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New mowing innovations arrived at the 2022 Equip Expo

November 18, 2022 -  By

While roaming the extensive indoor and outdoor exhibit space at the 2022 Equip Expo, it became clear that new mowing innovations to the green industry have arrived. 

Take relative industry newcomer Kress, for example, which came to the show with new battery-powered equipment proclaiming “the death of gas.” The company’s KR233 commercial robotic mower navigates lawns up to 4½ acres large while operating with an average runtime of 80 minutes. Todd Zimmerman, vice president of product development for Kress, says landscape professionals can still expect the same performance they receive with gas-powered products with the new technology from Kress.

“We designed the product to be a gas-powered product, just powered by (Kress’s) Cyberpack battery and Cybersystem platform,” he explains.

Exmark debuted its electric Lazer Z zero-turn mower to landscape pros at the 2022 Equip Expo. (Photo: LM Staff)

Exmark debuted its electric Lazer Z zero-turn mower to landscape pros at the 2022 Equip Expo. (Photo: LM Staff)

It wasn’t just new companies that came armed with innovations to display; some of the industry’s heaviest hitters joined in as well. 

Many pros are familiar with Exmark’s Lazer Z zero-turn mower. Considered the manufacturer’s flagship mower, the machine gets a new twist in 2023. Late next year, the company will release the electric Lazer Z. The electric zero-turn option is an area Exmark is excited to enter as the industry continues to change.

“We’re seeing a lot of pull from certain parts of the country and legislation driving us towards battery,” says Chris Lammie, product marketing director for Exmark. “In 2024, we want to have a complete lineup for California that includes walk-behind power mowers, stand-on mowers and the electric Lazer seated rider.”

John Deere was also on hand at Equip Expo to showcase some electric prototypes. With a goal to have an electric option for all turf and compact tractor categories by 2026, the company shared some new concepts, including an electric ZTrak and stand-on QuikTrak mower.

While gas-powered options will still be available for customers, Monica Grimsley, marketing operations manager for John Deere, says the electric market is an area people are excited for the company to enter. She explains that John Deere’s goal is to offer the same power and experience in its electric equipment that it provides with gas.

“Zero compromises are a big thing; we’re not going to take any shortcuts when it comes to performance,” says Grimsley. 

Not dead, but different

In some cases, it’s not the “death of gas” the industry sees, but new technologies infused into gas-powered mowers. 

Greenzie, an autonomous software company, and Bobcat partnered on a new zero-turn with autonomous capabilities.

“It can be a normal mower, and it can be automated; it’s really about augmenting the job that needs to be done,” says Lincoln Voss, innovation manager at Bobcat. “Sometimes you may need to hop on and mow, but other times you can mow it autonomously, which allows you to be able to do other jobs on the site.”  

Husqvarna also introduced a new semi-autonomous robotic mower, which allows users to operate the machine as a traditional stand-on and as an unmanned robotic mower guided by satellite data. 

Carlos Haddad, vice president and general manager for the North America professional business unit at Husqvarna Group, acknowledges that as manufacturers begin the journey into robotic mowing, it’s one of the innovations his company wanted to expand into as well. 

“(Husqvarna) has already had this technology and knowledge for over 25 years, and it allowed us to accelerate this project,” Haddad says. “We were able to develop this mower from beginning to having prototypes in less than six months.” 

Whether it’s new electric models, upgrades to gas models or unmanned robotic mowing, many innovations are on their way to the green industry, offering customers a variety of options to get the job done. 

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