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olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 02:42 AM
Some one had a thread up awhile ago about technology and how it will benefit the industry. Well I newer seen or heard of it being done and I'm sure it would take a little work but it could be implemented now on certain properties. I'm talking about using gps and remotes on mowers it would take some time to plot the course but why could'nt gps be hooked up to a mower and once plotted let it go. Large commercial account would be perfect . Drop off the mower sat nite and pick it up sun. I realize this would take some money to get it all done, but when that day comes and I believe it will, think of the possibility! Fewer employees, works in the rain possibility are endless If you could afford 4 mowers a solo operator could do the work of 4 men and keep the revenue that would not be paid out. We already have dozers that have lasers on them to cut to the correct depth so we can't be that far away

Mac

Ursushorribilus
10-05-2004, 02:52 AM
Mac, you've missed your calling...you should be an idea man for some big think tank. I remember watching Star Trek back in the 70's and thinking how great it would be if I had a "communicator" (beam me up Scotty), and thinking maybe in a 100 years or so they might have such a thing. Now when I pull the Nextel out I wonder what else I'll see in my lifetime...

David Haggerty
10-05-2004, 07:33 AM
I've checked in to doing that. I think GPS steering for my Toro 580-D was around $6,000 installed.
But it wouldn't gain me that much. If equipment's operating someone's got to be there. (I was looking for some way to keep my stripes straighter)

Then there's the risk someone with a crew of cheap laborers and practically no overhead would undercut my price.
I think it's always been a competition between equipment vs labor.

I chose equipment, got me some big Toro Commercial equipment.

Then I saw something really bizarre the other day. A competitor was mowing a local factory which has 13 acres of lawn. He has a Toro 580-D (which has a 16 foot cut) sitting on his trailer while he mowed the lawn with a 60" ZTR!

I can only HOPE the Toro was broken down or something.

Dave

CJ GreenScapes
10-05-2004, 09:32 AM
If it happens and becomes affordable, why would anyone pay an LCO to cut their yard - commercial or residential? I don't see the advantage for us in this business...

geogunn
10-05-2004, 09:50 AM
mac--are you getting lazy? perhaps tired? take a siesta then get back to work! lol!

I believe there are applications for GPS technology in this biz but I don't know what they are.

in any event, I don't see how it could go unmanned during operation because there is no unprogrammed hazard recognition associated with GPS.

for example, you can program the guidance to know there is a ditch or a tree at a certain location but you can't program the unit to recognize that the ditch is overflowing from a flash of rain or that the top of the tree has been blown out and is now in the path of the mower.

some of the large farms use GPS on their equipment to aid navigating huge fields for differing agricultural practices and it works quite well, however...there is always an operator in the cab.

with all that said...."beam me up, MAC"!

GEO

Mo Green
10-05-2004, 10:38 AM
What about the liability aspect? If your mower is left to cut unattended, what happens if it runs over something that wasn't there when you dropped it off? Or some kid decides to try and play with it while it's mowing? Or for some reason it veers off course and hits a car, or person, or flower bed, or house, or falls off the curb into the street? Then what?

I can only imagine what liability insurance would cost for something like that. I think I would rather be there doing the job so that I could make sure it was done right. I think most customers would feel the same way.

olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 10:42 AM
Dam. you guys are not helping!
David, why does someone need to be there? and even if they do an operator on one mower could over see the work of the other unmanned mowers. Also 6k to have it put on, if it lasted only 3 yrs you would be saving a fortune in labor cost alone not including being able to double the work you take in.
Greenscapes, People would always hire you unless your there only to mow the lawn. And what is affordable? To one company 20k might be affordable but to another 6k may be to much, you would have to average it out to figure if it was affordable to you and your customers.
Geo, Someone has to drop the mower off so a quick walk around could eliminate the problems you mentioned.
Mo-green everything you mentioned can happen with an operator abourd just as well as with out one.
Times are a changing and you either change with them or get left behind. We got robots assisting in surgery and building our trucks, We need to figure out away to have technolgy assist us

Mac

Wreak
10-05-2004, 10:59 AM
You can't just drop off a mower and hope it doesn't kill somebody or run over the neighbor's dog or cat. Who's to say that somebody doesn't steal it? Will it have lo-jack too?

This MIGHT work if you dropped it off 50 miles out of town to mow a 50 acre farm or something but to have this thing unmanned anywhere civilization is just crazy.

I have an idea, why not put wheels on some trimmers and install a GPS and just drop it off? LOL

olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 11:17 AM
You can't just drop off a mower and hope it doesn't kill somebody or run over the neighbor's dog or cat. Who's to say that somebody doesn't steal it? Will it have lo-jack too?

This MIGHT work if you dropped it off 50 miles out of town to mow a 50 acre farm or something but to have this thing unmanned anywhere civilization is just crazy.

I have an idea, why not put wheels on some trimmers and install a GPS and just drop it off? LOL

No but why not use a lazer to trim with rather than have an old piece of steel spinning in a circle that could come off and kill some somebody or something lol Go back to your old job, you speak like someone with 1 yrs experience

Mac

Wreak
10-05-2004, 11:40 AM
Don't be Hatin'

Now that Lazer idea is actually a better idea.

geogunn
10-05-2004, 11:48 AM
Dam. you guys are not helping!

Geo, Someone has to drop the mower off so a quick walk around could eliminate the problems you mentioned.

MAC--trust us! WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU!!!

to that point, yesssss......you could scout the area and look for the problemos I mentioned......BUTTTTTT.........you could also scout the area for me and you would not find me because I would hide real good......and after you got good and gone, I'd sneak up behind your GPS enabled sooper-dooper laser guided lazer and and then I'd steal it and take it over to my side of the tracks where I'd sell it to a lawnsite teenager or a scrub for real cheap money!!!

GEO :waving:

Up North
10-05-2004, 11:51 AM
Mac, I like your idea. The main problem would be finding accounts that you could cut unmanned. I don't think residential would work due to all the things that change. Someone comes home for lunch and parks the car a tad off the driveway...bang! Mower hits car, damages gps and heads straight for the patio. Far fetched, but a possibility. Now I'm sure the unit would be designed so that if the gps or something critical goes wrong it would shut down automatically. Like you said, (I think it was you) larger commercial would probably be the market for this type of mower.

The trim laser could be attached directly to the mower itself, trimming as it mows. Heck why not add a blower & edger to the unit as well. Run with it Mac, you'll be in Tahiti with the chicks fanning you and bringing beers before you know it!

P.S. If someone trys to steal it (Geo), remember...you got a laser on that bad boy... :blob2:

Buck

pwarren4
10-05-2004, 12:03 PM
How about having a lazer auto-mow while your trimming, edging and blowing? That way your there to keep an eye on it and should cut your time per stop in about half.

Technology and progress along these lines is great - I just believe in taking baby steps to prove out each concept throughly. One mishap and the public will ban it from any future thought.

olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 12:23 PM
MAC--trust us! WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU!!!

to that point, yesssss......you could scout the area and look for the problemos I mentioned......BUTTTTTT.........you could also scout the area for me and you would not find me because I would hide real good......and after you got good and gone, I'd sneak up behind your GPS enabled sooper-dooper laser guided lazer and and then I'd steal it and take it over to my side of the tracks where I'd sell it to a lawnsite teenager or a scrub for real cheap money!!!

GEO :waving:

Geo, knowing that there are people of shall we say not the highest morale standards, I had already thought about that and it would electronically shut down and become inoperable, kinda like your cable box where you have to install the correct card to make it work. Or in case that did'nt work because some leo's knows all the secret of getting away with theft I would just rig it to explode when ever it coordinates were changed or it deviated in any change of direction :D

Mac

PS. Then I would come after the low life leo with my lazer edger and do a little surgery to a delicate part of his anatomy

muddstopper
10-05-2004, 03:44 PM
The technology is already out there. Have you not seen the little vaccume cleaner that runs around inside the house with out anybody watching it. To keep it from bumbing into things it is also equiped with a sonar device that picks up obstructions in its path letting the vaccume steer around the obsticals. The same can and has already been done to lawnmowers. They are just a little pricey to have around.

muddstopper
10-05-2004, 03:49 PM
Check this out.
http://newsinfo.muohio.edu/news_display.cfm?mu_un_id=25150308

olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 05:27 PM
Check this out.
http://newsinfo.muohio.edu/news_display.cfm?mu_un_id=25150308
Thieves, dam vile thieves I say! :realmad:
Well what about my lazer edger??????? or did someone steal that idea also?
Been thinking about a lazer on a stick for the occasional weed just zap it and come back in a week and its dead. I think it would work well in flower beds that are filled with plants, no chemicals to worry about. And you would not have to be lisc.

Mac

rodfather
10-05-2004, 05:31 PM
Mac, I think you've been watching that SciFi channel too much...lol...now get back to work for a change!

muddstopper
10-05-2004, 05:34 PM
Whynot use a cattle prod. It is electricly charged and should work like a weed wacker on an electric fence charger. Or maybe one of those selfdefense sappers a zillion volts directly to the offending weed. Could also be used on a pita costumer to get them to pay up.

olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 05:44 PM
Mac, I think you've been watching that SciFi channel too much...lol...now get back to work for a change!
Rod, the idea is to do less work for more money :D

olderthandirt
10-05-2004, 05:58 PM
Whynot use a cattle prod. It is electricly charged and should work like a weed wacker on an electric fence charger. Or maybe one of those selfdefense sappers a zillion volts directly to the offending weed. Could also be used on a pita costumer to get them to pay up.
muddstopper a laser is a high intense beam of light so it would not be the same as a cattle prod. And besides the cops said if they caught me with a cattle prod again I better be in the middle of the herd :D

sethsodsquad
10-05-2004, 07:36 PM
GPS units aren't perfect either. I have used nice GPS units and they have led me close to a desired location, but my exact desired location is about 10 feet away.

What would your customer say when there are whole parts of the lawn not mowed and other parts (such as their nice rose garden) which are mowed to the ground?

GPS is better used as an aid to your work. Have you ever used a Mapquest map and ended up totally not where you are supposed to be?

Seth