Green Tractor Talk banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
2019 JD 4052M Hydro, JD 400E Loader, Frontier AP12F Forks, Frontier BB2072 Box Blade, RC2072
Joined
·
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m gonna start off by saying that I know this isn’t very practical. It’s just an idea I had yesterday as I spent most of the day on the Z920M. Here’s the idea…

This system wouldn’t be a full-time 4wd. It would be a system that is easily turned on and off while mowing, no stopping or slow downs necessary. That’s why I’m referring to it as FWA (Front Wheel Assist) rather than 4 wheel drive. I’ve provided a highly technical drawing illustrating my idea.

A. Hard lines running from the transmission and entering the front caster frame. Each front wheel would be driven from the transmission on the respective side of the machine.

B. Inside the round caster frame, a hydraulic coupler or fitting that can rotate freely, allowing the front wheels to rotate 360 degrees as they should.

C. Hoses or hard lines running out the bottom of caster frame (attached to the wheel frame and rotating with the wheel) to a hydraulic motor mounted on inside of wheel frame. I thought the inside would be the best place to mount the motor as it is more protected than the outside.

D. Hydraulic motor mounted on inside of wheel frame. Another idea was to be able to remove the hydraulic motor if it is not needed. Think of a coupling similar to a pto where there would be a splined shaft on the wheel axle, and the motor has the “implement side” of the coupling integrated into it. Thinking 4 bolts to hold the motor to the wheel frame, remove the bolts, unhook the hose (preferably the hose would stay with the motor so it’s not left on the mower), and slide the motor off the shaft.

E. Access panel on front or side of caster frame for easy access to fittings inside.

Something very important that is not included in the drawing is a switch to turn the system on and off. My solution was some kind of switch or rocker pedal on the floorboard that is foot actuated, allowing the operator to turned the system on and off while keeping his hands free for rest of the mower controls. Obviously the system would not work well when turning, so the operator would need to turn the system off before going into a sharp turn. Another idea for turning is some sort of relief valve that goes into relief once there is a certain amount of stress on the motor when turning and the front wheels need to spin faster or slower than the rear wheels.

One issue I don’t have a solution to is backing up. On a ZTR, when you start backing up, the front wheels spin around so they are still rotating “forward” in respect to the wheel frame. I guess one just wouldn’t back up with the front wheels under power because the front and rear wheels would be working against each other. Or if the system had a relief valve as I was talking about earlier, the problem of reversing while under power could be resolved.

This whole idea wouldn’t be something for the average homeowner. It would be something useful to a commercial mowing company or property owner who is required to mow wet areas on a regular basis where a standard ZTR struggles. But one could argue that instead of investing in a silly system like this, that person or business should purchase a 4wd garden tractor or CUT to mow those areas. An Altoz tracked ZTR would be another good option. One more thing - one would have to purchase different front tires and possibly wheels to get the additional traction offered by the FWA system. So after purchasing an expensive hydraulic system, you would have to purchase expensive tires as well.

All in all, I don’t see a system like this being feasible to produce and sell, so I don’t believe it will ever become a reality. Maybe someday when I’m old and retired I can tinker with something like this. A guy can dream…
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Tread
 
  • Like
Reactions: cc1999 and MattL

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
There is also the weight factor. The front of a ZT is usually pretty light so some weight would have to be added for the front assist. Maybe the electric motors themselves could provide enough weight to be effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
The smooth front tires won't add much traction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JD4052M

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
If I remember right, there was a company making a kit that locked the front casters straight for slope mowing. I cant remember the name but I am sure some googling will result in it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JD4052M

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,384 Posts
Don't the cub cadet steering wheel zero turns use steering linkage for the front wheels? If so a FWA system might be feasible for that style.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JD4052M

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Or, you could mow with a 1025R :ROFLMAO:
 

·
Registered
2019 JD 4052M Hydro, JD 400E Loader, Frontier AP12F Forks, Frontier BB2072 Box Blade, RC2072
Joined
·
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
instead of hydraulic think electric assist
2 wires, motor in hub
when you succeed send me a few bucks
Now you’re thinking! That would be a simpler system at least on the front end of it.
There is a problem with the front caster. If you power it, the wheel will swivel around until it's pushing. A swivel lock is needed, but then you can't steer. 💩
Hadn’t thought of that but makes sense.
If I remember right, there was a company making a kit that locked the front casters straight for slope mowing. I cant remember the name but I am sure some googling will result in it.
That would be handy for slopes. I’ll have to look that up.
Don't the cub cadet steering wheel zero turns use steering linkage for the front wheels? If so a FWA system might be feasible for that style.
Yes I got to thinking about this today. Those cub zero turns use a steering linkage for the front wheels, so this system would be more effective on a machine like those.
 
  • Like
Reactions: trav

·
Registered
2019 JD 4052M Hydro, JD 400E Loader, Frontier AP12F Forks, Frontier BB2072 Box Blade, RC2072
Joined
·
316 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The smooth front tires won't add much traction.
LOLOL, no kidding! Boy, we all missed that little detail.
I thought I addressed this in the original post. I guess I just said “different tires” not “aggressive tires”. But yes, without more aggressive front tires the system would be pretty pointless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
546 Posts
Now you’re thinking! That would be a simpler system at least on the front end of it.

Hadn’t thought of that but makes sense.

That would be handy for slopes. I’ll have to look that up.

Yes I got to thinking about this today. Those cub zero turns use a steering linkage for the front wheels, so this system would be more effective on a machine like those.


Bad Boy makes locks for the front wheels for striping, IIRC looks like a disc brake set up
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top