From the editor: New look website, new look magazine
By Mike Jiggens
As we close out 2019 and begin the third decade of the new millennium – has it already been that many years? –new and exciting things are taking place with Turf & Rec.
Those who visit our website on a regular basis will have noticed we have a completely different-looking presentation. It’s a cleaner look and one that presents visitors with an immediate glance at all the latest industry headlines. The news headlines on our former site were often incomplete sentences as space limitations tended to cut off words, rendering some headlines as being nearly incomprehensible.
Our new site prevents that from happening. In fact, each headline is stamped with a date to let visitors know how current the news item is and when it was posted, eliminating the guesswork as to its place in the timeline.
In general, the site can be navigated much more easily than before, allowing access to all of our features including coming events, podcasts, digital editions, subscription services, new product information and social media postings.
Starting in the new year, it is our plan to introduce new rotating columns in print that will address such topical matters as innovative technologies in the industry. This includes everything from business software to robotics to GPS’ role in the industry and to keeping up with equipment maintenance practices.
In this issue, we take a detailed look at where we are today with battery-powered tools manufactured for the professional landscaping industry. These tools were born out of a need to address noise complaints associated with gasoline-powered equipment, not to mention a heightened sensitivity to emission levels.
Tools powered by batteries came onto the scene a number of years ago to address such concerns, but they weren’t the be-all and end-all – at least not at the time. Their most significant shortcomings came in the form of shorter run times and considerably less power. But that is changing, and battery-powered equipment has rapidly caught up with gasoline-powered machinery to the point where its run times and power output are almost on an even keel.
Manufacturers of such equipment suggest we are on the cusp of seeing gasoline-powered equipment overtaken by battery power as engineering advances in lithium ion technology has improved by leaps and bounds in just the past couple of years. Not only has the technology sufficiently addressed noise and emission concerns, battery-powered tools are lighter in weight to promote enhanced jobsite efficiency and reduce worker fatigue, and the cost of charging the batteries versus that of continually replenishing fuel have resulted in battery-powered tools getting a closer look by professionals.
Once run times and power output match those of gasoline-powered tools – and we’re almost there – that should pretty much seal the deal.
It’s not just handheld equipment that is benefiting from battery power. Zero-turn mowers are also making the scene, and undoubtedly we’ll be hearing a lot more about these in the not-too-distant future.
In this day and age of unprecedented concern for climate change and how emissions are contributing to this global crisis, the industry is doing its part to help matters.
You may notice that the Duffer, a fixture on the back page of this magazine for more than three decades, has disappeared. We made a decision to replace it with content more relevant to the industry and the needs of professionals. In this issue, we look at an important safety concern of all outdoor workers and, beginning in the new year, we plan to explore issues related to maintenance and troubleshooting of equipment and the ever-expanding technology that can help you run your operations more effectively and efficiently. We hope you like it.