Calibrated Travel Control
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    ridgwel's Avatar
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    Calibrated Travel Control

    Has anyone come up with a way to set the speed of a lawn tractor? One of the variables in properly applying chemicals to a yard, is speed of travel. Generally, the recommended speed is 3 MPH. To date, here is what I have done. I marked out a course of 200 ft. Knowing that for 3 MPH, it should take 45 sec to cover the course. With my X360 at full throttle, thru trial and error, I cut a block of wood that would limit the forward pedal travel such that it resulted in a travel time of 45 sec to cover the 200 ft. This method works, but I was hoping to find a better method. Now my X360 does have a "cruise control" but there is no way to set a specific speed. Maybe some day John Deere will see a need to provide such a device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ridgwel View Post
    Has anyone come up with a way to set the speed of a lawn tractor? One of the variables in properly applying chemicals to a yard, is speed of travel. Generally, the recommended speed is 3 MPH. To date, here is what I have done. I marked out a course of 200 ft. Knowing that for 3 MPH, it should take 45 sec to cover the course. With my X360 at full throttle, thru trial and error, I cut a block of wood that would limit the forward pedal travel such that it resulted in a travel time of 45 sec to cover the 200 ft. This method works, but I was hoping to find a better method. Now my X360 does have a "cruise control" but there is no way to set a specific speed. Maybe some day John Deere will see a need to provide such a device.

    Maybe you can use a GPS or smartphone app to clock your speed.
    The factory cruise is really only a throttle lock. I never use mine all that much but if you set it for a certain speed. I'm sure that the tractor would slow down slightly when going up a hill.
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    ridgwel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-D dealer dude View Post
    Maybe you can use a GPS or smartphone app to clock your speed.
    The factory cruise is really only a throttle lock. I never use mine all that much but if you set it for a certain speed. I'm sure that the tractor would slow down slightly when going up a hill.
    Those are good thoughts....Thanks for your thoughts. The GPS and smartphone would allow for speed verification but won't be able to control the tractor. I don't know the accuracy of measuring such a slow MPH with those devices. I really need to count tire revolutions to get accuracy for that low of speed. That may be possible, but stopping and starting would still be a challenge to get back to a given speed. I may have hit on the best solution, but I was hoping that, just maybe, someone had already solved this problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridgwel View Post
    Those are good thoughts....Thanks for your thoughts. The GPS and smartphone would allow for speed verification but won't be able to control the tractor. I don't know the accuracy of measuring such a slow MPH with those devices. I really need to count tire revolutions to get accuracy for that low of speed. That may be possible, but stopping and starting would still be a challenge to get back to a given speed. I may have hit on the best solution, but I was hoping that, just maybe, someone had already solved this problem.
    I think that you hit the nail on the head with your throttle spacer.

    Pretty sure someone makes a dye to put in whatever you are spraying. It should show you how much you have covered. Never used the stuff or a tow behind sprayer for that matter. Maybe someone that has will chime in.

    Was looking at the JD 15 gallon unit for my old property management job. Was looking to use the boom for ice melt during winter and the wand for weed killer in the summer. However I never got funding for it.
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    They do make a dye for spray. I have no idea what yur spaying or what tips you have. It's a science all to its own. If it works for you it works. Dont be waiting for a JD lawn tractor spray unit with gps and speed control. Aint gonna happen.

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
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    First, the guide that they give you on the rate of spread is a guide, not a exact number that you have to follow - get as close as you can. Wind blowing and direction are probably a bigger factor in even spread than rate of speed.

    Second, use the GPS to give yourself the speed calibration you desire. My 1025r in low range at 2000 rpm is 2.8 mph. That was close enough to 3.0 mph to use for my spreader rates. Since my spreader is powered off of the PTO I needed to get the RPMs that the spreader was happy with then went hunting for the mph.

    I believe in this regard close enough is good enough - it drives me nuts because I want to hit the exact numbers published or it seems a little too random. The reality is that it isn't as big of a factor for the average lawn chemical.
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    Wouldn't it give you more consistency if you did you little 200 ft test by varying the throttle with the hydro pedal all the way down instead of trying to block the hyrdo pedal? Then, when you find the throttle position that gives you the mph you desire you just mark that and return the throttle to that point and mash the pedal all the way down whenever you want to get back to xx mph. Would seem to be much easier to reproduce each time.

    Rob
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlue View Post
    Wouldn't it give you more consistency if you did you little 200 ft test by varying the throttle with the hydro pedal all the way down instead of trying to block the hyrdo pedal? Then, when you find the throttle position that gives you the mph you desire you just mark that and return the throttle to that point and mash the pedal all the way down whenever you want to get back to xx mph. Would seem to be much easier to reproduce each time.

    Rob
    That's what I did...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBarn View Post
    First, the guide that they give you on the rate of spread is a guide, not a exact number that you have to follow - get as close as you can. Wind blowing and direction are probably a bigger factor in even spread than rate of speed.

    Second, use the GPS to give yourself the speed calibration you desire. My 1025r in low range at 2000 rpm is 2.8 mph. That was close enough to 3.0 mph to use for my spreader rates. Since my spreader is powered off of the PTO I needed to get the RPMs that the spreader was happy with then went hunting for the mph.

    I believe in this regard close enough is good enough - it drives me nuts because I want to hit the exact numbers published or it seems a little too random. The reality is that it isn't as big of a factor for the average lawn chemical.
    Well that' it, just because I'm going to put my Garmin on my tractor this weekend
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    Quote Originally Posted by renwickpat View Post
    Well that' it, just because I'm going to put my Garmin on my tractor this weekend

    Android phone and an app called GPS Speedometer works pretty well. Not a bunch of bells and whistles, just a speedo and free!
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