Toro Workman MDE utility vehicle

Toro Workman MDE - image: HW
Toro Workman MDE - image: HW

It's electric, so it will be like driving a golf buggy, right? Wrong. This is an excellent drive - nippy, grippy and doesn't mind rough ground. It is also comfortable and productive, and that's what you need from a utility.

The rear cargo bed is made of durable plastic, so it won't rust, and holds 363kg. It has got electric lift and there are eight batteries below. There are also plenty of personal storage areas - where the fuel tank would be and under the driver's seat.

The best bit about an electric motor is the peace and quiet. It allows you to work early in the morning, late at night and around noise-sensitive sites. There are no emissions and it has far fewer maintenance tasks than a petrol vehicle - but you must remember to check the batteries at least once a week and top up as needed.

Braund is first in the driving seat. He turns the key. Silence. He presses the accelerator and pulls away. All we can hear is the noise of the tyres on the track. When he hits the grass, there's silence again. He takes the vehicle up steep inclines, tries hill starts and emergency stops.

"It's good," he smiles. "It's really comfortable. The seat is moulded nicely to fit your body shape, the pedals are the right distance and all the controls are within easy reach."

He does a few circles. "Turning is good considering it doesn't have power steering. It grips well on the corners. It feels stable and it handles really well. I had no wheelspin up any of the hilly parts of the course despite the grass being wet."

Regenerative braking means it starts to slow as soon as you take your foot off the pedal. It slows you automatically going downhill and power is fed back to the battery. Next he tests the Twister joint by driving down a short bank. "All four wheels stay on the ground - that gives you confidence," he says.

Handy finds the top speed just right. "Any more would be ridiculous, and I appreciate the engine braking on hills," he says. "It's a really smooth ride and very responsive, although there is an annoying bit of play in the accelerator pedal." Baker agrees: "You can depress it for a couple of inches before anything happens."

But what we really dislike are the steel diamond-plate floorboards. They might be easy to clean, but they can be slippery when wet. A wide range of attachments is available, including cab, windshield, canopy, side extensions for the cargo box, snow plough and groomer.

Motor: DC with external fan
Batteries: Eight 6V T145
Drive: Direct, double reduction with differential
Brakes: Rear hydraulic drum, front hydraulic disc
Maximum speed: 16mph fully charged
Suspension: Independent A-Frame with coil over shock absorbers - active
in-frame twister joint
Total vehicle capacity: 545kg
Bed payload capacity: 363kg
Cargo bed: (LxWxH) 124x132x25cm, doubled walled, polyethylene
Length: 3.04m
Width: 1.50m
Wheelbase: 2.11m
Turning circle: 221cm inside rear tyre, 653cm outside front tyre
Ground clearance: 25.4cm front, 17.8cm rear
Tyres: Front and rear 22x9.5-10, four-ply, all-terrain
List price: From £10,918 + VAT
Tel: Toro UK - 01480 226800

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