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No One Mowing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by olderthandirt, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Some one had a thread up awhile ago about technology and how it will benefit the industry. Well I newer seen or heard of it being done and I'm sure it would take a little work but it could be implemented now on certain properties. I'm talking about using gps and remotes on mowers it would take some time to plot the course but why could'nt gps be hooked up to a mower and once plotted let it go. Large commercial account would be perfect . Drop off the mower sat nite and pick it up sun. I realize this would take some money to get it all done, but when that day comes and I believe it will, think of the possibility! Fewer employees, works in the rain possibility are endless If you could afford 4 mowers a solo operator could do the work of 4 men and keep the revenue that would not be paid out. We already have dozers that have lasers on them to cut to the correct depth so we can't be that far away

    Mac
     
  2. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Mac, you've missed your calling...you should be an idea man for some big think tank. I remember watching Star Trek back in the 70's and thinking how great it would be if I had a "communicator" (beam me up Scotty), and thinking maybe in a 100 years or so they might have such a thing. Now when I pull the Nextel out I wonder what else I'll see in my lifetime...
     
  3. I've checked in to doing that. I think GPS steering for my Toro 580-D was around $6,000 installed.
    But it wouldn't gain me that much. If equipment's operating someone's got to be there. (I was looking for some way to keep my stripes straighter)

    Then there's the risk someone with a crew of cheap laborers and practically no overhead would undercut my price.
    I think it's always been a competition between equipment vs labor.

    I chose equipment, got me some big Toro Commercial equipment.

    Then I saw something really bizarre the other day. A competitor was mowing a local factory which has 13 acres of lawn. He has a Toro 580-D (which has a 16 foot cut) sitting on his trailer while he mowed the lawn with a 60" ZTR!

    I can only HOPE the Toro was broken down or something.

    Dave
     
  4. CJ GreenScapes

    CJ GreenScapes LawnSite Member
    from AL
    Posts: 249

    If it happens and becomes affordable, why would anyone pay an LCO to cut their yard - commercial or residential? I don't see the advantage for us in this business...
     
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    mac--are you getting lazy? perhaps tired? take a siesta then get back to work! lol!

    I believe there are applications for GPS technology in this biz but I don't know what they are.

    in any event, I don't see how it could go unmanned during operation because there is no unprogrammed hazard recognition associated with GPS.

    for example, you can program the guidance to know there is a ditch or a tree at a certain location but you can't program the unit to recognize that the ditch is overflowing from a flash of rain or that the top of the tree has been blown out and is now in the path of the mower.

    some of the large farms use GPS on their equipment to aid navigating huge fields for differing agricultural practices and it works quite well, however...there is always an operator in the cab.

    with all that said...."beam me up, MAC"!

    GEO
     
    odin likes this.
  6. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    What about the liability aspect? If your mower is left to cut unattended, what happens if it runs over something that wasn't there when you dropped it off? Or some kid decides to try and play with it while it's mowing? Or for some reason it veers off course and hits a car, or person, or flower bed, or house, or falls off the curb into the street? Then what?

    I can only imagine what liability insurance would cost for something like that. I think I would rather be there doing the job so that I could make sure it was done right. I think most customers would feel the same way.
     
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Dam. you guys are not helping!
    David, why does someone need to be there? and even if they do an operator on one mower could over see the work of the other unmanned mowers. Also 6k to have it put on, if it lasted only 3 yrs you would be saving a fortune in labor cost alone not including being able to double the work you take in.
    Greenscapes, People would always hire you unless your there only to mow the lawn. And what is affordable? To one company 20k might be affordable but to another 6k may be to much, you would have to average it out to figure if it was affordable to you and your customers.
    Geo, Someone has to drop the mower off so a quick walk around could eliminate the problems you mentioned.
    Mo-green everything you mentioned can happen with an operator abourd just as well as with out one.
    Times are a changing and you either change with them or get left behind. We got robots assisting in surgery and building our trucks, We need to figure out away to have technolgy assist us

    Mac
     
  8. Wreak

    Wreak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    You can't just drop off a mower and hope it doesn't kill somebody or run over the neighbor's dog or cat. Who's to say that somebody doesn't steal it? Will it have lo-jack too?

    This MIGHT work if you dropped it off 50 miles out of town to mow a 50 acre farm or something but to have this thing unmanned anywhere civilization is just crazy.

    I have an idea, why not put wheels on some trimmers and install a GPS and just drop it off? LOL
     
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    No but why not use a lazer to trim with rather than have an old piece of steel spinning in a circle that could come off and kill some somebody or something lol Go back to your old job, you speak like someone with 1 yrs experience

    Mac
     
  10. Wreak

    Wreak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    Don't be Hatin'

    Now that Lazer idea is actually a better idea.
     

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