By Steve Noe
Despite the economic downturn, nearly 16,600 people converged on Louisville, Ky., Oct. 29-31 to participate in the 2009 Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), according to show management.
Show management also reported that dealer/retailer registrations rose 2 percent from 2008 to nearly 5,400, and approximately 6,300 lawn and landscape pros attended. Other encouraging registration totals were increases of 18 percent for merchandisers/buyers, 25 percent for lawn and garden centers, and 9 percent for distributors.
“Those numbers bode well for the industry,” said Show Director Warren Sellers. “They show that people invested time and money to do one thing — spec equipment.”
Highlights of the show included new features such as the New Products Arena and the High-Performance Service Department. The New Products Arena featured a designated area where 50 exhibiting companies displayed 70 new products, as well as a grand stage where several press conferences took place with attendees invited for the first time. The High-Performance Service Department, a how-to pavilion led by Bob Clements International, was also a big draw for dealers and service department managers who were seeking better ways to improve the efficiency and profitability of their service departments.
“We are always looking for ways to add value to the show, and the New Products Arena and the High-Performance Service Department were two big features at GIE+EXPO that did just that,” said Sellers.
Other attractions included The Dealer Experience, as well as the free evening concerts at Louisville’s 4th Street Live by the Briggs Bluesbusters and Eddie Money on the first day and the Grass Roots and the Blues Brothers on the second day.
GIE+EXPO will return to Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center Oct. 28-30, 2010. For more information, visit www.gie-expo.com or call Sellers Expositions at (800) 559-8767 or (812) 949-9200.
Based on all of the information that I collected from press conferences and a box filled with media kits, CDs and memory sticks, my other findings on this year’s show are as follows:
Ariens announces acquisition, new products
Ten days after acquiring the assets of a debris maintenance equipment manufacturer Parker Company, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., Ariens Company made several sweeping announcements at GIE+EXPO.
For starters, Ariens Company will produce the Parker products at its Auburn, Neb., manufacturing facility, make parts available to distributors within 30 to 60 days, and continue to sell the products through two-step distribution channels to the independent dealer channel for the fall 2010 cleanup season.
“Parker is an established name in the debris-maintenance segment,” said Ariens Company President Dan Ariens. “The addition of the Parker lawn sweepers and debris-handling equipment will help extend the lawn and garden season for our equipment dealers with fall cleanup products. It will also serve our growing sports turf maintenance segment.”
In addition to the acquisition news, Ariens Company introduced the following products:
Gravely Pro-Turn 200
Ariens AMP WAW electric mower
Ariens AMP 24 Sno-Thro electric snow throwerGravely Pro-Turn 200 Series of commerical zero-turn mowers: With 20-percent fewer parts and 89-percent fewer leak points than previous Gravely 200 models, these new mowers have a simplified design that minimizes maintenance, downtime and input costs. Suggested list pricing for these models starts at $8,699. “This is the machine for contractors who have been putting off buying new equipment in this economy,” said Dan Ariens. “The Pro-Turn 200 is one of the best investments a commercial operator could make from the standpoint of both initial cost and long-term durability and uptime.”
Gravely Pro-Walk (hydro) mowers: Ariens re-launched its line of commercial Gravely Pro-Walk (hydro) mowers with three fixed-deck and three floating-deck options. All models feature maintenance-free spindles guaranteed not to need greasing or replacement for two years, a drive train system consisting of a Hydro-Gear 10-cc pump and 12-cubic-inch wheel motor, an Ogura GT 1A electric clutch and 16-inch drive tires.
Ariens ZOOM zero-turn mowers: Ariens introduced two re-designed ZOOM mowers — ZOOM 42 and ZOOM 50 — with an updated deck designed for improved air flow. As a result, these mowers demonstrate quieter operation, higher quality of cut, improved side discharge with reduced “blow back” from discharged clippings, and increased belt and spindle life due to lower horsepower requirements. The ZOOM 42 comes with a 42-inch deck and a 16.5-hp. Briggs & Stratton engine, while the ZOOM 50 boasts a 50-inch deck and a 22-hp. Kawasaki V-Twin engine.
EverRide Fury: As the newest mulching mower in the EverRide lineup, this fierce zero-turn rider is ideal for acreage owners who want a high quality of cut for a lower price. Available in three deck sizes (48, 52 and 61 inches), the Fury features a fabricated flat deck for mulching, easy-to-use controls and a low center of gravity for improved hillside performance.
Ariens AMP electric Wide Area Walk (WAW) behind mower: The AMP WAW is an all-electric wide-area walk-behind mower with the same drive and cutting power as a comparable gas-powered mower. It features a 34-inch mowing deck and runs for one hour on a single charge, depending on terrain and grass conditions. It is powered by three 1.7-hp. brushless DC electric motors (two on mower deck and one for traction motor) and energized by three 48-volt AGM valve-regulated battery packs.
Ariens AMP 24 Sno-Thro electric snow thrower: The AMP 24 Sno-Thro is an all-electric two-stage snow thrower with a 24-inch clearing width. The machine will run 45 to 60 minutes on a single charge depending on snow conditions, and provides a quieter alternative to traditional gas-powered snow throwers. It is powered by a 4-hp. brushless DC electric motor and energized by two 48-volt AGM valve-regulated battery packs.
Ariens Sno-Tek snow thrower series: These value-priced two-stage snow throwers are available in three clearing widths (22, 24 and 26 inches) with LCT Storm Force engines and are targeted toward cost-conscious homeowners.
MeltBuddy Spot Spreader: Invented by two middle-school students, Matt Moran and Sam Hipple, in 2007, the MeltBuddy Spot Spreader attaches to Sno-Thro units, allowing operators to clear snow and spread ice melt in a single pass.
Gravely Turf Stadium Vac: This self-contained unit attaches to most vehicles and can hold up to one cubic yard of refuse.
Ariens Precision log splitters: Ariens unveiled two Precision log splitters with splitting forces of 27 and 34 tons.
Accessories: Ariens introduced Gravely front wheel covers, which fit most Ariens and Gravely OEM six-inch front caster wheels, as well as two Ariens (Sno-Tek) snow engine maintenance kits and a handwarmer accessory kit for Ariens Deluxe Sno-Thro models.
For more information about the Ariens Company, visit www.ariens.com.
Briggs & Stratton Professional Series engineBriggs & Stratton Corporation debuts Professional Series family of engines
Briggs & Stratton Corporation introduces the Professional Series family of engines with superior power and reliable performance.
The family of engines provides commercial-grade features and benefits such as enhanced power, easier starting, longer engine life, and smoother and quieter operation under the toughest mowing conditions.
“Consumers and professionals who want engines with more power and commercial-grade features such as easier starting and smooth performance will want this family of engines on their next mower,” said Eric Loferski, product marketing manager at Briggs & Stratton. “The Professional Series family of engines are designed to deliver best-in-class experience.”
The engines feature:
ReadyStart starting system: Available on Professional Series walk-behind lawn mower and pressure washer engines, ReadyStart requires no choking or priming — simply pull the starter cord to start the engine. The larger rewind engages more quickly with less pull force. The engine is also backed by Briggs & Stratton’s Starting Promise, which guarantees it will start on one or two pulls for the first two years or Briggs & Stratton will fix it for free. Go to www.briggsandstratton.com for details.
Commercial-quality, dual-sealing air filter: These high-performance air filters extend maintenance intervals and provide significantly more air flow compared to standard filters. The filter element is an oval, automotive-style cartridge that uses both racetrack and radial interface seals to keep dust and dirt out, for longer engine life.
Engine features available on Professional Series engines for riding and zero-turn mowers include:
Full pressure lubrication provides cooler operation and longer engine life.
Premium high-capacity oil and fuel filters provide longer maintenance intervals, saving homeowners time and aggravation.
Electronic fuel management (EFM) system is available on select V-Twin engines and delivers consistent automotive-style starting through electronically controlled fuel management.
Optional features for the Professional Series engines for riding and zero-turn mowers include a Heavy Duty Package that is ideal for the heavy load applications that zero-turn mowers require and an easy oil drain hose that provides consumers with a clean and hassle-free method of changing their oil. For a complete list of engine features and options, visit www.briggsandstratton.com.
The Professional Series engines for walk-behind lawn mowers and pressure washers are available in three power levels across two displacements: 7.75 ft. lbs. of gross torque (175 cc), and 8.50 and 8.75 ft-lbs. of gross torque (190 cc).
The Professional Series engines for riding and zero-turn mowers are available in a single-cylinder or a V-Twin configuration. The single-cylinder is offered in two displacements: 17.50, 18.50 and 19.50 gross hp. (500 cc) and 20 and 21 hp. (540 cc). The V-Twin engines are offered in eight power levels across three displacements, including 20 and 22 gross hp. (656 cc); 23, 24, 26 and 27 gross hp. (724 cc); and 28 and 30 gross hp. (810 cc).
Ferris iCD Cutting System
Snapper Pro S75xBriggs & Stratton Corporation’s Yard Power Products Group continues compact zero-turn expansion efforts
Last fall, Briggs & Stratton Yard Power Products Group (BSYPPG) created what it called the “compact zero-turn mowing category” with the introduction of the Ferris Evolution and the strong belief that it delivers superior performance and comfort by placing the operator in the most ideal ergonomic position for mowing.
Nearly one year later, BSYPPG backed its belief by not only broadening this category across both its Ferris and Snapper Pro commercial lines, but enhancing their comfort and performance by adding exciting new features, including a suspension seating system and a revolutionary cutting system.
The iCD Cutting System, which will be found on all Ferris and Snapper Pro compact zero-turn mowers and other select models, allows better airflow discharge and a superior quality of cut. The slope nose of the deck forces the blades of grass forward and allows them a longer period of time to rise in the chamber before the blades make contact. Features of the iCD Cutting System include a newly designed 1/4-inch-thick Marbain steel blades, which generate greater lift for a precision cut; the slope nose has a reinforced leading edge, which provides protection where the deck needs it most and reduces front-end blowout; Hercules cast-iron and cast-aluminum greaseable spindles; baffle chamber design that increases air flow and reduces clumping; extra-wide chute opening (18.5 inches) for greater dispersal of grass; center point that is offset to allow for supreme cutting and excellent discharge; and a striping kit standard. And the iCD Cutting System was added without raising the cost of the mower.
“This is as exciting as the Evolution,” said Bill Bower, director of commercial marketing for BSYPPG. “Functionally, this is as exciting a thing as we’ve ever done.”
Speaking of the Evolution, BSYPPG expanded that line from two models to five with the introduction of three new mowers at this year’s show. In addition to the original two models — a 19-hp. Kawasaki engine with a 36-inch deck and a 27-hp. Kawasaki engine with a 48-inch deck — the Evolution line now includes models with a 20-hp. Kawasaki engine with a 48- or 52-inch deck and one using a 26-hp. Kawasaki engine with a 52-inch deck. BSYPPG introduced the Snapper Pro version of the Ferris Evolution in the Snapper Pro S75x, which is available with a 20- or 26-hp. Kawasaki engine and a 52-inch iCD deck.
BSYPPG also introduced several other products under its Ferris, Snapper Pro and Simplicity brands at this year’s show. They were as follows:
Ferris HydroDrive: This commercial walk-benind mower boasts self-contained dual hydrostatic transmissions that are not only individually fan-cooled and filtered, but the dual hydro fuel reservoirs protect each hydro system from cross-contamination. It also has a 16-hp. Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine and a 48-inch deck.
Ferris IS 2500Z diesel: With smaller-frame zero-turn units powered by diesel fuel gaining popularity in both the United States and Europe, Ferris introduced this unit to meet the needs of its commercial and municipal customers. It features a 20- or 24-hp. Yanmar three-cylinder in-line diesel engine with cast-iron block, a 52- or 61-inch iCD deck with long-lasting greaseable aluminum or cast-iron spindles, and coil-over-shock four-wheel suspension.
Snapper Pro S200xt: This mid-mount zero-turn mower is equipped with fully enclosed ZT-5400 Hydro-Gear commercial powertrains, a 28-hp. Briggs & Stratton Vanguard Big Block engine and a 61-inch iCD deck.
Snapper Pro S200xp: This propane-powerd zero-turn mower offers automotive-like starting with no need for a choke. Touting a dedicated propane engine, not a converted gasoline engine, the S200xp features a Briggs & Stratton 895-cc Vanguard Big Block. It also has a dual-path hydrostatic system for smooth operation and a 61-inch iCD deck with cast-iron greaseable spindles.
Snapper Pro SW30: Like the Ferris HydroDrive, this commercial walk-behind mower comes with a self-contained dual-hydrostatic drive system and comfortable controls. With excellent tracking on slopes and easy maneuvering around trees, landscaping and other obstacles, it holds up under even the most demanding mowing conditions. It is available in four Kawasaki-powered models: an 18-hp. unit with 52-inch deck, a 20-hp. unit with 52-inch deck, a 20-hp. unit with 61-inch deck, and a 26-hp. unit with 61-inch deck.
Snapper Pro S800x options: Snapper Pro is adding two new engine options and a 72-inch iCD deck to its S800x out-front riding mower lineup. The two new engine options are a 30-hp. Yanmar diesel and 31-hp. Briggs & Stratton Vanguard gasoline. Both engines will be available with a 72-inch iCD deck and 61-inch standard deck.
Ferris 21-inch commercial mowers: Ferris unveiled three 21-inch commercial walk-behind mowers, including two HI-VAC (2.5-bushel) bagging mowers and a patented Ninja mulcher.
Simplicity 21-inch residential mowers: Simplicity expanded its line of Pivot-N-Go walk-behind mowers with three new models: SPVH21700 (Briggs & Stratton 700 Series engine), SPVH21775E (Briggs & Stratton 775 Series OHV engine) and LSPVH21875 (Briggs & Stratton 875 Series OHV engine).
For more information, visit www.ferrisindustries.com, www.snapperpro.com and www.simplicitymfg.com.
Cub Cadet Commercial’s TANK S D
Cub Cadet Commercial’s TANK S LP
Cub Cadet Yanmar’s Sc2450
Cub Cadet Yanmar’s Sx3100Cub Cadet brands expand product arsenal
Two TANKs were among four new products rolled out by two Cub Cadet brands — Cub Cadet Commercial and Cub Cadet Yanmar.
Cub Cadet Commercial announced the expansion of its TANK S Series to give lawn care professionals more options for fuel efficiency with the TANK S D (diesel) and TANK S LP (liquid propane), while Cub Cadet Yanmar unveiled two tractors with the Sc2450 (24 hp.) and Sx3100 (31 hp.).
Like all TANK S units, the new TANK S D and TANK S LP boast patented Synchro Steer technology for intuitive zero-turn control with a steering wheel and dual foot pedal controls instead of lap bars while giving users the choice of diesel or liquid propane. Both options offer increased fuel economy, extended engine life and durability to handle even the toughest terrain.
“The TANK S is packed full of innovative features, but we wanted to take it one step further and expand the line to address more of the key issues facing our industry,” said Allen Baird, product manager, Cub Cadet Commercial. “Our new TANK S units are cleaner, more efficient and engineered for longer life. Combine that with best-in-class features like our Select Cut System cutting deck, allowing users to cut up to seven-and-a-half acres per hour, and our complete line of TANK S products are the perfect solution for increased performance and designed to build your bottom line.
The all-new TANK S D uses a clean and efficient 31.2-hp. Yanmar diesel engine for increased performance and fuel economy. The liquid-cooled engine produces a steady and constant level of horsepower for reliable performance, making sure constant power is available when needed the most. Its high-torque reserve provides the operator with more power to easily navigate even the most difficult terrain. Thanks to its robust design, the TANK S D’s engine also offers improved comfort by reducing vibration and decreasing noise emissions.
Cub Cadet Commercial’s all-new TANK S LP is the ideal solution for commercial cutters, institutions and municipalities looking to reduce emissions and lower fuel costs without sacrificing performance. The benefits of liquid propane go far beyond reduced emissions and offer lawn care professionals longer engine life, longer run times, and less engine maintenance. Additionally, the TANK S LP meets all current EPA and CARB emissions standards, making it an energy-efficient solution for green industry professionals. With the TANK S LP, professionals will reduce their carbon footprint and save on fuel costs since liquid propane is, on average, 30-percent less expensive than gasoline and diesel.
For more information about the complete TANK S products, call Cub Cadet Commercial at (866) 246-4971 or visit www.CubCadetCommercial.com.
As for Cub Cadet Yanmar’s new tractors, the new 24-hp. Sc2450 combines all of the innovations found on the Sc2400 with the addition of an integrated backhoe, while the 31-hp. Sx3100 compact tractor combines high-performance features and ease of use to make work feel more like play. The Sx3100, which can handle everything from light construction and nursery work to routine maintenance and lawn care, boasts a drive-over Select Cut System deck, fully hydraulic power steering, cruise control, selectable four-wheel drive, wide-open operator’s station, auxiliary work lights, curved boom backhoe and loader, and a Yanmar direct-injection diesel engine.
To learn more about these Cub Cadet Yanmar tractors, visit www.CubCadetYanmar.com or call (877) 926-6271.
Big Dog R Series mowerExcel Industries debuts Big Dog Mowers
While many manufacturers elect to expand their distribution through acquisitions, Excel Industries, Inc., manufacturer of premium brand Hustler Turf Equipment, decided to go a different route by unleashing its own residential and commercial zero-turn mower line — Big Dog Mowers.“We developed the Big Dog Mowers brand because of the need in the distribution channel for a high-quality, value-priced, zero-turn product line,” said Paul Mullet, president and CEO of Excel Industries.
Big Dog Mowers will be sold through a new distribution network set up by Excel Industries. These distributors will work with their dealers to market and sell Big Dog Mowers.
Big Dog Mowers will showcase three series of mowers: C Series (residential), R Series (upper-end homeowner/commercial) and X Series (high-quality commercial).
“Having two brands will help fill our manufacturing capacity,” added Mullet. “This will help provide stability for our employees and provide additional jobs during these difficult economic times.”
Mullet said that he currently has approximately 1,200 dealers nationwide for Hustler Turf Equipment and would like to gain an additional 800 dealers for Big Dog Mowers.
For more information on Big Dog Mowers or its products, visit www.bigdogmowers.com.
Exmark Quest SP
Exmark Commercial 21 AS
Exmark Lazer Z AS
Exmark Turf TracerExmark unveils next generation of mowers at GIE+EXPO
Exmark, a leading manufacturer of commercial mowers, introduced four mowers, including three with alternative fuels or higher fuel efficiency. These products complement Exmark’s already impressive lineup of professional-grade mowers, some of which have been enhanced for 2010.
Vantage: Vantage is Exmark’s first stand-on mower providing users with comfort, increased productivity and a superior cut. Combined with ergonomically designed controls, including a variable-speed bar, Vantage’s self-compensating suspension system reduces operator fatigue and increases job quality. The unit’s compact size offers operators increased maneuverability and provides exceptional visibility to keep a better watch on the deck and any upcoming obstacles, while its superior traction and handling allows users to mow changing landscapes effortlessly. Vantage’s durable 1.5- by 3-inch steel frame is available with 48- and 52-inch decks. Vantage contains the distinct caster position found on all Exmark mowers, and the mower utilizes Exmark’s UltraCut deck to deliver the same cut quality the pros have come to expect from an Exmark.
Quest SP: Exmark’s Quest SP includes enhancements and additional features to the original Quest mower for greater durability and productivity in a heavy-duty, zero-turn mower. Quest SP, available with a 20- or 22-hp. Kawasaki V-Twin commercial-grade engine, lives longer and maintains blade tip speed for improved cut quality. The mower’s patented cutting deck, available in 44, 48 and 52 inches, yields professional results and the 5-inch-deep deck improves cutting capacity. Quest SP has a ground speed of 0-8 mph moving forward and 0-5 mph in reverse for increased productivity. The unit’s Milsco Michigan Seat, Hydro-Gear ZT3100 hydrostatic drive system and foot-operated Quick Height Adjust System gives users an easy, smooth driving experience.
Commercial 21 and Commercial 21 AS: The Commercial 21 and Commercial 21 AS mowers come with an optimized, clean-sheet design for improved balance and maneuverability. These walk-behind, commercial-grade machines are durable, require less service/maintenance, and are easy to use. The 21-inch cutting deck makes Exmark’s Commercial 21 and Commercial 21 AS ideal full-featured commercial trim and finish mowers for landscape professionals.
Lazer Z AS: Exmark’s Lazer Z AS is a commercial-grade zero-turn mower in a value package. Powered by a 20-hp. Kawasaki engine, the Lazer Z AS is available with 48- or 52-inch decks, both 5.5 inches deep with cutting heights ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. The unibody frame features a rear-sloping foldable ROPS bar and provides operators with a comfortable ride thanks to the unit’s high-back seat. The Lazer Z AS has a ground speed of up to 8 mph.
Exmark also has integrated alternative fuel and higher fuel-efficiency mowers into its lineup for 2010. Two of the units are EPA certified, using alternative fuel that can burn cleaner, as well as reduce carbon deposits and emissions and engine maintenance costs while prolonging the life of the engine.
Environmentally friendly mowers
Turf Tracer Propane: A full-featured hydro mower, Exmark’s Turf Tracer Propane mower is tough on grass and easy on the environment. The unit is powered by a 23-hp. Kawasaki engine with a propane fuel system conforming to NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (National Fire Protection Association). It features dual fuel lock off for added safety (low vacuum and oil pressure activated). The Turf Tracer Propane is available with a 60-inch cutting deck and features Exmark’s exclusive Enhanced Control System (ECS), as well as a heavy-duty canister air filtration system, which improves engine life, simplifies maintenance, and boosts overall productivity.
Propane-ready Lazer Z: Exmark’s propane-ready Lazer Z is setting a new standard for the environment. The unit is powered by a 28-hp. Kawasaki V-twin engine, governed to 3,750 rpm. Its propane fuel system conforms to NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code and features dual fuel lock off for added safety (low vacuum and oil pressure activated). Exmark’s propane-ready Lazer Z is available with a 60-inch cutting deck and features a full-floating, UltraCut Series 6 5.5-inch-deep deck design.
Lazer Z EFI: Exmark’s Lazer Z EFI mower is environmentally friendly and delivers unmatched results. The Lazer EFI features a Kohler electronic fuel-injection (EFI) engine on the Lazer Z in 29 hp. with a 60-inch UltraCut Series 6 deck. These engines offer significant fuel savings, improved performance and reduced emissions. An industry first, the Kohler EFI features a cleaner-burning system and has an improved throttle response, all while the mower still delivers a high quality cut.
Full product specifications can be found at www.exmark.com. Find Exmark on Twitter at @exmarkmowers.