Sonoma County Airport Field Tests Monarch Tractor

Sonoma County Airport Field Tests Monarch Tractor

Location Sonoma County Charles M. Schulz Airport
Date Apr 19, 2023

Farms and tractors are practically synonymous. But airports? Monarch’s advanced and innovative agriculture technology goes beyond clean and efficient farming practices. A recent Monarch MK-V test trial of mowing operations at the Sonoma County Charles M. Schulz Airport proves its worth as an electric tractor and smart tool that can deliver the profitable and safety solutions airports and municipalities are seeking.


Safety First

High-tech farming brings safer tractors, but how does an electric tractor elevate airport and airplane safety? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that airports keep the grass trimmed to 6-12 inches. It’s not for aesthetics. Short grass discourages large and small flocking birds from gathering and risking dangerous airplane collisions. Sonoma County Airport Operations is responsible for keeping more than 500 acres of grass within the airport’s 6-10 inch specifications. That’s a lot of tractor time and diesel. A battery tractor changes the equation. Sonoma County Airport Operations Supervisor, Dan Carls, immediately recognized the advantages of using the all-electric, driver-optional Monarch MK-V.

"The EV tractor [MK-V] performed very well,” Carls says. “Being able to set the parameters for use where we want it, like at 6-10 inches, means we don’t have to rely on someone constantly making sure they have it set at the right height."

Profits & Planet

The fuel cost savings associated with a battery tractor is another huge benefit that Carls acknowledges. As part of the Sonoma County Infrastructure Board of Supervisors, the airport wants to reduce its carbon footprint or reach carbon neutrality. Sonoma County Airport is one of the 20% of U.S. airports that have adopted solar panels into their operations. Producing its own electricity makes the MK-V, according to Carls, "a slam dunk."

In addition to efficiency and profitability, Carls raves about the driver-optional, electric tractor’s performance. Safe to operate, fantastic torque, easy to control, and intuitive operations were some of the many compliments he has for the MK-V. Additionally, the autonomous abilities provided by the MK-V can also contribute to significant savings in time and labor productivity.  


Azralon, Meghan, (2020, September 18) CU Denver Researcher Analyzes the Use of Solar Energy at U.S. Airports. CU Denver News.

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