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lawnmaniac883 said:
Efficiency?

You cannot measure peformance in psi. Not because the units arent powerful enough but because they really dont produce any pressure that could be measured with a psi gauge or whatnot. They move air, not pressurize it.
What efficiency are we rating? Gas per hour, weight versus output, efficiency of movement, efficiency of this unit versus another unit, 50x50 foot square covered with leaves or sand and rocks? Who cleans it fastest? Let me know if I'm getting close.

There might be something here. When the air hits something it transfers energy like the wind in a sailboats sail. The stronger the wind the more energy, the more energy the faster the boat moves. I'm not sure how to easily measure this though. I don't know if it will equate to PSI but its bound to be measured somewhere. However it's done it must be easily understood, small, unbiased, and able to be used by anyone.

Any sailboaters out there? This is all good. Keep it up.

Mr. Force
 

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Mr. Force John you got me thinking of this. For those of you who use the caster kits on the Little Wonder and Billy Goat blowers. How are you using them? Are you still pushing them or are you then attaching the units ZTR's or walks? Is a caster something we should offer as an accessory? If so how are you planning to use it? Mr. Force[/QUOTE said:
Not many LCOs use the caster wheel. If they have them in front of there rider the carrier carries the blower, there are two models of carriers for riders not for walks.

I hope you offer at least the Option of a castering wheel so i can mount the blower to the front of the walks. I will hang it from the rear axle and have the front caster on the ground.

John
 

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What if you had a brick inbetween the two blowers and tried to blow it to the other. The brick would be heavy enough to not blow away and which ever blower has more power it would show up real quick. Just a thought!!
 

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Mr. Force said:
I've got no problem with you quoting me. I think every landscaper works hard for their money and will not part with it until they are satisfied that they are getting something worth what they are paying. A brochure is a brochure, but before I hand over my money I want to see it and make sure it's as good as advertised.

I appreciate your input about the video demonstration.

For reference what did you like or dislike about your Billy Goat?

Mr. Force
Well, I did'nt buy the largest model made I only bought the one with 5hp. It works better than my Echo 650 but then again it should because it's moving a larger amount of air. I also liked that I could control the air movement from the handle. My only real dislikes would be the engine size and that it's not that easy to push across turf and It is better on a paved surface. If I were to buy again I don't think I would I would buy another BP and then see what the following season brought.

Rob
 

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JHIGGS said:
What if you had a brick inbetween the two blowers and tried to blow it to the other. The brick would be heavy enough to not blow away and which ever blower has more power it would show up real quick. Just a thought!!
Excellent idea. I tried it a few weeks ago. The problem is that with one blowers power behind the brick the other blower can only move it a few inches. (Not an impressive demo in my view).

What can get dangerous is when the 4 pound brick turns sideways it wants to roll and even bounce. If the brick squirts out of the air stream sideways it heads straight for the other blower and it's operator. While somewhat humorous to see (we started laughing at each other once we realized no one was hurt) having a brick tumbling at you gets you moving but does not make an effective demonstration.

Like I said it's a great idea. Keep it up! Do you own a wheeled blower? If so what made you decide on that brand? Dealer, price, performance, brand loyalty...?

Mr. Force
 

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One other thing I was thinking is that a Blower hose attached to the nozzle would be a nice attachment, be able to get in the flower beds with a walk behind with alot more cfm's. Just a thought!!
 

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It was Red Max and it's in the November 2005 Power Equipment Trade magazine page 19.

You can send the blower down here to Austin. I'd better not tell my dealer as it's his magazine.:p

When are you going to put more specs up?
 

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Hello, jumping in a bit late to this discussion. I just skimmed over the thread, hopefully I am not repeating anything.

A few thoughts....

First, I think this is great that you (The Force) have come here to do this. I wish other manufacturers would do similar.

One of the best ways to "test" your machine is get them out there with the landscapers. I have grown weary of these "blowing tests" from the different manufacturers, so I kind of ignore them and go by what other landscapers are saying. The different nozzles and setups of the blowers can make big differences in performance.

I have a 8hp Little Wonder. It works great, and moves a ton of leaves. It also has a rather unique "air diverter", that helps with leaf "blow-back" when using it in the field. I can see where this air diverter might put it at a disadvantage in your test.

Your blower looks HIGH. Does the discharge have an adjustable nozzle? At first glance, it looks like all the wind power from you blower would just go right over the leaves. Both the Little Wonder and Billy Goat have discharges that are right down near the ground. This might make a difference in performance out in the field.

In regards to the 3 things I would like to see, they are simply 1. performance 2. price and 3. WEIGHT.

One huge problem I have with my Little Wonder is that it weighs as much as my F350 dump truck. Or, it seems that it does. I don't see any need for blower housings to be made of heavy steel if they are not going to be used as vacuums. From the looks of your blower, the lightweight housing should work great and be a big advantage. I would push that when you have your specifications figured out.

Speaking of specifications... Have you thought about making your website a bit, well, more to the point? If you don't have your specifications set for a factory model yet, just say that.

Of course, this is all IMHO!

Good luck!
 

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Tvov said:
Hello, jumping in a bit late to this discussion. I just skimmed over the thread, hopefully I am not repeating anything.

A few thoughts....

First, I think this is great that you (The Force) have come here to do this. I wish other manufacturers would do similar.

I have a 8hp Little Wonder. It works great, and moves a ton of leaves. It also has a rather unique "air diverter", that helps with leaf "blow-back" when using it in the field. I can see where this air diverter might put it at a disadvantage in your test.

Your blower looks HIGH. Does the discharge have an adjustable nozzle? At first glance, it looks like all the wind power from you blower would just go right over the leaves. Both the Little Wonder and Billy Goat have discharges that are right down near the ground. This might make a difference in performance out in the field.

In regards to the 3 things I would like to see, they are simply 1. performance 2. price and 3. WEIGHT.

Speaking of specifications... Have you thought about making your website a bit, well, more to the point? If you don't have your specifications set for a factory model yet, just say that.

Of course, this is all IMHO!

Good luck!
You are very correct that each product has it's pros and cons. Both the Little Wonder and Billy Goat blowers are good quality units. I just happen to think the Force is better. As I stated earlier I could be considered biased.

On the video we put the respective diverters at their best position. I personally ran each one to find its "sweet spot". We want this test to be easily repeatable and if we show the units in less than their best light we'll look dishonest. We also don't want any surprises during field demonstrations once introduced.

We do have a higher discharge than the other units. This allows the end user to avoid having to push the housing through the grass. With the competitive units you have around 18 inches of housing that drags as you push it through the turf. This drag makes the unit feel even heavier and harder to push.

Because we are coming from a slightly higher position we are able to more completely use our air. Blowback occurs more when you are cutting under the leaves. Because we are coming in from above and we are as powerful as we are we don't have to use any of our power to avoid the blowback. Our discharge is adjustable (easily so I might add).

What you're (as well as John's request to show a "big pile of leaves") saying is let all the "hype" (CFM, MPH, published numbers of any form) go and simply let the unit speak for itself?

On the sales features you'd like to see. We obviously only want promote those things that are superior. We do beat them in performance and weight but we will be similar to them on price (for equally powered units). What other sales features are important to you when deciding what to buy? Noise? Size? Looks? Truly ergonomic handles? etc?

We do have specifics on units as they are currently undergoing testing. We simply don't want to release them too early and give competitors time to formulate a strategy. We will update some of our spec page very soon.

I know there are alot of questions buried in this post but please answer them if you can.

Mr. Force
 

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Mr. Force....

Welcome to LS first of all.

Here are some thoughts I want to post before I forget them...pardon the way it reads!!!

Price: You need to be cheaper. The prices for these blowers are pretty high if you ask me. Competitors are close to $1500 for a 13hp Honda powered blower! Engines at your cost for this should be about $500 for that 13 Honda....Is there really $1000 in everything else?

Power: You need to be more powerful than the rest....sounds like you got that part right. As for publishing the CFM's and MPH....if you do, make sure you show the competitors CFM and MPH using the same tool. The LW blowmeter is really what you need to build and show.

Durability: Without seeing one in person, you need to produce a HD unit capable of withstanding the riggors of bouncing around on trailers. I've seen LW blowers fall off trailers going down the road, and being used later in the day. If your housing is plastic, you need to show its durability. Show it being beat with a sledge hammer or something. Plastic is a real tricky material....It still has negative publicity as it NOT being a tough material.

Engines: You list 9 and 13hp Honda's. Any plans for other brands? Personally, I wouldn't opt for a Honda in a LW, I'd go with the cheaper Briggs. You should have the same/similar choices.

Warranty: Must be strong. Your a new upstart company. New companies fail. Will you be there for the end user in 2 years? This is something your competition has OVER you that you will NEVER be able to overcome. They were first, and they have the household name advantage. You ask any landscaper or paver what the best blower out there is and they will likely say Little Wonder. This will be a VERY difficult obstacle to overcome.


Website....I filled out your giveaway. But there is NO specifications, no brick and mortar address, not even a phone number. You need to make yourself look like a secure business. You need more pictures. Front, back, side, etc. You sites pretty advanced, how about a rotating view thing.


Thats all for right now. Sorry if it sounded harsh. Just trying to toughen you up for what you may face!

Good luck.
 

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TLS said:
Mr. Force....

Welcome to LS first of all.

Engines: You list 9 and 13hp Honda's. Any plans for other brands? Personally, I wouldn't opt for a Honda in a LW, I'd go with the cheaper Briggs.

.
I love the 10HP B/S engines om my little wonders:cool:
 

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Yes, and with them costing close to $200 less than a similar Honda and the Briggs living just as long, I just don't see the Honda advantage.
 

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Mr. Force said:
There might be something here. When the air hits something it transfers energy like the wind in a sailboats sail. The stronger the wind the more energy, the more energy the faster the boat moves. I'm not sure how to easily measure this though. I don't know if it will equate to PSI but its bound to be measured somewhere. However it's done it must be easily understood, small, unbiased, and able to be used by anyone.

Any sailboaters out there? This is all good. Keep it up.

Mr. Force
YES, YES, YES, you finally have come to understand what cfm and mph measure. This is what, the strength and volume of air. Not sure what "hype" you consider these measurements to be but I would rather buy a blower where I can see numbers rather than just a video.
 

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TLS said:
Mr. Force....

Welcome to LS first of all.

Here are some thoughts I want to post before I forget them...pardon the way it reads!!!

Price: You need to be cheaper. The prices for these blowers are pretty high if you ask me. Competitors are close to $1500 for a 13hp Honda powered blower! Engines at your cost for this should be about $500 for that 13 Honda....Is there really $1000 in everything else?

Power: You need to be more powerful than the rest....sounds like you got that part right. As for publishing the CFM's and MPH....if you do, make sure you show the competitors CFM and MPH using the same tool. The LW blowmeter is really what you need to build and show.

Durability: Without seeing one in person, you need to produce a HD unit capable of withstanding the riggors of bouncing around on trailers. I've seen LW blowers fall off trailers going down the road, and being used later in the day. If your housing is plastic, you need to show its durability. Show it being beat with a sledge hammer or something. Plastic is a real tricky material....It still has negative publicity as it NOT being a tough material.

Engines: You list 9 and 13hp Honda's. Any plans for other brands? Personally, I wouldn't opt for a Honda in a LW, I'd go with the cheaper Briggs. You should have the same/similar choices.

Warranty: Must be strong. Your a new upstart company. New companies fail. Will you be there for the end user in 2 years? This is something your competition has OVER you that you will NEVER be able to overcome. They were first, and they have the household name advantage. You ask any landscaper or paver what the best blower out there is and they will likely say Little Wonder. This will be a VERY difficult obstacle to overcome.

Website....I filled out your giveaway. But there is NO specifications, no brick and mortar address, not even a phone number. You need to make yourself look like a secure business. You need more pictures. Front, back, side, etc. You sites pretty advanced, how about a rotating view thing.

Thats all for right now. Sorry if it sounded harsh. Just trying to toughen you up for what you may face!

Good luck.
You're not going to offend me unless you kill a relative... even a few of them won't get my blood up.

I appreciate your candor and input and I'll try to address all of your points.

Cheaper- Unless we sell directly to the end user there are margins that the distributor (who stocks the demo's, buys and sells the product and parts and assumes the risks therein) and dealer (who also buys and sells the product and parts and assumes similar risks) must make money to keep their doors open. Going direct doesn't necessarily lower your costs. You still have salesmen (lots of them if you're direct), advertising as well as wharehousing and accounts recievable from dealers who can be slow pay or have gone under leaving you holding the bag. Everyone would have gone direct if it was that easy. Like you we all must make money to stay in business for the long haul.

Power- I have one of the "blowmeters" but I've always thought they were hard to demo, looked like a carnival trick and never gave completely consistent results. I'm leaning towards sticking with real world tests like leaves, rocks, sand and, well... bricks to get your attention.

Engines- We do have the Hondas as well as a low-end engine that gets down and dirty with an excellent warranty. Speaking of which...

Warranty- What's strong in you opinion? We're doing all types of drop and wear tests as I type. I'm actually having some fun with that. I know there's a whole lot to prove and that's one of the reasons it's ribbed and reinforced the way it is. I'm doing my best to create a household name. If you give me a little time I think it'll happen. As for being around for a while we've got strong financing that's interested in the long haul.

Website- No address was an oversite on our part. Delafield, WI. 53018. We intentionally didn't give a brick and mortar address yet. We don't want people snooping around during testing. I've been in this industry long enough to know what goes on. We'll get more specific with the specs shortly. We prefer to leave competitors without the ability to formulate a strategy until the last minute because they have no specifics

From what you've seen what 3 features should we promote? Thanks for your input. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mr. Force
 

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lawnmaniac883 said:
YES, YES, YES, you finally have come to understand what cfm and mph measure. This is what, the strength and volume of air. Not sure what "hype" you consider these measurements to be but I would rather buy a blower where I can see numbers rather than just a video.
Would you buy a unit solely due to the numbers the manufacturer released? Isn't a landscaper going to want to see a demo before they buy? If that's the case why publish numbers at all? Unless there's a foolproof test out there you're potentially exposing yourself to unscrupulous business practices. We are still looking for a real world way to test the relative strength of a blower.

Show the videos of bricks, rocks and sand, and leaves versus competitive units on the website. Show still shots of the videos in the brochures. Videos and published numbers aside the units features and performance should stand on their own. If it doesn't, no amount of videos or published numbers will mean a thing. Am I missing anything here?

Case in point, three wheeled blower manufactures (one red, one burgundy and the other green) claim to blow around 2500 CFM at 205 mph on their websites. They could only do that if they had been dropped out of an aircraft and were measured during free fall. Would that be covered under warranty?...I digress... None of them have the market share Little Wonder or Billy Goat have. Why? the product doesn't perform as advertised.

Both Little Wonder and Billy Goat perform as advertised without publishing any numbers. The problem with publishing numbers is although you may be winning in all categories at this time, someone will eventually catch up to you. Even if it's only in one category, CFM or MPH, it could be a double edged sword.

How many people out there buy solely on what a manufacturer publishes in a brochure?

For a new piece of power equipment (over $1000) how often do you have a demo before you buy? A replacement piece of equipment doesn't count.

Mr. Force
 

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lawnmaniac883 said:
Bought my redmax8000 based on nothing but NUMBERS and it has been a great investment.
I guess I'm not that trusting.

When I did research on back-packs I looked up each manufacturers published numbers off of their respective websites on their biggest back-packs. This is what I found. I did it in January of 2005. Anyone can do the same to check the numbers

Manufacturer---------CFM no pipes--------CFM at pipe------MPH
Red Max EBZ8000---------943-------------not published-----203
Shindiawa EB630---------842-----------------614----------201
Stihl BR550---------------900-------------not published----199
Echo 750----------------1260----------------620----------205

Now I know both Shindiawa and Stihl have introduced new top of the line products since then. But, if you simply went off the published numbers you wouldn't have bought a Red Max, even then.

There are no industry standards for blowers and the above is the kind of stuff you get. Is there anyone who uses back packs without the pipes?

Is there an honest way to show blower performance or does the units need to simply speak for themselves?

Mr. Force
 
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