This grandpappy of zero-turn mowers, shown here with Adam Mullet, is still servicable 50 years later. Photo by Ron Hall. Kansas figures huge in the development and growth of commercial mowing.
Excel Industries HustlerGrasshopper and Dixon. Kansas is also where the Walker family of Walker Mowers got its start in manufacturing.
That family business, after a sojourn in Wyoming, moved to Ft. The development and the innovations associated with the zero-turn mower initially came from the efforts of for want of a better phrase handy committed tinkerers. They drew heavily upon their knowledge of farm machinery, and often adapted agricultural components in a trial-and-error process to build their first units.
That was the process in the beginning. Today, of Excel hustler lawn mowers, the process is more sophisticated given the advances in engineering, in precision manufacturing and in a supply chain dedicated specifically to the commercial mowing market.
The Mullet family of Excel Industries has been a part of the development of zero-turn mowing from the beginning. Roy Mullet and his brothers founded Excel Industries and soon-thereafter began producing the first commercial zero-turn mowers.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Hustler mowers. Roy guided the company as Excel hustler lawn mowers until His son, Paul, became president in after coming up through the ranks, starting as a welder. The closest high school was 25 miles away that, combined with the harsh winters, made him look for options.
Since he was only into grain farming and not into livestock, it allowed them the flexibility to farm in the summer and live elsewhere in the winter. Hesston was a small attractive Mennonite community. After moving the family for the winters, Roy attended Hesston College.
One of his professors there approached him about investing in a local aftermarket cab manufacturing company. Roy became the largest single investor along with several of his brothers.
Injust one year after making the investment in the cab company cabs for agricultural combines and tractorsExcel Industries was formed and Roy became president.
John Regier was the original inventor of the Hustler 36, a inch mower.
He was looking for a better and faster way to get his yard mowed. He had a mower but not a name for it. One day while flipping through the pages of a magazine he saw an article Excel hustler lawn mowers the B Hustler supersonic bomber. Now he had a name for his mower.
After realizing the challenges of manufacturing and selling a product by himself he showed the product to Roy and others at Excel Industries. Excel hustler lawn mowersthe company became the first manufacturer of zero-turn mowers in the world.
The Excel hustler lawn mowers model was the Hustler 36, a inch front-mount mower. It was then deemed that the commercial market was the only viable one at the time. The direction turned to larger machines designed for the commercial and the industrial markets. What significant innovations has Excel Industries developed and implemented to commercial mowers since it began manufacturing mowers?
There have been many. After the first zero-turn mower, Excel was the first manufacturer to make the hydrostatic zero-turn, the hillside zero-turn with auto-leveling cab, the first wide-area zero-turn, first rear-discharge mid-mount zero-turn, the first all-wheel-drive zero-turn, the first mid-mount zero-turn with toolbar for multiple attachments, Excel hustler lawn mowers first high-lift dump catcher on a zero-turn, the first combination sit-down and stand-up zero-turn, the first electric zero-turn, and the first zero-turn with a five-year, 3,hour pump and motor warranty, the Super Z with an industry-exclusive Hyperdrive.
And recently, Hustler introduced the first mid-mount, air-cooled, wide-area zero-turn, the Super that is 45 percent more productive than a inch Z. How does Excel view the commercial mowing market and demand for commercial mowers in ? Export markets continue to recover from and grow. In addition to the United States we are in 25 other countries. What trends is Hustler seeing in the commercial mowing market?
A growing concern for commercial customers continues to be fuel consumption. Related to that, contractors are demanding mowers with more power, more horsepower. They want more speed; they want to be more productive.
Today, a cc engine is common, but bigger engines burn more fuel. Also, some hydro systems and decks use more power than others. Ron Hall is editor-in-chief of Turf magazine and has been an editor, researcher and writer in the green industry for more than 29 years.