By Mike Fitzpatrick
Grounds Management Article Use Policy
With all the recent technological advances in commercial landscaping equipment, it makes sense that mowers would be a focal point for long-overdue improvements. Factors such as value, performance, fuel efficiency, comfort and stronger regulations related to both air and noise pollution have sparked a new generation of innovations.
Leading manufacturers of outdoor power equipment have become more involved in understanding the issues that drive the decision-making process when purchasing landscaping equipment in the commercial and residential markets. It is no surprise that their findings are common to both markets, with the aforementioned factors each playing a key role.
In this age of information, it is a given that savvy grounds managers will do their research to make sure they are specifying the most appropriate mower to meet their departments’ needs. This means that even the most respected manufacturers can no longer rest on their laurels. Instead, they must constantly innovate if they are going to remain in the game.
As always, safety is a top priority for managers selecting mowers, particularly since operators and mechanics are going to be working with heavy machinery, razor-sharp blades and many moving parts, which can be hazardous to life and limb.
Managers also want to keep mower downtime to a minimum, and when it comes to performance, mowing speed matters. This is especially true when crews need to maintain acres of turf.
Fuel efficiency is an important specification consideration for several reasons. First, it can dramatically affect equipment operating costs. Second, the type of fuel and how cleanly it burns makes a difference on serviceability. Third, managers need to consider the impact on their organizations’ carbon footprint.
Managers also must consider operator comfort. Consumers are demanding more mower comfort than ever, but the issue is perhaps even more critical to mower operators, who spend long hours, day after day, using the equipment.
Since all of this information has bearing on which mower will best fit a manager’s needs, let’s take a closer look at everything manufacturers have been addressing in order to engineer better, faster, safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly mowers – and what it all means to managers.
Mowers: New Generation of Performance and Innovation
Mowers: Buying vs. Leasing
Spotlight: GIE Expo