Lawn mowers in 10 years?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tinkerer, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    A take off from the other "10 year" thread. What do you think will be different in mowers in 10 years? Me,,
    I think there will be several companies with robot mowers on the market.
    All mower engines will have catalytic converters. Some will have 4 valves per cylinder.
    Some manufacturers will stop selling products in California because of the litigious "any lawsuit can go" mentality.
    Some mowers will have electric drive instead of hydrostatic.
    Reel type mowers will have a slow comeback because of the less HP needed to mow with them.
    A zero turn will debut with reels on instead of the current design.
    A mower will debut with an engine that can run on another fuel than gas/diesel/propane.
    High end mowers will be equipped with a "black box" in case of a rollover or accident so they can get themselves out of lawsuits when some user tries to mow on a 50 degree incline and rolls it onto himself. Incline measuring device will be built in.
    Higher R&D costs will cause several ZTR manufacturers to consolidate or fold.
    Only 2 companies will be building true garden tractors: JD and Ingersoll.
     
  2. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,945

    You have a good imagination, I personally had never thought about the things you mentioned but it is very interesting. Technology seems to move a little slower in the mower industry than in other fields.
     
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I can see a lot of that, not sure about 10 years. I feel like in addition to some of that we will see low or no maintenance lawns. Lawns that need little irrigation and blend in with the natural environment. I see artificial turf, rocks, dry creek beds and less grass. I see industrial sites letting the grounds go back to nature, maybe more native grasses, ground covers, etc. There is already a market for fake grass in arid area's and local governments encouraging the use of this type of low maintenance lawn. I'm a bit off subject but maybe the mowers will not change as much as the lawns. I don't see a big change in mowers in 10 years. Just efi, catalytic converters, alternative engines and fuels.

    I don't think a lot of other country's have lawns such as we do in America. They are different in many area's. In fact I just watched a movie about Americans and their obsessions with their lawns. It seems we are an oddity to the rest of the world in this area of lawn care.
     
  4. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    There won't be mowers in ten years. All lawns will be perfectly flat and you'll set up a laser system on the perimeter. Once a day the laser system turns on and slices through everything in its field of evil red vision.

    We'll lose a lot of soccer balls and all our dogs will have to run around on 4 little stumps (don't worry, the nature of the injury is such that all the wounds are instantly cauterized), but the yards will look freaking awesome.
     
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    how bout instead of rotating blades, a lazer equiped deck.... engine is mated to a generator to create the electricity to run the lazer...

    I could see the inclineometers integrated into a safety switch that shuts the mower down once a certain incline is reached. but the only issue is with bumpy turf and curbs to hop I don't think it would be very effective.

    Robot mowers won't take....too much liability and no really labor savings since you still have to have an operator watch it, load, unload, fuel, ect. I was at GIE in orlando several years ago and one of the GPS mowers did not make its turn as it was supposed to, and it almost ran over a guy in the next booth over before they shut it down...

    Kubota will still be in the tractor market, and you'll still get the MTD style junk and Cubs in the mini tractors...

    I'd love to see a desiel/electric option on mower. blades and wheel motors are all electric, all the engine does is turn a generator directly bolted to the engine. No belts....

    law maint lawns will arrive, but the problem is so many lawns which are not low maintenance still exist and won't be cheap to switch over...
     
  6. Skindog

    Skindog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    American mower equipment manufacturers will be scrambling to retain market share after the Japanese have the provided innovation, reliability, longevity, and value that American Mfgs have not.
     
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    doubtful.....Japs have shown what they can do with motorcycles in regards to longevity and reliability but yet Harleys still retains a healthy market share of the "cruiser" market.

    don't get me wrong I love the honda 21" mower I have and the Kawi and honda engines...Kubota is Jap owned, nothing really innovative or off the chart to wow me...
     
  8. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,945

    We use to street drag motorcycles years ago, the Harley Davidson Sportster was a baby doll and fast, so were the Triump's and Norton's then all of a sudden there was a new kid on the block and he had a 750 Kawasaki. He would take that Japanese bike and leave everything else in his dust.

    Harley Davidson has sentimental value to American's they associate that with the free spirit of biker gangs and leisure cruising, but when it comes to technology and racing, Jap's are the winners hands down.
     
  9. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,123

    ummm did you take the little yellow pill today? lol:laugh:
     
  10. Skindog

    Skindog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Harley was on the ropes, needed a govt bailout cuz of Japanese competition.. When they bounced back, they focused on a niche, heavy cruisers, and created a "brand". And they are pretty much roped off into that corner of the market now.
    Mower mfgs (US) dont build mowers much different today than they did 10, 20 years ago. Its a very stagnant, mature market it would seem, that isnt offering much in the way of improvement to us end users. My impression is that it is a fragmented US mower industry that is ripe for consolidation, plant mfg process/productivity improvements, engineering leaps, etc.
    My hope is that US mfgs recognize this and are proactive, rather than in a defensive, catch up mode 10 years from now.
    look at the lessons in the Auto industry. Still playing catch up.
    Look at the ATV/Snomobile/Watercraft industry. Overwhelmed by foreign competion too, hanging onto a pc of the pie yes, but overwhelmed.
    The US Mower industry reminds me of the technologically deprived, oil leaking, maintenance intensive, breakdown prone Harleys, Triumphs, Norton motorcycles of the 70's, just before the Japanese decided to offer better products.
    But anyway, my prediction is just that fewer US Mfg's still in business 10 yeasr from now because of consolidation and foreign competition. And a better product for the end user.
     

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