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He Builds Custom Lawn Mowers
“A few years ago I got tired of mowing my lawn out in the sun so I decided to make a remote-controlled mower. I used an RC controller, a motor driver, batteries, a receiver and it worked great,” says inventor Jesse Smith. “Variations on that idea just kept popping into my head and I kept building them.”
Smith uses a Sabertooth 2x32 regenerative motor driver for each of his mowers. It supplies 32 amps of power to the motors, with peak currents up to 64 amps per motor. Smith says the Sabertooth is popular for other applications including robots, electric vehicles, ride-on toys and scooters.
“I operated the second mower with a 12-ft. cord and a control panel with two switches, but that didn’t have a lot of power and it was a pain to follow around,” Smith says, “so I rebuilt it into a 24-volt system. That version has larger wheels and a stronger axle, so I can operate it remotely or actually sit on it.”
Although Smith didn’t try to sell any of the mowers, he says “random people stopped by or heard about what I was doing, so I’ve built and sold three of them for about $900 each. It’s just me in my garage with the parts.”
Smith’s remote controlled mowers have unusual capabilities. “One of them towed my 4-wheeler up the driveway with me sitting on it, and I’ve also pushed old refrigerators with it at the dump just by pressing against them from the back and pushing forward. They have a lot of power.”
A roofer by trade with an affinity for fixing things, Smith says he began repairing old weed trimmers, mowers, washers, dryers and pressure washers that people threw away. “I’d fix them up and give them away to people who couldn’t afford to buy new equipment,” Smith says. “That grew into building mowers, which I really enjoy.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, S & S Tech, Makermotor, 7056 Archibald Avenue #102, Corona, Calif. 92880 (ph 626 322-8220; www.makermotor.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #6