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Equipment tests in TURF

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JimK, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. JimK

    JimK TURF MAGAZINE Publisher
    Messages: 136

    Jim at TURF Magazine here. A couple of you have volunteered to test equipment for the magazine -- if I can get manufacturers to stand up and be counted. My answer is YES! If you are interested please e-mail me your name, address, etc., and what type of equipment you'd be best at testing and reviewing for our 70,000 readers (most of whom are lawnsite members).

    While I'm here, I've also tried to get some of you to volunteer to write and tell me about your operation because we want to start doing mini-profiles of folks in the business. E-mail or snail-mail me a photo please!

    e-mail: jkendrick@turfmagazine.com

    Address: PO Box 449, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819

    Call me anytime: 800-422-7147

    No e-mail, post office or phone? Fax me at 802-748-1866
  2. plow kid

    plow kid Banned
    Messages: 516

    I think it is bad judgement on the manufacturers part, think of the sales a good review will produce, far more $$ then a demo mower will.

    I also filled out the profile form Jim, but I dont have a good picture yet.
    In about 5 minnutes I am going to run around a dozen rolls of unmarked film to sams. ~NaTe
  3. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    my guess is that your developing a criteria list for evaluating equipment. A standardized list would make a comparison based on factors such as cut quality, repair and maintenance, price, ease of use, ect. I picture something like consumer reports. This would help keep the testers uniform in thier evaluations. Then they could write out thier opinions at the end. The profile is a great place to start to get a spectrum of testers from different landscape situations. Sponsors might be more open to submit to tests if they feel they will be judged fairly. They don't want to be slammed by the FORD VS CHEVY syndrome where one is better just because! Consumer reports says it doesn't take commercial money. Turf mag. is all about taking money from mfgs. is my quess??? Seems like you will need a spin off mag. to accomplish a truly objective evaluationof turf equipment without the pressure from your sponsors. Lawnsite is a great place to get opinions on equipment and a "consumer reports" like guide would be well worth the cost to prevent spending $$$ on equipment that winds up sitting on the trailer.
  4. Cashmonysonny

    Cashmonysonny LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    :blob2: I am Willing to test out a lawnmower, How long do i get to test out the mower? How will I Recieve the mower??
  5. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    I agree with jeffex there. Most manufacturers probably don't want people they don't pay reviewing their stuff. Most areas only have a few dealers selling a few lines of equipment and pushing certain brands. This works well for them and they know their market areas without having someone give their opinion and lose a possible sale. Of course it could bring them a sale but at the cost of giving up thier ability to control knowledge of thier product through dealers and brochures I doubt it. Not to rip on a manufacturer, but in my area when Great Danes came out the big dealer around here pushed them hard and everyone had them -after 2 yrs. and all the problems surfaced few use them anymore. Think of what a thorough testing program would have cost them in sales. If they want to learn how to improve their products they just have read these pages to find out what we want.
  6. JimK

    JimK TURF MAGAZINE Publisher
    Messages: 136


    Jim at TURF here.

    I think part of the problem is that the manufacturers are uneasy about having equipment reviewed by (1) people on their payroll and (2) people they don't know.

    Further though, we're running into problems with getting equipment to the right dealer ... near the reviewer.

    We're still working on it ... though we have started the other "review" project which premieres in the April issue of TURF.
    Perhaps this new column will help manufacturers be more comfortable. Afterall, if a mower is great but has a few small flaws ... wouldn't it be helpful to the manufacturer to know these things? That's my theory.
  7. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    jim, you could create a broad based list of criteria to evaluate products and post it here on LS. For example you could start with string trimmers. 1.weight 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    2.power 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    3.trimmer head 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


    or more specific 1.weight light----------------heavy
    2.mfg. warranty none---------------2yr
    3. cut performance poor---------excellent

    then you could offer free promotion on lawnsite to a dealer in the area of the tester who would be willing to let them test several brands other than what they already use for comparison. The more standardized the evaluation the more coopration mfg may be willing to give. "if you build it they will come" MY $.02 is that once we can show the ability to submit an unbiased testing process then the mfg will come to you. I think the favorable rating from the people here on LS has already been good for DIXIE CHOPPER{Eric} and EXMARK just to name a few. The challenge is taking all the info probably stored in the SEARCH feature and puting it into a format that is easily readable and standardized. ASk the members of LS for a list of criteria for several products and start there. The best example I can think of as to the value of a list like this is the Sutec Stealth. I almost bought one of those for price reasons but after hearing how poor they performed here on LS I was able to not make that mistake.Now if I worked for stealth and had made improvements I would want to be re-evaluated.
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Hey Jim, my shoulder is healing very good and I would love to test out a Hustler product! You listening PJ & Paul?? LOL Anyway, I'll email you also.
  9. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,769

    E-mail me and I will see what I can arrange :D :D :D

  10. Eng Mwr Guy

    Eng Mwr Guy Gravely Manufacturer
    Messages: 249

    The problem is it wouldn'r be consumer reports.

    Consumer reports does not get paid at all by advertisers.

    Huge difference.

    (One of the Companies frequently reviewed by Consumer Reports)

    Bring it on. The WB's we produce will stack up well.

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