Employee spotlight – Judd Stewart

 June 7, 2011

Judd Stewart has had quite an interesting career path. His first job was working on the family farm. From there he went on to become part of a bridge construction crew. After college, he taught an engineering class at his alma mater. But Judd admits that his favorite job title is the one he has now —Exmark test engineer. Judd finds a lot of satisfaction in being a part of a team that cares about its products and customers. It also doesn’t hurt that he has fun on a daily basis. Where else are you handed a mower and asked to put it through the ringer? In a safe environment, of course.

Tennis balls have the same geometric weight as dry grass. The average Joe wouldn’t know or have any use for this seemingly dull information. But Judd’s no Joe. In his world, this little fact comes in handy when he’s testing a mower’s stability. Instead of filling the Lazer Z’s baggers with cut dry grass, Judd fills them with tennis balls. Not only does the mower handle in the same way with both materials, but the round green balls are easier to handle and not as messy. Who knew?

Even though playing with tennis balls is a pretty sweet perk, Judd still says his favorite part of the testing process happens when the field-ready prototypes get into the hands of the people for whom they were designed—the landscape pros. He genuinely looks forward to receiving feedback from these guys and he’s happy that it’s usually very positive. When it comes to work, he can’t think of anything else that beats getting a pat on the back from the customers.

Have a question for Judd or our engineering department? Let us know with a comment below.