Company History and Background
Founded in Kansas in 1964 as a division of Excel Industries, Hustler Turf Equipment began as an innovation for a lawn care need. When a local machinist’s wife grew frustrated with her grass-cutting duties, the inspiration for a new riding mower emerged.
It was in 1963 that John Regier came up with the beginnings of the first Hustler mower in Moundridge, Kansas. Regier’s wife grew more and more irritated with the chore of cutting grass on the family’s home site. Determined to come up with a solution, Regier worked on modifying the design for a steering system and transmission used on haying equipment.
With its jumble of drives and belts, Regier’s mower was different than anything anyone had seen before. It could also cut grass like no one had ever seen before, turning – as they say – on a dime. It could reverse directions in a turn with a radius of, exactly, zero degrees – a feat unattained by any other driven machinery. The sought-after zero-turn mower had emerged.
In 1964, Regier sold the first rough models. Operating out of his own home workshop, he built and sold 24 of the new mowers. As just one man, he wouldn’t be able to keep up with production alone for long. Soon after, Regier took his design to Excel Industries in the neighboring town of Hesston to show it off. The timing was perfect, as Excel was looking to expand its product base beyond manufacturing tractor cabs.
When Roy Mullet and his team at Excel first saw Regier’s mower in action, they were impressed. Recognizing the opportunity to expand beyond tractor cabs, the team at Excel took the Hustler under its wing. Excel quickly started assembly line and factory production of commercial grade Hustler mowers at its plant in Hesston.
Since then, Hustler has become the fastest-growing turf care brand in the world. Focused on providing the most dependable, useful and time-saving products in lawn care, Hustler now covers a distribution network of more than 1,200 United States dealers and more than 40 worldwide distributors. Hustler has remained steadily committed to providing quality customer service, making sure each dealer is ready to answer questions and provide maintenance assistance to each customer. In dealership outlets across the globe, the Hustler name signifies high quality, useful innovation and superior customer care.
Over the years, the Hustler product line has evolved drastically, undergoing numerous re-designs and expansions under the watch of Excel. In 2008, Hustler introduced the Zeon, the world's first all-electric zero-turn riding mower. The company continues to operate in a fluid manner, updating and introducing machines to allow their customers to get more work done in less time. Regardless of model or destination, each and every machine that leaves the Kansas production lines bears the time-honored Hustler standards of functionality and durability.