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Discussion Starter #1
I constantly see threads regarding those struggling with traction issues whether it be in snow or steep slopes. I have had a few garden tractors and the small ones truly struggled with the slopes I have. After tipping one over and another twice I decided life is more precious than that and went to large ones with 4WD and have never come close since then many years ago. BTW, the "whirling blades of death" do not stop instantly while you are turning over no matter what kind of seat switch there is.

Often many think the issue is going UP slopes when a more serious condition is going DOWN slopes as when it get very dry or wet a conventional rear end will skid one wheel and free wheel the other. At that point you had better point the nose in direction gravity is taking you and hold on for the out of control ride. Granted this is a thrill but a fairly hazardous one at that.

The mechanical front wheel drive, MFWD work excellent but will tear up grass when turning short while going downhill with the outside tire. I have just discovered that the hydro 4WD of the 7xx series is just 2nd to none. Both will easily back up the steepest slopes without spinning a tire.

The whole point of this is to emphasize the inherent risk of small machines on steep slopes.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Example of my hills. This doesn't quite show how steep this is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
While you make some good points I would suggest looking at the big picture and answer the question why are you mowing an inherently steep/dangerous slopes in the first place?
My yard is 3.8 acres and 3 acres is on the slope. It is not dangerous with the proper equipment. If you have an entry level MTD on this slope it would be quite a handful. My yard is what I have to deal with and I think I've made pretty good use of it. :thumbup1gif:
 

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I agree with everything you said.

I have a couple steep sections on my property. I’ve got a pretty good handle on it since I’ve been mowing it for 22 years now with various machines.

I now mow it all with my 2520.

I started out with a 214 when we first bought the place - all I could afford at the time. Then to a 332 which was a big help with the added weight - but still not 4WD.

Then mowed with a 757 commercial zero turn. Had to quickly learn that I had to crab along the side hills rather than going up and down. Don’t ask me how I learned that....

On the one hill that I have I keep the 2520 it in 4WD when going straight up and down but take it out at the bottom where it levels off to make my turn. That way I don’t tear up the turn turning with the front end pointing down. At the top I leave it in as the front wheels don’t have much weight on them at that point and don’t tear much. Really...it’s not hard to flip a lever to take it in and out of 4WD.

I can see how the x7xx with the full time AWD would be the perfect solution. That is what I will get if I ever get a dedicated mowing machine. In the meantime I use what I have and am thankful I have a 4WD mowing machine.
 

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I agree with the OP that small machines are not good for slopes. I used to mow the steepest parts of my property with an old toro wheel horse. I feel a good bit better about them with my 2 series. If I use 4x4, I have to take it out to turn. This is especially important for me on the bottom of the hill because I’m on pavement. I go straight up and down the hill.

The OP has a beautiful property and I wouldn’t hesitate to mow it with that machine.
 

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Hills and rolling terrain are just a fact of life in many parts of the country. Hills add danger, no doubt. But they also add beauty to many properties, such as Firewood Bandit's. Always approach hills with respect and you will be much better off than taking hills and slopes for granted, because eventually, one of them will bite you.

Mowing on hills and slopes safely requires the operator to pay attention to what they are doing and to always be thinking ahead. While much of it is common sense (which seems to be in short supply at times among certain people.....) you want to pay attention to such things as wet grass, even from the dew and also be aware of wet leaves, etc. Even ground which is clear of any snow, ice or leaves, but is frozen, is very slick because of the ground's hardness and the moisture in the ground which permits it to freeze in such climates.

Often, when someone new is considering which new machine to purchase and they are debating between a X7XX and a 1025r, the one critical question or input which is often overlooked is "What is the properties terrain which you are going to be mowing"? No question, the MFWD system of the X7x4, x7x8 with a MMM would be a superior machine for mowing Fire Bandit's Property. The hill stability is not requiring any input from the machine operator, which for a new operator is even more important.

Many have wondered if the x7xx machines are going to continue to be built with the rapid growth of the SCUT and CUT market, especially when considering the price point for each machine. For MMM mowing on hilly and varying terrain, the x7x4 machines are a superior solution because of the MFWD system and the way it functions. Not sure? Try mowing with a x7x4 machine and a SCUT or CUT and if the terrain is adequately challenging, you will see first hand the tremendous advantage of the MFWD for this use.

These are advantages to the MFWD system where you don't have to make a decision to manually engage or disengage the 4wd system. The different machines and the different systems have distinct advantages. For mowing hills and slopes with a MMM machine, the MFWD is the best system John Deere offers........and likely the best in the industry.
 

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I constantly see threads regarding those struggling with traction issues whether it be in snow or steep slopes. I have had a few garden tractors and the small ones truly struggled with the slopes I have. After tipping one over and another twice I decided life is more precious than that and went to large ones with 4WD and have never come close since then many years ago. BTW, the "whirling blades of death" do not stop instantly while you are turning over no matter what kind of seat switch there is.

Often many think the issue is going UP slopes when a more serious condition is going DOWN slopes as when it get very dry or wet a conventional rear end will skid one wheel and free wheel the other. At that point you had better point the nose in direction gravity is taking you and hold on for the out of control ride. Granted this is a thrill but a fairly hazardous one at that.

The mechanical front wheel drive, MFWD work excellent but will tear up grass when turning short while going downhill with the outside tire. I have just discovered that the hydro 4WD of the 7xx series is just 2nd to none. Both will easily back up the steepest slopes without spinning a tire.

The whole point of this is to emphasize the inherent risk of small machines on steep slopes.
Why dont you really be safe and get a 40K Ventrac-- much better on hills than your X758,( not even close) and much safer. 4WD tractors are great- but they are expensive- so pretty silly to say why doesnt everyone get 4wd. Why doesnt everyone get a GT instead of a LT? People do the best they can given their resources and needs, some people have small section of yard( perhaps a ditch) they have problems with- should they go out and buy a 15K tractor, when they might only need 4WD a few times a year? Or maybe a better option is to invest a few hundred bucks in HDAPS. Point is everyone's situation is different
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hills and rolling terrain are just a fact of life in many parts of the country. Hills add danger, no doubt. But they also add beauty to many properties, such as Firewood Bandit's. Always approach hills with respect and you will be much better off than taking hills and slopes for granted, because eventually, one of them will bite you.

Mowing on hills and slopes safely requires the operator to pay attention to what they are doing and to always be thinking ahead. While much of it is common sense (which seems to be in short supply at times among certain people.....) you want to pay attention to such things as wet grass, even from the dew and also be aware of wet leaves, etc. Even ground which is clear of any snow, ice or leaves, but is frozen, is very slick because of the ground's hardness and the moisture in the ground which permits it to freeze in such climates.

Often, when someone new is considering which new machine to purchase and they are debating between a X7XX and a 1025r, the one critical question or input which is often overlooked is "What is the properties terrain which you are going to be mowing"? No question, the MFWD system of the X7x4, x7x8 with a MMM would be a superior machine for mowing Fire Bandit's Property. The hill stability is not requiring any input from the machine operator, which for a new operator is even more important.

Many have wondered if the x7xx machines are going to continue to be built with the rapid growth of the SCUT and CUT market, especially when considering the price point for each machine. For MMM mowing on hilly and varying terrain, the x7x4 machines are a superior solution because of the MFWD system and the way it functions. Not sure? Try mowing with a x7x4 machine and a SCUT or CUT and if the terrain is adequately challenging, you will see first hand the tremendous advantage of the MFWD for this use.

These are advantages to the MFWD system where you don't have to make a decision to manually engage or disengage the 4wd system. The different machines and the different systems have distinct advantages. For mowing hills and slopes with a MMM machine, the MFWD is the best system John Deere offers........and likely the best in the industry.

Can't agree more regarding being aware of the conditions at all times. The bigger machines, 2305 and 758 will easily mow sideways where smaller machines could only be straight up and down. But I have even had the 2305 slide downhill in 2WD when the grass gets extremely dry. Prior times before the dry weather it never happened. As you said, "Be aware of your conditions".
 

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Hills and rolling terrain are just a fact of life in many parts of the country. Hills add danger, no doubt. But they also add beauty to many properties, such as Firewood Bandit's. Always approach hills with respect and you will be much better off than taking hills and slopes for granted, because eventually, one of them will bite you.

Mowing on hills and slopes safely requires the operator to pay attention to what they are doing and to always be thinking ahead. While much of it is common sense (which seems to be in short supply at times among certain people.....) you want to pay attention to such things as wet grass, even from the dew and also be aware of wet leaves, etc. Even ground which is clear of any snow, ice or leaves, but is frozen, is very slick because of the ground's hardness and the moisture in the ground which permits it to freeze in such climates.

Often, when someone new is considering which new machine to purchase and they are debating between a X7XX and a 1025r, the one critical question or input which is often overlooked is "What is the properties terrain which you are going to be mowing"? No question, the MFWD system of the X7x4, x7x8 with a MMM would be a superior machine for mowing Fire Bandit's Property. The hill stability is not requiring any input from the machine operator, which for a new operator is even more important.

Many have wondered if the x7xx machines are going to continue to be built with the rapid growth of the SCUT and CUT market, especially when considering the price point for each machine. For MMM mowing on hilly and varying terrain, the x7x4 machines are a superior solution because of the MFWD system and the way it functions. Not sure? Try mowing with a x7x4 machine and a SCUT or CUT and if the terrain is adequately challenging, you will see first hand the tremendous advantage of the MFWD for this use.

These are advantages to the MFWD system where you don't have to make a decision to manually engage or disengage the 4wd system. The different machines and the different systems have distinct advantages. For mowing hills and slopes with a MMM machine, the MFWD is the best system John Deere offers........and likely the best in the industry.

great write up.............i also dont think people consider that when you put a 200#+ 6' tall man on top of a 1000# machine they have significantly changed the center of gravity to the worse as a tipping issue....i dont own a tractor that isnt MFWD its totally a matter of safety the added traction is just a plus
 

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I constantly see threads regarding those struggling with traction issues whether it be in snow or steep slopes. I have had a few garden tractors and the small ones truly struggled with the slopes I have. After tipping one over and another twice I decided life is more precious than that and went to large ones with 4WD and have never come close since then many years ago. BTW, the "whirling blades of death" do not stop instantly while you are turning over no matter what kind of seat switch there is.

Often many think the issue is going UP slopes when a more serious condition is going DOWN slopes as when it get very dry or wet a conventional rear end will skid one wheel and free wheel the other. At that point you had better point the nose in direction gravity is taking you and hold on for the out of control ride. Granted this is a thrill but a fairly hazardous one at that.

The mechanical front wheel drive, MFWD work excellent but will tear up grass when turning short while going downhill with the outside tire. I have just discovered that the hydro 4WD of the 7xx series is just 2nd to none. Both will easily back up the steepest slopes without spinning a tire.

The whole point of this is to emphasize the inherent risk of small machines on steep slopes.
I have owned MANY 2 WD 300 Series and 4X5 Series garden tractors. I bought an X595 and then sold my three 455's. The X595 with MFWD was just much better for my loader. I also have a 2210 MFWD, so I know how much of an improvement MFWD provides. I have a second X595 with a 62C deck for mowing hills. I also have an X740 with HDAP tires and 62C deck for mowing large flat areas.

MFWD does cost more, but was absolutely worth it for my needs.

George of Buford
 

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Great pictures. A really beautiful property and I'll bet its been an incredible amount of work.
The one of the firewood interests me. With that much firewood, exactly how cold are your winters?
 

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Why dont you really be safe and get a 40K Ventrac-- much better on hills than your X758,( not even close) and much safer. 4WD tractors are great- but they are expensive- so pretty silly to say why doesnt everyone get 4wd. Why doesnt everyone get a GT instead of a LT? People do the best they can given their resources and needs, some people have small section of yard( perhaps a ditch) they have problems with- should they go out and buy a 15K tractor, when they might only need 4WD a few times a year? Or maybe a better option is to invest a few hundred bucks in HDAPS. Point is everyone's situation is different
It would really depend on the extremes of the slopes and the quantity of sloped ground. 4 wheel drive tractors can handle a lot more than you’d think, especially with an experienced operator.

In my situation I’m going to utilize the other functions of my tractor, the loader and hoe, to regrade and relandscape my slopes so I can mow safely or not mow at all. I have big plans for the coming months that I hope to post pictures of here on the forums.

At work; we have a Ventrac 4500z with duals and 84” contour mowing deck. Regrading slopes is not an option because it would take away the features of the property. There are acres of challenging ground that we maintain. What gets mowed with this machine takes 8+ hours weekly. At that point I’d say the machine is worth having. That doesn’t even include the areas that get brush hogged biweekly with the rough cut deck. I’d say that’s another 8 hours worth of mowing. This also includes some serious slopes. The Ventrac is an extremely handy machine and I have pushed it to almost all it’s limits. Like everything, it does have limits. I’ve yet to roll it, but I’ve come close. It mostly slides or looses traction before much else.
 

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I generally look at 4wd like this. There are times you need it an nothing else will do. Outside of that it generally only creates false confidence. It does help accelerating or sometimes slowing down. It doesn’t add any lateral grip. You may feel more comfortable side hilling but that’s only an illusion. It does nothing to prevent sliding sideway or fetching up and rolling when you do. There is added weight of the front axle, but you could make an 2wd equal if you want. Crabwalking is a sign your out of lateral grip, 4wd hides it a bit, but is just as close to sliding on the whole.

You can’t compare it to a lawn tractor or zeroturn anymore then you can compare a Harley Davidson to a 4wd truck. They are both transportation, but it doesn’t mean Harley’s are inferior because most people don’t drive them in snow. That’s not their job. If a mower has trouble going up or down a hill it needs more traction, that can be achieved many ways including 4wd. Just like if your car can’t make it up a driveway you need more traction. Sand, weight, tires, a 2500hd upgrade......
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Great pictures. A really beautiful property and I'll bet its been an incredible amount of work.
The one of the firewood interests me. With that much firewood, exactly how cold are your winters?
I play golf every day too, 18 holes walking, (that really eats up a lot of time) plus the morning 40 -60 min. walk with the dogs.


I sell firewood. Cutting wood is my entertainment in the Winter starting generally around the end of November. I would never go to a gym, but you feel like you have done something at 7pm when I plunk down in the recliner that the wife has labeled "the throne". That stack of firewood is approx. 125,000#s and is four rows wide and 150' feet long. I only cut red & white oak plus hickory. Sometimes a little cherry gets in too.
 

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Beautiful place Firewood Bandit :thumbup1gif:

I also agree with you, I have a few very steep slopes that I brush hog with my tractor in the horse pastures, MWFD and a head in the game is the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There is one thing that is intangible and that is NEVER spinning a tire and being able to back up anywhere regardless of the slope without spinning tires. I obviously have been mowing the yard for a long time, (30 years).

Originally I had a Honda 5518 which was 4WD. That machine had to be in 4WD all time time in order to navigate slopes and since it had 4 wheel steering it turned very well in 4WD.

The JD 2305 is much heavier and will handle most of the yard in 2 WD but will spin tires when turning into uphill into a slope. In 4WD it is extremely capable and easily pulls a 6 x 10' trailer loaded with as much wood as you can throw on it uphill. But it is hard on grass when you turn short mowing.

The X758 is AWD and is seamless. You don't even realize it is 4WD until the need arises and it never spins a tire. You can stop anywhere and back up slopes so steep that you would have a hard time walking up. I didn't think it would be much different but in reality the X758 is quite a bit faster mowing than the 2305 even though the deck is 2" smaller. I have put 36 hours on this unit since 6/01.
 

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Well you do not absolutely need a MFWD tractor to mow hills.

This is my 322 mowing a steep bank in my HOA property. The grass is dry. I could not do it if it was wet. Uphill is easy, downhill is always a thrill. I have never rolled a tractor, but I do have some brown under shorts.:shhh:

This is a video of my 322 on youtube. It has over 26K views and I do not know why?

John Deere Garden Tractor 322 Mowing Hill - YouTube

George of Buford
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well you do not absolutely need a MFWD tractor to mow hills.

This is my 322 mowing a steep bank in my HOA property. The grass is dry. I could not do it if it was wet. Uphill is easy, downhill is always a thrill. I have never rolled a tractor, but I do have some brown under shorts.:shhh:

This is a video of my 322 on youtube. It has over 26K views and I do not know why?

John Deere Garden Tractor 322 Mowing Hill - YouTube

George of Buford
Good video and that is steep. :good2:



You admit going downhill is a "thrill" and I see you didn't go downhill on the larger steeper part. My point is 4WD takes the thrill out of mowing which IMHO, is a good thing. BTW the 2305 and X758 could easily back up that hill without issue under any conditions.:hide:
 
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