Briggs unveils new engine line

September 16, 2013 -  By

Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power unveiled a new zero-turn mower engine last week—the Vanguard V-twin 810cc Engine, available in 24 to 26 gross horsepower models with engine displacement of 810 cubic centimeters (cc).

“For the ZTR market, contractors want durability, reliability and most of all displacement,” said Dan Roche, marketing manager of commercial power for Briggs & Stratton, at a launch event and plant tour for the trade media in Auburn, Ala. “We believe 810 cc is the optimum.”

There has been “displacement creep” in the ZTR engine market—to the tune of about 50 cc over the last four years, but increasing displacement often means increasing the footprint of the engine, Roche said. That’s not the case for this model.

Briggs officials were tight-lipped about which mower manufacturers will debut these new engines, except to say there are “launch customers” lined up that will be introducing mower models featuring this engine in late 2013. However, Roche said mowers with cutting widths between 54 inches and 60 inches dominate the ZTR market, and this new engine fits those sizes well.

The new engine carries the Vanguard three-year commercial warranty.

New category

This introduction marks a new “mid block” category for the Milwaukee-based company, Roche said. The Vanguard 810cc falls between the company’s V-Twin Big Block engine line, which includes a range of engines from 25 to 35 gross horsepower and features engine displacements as high as 993 cc, and its “small block” V-Twin line with gross horsepower ranging from 13 to 23 and displacement in the high-400 cc to low-600 cc range.

The new engines are in the early stages of production at Briggs’ 280,000-square-foot Auburn plant, which also manufacturers consumer grade V-Twin engines. This is the first Briggs commercial engine to be manufactured in the U.S.

Vanguard 818cc

The new Vanguard 810cc engine features a debris chopper fan and cylinder access panels. Photo: Briggs & Stratton

“We wanted to be close to the marketplace,” said Joe Wright, senior vice president and president of the engines group, of why these engines are being built domestically. “It’s part of our lean thinking at Briggs & Stratton.”

Additionally, some space opened up at the Auburn facility when a generator-production line was moved to another facility.

The engines will be assembled by certified Briggs & Stratton Master Service Technicians, which is the highest level of technician certification among Briggs dealers. The Vanguard 810cc production line produces an average of 50 engines per day using primarily direct current electric hand tools, which Briggs officials said improves quality control.

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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