Zero Turn Mower - Front Disc Brakes

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ted corriher, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    Great idea Ted. :clapping:

    Brakes are far better than no brakes, no matter what some may think!
    Anyone mowing on hills should consider to have them installed.

    I've seen your videos on YouTube and I can tell you are having way too much fun on that Bad Boy... :laugh:

    I wish you the best for this project of yours. :drinkup:
  2. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,597

    I agree with this, it's just that I know that it will add a good amount to the price. Can you put a price on someones life though?
  3. ted corriher

    ted corriher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

  4. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,597

  5. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,597

  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    As harsh as it is, the fact remains that safety does have a price. If there wasn't a threshold for cost then all cars on the road would be built like a NASCAR car and be able to withstand a 200 MPH crash and everybody walks away.

    Whether or not this brake system makes it into production on any mower is up to the manufacturers. They will have to evaluate it's costs, benefits and liabilities.

    I've seen people ask if there will be a system to fit their specific mower. You have to read what Ted is saying. He doesn't appear to be interested in selling these systems individually. He had said it repeatedly that his main target is the manufacturers. He said that, and asked us to help him, in the first braking system he showed us last year. He again repeated it in this thread.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Oh, and good luck fitting this system to any mower for under $200. I did a quick search yesterday for just the master cylinder and the cheapest I could find was almost $140 plus shipping. Then you'll need SS brake lines, machine work, a way to mount the calipers (the calipers are not mounted in these photos, they're just sitting on the rotors), the calipers, rotors, 360° fluid universal joints, some sort of brake warning system and a fluid distribution block.

    Pictures of the concept is one thing. An actual, safe operating system is another. The reason I waited so long to show my Ferris SD brake system was simple. I wanted to wait until we had a 100% functional system that worked as intended.
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    There ya go ted, Your first customer who wished he had the brakes so he could creep down the hill. A hill that easily exceeds the 15* as indicated in the manuals...

    Could brakes on the machine have prevented greg from running into the tree and loosing control. Yes they may have been able to slow the machine and stop it... Could Greg's adherence to the operators manual have prevented him from losing control while going down the hill. Yep. and you know what, It doesn't cost a penny. The manual comes free with the purchase of the machine.

    You know it would not be that hard to put a safety switch that shuts the machine off when it gets on an angle of greater than 15* We can wrap the machine in a roll cage and put a seat belt switch (like skid loaders have) which wont' start until the belt is clicked...

    I'm not discounting the price of a life...At what point do we stop putting safety switches/ roll bars, ect on these machines and start making proper/safe operation the responsibility of the operator and not the product manufacturer. I guarantee that in every single case where the machine flipped over on a guy and killed him the first thing the lawyer is gonna ask Was there a ROPS installed when the first question should be, how steep of a slope was it and what does the operators manual say...

    ON a side note, while I like the idea of a master cylinders and fluid brake lines, they do appear to stick up above the caster quite a bit, any though to using hard lines that fit the contour of the machine better (ie less chance of the hoses getting damaged) or even going with a cable actuated system (less pressure but simpler)

    I have a caster(no wheel/tire) from my scag that I'd be willing to ship to you...if you want to start looking at the Scag dimensions of their fork...

    here are the pics of the hill (30*) that my employee went down...lost control and did hundreds of $$ damage to the machine all because he was too lazy to take the extra 60 seconds and drive down the road. Luckily he was not hurt...


  9. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    A small tire like a Turf Master or such would only help under the best of conditions. The front wheels of a ZTR are the ones that are most prone to grass clogging in the casters. Even with large wheels and openings it does happen, way too often.
  10. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,594

    Actually, I think the safety devices should be left off and let Darwinism take its course. People have gotten too lulled into the idea that the Gov't and manufactures need to protect the operators from themselves. Logging is the most dangerous job in the USA and you don't see people with roll cages around them when cutting down a tree. Only when they get on a unit of machinery do they get it.

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