Whether you’ve seen your dad take care of it, or watched it flawlessly staying the same throughout all year on your TV show, gardens require a lot of work.
Moreover, hills could be a tricky part while mowing since they’re steeper and require more attention. That’s where tractors come in handy.
Garden tractors are not only used for, well, gardens. They operate on a wide range from open fields to your backyard.
So for those who need to trim the flowerbeds within their hilling areas, here’s a guide on how to choose the best garden tractor for hills.
Best Garden Tractors
Since finding and settling on a garden tractor can be a tedious job, I’ve assembled some of the best garden tractors, most of which provide unique features that improve their efficiency, especially when mowing hilly areas.
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1. Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Riding Lawn Mower
The 19 horsepower gas engine and durable structure make this mower the best choice for demanding tasks.
The tractor is usually used for wide cutting areas thanks to its 46-inch cutting deck. Not only can it mow in both directions, but it also comes with a deck wash, which facilitates washing parts that are hard to reach.
Moreover, it includes turf saver wheels, 15-inch front, and 20-inch rear wheels. In addition to being heavy-duty, it provides comfort with its cushioned high-back seat.
What We Like
- Powerful Engine (19 horsepower)
- Durable turf wheels
What We Don’t Like
- Weak headlights (can’t use it at night)
2. Yard Machines 420cc
With its 440cc engine, 18-inch wide turning radius and large rear wheels, this tractor’s navigation capabilities as well as its heavy-duty performance aren’t a huge surprise.
From its go drive system, the tractor has seven different speeds levels, reaching a maximum of 5 mph in forward movement and 2 mph in reverse.
The tires have uneven and deep tire traction which allows them to make smooth turns and navigate with ease.
What We Like
- Durable steel construction
- Has 2 anti-scalp wheels (No tampering post-cutting)
- Electric start system
What We Don’t Like
- Its attachments aren’t included in-purchase
3. Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 18.5 hp Tractor
What makes Husqvarna’s tractor so special is how it went the extra mile to provide the ultimate safety features in it, not to mention comfort and strength as well.
Its X-trac traction feature makes its large tires capable of easily moving uphill, in addition to not skidding in wet areas.
Husqvarna tractors also have a unique mowing system. This tractor uses air induction mowing technology, which allows air between the deck and the ground to flow continuously.
Thus, this technology helps in efficiently making even cuts, even in thick grass. Moreover, it has the least turning radius in the list (16 inches), which gives it more flexibility in going around flowerbeds, trees, and bushes.
What We Like
- Large tires with X-trac tractions
- The fast auto transmission system
- Includes a spring-assisted Fender for easier height adjustments
- 2 anti-scalp wheels (no tampering)
What We Don’t Like
- The most expensive item on the list
4. Troy-Bilt 382cc 30
Despite its small size, the Troy-Bilt 382 cc still provides you with a large power thanks to its 382 cc Auto Choke OHV.
Moreover, it features a 40-inch cutting deck, which is adjustable to 5 different heights. The front wheels are smaller to facilitate maneuvering. It can also reach up to 4.25 mph.
The mid-back seat is easily adjusted to provide more space during storage. This makes it a neighborhood-friendly alternative for small and medium-sized yards.
What We Like
- Easy Storing, requires a fairly small space
- Equipped with a 6-speed transmission system
What We Don’t Like
- Smallest cutting deck range on the list
What To Consider Before Buying a Garden Tractor
In order to buy the most suitable mower for you, you should know all the favorable features any garden tractor should have.
Garden Tractor Types
One of the first things you should know is the different types of tractors, and which one suits your yard the best.
Zero-Turn-Radius Lawn Tractors
These mowers were designed specifically for cutting grass, and nothing else. They’re controlled and steered using lever mechanisms, one of which controls the turning of the tractor.
They feature rear-wheel steering as well as a rear-engine, and nimble handling that all facilitate maneuvering around flower beds, trees, and other obstacles.
Some newer models can mow from 42 up to 50-inch-wide swath, in addition to side discharging and mulching clippings.
However, they’re relatively expensive compared to other tractors. They’re also not fit for hills because they’re hardly controlled on slopes due to losing traction. So you won’t see many ZTR tractors on this list.
These heavy-duty, gas-powered tractors are designed for the conventional mowing, in addition to some of the demanding hauling tasks.
Most of the current models can mow between 42 to 48 inches wide swaths. There are even some wide deck models that can mow up to 54-inch swaths.
They can haul heavier attachments thanks to their powerful engines, heavy axles, and transmission system. They also feature durable tires and suspensions, as well as a heavy-duty tow hitch.
They have wider turning radii, which means they’re less flexible when turning on tight spots. Their large size makes them suited for yards larger than ½ acre, but they’re unfit for gardens requiring agility rather than strength.
Rear Engine Riders
With a compact, cheap and convenient design that provides comfort and relaxation, the rear engine riders are a good choice for an easy mowing experience.
Thanks to their smaller sizes, they require less space when being stored in your shed or garage. The cutting decks are also smaller which allows them to mow narrow passages.
Unfortunately, they’re only fit for areas less than 1 acre (around ¾ or less). They also mow up to 30-inch-wide swath and have a gear drive instead of a hydrostatic one.
The garden’s size and texture both play an imperative role in determining which type of tractor you’re going to use.
For a lawn with multiple obstacles then a ZTR tractor would be the most suitable option. Moreover, in order to deal with steep banks, you need to check the tractor’s built-in stability.
As for the yard’s size, an electric or gas mower would be more efficient in smaller areas typically around 1 acre or less. For larger areas, heavy-duty tractors such as Gas self-propelled mowers.
In addition, the tractor’s cutting edge should be around 46 inches for yards larger than 2 acres, and a 42-inch deck should be enough for areas of less than 1 acre.
There are usually two types of transmission within a tractor, hydrostatic transmission, and manual transmission.
Using a manual transmission requires stopping the tractor every time you need to change gears, such as shifting to neutral.
Hydrostatic transmission systems are usually much easier, as they automatically shift gears during acceleration or deceleration. It can either be pedal-operated or level-operated.
A pedal-operated transmission system provides you with separate pedals to control both direction and speed for forward and reverse motion. Whereas the level-operated transmission is easy to access on the fender from the driver’s seat.
While these features aren’t an absolute necessity when buying a tractor, they make sure that you have an easier experience.
After each cut, the tractor requires some cleaning beneath its deck, so having a washout port facilitates the process.
You don’t have to tip the machine as the port connects to a hose to clear the clippings of the underside.
The cutting blades don’t automatically start spinning when turning on the tractor for safety reasons.
What engages the deck is usually a push-button or a mechanical lever. The electric start is usually more convenient, but both levers and buttons can become more stubborn with time.
This feature can only be tested practically, and since some of you might buy their tractors online, it’s always advised to check the reviews regarding the flexibility of the deck engagement prior to buying.
Storing The Tractor
Since you can just leave your mower all day, you’ll have to provide some space for it in your garage.
Always look for the engine seals that allow you to store the tractor’s engine vertically (without any gas or fuel leaking. You should also choose models that have the folding handles feature, as it takes up less space.
Although all these tractors demonstrate some impressive aspects which are very useful for mowing hills, I would go with the Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 18.5 hp Tractor.
This mower might be the jack of all trades, combining efficiency, strength, comfort, and agility in one tractor. It provides exceptional features like its auto transmission system, large X-tract tires, unique air induction mowing technology and comfortable pedal operating system.
The Husqvarna 960430211 is truly one of the best tractors, for making hills look better than the ones on the Windows computers wallpapers.