Burgos, February 15, 2021.- Jacobsen celebrates his centenary this year. What has been the secret for Jacobsen to accumulate a 100-year history in the market?
Quality of cut and customer service are the base for our success. We also look at all our clients as a true partnership, we make sure we contact the final client on a regular basis, not only via the dealer/distributor, to understand performance and get feedback from our products in each specific course. Innovation is based on knowledge and communication.
Has Jacobsen’s technological capital to innovate machines in sports lawn care been instrumental in his first centenary?
Just to put it in perspective, we created the first full electrical mower in 1932. The floating cutting units, to better follow the surface contours were first presented more than 40 years ago. Innovation is a keystone legacy for Jacobsen for past generation and now under Textron guidance, still is the leading force to provide professionals around the globe with new tools to optimize performance. Mowers without any hydraulic oil and powered 100% electric are now a reality…lithium batteries with no maintenance are also part of the solutions we can offer. 15 blade cutting units are exclusive for Jacobsen…Indeed a Leader in innovation.
In 1921, Oscar Jacobsen founded the company and commercialized the first professional lawnmowers. How have these machines changed in a century, from the engines, the benefits, the weight, the consumption, the noise levels, etc?
If you compare pictures from early XX century and early XXI century, the differences are tremendous…safety is now a reality, machines are much lighter and electronics come into play. But if you pay closer attention to these pictures with 100 years apart themselves, one thing has hardly changed…the cutting units remain with the same principles, few changes were made as the philosophy behind the working methodology is basically the same. And this tells a lot on how advanced reels were in 1921.
How are hybrid engines different from diesel engines and 100% electric motors?
At Jacobsen, when we say Hybrid we mean no hydraulic oil…just an engine and electric power.
And are 100% electric lawnmowers the present or the immediate future?
Both, we currently offer mowers 100% electric and we understand that this technology is indeed the preferred technology by managers and owners across the world.
Savings by low maintenance levels, noise reduction, environmental concerns are the driving concerns on these electric solutions.
The challenge is now to present bigger machines for fairways and roughs (within the golf and municipal industries).
“We want to remain as the preferred supplier in the market. And we can only do that with a strong distributor, as Greenmowers, to ensure our clients or potential clients think of us as a trusted partner for new machines, quickly supply parts or introduce new procedures using our innovated technology. We want the market to trust Jacobsen…this way we are certain the brand will be around for another 100 years, at least“
And aside from the engines, what will be the next technological innovations, perhaps equipping the machines with an Internet connection?
We already have machines that tell the operator what parts need service and the hours for that service to happen, charging phones is also possible.
On a personal note, I believe the operator need to be focused on the task he has to accomplish so offering more solutions would not be productive/effective.
TFM (Textron Fleet Management) does offer the manager (and not the operator) the possibility to track where the machine is, how much time was spent working or idling, geofencing and maintenance schedules. All controlled by your smartphone, laptop or tablet…very easy and plenty of information to optimize the operation.
And will autonomous lawnmowers one day be possible, just like cars, or not?
There are products in the market, small units and very expensive…I can say that Jacobsen have engineers working on this theme!.
For Jacobsen, what weight does Europe have in your sales, compared to other markets?
Every market is important but if you look at the % of golf courses in Continental Europe plus UK & Ireland and in North America (Canada included), these are for sure the most important markets in volume. Municipal markets and Sports Fields like are also very relevant for our business.
“Mowers without any hydraulic oil and powered 100% electric are now a reality…lithium batteries with no maintenance are also part of the solutions we can offer. 15 blade cutting units are exclusive for Jacobsen“
And specifically, Spain and Portugal, what are your short-term business forecasts?
We want to remain as the preferred supplier in the market. And we can only do that with a strong distributor, as Greenmowers, to ensure our clients or potential clients think of us as a trusted partner for new machines, quickly supply parts or introduce new procedures using our innovated technology. We want the market to trust Jacobsen…this way we are certain the brand will be around for another 100 years, at least.
We started this interview with the celebration of the first centenary of Jacobsen, by the way, what will Jacobsen’s machines be like when it turns 200?
That is a good exercise for everybody’s imagination…What sports will be played in 2121?. That will for sure influence the manufactures approach to new models.
• 1921 – Oscar Jacobsen founds the company and creates the 4-Acre cutter. Intended to be used on “the vast estates of millionaires,” this mower had a cutting capacity of four acres a day, just over one and a half acres, a great feat at the time.
• 1923 – Just two years later, Jacobsen makes history again with the introduction of the world’s first professional aluminum greens mower (PGM). The Jacobsen PGM can still be found on courses such as Oakmont Country Club, home to this year’s US Open, course prepared and maintained with Jacobsen units.
• 1955 – Jacobsen unveils another breakthrough introducing the first rotary cutter for home use that uses four reversible rotary cutter blades.
• 1968 – Jacobsen takes the lead in manufacturing the world’s first ride-on greens mower, the Greens King ™, which becomes the standard in the lawn maintenance industry.
• 1986 – The first Turf Groomer ™ is introduced by Jacobsen and serves as a major advance in greens care by increasing cutting speed without decreasing height.
• 1989 – The legendary LF-100 ™ light street mower is introduced, specifically designed to be as light as possible, providing less compaction and a healthier lawn.
• 1998 – Textron purchases Ransomes, a British company with over two hundred years of history manufacturing tractors, mowers and accessories for agriculture and lawn maintenance.
• 2009 – Jacobsen introduces the revolutionary ECLIPSE® 322, the industry’s first triplet without any hydraulic system.
• 2014 – Textron acquires Dixie Chopper, an Indiana-based manufacturer of zero-turn radius cutters for the commercial and residential markets.
• 2016 – Jacobsen introduces the HR Series of wide-area rotaries, offering the industry a leading unit in productivity, serviceability and comfort.