Machinery review: Toro’s Reelmaster 5010-H

By Alistair March 26, 2021 08:04 Updated

When Toro’s Reelmaster 5010-H launched simultaneously in the USA and UK in 2015, it was to great acclaim. It was after all, the industry’s first and only fairway mower with a true hybrid drive system, and revolutionary for it.

Since its launch it’s become a staple in the sheds of some of the most high-profile golf clubs in the UK. Here we talk to Trevor Chard, Reesink’s national account manager for Toro fine turf and grounds, about what makes this machine so special.

“The Reelmaster 5010-H will always be remembered for how it made green technology a reality,” he says. “The concept of a dual power source and greener machine had been a goal, dare I say it – a dream, for many, for years. The Reelmaster 5010-H represented a break-through in technology. Since then, it has proved itself as a reliable, trust-worthy and valuable member of any fleet.”

It goes without saying the most interesting – and soon to be most cost-effective – feature of the Reelmaster 5010-H is its power supply. Called PowerMatch, Toro’s hybrid drive system pairs a 24.8hp Kubota stage 5B diesel engine with an inline motor generator and self-charging 48-volt battery pack. So, how exactly, does this patented technology work? What’s powering your cutting, and when?

The two power sources of the RM5010-H saves around 20 percent in fuel, improves operating costs and the vehicle’s carbon footprint

Trevor says: “On most fairways, a 24.8hp engine has enough power to complete a job. However, when there are more challenging mowing conditions, such as hilly terrain, more power is needed. That’s when the Reelmaster 5010-H moves the cutting unit load from the engine to the battery pack, allowing more horsepower to be allocated to the traction circuit. If at that point even more power is necessary, the battery pack continues to power the cutting units while also boosting the engine, giving the machine the equivalent of over 40hp.”

It’s this clever switching between power sources that sees customers save between 20-30 percent on fuel over a conventional fairway mower depending on terrain and cutting conditions and even more when running the machine in economy mode.

But that is not the only saving customers can make with the Reelmaster 5010-H, says Trevor: “In the face of the now mandatory Stage V engine emissions regulations, the Toro Reelmaster 5010-H registers under the 25hp limit for the diesel part of the engine, so it doesn’t incur the associated Stage V engine cost increase. However, as I’ve just mentioned, with its battery power supply, this machine can provide over 40hp! That means customers get a more powerful machine for less outlay.”

Using its engine and drawing power from batteries as required, the Reelmaster 5010-H can develop 40hp in total

In the five years this machine has been on the market in the UK its popularity has steadily increased. Here we talk to Peter Todd, estates manager / director at Royal Norwich, who is a fan.

“The 5010-H is the Lexus equivalent in the turfcare machinery world,” he says. “Toro pioneered the way when it launched it, and its hybrid technology is now proven beyond doubt.

“With the government threatening to take away red diesel so it’s only available

to farmers, the tax advantage of buying diesel will be removed and the cost of diesel could double in the next few years. This fact was weighing heavily on my thought process when deciding about ordering the 5010-H. Choosing the 5010-H, with its lower fuel consumption helps to relieve some of that worry.”

That’s not the only thing to appeal though, says Peter: “The replacement of hydraulic hoses is eliminated, that saves about £900 after three year’s use. And the hybrid engine design has eliminated weaker aspects of conventional technology such as potential hydraulic leaks, it’s definitely not just a greener machine, it’s a genuinely good machine. I’m really keen on the accurately controlled clip rate of the electrically driven units, too.”

And while fuel economy and lower emissions are becoming increasingly important to turfcare professionals across the UK, it’s not at the detriment of performance, with the Reelmaster 5010-H able to perform as well as, or better than, a higher horsepower machine, including verti-cutting.

Acid-gel batteries are used to ‘store’ surplus energy during normal mowing, releasing power back into the drive system if and when loads on the nominal 24hp diesel engine demand it

Sandy Reid, the director of greenkeeping at St Andrews, confirms: “We use Toro Reelmaster 5010-H fairway mowers to cut all the fairways across the seven courses here at St Andrews Links with their performance being first-class regardless of the terrain and conditions. As ever the quality of cut from Toro equipment is excellent.

“The hybrid technology provides significant savings on both fuel and maintenance whilst the reduction of potential leak points from hydraulic lines gives us great peace of mind as we look to maintain our fairways to the highest possible standards.

“From an operator’s point of view the 5010-H is extremely comfortable and user-friendly.”

Hydraulic traction motors power wheels and Crosstrax system in the same way as a ‘conventional’ Reelmaster mower. The generator/motor sits between the hydraulic pump and engine

Tech spec

Engine: 24.8hp (18.5kW) Kubota 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled, diesel engine. Four 12 V Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), sealed, maintenance-free lead acid batteries

Mowing Speed: 0-8 mph (0-12.8kmph) forward

Transport Speed: 0-10mph (0-16kmph) forward transport; 0-4 mph (0-6.4kmph) reverse

Cutting width: 100ins (2.5m)

Cutting units: Dual Precision Adjustment (DPA) cutting units

Height of cut: 8-blade recommended range 0.5ins–1.0ins (13mm-25mm). 11-blade recommended range 0.25ins–0.75ins (6 mm–19 mm)

Cylinder size: 22ins (0.5m) wide, 5ins (0.12m) or 7ins (0.17m) diameter

Number of blades: 8- and 11- blades

Cylinder drive: Electric

Traction Drive: All-wheel drive optional with Cross Trax All-Wheel Drive system

Weight: Approx 2,965lbs (1,345kg)

Warranty: Two year limited warranty

Toro has created a hybrid range that means there is an environmentally-friendlier machine for the greens, tees and fairways. Not just that though, Toro is spearheading the electric movement too, with the launch of the eTriFlex 3370 last year. Contact Reesink Turfcare on 01480 226800, email, or visit to discuss the greener option for your golf course


By Alistair March 26, 2021 08:04 Updated

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