CUB CADET ZERO TURN LAWNMOWER REDESIGN
In this project, my group (Luke Sturgeon and Zhihao Zhao) and I redesigned a riding lawnmower used at Luke’s family’s farm, the Cub Cadet Zero Radius model. The mower is two-wheel drive, self-propelled by a gasoline engine, and utilizes a zero-turn radius steering system, which allows the mower to turn without the unit moving forward first.
We began the project by analyzing the controls and displays of the mower, as well as considered the anthropometry and ergonomics of its users (handle and steering wheel size, seat height and adjustability, accessible controls, cab size). We also did a small literature review of past articles on lawnmower safety.
We then conducted a front end analysis, where we started brainstorming and coming up with a set of qualitative interview questions that we presented to Luke’s family in a focus group (when he went in person), asking about how the mower is used, special features, and any issues or concerns about the usage of the lawnmower. We then completed a task analysis where the members of the group walked us through how they start, run, shut down, and maintain the lawnmower. We also conducted an environmental analysis where we looked at the conditions the product was typically used in to inform our evaluation and redesign later. From the focus group we realized that they designed their garden around the mower’s width, as well as told us that foliage and branches tend to catch the throttle of the machine, randomly slowing it down. Older users also reported fatigue after using it for more than one hour.
Cuts grass evenly at varying heights
Comfortably ridden for 2+ hours
Adjusts to primary users’ dimensions
Provide easy means of maintenance
Allow meaningful monitoring of system
Intuitive use of controls (steering, stop, and go)
Haul yard trimmings up to 100 lbs
Safety features that prevent bodily and property harm