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Changes in department staffing also can affect mower specification decisions.
Securing a reliable service and support plan has become increasingly important for maintenance staffs, which frequently are understaffed to the point of being unable to perform tasks such as oil changes, blade sharpening, and tune-ups.
"As budgets are getting tighter on campuses, they're looking to basically minimize or even eliminate garage maintenance on site," Baird says. "So those employees that were used frequently during maintenance periods are now being utilized to maintain those challenging areas on campus that were only done by the very skilled operators."
Finally, the skill level of operators goes a long way in determining the kinds of mowers and training programs necessary to achieve maximum levels of efficiency and safety.
"What is the operator's skill level?" Minas asks. "Are they experienced, or have they done this for years? Or are the operators college interns that have never operated a piece of mowing equipment in their lives, and you have to take two weeks to train them on the equipment? That all has to be taken into account."
Staffing, Training Considerations When Specifying Mowers