For some, mowing the lawn is a strenuous task that requires a lot of time and effort. For others, mowing the lawn is comforting. However, some lawns have hilly terrains that may make lawn mowing not so comforting (Source).
The best riding lawn mowers for hills can help you comfortably navigate your hilly landscape, while mowing it evenly and effectively.
Riding lawn mowers, sometimes known as ride mowers or lawn tractors, are seated motorized vehicles fitted with mowing decks. While all riding lawn mowers have mowing decks ranging from 42 to 54 inches, the best riding lawn mowers for hills have particular features (Source).
Riding lawn mowers have more powerful engines that offer more horsepower. They also require automatic transmissions rather than manual. Riding lawn mowers for hills also likely have zero-turn technology, meaning their turning radius is zero.
Riding lawn mowers for hills are ideal if you own a large stretch of land or just have a big yard with uneven terrain. You might also prefer a riding lawn mower for hills if you’re a professional landscaper looking for versatility.
Prior to purchasing a riding lawn mower for hills, you’ll want to consider its maximum speed and its horsepower. You’ll also want to consider the size of the mowing deck and the capacity of the fuel tank. Other factors to consider include zero-turn technology, the comfort of the seat, and the transmission.
The next time your lawn needs mowing, get it done in one of these top-rated riding lawn mowers for hills.
What is a Riding Lawn Mower for Hills?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Riding Lawn Mower for Hills?
- 2 Most Common Issues People Have with Riding Lawn Mowers
- 3 Comparing The 5 Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills
- 4 1.Troy-Bilt Super Bronco Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547 ccs Engine – Best for for Large Properties
- 5 2.Troy-Bilt: Auto Drive 7 Speed Side Discharge Riding Lawn Mower – Best for Changing Speed
- 6 3.Husqvarna 18.5 HP Pedal Tractor Mower – Extreme Horsepower and Turning Ability
- 7 4.Husqvarna Z242F 23 HP 747cc Kohler Confidant 42” Mower – Best for Engine Power
- 8 5. Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 Enduro Series – Best to Cover a Large Amount of Land
- 9 Features of the Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills
- 10 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Riding Lawn Mower for Hills
- 11 Ready To Buy The Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills?
A typical riding lawn mower is only designed to work on flat stretches of grass. People who need to mow a large stretch of land that has hills have a much harder time doing this on a traditional riding lawn mower.
A riding lawn mower for hills have better adjustability for deck height and positioning, among other special features, making them able to cut hilly terrains with ease.
Most Common Issues People Have with Riding Lawn Mowers
- Wrong Transmission Type: There are three popular types of transmissions that riding lawn mowers for hills will typically use. Some people don’t realize this and end up with a model that is confusing for them to use. Although most popular models don’t have manual transmission anymore, don’t make the mistake of not checking this.
- Turning Problems: How you turn the lawn mower is something that can have a direct effect on your efficiency getting the mowing done. Especially on terrain with hills. If you don’t consider this factor, you could end up with a riding lawn mower which doesn’t turn as easily as you would like.
- Poor Fuel Efficiency: People who purchase riding lawn mowers for hills will typically use a model that is powered by gas or diesel. Consider how much you are willing to spend on fuel in order to avoid ending up with a model that is too costly for you to use. Just as certain vehicles have better gas mileage, certain riding mowers make better use of fuel than others.
Comparing The 5 Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills
|Troy-Bilt Super Bronco Riding Lawn Mower|
|Troy-Bilt: Auto Drive 7 Speed Side Discharge Riding Lawn Mower|
|Husqvarna 18.5 hp Pedal Tractor Mower|
|Husqvarna Z242F 23HP 747cc Kohler Confidant 42” Mower|
|Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Kohler|
1.Troy-Bilt Super Bronco Riding Lawn Mower with 42-Inch Deck and 547 ccs Engine – Best for for Large PropertiesThe Troy-Bilt Super Bronco Riding Lawn Mower has a 42 Inch Deck incredibly strong engine. This should mean that you will be able to mow steeper areas for a longer amount of time and not have to be concerned about being in danger.
The 42-inch deck, with an optional 50-inch deck, allows you to mow an incredibly wide path. The largest advantage here is that you will be covering more land in a shorter amount of time.
In addition, the engine strength allows you to mow incredibly rough areas. One benefit of this is that you will be able to mow thick, heavy grass. A second benefit is that you will be able to handle steep hills with ease.
The fuel tank on this lawn mower is a full 3 gallons. This means you should only have to refuel every 6 acres or more. A final feature of the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco is the seat. The seat has a high back with perfect cushioning. It also has quite a bit of extra leg room, providing comfort for riders of all sizes.
2.Troy-Bilt: Auto Drive 7 Speed Side Discharge Riding Lawn Mower – Best for Changing SpeedAnother mower by Troy-Bilt tops our list of the best riding lawn mower for mowing hills. This mower has several different features, the primary one being that it is not quite as strong as the Super Bronco.
Like the Bronco, however, this mower has a 42-inch mowing deck. Again, this means that you can mow very wide strips of your land at once.
The engine power is not quite as strong as the Super Bronco. If you are planning on mowing incredibly steep hills, the Super Bronco should certainly be your first choice. However, the 420ccs this engine provides will allow you to mow many steep hills.
Additionally, the transmission is continuously variable. A continuously variable transmission means you can switch between all 7 speeds without too much of a pause or hesitation in the mower’s abilities. The maximum speed is 5.2 miles per hour.
This mower only has a 1.36-gallon fuel tank. This means you will probably only be able to mow 3 or so acres before fueling up. Take this into consideration if you have a larger property. An advantage to choosing this mower is the warranty. Though it is a limited warranty, the mower is covered for any manufacturing defects for at least two years.
Finally, the seating is not nearly as comfortable. The back of the seat only reaches mid-back and there is not as much leg room.
3.Husqvarna 18.5 HP Pedal Tractor Mower – Extreme Horsepower and Turning AbilityHusqvarna is one of the top rated lawn mower manufacturers. This particular model has 18.5 horsepower behind it, making it an incredible lawn mower for hills.
To begin with, the deck on this lawnmower is only 38 inches, making it significantly smaller than either of the Troy-Bilt lawnmowers. While this means it may take a bit longer to mow a large property, keep in mind that the mower still has a very wide deck.
Though the deck is small, the engine is great. This lawn mower meets the Super Bronco at 540 ccs or 18.5 HP. Once again, you are met with an incredible continuous variable transmission, allowing you to switch between speeds. Remember, this means it should feel just like driving a car.
The seat on this is also mid-back, but it is vinyl and has springs to cushion any bounce. This should allow for extra comfort and less resistance on hills.
4.Husqvarna Z242F 23 HP 747cc Kohler Confidant 42” Mower – Best for Engine PowerA second Husqvarna makes it on the list of the top five riding lawn mowers for hills. This Husqvarna packs an extra punch when compared with the others on the list, but falls short in several categories.
Like the Super Bronco, this mower has a deck of 42 inches. However, it does not have the option of a 50-inch deck, making it a touch behind. The Husqvarna Z242F, much different than the Husqvarna-LC121P mower, has an engine with the power to surpass all others. With a horsepower of 23 (or 747 ccs), this mower can handle any incline or land texture.
This mower has a hydrostatic transmission. Remember, a hydrostatic transmission means that instead of a belt, the liquid is rotating the engine. This is easily one of the smoothest rides provided by any transmission. Once again, this is a lawn mower that has a smooth ride, providing you immense comfort while you ride.
Speaking of comfort, the seat is approximately 18 inches in height. Ultimately, this will cover your entire back, providing you ultimate support. As far as a warranty goes, this mower has a solid 3-year limited warranty. While this is no lifetime warranty, it still is better than many of the mowers on this list.
Also, If you have kids in your house, you don’t want them to play in the park. You want them to play around home. Installing top-rated rubber mulch mats around your house prevents serious injuries when they play around.
5. Cub Cadet XT2 SLX50 Enduro Series – Best to Cover a Large Amount of LandThe last mower on this list is not nearly as powerful as others. Coming in at only 679 ccs, the engine power certainly may leave you wanting. However, the deck on the Cub Cadet is a solid 50 inches. This allows you to cover a large amount of land very quickly.
Just like the Z242F, the transmission on the XT2 is a hydrostatic transmission. This means very smooth transitioning between speeds and no manual shifting. Once again, hydrostatic transmission is a transmission where liquid rotates the engine, not belts. This is easily one of the smoothest rides provided by any transmission.
The seat on the Cub Cadet XT2 is incredible. Another high backed chair with extra cushioning provides you with very little bounce as you maneuver hills.
The warranty is, perhaps, what sets this mower aside. To begin with, you will have a 3-year unlimited hours warranty, as well as a 5-year warranty on the chassis and front axle. This does not finish it off, though, a lifetime warranty on the deck shell is the final piece of this machine’s warranty.
Features of the Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills
Riding lawn mowers for hills don’t come cheap. Accordingly, it’s crucial that you spend some time learning about these products.
Outside of the price, there is a diverse range of potential features for you to consider. To help you out, we have determined the most important features to check for.
Automatic CVT or Hydrostatic Transmission
Just as you purchase a vehicle that comes with your favorite type of transmission, you should also get a riding lawn mower which fits your preference.
Manual transmission should be out of the question. The best riding lawn mower for hills will usually either use CVT or Hydrostatic transmission. Both of these options are automatic.
It is common for people to encounter problems with turning on a riding lawn mower. Especially so when you need to turn on hilly terrain. Although not entirely necessary, getting a riding lawn mower for hills that has zero-turn technology will help you turn much quicker and smoother than you could on your own.
Perfect Fuel Tank Size, Type & Efficiency
More than likely, the best riding lawn mower to suit your needs will be gas or diesel-powered. Find a model that a fuel tank size and efficiency which will make it so you don’t have to fill up your tank in the middle of your job. For best results, find a model that will be as affordable and efficient as possible to use.
Automatic Deck Height Adjustment
Certain riding lawn mowers for hills will require to you manually adjust the deck height, or where the blades are placed. In order to make your life easier, try to find a model which will automatically raise and lower the deck to make it easier to mow hills of grass.
Comfortable Seat for All-Day Jobs
One of the most important features to keep in mind is your personal comfort. Especially if you intend to use the lawn mower for a long period of time. Or even all day. Look out for yourself, and get a model that you know will be comfortable for extended use.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Riding Lawn Mower for Hills
Remember, purchasing a riding lawn mower for hills means that you primarily want high horsepower and a wide deck. These two features give your mower strength and stability.
When you know what you need in regards to horsepower and deck width, there are many other features to consider. Make sure to read our reviews thoroughly before making your pick.
Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
Zero-turn lawn mowers make hill mowing incredibly easy and possibly more enjoyable. Standard lawn mowers have a braking mechanism that allows you to change the speed as you drive.
Zero-turn lawn mowers only have an emergency brake. This means that you cannot slow down when you turn, making for quick turning and faster mowing.
Typically a zero turn lawn mower can operate at almost double the speed of a standard mower. This only allows you to finish your lawns faster.
Additionally, these mowers can turn 180 degrees. This rotation lets you end your rows without having to go back and fix any gaps. It also gives your lawn a much cleaner look.
Horsepower is one of the most important decisions when purchasing a riding lawn mower for hills. The horsepower determines the amount of power the engine has, and thus how many hills it can handle.
The range of horsepower on our list of the best lawn mowers for hills is 13-23 HP. Though the higher the number, the more horsepower the mower has, not all mowers must have the highest horsepower.
If you own a property with low, rolling hills, a horsepower of 13 will be fine for your situation. However, if you have regularly steep inclines, the 23 HP lawnmower is the perfect choice for you.
Fuel source is another option to be aware of. However, the fuel options are not nearly as important as the horsepower option. Primarily, fuel sources for lawnmowers will be either gas or diesel. Make sure you check which fuel your mower choice uses before purchase.
Many lawn mower companies offer similar lawn mowers with each fuel choice. If you find one that you like which uses alternative fuel, do not be afraid to call and ask the company. In some special situations, the special make the mowers with the opposite fuel source.
The speed options for lawn mowers have come a long way from the old manual shift. While this is still a feature, most homeowners who own expansive properties do not want to be distracted by a manual shift.
The first option for speed is the CVT. This stands for continuous variable transmission. A CVT operates very similarly to regular automobiles. However, in your automatic vehicle, you will often feel the vehicle shift. Not so with the CVT, as there are no gears, only one continuous gear.
The hydrostatic transmission is the other on this list. For those who do not want to have to worry about transmission belts giving out, hydrostatic is the best option.
Instead of dealing with belts to run the transmission, the transmission is controlled by the fluid. This leads to significantly less upkeep and a much smoother ride overall.
Another option to check out is the deck height. Most lawn mowers have multiple deck height options. The standard heights are 1”-4”, allowing the driver to decide how short or long the grass should be.
One thing to watch with the deck height options is how the deck is raised or lowered. Some lawn mowers have an electronic feature to raise and lower the deck. Other lawn mowers the driver must manually lift.
Depending on how many obstacles are on your property, you may not want to be responsible for manually changing the height of your deck. Be aware of this as you purchase your mower.
Ready To Buy The Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills?
As you are still considering which lawn mower to buy, remember a few key options which will make or break your hill mowing experience. First, remember that the horsepower or ccs are incredibly important.
Second, remember that the deck width can help you mow faster and can be of assistance on the hills, by providing more stability. A warranty is an additional feature to consider. There are many types of warranties, and only some are beneficial for you.
Make sure you read through our warranty section before you make a final decision. And, if you need to just trim small areas of your lawn, read this review about manual lawn edgers.
Likewise, If you have back pain or disabled and elder persons in your home, reacher grabber tools can be handy for you to retrieve items from areas that are hard to reach without straining.
If you want to irrigate your lawn and garden, consider buying lawn sprinkler heads. Especially in the dry summer months, regular watering is key to keeping the grass growing.