Prototype DeWalt Ascent Battery Powered Zero Turn Fails
If you follow social media, you probably know that on the opening day of Equip Expo 2022 (formerly GIE), a prototype of DeWalt's battery-powered zero-turn lawn mower caught fire. Fortunately, we did not find any injuries. While it made for exciting headlines and a lot of conversation, I believe there are some points worth adding.
First off, this is a DeWalt Ascent battery-powered zero-turn mower prototype, not a final production model. Speaking to Stanley Black & Decker President Christine Potter after the press event announcing the mower, she told us that designing the mower was more complicated than an electric car. In addition to the drive system that needs to be in place, you also need to add rotating blades while making it tougher in the environment it must thrive in.
While you don't want this level of problems with your prototype, you do want to find areas for improvement. That's why you have a prototyping phase in the design process.
DeWalt Lawn Mower Fire Thoughts
Of course, letting a failure of this magnitude happen publicly would be a nightmare for everyone involved. The design team must have had a long night and will continue to spend a lot of time figuring out what happened. There will be multiple meetings between the marketing team and executives to decide how to present it to the public.
In the short term, the people behind the product will learn from the analysis, which will help them improve the final product. Plus, the industry as a whole will be waiting to hear what happened and learn from it, and no matter what brand you choose, battery powered lawn mowers are going to get better and safer.
Remember, there are real people behind product design and manufacturing. They actively create products that perform well and are safe to use. When it comes to DeWalt commercial mowers, they've engineered them to outperform their premium Stanley Black & Decker mowers from fellow Hustler and Cub Cadet brands.
Tesla didn't become famous overnight, and SpaceX had growing pains. But they and what we learn from our failures help us grow — both in product (or content in our case) and as people. So when you read about this event, don't underestimate the decades that DeWalt has been helping professionals and DIYers get the most out of them, or the thousands of premium product. As we do, let's extend some grace to the DeWalt team, and if you are a prayer, please pray for them as they deal with what is sure to be a difficult situation for them.
Note: Pro Tool Reviews does not share photos or videos of fires. If DeWalt makes a statement, we'll update this article to include it.