New-generation utility vehicles offer grounds managers and their staffs a host of features, functions and capabilities that might not have been available the last time a department needed to add or replace a vehicle. Today’s manufacturers are looking into new markets outside of golf and realizing that products need to be developed for the requirements of cities, universities, sports venues and everything in between. In these markets, needs can change from day to day or even hour to hour, and utility vehicles must be able to adapt to meet them. Manufacturers are responding to these demands with increased specialization on these vehicles, along with new attachments that provide solutions for a wide range of applications. The global market and increased competition also will continue to drive us to develop higher-quality products and innovative solutions with the customer in mind. Of particular interest to many customers are developments that minimize the impact of the equipment on the environment. Recent improvements in battery technology performance and availability that were driven by the automotive industry have, in turn, made electric utility vehicles a more viable option for facilities to expand their equipment fleet. For instance, in some applications, managers might find that they can replace trucks or vans with utility vehicles that have a smaller carbon footprint, require fewer budget dollars to operate, and have a positive environmental impact. Andrew Ihrke is product marketing associate with The Toro Co., www.toro.com.
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