Mowing on slopes is a task that requires meticulous attention to safety protocols. Proper training, appropriate equipment, and careful planning can mitigate the risks involved. Explore Municipal Tractor University, our free online service platform to learn more about Trackless MT operation.

Here are comprehensive guidelines to ensure safe and efficient mowing on slopes this summer.

Prior Training and Experience for Mowing on Slopes

Under no circumstances should an operator mow on a side slope without having prior experience operating the tractor/mower combination and proper training from a supervisor or a health and safety representative. This training is crucial to understanding the machine’s handling and the specific challenges of slope mowing.

Appropriate Tire Selection

Never attempt to drive the tractor on a slope with winter loader lug tires or radial winter tires. For safe mowing on slopes, the tractor must be fitted with either:

  • 13-1/2” wide turf tires, or
  • Dual loader lug tires.

These tires provide the necessary traction and stability required for operating on uneven and inclined terrain.

Understanding Slope Limits

The maximum side slope angle that can be mowed is 18°, provided that:

  • The conditions are suitable.
  • The operator has been trained to recognize irregularities in the ground condition, such as depressions, washouts, rocks, and soil type.

If any rear attachment is mounted on the tractor, this allowable slope angle is reduced by 50%, making it 9°. When a Boom Flail attachment is used, the allowable slope angle is further reduced to 5°, and the tractor must have dual loader lug tires.

Proper Mowing Technique

Turning on a Slope

While cutting on a side slope, avoid turning uphill. This shifts the center of gravity towards the downside of the slope, increasing the risk of a rollover. Always plan your mowing path to minimize the need for turning on slopes.

Handling Rear Slides

In the event that the rear half of the tractor begins to slide downhill, causing the tractor to aim uphill at an angle, it is usually safer to:

  • Turn up the hill.
  • Drive until the tractor is in a vertical climb position.
  • Safely back the machine down the hill.

This maneuver helps regain control and prevents potential rollovers.

Adjust for Attachments

When fitted with attachments, adjust your mowing approach according to the reduced allowable slope angles. For example:

  • With any rear attachment, limit mowing to slopes of 9° or less.
  • With a Boom Flail attachment, limit mowing to slopes of 5° or less and ensure dual loader lug tires are mounted.

General Safety Tips

Inspect the Terrain: Always walk the area to identify potential hazards like rocks, holes, or wet spots.

Control Speed: Operate at a slow, controlled speed to maintain stability and react promptly to changes in terrain.

Stay Alert: Maintain full attention on the task. Avoid distractions and stay vigilant for any irregularities.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that mowing on slopes with a Trackless MT is performed safely and efficiently, minimizing the risk of accidents and equipment damage. Remember, safety starts with proper training, equipment, and a thorough understanding of your working environment.

Get into a Trackless MT

Interested in adding a Trackless MT to your fleet? Or maybe you’re looking to get your hands on another attachment? Contact your local Trackless dealer today!

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