Need Your Help Designing A BETTER Zero Turn Mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ted corriher, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. mowerknower

    mowerknower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I cant wait to see this.
  2. CowboysLawnCare

    CowboysLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    HAHA... yup your right about the trucks and the hard working people. Thats why I love living in the south.

    Also, if yall need a redneck to test these redneck mowers, give me a call!!

    HISnHERS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 198

    IMO opinion a Gizmow equipped with a Ferris style adjustable suspension, and the brakes would be a winner. I've had one for several years now and I either got real lucky or they were on to something - mine has been ultra reliable, it's easy to maintain, produces a great cut, and the traction is incredible. I think the company built a strong product but did a lousy job of marketing. I've hoped that someone would buy their design and run with it. If I ever need another large ZTR I'll look for a used on first.

    Julie on Gizmow.jpg
  4. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Keep the center of gravity low, and make sure it well balanced for climbing hills. With the Ted brakes downhill will be safe, but the mower needs the guts to climb first. Like the Hustlers Super Z is low to the ground and very comfortable, but not geared for climbing. 1 hydraulic tank per side, to eliminate contamination problems.

    Watch for the BBoy Outlaw it's very close to what I'm looking for if it cuts clean, and mulches Northern grasses. Plus a low center of gravity.

    Keep the maintenance a simple as possible. The Super Z and the Exmark Lazers are very simple to maintain.
    12 mph is fast enough for me.
    Foot pedal deck lift a must.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I'm just going to add two things.

    How about making more than one deck? It is very well known that no one deck can cut all grasses no matter how well that deck is designed. A tunnel deck might do very well in one type of grass and a flat, wide open deck like the Dixie has does very well in another (it kicks azz on Bahia). Make the deck "quick change" (like Walkers) and you get to take your pick of deck when the mower is purchased. You also want to put 3 or 4 small wheels on the deck so it can be easily pulled from under the mower if an operator buys more than one deck and changes them often. Look at the BlueBird TA12 pull behind aerator to see what I'm taking about.

    You would also want to set up a solid demo program. There is absolutely nothing worse than not being able to demo a mower before you buy it. The program would have to let a potential buyer try the mower out on their own properties, not riding around a parking lot. You would want to have this set up as a factory demo program, no distributor or dealer employees. Quality control over the demo program is essential. The only thing worse than someone that doesn't want to buy your mower is someone that buys your mower and then doesn't like it from the get go.
  6. ted corriher

    ted corriher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    Thanks for all the great ideas! A lot of us are thinking alike on how a ZTR Mower SHOULD be built, and the best part is that since this is a startup, I get to incorporate your ideas and my ideas as well as things we like from other manufacturers designs. I get to pick and choose the best ones to create the mower that will eventually be known as - the best and heaviest duty mower available.

    My plan is to make an "Xtreme Duty" Mower while incorporating a lot of these new ideas as well as other ideas that I have been developing personally over the past two and a half years.

    This project has to be fun for me, and I don't mind hard work and I would not even be thinking of designing a new ZTR if I didn't think that there was a lot of room for improvement out there.

    In all honesty, there are too many ZTR's manufacturers and models out there already! To make this venture work, grow, and be profitable, the mower that I build must be the best. From operating like a Billy Goat on a hill, to giving reliability that has never been seen before.

    I am not stuck on the name "Redneck Mowers" but I will admit that I like it a lot. There are lots of successful companies using the redneck name even North of the Mason Dixon line, and to those that know the real meaning know that the goal is to produce a hard working dependable mower that can live up to that name. I do understand that depending on where you are from, there can also be a negative connotation associated with "redneck" as well.

    The other name that I have considered is "Xtreme Mowers" and I wish you would click to see what "Xtreme" means to me in my day job in the Skid Steer Attachments business. When it come to marketing, a name like "Badboy" (which is a marketing genius in my personal opinion), or "Redneck" mowers in our case, I believe there would be some fun ways to market "Redneck Mowers - Built like a Brick Sh!t House".

    At this time, nothing about the name has be carved into stone. I do not want you to pass on owning the best mower on the market simply because you don't like the name. I hope your ideas from everyone at lawnsite about what you think the best features would be to make up our new mower design.

    Soon I will let you know a few more of my ideas and let you know how your suggestions are helping with the design of the best zero turn mower ever.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  7. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    Incorporate some aluminum to reduce weight. Think and use some quad (motocross) technology. I find most of todays designs archaic. Asking what they do makes it absurd. I'd pay $10-$14k for a machine with some thought into it. When I said the current designs are archaic and overpriced the "Thought Police" came at me hard. You seem like a progressive individual I wish you luck. Also a catcher system with a big capacity (20-30 bushells) w/ a pivot hitch and maybe a caster wheel (s) to support the weight could change how fall cleanups are done.

    HISnHERS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 198

    Sound like your wanting to build the future industry standard ZTR. Gotta give it up to you for going to the potential customer and simply asking. Good luck to you. Keep us updated.
  9. mjschue

    mjschue LawnSite Member
    from mn
    Messages: 96

    I only worked for a lawn crew one season in Minnesota and remember picking up leaves in November after 2" of snow :cool:were on the ground. Yes I said SNOW. We also use mowers without decks to move snow in the winter. If you haven't guessed I would like to see a cab. Not some cheap plastic/canvas cab either. If this is an Extreme/industrial mower I want a cab like on the new tractors. Great visibility / heat / a/c maybe even auto steer. I mow more times than farmers drive across the field. Granted, I like the Sun as well so the cab could be an option as removable would not be easy after you add all these feature. Along with the auto steer buiild in a tracking sytem for proof in billing and include a printer so the bill could be printed from the machine( especially for clean-ups ). This would be too expensive you say, just think over the life of the last mower your ever going to buy it would seem inexpensive.

    Time to get back to reality so I'll leave you alone now.
  10. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,267

    Some of these have been said already I know but...

    1/ Redneck is terrible. Your name is much better. You could have a competition or Poll for the name.
    2/ Built like a brick Shithouse is great. Its an Aussie term I believe and describes what you want to build perfectly. However, you may have dramas because of the swear word. I like it though.
    3/ The old SuperZ frame was great for balance, COG, length, height etc. I would start there.
    4/ I wouldnt take the tanks off for fueling however, might be nice to have spares to swap full for empty on the fly. Would need good design for handeling. Fuel line connection would have to be bullet proof. Fuel gauge like on Hustler is good, basic.
    5/ Love shaft drive deck but needs to be guarded from grass wrapping around it. Scags suffer from this.
    6/ Every piece on the thing should be readily available
    7/ All belts need protection from sticks but also be easily accessible. Easy to put on too! SZ drive belt is a PITA.
    8/ A rear PTO for small bush hog or other attachments.
    9/ Interchangeable decks. Ability to swap out 72", 60" and rear discharge deck. Even a flail deck sould be an option. Scag have/had them in europe.
    10/ Electric OCDC with several opening positions. JD mulch on demand looks good.
    11/ A quick electric/hydro deck lift with well positioned foot assit.
    12/ Clearance for kerbs etc
    13/ At least 6" deck height down to 1-1.5"
    14/ Easy deck position selection
    15/ Large 26"+ drive tyres. Large rims, not high tires. Not like the ones on the new badboy.
    16/ Rigid frame with isolated operator platform.
    17/ Hi torque but fast pumps/wheel motors. Min 14mph. Maybe Hi and low range.
    18/ ROPS the REALLY fold out of the way. Also easily removable.
    20/ Engine options. High HP but also EFI. Air cooled.
    21/ Easy deck leveling adjustment.
    22/ Drive wheels must be visible
    23/ Easy access to everything and low maintenance
    24/ Low weight
    25/ Its gotta look good! Seriously! Im a fan of Cat yellow. Looks industrial IMO!
    26/ Well designed stainless exhaust for less noise and no rust/burn
    27/ Sealed tool box
    28/ 12v power outlet
    29/ Tie down points. Many!
    30/ Optional trimmer and or edger attachment
    31/ Lights (optional anyway)
    32/ Dont know if possible on air cooled but some type of basic hood for over the engine. Sturdy but expendable.
    33/ Greaseable spindles. One bolt from under deck.
    34/ The best hydro system possible. Cooling etc. Twin tanks is good idea for contamination.
    35/ Most important one of all.....You need to send one over to me for R&D. If it works here, it'll work anywhere! Worth a shot anyway! lol

    Basically, if you crossed Scag TT and old SuperZ frame you would have a very good starting point! Just need tweaks!

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