Minnesota-based Toro testing snowblowers in Michigan for lack of snow at homeIRONWOOD, Mich. — Less-than-typical snowfall in northern Minnesota has pushed lawn equipment manufacturer Toro into Michigan's Upper Peninsula to test some of its machines.
IRONWOOD, Mich. — Less-than-typical snowfall in northern Minnesota has pushed lawn equipment manufacturer Toro into Michigan's Upper Peninsula to test some of its machines.
Toro has been testing snowblowers at Gogebic-Iron County Airport since Jan. 10. Plans were to test the machines in Toro's home state, but not enough snow has fallen in Minnesota this winter. So the company looked east, and found the Michigan airport.
“When they called asking about doing the testing here, we had only about three inches of snow cover, but they said, ‘We'll take it,’” airport manager Duane DuRay said.
The lack of snowfall has frustrated snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and others in Minnesota this winter. One dog sled race scheduled for early January was canceled in December because organizers weren't sure if enough snow would have fallen in time. A dog sled marathon scheduled for late January also was called off.
But snow was piled two to three feet and higher this week at Gogebic-Iron County Airport in Ironwood, about 250 miles northeast of Toro's main office in Bloomington, Minn.
“They'll probably be here for two or three more weeks,” DuRay said of Toro. “Their bosses love it. They said they'll put Ironwood on the map for future reference.”
The company hired 10 local residents to test its snowblowers and may spend another three weeks at the airport, DuRay added.