Mowers Evolve To Meet User Demands
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Key Decision Points for Mower SpecificationPt. 3: Mowers: The Importance of Operator Comfort and ErgonomicsPt. 4: Considerations for Sustainable MowingPt. 5: Types of Mowers: A Closer Look
Mowers remain the workhorses of grounds care in many institutional and commercial facilities. From the smaller walk-behind and stand-on models that crews used to access hard-to-reach areas to the larger mowers with decks that help operators cover larger, more open spaces more efficiently, grounds managers have been able to tailor their grounds equipment arsenals to meet the evolving demands of their specific landscapes.
But just as landscapes and turf areas around facilities have changed, so have mowers. Managers specifying new mowers now can choose from a host of new and improved models. Manufacturers have redesigned existing models, rolled out new ones, and updated features and functions to meet the expanding demands of managers, operators and mechanics.
As a result of changes in commercial mower options, managers have more to consider when making purchasing decisions.
“Initially, it might be a little overwhelming because it used to be, ‘What size deck to I need? and ‘How much horsepower do I want?’ and that was it,” says Nick Minas with Deere and Co. “Now there’s a number of other factors that play into it.
“Most grounds managers in this position know what they’re looking for, and they know the numbers behind it, particularly when it comes to EFI (electronic fuel injection) and they have to worry about, ‘What’s the payback going to be?’ and ‘How much more productivity can I get out of having a more comfortable seat?’ So initially, the changes might be a little intimidating, but most savvy managers know what they’re looking for, and they can benefit pretty quickly what features are most beneficial for them.”