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The early days of Zeros


MTO
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12 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

My favorite zero to date is a Woods 1855, Kohler engine sat behind you and the deck out front, looked a bit like a praying mantis. You could get under stuff with it, the newer more compact ones like you see today have their advantages but nothing could touch the woods for getting under fences and trees. 

So you want to be my neighbor?   Grasshoppers here where I am is almost like being in a cult.............I used to work on alot of them, honestly found them to be like riding on a swinging club.  I always heard how great they were from the owners, and the same thing about fences and trees..........I don't have issues with my "Normal" big deck ZTR getting fences mowed, and trim the trees so you can mow right up to them.  I had a neighbor mow commercially with them, I couldn't imagine mowing cemetaries and swinging that back end into grave stones like he did, couldn't understand how he was out bid..........Well, I can.  

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How about the old 3 wheel New Holland swathers, before the hydro drive. It is zero turn in my book. Putting it up on hillside was real thrill.  Finally moved on to hydro which is nice to creep into thick nasty down stuff, but not the same square turn as I could do with a stick for each drive.

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I’ve run one of the old 3 wheel swathers, kinda handy in a small odd shaped field, but other than that, not a whole lot of fun. Thinking about those couple old swathers really makes me realize how far I’ve come with equipment, and how nice the current hydro swing is.

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3 hours ago, MTO said:

Talk about sharp knives in a drawer...sigh.

Never mind ??

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That extra wide Dixon seat was designed for the "Women of Wal-Mart".

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18 hours ago, sandhiller said:

And I thought this was going to be a thread about the early days of math before ones and twos came along.?

Me too 

Here is some of the old math 

 

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12 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

My favorite zero to date is a Woods 1855, Kohler engine sat behind you and the deck out front, looked a bit like a praying mantis. You could get under stuff with it, the newer more compact ones like you see today have their advantages but nothing could touch the woods for getting under fences and trees. 

B83C3C9F-D239-4DFF-984C-4C80A0106F00.png

those woods were rebadged grasshopper front mounts vs mid mounts, same hydros/decks/engines etc......good units - those vintage were built better than todays versions - check out country clipper, they are made in corydon iowa ( for your IOWA PRIDE )  they used to manufacture for others also, not sure about their newer machines but their older units are spot on, dad has one 2010 vintage so not terribly old and its been terrific. 

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Swissher  has always been credited for having invented the first zero turn . 
 

Don’t know for sure , perhaps it’s fake news but I think his first one was green and was 1957. Mine is a 59 single speed ( pre Big Mow) 

195B0D17-E377-4F27-8AEA-4F5FA274FBEB.thumb.jpeg.53e661de982e91547e320e5d3518bf1e.jpeg

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Not for sure, but I think this is a 1957 . 
 

His first year mowers were green . Someone once told me he had an earlier one but I’m not sure. 
98B9A4AC-7882-4A0C-9BF8-8C641346A91F.thumb.jpeg.f74844e1a04bf52e50cc0bebe1a8b3b9.jpeg

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19 hours ago, ray54 said:

How about the old 3 wheel New Holland swathers, before the hydro drive. It is zero turn in my book. Putting it up on hillside was real thrill.  Finally moved on to hydro which is nice to creep into thick nasty down stuff, but not the same square turn as I could do with a stick for each drive.

I’ve only run one pre hydro swather and it is my JD late 50s/early 60s swather just playing around. Thought it was kind a neat like running a crawler.  It could make a square turn since pulling in the stick made the tire go backwards.  I don’t know if the Versatile 103s could make a square turn with the rack/pinion steering.  Oldest hydro swathers I have seen are my cousins 2 NH 909s they bought in the late 60s.  

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I had a Woods, made by grasshopper, similar to what VT pictured to mow here at the house.  It was hydro but chain driven to the axles.  A cluster of chains and sprockets.  I thought I got a good deal till I had to monkey with all the worn tolerances and get it to work right.

Difference was mine only had one rear wheel and a solid seat.  Man when you slammed that thing into a hole in the ground it would almost chip a tooth.

Front deck and mid mount both have some good and bad about them.  If your commercial and hauling on a trailer the front decks take up alot of space when you put two or three on there.

 

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23 hours ago, lorenzo said:

Swissher  has always been credited for having invented the first zero turn . 
 

Don’t know for sure , perhaps it’s fake news but I think his first one was green and was 1957. Mine is a 59 single speed ( pre Big Mow) 

195B0D17-E377-4F27-8AEA-4F5FA274FBEB.thumb.jpeg.53e661de982e91547e320e5d3518bf1e.jpeg

Why does Chestnuts roasting on an open fire come to mind????

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8 minutes ago, greenredneck said:

Once you drive a zero turn you'll never go back to a steering wheel l!!!!.

Some zero turns have steering wheels.  My neighbor's cub cadet does.  

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Still running a 429 Dixon here, had it for close to 20 years. Can't kill the Kohler engine. Held up well until the boys thought it was more fun to do  donuts and ran the drive chains off and bent the shafts.? Several times. Getting to where the deck is shot and since Husqvarna bought Dixon and discontinued them parts are tough to find. 

Currently looking for a 0 turn replacement. Found some later Dixons and Snappers. 

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This zero crashed in the Aleutian Islands. It was repaired and flown to California where it was tested and evaluated.

The first pic is  8n the Aleutian islands.

The second, with us markings, is in San Diego.

 

AkutanZero1.jpg

Akutan_Zero_in_San_Diego.jpg

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