Plano, Texas, is home to more than 60 parks, playgrounds and nature preserves. Its parks district supervisor, Eddie Benavides, oversees 1,000 acres that need to be landscaped, mowed, trimmed and maintained for the city of 275,000 residents. He’s had that position for nearly two decades.

In 2015, the Plano parks district was in the market for a new large-area mower. Benavides began looking for a new model after his crew faced numerous challenges with their existing mower. He needed a mower capable of keeping up with those 1,000 acres.

“I really didn’t want to go back to our old mower brand,” Benavides says. “We were having so many issues with them, and we weren’t alone. We were hearing stories of similar issues from other park district supervisors, so we decided to do some research.”

After carefully considering the needs of his crew, Benavides went looking for a machine that increased productivity and cut down time spent on the mower. Fellow supervisors pointed him in the direction of Toro, a provider of turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions.

“After seeing for myself exactly what the Toro Groundsmaster 5900 could do, I had my operators handle it and got their feedback,” Benavides says. “They just fell in love with it immediately.”

With its 16-foot cutting width, the machine is able to mow more than 100 acres per day—exactly what Benavides and his team needed to boost productivity. Plus, a tight turning radius leaves no blade uncut.

“The machine has cut down on mowing time for the guys,” Benavides says. “It allows them to spend more time on the details of the park. They love the quality of the cut it offers, and they’re impressed with how it can get into tight spaces, which leads to minimal time spent on trimming. Even more importantly, they’re happy with the mower, which keeps them mowing and allows us to keep up with our work.”

The mower has a built-in SmartCool system that blows excessive debris off the intake screen, saving time and maintenance costs. The 5900 also maximizes uptime with an InfoCenter that sends maintenance reminders and notifications to operators.

The model that the parks district acquired has an all-season cab that was made in-house, by the manufacturer. The cab’s air-conditioning unit keeps the operator cool and comfortable. The cab features a large operator platform and plenty of storage space.

“The guys are loving it,” Benavides says. “They’re able to mow in air conditioning and avoid getting grass all over themselves. When they found out about the cab, they were in hog heaven. I can’t keep them off the mower, which means we’ve got a lot more productivity. They’re definitely loving the unit.”

“I would strongly suggest other park departments look into this model,” Benavides says. “It’s awesome. I’ve had some bad experiences with some other mowers, but this one has been amazing. Other departments have different brands, but they’re running into the same problems we used to have. In my opinion, we have the best one out of them all.”

Go here for information on the manufacturer, Toro.

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