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Great feedback

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sldillam, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. sldillam

    sldillam LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I am an engineer working with Tyler Patterson on a New Product Development Project at North Carolina State University. We got some really good feedback from his posting on 1/29 and thought we would throw out a few more questions:

    What areas of your operation would you like to improved? (equipment set-up/break down time, maintenence, mulching, safty, etc.)

    What are the biggest contributors to your maintenance costs?

    What type of ergonomic problems do you have with your equipment?

    Thanks again for your input, you're helping us out a lot!

    Susan Dillaman
  2. VLM

    VLM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    Susan, I cant tell you the number of times I've said to myself "I wish I could talk to the design engineer of this piece of equipment". Don't design engineers consult professionals when they make their products? The big commercial equipment is usually pretty good, and I dont have much trouble with it, but I have had constant problems over the past 10 years with my small 21" walk behinds. I finally found Lawnboys (the 3 in 1 type (bag, mulch, discharge) and they were by far the best designed...except for the self propell mechanism which was WAY too slow and would last about a half season before needing a complete overhaul. Finally, after going through about 5 of these machines I decided to try the consumer reports recommendation, Yard Man 6.5 hp self propel, Briggs and Straton. This machine was all I thought I needed; it was fast (6 speeds) and it had rear wheel drive (very important), and a good engine. The only hitch was when I first went to use the bagger. I mean this thing must have been developed by a complete moron. It is absolutely impossible to use in a quick and efficient manner. The whole point of designing a bagger is so that the user can hold the plastic trash bag with one hand and empty the bagger into it with the other. This bagger will not allow you to do this. There are half a dozen other bagger systems out there, the worst of which is 10 times better. Now I just refuse to bag cut with it and that frustrates me and my customers.

    To answer your question, ergonomics!!!
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

  4. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Take a look at the Johnsered back pack power unit for string trimmers and make it better and available here. So many companies are "wasting" time coming up with split boom machines, I think it would be better to have the power unit on your back and all you would have in your hands is the actual tool. Hedge trimmers, string trimmers, rototillers, power brushes, chainsaw, even a sprayer boom and the list goes on could be used with the same back pack power unit. And of course it would use straight gas.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    "What areas of your operation would you like to improved? (equipment set-up/break down time, maintenence, mulching, safty, etc.)"

    I think more dealers should offer rental units/loaners for commercial customers, or have the ability to repair equipment while u wait.

    "What are the biggest contributors to your maintenance costs?"

    Fuel is my biggest mower expense, directly related to its operation.

    "What type of ergonomic problems do you have with your equipment?"

    Handles on WBs should have some provision for adjustment to accomodate folks of various stature. Gear levers and throttle controls are sometimes positioned where going under a tree or bush can shut down or change direction of the machine.
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    How about developing a material for blades that
    will hold an edge a lot better.
  7. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 437

    I wish trimmers/edgers had a longer shaft. I'm only 6' tall and they cause back problem do to the angel of operation. I can't imagine what taller people must go through.
    Sound is another concer of mine. I currently use the Elvex hearing protection with a FM band to listen to the radio. I would like to see some sort of hearing protection that uses "state of the art" anti-noise to cancel the high dB of two cycle equipment.

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