Self-Propel Control is Counter-intuitive

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I just got my 21" SP mower today. My initial impression is this. The lever control to engage the SP motor is awkward and counter-intuitive. I read a review of this mower where the poster said you will get used to it and it will become second-nature. The best design is one that feels natural from the start and doesn't require the user to adapt to it's design.

I was thinking that a motorcycle-like throttle control would be more natural, except have it rotate in the opposite direction. That way if it started to get away from you, it would naturally roll back the speed. So this one control could replace both the lever and the speed control. And if it could be designed so it could be moved to enable left-handed operation, even better.

What prompted this was when I was mowing past an overhanging bush on my left and I discovered that the only way to prevent the mower from getting away from me was to let go of it! Then it shuts off and stops. That's counter-intuitive. Controlling a machine and letting go just don't seem to make sense together.

I realize that there are safety regulations that must be adhered to. For example, the bail that engages the blades. I'm sure someone got hurt, a manufacturer got sued, regulations were passed, etc. I don't recommend circumventing safety equipment on anything, but I would favor another type of dead man switch, such as a pull-out wrist strap like they use on wave runners and treadmills.

My point is that while the engineers may have had a lot of constraints on the design, the SP lever is not logical or natural, in my opinion.

One more thing. If you could add a low-speed switch to halve the speed of the variable speed control, that would be a great improvement in control and possibly save power.
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Lawrence DIYer

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Official Response
Thanks for the feedback here Lawrence.  We've shared this with our R&D team for consideration.