Solving Customer Problems
Throughout our history, using innovation to solve customer problems has been a hallmark of our success. As we commonly say, we work on solving problems, not just producing products.
Unique to the industry, our Center for Technology, Research & Innovation focuses on helping our businesses investigate new technologies, which could be anything from alternative power and autonomous solutions to smart-connected products. The advancement of these technologies help our customers to increase productivity and efficiency, save water, reduce fuel consumption and improve growing conditions.
Most of the research conducted by the Center’s leading agronomists and engineers applies directly to the markets and customers we serve across TTC, but the Center also partners with universities and industry organizations to support fundamental scientific research.
We’re not interested in inventing for the sake of invention. We’re committed to solving problems and making life easier for our customers. And this focus on value-creation is embedded in our approach to sustainability. Our goal is to design products, including technology, in ways that not only help our customers conserve natural resources, but are also cost-efficient and in demand by our customers.
Long-Term Focus on Water Stewardship
Water scarcity and pollution are growing concerns, and among the greatest challenges, for communities around the world. At The Toro Company, we understand the importance of water in producing food and other crops, and in supporting functional recreation areas and landscapes. We strive to innovate industry-leading irrigation solutions that apply water more efficiently to turf, landscapes and agricultural crops.
Both our Toro and Irritrol brands have received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense® award, as well as the WaterSense certification for numerous irrigation controller families and sprinkler models.
Importantly, our efforts expand beyond product development to fostering education and industry collaboration in water stewardship. We provide product and financial resources to help nonprofits, schools, consumers and businesses realize the environmental and economic benefits of water efficiency. As just one example, TTC has donated over 425 drip irrigation kits to schools in California and Arizona to help teach children the value of water, agriculture, growing vegetables and produce and healthy diets. We also collaborate with universities, industries and communities to build awareness around proper irrigation strategies for enhancing and protecting ecosystems.
Advancing Agricultural Efficiency
The Toro Company is a leader and active member of many organizations supporting efficient irrigation, including the California Ag Irrigation Association, the California Irrigation Institute, the Irrigation Association, Western Growers Association, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and the American Society of Agronomy – among others.
With an expanding global population and concerns surrounding the cost and availability of water, growers worldwide are looking for solutions that help increase productivity of existing land and maximize precious water resources. Toro’s line of water-efficient drip irrigation products help growers of permanent, field and row crops realize substantial benefits in yield, quality and water savings from the precise application of water and nutrients.
For decades, our Blue Stripe® hose and patented Aqua-Traxx® drip tape have been trusted by growers for helping to increase water use efficiency and crop yields. Expanding on our core products, we continue to innovate to meet the needs of our customers. For growers that farm over hilly terrain, where water pressure can vary throughout the run, changes in flow can lead to over- and under-watering and result in stressed plants and reduced yields. Our FlowControl® drip tape uses an innovative, flow-regulating emitter design that maintains a consistent and uniform output across changing elevations, which is designed to ensure every crop receives the right amount of water.
Other products include our new Aqua-Traxx® Azul drip tape, which features a unique emitter design that protects the labyrinth from debris to maximize clog resistance and performance – along with our new Aqua-Traxx® Sweet Spot™ drip tape, which was recognized by the Irrigation Association as the 2020 New Product winner in the Agriculture Specialty category.
Toro® FlowControl® drip tape is changing the way strawberry growers farm. Just ask the folks at Strawberry Hill, USA. They made the switch to FlowControl a few years ago in an effort to improve production yields, conquer challenging terrain and elevate their business.
“We’ve seen firsthand how FlowControl helps increase yield and quality. Over the past two years, we have tested it and seen it significantly improve our crops’ health, especially in challenging terrain. FlowControl delivers a more uniform crop and higher yields in areas that were once impractical to farm. We’ve even reduced our pre-plant fertilizer costs, thanks to the improved uniform distribution it offers with fertigation. FlowControl’s benefits became especially apparent to us this year. During a major drought, we were consistently able to achieve uniformity on long irrigated plasticulture rows.”
- Trevor Hardy, Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, New Hampshire
We help our customers make smart decisions about water usage across diverse industries and landscapes.
Lynx® Central Control System
Precision Design, Application and Monitoring
The Toro Company provides a range of products and technology solutions to help our customers make smart decisions about water usage across diverse industries and landscapes, including:
- As much as 50 percent of outdoor water used is wasted due to over-watering caused by irrigation inefficiencies. Toro’s 570Z PR and 570Z PRX Series spray bodies are EPA WaterSense-certified and feature a factory-installed regulator that maintains operation at a constant 30 PSI, ensuring a consistent flow and precipitation rate to prevent water waste caused by excessive misting and overspray.
- Toro’s award-winning Precision™ Soil Sensor reduces water waste by continuously measuring moisture levels in the soil and determining when to allow the irrigation controller to water, maximizing the efficiency of your irrigation system. Communication between the sensor probe and receiver is completely wireless, so installation is quick and easy with no digging required.
- Toro's patented and award-winning Precision™ Series Spray Nozzles and Precision™ Series Rotating Nozzles easily retrofit to existing irrigation systems. Both nozzle families are designed to apply water slower and more evenly, eliminate runoff and deliver savings in outdoor water use.
- Taking irrigation efficiency to the next level, TTC’s comprehensive Lynx® Central Control System combines access to real-time course information, precision control options and convenience through mobile connectivity to better manage turf health and water resources. Expanded capabilities through the new Lynx Smart Hub, Lynx Smart Satellite and Lynx Dash interface are designed to provide even greater functionality and control to help our customers use water as efficiently as possible.
- Toro’s Turf Guard® wireless soil monitoring system measures and reports soil moisture, temperature and salinity. Real-time data helps customers make more informed decisions on when and how much to water, ensuring healthier turf without over watering.
- The award-winning, industry first Toro® EVOLUTION® irrigation controller provides an intuitive interface, USB functionality and smart controls that can be accessed anywhere in the world to help reduce water use.
- Through a strategic equity investment with GreenSight, a leader in automated drone sensing technology for turfgrass and agricultural-focused businesses, TTC continues its efforts in helping golf course professionals improve turf health with less labor and inputs. The proprietary technology is designed to enable customers to identify turf issues before they become visible and achieve better outcomes with less water and chemical use.
The Water Zone
Sponsored by The Toro Company, The Water Zone weekly radio show brings together local, state, federal and international officials, water experts, civic leaders and technologists to discuss today’s water challenges and explore strategies for sustaining one of our world’s most precious resources.
This popular radio program has been recognized many times over the last decade for its unique approach to educating industry experts and the public alike. In 2019, the program was honored with an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Public Relations & Education. The counties of Riverside, CA, and San Bernadino, CA, also both recognized the program in 2019 for its effective approach to public education.
With a focus on improving operational efficiency and productivity, we are focused on building our leadership in next-generation technologies that include alternative power, smart-connected and autonomous products. Through our talented team of highly skilled engineers, and by listening to the needs of our customers, we have developed products powered by propane, biodiesel and advanced battery solutions – made more efficient by incorporating electronic fuel injection and hybrid technologies. Increasingly, we are also focusing our innovation efforts to enhance our leverage of alternative energy sources.
Optimizing Power Usage
Our focus on energy efficiency begins with optimizing the amount of energy provided to a machine to fulfill the purpose it serves. For example, Toro's Smart Power® technology automatically adjusts the mower’s engine speed for the cutting conditions to maintain optimal power to the blades. Similarly, Exmark’s patented RED™ Technology provides onboard intelligence to control mower power and efficiency with defined performance modes, which are designed to provide longer machine life, improved productivity and performance, and better fuel efficiency.
For homeowners, Toro’s powerful 60V Flex-Force® lineup offers year-round versatility to help take charge of outdoor spaces. From mowing and trimming trees to clearing leaves and throwing snow, the 60V Flex-Force family is designed to help customers maintain the entire yard with a fully interchangeable battery system. In addition to providing unbeatable performance, the Flex-Force series of products is designed to reduce noise pollution and exhaust emissions.
In 2019, Toro introduced the Greensmaster® eTriFlex® hybrid riding greens mower. Featuring all-electric components for traction, steering, lift and cutting, these EnergySmart® models are operationally friendly and amazingly quiet with noise levels 50 percent lower than traditional models. Designed to minimize early morning disturbances, these hybrid models also provide up to 20 percent fuel savings over comparable Triplex mowers – resulting in lower emissions.
With exclusive PowerMatch™ technology that delivers power when and where it’s needed, the Reelmaster® 5010-H is the industry’s first reel mower with a true hybrid drive system. Utilizing a motor generator and battery pack, in conjunction with a Tier 4 certified low-emission diesel engine, the 5010-H boasts an average fuel savings of 20 percent when compared to conventional fairway mowers, and additional fuel savings when operated in economy mode.
A major step for the electric-powered equipment market, Toro introduced the e-Dingo® 500 compact utility loader in early 2020. Building on the 20-year history of the Dingo® product line, the lithium-ion battery powered e-Dingo® allows operators to realize all the benefits and power of a standard compact utility loader with zero exhaust emissions. The machine also includes a patent-pending ECO-mode that allows users to choose power modes to conserve battery life, leveraging the right amount of energy needed for the job. The e-Dingo also provides a low volume of noise, allowing operators to work during the day while mitigating noise disruption to their surrounding environment. The e-Dingo expands the use of TTC's compact construction product line from the outdoors to the indoors, offering a sustainable approach to indoor demolition or residential/commercial remodeling projects.
The Toro Company is focused on reducing waste and increasing efficiency – for our customers, in our own operations and in partnership with our suppliers. Below are several examples of how that commitment comes to life in our product and service offerings:
Cure-In-Place Pipe Technology
The Bluelight™ LED System from HammerHead Trenchless is designed to provide a retrofit solution for aging or damaged pipe infrastructure to significantly reduce or eliminate the need to dig, trench or replace pipe – ultimately reducing landfill waste and extending the life of previously installed piping networks. This process also helps to ensure that water is not lost on its way to the end user. An estimated 14-18% of treated water never makes it to the tap because of leaky pipes – enough clean water to support 15 million households.*
While traditional Cure-In-Place Pipe lining systems use epoxy resins cured with steam, hot water or ambient air, the Bluelight system uses a specially formulated resin that cures with energy-efficient LED light, up to 5 times faster than conventional curing methods. The system also minimizes site disruption and maximizes customer efficiency. With its compact footprint, installers can instantly increase productivity and efficiency.
Snow and Ice Removal
BOSS Snowplow QuickCube™ is a revolutionary new approach for ice management that is designed to lower fuel costs, improve response times to job sites, and protect the environment around where deicing materials are stored. This technology utilizes weatherproof poly cubes, called hoppers, that are filled with solid deicing materials and then staged at job sites in advance.
In an attempt to simplify and streamline product labeling, we added QR codes to product serial tags. The QR code landing page provides users with the relevant operator manual as well as warranty, compliance and service parts information.
We also replaced printed operator manuals with online “Quick Start Guides” for our residential walk power mowers and snow blowers. This effort uses visual learning tools to enhance comprehension, reduces overall paper usage and ensures that operators have access to the most up-to-date information.
Advancements in Sustainable Packaging
In Australia and New Zealand, we design and market garden products under the Pope® brand name. In 2019, we launched or refreshed many Pope retail garden products and successfully executed significant packaging cost savings measures. Ultimately, our refreshed products received an “advanced" classification in a recent audit of sustainable packaging activities undertaken by the Australian Packaging Covenant, a government body established to drive improvements in environmental sustainability relating to packaging.
TTC cares deeply about the wellbeing of its customers and has been recognized in our industry throughout our history for leadership in product safety and labeling. Our most critically important focus is educating customers and consumers about the safe usage and maintenance of our products. We provide a comprehensive resource library of safety tips, videos, safety data sheets and operating manuals at www.toro.com/en/product-safety-information. Our operator manuals provide detailed operating instructions, safety guidelines and maintenance schedules.
Our product design and development processes include rigorous protocols for the delivery of innovative product safety features. For decades, we have been instrumental in the development of industry voluntary safety standards, and we comply with all mandatory safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, European Union and other agencies around the world.
Finally, our manufacturing locations have implemented stringent safeguards to remove hazards from products and packaging, thereby reducing our environmental impact. This requires close partnership with our suppliers to similarly reduce toxic materials in our components and parts. We also collaborate with our distributor partners and public agencies to recycle batteries, tires and other materials to limit environmentally harmful waste.