How to Mow a Steep Hill

How to Mow a Steep Hill? : 4 Step Guidelines plus Safety Tips

Do you have a slopey lawn? Have you tried to mow it? If yes, then we don’t need to tell you why it doesn’t work. With the right mower, you may find mowing even lawn satisfying. But it is not the same while mowing hills. You need to think twice before mowing a hill. You need to know how to mow a steep hill.

Even for mower experts mowing steep hills is a big challenge. For beginners, it’s a nightmare. This article will provide you a complete 4 step guidelines about mowing steep hills like a pro. You will get to know all the dos and don’ts about mowing hills.

4 Step Guidelines for How to Mow a Steep Hill

Step 1: Are your hills really steep? Calculate Hill Grade Before Mowing

To know how to mow a steep hill, the first thing you need to know is slopes or grades of hills. It will help you to determine the type of mower you will need. Also, it will dictate which mowing techniques you should follow.

Do you know the grade of your hills? If you don’t, no need to worry. You can calculate hill grade by yourself using the following method.

Required tools:

  • a level,
  • a yardstick, and
  • a 50-inch long stick.

Steps in calculating hill grade

  1. Put the 50-inch stick on any point of the slope.
  2. Hold the level on the lower end of the stick.
  3. Raise the lower end of the stick gradually until it is level
  4. Using the yardstick mark the height from the ground to where the stick is level.
  5. By multiplying the marked height by two, you will get the slope of your hills for 100 inches.
  6. Repeat the procedure for two or three times on different points of the slope.
  7. The average results will give you more accurate data.
How to Calculate hill grade
Calculate hill grade

Didn’t get it? Let’s watch a video tutorial about how to calculate the slope of a steep hill in a similar way.

How to Calculate Hill Grades

Here, you have found out the percent of the slope of your hills. Is it greater than 15%? If yes then it should be considered as“steep hills”.

Step 2: Which mower are you going to use? Choosing the right mower for hills

Choosing the right mower for hills
Choosing the right mower for hills

You have three options for a mower. Push mower, riding mower, and zero turn mower are the most popular mower for hills. A push mower is safe and easy to navigate over the hill. It has a drawback of overweight on top.

Self-propelled push mower has overcome the issue and the threat of toppling over. In general, push mower is not recommended for slope greater than 20 degrees.

If the slope is less or equal to 15 degrees, you can go for a riding mower. It is more convenient than a push mower. For slopes less than or equal to 10 degrees, your best option would be zero turn mower. It is faster and easier to drive up a hill tan the riding mower.

Hills with greater than 20 degrees are real challenges for mowers. It has to be lightweight and should have good traction ability. The ideal mower for real steep hills like 40 to 45 degrees will be a walk-behind mower that is lightweight, self-propelled and has a low center of gravity.

Some manufacturers claim to produce specially designed zero turn mower for steep hills. These new generation zero turn mower has low centers of gravity, rollover protection, and four-wheel steering. They are too expensive for homeowners

If you want to find out the right model of mower for your hills, you can read our other article “Best Mower for Hills: 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Hills”. You will surely find out your one from our selected 10 best mowers for hills.

Step 3: Are you well equipped to mow? Get ready to mow steep hills

Get Ready to Mow a Steep Hill
Get ready to mow steep hills
  1. Always try to mow on the hill on a sunny, dry day. Wet, gloomy days can make the hill slippery to mow.
  2. Have a thorough inspection of the hill for rocks and holes. These turn the hill into uneven terrain which may topple over mowers.
  3. Wear a well-fitted dress for mowing a hill to avoid any accident.
  4. Wear shoes with cleats to have good traction while using a walk-behind mower on the hill.
  5. To get better control over mower wear gloves. It gives a better grip.
  6. To protect your eyes from shredded debris use glasses.
  7. Some of the mowers create a lot of noise during mowing. You may put earplug if find it disturbing.
  8. Adjust the brakes properly.
  9. Check the tire pressure according to the recommendation of manufacturers.
  10. To avoid scalping adjust the mower to maximum height.
  11. Keep any person, kids or pets away from the mowing area. Keep a safe distance. If someone enters the mowing area stop immediately.

Step 4: How to mow steep hills? Things to remember while mowing

  1. While using a push mower, you have to mow horizontally. Mowing horizontally lessens the risk of mower tipping.
  2. If you are using a push mower that has a bag attached to it, you need to be extra careful. Keep the bag side down to avoid toppling over.
  3. During side hill mowing, keep an eye on the front tire to make sure it’s creating enough depression on the grass.
  4. In the case of riding mower mow vertically. Mowing side by side is riskier for a riding mower.
  5. Always drive at the lowest gear. It may take time, but it’s safe.
  6. While going down the slope do not shift to neutral, keep the machine in gear.
  7. Do not start, stop or turn mower on a slope.
  8. Use transmission to regulate your movement on slope slow and gradual.
  9. Don’t put your foot on the ground to stabilizes the mower
  10. Blow the leaves to the bottom of the hill with a handheld blower or backpack blower, then pick them up with your vacuum.

Note: Just for a suggestion, you can turn your steep hillside into a wonderful garden area using proper landscaping. Here, you can find some ideas about landscaping hillside.

How to mow a steep hill
How to mow a steep hill

Safety tips:

  1. If the grass is wet or damp, don’t mow. Tires do not get enough traction on wet grass.
  2. Avoid mowing on dry grass. It may cause scalping.
  3. Keep a route in case of any incident while mowing.
  4. Do not use bag on the rear of zero-turn or riding mower while mowing hills.
  5. Do not carry leaf blower or vacuum while mowing on slopes.
  6. Avoid mowing near ponds, lakes, or river banks.
  7. Do not get confused between brake and transmission. Use the brake to stop and use the transmission to slow down.
  8. For any information first read the user manual and try to follow it.

That’s it!! Now you know how to mow a steep hill. So get ready to face the mighty hill with your mower and have a safe, pleasant mowing experience. Hope you will find this article effective.

Let us know your feedback in the comment section.

1 thought on “How to Mow a Steep Hill? : 4 Step Guidelines plus Safety Tips”

  1. Pingback: Best Mower for Hills: 10 Best Lawn Mowers for Steep Hills - Lawn A2Z

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