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Need Your Help Designing A BETTER Zero Turn Mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ted corriher, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 711

    MikeKle said it so well in his earlier post. You can put but so much in a unit that makes everyone happy.

    It always amazes me that so many get there shorts in a bind over a name, color, or how it looks. For the money your talking for the newest and the greatest with all the features a "professional need" your talking 15 grand and up. Ok I don't care what it looks like or its color or if it has super molded, removable, faired gas tanks. DOES IT WORK Is what I'm looking for.

    For my "Ultimate" machine:
    1.your going to have to rule out any mower smaller than 60". You just cant put all the bells and whistles in a foot print of 50" wide by 60 or 70 some inches long.

    2 "Muly function" To get to a mower that uses the 3 and 4 cylinder diesels the cost is going to make the average LCO run not walk for the closest exit. But if that one machine had the power, and versatility to do all that a guy needs throughout the year, you got my attention.

    I have some drawing of my "Ultimate" mower and with some more interest i hope to get it patterned and prototyped some day.
    I come form a faming back ground and still farm some after mowing season is over. Take a good look at how the farmer utilizes todays tractors and then think mowing. Its not rocket science. The farmer dose not have a different tractor for planting another for field tilling or plowing. Yes a tractor and a combine, other than that its all attachments.
    I will have a air-conditioned cab, 2 speed geared hydro (low for lawns, high for road gear) yes Road Gear 28+ mph. No more trailering from job to job, unless out side of a 5 to 10 mile run. 38" flotation tires, air suspension seat. The age old problem with different types of grass and grass height, thickness. Go look at the farmers combine. They processes many types of grain in one machine. Corn, wheat, soybeans. All by just a few adjustments round the combine. Grass and leaves will not be bagged or boxed. It will be compacted and bailed just to name a few.

    Did you know that satellite GPS on a tractor today can save its cost in fuel and chemical wasted in as fast as one year. Just by eliminating over lapping rows. Hopefully soon with GPS and inferred tracting of cut and uncut grass you will be cutting a full 59 or 60 inches every round using a "lawn version of auto steer".

    Dan H
  2. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,421

    Hey Ted, my suggestion would be to just "customize" mowers for people all over the US. You have the shipping in place already, and I am sure anyone serious about lawn care would be for it. I have heard people say all the time "I would pay $5000 more for a mower that is perfect". Do conversions for people. There is a company in Dallas that takes the Ford 250 and 350 and does Cummins conversions for them, yeah its expensive, but those people feel they get the perfect truck. On the mower side of it, you are a dealer for a lower priced mower unit with perfect engine options (minus the dfi). Just take a BB and "customize" it. I am sure the factory would be cool with it. If you could add around $1500 of work to the mower, add $3000 or $4000 to the price to customize, it would work. People do it with Harley's every day. Just tweak the BB's a little. Maybe convert it to a different brands deck for someone, add the Kubota's Hydro lift system in, make a shaft drive deck out of the design. Take the BB to a different level to people that are still hesitant. I think it would save you tons of money upfront, and then you just have to focus on a few parts for redesign on the BB. Make a grass catcher conversion for the Diesel models, do engine swaps to Yanmar on the smaller framed BB's, etc. You know what a value they already are, they just do not appeal to everybody (although the Outlaw is going to open the doors for them in alot of ways). Heck, I would prolly give you $4000 to take one of my mowers and (customize for me), but I would want custom paint job with company logos, and my own tweaks that someone else wouldn't want, my mower would be made just for me. I would want a lot more trim space on my deck first and foremost. The outlaw would be in my fleet this year even if I had never heard of BB because I found out how it was designed and who helped design it (people like me...lol). I would like the brakes, I have got caught a few times rolling down hills with no control.
  3. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    I recently attended a sales meeting where we had an expert in branding give a presentation. For many companies their "Brand" holds more value than the assets. When choosing a brand name, tag line, or mission statement keep in mind the long term. For most small businesses the owner is eventually going to wish to sell the company and pocket the blue sky nest egg. The name you start with, may make the difference in the "blue sky" value 10years down the road. How many people do you see wearing brand's in their shirts and caps? The John Deere brand is almost the clothing of choice in many communities. That is the ultimate goal for any company. Allowing the customer to pay you to advertise for them.
    Good luck with the venture, you have received the best suggestions any professional focus group could provide, and I'm sure you will get many more.
  4. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Posts: 912

    It would be very difficult to implement those features while still having an affordable mower.
  5. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Posts: 912

    Just don't forget that with more trimming edge comes more scalping on uneven ground.
  6. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,421

    That would be why i would be paying Ted, because he would be the one to have to design to where it would work. Maybe a weird looking stance, and just not even or something, or a deck with an articulating trim side, I would love to see like 6 inches of trim minimum on smaller decks and more on the 60". My 52" and 48" just need a little more sticking out, thats what I would like to trim in...... Its funny, I usually make my trim passes on my properties with my 72", talk about slow going to not tear some turf with that big beast.......lol. My biggest reason for offering the custom shop idea, I can't tell you how many times I have heard if you cross the exmark and hustler, or exmark and Ferris, etc you would have the perfect mower, just do it for them, there is a huge market for it obviously or people wouldn't have to say that. The plus about using the BB is that even with it custom they are almost gonna pay what they would for the new exmark or ferris anyways.....lol
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    You could hang a foot of trim out if you wanted to. It doesn't take any magic or special decks to do it. The answer is readily available on almost every fixed deck walkbehind available.

  8. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,322

    aftermarket customization - very sound idea
    same as automarket - take existing stock and make it better
    some of us spend most of our life driving mower, more than own truck - sure many would invest in machine; enhance features, performance
    you can't have it all, but you exactly know what features YOU need the most; everybody different, conditions, needs are different
    this way we can enhance performance of our machines or from the beginning, or step-by step, depending on needs and budget
  9. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,322

    true, -Ted, on your factory website, you can have a Forum where all conversion or other ideas would be discussed, like:
    - right now we have several projects in the shop, doing this and this";
    - I need such and such, can it be done ?
    - we can do it this way or that way
    - ok, if you do this, can you do also other thing?

    : )))))
  10. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,253

    Plus, you can probably go to your local dealer and he more than likely has tons of those castor wheels and forks from old fixed decks WBs, and would probably sell them to a regular customer of his for fairly cheap, if you told him what you are using them for. That is a great idea for anti-scalp wheels, but dont you have to drill some holes in that fork arm, so you can adjust the height along with the deck?

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