Like many toddlers, my son was fascinated by fire engines, trucks, and motorcycles. So when the Memorial Day parade was held in our town, he spent the entire event with his lips pursed, making the “vroom vroom” noise of the engines as he pointed and gazed fixedly at the big, shiny, loud machinery! He would do the same thing in his stroller or on car rides. He wasn’t saying “real” words yet, so we counted “vroom vroom” as his first. Lots of things counted as vroom vrooms. The qualifying factor was a big gas engine.
In working on this issue’s examination of the commercial mower industry, there was a lot of talk from experts about how new electric options still can’t compare with the performance and run-time of those powerful gas engines. But for as much relevance as gas still has, advancements in batteries are pointing to a time when that will no longer be the case. When exactly that will happen, though, is up for debate.
In the meantime, lawn and landscape pros are left with a choice. Buy for today’s needs, or anticipate the future? No one wants to drop a lot of cash, only to have the best electric mower ever come out the very next season! If only the Industry could tell us: Yes, 2025 will be THE year everyone goes electric. But it’s not that simple.
In his article on “Estimating For Profit” in the special Turf DesignBuild™ issue, Weston Zimmerman points out the danger of budgeting based on someone else’s numbers. “It’s got to be your numbers. If I give you mine, it won’t work. They’re only good for me, my overhead, my crew, my equipment, etc. You need to find yours.” The same is true for adopting electric equipment. Only you can know when it’s right for you. What regulations affect your area? Can you afford it? Who are your clients? Does a lack of labor warrant robotics? But perhaps most of all: what is your comfort level with change? While no one will miss emissions, I suspect that even the most ardent environmentalist will feel some nostalgia for vroom vrooms one day.
Turf February 2023 Issue | Table of Contents
BUYING NEW MOWERS? | Gas power is still a popular choice, but for how long?
THE TOP 3 MARKETING STRATEGIES IN 2023 | What will actually move the needle for your business?
GET EQUIPPED | GAS-POWERED MOWERS
BE A GROUNDBREAKER | The importance of female involvement in the Green Industry.
SPRING WEEDS | Top offenders and treatments for turfgrass.
NEW PLANTS & IDEAS | Keep your landscapes fresh and vibrant with these top choices.
GET EQUIPPED | PESTICIDES & FERTILIZERS
THE YARDSTICK: JESUS “CHUY” MEDRANO | A self-made entrepreneur shows how far a keen business sense can take you.