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mbsengineer

why did they make R & L discharge @ same time?

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mbsengineer
I'm curious if anyone knows why AC and Simplicity made both right and left discharge models at the same time back in the 70's and 80's? Obviously, this was before the industry standardized on right discharge, but why not just make all left discharge then? It would seem to be more expensive for production and maintenance to do both. I figured someone on here would know the story.

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Kent
I think their left discharge decks were likely a factor of the drivetrain and PTO connections. Other manufacturers (including the Allis-unique machines) used a mule drive or something similar that would've had an opposite rotation.... Then, the vertical shaft Simplicities of that vintage used a mule drive that put the revolution back to the same left discharge... That would be my guess...

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MysTiK
I have often wondered about this also. It's kinda cool to hear any explanation. With comments so far, I thought maybe, from a marketing standpoint, Simplicity could have made their decks uniquely their own - which they kinda did anyway. But opposite discharge would PREVENT their amazing decks, w deep design, and patented spindle assemblies, from being used on other (lesser sm01) machines - so you had to own a Simp to have the best cut. According to "Dragon's Den" tv show, cornering the market, having full control, and deleting the competition, is everything. So how did Simp ever go out of business. ? I also heard it said by someone, that AC knew how to make great machines; but did not know how to make money. but people always say stuff. 8) (sorry, can't recall who said that, just read that recently while researching really old 1930's machines).

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steve-wis
I know that Allis Chalmers farm equipment put a premium on being unique. Their combines had the header on your left as you sit on the tractor, where most other were on the right. They stayed with their snap coupler system of hitching implements well into the three point hitch era. I think it was that mentality that led them to do the left hand decks also. Of course, this is just a guess. Steve

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mbsengineer
quote:
Originally posted by steve-wis
I know that Allis Chalmers farm equipment put a premium on being unique. Their combines had the header on your left as you sit on the tractor, where most other were on the right. They stayed with their snap coupler system of hitching implements well into the three point hitch era. I think it was that mentality that led them to do the left hand decks also. Of course, this is just a guess. Steve
Who actually manufactured the duel branded models (ie AC700's and S7000's), was it AC or Simp? If it was AC, and if this is true, it would certainly explain it. Interesting...

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by mbsengineer
quote:
Originally posted by steve-wis
I know that Allis Chalmers farm equipment put a premium on being unique. Their combines had the header on your left as you sit on the tractor, where most other were on the right. They stayed with their snap coupler system of hitching implements well into the three point hitch era. I think it was that mentality that led them to do the left hand decks also. Of course, this is just a guess. Steve
Who actually manufactured the duel branded models (ie AC700's and S7000's), was it AC or Simp? If it was AC, and if this is true, it would certainly explain it. Interesting...
Definitely interesting. Was it AC or Simp? That calls for a tour of the very interesting [History] writeup on simpletractors.com. Simp was owned by AC for a time; and during that time Lexington appeared as a result of antitrust bla bla bla issues, later repealed; by tricky dicky I believe. The "Allis-unique" machines that Kent mentioned were, I believe, the AC300's and AC400's. Maybe others too???? But even late 60's tractors were dual branded - altho I don't know exactly what models started that dual thing. I tend to think the lefty decks transcended all that era - existing before and after. But someone else does. sm01 When did they make righty decks? That's a missing link for this kid.

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Kent
AFAIK, all the dual-branded machines were made by Simplicity, with the exception of some Homelites made by Allis in their Lexington SC plant during the antitrust suit. Allis 300 and 400 series were made by Allis, as were those different Homelites. The Allis-made models were right discharge... Simplicity made most of the dual-branded machines (Homelite, Montgomery Wards, JC Penney) and they were all left-discharge during that timeframe. I'm not sure when Simplicity started making right discharge decks, but I think it might have coincided with their change to entirely vertical shaft engines, doing away the bevel gear box...

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dentwizz
In fact the bevel box type machines of the B era could be run with either direction of rotation as a function of flipping the cross drive belt(as we all have done accidentally at one point...). One observation I have seen in many cases if not industry custom at large, is that the discharge coincides with the lift and such controls for visibility related to discharge. Example being lefthand lift, discharge, PTO engagement and right side pedal, all of which support the ergonomics of leaning toward the left side to observe the deck operation. Those items on an MTD are all reversed, even the lift and pedal.

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johnmonkey
I thought I read somewhere that to avoid a monopoly; AC and Simplicity had to have different set-ups on the machines so as not to appear that they were cornering the market. That is why the early 1970's AC 310 and 410 were so different than the Simplicities of the same vintage. I'm sure that I have some lingo incorrect but it is something to the effect. jh

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1Litre
Simplicity built Allis machines befor Allis purchased 51% of Simplicity around `67. Allis started building machines on there own for one reason , make the units cheaper to make more money. There was Homelites built at both Simplicity And Allis at the same time. Allis large frame replaced the Simplicty large frame but the small riders stayed Simplicty . Homelite was merged with Jacobsen (Textron) and then they used there units painted red. When you go south with a plant in that era it was to get lower cost labor i.e. non union labor and transportation. Many companies did this. If Allis stayed a strong company there would have been alot less Simplicity and more Allis design but by the late seventies they merged ag with White/Oliver and began to sell off divisions to survive. I think `84 they sold off Simplicity .

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MysTiK
quote:
Originally posted by johnmonkey
I thought I read somewhere that to avoid a monopoly; AC and Simplicity had to have different set-ups on the machines so as not to appear that they were cornering the market. That is why the early 1970's AC 310 and 410 were so different than the Simplicities of the same vintage. I'm sure that I have some lingo incorrect but it is something to the effect. jh
Was that when they started using AC-Kohler and Simp-Briggs also? That would make for a competitive image. Also, the Simp 7000's, and maybe others, used a 14 hp, and AC did not - there was no (714) afaik. Also, my manual for my 716, actually covers the entire range of 700'series; and it is very different to comparable manuals for the Simp tractors - extra info, pix, specs, details, lengthy descriptions, extra steps in some procedures that seems excessively detailed. The manual is clearly labelled "allis" and has very different feel to it. example -the engine idle speed is sposed ta be 1800rpm's for hydro trans tractors. Simps I believe are 1200 rpm's. I think this is about fluid flow in the Sundstrand, and longevity, since running them too slow is damaging potentially. I had trouble getting the ac manual, and it was like "my precious" 8)when I did - I think I lived in it for a week or more. 8D But I was such a nooby in those days; it was ALL amazing and wowee. (not much has changed). crk8

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1Litre
7014 Briggs was a 16hp with a metal clip on the carb that only allowed the throttle to open partially to make only 14 hp. Remove the clip and Ta Da! 16hp. 7114 began with the Kohler as the 7010 and 7012 had . I do not think there was any 7100 10hp units just 12hp and up. They had the 21hp twin for a short time.

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Al
Hi, I believe Kent hit it. The early tractors were driven from the bevel gear box and the left hand deck was needed. When Allis bought Simplicity in the 60s, the government was concerned that they would monopolize the garden tractor world. (?? John Deere future player??)] In the real early 70's the government filed a restraint of trade lawsuit against Allis. To address this Allis built their "own" tractor using Simplicity manufactured transmissions and cross drives. (note: Simplicity manufactured these transmissions in Port Washington. When I was at the factory the first time, the castings were out sourced and all the machining was done in Port, as were the cross drive (aka bevel gear box) This resulted in the 300 and 400 family. These Allis's used a Ross manufactured steering gear as did Cub Cadet, Cushman Golf cars, John Deere and a number of other brands. Ross also manufactured steering gears for big trucks. By using a mule drive the mower needed a RH discharge deck. The new tooling created the RH deck. Two years later the gov't decided there was no basis and the charges were dropped. The costs of this was typical gov't. deal. Too bad, so sad, sorry we were wrong, but appreciate the fact that all the money this cost you, you won't have to pay income tax on. We were here from the govt. to try to help you. At this time the 3400s were updated to the 7000 family and the Allis's became 700 series with minor differences. The grilles, the head lights, no Briggs engines in the ACs. One note, the deck that was designed for the mule drive on the 300 and 400 with minor die changes became and was perfect for the deck for the 5000 and 6000 Simplicity and 600 and 800 Allis tractor. It was already for the move to vertical shaft engines. One of the things that was a factor in the Sovereigns demise was the dies for stamping the decks. Sales were down on the series. The 7100 series was dropped, but the demand for the tractors due people owning attachments resulted in dealer pressure to bring it back. It came back a year later as the 17 GTHL. Then the Sovereign. After the CH,they build 3500 Sovereigns with the TH engines. The sales numbers were dropping and at the same time the dies for the deck were getting really bad. They had lived a long run would have cost a ton of money for a unit that had lived beyond its normal life. (The 3500 number I am not sure of, but several years ago at Louisville Expo I was at the Kohler booth talking to the head of Kohler Service when about 30 feet away Warner Frazier the former CEO and then Chairman of the Board was talking to a person I didn't know. I heard someone say: Al Eden, what are you up to? This when I noticed him and walked over to him. I showed him some info on our repowers and he was interested and the other person started asking about our repowers. He asked about the potential market and Warner said that they had built 3500 Sovereigns with the TH plus thousands of 7100s and people had attachments, etc. At this point Warner said Al and I go back a lot of years and he has been very helpful with problems through the years. He said: I want you to meet Richard Schumaker an old friend of mine, he is tha president of Kohler engines. He then asked me a several questions about repower and some specific applications he had interest in. I responded about where the limits of our capabilities were. We chatted for a few minutes and then Warner told me he and Richard were leaving and going out to play golf. Richard gave me a card and said to feel free to call him if there was anything he could do to help me. These are things that you can never use, as if you go upstairs, you are never forgiven at the lower levels. You must always go from the bottom up. Warner and Richard are both totally retired now. In the early 80's my wife and I (won) went on a cruise with many other dealers and the senior management people including Warner and the next year a week trip to Acapulco. They were great trips and we had days to really get acquainted. At anytime,the while the Simplicity management team was always very open and accessible all the way to the top and on these trips, you were exposed to them and some of the greatest dealers in the country. What a learning experience. I will say this, Simplicity has always been an extremely open company and IF you were interested, you could get on the phone and call any person in Port and discuss any problem that was in their area of responsibility, all the way to Warner. Just have a legitimate reason to call and you would never be disappointed. I am sure if you called with petty whiny issues you might not receive call backs. Last fall at Louisville, I talked to Horald Redman the former head of new products at the Port operation. He is now the president of Briggs Power Products and the Executive Vice President of Briggs. He told me he was thinking about having another "family reuniion" like we had in the 80's when all of the dealers met in Milwaukee for a reunion. It was a great time and the Sunrunners were introduced. I just received notice it will be done in about 3 months in 3 locations. I am so excited about him driving the ship. He understands the Simplicity family. We used to talk several times a year in years gone by. He is such an open manager, and he restores my faith in the line with his leadership. I am very excited in the future for Simplicity. Al Eden

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MysTiK
Al, your post is still exploding on my screen. I missed this line at first: "These are things that you can never use, as if you go upstairs, you are never forgiven at the lower levels. You must always go from the bottom up". and then the lights turned on; so I am compelled to say.... in my own simple words.... I read some really interesting book that talked about being invited to some special gathering, like a wedding feast, or like that, (I forget, it doesn't matter, I could look it up) and how we should conduct ourselves. It was recommended to proceed in the infinite grandeur of humility, and take a seat, unnoticed, at the back of the room, or similar, with the common folk in attendance. The book then said, that if we were called to the head table, that that would be entirely acceptable to all, and no one could find fault, or criticize; nor would anyone be insulted, or threatened. However, for us to assume we somehow have a right to a place at the head table would be disastrous, embarrassing and we could be shunned, and severely criticized, or asked to leave. And that general rejection might follow, not only to the seats at the rear of the hall; but perhaps right out the door! However, if specifically called, or further invited, a simply humble special place might be created, extra seating brought in, space made, and, in general, no effort spared; and there would follow, a feeling of welcome, interest and respect radiating from others, and a light glowing from within. And that, a mere beginning, in a delightful calmness, and in a place of natural self-appreciation, which is even more attractive to others at the head table. The words were quite different; but you get the drift. And there was probably more to it as well; it's been a while. I do hope this is consistent with what you mentioned; and intended. Thank you for sharing - it was very experiential, and I felt a strong and hesitant need to express this. Mysteries and things hidden: it means they can be found; but can never be touched, or used, or claimed; there is no value to things that can. Acknowledgement of the source might bring more; and might not. Have a seat. thx. it's seldom such moments... and having said, I can rest.

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Al
Hi, Thanks for your comments. There is an old saying s____ rolls down hill. I learned a long time ago, that if you start at the bottom and work with the people nearest the issue, you can build a lot of allies and open a lot of doors. Say you know the CEO and can make a phone call and discuss your problem. An edict goes down and people are frustrated at being "reprimanded" are they ever going to help you???? Say you get to a secretary and you call and say I need to talk to Vip John, get me through. Is she impressed? What if you call and say, I am needing to deal with this problem. Who do you think I should contact to solve this? A: She knows better than you who is the key decision maker and if you have asked her input, you have shown appreciation for her intelligence. Now she is on your team trying to show you how she can help you. She knows the ways to get you all the way to the top if she deems this the person to talk to. She will be proud to show you how effective she can be. The next time you need to go someplace, she will get you there, because you appreciate the fact that you respect her intelligence, ability and her ability to network. Remember the work gets done at the lower and lowest levels. The CEO cannot build 3000 tractors, the bu people do. If he respects their value, the company will do well. If not, they know a million ways to put obstructions on the road. If you always use the lowest level people to carry your input, they will be loyal supporters. The last 3 of my 38 years in the bargaining unit at Rockwell, I was selected to participate in a work redesign program. The program was a proprietary program of Belgard, Fisher and Rayner of Portland OR. I was selected to help teach a work redesign program to 5000 employees in 4 day classes. Previously management and the bargaining unit weren't that much involved with each other. We converted from the smokestack management (top down) program to the workers making the decisions and managers becoming facilitators. The inverted pyramid where decisions are made at the lowest level and flow upward. I taught the classes jointly with a management teacher and the classes were 50/50 management and BU. The classes were about 40 people. 50% of my time was direct charged to the VP of Human Resources. The other 50% I worked at my regular technician job. I taught work redesign and a number of team tools training programs, to help develop self directed work teams. I went out on the factory floor and helped self directed work teams organize and learn to be effective. We had areas of the company where we obtained over 400 percent productivity increases. The same concept in life works. Let the people closest to the job help you and you will be amazed how much they can accomplish, if you believe in them. Nuff too much said. Al Eden

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gwiseman
quote:
Originally posted by Al
Hi. Last fall at Louisville, I talked to Horald Redman the former head of new products at the Port operation. He is now the president of Briggs Power Products and the Executive Vice President of Briggs. He told me he was thinking about having another "family reuniion" like we had in the 80's when all of the dealers met in Milwaukee for a reunion. It was a great time and the Sunrunners were introduced. I just received notice it will be done in about 3 months in 3 locations. I am so excited about him driving the ship. He understands the Simplicity family. We used to talk several times a year in years gone by. He is such an open manager, and he restores my faith in the line with his leadership. I am very excited in the future for Simplicity. Al Eden
Lots of great info here but I'm especially glad to read this. Hopefully this is good news in terms of parts availability for us old Briggs and Simplicity guys.

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dhardin
I have gone to the Louisville Expo for many years now. It is a grate place to meet all the connected people if thats what you want. As well see and get some hands on experience if that what you wont as well. It is the one place you will have the chance to see what is moving and shaking in the Land Care equipment industry. I would suggest anyone to go and get a education and have a good time. http://gie-expo.com/gieexpo/

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Dark
Case 224 1976 model I have is left discharge,powered by a 14hp Kohler the deck is mule driven, manual clutch, and the tractor drive is a hydraulic drive. Twin-blade mower decks are designed with the discharge on the right side and two side-by-side blades. The side-by-side three blade decks have the center blade positioned slightly forward and in front of the side-by-side blades,and left hand discharge. This provides cutting overlap when traveling in a straight line. As a result, the tractor should mainly operated making primarily left hand turns when cutting. During left turns this cutting overlap is maintained. If turning right,it is possible to negate this overlap and leave an uncut strip. Modern mowers offset the blades and are moreover right side discharges designed with a lower deck height and higher blade speed right discharge is established as more of the standard for finish mowers.

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MysTiK
Thx Al. yes, nuff too much said. And yet it's only talk, it's only the idea. It's a great idea. It's a really nice idea. The challenge remains, the real work - how to make it happen. Change is difficult. I tried to change a lot of people, one at a time, and it never worked. Set someone free, and they will do the best thing. The dark view is one of slavery in the land of the free; and we are too far down the wrong road. That's the challenge. And it could be fixed immediately if everyone knew; but the starting point has been driven down, driven out, disallowed; and it's reinforced by so much that's simply accepted as the way it is. You know it from standing back and seeing it in motion. In my way, I have seen it also. As have others; even everyone who cares to see. Much of it is regarded as trouble, or trouble making - and this world crucifies trouble makers. An inverted triangle - the manager has perhaps experienced the dark side; and chooses the healthier way; and knows it is difficult to be the best servant; and requires 100 people to support him, or he fails to facilitate. If the people play, and simply are team mates for the greater good, then it's powerful. That would be work ethic and humility. Knowing one's place is a place of respect, and in appreciation, that's a powerful creative place; but the change can only happen by promotion of tendency to desired state. For that we need to learn how things happen; and focus less on how to do things. We really can't do things; because we are blind to doing things through things. That would be vision; and people marvel at visionaries for all the wrong reasons too. So we have reluctant heroes who know they are merely simple men who got lucky due to many other uncontrolled circumstances. However, to know this, is already a start to accomplishment. Sounds like playing chess 5 moves ahead, or more. But the global economy is illustrating a lot of sad examples of our untrue nature. Much needs to be learned, rather than much can be taken advantage of; and that's troublemaker. It all has to stop before it all gets better. In the meantime, we are all simply doing the best we can, with the information and security we have. And more information brings more security. And that requires a greater communication of educative experience, as education, and not just nice ideas - which is hard work. The nature of this forum is a great example - what we have here is all based in communication. And the inverted triangle is beautifully invisible, yet can be seen, in so many examples - the master is the best servant. And free to choose, I can learn mechanics, knowing nothing. Where's that going; how did that happen; I just wanted a tractor to play with, kinda had a need for it too; but I stumbled and felled my way to this place, simply pursuing my personal interests. nuff too much said. for sure.

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Al
Hi, I am going to offer a final experience and then leave this lay. In our work redesign program, all employees in the company about 5000 people had computer terminals and when you worked on a project, you scanned your badge and the paperwork for the job you were working on. The company and the government had inspectors that randomly walked up to you and picked up the paperwork for what you were doing and went to your terminal and checked that you actually were working on what you were charging your time to. This was the result of a time charging issue on a gov't project. To verify we were honest. With the advent of everybody having terminals, everybody was given information regarding schedules and contract delivery commitments etc. Self directed work teams were empowered to plan their work and the team could make decisions as to how they would make the needed schedules. Great solution?? Yes, but the biggest hurtle to overcome was this. The whiners and complainers were always complaining about the "dumb" decisions that management made. Now they had all of the info and were allowed to plan their own team work. The problem: I don't want the responsibility. The R word. They wanted to have someone to blame if thing didn't work out. This was the toughest issue to overcome with the whiners. Most of the employees were excited with the opportunity to be able to plan their own work etc. I have discussed this program with Tom Fructel the president of Sim that pursued the sports tractor program, because his young son asked the question, why not, everyone else sells sports products. First it was a resounding success with the Packer Backer Tractors. Later expanding it to 10 college and 10 pro football teams fell on its face. Simplicity lost a very talented (in my opinion) pres. He held low key meetings withe dealers and asked "Should we buy or built push mowers again?? and similar questions If you want them, this is what it will cost us, this is the commitment you will need to make. We are in a joint venture. I though he was so cool and was going to be a great leader and growth person. Sometimes things don't work out and he "left and moved on". He is now a very successful CEO in Oregon in a sporting goods mfr. Anyway. US needs to change, the Japanese and others have used SPC (statistical process control) developed by Deming and used by US to win WW 2. Now the foreign mfrs have used and improved it. We need to continue forward. Nuff Nuff said. Al Eden

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1Litre
I got it wrong on the 14 hp transition for two years . Thanks for pointing that out to me Ray . Interesting about components . The other big one was the PTO on the front of the Allis. Electric units from from Warner if I remember correctly. Alot of other manufactures used those and I think the Kohler engine was used for that reason. You just bolt it on the Kohler where as the Briggs something would have to be added to the engine to get the electric clutch on. You eliminate many components that you need to operate the cone style clutch .

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1Litre
Power King with left hand mower. Driven like many RH mowers but the engine is turned around from what many other companies build. Looks like a Simplicity housing with different mounting brackets. Sorry i can not get the picture to load in here.

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dentwizz
Why would a Kohler engine be more conducive to electric clutching? I have used my generic electric clutch on both the 10 and 12 hp horizontal Briggs with no issues other than having to tap the shaft hole initially.

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Al
Hi, Don't know that they are more conductive to electric clutches. Back in the era of these engines, Allis and other companies considered the Koh a premium upgrade. At this time electric clutches were more expensive than belt tighteners etc. so it was probably considered a luxury/premium upgrade. My thoughts they are free, value accordingly. Al Eden

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1Litre
Kohlers K ser have the bolt holes tapped and ready for a electric clutch. Some briggs had dual balancer on block front and back so there is not a flat surface to bolt on electric clutch of that era . The ones that do not have dual balancer have a aluminum cover that is not drilled and tapped for a clutch. Additional parts would be needed to install an electric clutch to those i.e.more cost . Electric clutches for a while now are unitized and slide on the shaft (center bolt retaining)and have a link to keep them from rotating.

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