What Mower Should I Have for My Hilly Lawn? Thumbnail image

In a perfect world, cutting the grass should be as easy as pull, push and trim. Of course, there are many factors to consider when mowing a lawn, especially if you have a hilly lawn. You need the right mower for your yard to do the job right. Just as each lawn is different and has different terrain, each mower serves different purposes and can help you mow a hilly lawn. Depending on your specific yard layout, you generally have three options to tackle a job: a push mower, zero-turns and lawn tractors. 

1. Push Mowers

The beauty of a push mower lies in its simplicity. Push mowers are perfect for yards with a lot of hills because you control them. Because we have relatively low centers of gravity, we are able to maintain a necessary sturdiness when pushing a mower uphill. It also helps to have a pair of shoes that have a lot of traction, so you can really dig in and push up a slope. 

Push mowers give you better traction and control when mowing a hilly lawn. Many push mowers, whether gas or electric, are self-propelled, giving you a bit more power to tackle the slopes in your backyard. If you do decide to use a push mower to mow a hilly yard, try mowing along the slope side to side rather than straight up and down the hill. Doing so will give you better control and will make your job easier and safer. (Safety note: mowing on a hill with a riding mower should be done in the opposite way. Only mow up and down with a riding mower to prevent the risk of tipping over.)

2. Zero-Turn Mowers

A person mows a hilly lawn using a zero-turn mower purchased at Minnesota Equipment.

If you want to cut your hilly lawn with a riding mower, use a zero-turn. Zero-turn mowers work well for mowing hilly yards thanks to their low centers of gravity and wide, flat bases. These mowers are easy to control and can traverse more difficult terrains easily. Mowing a hilly lawn with a zero-turn mower is ideal for large yards with a lot of trees or other objects, as they can work around obstructions nimbly. 

For lawns with especially steep slopes, typically more than 15 degrees, mowing with a zero-turn can prove to be a bit more difficult. Zero-turns are fast, agile and powerful machines, but even the best can encounter some challenges. You can navigate difficult and steep terrain on a zero-turn, but the key is to take it slowly. Going directly up and down the hill is generally safer than going side to side, to prevent the mower from tipping over. 

If you have a lawn with low-grade slopes and/or a lot of objects and trees throughout, use a zero-turn mower to get the job done. 

3. Lawn Tractors

For lawns that have a bit more slope, a riding mower or lawn tractor can help do the trick. These machines are powerful and can manage tough terrains with ease. The power under the hood of a riding lawn mower can get up steeper slopes and can give your yard a fresh, clean cut. 

Riding lawn mowers have a higher turn radius than zero-turn mowers, meaning they cannot get around objects such as trees as easily. And with a higher center of gravity, they move more slowly than their counterparts. These machines perform excellently in large yards and spaces with hills, but for more difficult terrain or extra steep slopes, avoid taking a riding mower at high speeds. 

Know Your Mow

Knowing what equipment you need for a hilly lawn can help you get the best cut for your terrain. Whether you have a flat yard and want to get the job done quickly, or you need to navigate hills, trees and more, there are mowers, equipment and attachments that can help get the job done right. 

Keep in mind that when you mow hilly lawns, it is important to wear shoes with good traction and to mow in the proper direction depending on the equipment you’re using. When in doubt, use a trimmer and clean up your hillside by hand rather than risking injury or damage.

If you are looking for the right mower for your yard, visit Minnesota Equipment. We can help provide insights and recommendations to best suit your needs and help get your lawn looking great. With four locations in the Twin Cities metro area, we are ready to help you find the right mower for your hilly lawn and get on your way to better property maintenance.