On July 10, 2014, The Toro Company will celebrate a rare business milestone – achieving 100 years in business. According to Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer, Toro attributes its remarkable longevity to, “the character of our people and channel partners, and their relentless commitment to serving our customers and building market leadership through innovation.”
Toro’s year long celebration of its 100th anniversary provides an opportunity not only to look back on the company’s notable achievements, but also to recognize the ingenuity and dedication of its employees – and to thank its channel partners and end-user customers around the world for their loyalty and trust in The Toro Company.
As Hoffman put it, “These same values that have been core throughout our first 100 years form the foundation for continued success into our next century.”
A Legacy of Excellence
From the start, Toro built its legacy by understanding the needs of its customers and developing products and services to help them succeed. This commitment to innovation is reflected in the more than 1,500 patents its employees around the world have earned over the years.
In addition, Toro has developed strong networks of professional distributor, dealer and retailer partners across industries in more than 90 countries to provide local, expert, professional customer service. For example, in 1922, Toro created the golf industry’s first national distributor network. And, in 1934 as the business grew, Toro encouraged its distributors to establish dealers in areas the distributors’ staff could not effectively cover, providing local customer service that proved to be a competitive advantage.
This commitment to customer service has been instrumental in Toro’s development of long-term relationships with golf courses, homeowners, professional contractors, agricultural growers, construction and rental companies, government and educational institutions – in addition to many premier sporting events, venues and historic sites around the world.
People Make the Difference
For decades, customers have counted on Toro because of the company’s reputation for reliability, quality and standing behind its products. When Toro celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1939, the company’s first president and co-founder John Samuel Clapper noted that the loyal service of Toro’s employees and distributors was the customers’ guarantee of a high-quality product. As Hoffman summarized, “What was true 75 years ago when Mr. Clapper made his statement about Toro remains true today – the loyal service of our employees and channel partners is critical to our company’s success.”
Explore Toro Innovations
From developing new technologies to expanding into new markets, a timeline of the company’s many innovations and achievements is available at www.toro.com/100 – in addition to several highlights below specific to landscape contractors and grounds professionals:
In 1924, Toro introduced its first power mower, the 30” Park Special walk-behind reel mower, the most successful early large commercial-grade walk mower.
In 1940, Toro introduced the 76-inch Professional, “the power mower with wings,” that revolutionized commercial mowing. Additional 58” and 70” models were later added to appeal to both residential and commercial customers.
In 1962, Toro acquired Moist-O-Matic, Inc., an irrigation equipment manufacturer in Riverside, CA, providing entry into the underground irrigation business.
In 1986, Toro introduced a major innovation in snowblower performance – the Toro® CCR 2000 (Chuted Curved Rotor) technology that redefined single-stage performance.
In 1995, Toro formed a new Landscape Contractor business, providing a comprehensive line of landscape contractor products. The same year, Toro became the first commercial mower manufacturer to adopt ergonomic T-bar controls for mid-size wide-area walk-behind mowers.
In 1997, Toro launched the Dingo® compact utility loader, changing how landscape contractors do their job.
In 2004, Toro developed exclusive TURBO FORCE® cutting technology, featuring an ultra-durable deck shell, high-strength cutting blades and the industry’s toughest spindle assemblies.
In 2008, Toro unveiled its first stand-on mower – the GrandStand® – with patented cushioned Flex-Ride operator platform suspension to help minimize operator fatigue.
In 2011, Toro acquired Lawn Solutions, a manufacturer of turf renovation equipment, offering innovative tools for aerating, over-seeding and dethatching. Toro also acquired Unique Lighting, a manufacturer of professionally installed residential and commercial landscape lighting solutions.
In 2012, Toro introduced the innovative EVOLUTION® irrigation controller with smart control and USB functionality for future upgrades.
In 2013, Toro introduced the TurfMaster™ 30” commercial walk-behind mower, combining a highly productive 30” deck with a conventional walk-behind design.
In 2014: New Horizon™ technology debuted on select Z Master® Professional 6000 EFI mowers, offering an onboard intelligence platform to improve fuel efficiency and productivity in a range of mowing conditions.
Sports Fields & Grounds
In 1928, Toro introduced the Silver Flash push reel mower, billed as “America’s finest hand lawn mower.” It would become a mainstay with golf courses, cities and parks for many years.
In 1930, at the request of The University of Minnesota, Toro built a power roller for their tennis courts. The Toro Power Roller proved to be a highly successful product for over three decades serving thousands of schools, golf courses, athletic clubs, professional sports venues, private and municipal street maintenance crews.
In 1934, Toro’s Jupiter Large Capacity Sprinkler is introduced for golf courses, polo fields and other large turf area applications.
In 1973, Toro introduced a new concept in commercial rotary mowing equipment – the all-hydraulic Groundsmaster® 72.
In 2008, Toro introduced the all-new Toro® Groundsmaster® 5900 Series rotary mower, which mows an acre in less than five minutes.
In 2010, pioneering an all-new mower category, Toro introduced the Groundsmaster® 360 rotary mower with Quad-Steer™ all-wheel steering.
People are invited to visit www.toro.com/100 to learn more about other Toro industry firsts and contribute their own Toro stories. They can also share their Toro memories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thetorocompany using the hashtag #Toro100, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/toro.company.
About The Toro Company
The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of innovative turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. With sales of more than $2 billion in fiscal 2013, Toro’s global presence extends to more than 90 countries through strong relationships built on integrity and trust, constant innovation and a commitment to helping customers enrich the beauty, productivity and sustainability of the land. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties and agricultural fields. More information is available at www.toro.com.