mower wish list

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    What features have you found that stand out that you'd like to see put together in one mower? Seems every brand has an advantage or two over the competition, but also a few drawbacks. Maybe someday someone can put it all together and dominate the market. Most of these were thought of in terms of a ztr, but wb's can use them too.

    All the basics like cut quality, reliablity, traction, etc.....plus

    Innovations that rise above the norm:

    1. castering front side anti-scalp rollers. Some large deck mowers have this. I think it's a great idea. This helps avoid tearing turf when making tight pivots when the rollers are set low. I wind up setting mine higher than desired to avoid having them rip into the ground in certain situations, which defeats the purpose to a degree in having them at all. They only save you from a total "sod cutter" job on the turf. Those who mow low will notice the benefits more than when mowing at greater heights.

    2. A quick-change mulch-to-discharge deck system. Even just a tool-free design using wing nuts would be a plus over having to break out the toolbox. Ideally a system of sliding or pivoting baffles inside the deck (ala the old toro 37" design) allowing the operator to switch quickly from lawn to lawn as needed.

    3. Some sort of design to lower the "steering sensitivity" and make controls less sensitive at low speeds. This would help when trimming and more importantly make true zero turns easier to avoid turf damage, the #1 ZTR drawback. An experienced operator can manage well enough, but for wet or delicate turf and a less skill-demanding mower, I think a cam system might be worked out to do this while still using existing hydro motors. Once you got used to the non-linear steering, it might be a real benefit. Would also make it easier to train employees on hydros. I think hydro walk behinds need this more than riders. I prefer the smoother belt drives but want true instant reverse and zero turn ability of hydros too.

    4. Instead of using narrow tires on smaller deck sizes, perhaps it is possible to narrow the frame at that point and use standard tire sizes and still have clearance for the engine and other components. I know my walk behinds could use this and there appears to be room to do it. Why should smaller deck mowers not be as grippy as their bigger brothers?

    5. A system for fixed deck mowers to give them easier adjustment of height-of-cut range. Two improvements come to mind:

    Using the axle, currently to adjust the cut up or down past what can be done with caster spacers or blades, many mowers require removing a bolt and pivoting the axle assembly to a point where you reinsert the bolt. I think it would be feasible to affordably add a way to do this w/o tools using an arm with a pin welded to it and a cotter pin. Even the addition of a simple plug-in removeable pedal to assist lifting the axle to the right spot would be possible. Unfortunately I can't explain this easily. Right now I have to choose high or low cut range and can't quickly change in the field. Using the caster spacers works, but the blade pitch gets extreme and the cut quality suffers some.

    To make caster adjustments less messy and taxing(on heavier decks), you could use a pin system to move the mounting arm, not the caster wheel itself.

    6. A true commercial quality "convertible" mower that can be used as a walk behind when needed, or a rider. Of course this might reduce mower sales considerably, since many of us keep a wb around only for places the ZTR won't go. Then again, we'd wear them out twice as fast. But it'd also be nice to have two mowers that each can be used as a rider or wb. A 36" or 44" for gates, and a 52" plus deck for large areas. You'd always have the best mower possible for every situation then.

    7. A factory-built "flex-deck" integrated system for larger mowers to assist in gated areas, improve trimability, and also articulate with the terrain while mowing to avoid scalping problems and improve cut in rolling terrain. Something combining features of the flex deck and the gateway mower.

    8. If #6 above isn't possible, then I'd want true reasonably quick deck changeability using modular decks and weight kits to account for balance problems that might arise. Might be nice to be able to switch deck sizes or types and not have to buy two mowers. Again, a tool-free change would be optimal. I'd like to have a 60" deck ZTR, but if I could change to a 44" when terrain or gates required it, I might buy a 2nd deck. Just unhook your deck support chains by twisting a knob, drop the deck, unhook the belt, drive back, then drive over your other deck and hook back up using its chains. Something like that. Keeping precise tolerances here would be an important aspect of the design. Don't want to have to reset up the mower each time.
     
  2. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 136

    Would I be out of my mind saying that Honda is going to put together the first ztr mower that lasts as long as there cars. I herd honda has little green guys running around in the engines fixing things. haha

    Honda..... Those things lasts forever.

    :eek: !!! VOLVO should make a mower! As a kid i use to watch the commercials. They would drive the car off a building headfirst, and then the car would drive away.

    I got it. Volvo Mower with a Honda engine!
     
  3. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    brucec32 You forgot to add robotic mower to your list. If your going to dream might as well have a mower that will do the work for you. :D Marc
     
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Definitely. I'd settle for radio control and a mower mounted video camera so I can sit in the truck in the a/c and mow, kinda like the military flies their drones.
     
  5. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Posts: 1,021

    I have heard that Honda is actually working on a ZTR - he said it would be simalar to a walker unit
    I did get this info from someone that works at Honda, and do believe it to be true
     
  6. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    I wish someone could just either get mine fixed or get me one that works right :mad:
     
  7. rvsuper

    rvsuper Senior Member
    Posts: 930

    Keith what happened to the lazer?
     
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

  9. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Don't feel too bad. They've had my nearly new Lazer for almost a month now. Funny thing is, I sold my 5 year old model because I wanted to make sure I didn't suffer any downtime and it never broke in over 1,000 hours of use.
     
  10. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Same thing here. My 1800 hour Kees is getting the majority of the work. I would have been up the creek if I had gotten rid of it :eek: I am going mower shopping next week to see whats out there though.
     

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