PDA

View Full Version : The "Gizmow" mower...


gogetter
11-01-2004, 08:14 PM
Did you guys see the new "Gizmow" mower?

www.gizmow.com

twwlawn
11-01-2004, 08:23 PM
Never heard of it.

leadarrows
11-01-2004, 08:44 PM
Nice thing about a steering wheel is it leaves one hand free to drink beer with. Bobby will run right out and get one I bet. LOL

JK Bobby.

gogetter
11-01-2004, 09:00 PM
Hmmm, no pics coming up on the website (at least not for me). But I saw a pic of it in the newest issue of Landscape Management magazine.

The ad says it was at the Louisville Expo.

Oh well, just thought I'd throw it out here.

Oldtimer
11-01-2004, 09:05 PM
Looks like a great candidate for a racing mower.

Oldtimer

Runner
11-01-2004, 09:30 PM
I'm having a little trouble understanding how it turns to go in reverse. What do you do, turn the wheel around 180 degrees? This would be like driving a bumber car at the carnival!

stevesmowing
11-01-2004, 09:47 PM
I like the indivudal control of each tire and speed all in my hands as i feel i get the most control.

Travis Followell
11-02-2004, 06:22 AM
I agree, I like a lever in each hand because it gives you so much better control.

JPLAWNSERVICE
11-02-2004, 06:28 AM
I saw it at the expo and looked it over pretty good. It has foot pedals to make it go forward and reverse. Also the steering wheel is hooked up through linkages to the hydro motors too. So when you turn the wheel past a certain point, it actually makes one of the wheels turn in reverse and do a true z turn. They had some video footage of it mowing a bank and a turf tiger doing the same hill and the turf tiger wouldn't stay on the hill. The gizmow had no problem because it stuck to it more like a tractor, not trying to turn down hill all the time. Not sure about the cut quality on it though, if it is comparable to the competition it may do good when they get them out to some dealers.

65hoss
11-02-2004, 11:17 AM
I drove one at louisville. Lets just say they will never be a threat to the market. They sucked, and I never take that statement lightly. They have no control when backing in reverse. Forward control was ok. While it was fun to ride, it needs a LOT of work before its considered ready for comm'l work.

gogetter
11-02-2004, 11:44 AM
Also the steering wheel is hooked up through linkages to the hydro motors too. So when you turn the wheel past a certain point, it actually makes one of the wheels turn in reverse and do a true z turn. .

Kinda like the Hustler's H-Bar steering I guess?

Hoss, could it be that it just takes more getting used to? Or is it that there's actually something fundamentally wrong with the design?.

65hoss
11-02-2004, 12:03 PM
Kinda like the Hustler's H-Bar steering I guess?

Hoss, could it be that it just takes more getting used to? Or is it that there's actually something fundamentally wrong with the design?.


It seems fundamental. You put the pedel in reverse and try to steer it. It just slides the front tires and goes straight back only. No ability to control reverse. I wasn't the only one that noticed it. Several people at the show and others from the boards that tried it also.

JPLAWNSERVICE
11-02-2004, 02:13 PM
I never rode the gizmow but I did watch while others were running it. I noticed that it did seem to be hard to control in reverse and I even talked to the owner of the company inside. It appeared to me that something was out of adjustment on the ones they had there. If somebody went to that much trouble to design a system like that, there is no way they would build it so that it would only back up in a straight line. I still think it would be a good design when they get all the bugs worked out of it. It gave the best of both worlds, z turn ability with the hill holding quality of a tractor, i.e, no tendency for the front to turn down hill while going out an incline.

Envy Lawn Service
11-06-2004, 02:27 AM
OK, while it's fresh in my mind... as much as this Gizmow looked like an inbred cross between a Cub Tank and an old rear engine lawnboy... I had to check it over good.

The video was very impressive. I had no idea Scags were that lousy on hills. No dealer, never demoed. The mower is also very impressive in the fine details. Seems to me they have taken it upon themselves to address the unspoken things we all secretly hate about ZTR's. The only thing that made no sense to me is their use of smooth/slick front tires. Finally here's a use for those castor tires with tread... go figure.

Anyways, I talked with the guys at GIE at great length, listened carefully and watched the video very closely. First I gotta say, in defense of this mower, there's gotta be a certain learing curve there, coming off a conventional zero turn. Pretty much like getting on a twin stick ZTR for the first time and then after a few years, hopping on a Joystick ZTR....

With that said, seems to me this unit in basics, operates just like a joystick, or H-Bar in that the hydros are linked, only it's a steering wheel and that happens to have chain drive front steering attached and linked in to it as well. That's the fundamentals of how it's controlled to a point.

Now, being on this subject, here is where I began to have some unspoken concern. In the long run as things start to wear or get out of adjustment, the linked hydros and steering could possibly get off from one another and be a big mess to get worked out. That's pretty much my only concern.

As far as the backing goes, as I understand it, the idea was to link reverse together for ease in backing up slopes and hairy spots. As far as backing and turning is concerned, you are supposed to be able to do so, but not zero turn. In other words you are supposed to be able to back up and turn lawn tractor style.

Now, with that said, if I were to have taken one out for a demo I would have been miffed by this first thing. As soon as I backed off the trailer and the front tires made land fall I would have found something about the mower I disliked. Why? because I habitually zero turn in reverse soon as I hit the ground. So then I figure I gotta live with a looping reverse turn?

Same deal if it were only able to back straight up, not turn. Ugh... I'm ready to take it back. But truth is, yes these things are a hinderance, but they are easily worked around if I take time to train up on the controls. The trade off for front steering and better hilling ability is this...

I gotta re-train myself to back up an extra few inches and swap pedals and presto.... I can zero turn all I want. After a day or two of operation I have the hang of it and it becomes a non-issue or one well worth the trade off. After a month or so if I go back to my twin stick, what do you bet I don't jump right on it comfortably and start wheeling into reverse zero turns?

Also it seems to me this machine is also about re-training yourself to operating in a more productive forward fluid motion. Now, will it ever have the degree of individul control of Twin sticks? No. Am I gonna run right out and buy one? No. Will I consider one after they have been in the field a few years? Yes.

GIZMOW
01-21-2005, 07:01 PM
Dear Envy,

I appreciate the effort you took in explaining our unit. You did very well. I also would like to thank you for your comments regarding our design. That being said let me address some of your questions and concerns.

First and foremost, I should explain how our unit operates in reverse. Most of the negative comments have been, “Gizmow won’t zero turn in reverse”. This is not true, but it needs to be explained. A zero turn is one rear wheel in forward and one in reverse. If you want to zero turn in a clockwise motion, you would turn our steering wheel to the right and depress the forward pedal, for counter clockwise, you would turn the wheel to the left and depress the forward pedal. We only zero turn when the forward pedal is depressed. You were correct when you stated that we steer more like a tractor in reverse. We can turn our front casters to ~45 degrees without sliding a front tire. We have had dozens of landscapers on our equipment in the last fifteen months. Once reverse is explained, it immediately becomes and non-issue. Unfortunately, at EXPO, we did not have the opportunity to train everyone that ran our equipment.

Secondly, we have gone to great lengths and expense to over-build Gizmow. By doing this, we have avoided the wear items that typically cause machines to get out of adjustment. I completely understand everyone’s concern over our chain drive steering system. We looked at several ways to steer our front casters. We found that a chain was more desirable than rods (which would not allow us enough travel to zero turn) or belts, which increased the steering force and are more likely to wear or break. We use is a 35T Corrosion Resistant Chain. The maximum force required to turn our front casters is 60 lbs. The chain is rated for a 2400 lb force. As well, what tends to wear a chain is a constant force in one direction. We do not have this condition. The sprockets we use in our assembly are hardened steel. We still have our original chain on our original prototype machine. It has been on the machine for 18 months and has never required adjustment and shows no sign of wear. I truly believe we have very solid engineering in this system.

The system that links our steering to our hydraulic pumps has been designed to prevent wear as well. Every part that moves on a shaft is assembled with oil-impregnated bushings. Every rod that is used in the system has a P Series Alinabal Rod End. While these are more costly than punching a hole and using a shoulder bolt, they will last the entire life of the machine. The push-pull cables we use are rated for 230 lbs. The force we exert on them is 15 lbs. As you know, cables stretch. They do not, however compress. Ours are only used in compression. Again, we have attempted to avoid wear in our system that results in adjustment and eventual failure. Out test units have never required any adjustments other than their initial setup.

And lastly, we will have extensive instructions regarding these and all of our systems in our owner’s manual. Our system is completely mechanical and easy to maintain and adjust should it ever become necessary.

Thanks again for your interest and support. Please feel free to contact me with your questions and comments.

Jeff Huncilman, President
GIZMOW, Inc.
www.gizmow.com
1.866.463.2628

TURF DOCTOR
01-21-2005, 07:13 PM
Saw it this summer it is old school for those who won't let go of the steering wheel.

MONTE
03-27-2010, 08:21 PM
I know this is an old thread but did'nt Gizmow have a twin stick machine that looked like a Great Dane Chariot?

ed2150
03-27-2010, 09:55 PM
Cub Cadet has a new Z out this season that has a steering wheel......

Envy Lawn Service
03-27-2010, 11:03 PM
They tested the Gizmow on slopes along side a Scag Turf Tiger... which has fenders like a Great Dane and an under seat tank... both machines Dane Scag was involved with...

mowerdude777
03-27-2010, 11:27 PM
I think the gizmow seems like a intreasting mower, it has to be a lot easier to train employees on one then a ztr I bet

demhustler
03-29-2010, 02:37 AM
Dear Envy,

I appreciate the effort you took in explaining our unit. You did very well. I also would like to thank you for your comments regarding our design. That being said let me address some of your questions and concerns.

First and foremost, I should explain how our unit operates in reverse. Most of the negative comments have been, “Gizmow won’t zero turn in reverse”. This is not true, but it needs to be explained. A zero turn is one rear wheel in forward and one in reverse. If you want to zero turn in a clockwise motion, you would turn our steering wheel to the right and depress the forward pedal, for counter clockwise, you would turn the wheel to the left and depress the forward pedal. We only zero turn when the forward pedal is depressed. You were correct when you stated that we steer more like a tractor in reverse. We can turn our front casters to ~45 degrees without sliding a front tire. We have had dozens of landscapers on our equipment in the last fifteen months. Once reverse is explained, it immediately becomes and non-issue. Unfortunately, at EXPO, we did not have the opportunity to train everyone that ran our equipment.

Secondly, we have gone to great lengths and expense to over-build Gizmow. By doing this, we have avoided the wear items that typically cause machines to get out of adjustment. I completely understand everyone’s concern over our chain drive steering system. We looked at several ways to steer our front casters. We found that a chain was more desirable than rods (which would not allow us enough travel to zero turn) or belts, which increased the steering force and are more likely to wear or break. We use is a 35T Corrosion Resistant Chain. The maximum force required to turn our front casters is 60 lbs. The chain is rated for a 2400 lb force. As well, what tends to wear a chain is a constant force in one direction. We do not have this condition. The sprockets we use in our assembly are hardened steel. We still have our original chain on our original prototype machine. It has been on the machine for 18 months and has never required adjustment and shows no sign of wear. I truly believe we have very solid engineering in this system.

The system that links our steering to our hydraulic pumps has been designed to prevent wear as well. Every part that moves on a shaft is assembled with oil-impregnated bushings. Every rod that is used in the system has a P Series Alinabal Rod End. While these are more costly than punching a hole and using a shoulder bolt, they will last the entire life of the machine. The push-pull cables we use are rated for 230 lbs. The force we exert on them is 15 lbs. As you know, cables stretch. They do not, however compress. Ours are only used in compression. Again, we have attempted to avoid wear in our system that results in adjustment and eventual failure. Out test units have never required any adjustments other than their initial setup.

And lastly, we will have extensive instructions regarding these and all of our systems in our owner’s manual. Our system is completely mechanical and easy to maintain and adjust should it ever become necessary.

Thanks again for your interest and support. Please feel free to contact me with your questions and comments.

Jeff Huncilman, President
GIZMOW, Inc.
www.gizmow.com
1.866.463.2628

Hi, Gizmow

what the "anti slip control system" on your mowers?

what it (or steering) has to do with backing-up the hills (as stated in your movie)?

reverse straight up-hill depends on weight distribution on the rear wheels (same in any mower, steering or not); - since steering added weight to the front - you shifted COG to rear; if rear hanging low - it will get caught on every ditch, too high - it would pop-up wheelies

on hills sideways, steering should help though


does your front wheels and steering wheel spins 360 degrees?
if not - how many turns of steering wheel take to get front wheels to end left-right position? (on lawn tractors it takes several turns for the reason...)

do you account Akerman ratio? - on left pivot turn your left front turned 90 degree while right- 45; on zero turn & straight - both equal (if not - is it actually a slipping system?)

so, to perform slight moves left-right-forward you have to spin steering wheel as fast as you can and simultaneously operate pedal (also on the on the bumps) - it brings less fatigue, than natural smooze move of lever (joystick) on one inch?... - what is easier?

JABBERS
03-29-2010, 08:46 AM
Whats the cost on these machines?