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Magazines that never lie

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by steveair, Mar 27, 2000.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hello all,<p>You know, I just got my last couple issues of PRO magazine and Ldscp. Mgmt, and something funny occurred to me. Have you ever noticed how not one magazine ever gives a ranking on performances?<p>Why is that. I mean, you can go buy a car magazine, and in a lot of cases, they'll say straight out which machine is better, and which machines have problems. Like pop. mechanics for instance. They have those long term test results and tell it as it is. <br>Why the hell don't we have that?<p>Well, its probably because the mags are too scared too lose any advertisers if they bad mouth them, but its really not fare. All they do is talk about all the equipment and all the new and wonderful features. Not once do they mention how good they are though.<p>Well, at least we have this forum to do that!<br>This is definitely a much needed &quot;Advice Center&quot; for us, because I don't see us getting the hard facts from anyone else. <p>I was wondering, that maybe besides this, are there any other publications that give hard facts instead of engineered mumbo jumbo on the the new pieces of equip. If there are, I would love to hear about them. If not, Its definitely a topic that needs addressing.
  2. JK

    JK LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 6

    Great idea ... but how to do it. I am publisher of TURF Magazine. We have talked about this issue dozens of times. The question is -- what to evaluate, in terms of performance. There are so many variables. But we're not afraid to do it ... just can't quite figure out how. Maybe this forum can be a start. Tell me about your experiences (anyone who clicks into this discussion) and I figure out how to let my readers know what you folks have found to be good ... and terrible. Read my article in the April issue of TURF. I talk a little about walk-behinds, but nothing much about performance. It's you folks -- the end users -- who are the experts in the &quot;performance&quot; question. So let me know and you see it published.
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    &quot;Performance&quot; is definitely different things to different people. If there truly exists &quot;the very best mowing machine&quot;, well it probably won't be tomorrow, because someone somewhere will find a new idea to make it better.<p>Why do you see mostly Choppers in this area, mostly Lazers in that area, and mostly Walkers in the other area??? If one of them was the best, wouldn't all areas be running the best?<p>A true performance poll would have to be like the Consumer Reports auto reliability poll. Each subscriber would get an extensive survey yearly to rate the machine(s) he/she owns and operates. This is a major undertaking for just one type of product, and we use several basic machines.<p>In 20 years in the green industry, I have learned the most from reading the trade mags, and going to trade shows to try the equipment. Expo in Louisville is huge, acres of outside demo area, running all types of machines. Last weekend in July every year. (Can be funny too. Like the $300 walk behind aerator that actually bounced on the KY clay. :) ) GIE, tied in with ALCA, PLCAA, & PGMS annual conferences in Nov each yr is a great 3-1/2 days to network and try out machines. If you gotta do it offseason, Mid-Am in Chicago is fair, but most state turf assns and nursery/landscape assn have major winter conferences & trade shows. Many other regional shows that are outside my travel area.<p>This forum is great for exposure to ideas and opinions, but nothing beats face-to-face with the guys who make the machines and the guys who use them. And that is what you get at industry conferences and trade shows, along with a lot of great education about business, plants, new ideas, old ideas, etc.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana
  4. Retro67

    Retro67 Banned
    Messages: 207

    If you want objective results, you have to go about it a little more scientifically. Everyone who owns this brand or that will tell you there brand is best.<p>I would like to see hard data. Mow the same lawn with various mowers of the same class under the same conditions and measure time elapsed. <br>Maybe judge quality of cut using three or four categories: Poor- Average- Above average- Excellent<br> <br>Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, etc. would be places to look to come up with ideas for a good set of criteria. With a little imagination we could have a trusted resource. <p>If someone follows through and developed a rating guide it would surely become an industry standard if done properly.<p>Some of us use different tools than others, you would almost have to dedicate a whole magazine to this. Not a bad idea for someone with the entrepreneurial spirit. <p>John<p>Sorry groundkprs-<p>I didn't mean to parrot some of your post. I was writing at the same time and posted later. We agree, though.<br>
  5. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,446

    Consumer evaluation and consumer reports are for exactly that: Consumers.<p>If you want to know what lawnmower to buy, you can get several consumer reports evaluating them.<p>Commercial magazines such as contracting equipment, excavation, furniture building equipment, food service equipment, etc. etc. none have &quot;consumer reports&quot; on the equipment businesses use.<p>I guess they figure if it's your business, you'll want to research the equipment that's best for you.
  6. OP

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Hey JK,<p>I'm not familiar with Turf magazine. I get real excited when lawn and landscpape magazines come to my house, so how do i get a subscription. <p>And give me a some time, I'm thinking of some ways to solve this problem, and will tell you as soon as the light goes on!<p>Thanks.<br>steveair
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,695

    JK you could start a feature called &quot;Side By Side&quot; or something like that. The premise is you take two mowers and compare them. And since Landscaper Supply likes to compare their 48&quot; beltdrive to the Scag 48&quot; beltdrive that would be the first one to do. I'm sure Scag would be more than willing to have a third party evaluation of the two machines. <br>
  8. mowerparts

    mowerparts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    This is to JK<p>The only way to do a fair comparison on turf equipment is to test the various types in the different regions of the country. What I mean by that is what cuts, handles, ease of maintenance, brakes down the least, ECT... in Ohio might not be the best equipment of choice in Florida or Colorado.<br>Since Turf magazine is base upon different areas of the country, your magazine would be the most likely to do the comparison. Get the manufacturer together and come up with a fair and honest test/comparison and see what's what.<br><p>----------<br>http://mowerparts.hypermart.net<br>
  9. JK

    JK LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 6

    This is JK, publisher of TURF Magazine again. Thanks for your thoughtful responses to the question of how to evaluate performance on outdoor power equipment. I have a mechanic friend next door who has volunteered to beat the living @$#% out of machines to test them. But I don't think that works either. Truth is, one of you had the best idea of all -- at least in my opinion. The experts in performance of this equipment is you folks -- the commercial end users.<br>So what about this? Write into this forum about equipment you use ... what you like and what you don't like. I have made an agreement with the two fellas who own this web site ... they have agreed to let me publish comments from these discussions in TURF Magazine. So let me know. I want to start publishing this material in the next issue. I won't be using names -- so you can feel free to say anything that's on your mind. <p>Thanks again. I'll be back at this site later.<p>jk
  10. JK

    JK LawnSite Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 6

    This is JK, publisher of TURF magazine. I send a post earlier today ... but it doesn't seem to be here. My message is -- thanks folks -- lots of good ideas. We're going to have a meeting here and talk about these and others. Of course, the reality -- once again -- is that you professional end users are the real experts as far as comparing performance. Please let me know what you use, what's good about it and what's not so good. If I get a good response, you'll see it published in TURF magazine every month. Fact is, I'm going to use some of this discussion in the next issue. The owners of lawnsite.com has given me permission to print all of this material. I will not be using names, so you can assured of privacy. Just the comments. Lastly, a couple of you asked how to subscribe to TURF. It's free if you are in the business. Just click on turfmagazine.com and you'll find a subscription for you can fax or e-mail back.<p>Thanks again!

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