass to stand up for a better and cleaner cut.
There is also a port on the deck that allows for easier deck cleaning including the cutting area and this unit uses the FAST transmission for less maintenance and automatic shifting. Those that have this model love the clean and smooth cut this model makes and the easy to handle maintenance requirements.
Best Commercial Grade Lawn Tractor
Not to be outdone, Snapper produces this Snapper SPX 22/46 Series Lawn Tractor that is equipped with a Briggs and Stratton commercial grade engine that not only requires as little maintenance as possible but it durable and reliable enough to provide years of ongoing service. It has a hydrostatic, automatic transmission and cruise control for handling large areas to be managed.
The triple blade system allows for cleaner cuts that help reduce damage to the grass and it has an electric blade engagement for added utility. Those that use this tractor really love the cruise control and the commercial grade engine.
Reliable Lawn Tractor for Different Terrains
Equipped with a floating deck, the Poulan Pro 960420185 Series Lawn Tractor is perfectly suited to all types of terrain. Also, to improve overall reliability, this model has a Briggs and Stratton engine with pressurized lubrication that not only reduces maintenance but it also keeps the engine from running hot and thus saves fuel and reduces wear, especially in hot areas.
It has an easy start system that not only starts the tractor faster but also reduces battery drain for more reliability. Those that use this model love how well this model starts and how reliable the engine and cutting surfaces are for their needs.
Low Maintenance Lawn Tractor
With a 52-inch cutting deck coupled with the spring loaded front axle, the Husqvarna 960450057 Series Lawn Tractor is perfect for all types of terrain from flat to very hilly. It uses the FAST transmission so it is automatic and it requires less maintenance, transmission wise, compared to other and older models.
The engine is a high quality engine that also has reduced maintenance requirements and this model has built in ergonomic features that reduce operator fatigue and thus allows for longer running times. It is backed by a three-year warranty that can be extended to five years and this model can be used in both commercial or residential service. People who have this model love the overall reliable performance of this model and the warranty service.
As with any new purchase, it is imperative that you read and follow all included instructions including the safe and care procedures to ensure proper operation of your lawn tractor. In addition, all appropriate safety gear should be worn during operation and realize that debris can be flung a good distance, so be aware of your surroundings at all times.