The future of the greenkeeping industry

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick March 24, 2022 16:35

Cleaner, greener, quieter machinery choices from Toro and Reesink.

It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts and Toro has definitely made the journey toward electric cutting hugely beneficial and entirely rewarding for the golf and fine turf industry.

Toro has spearheaded the movement towards electric power for the last decade culminating with the launch of the industry-first all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370 ride-on triple mower. Here we take a look at the machine, and its hybrid predecessors, that has brought the next big technological advancement to the market.

The industry-first all-electric Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370 ride-on triple mower at Wallasey Golf Club

Electric technology – the lithium-ion difference

Electric power is here to stay, and the eTriFlex 3370 delivers the charge capacity and performance to make this important technology a practical solution at last.

With a careful eye on the development of this technology in the car industry, Toro solved the issue of power to weight ratio and was able to bring enough battery power to mow up to 22 average sized greens on a single charge without increasing the weight of the mower.

The industry’s first lithium-ion battery powered ride-on greensmower provides the superior quality of cut Toro is known for alongside the benefits of an environmentally friendly design. No more damaging hydraulic leaks, no more emissions, no more pollution and fuel savings to be made, yet ample power to get the job done.

The eTriFlex doesn’t just tackle the issue of cleaner mowing and environmental benefits though, it also responds to business demands for increased revenue. As the quietest ride-on greensmower yet, with many customers finding it to be ‘virtually silent’, work can start earlier while complying with noise regulations, allowing greens to be ready for earlier tee times.

Even if you didn’t focus on its all-electric credentials for a moment, with a ream of patented or patent-pending features it brings a host of benefits and solutions. The Double A-Arm suspension system with industry-leading Flex technology, for example, sees the cutting units float freely and closely over any terrain and deliver superior contour-following.

While, the ‘radius dependent speed system’ delivers an optimal perimeter cut by monitoring each individual cylinder and traction wheel speed during turns and that, in conjunction with the ‘lift-in-turn’ cutting unit levelling feature, standardises the clip rate of each individual cylinder and virtually eliminates the effect known as ‘Triplex-Ring’.

The machine that made greener mowing a reality, the hybrid Reelmaster 5010-H at Woodhall Spa

What customers have to say about the Greensmaster eTriFlex 3370

“There is virtually no noise disturbance whatsoever”. Sandy Reid, director of greenkeeping, St Andrews Links.

“We’ve been getting up to 56 greens on one charge, even with accessories on the cutting units we’re still doing 38-40 greens!” Ian Beech, course manager, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Golf Club.

“It’s incredibly user-friendly and definitely my preferred option for mowing the greens. The quietness and not needing ear defenders means you notice everything the mower is doing; it provides a totally different mowing experience and of course you can work quietly around the golfers.” Chris Ball, links manager, Hillside Golf Club.

“We needed machines that would produce zero emissions, low noise and no leaks, and Toro had all of that.” Murray Long, course manager, Saunton Golf Club.

“These electric options from Toro match what we want to do in terms of improving the club’s environmental footprint and we’re delighted with their contribution and performance so far.” John McLoughin, course manager, Wallasey Golf Club.

The journey to electric

The greenkeeping industry has been heading towards electric power for the last few years and what its journey has resulted in is a fantastic range of hybrid mowers, which will come into their own this decade.

Early machines combining two technologies in a ‘hybrid’ application were the Groundsmaster 5900-D and 4000-D with HybridDrive cutting deck system. The belts transfer power more efficiently than hydraulic motors while adding a layer of protection against hydraulic failures.

Similarly, the petrol- or diesel-powered Greensmaster TriFlex hybrid models feature an all-electric cylinder circuit which was custom-designed for the most demanding applications on and off the green. As well as eliminating hydraulic leaks, each highly efficient cylinder motor has a nominal 1.5hp that can increase up to 3hp during peak load periods.

A Toro triumph, the Workman GTX Lithium-ion utility vehicle in action at Royal Norwich

Then of course there’s the Workman GTX Lithium-ion utility vehicle, the machine that in a way started it all. One of the brand’s first triumphs in the electric power arena and still the only lithium-ion battery electric utility vehicle on the market.

Peter Todd, estate manager and director, Royal Norwich, says: “Toro led the way with the inception of electric power and continues to do so. By simply removing the lead acid diesel battery in the GTX electric Workman, Toro made this machine much lighter. When running it over fine turf, that’s an important consideration.”

But an absolute highlight in the journey was the arrival of the Reelmaster 5010-H, representing a breakthrough in technology and always remembered for how it made greener mowing a reality. It was the golf industry’s first fairway mower with a true hybrid drive system and is loved by so many.

Sandy Reid, director of greenkeeping at St Andrews, says of the Reelmaster 5010-H: “The hybrid technology provides significant savings on both fuel and maintenance whilst the reduction of potential leak points from hydraulic lines gives us great peace of mind as we look to maintain our fairways to the highest possible standards.”

Pipping the electric eTriFlex 3370 to the post was its hybrid counterpart, the Greensmaster eTriFlex 3360. It utilises all-electric components for traction, steering, lift and cutting units to deliver a much quieter performance than traditional engine-powered models.

In a relatively short period of time, Toro has created a hybrid range with an environmentally-focused machine for the greens, tees, fairways and maintenance duties.
Cleaner, greener, quieter mowing options without the compromises is the future of the greenkeeping industry and Toro and Reesink are the perfect hybrid to deliver that.

For more information on Toro’s range of hybrid and electric machines, contact distributor Reesink Turfcare


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick March 24, 2022 16:35
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