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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Intro from SW Michigan


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 08-08-2010, 11:17 PM
AcadGrad81 AcadGrad81 is offline
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Default Intro from SW Michigan

Appreciate Steve's welcome, he's running a great site here. Before I get into why I joined, is there a way to invert the date order on threads, i.e., to read the starter (oldest) and following posts in ascending order?

I'm unemployed, but NOT seeking to start a LCO. Since I'm not in the LCO business, I hesitated to make an introduction. I'm just one more homeowner who's trying to wring good results out of a 15 year-old "throw-away" MTD Yard Machines 14.5/42 lawn tractor. I like to surf these types of forums for ideas that the pros use. My latest interest is rigging up a striping system- my first design is a 11.5 X 24", 1/4" thick piece of a semi-truck mud flap that pivots off the rear of the tractor right behind the rear tires and is spring loaded for constant ground contact. The flap is giving me adequate stripes, but I'm looking for just a bit better definition that a roller system might offer. Unfortunately, that may be impossible given the crabgrass and weed content of my yard at the moment.

Since you folks are keying on marketing techniques, I suspect that the topic of striping vs. non-striping has been batted around as a way to separate yourselves from the rest of the crowd. Anyway, looking forward to learning from everyone. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2010, 12:44 AM
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Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
is there a way to invert the date order on threads, i.e., to read the starter (oldest) and following posts in ascending order?
Look above and to the right of the first post in the brown horizontal bar for display mode. You should be able to change it there.

Do you have a picture of your lawn or your striping kit you made? I'd love to see it.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:27 AM
AcadGrad81 AcadGrad81 is offline
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Default Lawn striping system (flap style)

The tractor and lawn striping system aren't terribly sophisticated, but they work well together. Thanks for asking about the pic.

The pivot arms are prevented from being pushed to a vertical position when going in reverse by "lock-out" bolts. The rubber flap also curls under, but does not interfere with the rear wheels.

I have a lot of obstacles to work around like trees, fences and two sets of playground equipment, so I have some backing up to do to cut my property. Before striping I was using multiple loops like a Zamboni machine to maximize my cutting efficiency. For 0.71 acre, I'm running about 20 minutes longer to stripe it, since I'm backing up more to line up my passes. When I'm striving for a "finished" look, this homeowner doesn't mind additional seat time.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:15 AM
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Very interesting!

What was the thought process behind the design. From the angle, it looks like the flap doesn't run the entire width of the mower. Would it work better or worse if it did?
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:17 AM
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Default Striping system width and design thoughts

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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Very interesting!

What was the thought process behind the design. From the angle, it looks like the flap doesn't run the entire width of the mower. Would it work better or worse if it did?
You are correct, it only runs just inside the rear tire inner sidewalls. I've attached a pic of my results. I'm not satisfied yet and I've got a lot of work to do on my grass, obviously. I would assume that most LCOs are striping with commercially made kits or attachments to avoid wasting time in design and fab and will withstand heavy duty use.

Prevailing thought is the rear tires are themselves rollers and one doesn't have to cover that area with a striping system. Home designs can be a trial and error process at this point, depending on the type and height of grass being cut, weight of the machine and rear tread type. From what I've read, roller systems stripe the best, then flap systems, then chains. Unless I get some outside assistance with welding skill, I'm relegated to drilling holes and bolting things together.

Rollers do not need to ride continuously on the ground and support the weight of the deck, they just need to bend the grass over. My deck is designed to be suspended under the machine, and not ride on the ground contour. Simplicity tractors use a patented floating deck system that rides on a full width deck roller and owners say it stripes very well.

My deck leaves very little room to the right rear tire, but I am hoping to hard mount a conveyor roller design at the trailing edge of the deck at a fixed height, i.e., 1/2" off the garage floor. It would stay at the same relative position to the grass regardless of cutting height. I would need custom brackets fabbed up, though.

The current flap system bolts on pretty quickly, so whether I succeed in a roller design, I can still revert back to the flap if necessary.

Thanks for the questions. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:49 AM
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Your lawn looks very nice!

If you do a search on here, you will find a lot of the guys make their own stripe kits from scratch.

As far as the welding goes, why not pick up a small 110v mig welding unit at like home depot or something?

Or look on ebay or craigslist. If you love fabricating, you will LOVE having your own welder. The fact that some can run on 110v is a real benefit for use at home

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