Front Brakes on a Zero Turn Mower!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ted corriher, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. ted corriher

    ted corriher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    With 3 people that I personally knew killed on Zero Turn Mowers, I decided to invent front brakes for a zero turn mower. Well here they are. TEDbrakes, trademarked and patented hydraulic front brakes for ANY zero turn mower. We also have a four wheeled brake model coming.

    Help the cause to make this standard equipment in the zero turn mower industry. Greatly improve the safety for your self or your operators on your equipment!!! We have acheived a lot of stopping power with these. If you mow on a hill or mow at all, these can be a great addition to the safety of your operation. Decrease liability, increase safety!!

    Tell us what you think. Do you consider safety to be important in your line of work?

    You've got to see the video!!!! Check it out on our website,

    Or watch it on YouTube
  2. RonAyersMotorsports

    RonAyersMotorsports LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 854

    Great idea. Love the idea. Not so much your test mower. But definately a need for that in this industry in Hilly terrain. Hope you do well with it.
  3. Backhoe Man

    Backhoe Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    Great idea. ROPS would be good on that mower also....BH/////////
  4. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,601

    never really realized there was a need, but after thinking about it, i guess there would be. the only problem I have with it is this (and please remember, I am not a physicist or an engineer by any means): consider a ZTR traveling downhill forwards. you slow the front down but not the back. all of the weight and momentum from the rear (which is a LOT) wants to continue to move, and by slowing the front wheels you are turning them into a hinge of sorts. think of a car, when you slam on the brakes, all of the momentum and weight is transferred forward, it nosedives and the rear end pops up. I think this could create a potential for a very unstable mower. would work great if you were going backwards downhill, but how often is that? I think its a great safety feature, but I think it would be better suited on the rear wheels. perhaps adapt a simple drum brake system that is found on many automobiles, and rather than use a complex hydraulic system, just use a simple, variable lever action system much like an emergency brake in a car. you need to stop the weight, not whats in front of it.

    DISCLAIMER: i am not an engineer or physicist by any means, nor am i knocking this guys design at all, and I think it could be developed into a great safety system.
  5. Pro Edge Lawn & Landscape

    Pro Edge Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    Holy crap... I dont know whats more impressive... the brakes or the brass he has to ride the hill like he did without a helmet or bodysuit
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,231

    I would rather not have a brake on the front wheels. Responsible operators don't have issues. Great concept but if your employees drive the mower like in the video they are going to get themselves hurt no matter what and also get fired.

    If he went full speed down a longer and steeper hill jabbing the brakes is going to make the rear end pretty light maybe go over even. That will kill someone.

    Roll bar is the safest and simplest thing if a person is worried about flipping mowers.
  7. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    i am really impressed. i think that is a grreat idea and i mow some really steep hills up and down and sideways. i have mastered the up and down but man do i have to be careful and there is a risk there. have you done an application for a kubota 326 ereis mower yet and if so, how much do they run. remember, kubota had a pto shaft and gearbox under the floor panel.
  8. ted corriher

    ted corriher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Thanks for the comments, this was shot on my small berms. If you watch this video you'll see that on the big berms I did have on a helmet. This video was shot over a year ago.
    The new video with brakes was shot last week.

    As I said, I have a 4 wheel brake version completed and we will shoot video of it soon. I would agree that the mass is behind the front wheels, however as you've seen for yourself, the front brakes work....can your mower stop like this?
  9. ted corriher

    ted corriher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    djagusch - obviously you cannot mow at this speed, not to mention, you would not have any customers left because of the turf damage. However, when you apply moderate brake pressure on slopes or hillsides, at normal speed, you gain an enormous amount of control. The video was just a demonstration of our patented brake system.

    grassman177 - We are in the process of getting every manufacturer to offer this, the best thing to do would be contact Kubota and ask when they will available for your model.
  10. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    I would love something like that! My only concern is the hose's etc sticking up so high out of the casters. I would think they would get broken off mowing around trees and shrubs etc. Maybe use an elbow or something to stop it sticking up so far.
    If the caster shaft is hollow, wouldnt that make it weaker?
    Also sounds a little complicated, but I dont know much about hydrolics.

    Mike, you would use the drive wheels in conjunction with the front brakes to stop so rear end spinning around souldnt be an issue.

    I think it is a great start and with some tweaking it should be a go'er! Like I said, would love something like that and know there is a real need for it in some locations, like where I am!
    Best of luck with it!

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