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Important Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Mower and Engine Setup

Product testing at Briggs & Stratton Power Application Centers identifies engine horsepower requirements for various equipment. (Photo: Briggs & Stratton)

How can landscape professionals choose the right mower and engine configuration for their business? Is there too much power?

These are some of the questions ML asked the experts to Briggs & Stratton. The 114-year-old company operates in more than 100 countries. KPS Capital Partners acquired Briggs & Stratton in late 2020, along with a subsidiary Avant-garde also part of this agreement.

When considering the proper amount of power, Randy Lockyear, senior commercial turf sales manager at Briggs & Stratton, identifies the commercial mower operator looking at a wet early morning lawn that needs to be mowed 4 inches .

“You have to consider the (power) issue early in the development of a machine,” says Lockyear. “If you ask the vast majority of commercial cutters, they’ll probably tell you that you can never have too much power. (But) you can put too powerful an engine on a machine, and it will start to break down. The straps are starting to break. The pumps are burning. As a rule, the pros know what they are doing once we have this development out.

Product testing is essential

Lockyear and Carissa Gingras, senior director of marketing at Briggs & Stratton, pointed out that their company’s numerous satellite product test centers were key to ensuring engine power matched users’ needs.

“The satellite Power Application Centers actually test the application of a motor or battery,” says Gingras. “We look at everything from noise, vibration, heat and extreme cold to understand how the equipment will be used and what engine application works best. This equipment is people’s livelihood, and if a piece of “equipment breaks down, they lose money. We focus on innovation that boosts productivity and saves them time to keep making money.”

Extension of maintenance windows

Gingras and Lockyear tout Vanguard’s Oil Guard system, which continuously exchanges oil between a machine’s engine and an external remote reservoir to further prevent breakdowns and extend the interval between necessary maintenance.

“We introduced Oil Guard six or seven years ago as the industry’s first 500-hour oil change, and still only 500 hours,” says Gingras. “Everyone wants power. That’s why we make a 40 horsepower EFI/ETC, which is the biggest engine of its kind under 100 CC in terms of horsepower. They just need to understand the investment they are making in all the equipment as well as their ability to operate it, which Oil Guard helps immensely.

In addition to monetary savings, Oil Guard serves as an “insurance policy” for many users by increasing the amount of oil available to a piece of equipment at all times, Lockyear explains.

“The No. 1 catastrophic engine failure in our market is the engine that runs out of oil, seizes up and then you have to replace it,” he says. “Our Oil Guard system virtually eliminates this problem. Instead of just two pints, you get six. Cutters can send this piece of equipment out to do its job without having to check it so often and be sure it won’t run out of oil. The oil filter sits right on top of the tank, so it’s not difficult to get to it. Our goal is to make the lives of commercial cutters easier and more profitable.

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