Grounds Equipment: EPA Finalizes Emission-Control Standards
Mower emissions also have received tough scrutiny in recent years. The EPA recently finalized emission-control standards aimed at reducing hydrocarbon emissions from small, spark-ignition engines by 35 percent. The new standards will take effect in 2011 or 2012, depending on engine size.
As federal and local officials pay more attention to emissions from mowing equipment, managers should be aware of one trend: Most new mowers now meet or exceed federal emissions standards set by the EPA and by municipalities. Still, research and development continues.
“We’re developing a lot of solutions because one solution doesn’t fit all,” Anderson says.
Eavenson says all engines used on Cub Cadet Commercial products comply with current EPA and CARB exhaust-emission requirements, and the company has used low-permeation fuel lines since 2005.
Managers specifying diesel mowers also should be familiar with EPA requirements for such equipment, which fall into four tiers.
“The engines in Grasshopper mowers are already Tier 3- and some even Tier 4-compliant, far exceeding the emissions-reduction standards required today and even exceeding the standards that will be effective in 2010,” Penner says.
Says Ken Hagen, product manager for Kubota Tractor Corp., “All Kubota engines, both gasoline and diesel, exceed EPA emission regulations regarding engine class and fuel type.” Also, he says, gasoline engines on the company’s KGZ770 series mowers meet regulations without using catalytic converters, minimizing created heat and the associated additional costs.
Electric-powered mowers also are attracting interest from customers, though manufacturing challenges remain in some cases for providing a power source that can meet demands for run-time and power.
John Deere offers two electric-powered machines for maintaining golf courses. Its hybrid greens mower reduces sound levels and fuel use and eliminates 102 hydraulic leak points, says Greg Doherty, the company’s group director for worldwide product and technology marketing.