Hill Mowing - a Specialist Service
Safety, training and cost effectiveness
Hill Side Mowing Explained
Its not just about cutting the grass!
Hill mowing is regarded as a difficult and challenging part of ground maintenance. It requires appropriate equipment that is both suitable for the job and most importantly, is also safe.
LMS uses the only commercial mowing tractor in Hawkes Bay which has a manufacturers slope rating of 30 degrees. Most, if not all other mowers, are manufacturer rated to only 15 degrees of slope angle.
Definition of Hill Mowing
Hillside mowing includes terms such as slope mowing, bank mowing, hillside paddock mowing, difficult and tough cut mowing. (gorse and blackberry etc.)
What we are talking about are hill sides which have an average slope angle exceeding 15 degrees. Most mowers have a maximum manufacturer slope mowing angle of 10 to 15 degrees. This means that the manufacturer has set a maximum angle their mower can safely work at and do what its supposed to do - mow grass safely.
Our Mowing Equipment
LMS main hill mowing machine is the A Ventrac 4500 all-wheel drive 8 wheeled tractor. This has a manufacturers slope rating of 30 degrees. With this machine, hillside mowing can be completed safely and efficiently.
An Efficiency Rating of 15 weed trimmers
The Ventrac has an efficiency rating of 15 weed trimmers. What does this mean? It means that the Ventrac with its 1.8-meter mowing deck travelling at 4kmph will cover the same amount of ground as 15 workers on weed trimmers. Looked at another way, 1 hour of hill mowing with take 1 weed trimmer worker 15 hours to complete.
Skill & Experience
It takes skill and experience to navigate the machine around portions of a slope that are on the edge of a maximum mowing angle.
This can be managed using different techniques.
Change the angle of the approach and exit.
Use the mowers out front mowing deck configuration to push the mowing deck forward. This minimises the risk.
Approach from below and mow until the machines looses traction, then reverse out in a controlled manner.
LMS preference is to mow perpendicular to the fall line. This is easier on both the mower and the ground. For the latter there are minimal traction lines and turf damage.
Mowing for an Aesthetically Pleasing Result
Another technique which has no bearing on the cut grass, is to mow in a manner which makes a visual statement. e.g. with lines which complement the hill side fall line & viewing platform. (property owners view of the hill)
Mowing a hill side is more than just cutting grass. It's all of the above plus knowing that the operator can complete the job safely. Job safety means that your contractor applies strict safety guidelines to their work environment and puts safety above dollars and cents.
Hill Side Mowing Safety
(An extract from WorkSafe NZ.)
“All businesses should be able to deliver good health and safety outcomes efficiently and effectively regardless of their size or health and safety risks. Good health and safety supports the wellbeing of workers and is good business.”
Worksafe NZ investigate all accidents where someone is killed or injured and as part of the investigation important questions are asked.
Was the commercial mower capable of operating on the slope? What is the manufactures slope rating?
Was the operator adequately trained and experienced?
Did the client know the slope was steep and check if the contractor can safely complete the slope mowing job?
These items are important because everyone is entitled to go home after a day’s work!
LMS provides a safe, cost effective option to slope mowing that meets workplace health and safety obligations.