Need Your Help Designing A BETTER Zero Turn Mower

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

  1. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,322

    antiscalp wheels allow roll in one direction; pushing sideways (against the axel) rips -up turf even with lightest deck;
    if strong lift assist springs we have now doesn't help, "springs to hold the deck up a little" - wouldn't help either

    mostly happens on left (trimming) front side - swivel wheels could help (ferris has one) + lifting deck in such situations;
    agree- hydro(or electric) deck lift - good thing; minuses: cost, weight, lift speed (though you not always can lift by foot as fast as you think you should...)
  2. Hawg City Lawns

    Hawg City Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,070

    no lie a mulch plug like you see on several different models of push mowers would be a great idea
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    while many folks here have focused on features and bells and whistles...

    Many manu's have spent millions in R&D to get the ZTR where it is now. I don't begrudge your effort, but the road ahead of you is very long and hard. Bad Boy basically reinvented the ZTR 10 plus years ago here in Arkansas, and they still struggle with dealer support. most folks will tell you that even though they were extremely innovative, it still is not the best cut or ride out there. which should be the two most important things.

    1. how it cuts is absolutely the most important thing. It was correctly stated earlier that there needs to be multiple decks available throught the country for the different grasses. bahia, bermuda, and bluegrass all have different water levels and fiber content. they cut radically different. also if a person could easily switch ( unhook pto, between a 48-54" cut for everyday use to a larger, maybe 80 inch deck for wide area use, folks would buy that. going from a 60 to 72 would not be worth it.

    2 how comfortable it is to mow while sitting on it is the 2nd most important thing. Kubota and Hustler super z have an excellent ride and seat without independant suspension. Exmark, bad boy and skag are horrible. while a 500 buck seat can fix a ton of frame problems, the reason the Kubota and Super Z ride so well is they have spent millions on the steel formulation and the frame design to absorb bumps before they hit the seat. then the 500 bucks seat eats the rest. The flex seat and the flex forks on the super z make it arguable the best ride. If you can't make the frame absorb bumps, then consider a seat similar to what dump truck drivers have, a scissor/air suspension seat. no one has that.

    3. Kubota seems to be the only manu that thinks the deck belt should never break. ditto shaft drive. ditto dual hydrostats rather than pumps. ditto wet clutch instead of an electric PTO...Take a serious look at that mower. no one has put as much long term usage R&D into a mower than Kubota.

    4. nearly everyone fills at the station and carries 5 gallons of fuel with them for when they run out. most manu's size thier tanks on where they need ballast for balance on the machine and how large a tank will fit here or there. switchable tanks is probably not as important as how long will it run on said tank. perhaps an emergency reserve tank with a switch for an extra 2 gallons to finish a yard and get to the truck? That turns a 15-20 minute out of gas problem that happens every two weeks or so into a 2 minute problem of a switch and then restarting.

    5. redneck and shithouse will turn off more than a few buyers. why hurt yourself right out of the gate?

    6. I have rarely seen frame problems out of over 20 plus ZTR mowers I have owned. heavy duty to me means the little stuff does not break. wiring, safety switches, belts, battery failure, brackets, etc. are far more likely to cause down time than a broken weld.

    7- on that note space for a full size battery rather than a puny lawn and garden battery. would probably last 4 times as long.

    8- a remote operated discharge shute that can close off or be wide open saves time blowing grass out of flowerbeds, etc.

    9.- fuel consumption. should have an available diesel, kubota is probably the best.

    10- but a few bells and whistles that hardly anyone is doing and will get you noticed at shows-

    *make a stripe kit standard, put a waterproof dock/charging port in for an ipod with maybe waterproof outdoor speakers,
    *how about real bright halogen floodlights? not those puny 10-20 watt cheap things but some serious flood lumens. If you can buy off road 100 watt floods on ebay for 30 bucks, why not put them on a mower?
    *how about a headset similar to what Pilots wear, that protects your hearing, lets you listen to your music, and then push to talk lets you say something to your weedeater guy who wears a similar setup?
    *make the seat white. sure it gets dirty, but no more burnt buns or legs. make a cover for the cover that is washable/replaceable
    *on the drive tires, use the 6ply 24x13x12 or 26x14x12 Ultra trac tires that the front mount large area mowers use on golf courses. no flats, tons of traction, and they look cool. no ZTR uses those. on the spinner tires, use the widest possible no flats.
    *an onboard 12v air compressor with a small .5-1 gallon tank and a small coil hose would allow you to just plug in your impact wrench and air chuck. blade changes, tire pressure or small air leak problems, gone. air grease gun, easy.
    *a bracket/place to mount a grease gun, pressure guage, and the air socket you need to change the blades. maybe a built in jungle jack?
    *bad boy has set the standard for accessability with flip up and out. Everide is similar to a smaller degree. you need to be able to easily blow grass out and grease, belts and change oil. but most ZTR's are still hard to do all easy.
    *an optional plug in 12v ice mister fan on a gooseneck. it's hot out there.
    *a dirty grass colored lawn mower requires less cleaning and looks newer longer.
    also shows scratches less. brownish may not look snazzy, but takes less time to maintain than yellow or orange.

    many of the suggestions on the previous posts are great, but they all need to be centered around a mower that cuts perfect, can handle some abuse, and is comfortable to ride all day everyday. TIME. everything else should be about removing down time, removing maintenance time, and making the mowing experience more enjoyable, and making things more convienient.
  4. Gunnels Grounds & More

    Gunnels Grounds & More LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    Name the deck Redneck, not the mower.
  5. MONTE

    MONTE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 793

    I agree with rebel talk to the bladerunner man! I still have one and it still outmows any of the other machines I have! And you should talk to the design guy who started them not to the current thieves that stole the thing from him.
  6. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,322

    there no way ALL this features can be on one mower - may be on the trailer or in truck.... : ))

    but ... that's why we have Options

    hate sites where "Built your own mower, bike, car, truck" only means "chose the model" bs

    All features have to be optional - we should choose options we need (can't have it all - and all doesn't have to be on one mower


    jackstand on toro - good, but heavy and welded -in; better have or bolted or compact, removable
    true, except Grasshopper's frame cracks - usually no problems with the frames
  7. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,322

    hi, G. What different kind of deck designs you mean - can you give links for examples and more info?
    thank you

    p.s. good thread - New Husqvarna PZ
    deck design:
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  8. milo

    milo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,295

    here, go buy a new hustler, exmark or scag paint them with a red neck paint job and resell them for half price. there my frind you got a perfect mower
  9. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,322

    Fisker did it to supercars (luxury) cars - limited scale production; take a good cars - make them even better (replacing some components, modifying existing, change body shape - voila)
    pluses: - less law, permissions, regulations, patents, etc. bs
    minuses: end product price - expensive
  10. whole9er

    whole9er LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I agree with most everyone on the name, there is no way I would want my mower branded REDNECK across it especially on my commercial or higher end properties, that right there would turn me off.

    Just a few ideas
    A reliable well thought out high quality bagger is a must.
    A mulch on demand system like deere
    Make servicing easier and more convenient
    Have lots of dealers so part are easy to get, a system like BOP would never work for a ZTR
    People love warranties, if you make a high quality product stand behind it with a good warranty and it wont cost you much
    Solid front tires

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