The green industry's biggest flops/mistakes/regrets?
I thought this would be a good discussion, as in most industries, each manufacturer has one or two product roll-outs or strategies that leaves you wondering what they were thinking (i.e. 4-cylinder Camaro in the 1980s').
1.) John Deere's 800-series. As a runner-up, I might add the decision to put the JD emblem on Lowe's/Home Depot-grade junk lawn tractors and spoil a great company's reputation for quality.
2.) Lawn-Boy's discontinuance of the 2-cycle push (or self-propel) mower. These things were legendary. They could at least make a decent four-stroke push mower if the decision was really emissions-driven, but they can't even do that. The Insight series of push mowers was junk, as are the latest models that the new parent company (Toro, I believe?) is selling. Honestly, how hard is it to put a proven homeowner's grade engine on a sturdy deck with a blade under it?
3.) Stihl gas caps. Over-engineered, insufficiently tested. I'm tempted to add 4-mix to this one, as a lot of people feel that Stihl bailed out on the two-stroke market while the competition was finding ways to still make powerful, reliable equipment that met emissions requirements for people who don't want to worry about valves or making an already heavy machine weigh even more. They do make the best chain saws though, hands down.
4.) As far as the industry as a whole goes, I'm going to add the EPA's CARB gas cans. What a joke. Have the people writing the laws actually had to use one of these cans themselves? There is no reason why a simple plastic gas can in the 21st century should have safety locks or vapor control devices (unless they actually didn't cause you to spill more fuel than a traditional fuel can).
5.) Ethanol! I don't think we've seen the tip of the iceberg with this stuff's propensity to degrade engine and fuel system components, either in the green or the automotive industry. When enough people realize that it's just welfare for mega-farms in a handful of politically-connected states, we'll end this nonsense.
Liberty Lawnworks, LLC
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