Convertible Mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by selnoil, May 27, 2004.

  1. selnoil

    selnoil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    Got a flyer in the mail today for a convertible mower. Its a walkbehind or sit on.

    Check it out at

    I'm sure its not tough enough for commercial use but wouldn't it be cool if Toro or Hustler could develope something like this.
  2. harley29710

    harley29710 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Did it give any prices on the flyer? Just wondering.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I would think that the walk behind would be bulky to steer
  4. selnoil

    selnoil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    Nope, no prices just a little info to get you to check the web site or to send for info.
  5. selnoil

    selnoil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    Its an interesting concept though. Maybe we'll see one of the better companies pick up the idea and develope a unit someday?
  6. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    I tested a (very) early prototype by a competitor of mine back in 1993.

    We were both (among others) working in a six thousand home PUD. He and I both had common areas and residential clients. We both had this problem where the crew would ride either the tank or recoil and reach behind with both hands to steer the pistol grips to get back to the truck or on site garage.

    Not a sight you want to see, Huckleberry losing control and having to jump off of the mower and run to catch it while holding up a Mercedes. Or winding up going through intersections, or T-boning a golf cart.

    He was the one that showed me how to speed up all of our belt driven walk behinds so 1st or 2nd was cutting speed and fifth was 20mph.

    The guy was sharp, very serious at the Expo's we went to.

    He said he worked about a month on the first machine. He initially wanted to come up with a "kit" that could retro fit many brands.(Which was probably the fatal flaw.) It was a tractor seat that had armrests, and he fabricated a linkage with a pair of heim joints from the pistol grips to the second set mounted on the armrests. The first one didn't have a transmission selector, subsequent (the second) versions did. Another version had the seated control working rods right to the bell crank, but he found it more difficult to cover more models with one kit. Was pretty much functionally perfect for traveling, but cutting was weak due to the weight distribution and the front wheels bogged and tracked too much. The modification kept the walkbehind controls intact, but the seat was fairly high and blocked vision if you weren't over six feet tall. Some assembly required- and then you would have to "dial" it in a bit too. Did I mention that there was no reverse?

    Another drawback was the fact that he had put it on one of the superspeed machines and it would spin the wheels in turf.

    When the boys saw it- they fought for it.

    When he mandated no one was to be cutting from the seat, it lost some its luster for his boys. Mine were reasonably happy to keep their sulkies when they found I would have had the same policy.

    He would tell me every once in a while over the next year and a half that Toro didn't want it, or Bobcat, or so and so. He spent a hundred and fifty on each one for the parts, which was cheap, made ten or twelve, including four identical units on brand new Bobcats.

    Spent fifty grand trying to sell it and I don't know how much trying to get the patent finalized.

    We both got lowballed by the Continental Group out of Miami, lost our contracts, and I haven't seen him since. I am fairly sure it's either coincidence, or someone ripped him off.

    Either way, it could have a buyer in that one person that needs it. But not most everyone else.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    that is a good story GeeVee
  8. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    We both went through the same amount of Peerless transmissions.

    I just looked at the one featured in this thread- those are some monster walkbehnd tires.

    All the big companies he went to were developing their light commercial hydro units, downsizing the GC units.

    Did I mention no reverse?

    It worked for him.......
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    They have pump and wheel motors for 04. They are a little pricey but i think i'm going to try one out this year or next??

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