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mowtech
10-10-2005, 03:11 PM
This happened in Topeka, Kansas last week.

http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/1893242.html

vipermanz
10-10-2005, 03:37 PM
somthing has to be done about mowers traction around lakes

BSDeality
10-10-2005, 05:03 PM
people need to respect the limits and capabilities of their machines, proper training and re-training needs to be done to ensure safety. The article (if you would call it that) didn't give any indication of location, however most do occur around ponds, people should be using weed wackers, walk behinds or push mowers when working around these dangerous locations!

DBL
10-10-2005, 06:34 PM
Its a shame and it happens more often than you think

Envy Lawn Service
10-10-2005, 07:20 PM
I watched the video and it appears the fellow simply done what many of us have done many times. Mowed close to the edge of a crown of a hill. But this day for whatever reasons this spot got the best of the mower.... then he did some spinning and sliding around trying to save himself before going to meet his maker.

They didn't say what kind of mower it was, but I would bet it was another zero turn rider.

I had a similar thing happen to me just since I bought the Lesco. A place I've mowed hundreds and hundreds of times before. Mowing along the edge of a whack-only slope, at an uphill direction of travel.. and on the edge of this ledge there is a city water meter sitting inside a dip. Basically I came along at a slower rate of speed than I ever had, and when I crossed the dip the rear tire dropped in it as always, but the mower wedged up just a split second, as this is one of those places that forces one front tire in the air, and in that split second the tire just sorta rolled off the front corner of the meter with a lateral wiggle as it hit the turf. The mower wiggle like so \ and in an instant I was in trouble.

Lucky for me I yanked up the brake in time and got off. With the help of a couple people I was able to get it out of it's binding situation and bring it to a point where it was safe to drive out and away.

mowtech
10-10-2005, 07:42 PM
It was a zero turn machine.

cborden
10-10-2005, 07:47 PM
Roll bars and seat belts can be a pain in the butt, but they're there for a reason. I'm putting them on both of my Turf Tigers this winter. I'd rather deal with limbs, than the aftermath of a roll over.

Envy Lawn Service
10-10-2005, 07:51 PM
It was a zero turn machine.

I figured as much...

These ZTR's are nice in many ways, but at the same time they are also unpredictable and dangerous. But for some reason, there seems to be a great "air of denial" about this. I just hope that those who buy into that will wise up an realize these machines can kill you just as quick as you can make the decision that the mower has earned your trust.

firstclasslawncareandplow
10-10-2005, 08:19 PM
I just keep telling the guys that its better to jump off and have to pull the ztr out of the pond/ ditch/ woods than to lose a friend.

mowtech
10-10-2005, 09:47 PM
I just keep telling the guys that its better to jump off and have to pull the ztr out of the pond/ ditch/ woods than to lose a friend.

Good advice, but believe it or not unfortunately in most of these cases there is not enough time to jump.

Envy Lawn Service
10-10-2005, 10:00 PM
Yeah, these things happen so fast. I'd also venture to say that a few have died due to thinking that they could save it during the first second or two... and once they realize it's a lost cause, there is just not enough time to panic, get the sticks in neutral, get them swung away, bail off and get clear.

Albemarle Lawn
10-10-2005, 10:24 PM
Has anyone here EVER bailed out of a ZTR?

If so, please describe. Really, there is only one way to bale, forward, and usually that's not an option. When the schitt hits the fan, usually the machine is picking up speed in the forward direction, blades turning, and that electric blade clutch won't stop them in time to save you. Not to mention the weight of the unit running you over if you bail out forward.

Bail out sideways (if you can) and it could roll on you.

Bail out backwards (if its wheelie-ing out of control) and it could crush you in a really ugly way.

Eclipse
10-10-2005, 10:26 PM
I know when I first started mowing with a ZTR there is a learning curve to understanding the machines capabilities. A lot different animal than a walk behind.

stumper1620
10-10-2005, 10:40 PM
Seems to me that once your caster wheels are pointing down hill that is where you are going. they wont let you turn it uphill after they get so far, try fighting the idea and thats when it gets real hairy. thing is, Mine don't have ROPs or seat belts, you cannot possibly bail with the handles in the way and trying to get to neutral could be your demise just by moving them to neutral, my hydros don't hold in neutral only the brake will, never forget to hit the brake first then move the sticks out of the way. I'm beginning to think the basic large lawn tractor is the safer machine to have at least there is 2 ways off instead of no way off.
the more of these I read about the more I'm leaning toward a large size Deere lawn tractor with Flex decks mods on it for the future.

DLS1
10-10-2005, 11:05 PM
I don't mow around ponds but it would appear in hindsight that people would use a walkbehind for any soft mushy hilly area for safety. Sad story.

CELS
10-10-2005, 11:15 PM
I always buckle up every time I get on my ZD28. I have been questioned before about their use, but I do so religiously with the ROPS up. I have one nasty bank that I mow and have been lucky. But you just never know. That is a sad story.

Envy Lawn Service
10-10-2005, 11:19 PM
Has anyone here EVER bailed out of a ZTR?

If so, please describe.

Yes, I have on a few occasions when I knew it was a goner...
I have been fortunate enough to be able to a halt at the point of no return a few times. But I have also been to the point of bailing from the machine on the fly as well. I was very lucky to come out of that alive. Just lucky enough to be able to get out from under the sticks and off in the nick of time. Had I went for the brake I would have been a dead man.

tshank
10-11-2005, 03:50 AM
Yes, I have on a few occasions when I knew it was a goner...
I have been fortunate enough to be able to a halt at the point of no return a few times. But I have also been to the point of bailing from the machine on the fly as well. I was very lucky to come out of that alive. Just lucky enough to be able to get out from under the sticks and off in the nick of time. Had I went for the brake I would have been a dead man.

I liked the central controls on the G. Danes I used to have. Should be experimented with by other mfgs. Wonder how much r&d is actually done regarding safety.

Varsity L&G
10-11-2005, 04:00 AM
After reading all these on the net lately makes me want to take my ZTR when I get it strait to the shop and get a 4x4 jeep style roll-cage installed. Do not think it would hurt the performance at all. Could be made for less then a couple hundred dollars in steel. 3/4" 120 wall tube. Could even be used for a bit of shade with a little extra work.

dh500
10-11-2005, 05:45 AM
When I was buying my ZTR (for home use) the dealer said nothing about the need to take special care and did not even ask about any hazards such as dams that might exist on my property. Fortunately my place is pretty safe and I am more than happy with my purchase.

After reading this thread, I had another look at the safety warnings in my Operator's Manual. Amongst the many pages of warnings was this:
"Data indicates that operators, age 60 years and above, are involved in a large percentage of mower-related injuries."

Does anybody have any idea where this "data" came from? Do your observations support it? I would have thought that older more experienced operators would be more likely to exercise better caution and judgment.

dh500

Varsity L&G
10-11-2005, 06:10 AM
After reading this thread, I had another look at the safety warnings in my Operator's Manual. Amongst the many pages of warnings was this:
"Data indicates that operators, age 60 years and above, are involved in a large percentage of mower-related injuries."

dh500

You know now that you mention it most if not all of the post on here regarding mower related deaths have been older gentleman. Still does not mean it could not happen to anyone of us though.

Found this link though and it was very interesting. Might be good for an employee manual. http://www.pp.okstate.edu/ehs/MODULES/mower/Mower_Safety.ppt

Varsity L&G
10-11-2005, 06:16 AM
http://www.vafb.com/fatalities04.pdf

7 rollover's in VA in 2004

here is more on the above:
Overturned tractors topped the list of farm-related fatality causes in 2004, taking the lives of eight Virginians, according to unofficial records kept by Virginia Farm Bureau.


“We think the primary reason for these fatalities is the complacency of the operator,” said Bruce Stone, Farm Bureau safety manager. “Tractors move slowly, so sometimes you don’t feel there is risk involved. Then you’re in trouble before you know it.”


In addition, five people died of other farm equipment-related injuries; one death was ATV-related; one person was run over by a piece of farm equipment; and two fatalities occurred under other circumstances, for a total of 17 deaths due to farm-related accidents. That total increased by three from 2003.


“We had an extraordinary growing season last year,” Stone said, “and the more activity there is, the more accidents can happen.”


He has kept unofficial farm fatality and injury records for Virginia since 1994 that indicate 77 people have died when their tractors overturned; 37 died in other tractor or equipment mishaps; and 31 died after being run over by tractors or equipment. Remaining fatalities were attributed to operating farm equipment on public roads, animal-related incidents and other unspecified events. Stone has recorded a total of 182 farm fatalities since January 1994.


He noted that rollover protective structures, or ROPS, and seat belts on tractors are the most effective safety devices to have in the event of an overturn, with seat belt users having a far better chance of walking away unharmed.


“It’s human nature to drift off into the next job and get sidetracked,” he said. “But the most important thing is to have safety equipment in place, because when you are not focusing on the job at hand and an accident occurs, you are more likely to walk away from an overturn.”

mowtech
10-11-2005, 10:46 AM
When I was buying my ZTR (for home use) the dealer said nothing about the need to take special care and did not even ask about any hazards such as dams that might exist on my property. Fortunately my place is pretty safe and I am more than happy with my purchase.

After reading this thread, I had another look at the safety warnings in my Operator's Manual. Amongst the many pages of warnings was this:
"Data indicates that operators, age 60 years and above, are involved in a large percentage of mower-related injuries."

Does anybody have any idea where this "data" came from? Do your observations support it? I would have thought that older more experienced operators would be more likely to exercise better caution and judgment.

dh500

I have no idea where this "data" came from on age; however, I reviewed the information that I have to see if this claim could have merit. Of approximately 30 fatalities that have occurred in the US on commercial mowing equipment in the last two years (that I am aware of), eight of these involved persons aged 60 or above. This would equate to about 27 per cent of the fatalities. That is significant relative to the total population of operators. My take on this would be that the overriding factor in these accidents is not age, but experience. From what I've seen, the less experience the more likely that an accident will occur. Most of these older operators were not professionals and had limited experience. Having said that, accidents can and do occur too frequently with experienced operators. So please continue to be vigilant and careful. Ages range from 19 years old to 90 years old. About 25 percent were under 30 years old with most being in their 40s or 50s.

stumper1620
10-11-2005, 10:25 PM
I have no idea where this "data" came from on age; however, I reviewed the information that I have to see if this claim could have merit. Of approximately 30 fatalities that have occurred in the US on commercial mowing equipment in the last two years (that I am aware of), eight of these involved persons aged 60 or above. This would equate to about 27 per cent of the fatalities. That is significant relative to the total population of operators. My take on this would be that the overriding factor in these accidents is not age, but experience. From what I've seen, the less experience the more likely that an accident will occur. Most of these older operators were not professionals and had limited experience. Having said that, accidents can and do occur too frequently with experienced operators. So please continue to be vigilant and careful. Ages range from 19 years old to 90 years old. About 25 percent were under 30 years old with most being in their 40s or 50s.
Don't forget that 60 years and older are not nearly as quick and agile as a 20, 30 or 40 year old, bailing out is not really an option to a 60 year old, especially with a z, he!! i'm 43, skinny and quick but I still can't get out from under them damn sticks very fast.
I think this winter i am going to fabricate some new controls like the pistol grips on a mini excavator or I'm gonna end up with a roll cage, my machine seems to handle slopes great but, the more i read the more I worry for my family should I be wrong about that.

lawnman_scott
10-11-2005, 11:04 PM
I think if you look at the amount of miles per year of canals, lakes, ponds, slopes, .... that are mowed around with ztr's you will find that they are pretty safe. That said, I am going to put my rops back on in nov when it slowes down here, just to give them another shot. I think the sad thing is that the poor old 69y/o man is still out mowing grass. Maybe he just did a few a week to stay busy though.

Envy Lawn Service
10-12-2005, 01:28 AM
Don't forget that 60 years and older are not nearly as quick and agile as a 20, 30 or 40 year old, bailing out is not really an option to a 60 year old, especially with a z, he!! i'm 43, skinny and quick but I still can't get out from under them damn sticks very fast.
I think this winter i am going to fabricate some new controls like the pistol grips on a mini excavator or I'm gonna end up with a roll cage, my machine seems to handle slopes great but, the more i read the more I worry for my family should I be wrong about that.

You should be able to get ROPS for your machine at a reasonable price.
Most of these MFG's put them on standard, and also encourage people to add them "at cost" to their old machine.

If not, get some tubing and make yourself a set of double breakaway sticks.
Solid up so far so you can lean them out like always...
But also with a one way pivot breakaway a little farther up.
This way you are never trapped under the sticks.

Getting the sticks in that neutral spot can be like threading a needle when you are in a hurry.

By the way, Gravely has similar sticks to what I'm suggesting, just not quite as good/safe.

Roger
10-12-2005, 07:40 AM
I think the sad thing is that the poor old 69y/o man is still out mowing grass.


Why? How about 64 y/o? I work 8-10 hours most days cutting grass, 6 days. To be sure, his demise is regrettable, but too many older people are sitting around doing nothing but wasting away.

stumper1620
10-12-2005, 08:28 AM
You should be able to get ROPS for your machine at a reasonable price.
Most of these MFG's put them on standard, and also encourage people to add them "at cost" to their old machine.

If not, get some tubing and make yourself a set of double breakaway sticks.
Solid up so far so you can lean them out like always...
But also with a one way pivot breakaway a little farther up.
This way you are never trapped under the sticks.

Getting the sticks in that neutral spot can be like threading a needle when you are in a hurry.

By the way, Gravely has similar sticks to what I'm suggesting, just not quite as good/safe.

Thanks Envy,
I'll check into that, I do some areas that I get a little bothered by. I use my WB on those areas most of the time, depends on how wet it is.

mowtech
10-12-2005, 10:24 AM
Don't forget that 60 years and older are not nearly as quick and agile as a 20, 30 or 40 year old, bailing out is not really an option to a 60 year old, especially with a z, he!! i'm 43, skinny and quick but I still can't get out from under them damn sticks very fast.
I think this winter i am going to fabricate some new controls like the pistol grips on a mini excavator or I'm gonna end up with a roll cage, my machine seems to handle slopes great but, the more i read the more I worry for my family should I be wrong about that.

Probably true, however, many of the accidents that I have investigated occurred in less than 2 seconds. Computer simulation confirmed this. Two seconds just is not enough time to bail no matter what your physical condition is or the configuration of the control arms.

JS Landscaping
10-12-2005, 10:45 AM
Stories like these just show that everyone needs to be constantly thinking about safety. No one realizes how dangerous our jobs can be until a tragic accident like this happens. A few months ago in my area a worker for a tree service was pulled through the chipper he was using. No one witnessed it, but it appears he went feet first, probably trying to kick a jammed log into the feeders. Once they grab they don't let go. The owner is devastated and now out of business, the guy who was killed left behind 9 children and his wife. A simple slip in safety turned a normal day of work into a tragedy. We were across the street cutting the lawn and doing some light landscaping when it happened. Tree service is something my company also offers, and my employees know that if they are caught doing anything unsafe intentionally such as reaching into the feed of our chipper with their hands or feet or any sort of unsafe practice with any equipment they can loose their jobs. Makes you stop and think how you can NEVER take your safety for granted and ALWAYS respect the machine you are using, even if its a small hedge trimmer to a 12 inch chipper. Anything in our industry has danger to it. The tools we use can make us a great living but can also ruin your life. Respect and care must be taken with everything we do. I do agree that ZTR's do need some improvements in the emergency exit capabilities. I have slid one onto the edge of a 20 foot retaining wall, while on my Z just because there was a slight amount of dew on the ground and it wasn't even a steep pitch. The mower stopped when the deck hit the edge of the wall. Leaving me with the front tires off into the air and me yelling for my guys to come grab the back and secure it so I could get off. Now that area is done with a walk behind regardless of conditions, even tho it takes us 10 minutes longer, its safer. Time can be made up somewhere else, a life cant be brought back. Keep it safe everyone.




James
JS LANDSCAPING

stumper1620
10-12-2005, 11:19 AM
Stories like these just show that everyone needs to be constantly thinking about safety. No one realizes how dangerous our jobs can be until a tragic accident like this happens. A few months ago in my area a worker for a tree service was pulled through the chipper he was using. No one witnessed it, but it appears he went feet first, probably trying to kick a jammed log into the feeders. Once they grab they don't let go. The owner is devastated and now out of business, the guy who was killed left behind 9 children and his wife. A simple slip in safety turned a normal day of work into a tragedy. We were across the street cutting the lawn and doing some light landscaping when it happened. Tree service is something my company also offers, and my employees know that if they are caught doing anything unsafe intentionally such as reaching into the feed of our chipper with their hands or feet or any sort of unsafe practice with any equipment they can loose their jobs. Makes you stop and think how you can NEVER take your safety for granted and ALWAYS respect the machine you are using, even if its a small hedge trimmer to a 12 inch chipper. Anything in our industry has danger to it. The tools we use can make us a great living but can also ruin your life. Respect and care must be taken with everything we do. I do agree that ZTR's do need some improvements in the emergency exit capabilities. I have slid one onto the edge of a 20 foot retaining wall, while on my Z just because there was a slight amount of dew on the ground and it wasn't even a steep pitch. The mower stopped when the deck hit the edge of the wall. Leaving me with the front tires off into the air and me yelling for my guys to come grab the back and secure it so I could get off. Now that area is done with a walk behind regardless of conditions, even tho it takes us 10 minutes longer, its safer. Time can be made up somewhere else, a life cant be brought back. Keep it safe everyone.




James
JS LANDSCAPING
Excellent points. I agree all the way with this.

mowtech
10-12-2005, 06:14 PM
Most of you are probably aware of these points, but I hope this information can be a good refresher and helpful to those of you interested in safety.

Slope mowing:
Mid-mount Z mowers have very good lateral stability so side rollovers are generally not a concern--machine will loose traction and slide before it will tip over. Up hill; however, the machine will tip over backwards anywhere from 26 degrees to 33 degrees depending on the model and deck size. Most machines are capable of climbing such angles. Be aware of your machines limitations going uphill. The greatest danger on side hills is loss of traction and control. When the machine breaks traction it will slide down the hill. Loss of traction only becomes a problem when there is some form of danger at the bottom of the hill such as drop-offs, water, or even curbs. All of which usually will cause the machine to flip. (Note James of JS Landscaping story in a previous post.) Most manufacturers state that you should not mow slopes greater than 15 degrees with your mower; however loss of traction can occur on hills that are less than this if the conditions are just right. 15 degrees does not seem that steep either. Most loss of traction accidents occur at around 20 degrees. This is probably because this angle is about the maximum where you still relatively feel safe yet traction has been significantly reduced. Note that driving down a slope at 45 degrees seems to be conducive to traction loss. Avoid doing this. Remember, if there is any danger at the bottom of the hill or anything you do not want to slide into, it is always safest to mow it with walk behind unit.

Drop-offs, ditches, pits, etc.:
Stay away from these. If your tire get too close to an edge the ground may give way causing the mower to go over. Especially after rain--ground stability next to a drop off can be weakened after heavy precipitation due to the soil being saturated. Even if the ground does not give way, loose soil, gravel, etc. near an edge at any time can cause loss of traction to your wheel nearest the edge resulting in loss of control. Your other wheel will drive you over the edge. It doesnít take much of a drop off to cause the machine to flip and have it on top of you. Also if you are mowing near any kind of drop off, always be aware of where it is, keep it in sightóbest not to ever have your back to the danger. Youíd be surprised at how many people actually have carelessly backed over an edge.

Loading and unloading:
Z mowers can flip over backwards when loading or unloading from a trailer. Make sure that your ramps are full width and not two single tire width ramps. With two ramps there is nothing in the center for the tip over skids or bogie wheels to catch on, hence unit can flip completely over backwards. Also it is best to make sure your ramps are quite a bit shallower than your machines rear tip over angle.

Always remember that conditions change. What you may have mowed safely many times in the past may someday get you.

Think safety and consider using ROPS!

JS Landscaping
10-12-2005, 10:04 PM
Good tips mowtech, Definatly something im going to print out and hand to my employees at monday mornings saftey meeting. Even tho my company is small and only has 3 employees besides myself I make sure that every monday morning I have a quick saftey meeting with everyone, I try to do it daily. Something everyone should do, even if its while everyone is drinking thier coffee in the morning. Got a sign in the front of my enclosed trailer that says saftey is #1. Maybe im a saftey freak, but after witnessing a few accidents that could have been prevented, I know I dont want anyone to get hurt while on my clock.



James
JS LANDSCAPING

thartz
10-12-2005, 10:41 PM
This is why I'm glad the industry has come out with stand on units. I have never felt comfortable sitting incapsuled in a machine especially mowing mountainous terrain.I've had several occasions when I was able to "bail " when the need arised.

lawnman_scott
10-13-2005, 12:36 AM
Why? How about 64 y/o? I work 8-10 hours most days cutting grass, 6 days. To be sure, his demise is regrettable, but too many older people are sitting around doing nothing but wasting away.
Whatever floats your boat, I just want to be doing something else by then.

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2005, 01:18 AM
This is why I'm glad the industry has come out with stand on units. I have never felt comfortable sitting incapsuled in a machine especially mowing mountainous terrain.I've had several occasions when I was able to "bail " when the need arised.

I wish I had the health for the walkbehinds and standers....
But I don't....

If I did though, a few things would still nag and concern me.

1- I would not want to have to walk on some of the hills I mow.
2- I would be afraid of a stander coming back on top of me.


So frankly, I am still following the new Kubota GR2100 to see what kind of field record it earns itself. I was really very comfortable with the machine because I feel comfortable with all it's componets.... and I came really really close to getting one. But I just could not bring myself to put over $8K in a first years model.....

Grass Man
10-13-2005, 02:37 AM
.... So noted, thanks.

ralden
06-13-2007, 07:03 PM
Upfront, let me say that I'm a lawyer. I am representing a mother and father who lost a daughter in a ZTR rollover. She was employed by a municipality, and they bought a ZTR without a ROPS. ROPS wasn't standard equipment when it was bought (Dec. 2005), although it is now, and the retailer didn't recommend the $150 "option" even though they knew the ZTR would be used to mow public parks with hills, creeks and riverbanks. One Feb. when the ground was a little moist, this girl turned the ZTR on a slight slope, lost traction, slid down the slope to the bank of a creek, where the back wheels dropped a foot or two to the creek bottom, flipping the mower backwards. The girls was pinned in by the handles and couldn't get out.

KTO Enterprises
06-13-2007, 07:28 PM
Upfront, let me say that I'm a lawyer. I am representing a mother and father who lost a daughter in a ZTR rollover. She was employed by a municipality, and they bought a ZTR without a ROPS. ROPS wasn't standard equipment when it was bought (Dec. 2005), although it is now, and the retailer didn't recommend the $150 "option" even though they knew the ZTR would be used to mow public parks with hills, creeks and riverbanks. One Feb. when the ground was a little moist, this girl turned the ZTR on a slight slope, lost traction, slid down the slope to the bank of a creek, where the back wheels dropped a foot or two to the creek bottom, flipping the mower backwards. The girls was pinned in by the handles and couldn't get out.

For any of you who have had experiences with ZTR rollovers or opinions about the safety of a ZTR without ROPS, I'd like to talk to you. I'm trying to understand how serious this problem is. 800-344-3751 (Robert)


I said this in the other post and I will say it again

Life is dangerous. The reason it costs so da*& much to live in this country is lawyers that are suing every one for their clients lack of good judgement. part of equipment operation is knowing how to use it safely and properly!

ralden
06-13-2007, 07:58 PM
I said this in the other post and I will say it again

Life is dangerous. The reason it costs so da*& much to live in this country is lawyers that are suing every one for their clients lack of good judgement. part of equipment operation is knowing how to use it safely and properly!

Yes, life is dangerous. Sometimes it's dangerous because of the way products are made, but that doesn't mean it has to be dangerous or that it's OK to irresponsibly subject someone to a dangerous product. As far as your contention that lawyers are the reason it cost so much to live in this country, I would love to know the source of your information for that statement. I'd like to see such an empirical study. Please send me a copy. As far as properly using equipment, I've read a substantial number of posts by people that know how to use ZTRs and had been using them for sometime, when they suddenly and unexpectedly lost control of the machine, usually due to lack of traction. It wasn't because of improper use, it was because of the way the machines are made. The traction problem may not be curable, so it's important to have safety features to protect people when the problem happens. Seems reasonable and feasible, and pretty cheap for about $150. Sometimes these tragedies happen not because of irresponsible use, but because of irresponsible design. If you believe that a user should bear the consequences of their irresponsibility, then why not the manufacturer? On the one hand you have an individual with limited resources versus an organization on the other with much greater resources. I'm not sure why you want to stick the individual with all of the burden, especially when you haven't weighed the relative responsibility of both parties.
Reply With Quote

irishsoul
06-13-2007, 08:19 PM
Tort reform, please!

Envy Lawn Service
06-14-2007, 12:50 AM
Yes, life is dangerous. Sometimes it's dangerous because of the way products are made, but that doesn't mean it has to be dangerous or that it's OK to irresponsibly subject someone to a dangerous product. As far as your contention that lawyers are the reason it cost so much to live in this country, I would love to know the source of your information for that statement. I'd like to see such an empirical study. Please send me a copy. As far as properly using equipment, I've read a substantial number of posts by people that know how to use ZTRs and had been using them for sometime, when they suddenly and unexpectedly lost control of the machine, usually due to lack of traction. It wasn't because of improper use, it was because of the way the machines are made. The traction problem may not be curable, so it's important to have safety features to protect people when the problem happens. Seems reasonable and feasible, and pretty cheap for about $150. Sometimes these tragedies happen not because of irresponsible use, but because of irresponsible design. If you believe that a user should bear the consequences of their irresponsibility, then why not the manufacturer? On the one hand you have an individual with limited resources versus an organization on the other with much greater resources. I'm not sure why you want to stick the individual with all of the burden, especially when you haven't weighed the relative responsibility of both parties.
Reply With Quote

Well said.


I think they should all come standard with foldable ROPS, suspension seating with a seatbelt...

And I think all the MFG's should be working towards curing as much of the traction problem as possible.

KTO Enterprises
06-14-2007, 12:55 AM
Cure traction problems with what? more aggressive tires? Grasshopper already did that and no one around here likes them. This is obviously about an operator with either poor judgment or bad training or both. In no way shape or for should the manufacturer be held liable. Otherwise just wait and see what happens to your cost of mowers and parts.

Envy Lawn Service
06-14-2007, 01:06 AM
KTO,

I sorta understand what you are driving at there...

But at the same time, what could you understand about this concern in the field?
Where is there a slope in Beaufort SC???

KTO Enterprises
06-14-2007, 01:10 AM
lol We have some major ditches and ponds.
Answer to slope problems. http://www.kutkwick.com/superslopemaster.htm

I am looking into buying one for highway department embankments where the DOT tractors cant go.

ke5hbd
06-14-2007, 01:13 AM
Its a bad thing when people get hurt or loose their lives but each and everyone of us here have been in a hurry at one time or another or just take our eyes off what were doing for a split second and get into trouble and it and it only takes a blink of the eye to do it.

I know when I run any type of equipment that has a safty belt I use it.

This was instilled by my ownself after turning over a bob cat many years ago when I was not paying attention to what I was doing.

It bruised me up but I know if I would have been wearing my safty belt it would not have been as severe.

Whats strange about this is that most equipment have safty restraint devices and people dont use them but they use their seat belts in their vehicles.

I know that I dont and wont mow next to water if there is any type of slope.

goodgreen
06-14-2007, 07:00 AM
The only time that happened to me, the grass was wet and I almost slid backwards into a pond. Only thing that saved me was it backed into a tree on the bank. Towed it out later.

lawnman_scott
06-14-2007, 07:08 AM
Tort reform, please!For what reason? No one should be allowed to sue?

Eric D
06-14-2007, 07:40 AM
For any of you who have had experiences with ZTR rollovers or opinions about the safety of a ZTR without ROPS, I'd like to talk to you. I'm trying to understand how serious this problem is. 800-344-XXXX (Robert)

First and most I believe the moderator of this forum should remove this person from this site for SPAMING. This is no more then a money making scheme. Not only is this person taking advantage of a grieving family but also asking for FREE information and FREE advertising! ITís Just Plain WRONG!

Eric D

themowerman
06-14-2007, 10:53 AM
Ralden....I see your point and I also see the other side of the fence. The owners manual clearly points out safety issues including mowing on slopes and wet ground. It also points out that ROPs are available. I think that if you want to lobby something, lobby to make it law that mfgs make these options standard. If they add these options to the machine the cost will go up and the end users who do not want these options will remove them. People are always removing and disabling safety devices....discharge chutes, trimmer line guards, seat safety switches, belt guards.....the list goes on. There has to be some accountability for the end users. Did this municipality have safety procedures in place? Did they have proper training in place for thier employees? Were employees required to read operation manuals before they were permitted to operate the equipment? It seemed like it was another tragic accident.

ralden
06-14-2007, 11:22 AM
Ralden....I see your point and I also see the other side of the fence. The owners manual clearly points out safety issues including mowing on slopes and wet ground. It also points out that ROPs are available. I think that if you want to lobby something, lobby to make it law that mfgs make these options standard. If they add these options to the machine the cost will go up and the end users who do not want these options will remove them. People are always removing and disabling safety devices....discharge chutes, trimmer line guards, seat safety switches, belt guards.....the list goes on. There has to be some accountability for the end users. Did this municipality have safety procedures in place? Did they have proper training in place for thier employees? Were employees required to read operation manuals before they were permitted to operate the equipment? It seemed like it was another tragic accident.

The supervisor of the municipality who was responsible for purchasing the mower was not told that ROPS was an option when the bid came in. As you may know, lots of government bodies are required to accept low bids, which this one did. The supervisor didn't read the owner's manual, because he figured he already knew how to use ZTRs. He filed the owners manual, and put this female employee on the mower without giving her the manual or having her read it. Regardless, she was not violating any of the guidelines when she was mowing. She was at the top of a slope of less than 15 degrees, made a turn, the wheels lost traction, and she slid backwards to the creek. The configuration of the handles would have made it very difficult to bail out.

themowerman
06-14-2007, 12:09 PM
"The supervisor didn't read the owner's manual, because he figured he already knew how to use ZTRs."
"He filed the owners manual, and put this female employee on the mower without giving her the manual or having her read it."

The supervisor should never have let another employee use the machine without proper training. I grabbed an owners manual for a ZTR and in it there is a complete section on mowing on slopes.....some of this information may have saved her life...."Do NOT mow wet grass as tires may loose traction and could cause sliding"...."All operators and mechanics should be trained. It is the owners responsibility for training users"..."On zero turn machines, mow across slopes, not up and down".....These are just a few of safety precautions out of 8 pages that the operator should have been taught or made to read. Again it was a tragic loss of life that should not have happened.

Envy Lawn Service
06-15-2007, 12:49 AM
Sliding backwards with the rear tires down the hill is a really rare occurrence.

It makes me wonder if something didn't fail, like a drive belt or drive component.

Most ZTR runaway incidents occur when the machine breaks traction, usually resulting in the front of the machine turning downhill, which shifts more weight off the rear tires and makes a bad situation worse.

So they usually go nose first unless you have a really odd slip incident... or get way to close to a drop off and then try to turn up hill. Usually. I've almost went off something backwards twice, and did go off on a third occasion.

Once it was damp, I was a tad closer to the edge than I had been hundreds of times before (far less than 15 degrees too). Another time was a "quick slip" situation that happened as I tried to turn uphill away from the edge. Luckily it did catch traction in time not to slip right off. The very first time was a drive line failure, and it DID go off the embankment backwards at an angle. The failure occurred in about the same circumstance as the "quick-slip" I described before. I just happened to be extremely fortunate that one stick was already aligned with the 'neutral' swing-out'... which allowed for my narrow escape.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The typical drive sticks on ZTR mowers... that 'typical' configureation...

I've been calling them "TRAPSTICKS" for years!

The reason is that ******ed design that traps you under them and they will not swing away from over top of your legs unless they are PERFECTLY aligned to the neutral 'layout notches'.

Great Dane (standard) Gravely... and now (2007 -> Cub Commercial / Lesco Commercial Plus are the only ones that I can think of right off that are NOT guilty of this. The standard Great Dane models have between the leg stick and the others have break-away style sticks. All of these allow instant exit out from underneath the sticks.

The "TRAPSTICKS" are a total blatant disregard for operator safety in the event of an emergency. Anyone who doesn't see that is a fool. I don't know what dummy came up with that design or how it became an industry standard. But nevertheless, it is one of the greatest safety oversights I have ever seen on a modern piece of equipment.

Any MFG that uses the "TRAPSTICKS" design should have to provide ROPS for the machine at no cost to the end user without question... and honestly, all ZTR's should have standard foldable ROPS.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Anyways, it would seem to me that the municipality is as guilty, if not more than the MFG. Both of them should probably be sued.

Please feel free to use/quote any terms, phrases, or entire posts I have written on this subject matter.
Anything that will help.

Something has got to be done about the "TRAPSTICKS" issue.
It's just as stupid as if they had put a 5-point safety harness on the seat and no ROPS.

goodgreen
06-16-2007, 08:12 AM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the other issue that caused the problem - client's dog crap wrapped all around the wheels and wet grass made it slide!!! Bad combination...

RutledgeLawnCare,NC
06-17-2007, 09:33 AM
i have an 06 exmark triton that came with bars and a belt. i wear the belt on every yard because of the comfort. it keeps me snug into the seat when i stop and turn. the added safety features are not a substitute by any means to mow faster and "SAFER" on hills. they are there as a safety net for an accedent.
thanks

Prestige-Lawncare
06-17-2007, 10:31 AM
... you can NEVER take your safety for granted and ALWAYS respect the machine you are using, even if its a small hedge trimmer to a 12 inch chipper.

James
JS LANDSCAPING

I quoted above the most important line I have read on this thread so far.

My 15 year old son is starting to work with me some now ... and though I always mow on the job, he does use the Z to mow our back yard at home. The very first thing I told him when we got the Z was that this is a dangerous piece of equipment that can kill you. All mowers and power equipment are dangerous .... and this is one powerful, heavy piece of commercial equipment that you have to respect ... period.

Safety Pays