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Tour1
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PostSubject: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 16, 2019 1:17 am

I live on a flat 1/4 acre east of NY City. I bought some vacant property near PA that is all rocks & trees with a steep slope between most of it and the road. I am searching for the machine that can bring stuff up the hill and fit on a small trailer for the ride home. The hill is almost too steep to walk up, like 40 degrees of slope in some places.
If anybody knows what the maximum slope a lawn tractor an climb I'd like to know what it is.
Also, what is a hydrostatic transmission? The transaxles I see here look like manual shift gears.
What tractor is good for towing a small trailer or pushing some gravel around?
How strong is the shear pin on the drive axle? It looks like that and the flats on the axles seem to be everything to handle the torque.
How well do the 2 wheelers climb over rocks?
Why do you guys like the Craftsman mowers? Will anybody support them with Sears stores closing?
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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 16, 2019 2:16 am

Most manufacturers don't recommend traveling up and down more than 15° but, we all get away with more than that.  I will say 40° is pushing the limits.  My rule, if I cannot walk it, I'm pretty sure I can't drive it.

Hydrostatic transmission is a transaxle that has a pump and moves the axle with hydraulic power.  For towing a trailer and pushing some rock, it should be OK,  Some of them are actually rated for ground engaging implements.  Depends on the tractor. 

Shear pin... I'll leave that for the more technical.

Rock climbing, depends on tires and skill.

Not everyone is all about the craftsman's.  As for support, craftsmans are made by either AYP or MTD.  Newer ones are MTD.  They cross over with many other products like Husqvarna.

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Tour1
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 16, 2019 4:07 am

Thanks for the reply!
I work nights, that's where Tour1 comes from, I'm glad you're up late too.
Do you know what the ratios or speeds are for typical stock gear drives on stock tractors?
I expect whatever pulley swaps allow the tractors to go faster could be reversed to make them go slower.
Many tractors for sale have 5 & 6 speeds.
I also see references to 4 wheel drive but haven't seen any lawn tractor size 4 wheelers for sale.
Are there any brands or models that are good for rough terrain?
I started reading and liking threads in the pulling section but I got very tired.
Maybe I'll try again tomorrow night.

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Double W Cross Ranch
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 16, 2019 1:29 pm

On the ratio thing, as long as it's a geared Peerless tranny, then the ratios are in this manual:
http://www.wfmfiles.com/download/Tecumseh-Peerless_Motion_Drive_System_-_Transmissions_&_Differentials(691218).pdf
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prancstaman
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 16, 2019 9:18 pm

There are maybe 1 or 2 company's that make an actual 4 wheel drive riding mower but would be pretty big. The 4 wheel drive one's seen here are built from parts from a couple of riding mowers. 4 wheel steer riding mowers, people remove the rear steering transaxle from these and use them as a front transaxle by replacing the original front axle with it and match up the 2 transaxles because they need to be the same, run the belts (usually 2 belts), and sync up the shifters from both transaxles.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 16, 2019 10:30 pm

Hill climbing with lawn tractors is something I try to avoid if possible. Since the seat is so close to the back of the machine and the foot rests usually far forward of the steering wheel, it's hard to stand up and lean forward like on an ATV. My official patented technique is to put my left foot on the seat, right foot on the right foot rest and operating the gas pedal. My left hand steering and my right hand holding the front edge of the hood. Leaning far forward and over the hood as I go. The problem is, if I bounce on too many rocks or get knocked off, the machine is going out of control back down the hill. But at least I can jump away from it when I'm standing on it rather than be sitting on it and stuck for the ride. The lower the better for hill climbing to get the center of gravity down. Rainbowboxer and stretch have pretty much ideal hill climbing machines, although they might get hung up on a few rocks on occasion due to lower ground clearance.

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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 17, 2019 1:12 am

Actually their frames are pretty much stock height. The way they lowered the center of gravity is by lowering the seat. Their bumpers is what got them in trouble because their approach and exit angles are so shallow...nothing a little speed won’t fix
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 17, 2019 11:54 am

Thanks for the info.  I took a look at that transaxle pdf and decided to study it carefully later (seems like it covers everything they ever made).
One version of the big plan is to build a path running diagonally up the hill side.  The narrower the path the mored diagonal it can go without building retaining walls, so a tractor less that 4 feet wide has advantages.
Also the steeper it can climb (I'm thinking lowest gear, at least 500 lbs payload, like 10 cement blocks on a trailer) on a smoothed gravel surface the more directly up the hill it can go.
I'd like to avoid building a DIY cable car.  I'd have to carry its parts up the hill anyway Very Happy
I should add that a lawn tractor new is priced at or below an ATV used.
A used lawn tractor with good options would likely cost what a bad ATV would cost.

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CraftsmanQuad19
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 17, 2019 4:42 pm

Well really, you can look on your local Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for free or cheap mowers. All you need is a solid frame, a transaxle, and an engine. The whole thing can be put together for about 600 bucks or less. Grab a few other free mowers to Rob parts off of and scrap whatever you don’t use
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Tour1
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeFri Mar 22, 2019 6:46 pm

The new lawn machines have replaced the snowblowers in the big box stores. I'll be able to compare new vs used vs DIY soon.
Still haven't studied the manual, I should do that tonight.
I have a new fantasy in the form of a hinge on the back of 1 tractor connecting to a backward facing front end of another tractor. Then link the steering to keep the turning radius the same.
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Creepycrawler
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeFri Mar 22, 2019 9:18 pm

I hill climb my wheel horse all the time, it’s one of my favorite things to do with it. Here’s a vid of me and my buds hill climbing. https://youtu.be/GVkZa0uOSsE
The key to doing it successfully is to keep your foot on the clutch so if the front starts to come up just push the clutch in and hit the brakes and then back carefully down the hill. If you get good you can tap the clutch and the front will gone down but you’ll keep making forward progress
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 23, 2019 12:58 am

Your video is very encouraging. The ATV appears to have a wider track that doesn't fit on the path as well. Do those tractors have standard gearing, or are they set up special as hill climbers?
I guess larger tires would be like higher gearing and smaller tires would give you more force at the treads with less speed.
That property looks a lot like mine, too, except mine is one big hill with a relatively flat top, and my neighbors own most of the sides.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSat Mar 23, 2019 10:55 am

I've personally ridden with CreepCrawler and I keep up with him. He's pulley swapped to go faster than me but I'll give you the quick rundown of my setup in Ol' Red. I'm running a freshly rebuilt 8hp K181, using a 6" pulley on the motor and trans, using a modified wheel horse clutch that does not slip, to turn 25" tall Kenda Bear Claws, and my diff is locked but the trans gears are stock. My top speed is about 10 mph. The more extreme high climbing I do in 2nd or 3rd gear. A few times on the last ride I had to leave my tractor in 2nd gear, set the rpm to 2400, and get off the tractor and push. It's scary once the tires hook up and you're trying to regain control of your tractor on a steep hill.

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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 24, 2019 10:04 am

Is there a reason you don't use 1st gear? I don't want to spin my wheels because f the consequences of turning sideways to a steep hill.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Mar 24, 2019 11:10 am

Yeah when I’m slowly crawling around obstacles I was using first gear quite a bit on the last group ride too.
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Tour1
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeTue Mar 26, 2019 10:12 am

First shock looking at the repair manual: Some cheap units have sleeve bearings. Saturday a sales guy told me that a little lawn tractor wouldn't last, he said I need a $many unit. Some are rated for "ground engaging implements" and they are the pricey ones.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeTue Mar 26, 2019 5:25 pm

Are you trying to buy something new to fit your needs? Do you have fabrication skills/ tools to build a capable work horse/hill climbing rig from an older sears suburban or wheel horse? You might actually be more happy with a used 4x4 atv.
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Tour1
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 27, 2019 2:02 am

My property is about 600 feet maximum edge to edge.
At 6 mph (8.8 feet per second) it would take a minute and 9 seconds to go the full distance.
Take Care,
-Jim (Tour 1)
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 27, 2019 8:38 am

@Crazy_Carl wrote:
I've personally ridden with CreepCrawler and I keep up with him.  He's pulley swapped to go faster than me but I'll give you the quick rundown of my setup in Ol' Red.  I'm running a freshly rebuilt 8hp K181, using a 6" pulley on the motor and trans, using a modified wheel horse clutch that does not slip, to turn 25" tall Kenda Bear Claws, and my diff is locked but the trans gears are stock.  My top speed is about 10 mph.  The more extreme high climbing I do in 2nd or 3rd gear.  A few times on the last ride I had to leave my tractor in 2nd gear, set the rpm to 2400, and get off the tractor and push.  It's scary once the tires hook up and you're trying to regain control of your tractor on a steep hill.


I've dumped my craftsman LT on top of me twice, I won't climb steep hills with any of my other tractors that are actually heavy. Last thing I would want is a wheel horse or cub cadet coming down on my head/leg/torso, whatever I cant get to roll away fast enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeWed Mar 27, 2019 10:45 am

@mrshaft696 Yeah it's very scary. The guy with the heavy cub on the last ride stood it straight up at one point but didn't tip over. I rushed over to help him. It was very difficult to balance it while he crawled out of the seat. Then a third guy came over to help us balance the tractor and set it back down on all fours. I wouldn't want to do extreme hill climbing alone. CreepyCrawler and DonaldCon have a lot of practice bailing out of a tractor when it's tipping over. I guess back in the day it was pretty common for a half dozen roll overs on a group ride.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Apr 07, 2019 1:42 am

I've mapped out a path that would be 35.1% maximum grade and (after grooming) level from side to side.
It corresponds to 19.3 degrees of up angle (max if the topo is correct).
Does that sound ok for a route that might be used frequently?

If you have experience with both, would a 4WD ATV be a better work horse than a 20 hp 2WD tractor?
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Apr 07, 2019 7:19 am

@mrshaft696  Ah it aint that bad having a cub steering wheel sitting just above you pelvic bone.  Kinda reminded me of the days of weight lifting when you had to roll the weight down to that spot.  What sucked during that escapade was no foot throttle.  Had a good six hour drive home afterwards to digest the days activities especially the standing up of Keizer the cub 122 and came away with this:

@Tour1 An absolute must haves if hill climbing becomes your specialty.

Foot throttle (Keizer the cub 122 had one installed the very next day see below).
Very good brakes

Went to CreepyCrawlers green and came home humbled and a whole lot wiser.

Best Regards,
Mister Studabaker

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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeSun Apr 07, 2019 8:32 am

@Tour1 "I've mapped out a path that would be 35.1% maximum grade and (after grooming) level from side to side.
It corresponds to 19.3 degrees of up angle (max if the topo is correct).
Does that sound ok for a route that might be used frequently?

If you have experience with both, would a 4WD ATV be a better work horse than a 20 hp 2WD tractor?"

Keizer did a lot of heavy pulling up hills and down last year to the tune of 350#'s in a trailer more if no hills.  Up a 22°±3°up angle was about all it could handle.  Traction became and issue.  Down hill became high probability of jackknifing 350#'s pushing from behind steered you if not careful.  Straight down minimal turns. 4WD will get you up a few more grade percentages but not much all the weight goes to the rear and coming down hill with same weight no change Jackknife if not super careful.

Note: Keizer the cub 122 weight less driver:
front: 322
rear: 388

Some of the loads that Keizer pulled up grades mentioned above:

Green logs and super wet wood chip compost.  Maybe 350#'s tops doable if you had Keizer the cub 122
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Tour1
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeMon Apr 08, 2019 2:21 am

That is valuable information. 12 HP, too?
Cub Cadet is made by International Harvester, then, if your decal is OEM.
I'd like to do stuff like those pictures, but one thing at a time for now.
Mathematically 1 HP can pull 550 lbs up at 1 foot per second.
12 HP could pull it at 12 feet per second, in theory, but real life is very different.
The traction issues downhill?
There's a boatyard trick where they put the hitch on the front of the truck, then you can watch the trailer where ever it goes. Maybe it would help on the down slopes, but it won't stop anything from skidding.
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PostSubject: Re: Hill climbing?   Hill climbing? Icon_minitimeMon Apr 08, 2019 6:08 pm

@Tour1 Na, in those pictures its more like 18 to 19hp. Personal experience supports a faster gear to go up a hill and a slower one going down. Going up hills slowly makes it easier for the motor torque to break the friction between the tires and dirt.
Keizer has a locked axle to help toting the trailer up and down hills. It would be totally useless without the locker and aggressive tires. Tractors suck traction wise in reverse well all my cubs do.

Regards,
Mister Studabaker
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