Case Study: Bad Boy Mowers
With a name like “Bad Boy”, you expect a company that’s comfortable breaking the rules… So, when it came to redesigning the operator console on their 2019 Outlaw Renegade commercial zero-turn, gas-powered mower, Bad Boy Mowers decided to flip the script on the outdoor power equipment industry, pushing the boundaries of both expectation and imagination.
With a fresh, distinctive automotive feel, the new Outlaw Renegade dashboard features a Push Button Ignition switch as well as an Advanced Display, both designed and engineered by Delta Systems, to provide the next generation in operator utility and comfort.
keep it simple
The key for the new dash was to strike the balance between delivering something clean and useful and not over-engineering the console to make it ineffective, said Wes Hubbard, Purchasing Manager at Bad Boy Mowers.
“We didn’t want to go overboard on features and make it too hard to use,” he said. “We wanted to make it simple enough, but still provide information that’s useful.”
The new 3.5” Advanced Display offers a sealed liquid crystal screen that provides information to the operators regarding the status of their mower. It includes a magneto and starter output for safe running and safe start interlock.
The simplicity and practicality of the display is what sold Bad Boy engineers. “It tells so much information,” said Brad Covington, Bad Boy Design Specialist. “For example, if the mower won’t start, the screen will alert you as to why. With a safety interlock system, this is important because you have to have all of the components in the right position to start the mower.”
Finding the right partnership to take on this redesigned cockpit was a process, according to Bad Boy. They met with multiple digital display manufacturers and felt some solutions were “too techy” and too far advanced for a lawnmower. “And very expensive,” Covington said. We felt that Delta offered the price, the reliability and the value, while not going overboard for the end user.”
Built to last
But also, with Delta, Bad Boy didn’t feel they had to be limited to their options. “We know that Delta’s display can do more if we desire,” said Warren Long, Chief Engineer at the Batesville, Ark.-based, mower maker.
And it takes more than a pretty face at a good price for Bad Boy. In the Outdoor Power Equipment world, durability is key for lasting part-life and dependability—a tenet Delta holds dear. Along with impeccable automotive-styling, the instrument control panel’s sealed designs offer better durability.
“The Push button ignition is what you would see in cars. There is a ‘coolness’ factor, but there is also no contact. I expect this switch to last much longer than our physically key switches, which can strip out over time,” Long said.
Delta puts its components through rigorous HALT/HASS testing, as well as environmental and electronic testing, helping to ensure a more reliable operator experience. “I was very impressed with testing of the products,” he said. “It was really ‘magic in a box.’”
Having a company like Delta come in and walk us through the process of getting this done... that's huge. The help that Delta provided is the reason why we have (the new console).
- Bad Boy Mowers
Making it Work
Reimagining a new operator console for their popular z-turn model meant redesigning the entire footprint. “Size is a bit of a factor—understanding how much room the unit requires. And not just on top, but underneath the panel,” said Covington.
And according to Bad Boy, having a partner like Delta is what made the Renegade dashboard refresh possible. With a deep understanding of the market and operators’ needs, the Delta team was able to develop durable, customized and cost-effective solutions, perfectly suited for the mower application. Bad Boy and Delta engineers worked closely to resolve issues that arose around the new design, including getting proper RPM signals and conferring weekly with the wiring harness manufacturer to get everything ready for the flagship mower.
“We are not in the electronics business. It’s not our forte,” Hubbard said. “Having a company like Delta come in and walk us through the process of getting this done and basically doing that part of the work for us, that’s huge. The help that Delta provided is the reason why we have (the new console).”
The future looks sunny
Bad Boy Mowers sees a bright future for the new automotive-inspired designs, with early positive feedback from dealers and operators alike. Both Bad Boy and Delta fielded questions and comments about the new dash when it was unveiled in October at the 2018 Green Industry + Expo in Louisville, Ky.
“The more (advanced consoles) that are out there, the more our dealers want the quality and the desire (for something new),” Warren said. “A lot of people are going to reserve judgment until we prove its reliability. Then we will see more of this adoption. And we want to stay on top of that curve with the technology that’s available.”
And so far, so good for the Outlaw Renegade, according to Hubbard. “We are actually ahead of projection for this model mower. We had pretty ambitious sales goals, and it’s doing even better than expected.”
Learn more about our range of Displays today! Built for tough environments, these rugged, cost-effective interfaces bring an automotive-like experience to life in equipment and vehicles, from zero-turn lawn mowers to utility vehicles and more!