By Steve Noe
Following is an in-depth look at the news from the Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), which was held Oct. 28-30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
Ariens makes good on Gravely promise
After the Ariens Company recently announced that it was discontinuing its EverRide and Great Dane commercial mower lines to concentrate more on its core commercial brand, Gravely, it certainly delivered on that promise with the introduction of several new and redesigned Gravely products, as well as Ariens products at GIE+EXPO.
Gravely Pro-Walk 24 High Wheel mowerThe Brillion, Wis.-based company expanded its Gravely mower lineup with a redesigned Pro-Walk Series, a new Pro-Ride Series and a new Pro-Walk 24 High Wheel mower. The Gravely Pro-Walk is available in gear or hydro drive with Pro-Steer or pistol-grip controls and comes with a unique fixed/floating deck. The Gravely Pro-Ride Series zero-turn mowers boast a high-volume tunnel deck and have a history of performance in the field as the EverRide Warrior. The Gravely Pro-Walk 24 High Wheel mower is a redesigned version of the former Kee high-wheel mower.
For sports turf maintenance professionals, Ariens added four Gravely Turf products: the VAC 35 litter vacuum, an all-purpose litter vacuum designed to pick up plastic and glass bottles, debris and cans on either hard or turf surfaces; the Suburbanite, a towable lawn sweeper with a 36-inch sweeping width and 17-cubic-foot-capacity basket; the Estate Master, a towable lawn sweeper formed by hitching three Suburbanites together for a 100-inch sweeping width; and the Truck Loader, which makes cleanup jobs quick due to its large intake hose and compacting ratio.
In addition, Ariens announced that Gravely has partnered with Little League Baseball and Softball to become the Preferred Lawn and Field Equipment Supplier to the organization for the 2011 season. “The association with Little League is right on the mark for the Gravely brand of sports turf equipment,” said Dan Ariens, president & CEO of Ariens Company. “Gravely products are aimed at maintaining the local sports fields that exist in most communities across the country — where a variety of field sports are played on a daily basis.”
Ariens also expanded its Gravely Chore and Finishing line with several new products, including an edger, power rake, power brush, all-purpose vacuum and two log splitters. With versatile adjustment capabilities, the Gravely Edger may be used to edge, trim, and bevel along walkways, driveways and curbs. The Gravely Thatch-O-Matic is a durable power rake that digs out thatch where any major lawn repair is needed. The Gravely Power Brush 28 with its 28-inch-wide head may be used year-round to clean everything from snow to sand to thatch off almost any surface. The Gravely All Purpose Vacuum (APV) may be used to pick up plastic and glass bottles, debris, leaves, twigs and cans on hard or turf surfaces and comes standard with an on-board hose to vacuum under shrubs and other difficult-to-reach areas. The two Gravely log splitters offer operator ergonomics and Subaru engines to make tough jobs easy; one comes with a 169-cc engine, 4.5-inch bore position, 16.5-second cycle time and 27-ton splitting force and the second with a 211-cc engine, 5-inch bore position, 18-second cycle time and 34-ton splitting force.
Ariens announced that it has not only redesigned the Gravely Treker utility vehicle for increased performance, enhanced user comfort and better reliability, but will be offering it with a series of aftermarket add-ons from Kolpin. For starters, the redesigned Treker features a column shifter — the first in a utility vehicle — which makes it easier for operators to navigate through reverse, drive and neutral. It also has a 22-hp. Subaru engine for 10-percent more power, improved bottom-end torque and more efficient cooling. The new accessories include a Utility Gear Rail System, Gear Grips, Rhino Grips XL, Universal Fit Saw Press II Brackets and Kolpin Fuel Packs.
Ariens Company also announced upgrades to its Gravely ZT42 and ZT50 and Ariens Zoom 42 and Zoom 52 zero-turn mowers with improved mowing decks, enhanced engine performance and a host of features designed to reduce operator fatigue. All four mowers will feature a 12-gauge stamped-steel XLerator deck, a lower center of gravity, fully adjustable and dampened control arms, newly designed handle bars that can be adjusted in three different directions and a new 18-inch high-back seat.
On the heels of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ariens Sno-Thro in August with the dedication of the Mando “Steve” Ariens Gardens and a 9-foot centerpiece sculpture titled “Man and Machine,” Ariens Company introduced a pair of snow throwers. It unveiled the AMP 24 Sno-Thro, an all-electric two-stage unit with a 24-inch clearing width, and the Sno-Tek single-stage unit with a 205-cc Briggs and Stratton engine and a 22-inch clearing width.
For more information about Ariens and Gravely, visit www.ariens.com.
B3C Fuel Solutions introduces three products to combat ethanol and bio-diesel problems
Nearly two weeks after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved E15 (15-percent ethanol) for use in model year 2007-and-newer cars and light trucks, B3C Fuel Solutions LLC announced the expansion of its line of environmentally friendly products and solutions for ethanol- and bio-diesel blended fuel (bio-fuel) related problems with the introduction of the following three products at GIE+EXPO:
TANK SNAKE Water Extractor for gasoline
TANK SNAKE Water Extractor for diesel
DIESEL Mechanic In A Bottle
Mechanic In A Bottle Carburetor & Parts Cleaner1) TANK SNAKE Water Extractor is a device that continuously removes water — the leading cause of all ethanol and bio-diesel related fuel problems — preventing phase separation in gasoline, or algae and sludge buildup in diesel fuel. It also contains a fuel preservative to keep fuel fresh and preserved, especially in storage. This technologically advanced device is designed to be placed into the fuel tank for the whole season, making protection from bio-fuels easy. The gasoline version is available in two sizes and protects gas cans and equipment up to 20 gallons. The diesel version is available in 12 sizes from 20 gallons up to 10,000-gallon storage tanks. Combine the Tank Snake with Ethanol Shield in gasoline and Diesel Mechanic In A Bottle for Diesel fuel for full protection from all bio-fuel problems.
2) DIESEL Mechanic In A Bottle is designed to be an all-in-one (fix, protect and prevent, stabilize) fuel additive, curing problems seen with diesel and biodiesel fuels such as water absorption that leads to fungi growth and poor performance. Today’s diesel fuel can contain up to 5-percent bio-diesel in many parts of the United States, causing problems such as water absorption which acts as a nutrient for bacteria and fungi growth. Bio-diesel can cause fuel to age much faster and form sludge and deposits in the fuel system. This increases the likelihood of corrosion and failure of the aluminum, zinc, rubber and plastic parts of the fuel system. Diesel Mechanic In A Bottle is engineered to protect the entire fuel system from all problems related with both diesel & bio-diesel blended fuels, including gelling in cold weather.
3) Mechanic In A Bottle Carburetor & Parts Cleaner is a non-toxic, professional-strength dip cleaning solution, which uses an innovative filter medium to keep the solution free of debris and prevent contamination to the next carburetor. It is tough on old fuel deposits but gentle on all foam, plastic and rubber components. Cleaning times are 30 minutes to 2 hours on typical jobs, but the carburetor can be left in the solution longer without harming any of the delicate fuel system components. There are no petroleum distillates, as well as ozone-depleting or environmentally hazardous ingredients. It contains only EPA-approved solvents that are 100-percent bio-degradable.
For more information, visit www.MechanicInABottle.com.
Billy Goat’s Dealer Merchandiser Program
Billy Goat’s 34-inch HomePro mower
Billy Goat Force II blower
Billy Goat’s self-propelled overseeder
Billy Goat’s DL Series debris loader
Billy Goat’s Countertop & Merchandiser Lawn Renovation Calendar Program
Billy Goat returns to Louisville with a bang
Exhibiting at the annual Louisville trade show for the first time since 1997, Billy Goat made a triumphant return with a press conference at GIE+EXPO to introduce the dealer merchandiser program, as well as several products, including a mower, wheeled blowers, a self-propelled overseeder, debris loaders and a debris loader trailer.
Billy Goat’s Dealer Merchandiser Program features a sturdy, two-level professional display that allows dealers to maximize showroom space by displaying any six Billy Goat products in the space of three. The 27-square-foot display may be assembled in minutes; used to sell products in three seasons (spring, summer and fall); and improve same-store sales. It features full graphics, electrostatic paint over steel construction, wheel chocks, two literature holders, and an expanded metal top for light and dust to pass.
Billy Goat’s 34-inch HomePro mower allows homeowners to cut and stripe their lawn like a pro, while saving time, money and space. The 34-inch-wide finish-cut mower is ideal for 1/2- to 3/4-acre residential properties and knocks out jobs 61-percent faster than traditional 21-inch mowers. The unit is designed to be compact, taking up the same length of space in a garage or shed as a push mower. When financed, the HomePro mower is significantly more affordable than a landscape service, which can cost homeowners up to three times more money per month.
Billy Goat’s new family of Force II wheeled blowers represents the only full line of composite leaf blowers on the market. For residential cleanup, the Small Force costs little more than a backpack blower, but is 2.5 times more powerful. The commercial and professional cleaning power of the family line is ideal for maintenance contractors, large-property owners, full-size landscapers, schools and street departments. The distinct black intake housing is the heart of the Force II — a new single shot, closed face fan. With 16 blades, the Billy Goat Force II has more than twice the blades of most competitors. Surrounding the fan is a smooth rounded housing, which eliminates air voids, reduces noise, increases output, won’t rust or dent, and is up to 30-percent lighter than stamped metal housings. Billy Goat has even made the lightest and easiest-to-push unit on the market 9 pounds lighter. And, to increase productivity, the Force II now features a self-propelled option. Force II users no longer need to worry about the fatigue of walking a hilly terrain and can enjoy ripping through 30 percent more properties a day.
Billy Goat’s new self-propelled overseeder reduces fatigue associated with pushing, and it features intuitive forward and reverse operator controls. The unit is 22 inches wide with an exclusive 11-blade slicing reel that floats along contours of yards, increasing seed-to-soil contact and improving germination rates. The unit comes standard with a 30-pound seed box that is generously elevated above the turf to eliminate any clogging that may occur from moisture. Billy Goat’s exclusive Auto Drop system automatically starts and stops seed drop with reel engagement and disengagement, conserving seed and preventing “end-of-run” seed piling. Infinite depth adjustment of the slicer blades promotes longer blade life versus presets, and seed settings are found on board for operator convenience.
Billy Goat’s DL Series of debris loaders is available with CustomFit options, allowing contractors to build a machine that’s just right for the job. An exclusive dual shredding system with Piranha blade provides greater debris reduction and improved truck loading. The result is improved productivity and savings by completing more jobs between dump runs and fees. The unit has a replaceable steel housing liner, rotational discharge and a heavy-duty clear urethane helical intake hose with user-friendly handles and hose connection for improved hose management and maneuverability. The unit can be skid mounted as standard or tailgate mounted as an option; a swing-away truck hitch is sold separately.
Plus, Billy Goat introduced a trailer upgrade for the DL2500S debris loader with less assembly required. The unit now comes pre-wired with rear lights and axle attached. Larger 14-inch tires, cone holder, backup whips and heavy-duty fenders are all standard. Just attach the tongue, slip wiring through the tongue, and attach the wheels. The trailer provides an ideal solution for any crew wanting mobility and a smooth ride at highway speeds.
Billy Goat introduced its Countertop & Merchandiser Lawn Renovation Calendar Program, which is ideal for educating customers on Spring Renovation, Summer Maintenance and Fall Cleanup while driving sales. The month-by-month calendar is a great resource full of “customer tips” to reduce time and effort. The calendars are packaged in 25s for $3 per pack. Countertop holders are available with room to place a store label or stamp dealer information on each brochure. A wire brochure holder is another option and easily attaches to Billy Goat’s Dealer Merchandiser Program.
For additional information, visit www.BillyGoat.com.
Briggs & Stratton’s new Professional Series engine meets unique challenges of zero-turn mowers
Briggs & Stratton Corporation showcased its new Professional Series engine, which is designed to meet the unique challenges of zero-turn mowers by providing commercial-grade features that protect the engine from dirt and debris while ensuring exceptional performance and durability.
Briggs & Stratton’s new Professional Series engine“Zero-turns demand an engine designed to fend off the dust and debris that assault a rear-mount engine,” said Eric Loferski, product marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton. “Keeping the incoming air that reaches the engine clean was priority one for the Professional Series engine. Then, we added other commercial-grade features that make the engine more durable for long life and help make it easy to start under all working conditions.”
Briggs & Stratton’s patent-pending integrated Cyclonic Air Management System provides a five-step debris management process to keep grass, dust and debris out of the engine, extending engine life. The process provides maximum air cleaning and greater debris protection when compared to panel-style air filter systems. Under normal mowing conditions, the Cyclonic Air Management System works so efficiently, it extends the cyclonic air filter maintenance interval to 250 hours — about two to three times longer than panel-style air filters.
Here’s how it works:
Stage 1: A rotating screen in the Cyclonic Air Filter throws large pieces of debris away from the engine through centrifugal force. Particles that make it through the screen are chopped into fine particles.
Stage 2: A fan forces fine particles into a deflector under the blower housing, ejecting them down and away from the engine.
Stage 3: A series of baffles and an ejector further process the air before it reaches the air cleaner housing.
Stage 4: Air spinning in the air filter forces any particles to the outside of the housing where they are ejected through a duck bill-shaped valve.
Stage 5: The cyclonic action of the air in the air cleaner cover deflects any remaining particles away from the filter. Minute particles are then trapped by the filter, preventing them from entering the engine.
Engine protection continues with commercial-grade rubber lip seals around the double-barrel carburetor to prevent the possibility of debris entry. During annual maintenance, easy-access engine panels above the cylinders make it simple to remove any debris that may collect on the cooling fins during the mowing season.
Pushing a zero-turn mower to its maximum capacity also requires safeguarding the engine from heat that causes engine wear. The Professional Series engine has an innovative cylinder head with cooling arches that help the engine run cooler. Crankshaft journals and connecting rod bearings are super-polished to a mirror-like, round finish that further reduces friction and heat, and helps extend engine component life.
Added durability comes from the engine’s tough, commercial features, including the newly designed, ribbed cylinder block structure and commercial-grade sump gasket for superior oil sealing under the toughest mowing conditions.
Consistent starting under heavy loads and on cool, early-spring and late-fall days is another engine attribute. The Professional Series engine has a high-output starter and mechanical compression release that increases cranking speed to help make starting hassle free.
For more information, visit www.briggsandstratton.com.
Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power Vanguard single-cylinder engines give landscape pros more productivity
Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power introduced four Vanguard single-cylinder engines in 2010 with gross horsepower ratings ranging from 5.5 to 10. The new engines integrate many features designed to give landscape professionals and OEMs what they said they need most from their mowing equipment: elevated productivity and increased reliability with minimal downtime due to maintenance.
“Our approach to product development is to stay connected to the customer,” said Dan Roche, marketing manager with Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power. “Our work in the field helped define the design criteria for these new Vanguard engines. By listening to customers and working with OEMs, we have developed an engine series that will raise the standard of dependability in the toughest job site situations.”
During transport, engines are subjected to vibration, which can cause fuel to flow through the engine and into the oil. Fuel in the oil drastically reduces viscosity, resulting in more friction, increased wear and shorter engine life.
Vanguard engineers researched and created an integrated switch that simultaneously shuts off the ignition and the fuel. This patent-pending innovation, called the TransportGuard system, ensures that fuel stays where it belongs and helps eliminate fouled plugs, hydraulic lock, cylinder wash down and crankcase oil dilution caused by transportation. Ultimately, this saves landscape professionals money by decreasing downtime and repair costs.
In addition to solving oil dilution issues, engineers designed each component and integrated technology to efficiently work together to raise durability and reliability standards. A high-mounted canister-style air cleaner has 22-percent more filter area than competitor units. An all-metal fuel tank reduces emissions, saves fuel, and is mounted directly to the engine block. And heat-treated PTO bearing races ensure long-lasting equipment performance.
For more information on these or any other engines in the Vanguard commercial line from Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power, visit www.vanguardengines.com.
Briggs & Stratton Yard Power Products Group bolsters mower and snow blower lineups
The Briggs & Stratton Yard Power Products Group made several announcements regarding its 2011 mower and snow blower lineups at GIE+EXPO.
Snapper Pro SW5
Snapper 285Z with 27-gross-hp. engine and 46-inch deck
Simplicity single-stage snow blowerOn the commercial side, Ferris expanded its Evolution compact zero-turn mower lineup to include five models, ranging from 19 to 27 hp. and with a 36-, 48- or 52-inch mowing deck. The Evolution now consists of the following models: 1) 19-hp Kawasaki with 36-inch deck, 2) 27-hp. Kawasaki with 48-inch deck, 3) 20-hp. Kawasaki FX with 48-inch deck, 4) 22-hp. Kawasaki FX with 52-inch deck, and 5) 26-hp. Kawasaki FX with 52-inch deck.
Ferris also made several announcements regarding its IS 2000Z, IS 2500Z and IS 3100Z mid-mount zero-turn mower lineups. The IS 2000Z and IS 3100Z will be available with air-cooled Vanguard Big Block engines, which boast a global 3-year commercial limited warranty, and its IS 2500Z will include three models with Yanmar 3-cylinder, in-line diesel engines with cast-iron blocks. As a result, the IS 2000Z is now available with a 30-hp. Vanguard Big Block and 61-inch deck. The IS 3100Z features 30- and 32-hp. Big Block units with 61-inch decks and a 32-hp. Big Block model with a 72-inch deck. And the IS 2500Z — which comes with a patented four-wheel suspension system to dramatically increase operator comforts, mowing speed, quality of cut and productivity — will soon be available in a 20-hp. Yanmar diesel model with a 52-inch iCD cutting system and 24-hp. Yanmar diesel units with a 52- or 61-inch iCD cutting system. In addition, Ferris announced that starting in January 2011 all of its large-frame zero-turn mowers — which includes the IS 2000Z, IS 2500Z, IS 3100Z, IS 3100Z Propane and IS 5100Z — will come standard with a new premium adjustable seat for increased operator comfort. An optional suspension platform will also be offered for an even more comfortable ride.
Continuing on the commercial side, Snapper Pro introduced the SW5 commercial walk-behind mower; touted the Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 Integrated Powertrain system on its S200x, S200xp and S150x zero-turn mowers for 2011; and promoted its S75x compact zero-turn mower and S800x diesel out-front commercial mower. The SW5 is a cost-effective belt-driven walk-behind mower, which is available with a 16-hp. Vanguard or 16-hp. Kawasaki manual-start engine and a 32-inch fixed fabricated-steel deck with an adjustable drive axle to control cutting height from 1 to 4.5 inches. Retail prices start at $2,299. The Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 Integrated Powertrain system is designed exclusively for the rigors of the commercial mowing market, delivering unmatched power and durability. It features a piston pump and motor for quiet, smooth performance; automotive planetary gears for durable power transfer; heavy-duty shafts, gears and bearings for long, trouble-free operation; an internal wet disc brake for maximum brake holding capacity; and the industry’s first two-speed drive system for mowing and transport speeds. The Snapper Pro S75x compact zero-turn mower is ideal for mowing in tight places and highly landscaped areas because of its compact low stance and placement of the operator in the most ergonomic position. The S800x, which comes with a 30-hp. Yanmar 3-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine and a 61- or 72-inch deck, is ideal for trimming around trees, bushes and landscaped areas because of its out-front design. The S800x is also available with a 28-hp. Kawasaki or 31-hp. Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine.
On the residential side of Briggs’ business, Snapper announced the expansion of its innovative NXT lawn tractor and walk-behind mower lineups, which were introduced in spring 2010. Snapper and Simplicity also each introduced two zero-turn mowers and three single-stage snow blowers. Plus, Simplicity displayed the Citation zero-turn mower.
Snapper expanded its innovative NXT lineup with the introduction of a third lawn tractor and a second walk-behind mower. The NXT tractor lineup, which originated with a 23-gross-hp. unit with a 46-inch deck and a 27-gross-hp. unit with a 52-inch deck, will now include a third unit with a 19.5-gross-hp. Briggs & Stratton Professional Series single-cylinder engine and a 42-inch deck. Like its two predecessors, the new tractor will boast the push-button start, a revolutionary cutting system, an ergonomic breathable-mesh suspension seat and electric height of cut. Both the 23- and 27-gross-hp. units feature Briggs & Stratton Professional Series V-twin engines and a car-like electronic dashboard. With just a glance at the dashboard, the operator can check fuel level, battery voltage, height of cut, hours of use and time of day, as well as additional maintenance reminders such as when to service the oil system, filters or blade. Typical retail prices for the 19.5-, 23- and 27-gross-hp. NXT lawn tractors are $2,299, $2,599 and $2,999, respectively. The Snapper NXT walk-behind mowers boast their own exclusive features, including a patent-pending variable-speed REACT Drive Control System, which automatically adjusts the mower’s speed to the walking speed of the operator, and an electronic maintenance reminder. New for 2011 is a model with an electric height-of-cut feature that raises the mowing deck automatically using a toggle switch. Both walk-behind models are 22-inch rear-wheel-drive units with a Briggs & Stratton 875 Professional Series engine. The standard model retails for $449, and the model with electric height-of-cut model retails for $499.
The new Simplicity ZT2000 and Snapper 285Z zero-turn mowers are designed exclusively for homeowners. Both the Simplicity ZT2000-26/52 and Snapper RTZ2652 feature a 26-gross-hp. Briggs & Stratton Professional Series V-twin engine, 52-inch 14-gauge-steel 3-blade deck with electric height-of-cut adjustment, Hydro-Gear EZT transmission and typical retail cost of $2,999. Both the Simplicity ZT2000-27/46 and Snapper RTZ2746 come with a 27-gross-hp. Briggs & Stratton Professional Series V-twin engine with an Electronic Fuel Management (EFM) system, 46-inch 12-gauge-steel deck with electric height-of-cut adjustment, Hydro-Gear ZT-2800 transmissions and typical retail cost of $3,599.
A considerable amount of research went into the design of the new Simplicity and Snapper high-performance single-stage snow blowers. More than a year of consumer surveys, concept testing and homeowner usability studies led to a design that’s easy to start and cleans snow right down to the pavement. The snow blowers are available in three Snapper and thre