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  #1  
Old 04-18-2006, 03:00 PM
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Tanaka Tanaka is offline
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Help Design Our New 24cc Trimmer!

Hi,
Tanaka is in the process of developing its new PF3 line of PureFire low emission two-stroke engines. In doing so, we would like your input on the new TBC-260PF (tentative model #) 25cc grass trimmer.

So, please comment on what you would like to see. Here are a few feature / benefit categories to comment on:

Noise Level (A little quieter or as quiet as 4-stroke or doesn't matter)

Throttle style

Throttle Lock (Y or N)

Trimmer Head (Bump, Quick-feed, Automatic)

Trimmer Line (Quiet line, Green Monster, or Factory supplied)

Front handle (padded, non-padded, offset, low profile, high profile)

Warranty (1, 2, or higher commercial warranty)

Shaft color (black or aluminum)

Handle grip on shaft (remain the same, TBC-230 style, or something else)

Cutting Head Guard

Other

Thanks for your input. We'll post period updates on your / our progress.

-MW
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2006, 04:19 PM
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mcwlandscaping mcwlandscaping is offline
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Location: Nashua, NH
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noise level--don't care as long as it isnt' screaming
Throttle style--to be honest i like the way stihl has theirs
throttle lock--- yea, on my stihl it makes starting easier when cold
head--i favor bump heads
front handle---low profile, non padded as the padding gets messed up uauall and dirty and grimy
warranty---as high as you can go for commercial
shaft color---black sounds cool
cutting head guard--- small, only covers the spots that need to be covered


just found out last week my dealer is now carrying tanaka products and am very interested in checking them out!!
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2006, 05:03 PM
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MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Shelby Twp., MI
Posts: 841
Mark,

For trimmer noise, it doesn't really matter on how loud it is as we should all be wearing hearing protection anyway. Just as long as it doesn't scream so loud the customers and surrounding neighbors get annoyed.

For throttle style, I like the setup Redmax has with the heavy duty throttle that is bendable so it doesn't break easy. Also no safety switchs on the throttle if possible. They tend to get in the way and don't allow users to comfortably move there hand position around a lot. A throttle lock would be great, but I would really like to see one that allows you to lock the throttle at different speeds. I hardly find myself, line trimmer screaming going wide open in most residential lawns. A big rubber grip would be nice. Not the really squishy ones that end up tearing or wearing out fast, but a real durable big hand grip. Kind of like the ones on the TBC-230, but longer.

Trimmer head, I like bump feed myself. Maybe make an option of either being able to switch between 4" and 6" heads or providing one of each at the time of purchase. I like 6" heads but find at times I wish I had a smaller 4" head to get in tight places. In any event a very long lasting durable bump knob is very important. Either cheap replacements or super wear resistant bump knobs would be the way to go. I go through far too many of these. Why they make most of the knobs hallow is beyond me. Also a grease fitting would be nice to have for the trimmer head.

Trimmer line, doesn't matter to me. Just make sure the eyelets are metal and are capable of using various sizes of trimmer line and can hold as much as possible.

Front handle, I find the low profile D-shaped handle to be the most versatile and comfortable handles (not the curved D-shape but the bent one, \_/) . Would like to see something that does a great job of absorbing the vibration, yet is some what flexible to avoid breaking. Ever see how some chainsaws handles are on springs? Something like that would be good for the vibration issue.

For warranty issues, I would like to see a 3 year warranty. I have yet to have a line trimmer have problems within a 2 year period even with tons of hours. Ideally any customer is going to want the longest warranty possible, but obviously there must be a realistic one. So 3 years I feel is fair.

Shaft color, I'd prefer aluminum only because I would think the black would absorb the sun a lot more making the it hotter.

Cutter head guard, as a manufacturer I'm sure you don't like to hear this, but most lco's take these off. I think there are several reasons that this happens. 1. People's Visibility is very limited with them on.
2. The attitude of the more line I can run the better.
3. They are gaudy and get in the way when maneuvering around things.
4. They line cutter itself breaks off or does a really bad job of cutting the line in the first place.
Personally I leave mine on. But if the above issues would be considered, I feel more people would leave them on too. Not only are they a safety issue, but they limit you to the proper length of trimmer line to keep the load and the rpms in range. My advice is to design the trimmer to allow as much line out as possible, improve visibility, lessen the bulkiness, and keep the operator and bystanders safe.

Other
1. An easily removed spark arrester as they always clog.
2. Lightweight as possible
3. Well balanced
4. Powerful
5. Gas usage efficient
6. Simple and easy to work on design.
7. Durable
8. As little vibration as possible.
9. Comfortable for both Right and Left handed users.
10. Dependable
11. Comfortable for tall and short people.

Hope this helps Mark. These are just my opinions as many others may differ from mine. Its great that your company is listening to the people who use these products everyday to make a living.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2006, 06:23 PM
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PR Fect PR Fect is offline
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Location: Appleton, Wisconsin
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Noise Level (A little quieter or as quiet as 4-stroke or doesn't matter) The quieter the better! This is a very big issue. With mower bans, blower bans, I am sure trimmers are on someones list to get rid of them because of noise.

Throttle style One that will not break

Throttle Lock (Y or N) Does not matter

Trimmer Head (Bump, Quick-feed, Automatic) Bump, with a button that will last. Can you guys make some kind of wear piece for the button heads? You know something that is cheap and easy to change that will wear out instead of the button itself?

Trimmer Line (Quiet line, Green Monster, or Factory supplied) The old line works fine.

Front handle (padded, non-padded, offset, low profile, high profile) D shape, low profile, padded, anti-vibe

Warranty (1, 2, or higher commercial warranty) 2-year commercial

Shaft color (black or aluminum) Paint it blue for all I care.

Handle grip on shaft (remain the same, TBC-230 style, or something else) ???

Cutting Head Guard Light weight

Other Light weight, like less than ten pounds. Low vibration
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2006, 08:56 PM
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djlawn djlawn is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 112
Noise Level doesn't matter as long as it isn't real loud due to hearing protection
Throttle style

Throttle Lock Yes

Trimmer Head Bump

Trimmer Line Quiet line

Front handle padded, offset, low profile

Warranty higher commercial warranty)

Shaft color (black or aluminum - doesn't matter

Cutting Head Guard - large one
  #6  
Old 04-18-2006, 09:00 PM
lampeslawnservice lampeslawnservice is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Burlington, Ia
Posts: 323
Noise level- as long as it isn't unbearable to bystander doesn't matter. I wear hearing protection.
Throttle style-on the shaft, one finger,protected so it does not get broke, almost gun trigger style
Throttle lock-I would like to see one with multiple levels of trigger lock (wide open, 3/4 throttle, 1/2 throttle, 1/4 throttle)
Trimmer head-bump
Trimmer line-Green monster
Front handle-D style
warranty-2 year
Shaft color-aluminum
Handle Grip????
cutting head guard-high visibilty
  #7  
Old 04-18-2006, 11:12 PM
Likestomow Likestomow is offline
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Location: Tennessee
Posts: 994
Why not make a 30cc, non-brush cutter trimmer, kind of on the order of Redmax's? Not quite so HD so it can still be light weight, like 10.5# - 11.0#. Maybe use a hollow drive shaft. This would have more power and still be light weight... pretty attractive.

I prefer the universal heads, like the Veri style that incorporates the knob into the spool. It is so easy to pre-wind 10 spools and have them on the truck ready to switch out, rather than pull the head apart, remove the spool and rewind the spool during business hours. Pre-winding can be done while watching the Donald.

Lastly, come up with a new different color so this thing stands out everywhere it is used. It would create interest. I would like to see it be blue. Actually, if it was available right now, I'd buy one now.
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2006, 11:39 PM
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Tanaka Tanaka is offline
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You're my boy, Blue

So, if I could get it in blue, you'd buy it today? Where have I heard that line before...

On the cc's, Tanaka is looking at filling the gap between 24cc and 32cc (TBC-340PF). Thanks for the input.

-MW
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2006, 04:21 PM
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128Steve 128Steve is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sherman Texas
Posts: 103
Mark:

(1) Get the marketing/design department to do something! (2) Have the finished product give you brand recognition (3) you are working on the dealers network. Your products are excellent, but clearly having good products is not enough.

I have read in this forum to a large degree of how equipment securing from theft and for transport is very important. Maybe you could add a feature to the case which makes it easy to lock up and keep stable during transport.

Keep up your efforts. Some good idea's already stated.

Good luck.

p.s. Is a new 25 cc trimmer really filling a gap between 24 and 32 cc's?
  #10  
Old 04-19-2006, 04:35 PM
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Tanaka Tanaka is offline
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Location: Auburn, WA
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?

1. Are you asking for us to be an inside-out company instead of outside-in? I think there are enough backwards thinking companies in this industry. What would you like the marketing dept to do?

2. I think you mean offer a revolutionary grass trimmer similiar to when Tanaka introduced the Auto-start grass trimmer? I agree - it can't be a me too product. Powered by innovation - that is what the Tanaka brand is about.

3. Exactly

Thanks for the input. Tanaka is looking at something in the 27cc range.

-MW
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