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clintonnut

Zero turn horse

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I came up with a brilliant idea last year but didn't have anything to do it with. What if you but large pneumatic casters on any horse and then but a brake drum on each axle like bill pearson did. It would have to be a 1" axle transmission if you didn't want to do any major modification. Then have a lever extend up from each side and get rid of the steering wheel or modify it to work with the levers.

Charlie

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It's already been done :omg: :

WHZTR.jpg

It was tried with conventional lawn tractors (remember the White that was posted here at RS a few months ago?) and they never seemed to catch on.

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Yea I think I remember. I was mainly thinking of doing it with a 312-8.

Our friend traded his 416 for a zero turn because he has a lot of trees.

Charlie

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I never thought a tractor Z would work that well especially on hills. But have read of people doing it. Toro did do something similar with the HMR series around 1990. It was basically just a rear engine rider. But it had two manual transmissions and when the steering was turned it applied a brake on one side to make the mower turn nearly like a Z. With up to 16hp and a 52" deck I hear some commercial mowers did like them.

Cub cadet/MTD is still trying to sell a tractor Z but doubt they are a real big seller.

Cub Iseries link

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Cub cadet/MTD is still trying to sell a tractor Z but doubt they are a real big seller.

Cub Iseries link

Actually that series has been selling well. It's nothing new, JD had a similar one with their SST series, and MTD had one out about the same time as JD did. What sets the new CC iSeries apart is that the front wheels also steer, along with the rear wheels conventional zero turn design. JDs and MTD's earlier version was just basically a zero turn with a steering wheel (meaning the front wheels were just casters).

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If you did convert a Wheel Horse with casters and steering brakes wouldnt that put a lot of stress on the transmission? With the narrow spacing of the rear tires and heavy front end it would take a fair amount of force to spin the tractor around. :omg:

I imagine the Cub Iseries is selling ok just dont think they would have a large portion of the total market. There is to much competition from true Zero turns at the same price range or standard tractors selling for less.

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Toro did do something similar with the HMR series....

I always liked those High Manueverability Riders. While I think the Toro-WheelHorse versions (HMR 1200 and HMR 1600) showed up in 1990 I think Toro actually had them on the market for a few years prior. I think they advertised a 4" turning radius and the steerable front wheels would turn up to 90 degrees. Great idea and execution, but I guess the regular ZTR killed their viability.

The interconnected steering/turning brake idea is actually quite old. Dates back at least to the 1922c International Farmall tractor. In that instance a cable system connected the front wheels to the rear turning brakes. The tighter the turn dialed in by the steering wheel the more the inside rear brake tightened up. When adjusted properly it worked really well. The system disappeared when IH went to foot brakes on the 1939 letter series (perhaps before that on the F-12/F-14, but I don't remember off hand).

It's an old idea and has been executed to varying degrees of success on production machines. I am surprised to see it finally catching on with the new cadets and like models. The JD Spin Steers are really cool machines and will track amazingly well on cross slopes but they are extremely complex engineering feats. Somewhere on the net there used to be a highly detailed explanation of how they worked but I didn't find it just now.

Back to the point of Charlie's question....

I'm not sure modifying a conventional tractor would work very well. As Nick pointed out I think the castering abilities of a front heavy machine would be pretty low using brakes alone. And I think the standard differential might not perform as well as hoped since it may "overspeed" the outside rear tire on a turn in comparison to what it should be doing (someone correct me here, but if you stall one wheel on an open diff doesn't the other wheel spin twice as fast as it was when running a striaght line?).

And you'd skid the inner rear wheel.

I use the turning brakes all the time when I mow with my utility tractor and it can cause turf damage on pivot turns.

Now, where I think you'd strike gold is if you just added turning brakes to a conventional tractor. There may be instances where you'd skid the front wheels sideways but I think you could really enhance the turning abilities dramatically. Most WH's take a big circle to turn around as it is, so improving that would be ideal and probabluy a more easily realized goal than a true castering front end.

If you do decide to do either project I anxiously await pictures!

Steve

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the dual brakes would be a good project for a tricycle type conversion. look at an older farmall f series tractor. as the steering post makes its full left or right turn, a large button engages a cam and pulls on a rod attached to the brakes on either side, so as you turn, as in a headland, say left, your left tire stays planted and your right does all the work.

i would imagine the major part of this project wouldnt be the brakes, but the actual tricycle conversion. the farmalls have very similar frames to the wh, two stout irons running from the front to the tranny. the rods run down the outside of the frame, and the cams protrude under them at the front. it is a gradual brake engagement as you complete the steering cycle to its end.

i could post a picture from my f-14 manual if anyone with a trike is interested.

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I have been mowing with a Dixie Chopper since 2003 it has cut my mowing time by at least 2/3s and does a much better job, and it gives me more time to play with my wheelhorses!!

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I have twq HMR 1600 Toros, and a couple of Wheel Horse tractors too. Not to be picky but the HMRs steering does not involve the brakes at all. When you turn to the right it just loosens the belt on the right side trans and lets the left trans drive the mower and vice versa when turning to the left. I've been mowing with mine for the last 21 years.

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I have twq HMR 1600 Toros, and a couple of Wheel Horse tractors too. Not to be picky but the HMRs steering does not involve the brakes at all. When you turn to the right it just loosens the belt on the right side trans and lets the left trans drive the mower and vice versa when turning to the left. I've been mowing with mine for the last 21 years.

Can you please post some pictures? I would be interested to see what they look like.

Thanks,

-Charles

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Pics of my Toro HMR 1600. With the 38 inch deck as in the pics this mower weighs 700 pounds. It's one sturdy mower. http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i299/slantram/Wheel%20Horse%20C%20125/Toro%20HMR/

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