Front Brakes on a Zero Turn Mower!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ted corriher, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    First, to all who were commenting about drivers that shouldn't be flying down hills at 10 mph and how dumb it is in the first place, Ted was only driving on that hill at some of those speeds and angles to show example of this product.
    Someone had mentioned (on pg. 1) that it does nothing for the rear, as far as braking. Well, with a Z, this is all controlled by the sticks (drive power), so there is no need for rear braking.
    as far as the independent front braking, this would be not only unnecessary, but useless, since the sidehill control is controlled fully by the ability and agility of the rear wheels to hold their ground. I can sure see where these things would certainly improve the ability to control a machine while coming down any hill or slope, and I'm sure that probably 80% of us experienced riders have been in a situation where we have felt that "anxiety" as the mower started "free falling" and slipping coming down a hill.
    I love the idea, and the whole concept, and wish ted all the best with it. I WOULD like to see a different routing going to a shorter (height) elbow at the top of the swivel. Also, please inform us on how this is done though the center, as the caster spindle is solid.
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    not a bad idea, but I think it might encourage using ztrs on terrain they're not intended for, and in a way that's reckless. Why wouldn't one just back down those hills or use a walk behind mower?

    I'm guessing the price of equipping and maintaining these systems would be pretty steep. I personally wouldn't pay for it, since I know where my z can safely mow (I certainly do not attempt to mow downhill or on slopes steep enough to result in a runaway)

    If you've personally known 3 people who died on ztrs, that may be a hint you guys are using them in places they shouldn't be used. The brakes might help, but they can roll for reasons other than ones the brakes would help. Better to just use a safer machine, period, I think.
  3. big acres

    big acres LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    Here's a guy who lost a friend and figured out a way to prevent alot of these accidents AND offer an option that increases the performance abilities of the machine... and some guys are bashing him????

    So what if it costs $60 or $300? Those of us that see the need will buy it, and I'm sure some manufacturers will adopt this. For the guys who say "You shouldn't put a ztr on an unsafe hill"... isn't this industry comprised of cocky young guys who are often employees who don't listen to instruction even if it is offered?

    We've all sat around and said "What if you built a...?", but how many people have got a working prototype and are ready to go to market with a product? My hats off to Ted for building something useful... unlike those blankets with sleeves being sold on TV.
  4. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    I say to Ted, go for it. But like most other great inventions, front brakes on a ZTR will in "some" situations enable inexperience & stupidity. Really there should be some electronic angle devise on every riding mower that will shut off the mower deck once the machine achieves a pre-set angle. Then once the mower reaches flatter ground the operator would have to re-engage the mower deck electric clutch to start mowing again. This idea might sound like Big Government, but I think it will save a lot of lives. I still remember seeing on the web some guy who made a thin metal frame that he put a lawnboy 21" mower onto and trimmed the top of hedges with it. I think an angle devise would stop one form of misjudgement or stupidity. As for a 4 wheel drive zero turn,, I have drawings for one but not the $100,000,000 it would take to get a company built and making them.
  5. hseeder

    hseeder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I have to agree, I think this idea is absolutely fantastic. I bought a couple Ferris; the other day 08 left overs still in the box. When I was discussing them with the rep, he mentioned that if there is dew in the morning - which half our season has, there maybe a issue with holding steeper grades, it will go up but coming down might be an issue until the dew dries off. I mentioned the TEDbrakes system to him and showed him the site. Unbeknown to me at the time Dusty and his guys direct from Ferris were in the building and stopped at the desk, I mentioned it to them and it got their curiosity, and they are going to review it, and not just humoring, but truly interested. Even if it was to end up say $1000.00, alot of us have people with us that we truly care about either family or employees, or hell ourselves, what is it worth to stay or keep people safe as possible, is there a dollar amount that can be put onto that??

    Bottom line, I don;t see it as a system to encourage stupidity, but admit it, when we all started out we did some things that we probably should not have and some still do. Is it not better to learn from getting scared than hurt or killed?? I see this as the same principle as when the ROPS systems became so popular, and view it as another way to make this job safer. I plan to get them installed on mine, and I am sure that others will do the same.

    In my other life I am a Paramedic and have been so for 20+ years. I have seen many times when someone has gotten critically injured or killed as a result of something unexpected occurring. Last year we had a guy in the area that was killed on a ztr end result in my opinion the ROPS was completely in place. The mower went over pinned him and caught fire. Now we all know that a properly installed ROPS may have most likely saved this poor guy.

    So why not have something available that will stop the machine if it became a runaway. We have systems available to us that will potentially save us in a roll over, why not in a run away situation as well.

    Ted, thanks
  6. Tower Rat 95B

    Tower Rat 95B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    Good idea , we need brakes on the slopes ,,,,,,,,, its been mentioned already but I will 2nd it,,,,,,,Those brake hose sticking straight up will be busted in no time at all,,,,,,,,,, really no exaggeration they won't work in that manner , these mowers get tucked in to a lot of places that you would not relize unless you been running them every day for years.........

    Great idea and I am interested , thanks for making them
  7. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,599

    very good point!:laugh:
  8. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,599

    Don't airbags & ABS brake systems make cars more expensive? But, now I realize that they just enable inexperience & stupidity. I'm going to go rip them out of all of my cars right now!?!?:hammerhead: This is a good idea man.
  9. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,267

    I stand by my original post!...
    This is a bloody good idea and much needed. With a few little changes like the fitting on top of the caster, there is no reason for this not to work. None!

    Unless you have credible evidence that you know what your talking about, shut the hell up and stop dissing a decent innovation!
    I would love to see pics of slopes mowed by the non believers here!
    Come on, Im calling you out! :sleeping:
    Pics are worth a thousand words! Put 'em up! Im not talking about pussy little ditches. Real hills and long slopes only!
  10. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    i still wish i had this on my mower, i am intersted if you can figure a way to adapt to a kubota and how much. kubota is not going to do this, but you can market it for everyone, provide a great product and make some money. how about it!?!?

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