Best Riding Lawn Mower for Hills

Best Riding Lawn Mower for Hills Featured Photo

Our Top Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills

We spent hours searching for the best riding lawn mowers for hills. Here’s a quick over of the best ones we’ve found.

If you’d like a more indepth review of each riding lawn mower, feel free to scroll down to our product review section where we go over each riding lawn mower and what they’re all about.

We also included a buying guide which we recommend you check out in case you want to know more about riding lawn mowers and what makes them good for hills.

Enjoy!

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 70 x 59.49 x 42 inches
  • Weight: 590 pounds
  • Power Source: Gas Powered
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  • Dimensions: 70 x 50 x 41.4 inches
  • Weight: 490 Pounds
  • Power Source: Gas Powered
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  • Dimensions: 48 x 48 x 48 inches
  • Weight: 770 Pounds
  • Power Source: Gasoline-Powered
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  • Dimensions:
  • Weight: 595 Pounds
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
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Table of Contents

TopicPage
Our Top Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills1
Intro: What Are Riding Lawn Mowers?2
Best Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills Reviewed
Best Overall  Riding Mower for Hills
– Husqvarna YTH24V48
Runner Up
– Husqvarna YTH18542
Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills
– Husqvarna MZ61
Best Electric Riding Mower for Hills
– Ryobi RY48111


3 – 6
Buying Guide
– Before You Buy
– Factors to Consider
– Safety Tips

7 – 9
FAQs10
Conclusion10

What Are Riding Lawn Mowers?

A riding lawnmower, also known as lawn tractors, are the love child of tractors and lawn mowers. Riding lawn mowers resemble small tractors with a wide cutting deck directly below them. This cutting deck can be raised or lowered depending on the user’s needs and is designed to evenly trim a wide area of lawn. Riding lawn mowers are awesome machines that are used to trim medium to large lawns quickly and more efficiently than manually pushed lawn mowers. 

Riding lawn mowers come in different sizes, can have different features and price ranges. Riding lawn mowers are meant to be used on residential properties at least an acre large although there are some riding lawn mowers that can mow large swaths of land such as parks or football fields. While most properties will have flat terrain, perfect for all types of riding lawn mowers, some will have uneven or hilly terrain. For these types of terrain, there are some riding lawn mowers that are better than others. For hilly terrain, you’ll need a riding lawn mower that has great balance, enough weight, good transmission, safety features and wheels that’ll provide good grip on the ground.

For this article, we made a list of the best riding lawn mowers for hills and what you need to know about riding lawn mowers. More on that below.

Best Riding Lawn Mowers For Hills Reviewed

Best Overall  Riding Mower for Hills:
Husqvarna YTH24V48

Husqvarna YTH24V48 48 in. 24 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower

Key Specs:

  • Engine: 24 hp V-Twin engine
  • Cutting Width: 48 inches
  • Turning Radius: 16 inches
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Weight: 590 lbs
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic 
Husqvarna YTH24V48 Features

Key Features:

  • Cruise control
  • Triple blade cutting deck
  • Treaded tires
  • Ergonomic seat and steering wheel
  • Quick start engine
  • Air induction technology
  • Quick height adjustments
  • Wide selection of accessories

Overview:

This riding lawn mower from Husqvarna is a great choice for homeowners looking for a well optimized, sturdy, convenient and top performing riding lawn mower.  The Husqvarna YTH24V48 riding lawn mower is powered by a 24 hp (horse power) Briggs and Stratton Intek V-Twin engine, a 48 inch wide cutting deck and features hydrostatic transmission for more control. The 24 hp engine on this riding lawn mower features Husqvarnas ReadyStart technology that allows users to easily start the engine without hassle even when cold.

The 48 inch cutting deck is designed with air induction technology that uses sucked in air to lift the grass and improve cut quality. The YTH24V48 also comes with some other neat features such as cruise control, a conveniently located cutting deck height adjustment mechanism, 4 treaded tires for more grip and a safety switch that shuts off the cutting deck if the user leaves the driver seat for whatever reason.

Overall the Husqvarna YTH24V48 is a great choice for hilly lawns thanks to its balanced weight, a wide cutting deck, easy to control steering and awesome features that make mowing the lawn a breeze. Check out the Husqvarna YTH24V48 here:

Runner Up: Husqvarna YTH18542

Husqvarna YTH18542 42 in 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Hydrostatic Riding Mower

Key Specs:

  • Engine: 18.5 hp engine
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Cutting Height: 1.5 to 4 inches
  • Turning Radius: 16 inches
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Weight: 490 lbs
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic 
Husqvarna YTH18542 Features

Key Features:

  • Air induction technology
  • Fender mounted cutting height mechanism
  • Ergonomic seat and steering wheel
  • Cast iron axle
  • Reinforced cutting deck
  • Wide selection of accessories
  • 2 year warranty

Overview:

Another great addition to this list is the Husqvarna YTH18542, the younger brother to the YTH24V48. The Husqvarna YTH18542 is a great pick for homeowners looking for a worthy alternative that still provides the quality and performance that Husqvarna is known for.

Powered by a 18.5 hp Briggs and Stratton Intek engine, the Husqvarna YTH18542 is a very capable riding lawn mower that uses hydrostatic transmission for more control and maneuverability.

The Husqvarna YTH18542 features a slightly smaller 42 inch reinforced cutting deck that has air induction technology that uses sucked in air to raise the blades of grass as it is being cut. This improves the cut quality of the blades and leaves the cut grass upright. The Husqvarna YTH18542 is designed with a cast iron front axle that gives the riding lawn mower excellent balance and stability on rough or uneven terrain. This makes it a great pick for homeowners with hilly lawns. Similar to the YTH24V48, the Husqvarna YTH18542 also comes with other great features such as a conveniently located cutting deck height adjustment mechanism, treaded tires for more grip, an ergonomic seat and steering wheel along with a wide selection of accessories that Husqvarna has to offer. 

Overall, the Husqvarna YTH18542 is a great riding lawn mower and deserves its place on our list. Check out the Husqvarna YTH18542 here:

Best Zero Turn Mower for Hills:
Husqvarna MZ61 Zero Turn Mower

Husqvarna MZ61 61 in. 24 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower

Key Specs:

  • Engine: Kawasaki 24 hp engine
  • Top Speed: 8.5 mph
  • Cutting Width: 61 inches
  • Cutting Height: 1.5 to 4.5 inches
  • Turning Radius: 16 inches
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 5 gallons
  • Weight: 770 lbs
  • Transmission Type: Hydrostatic 
Husqvarna MZ61 Zero Turn Mower Features

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic control panel
  • Ergonomic high back seats
  • Reduced vibrations
  • Reinforced cutting deck
  • Easy to maintain
  • Collection bag included
  • Roll over protection bar
  • 4 year warranty

Overview:

This zero turn mower from Husqvarna offers users superior engine power, wider cutting width, convenient controls and better safety for mowing on hilly terrain.

The Husqvarna MZ61 uses a 24 hp Kawasaki engine to power it along lawns at a top speed of 8.5 mph (miles per hour).  It comes with a 61 inch
wide reinforced cutting deck that is designed with an ergonomic deck lifting system that users can easily access with the pedal assist or from the control panel.

Similar to other Husqvarna riding lawn mowers, the MZ61 comes with hydrostatic transmission that gives users improved control over the mower. The MZ61 is designed to be wider than a typical riding lawn mower, giving it a lower center of gravity and more balance on hilly terrain. It also comes with a tall roll over protection bar that protects the driver should the zero turn mower tip over. This greatly lessens the chances of getting injured during an accident without hindering the mower from doing its job properly.

Check out the Husqvarna MZ61 zero turn mower here:

Best Electric Riding Lawn Mower:
Ryobi RY48111 Riding Lawn Mower

Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower RY48111

Key Specs:

  • Battery: 48 volt, 100 Ah
  • Max Speed: 8 mph
  • Run Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cutting Width: 38 inches
  • Cutting Height: 1.5 to 4.5 inches
  • Turning Radius: 16 inches
  • Noise Level: 70 dB
  • Weight: 678 lbs
Ryobi RY48111 Riding Lawn Mower Overview

Key Features:

  • Brushless motor
  • Treaded tires
  • Dual blade cutting deck
  • Cruise control
  • USB phone charger
  • Convenient control panel
  • Ergonomic design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Low maintenance
  • 3 year warranty

Overview:

This unique riding lawn mower from Ryobi offers users a viable electric alternative to gas powered riding lawn mowers and comes with all the benefits of electric energy.

The Ryobi RY48111 is a rear engine mower, meaning its battery and 3 brushless motors are located behind the driver’s seat. Speaking of batteries, it uses a 48 volt, 100 Ah battery to power its brushless motors and push this riding mower along at 8 mph. It boasts a runtime of 2.5 hours and can be charged using an ordinary 120 volt outlet.

The Ryobi RY48111 also comes with a 38 inch wide cutting deck that has 12 positions that users can choose from right on the control panel. Users will also benefit from the cruise control function and a USB phone charger also located on the control panel.  The Ryobi RY48111 features a low noise level at 70 dB (decibels), nearly as loud as a washing machine, and is very low maintenance compared to its gas powered counterparts. Ryobi even includes a 3 year warranty to go along with their riding lawn mower. 

Check out the Ryobi RY48111 here:

Riding Lawn Mower Buying Guide:

Riding lawn mowers may seem pretty straightforward but there’s a lot to consider before buying one for your home. Here’s a quick guide on what to take note of before buying your very own riding lawn mower.

Before You Buy

Types of Riding Lawn Mower

There are two main types of riding lawn mower. These are gas powered and electric powered riding lawn mowers. Let’s break down the two types and see how they differ.

Husqvarna Gas powered Mower

Gas powered riding lawn mowers are the most common type of riding lawn mower currently available. These use powerful engines that are usually situated in front of the machine, with the driver seat positioned towards the back. Gas powered riding lawn mowers are more powerful, can run for longer and are larger than electric alternatives. The downsides of gas powered riding lawn mowers is that they tend to be difficult to maintain, needing spare engine parts every now and then that might need an expert to replace. Besides that, gas powered engines can be loud and emit fumes that could be harmful to the driver
or others in the long term.

Electric powered riding mowers are definitely an uncommon site in the world of riding lawn mowers. Electric powered riding mowers took a while to compete against their gas powered counterparts mainly because manufacturers had to find a way to make batteries powerful enough to power such large machines for long periods of time. This is because batteries are expensive to manufacture and source and this shows with the price difference between electric and gas powered riding lawn mowers.

EGO Electric powered riding mowers

But with advancements in battery technology being made every year, the pros of battery powered riding lawn mowers are becoming pretty clear. Just to name a few pros, battery powered riding lawn mowers are quiet running, environmentally friendly, have batteries that can run for hours at a time and can be charged from a normal power outlet, are smaller, lighter and have little to no maintenance compared to gas powered riding lawn mowers.  The downside of battery powered riding lawn mowers is that they need to be recharged eventually, leading to more downtime and they can be expensive.

And with that out of the way, let’s get to the most common subcategories of riding lawn mowers.

Zero Turn Mowers

Husqvarna Z254F Zero Turn Mowers

Zero turn mowers are a type of riding lawn mower that has a unique steering mechanism. Instead of a steering wheel, zero turn mowers make use of levers that change the direction of the mower depending on which lever is pulled. Pushing the left lever will make the mower turn right, pushing the right lever will make the mower turn left and pushing both levers will make the mower go straight forward. Similar to how a tank operates. This unique steering mechanism allows the mower to turn in place which is why these mowers are called zero turn mowers. Compared to normal riding lawn mowers, zero turn mowers have more maneuverability but are also more expensive and more challenging to get the hang of.

Garden Tractors

Garden tractors

Garden tractors are another name for riding lawn mowers that more closely resemble their farming relatives. Garden tractors are the most common type of riding lawn mower for residential use and most modern models are optimized for that specific use. Modern garden tractors have ergonomic steering wheels, have an easy to access control panel, are easy to control and master. Manufacturers also have accessories that turn these into multi purpose machines such as tow behind drop spreaders, dethatchers, aerators and even snow plows.

Factors to Consider

Cutting Width

The cutting width of a riding lawn mower refers to how wide the cutting deck is and how much area of grass is cut as the riding lawn mower passes over it. This is an important factor to consider because it would affect how much time you’d need to cover your whole lawn, the overall weight and width of the riding lawn mower. For hilly lawns, you’d want a riding lawn mower that has a wide enough cutting deck to cover enough of the slope. This is to lessen the amount of time on the slope thus lowering the risk of sliding or tipping. Some riding lawn mowers also have small wheels around the cutting deck that stops the blades from touching the ground and also gives the mower balance when on hilly terrain.

Tire Size & Treads

Tire size is important when looking for a riding lawn mower for hilly lawns. You’d want to look for a riding lawn mower with treaded tires that are wide enough to properly grip the ground while on a slope. Zero turn mowers usually have front wheels that are flat which could prove problematic when driving it up a slope.

Weight & Balance

The weight and balance of a riding lawn mower is another important factor to consider when looking for a riding lawn mower for hilly lawns. A suitable riding lawn mower for hills will have a lower center of gravity and enough weight to keep it firmly on the ground. A well balanced riding lawn mower won’t tip over easily and will be safer for the driver as well.

Incline of Slope

This is the most important factor to consider when looking for a riding lawn mower for hills. Before you even begin shopping, you need to first observe your lawn and determine how steep is the slope of the hill. It should be noted that any hill that has more than a 15 degree slope is a no go for most riding lawn mowers. This is because most riding lawn mowers are not designed to go down these types of slopes and will struggle to go up steep slopes due to their weight. Steep slopes could cause the riding lawn mower to slip or tip over, potentially harming the driver.  

Engine & Transmission

The power of the engine and steering mechanism of the mower are important factors to consider when looking for riding lawn mowers for hills. You would want a riding lawn mower with enough power to go up the slope and a strong enough transmission to maneuver on the slope. An example of a good transmission system for use on hills is Husqvarnas Hydrostatic transmission which uses hydraulic fluid to transfer energy from the engine to the wheels, offering a smoother and more controllable ride. 

Safety Tips

Using a riding lawn mower on a hill can be a tricky job to do. Here are some tips that you can use to make using a riding lawn mower on a hill safer for you.

  • Don’t use the riding lawn mower on a hill when the ground is wet. One thing that could cause your riding lawn mower to slip easily on a hill is wet grass. You should always avoid using your riding lawn mower on a hill after it rains or after you watered the lawn to avoid accidents.
  • Make sure to drive slowly whether you’re mowing up the hill or down the hill. Driving slowly would let the tires get a better grip on the grass and give you more control when making turns while mowing on a hill.
  • Try to lean in the opposite direction of the slope. This would lessen the chances of the riding lawn mower slipping or the driver losing balance while mowing on a hill. By adjusting your weight on the riding lawn mower, this would give you more balance while mowing and help the riding mower stay evenly on the ground.
  • Do not make any sharp turns while mowing on a hill.  Try turning gradually instead to avoid losing balance or tipping over the rising mower. 
  • Clear the hill of any debris or obstacles. This is to lessen the amount of turns you need to make while mowing and to avoid having to dismount to remove the objects in your path.

FAQs

Q: How safe are riding lawn mowers on hills?

A: Using a riding lawn mower on a hill can be dangerous if you don’t understand the hazards and how to avoid them. There are a lot of factors that could affect how safe it is to use your riding lawn mower such as the incline of the slope. In general, it is safe to use your riding mower on a hill. You can look at our safety tips section in case you want to learn more.

Q: How much are riding lawn mowers?

A: Riding lawn mowers are quite the investment. Most models that we’ve found range from $2,000 to upwards of $8,000. 

Q: Why use a riding lawn mower for hills?

A: Depending on the size and slope of the hill, using a riding lawn mower would be faster and more effective at mowing the hill. While manual lawn mowers are always an option, these would take longer to mow a hill and require more effort from the user to push up a hill. 

Conclusion

Using a riding mower on a hill will save you valuable time and effort. We hope that this article has taught you a thing or two about riding lawn mowers and that you leave here with a better idea on which one is best for you. Thank you dear reader and happy mowing! 

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