GIE+EXPO 2014 Show Recap (Part II)

Last in a two-part series:

Many exhibitors made significant announcements at the 2014 Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), which was held Oct. 22-24 at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center. Following is a rundown of some of those exhibitors making headlines at the show with bonus GIE+EXPO coverage at outdoorpowerequipment.com:

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Altoz XE

Altoz enters market’s
largest segment with
debut of XE model

Altoz, a Greenbush, Minn.-based manufacturer of high-performance commercial zero-turn (ZTR) mowers, unveiled its latest addition to its product line with the launch of the all-new XE series of ZTRs. GIE+EXPO attendees were the first to see the new model line, which maintains much of the same award-winning characteristics of the XC Z model, recently recognized in Landscape and Irrigation magazine’s “Twenty for 2014” New Product awards. The XE has been specifically designed for discerning, multi-acre homeowners and smaller commercial operations.

Using the same engineering principles and attention to detail found in the commercial Altoz mowers, the XE model line delivers the precision cut, quality manufacturing, durability and comfort that have become synonymous with the Altoz brand. Three unique models — XE 480, XE 540 and XE 610 — make up the XE line, each being powered by a Briggs & Stratton Commercial Turf engine with electronic fuel injection (EFI). Durable Hydro-Gear 3200 commercial transmissions are featured in all three models, which are available in 48-, 54- and 61-inch cutting deck widths. Large 22-inch rear tires and an optional suspension seat combine for a comfortable ride.

“As we commemorate the launch of our XC and XP model lines here at GIE just one year ago, we are proud to extend our product line with the debut of the XE models,” said Dennis Brazier, Altoz Chief Executive Officer. “The same DNA from our top-of-the-line commercial ZTRs has been carried over to the new XE line to ensure the highest-quality and most durable ZTR possible. All while being offered at a competitive price point.”

A complete line of accessories for the XE models will be coming soon.

Also making its debut at the show were two new Altoz XC model ZTRs — XC 540 Si and XC 610 Si — which are now powered by Briggs & Stratton’s Vanguard 810-cc EFI engines. The 28-hp. engine features a closed-loop fuel injection system that results in fuel economy improvements of up to 25 percent over carbureted engines. The increased engine efficiency and high-performance characteristics of the XC models raise the bar yet again for commercial-grade ZTRs.

For more information, visit Altoz.com.

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Gravely Atlas JSV-3000

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Gravely Atlas JSV-6000

Ariens Company unveils
Gravely Atlas JSV

The Ariens Company rolled out several new products, but the one that grabbed the most attention was the Gravely Atlas JSV. Designed for heavy jobsite work, this Jobsite Vehicle (JSV) boasts a 1,900-pound payload and 2,000-pound towing capacity, allowing work crews to literally haul a ton.

Supported by an on-demand, true all-wheel drive system and De Dion rear suspension, the Atlas provides the heavy-duty traction and suspension required to maintain full ground clearance and a smooth ride even when carrying maximum loads.

“This vehicle was designed from the ground up with the contractor and facility manager experience in mind,” says Bill Engler, director of commercial sales. “Industry-leading features ensure that it will handle even the toughest jobs. Everything about the Atlas is designed for the jobsite. From pedal spacing that accommodates work boots to the details of the cargo bed.”

The all-steel MX-18 JobBox features a 1,250-pound capacity, steel walls to prevent bowing, and four integrated tie-down points to secure cargo. The extra-large (48-inch by 57-inch) bed easily accommodates standard wooden pallets. Electric cargo bed lift is standard on all Atlas models.

The Atlas JSV-3000 fits three adults comfortably across one bench seat, and the Atlas JSV-6000 crew model fits six adults across two bench seats. Both models are available with a 1-cylinder, 570-cc Polaris DOHC gas engine or 3-cylinder, 1,028-cc Kohler diesel engine. All engines provide a 10-gallon fuel capacity and a ground speed of 35 mph.

A full slate of accessories is available for the Atlas JSV, including many cab enclosure accessories that fit easily into a profiled tubular frame for quick installation. Other accessories include winches, a snow plow and front receiver hitch, as well as a tool rack, chainsaw press, gun mount and cargo box.

Atlas JSV-3000 models start at $12,999, and the Atlas JSV-6000 crew models start at $14,799. For more information on the Gravely Atlas JSV, visit www.GravelyAtlas.com. To learn more about Ariens and its other new products for 2015, go to www.ariens.com.

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Billy Goat highlights
one-and-done aeration with
all-new hydro-drive aerator

Billy Goat Industries showcased its all-new, state-of-the-art, hydrostatic-drive, 30-inch, reciprocating aerator at GIE+EXPO. The AE1300H boasts Variable Aeration Density (VAD), in-ground turning and patent-pending “FLEXTECH” arms.

Combining 30-inch-wide aeration and speeds up to 4.3 mph, the AE1300H completes quarter-acre aerations in as little as 15 minutes — that’s 59-percent faster than 26-inch drum units. And with its VAD, the unit creates 2-10 times more holes than drum models in a single pass, offering the ability to do patch repair and seedbed prep in just one pass.

The FLEXTECH arms provide flexible limb reciprocating action, driving plug depths up to 2 times that of drums, even in dry soil. Condition or type of soil is a non-issue, so aerations can be completed on schedule, without interruption, saving time and increasing productivity.

For ease of operation, in-ground steering offers excellent maneuverability — no lifting to make turns, so there’s no turf repair and no wear and tear on the operator when compared to drum aerators. Intuitive hydro-drive controls allow feathering the speed in both forward and reverse, affording maximized productivity and minimized operator fatigue.

With just eight tines to service, versus up to 42 tines on 26-inch drum units, downtime and cost are kept at a minimum. And for first-rate durability, the AE1300H is powered by a 390-cc Honda engine, Eaton motor, Hydro-Gear drive and pump, and only a pair of #50 chains.

The AE1300H offers one pass, one machine, one-man crew, one time — no call backs: one-and-done aeration. See the AE1300H in action at www.billygoat.com/AssetGallery/CategoryModal/103.

Along with Billy Goat’s acquired brand of Plugr aerators, the new AE1300H completes a comprehensive offering of reciprocating 18-, 25- and 30-inch widths. For more information, visit www.billygoat.com.

 

Briggs & Stratton debuts EFI engine and much more

Briggs & Stratton Corporation displayed several innovative products and technologies across its many divisions at GIE+EXPO. They included the following:

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* Vanguard 810-cc EFI engine: Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power introduced its Vanguard 810-cc EFI engine series, which combines the increased fuel efficiency of a closed-loop electronic fuel injection system with the increased capability of an 810-cc engine. Add it together and the Vanguard 810-cc EFI engine gives landscape contractors an optimum level of power and fuel efficiency for commercial zero-turn mowers.

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* EXi engine: EXi is Briggs & Stratton’s new durable and reliable engine platform that will become standard across all OEM partners and mower lines, phasing out the current Quantum engine over the next couple of years. EXi is the first walk-behind lawn mower engine that will never need an oil change — ever. Made in the USA of U.S. and global parts at Briggs & Stratton’s Poplar Bluff, Mo., plant, the engine will be featured on Toro, Husqvarna, Troy-Bilt and Craftsman mowers in early 2015 and available at major retailers.

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* InStart: Starting is one of the two most important features in a mower, according to consumer research, and Briggs & Stratton’s InStart combines the power of gas with the starting reliability of lithium-ion technology, offering consumers the most advanced starting method on the market. The InStart starting system requires no prime, no choke and no rope to pull. More eco-friendly and lasting three times longer than traditional batteries found on mowers, the lithium-ion battery technology replaces lead-acid batteries of the past, which are much more likely to die and require pull starting or a new purchase. The battery pack is lightweight and mobile; requires no tools; and offers efficient, convenient charging. A full charge takes only one hour, yields up to 100 starts, and is good for the entire mowing season. Just 10 minutes on the charger results in up to 20 starts, so there are no worries of not getting the job done if the battery is dead.

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* ReadyStart: Ever since the engine experts at Briggs & Stratton first brought its ReadyStart feature to walk-behind mowers in 2005, owners of riding mowers have longed to experience the same ease-of-start without the need to prime or choke the engine. With the ReadyStart System now available on select Husqvarna riding mowers, the wait is over. ReadyStart is an automatic choking feature designed to start the engine within two 5-second cranking attempts in weather above 32 degrees. The ReadyStart System automatically senses engine temperature to deliver the right amount of fuel to the carburetor. “Consumers want to know that their mower is going start with minimal effort each and every time,” said Carissa Gingras, marketing director for consumer engines and service at Briggs & Stratton. “A no-choke starting system, ReadyStart takes the guesswork out of starting the engine, and we are the only manufacturer to bring this system to riding mowers designed for residential use.”

The Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group also made several product introductions. They included the following:

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* SnowShredder: The new SnowShredder serrated auger on single-stage snowblowers built by the Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group lets you easily clear snow and ice, including that tough and compacted end-of-the-driveway snow left behind by the snowplow. When matched with the Briggs & Stratton 1150 Snow Series engine, users can clear snow more than 30-percent faster compared to the company’s other single-stage snowblowers. The patented SnowShredder auger system combines 14 welded, serrated steel surfaces with reinforced rubber paddles to efficiently chop, grind, and clear compacted snow, ice and end-of-driveway snow buildup. The self-propelled drive system quickly clears down to the pavement and moves the snowblower forward effortlessly. This new feature is available on two easy-to-use models, the 922EXD and the 1222EE, in Snapper, Simplicity and Briggs & Stratton-branded single-stage snowblowers.

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* Ferris IS 3200Z commercial zero-turn mower: Ferris introduced the IS 3200Z commercial zero-turn mower lineup with a patented suspension system — featuring adjustable rear coil-over-shocks and front independent, adjustable coil-over-shocks — allowing operators to maintain their ground speed and take full advantage of available horsepower (see page 25).

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* Snapper Pro S200xt large-frame mid-mount zero-turn mower: Known for providing commercial cutters with maximum productivity, the Snapper Pro S200xt large-frame mid-mount zero-turn mower just got better. A new 28-gross-hp. model featuring the Briggs & Stratton Vanguard 810-cc engine with EFI is being added to the lineup (see page 28). In addition to its innovative engine, the S200xt drive system consists of commercial Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 powertrain transaxles with 9-inch cooling fans. It has a ground speed of up to 10 mph. The unit offers a 61-inch iCD Cutting System engineered to produce the best possible cut in a variety of grass conditions.

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* Ferris IS 2100Z mid-frame zero-turn mower: With the addition of two new models featuring a Briggs & Stratton Vanguard 810-cc engine with EFI, the Ferris IS 2100Z mid-frame zero-turn now offers eight models from which landscapers and homeowners can choose. The 28-gross-hp. Vanguard 810-cc engine is available with a 52- or 61-inch iCD Cutting System.

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* Ferris FW35CC and Snapper Pro SW35CC commercial walk-behind mowers: The new Ferris FW35CC and Snapper Pro SW35CC commercial walk-behind mowers meet the demands of professional mowing crews. These dual-hydrostatic machines offer powerful engine options paired with a 48-, 52- or 61-inch mowing deck and Centralized Control handlebars. “The new controls are ergonomically designed so that operators experience less fatigue,” said Bill Shea, vice president of commercial sales for the Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group. “They provide improved hand positioning for maneuvering around trees, fences and other obstacles. They are also more efficient than traditional pistol-grip controls for operators using a sulky attachment.”

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* TURBO-Pro Max: The Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group introduced a new turbo for use on Ferris and Snapper Pro collections systems. The TURBO-Pro Max system acts as a lawn vacuum for a clean finish in a wide variety of conditions. Highly resistant to clogging, it uses oversized drive and idler pulleys combined with a long drive belt for cool running and maximum belt life. A curved blade impeller allows for reduced impeller speed and noise while maintaining air velocity.

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* Snapper 550Z with 52-inch fabricated steel deck: Building on the success of its popular 550Z prosumer zero-turn mower line (which debuted at GIE+EXPO 2013 with two 61-inch fabricated-steel mowing deck models paired with a 25-gross-hp. Briggs & Stratton Commercial Turf Series or 24-gross-hp. Kawasaki FR engine), Snapper revealed two new models with 52-inch fabricated steel mowing decks. Both deck sizes are constructed of 10-gauge steel and feature four anti-scalp wheels.

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* Simplicity Regent S lawn tractor with rear suspension: The newest Regent S lawn tractor features rear suspension, reducing the impact that the operator feels at faster speeds, making for a more comfortable ride, and allowing work to get done quicker. This lawn tractor also comes with a 48-inch fabricated Free Floating mower deck with full-width rollers, a 14-inch turning radius and a manual infinite height-of-cut adjustment, ensuring a manicured, scalp-free cut.

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* Simplicity Broadmoor lawn tractor: Simplicity has combined two of its patented features to offer homeowners a lawn tractor that combines high performance and operator comfort. A brand-new Broadmoor model for spring 2015 features both the company’s Free Floating fabricated (48-inch) mower deck with full-width rollers and its Suspension Comfort System.

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* Snapper SPX lawn tractors: Snapper added two SPX lawn tractor models with Briggs & Stratton Professional Series V-Twin engines and heavy-duty fabricated-steel mowing decks. The 23-gross-hp. model features a 12-gauge steel frame, Hydro-Gear transmission, cast-iron front axle with grease fittings and 42-inch mowing deck with two blades. The top-of-the-line 25-gross-hp. model boasts a Tuff Torq K46 transmission, push-button start, electric deck lift, 22-inch drive tires and 48-inch deck with three blades. Both tractors have a 14-inch turning radius for enhanced maneuverability.

For more information, visit www.briggsandstratton.com.

 

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Dixie Chopper’s outdoor booth included a demo area and a Bell helicopter.
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Aquila, a bald eagle, was featured in Dixie Chopper’s booth at GIE+EXPO.
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Dixie Chopper’s indoor booth featured a “Chopper Army” theme and several 2015 products.

Dixie Chopper invades GIE+EXPO

With a military-themed campaign called “Chopper Army,” Dixie Chopper took GIE+EXPO by storm, showcasing several new mowing weapons in its arsenal.

The Chopper Army theme was on full display in Dixie Chopper’s indoor and outdoor booths, along with the Montgomery Gentry concert that the company sponsored opening night at downtown Louisville’s Fourth Street Live. The booths featured a Bell 407 helicopter, an armored vehicle, a parachuting mower and a live bald eagle. Dixie Chopper brand ambassadors were on hand during the concert to blast out t-shirts and interact with attendees next to a full-size World War II tank.

The Chopper Army theme represents Dixie Chopper’s renewed competitive power as part of the Jacobsen and Textron global businesses. Textron companies including Bell Helicopter, E-Z-GO, and Bad Boy Buggies were all highlighted in the booth displays.

At GIE+EXPO, Dixie Chopper rolled out its new 2015 product lineup, which features walk-behind and stand-on mowers and several updates to the existing XCaliber and Classic series zero-turn mowers.

The all-new Pursuit walk-behind comes standard with an 18-hp. Briggs & Stratton engine and includes 32-, 36- and 44-inch deck options. The Pursuit offers single- and dual-hydro options and can reach up to 7 miles per hour.

The Stryker Stand-On features a 26-hp. Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine with 48- and 54-inch deck options. The Stryker includes a large operator platform that can be flipped to be used as a conventional walk-behind mower.

The XCaliber and Classic series have been the choice for commercial cutters for several years. For 2015, the Classic series will offer 27-, 31- and 35-hp. Kawasaki FX; 34-hp. Kohler EFI; and 36-hp. Vanguard engine options (depending on deck size). The XCaliber engine options (also depending on deck size) now include 31- and 35-hp. Kawasaki FX; 33- and 34-hp. Kohler EFI; and 36-hp. Vanguard. Updates to the commercial lines also include a new deck lift system and increased ground speed of 13 miles per hour.

“The Chopper Army has definitely helped us generate a lot of excitement about our new and upgraded products,” said Chris Vernon, vice president and general manager of Dixie Chopper. “The booth traffic and customer engagement exceeded our expectations. We also need to give credit to GIE+EXPO organizers, who put on a very well-run and well-attended show.”

To learn more, visit dixiechopper.com.

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Exmark unveils EFI propane
commercial stand-on rider

Exmark introduced several commercial mowers, including the latest addition to its line of EFI propane commercial mowers — the Vantage S-Series Propane 52-inch stand-on rider. The new model uses a state-of-the-art Kohler EFI propane powerplant that delivers significant increases in fuel economy, performance and reliability along with being the most environmentally friendly engine option available today.

The new stand-on machine joins Exmark’s existing EFI propane Lazer Z and Turf Tracer models, providing the broadest product lineup in the industry, allowing landscape professionals more choices from which to choose products that best fit their needs and enjoy the reliability, economic and environmental benefits of EFI propane power.

Daryn Walters, Exmark’s director of marketing, said an increasing number of landscape contractors are turning to propane as a way to reduce costs, increase profitability, and reduce impact to the environment. “Time and again, we hear that fuel is one of our customers’ largest expenses, and increasing fuel costs have put a serious dent in the profitability of many contractors across the country,” he said. “More and more of these folks are turning to EFI propane-powered equipment as a way to reduce their fuel bill and get more work done with fewer resources.”

The Vantage S-Series Propane machine features the Kohler Command Pro PCV740 EFI propane powerplant. The engine’s automotive-style closed-loop EFI system delivers significantly increased fuel economy, reliability and improved performance, combined with easy, no-choke starting. It precisely adjusts fuel/air mixture settings in real time for optimal performance at any altitude, any temperature, in any conditions.

The efficiency of the EFI system reduces fuel consumption by up to 40 percent compared to carbureted propane engines.

The Vantage S-Series Propane model is available with a 52-inch UltraCut Series 4 cutting deck. The deck features Exmark’s patented Flow Control baffles to provide an unmatched quality of cut, and the welded-steel deck construction features 7-gauge high-strength steel-reinforced spindle mounting rings for top-notch strength and durability. Blade spindle assemblies feature rugged cast-aluminum housings and zero-maintenance sealed heavy-duty bearings to maximize service life, even in the most demanding commercial cutting conditions.

Learn more about the 2015 Exmark Vantage S-Series Propane stand-on riding mower and Exmark’s other new products for 2015 at Exmark.com.

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Grasshopper HighLift 15B PowerVac

Grasshopper introduces
three products

The Grasshopper Company showcased three new products: the HighLift 15B PowerVac, as well as two V Series mowers, the 125V and 225V.

The HighLift 15B PowerVac collector takes productivity to new heights. The 15-cubic-foot-capacity metal hopper can be raised easily at the touch of a switch to a maximum height of 72 inches to empty clippings precisely where they need to go in the center of a pickup bed, trailer or other elevated space. The collector also easily clears fences and compost pile walls. The PowerVac collection system features a deck-driven Quik-D-Tatch vac capable of picking up virtually anything for a clean sweep on every pass — including wet grass, high-moisture leaves, pine straw and other debris — without clogging for uninterrupted productivity.

The 125V and 225V mowers offer commercial features and durability at an economical price. Specifications include a 747-cc Kohler Confidant engine with 3-year engine manufacturer warranty, fully hydraulic integrated pump-and-wheel-motor drive with greater weight bearing capacity to accommodate high-capacity grass collectors, best-in-class transmission fluid-change interval with no break-in period, and 5.5-inch-deep cutting decks.

Visit www.grasshoppermower.com for further information.

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Honda HRX217K5VKA mower
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Honda HS720 snow blower

Honda unveils new design features
for HRX series of lawn mowers

Honda Power Equipment showcased its new HRX series of premium residential lawn mowers at GIE+EXPO. The significantly updated HRXVKA and HRXVYA models offer best-in-class cutting performance, ease of use, durability, control and reliability.

All-new for 2014, these HRX models incorporate the Honda Select Drive System, providing control, comfort and convenience to mowing customers. This unique system and innovative design allow the user to rotate the ergonomically located, speed-adjust dial — enabling the selection of a desired speed range while also engaging the Select Drive control handle to match the mowing stride. Once the control handle is fully engaged, it becomes an integrated part of the handle bar, adding more comfort to the mowing experience. Speed also is adjustable while mowing by engaging the Select Drive control handle or by turning the speed-adjust dial.

In addition to the integration of the Honda Select Drive System, the all-new HRXVKA and HRXVYA models include the Honda 4-in-1 Versamow System with Clip Director, allowing mulching, bagging, leaf shredding or discharging without the need for tools or attachments, along with the proprietary Twin Blade MicroCut System for superior cut quality. The HRXVYA, HRXHYA, and HRXHZA models also incorporate the Roto-Stop Blade Stop System to stop the blade and not the engine, saving time when removing obstacles or emptying the bag.

Powered by a lightweight OHC Honda GCV190 engine, the HRX lawn mower delivers excellent fuel efficiency with optimal power output. The GC190 premium residential engine maintains its reputation as a quiet, easy-starting and durable power source for the mower, even in demanding conditions.

“Honda engineers have redesigned these two models of the popular and award-winning HRX lawn mower with the specific intention of creating a more comfortable and convenient mowing experience for our customers,” said Alex Torre, manager, marketing and market research for Honda Power Equipment. “The new Select Drive System is a huge step in helping homeowners and landscape professionals get the job done with less effort.”

All HRX lawn mowers feature a five-year residential warranty and meet rigorous California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission requirements, ensuring their availability and regulatory compliance in all 50 states.

Honda Power Equipment markets a complete line of 21-inch walk behind lawn mowers for commercial, premium residential, and consumer applications. The product line consists of 13 models in four different series, including HRX, HRR, HRS, and HRC.

In addition to the newly enhanced Honda HRX lawn mower line, Honda Power Equipment also introduced its HS720 series of premium residential snow blowers. The Honda engineering team integrated several key feature updates into the HS720A and HS720AS models to provide excellent snow throwing performance and convenient operation in a compact package for both homeowners and commercial users.

To learn more about these and other Honda products, go to www.honda.com.

 

Husqvarna expands professional
landscape and tree care focus
with new products, programs

Saving time and making more money are keys to success for landscaping and tree care professionals. Husqvarna is taking steps to help achieve them through new and enhanced products and an organizational restructuring.

With two powerful new engines for professional zero-turn mowers, five new products in the premium dedicated landscape series of handhelds, and two new professional walk-behind mowers, Husqvarna is offering high-quality options designed to improve efficiencies and performance for all professional users.

Plus, Husqvarna has formed a Professional Business Development team focused on further expanding existing programs for professional users and the regional and national organizations that serve them. The team is led by 27-year industry veteran Walt Rose, Husqvarna’s business development manager — commercial lawn & garden and tree care.

“With these new or enhanced products and the addition of our Professional Development Team, Husqvarna continues its ongoing commitment to serving the needs and preferences of the professional customer,” said Jeff Dewosky, vice president and general manager, Husqvarna Dealer Division. “We are particularly proud of extending our environmental focus with the fuel-efficient EFI engines now available on select professional zero-turn mowers.”

Husqvarna displayed the following new professional products at GIE+EXPO:

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Briggs & Stratton Vanguard 810-cc EFI engine
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Kohler Command PRO EFI 824-cc engine

* New engines for professional zero-turn mowers: The introduction of two new fuel-injected engines — Vanguard 810-cc EFI and Kohler 824-cc Command Pro EFI — on select models of Husqvarna PZ and P-ZT professional zero-turn mowers gives users options that can reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent or more, while substantially improving performance and reliability. The Vanguard 810-cc EFI is a closed-loop system that constantly adjusts the fuel mixture to optimize power, improve throttle response, and conserve fuel. It is available on the P-ZT 60 model. The Kohler 824-cc Command Pro EFI has a revolutionary manifold design, closed-loop fuel injection and a unique dual spark plug configuration for superior performance, torque and fuel economy. It is available on the PZ 54, PZ 60 and PZ 72 models.

* New professional handheld products (500 Series): Husqvarna is rounding out its premium handheld product line by adding two new brushcutters, two new trimmers, and a new extended hedge trimmer to its family of 25-cc 500 series high-performance equipment designed for the professional landscaper. Each has been rigorously field tested in the U.S. and international markets for two years under extreme conditions for quality assurance prior to launch.

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* 525L and 525LDX professional trimmers: These additions to Husqvarna’s professional trimmer lineup offer the durability that a professional expects. Features like magnesium crankcases and drop guards keep these machines running in the toughest of conditions. Each of the new 500 series is equipped with Husqvarna’s X-Torq engine technology, which is designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, as well as improve overall performance. Professionals will also notice increased productivity due to enhanced ergonomic features like heat shields and the LowVib floating throttle handle, which is designed to absorb vibrations. The 525L is intended for the professional landscaper who wants high performance at an economical price. The 525LDX has the same high-performance features, but with the ability to use multiple attachments for diverse applications. Everything from edging, hedge trimming, leaf blowing, dethatching and more can be accomplished.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 525L is $299.95, and the MSRP for the 525LDX is $399.95. Each is available in January 2015.

* 525RX and 525RJX professional brushcutters: The durability, performance and adaptability features that are part of the powerful 500 series brushcutter range make short work of tall brush. For instance, the 525RX comes with an ergonomically designed harness and adjustable bicycle-style handle, providing a pleasant grip and comfortable working position. The 525RJX comes with a loop handle and blade kit, for easy conversion from trimming to clearing.

Plus, each of the new 500 series brushcutters is equipped with a powerful X-Torq engine, which is designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions; features a grass bevel gear for parallel cutting; and comes with a Tap N Go trimmer head in addition to the included blade.

The MSRP for the 525RX is $399.95, and the MSRP for the 525RJX is $429.95. Each is available in January 2015.

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* 525HF3S extended hedge trimmer: The 525HF3S has two new features designed to make it exceptionally durable, productive and long lasting. It has the heaviest-duty gearbox of any Husqvarna hedge trimmer, and its fixed blade system, in the center of the shaft, is easier to control when sculpturing.

The MSRP for the 525HF3S is $439.95. It will be available in January 2015.

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* New professional walk-behind mowers: The two additions to Husqvarna’s line of professional walk-behind mowers are the W436, which has a 36-inch fixed, fabricated deck; and the W448, which has a 48-inch fixed, fabricated deck. Each comes with the following efficiency or safety features: Peerless 5-speed transmission, premium Vanguard engine, assisted reverse, electric clutch, and rubber M-ZT discharge shield.

The MSRP for the W436 is $3,799.95, and the MSRP for the W448 is $3,999.95. Each will be available in January 2015.

Husqvarna also added depth to its already-extensive line of residential lawn and garden products by launching new zero-turn mowers (Z200 series), two high-wheel all-wheel drive (AWD) mowers (HU725AWDH and the HU800AWDH), a log splitter (S427), and high-quality accessories. The company unveiled several battery-operated products (powered by its high-capacity Li-Ion 36-volt battery), including a hedge trimmer (536LiHD60X); three high-performance trimmers (curved 136LiL, straight loop 536LiL and straight bullhorn 536LiR); and three chain saws (436Li, 536LiXP and T536LiXP). Husqvarna also showcased its new line of snow throwers (see November 2014 OPE, page 32).

To learn more, visit www.husqvarna.com.


Hustler Turf celebrates
50th anniversary
with new technology

As Hustler Turf Equipment celebrates 50 years since introducing the world’s first zero-turn mower, the Hesston, Kan.-based company announced another ground-breaking technological achievement — the Hustler Raptor Flip-Up.

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The Hustler Raptor Flip-Up features a patent-pending push-button deck lift for easy cleaning and maintenance. In only 22 seconds and without removing the deck belt, the deck raises. This technology is a first in the industry and was received with high praise and excitement when introduced to dealers in September at Hustler Days in Orlando. The Flip-Up’s other features include a Kawasaki FR premium engine, heavy-duty fabricated steel deck, Hustler’s patented automatic brake system, and push-button deck height adjustment, and a three-year/300-hour limited warranty.

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Hustler FasTrak
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Hustler FasTrak SD

The Hustler FasTrak and FasTrak SD have been redesigned with a large fabricated front-end, new 1-1/2-inch by 3-inch tubular frame and new 10-gauge fabricated deck that is more than five inches deep. The FasTrak and FastTrak SD also feature a new custom bolstered seat with internal suspension and 22-inch rear tires, and continue to come equipped with great components such as Kawasaki FR premium engines and Hydro-Gear transmissions.

“The FasTrak and FasTrak SD have been at the top of their class for more than 10 years and have been redesigned from the ground up to provide even more value and performance than ever before,” said Adam Mullet, vice president of sales and marketing.

Mullet continued, “The overwhelming excitement is about the Raptor Flip-Up. It finally gives the dealers a good answer to the question, ‘How do you get to the blades?” Simply amazing!”

To find out more information, visit www.hustlerturf.com.

 

Ideal Computer unveils
new service and parts
features in mobile app

Ideal Computer Systems, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based provider of business management software for outdoor power equipment dealers, unveiled new service and parts features that have been added to its mobile app at GIE+EXPO.

The app, which runs on most Apple and Android mobile devices, serves to help dealers check-in a unit for service, collect customer signatures, e-mail work orders, take pictures that can be attached to a work order, and conduct inventory counts.

“We are thrilled with Ideal’s new mobile app,” said Ideal user Andy Tallman of Philbrick Farm and Garden Equipment in Vineland, Ont. “By having the ability to handle important store operations directly from a mobile device, we’re able to save time and get more done without having to go back to the computer all of the time. My employees love the fact they can provide customers service right on the spot with their phone, and love how easy it is to relay that information back into the Ideal system. We couldn’t be happier with its capabilities, and we look forward to its future developments.”

The new service capabilities provide dealers with faster and better customer service by allowing them to take important information on work orders straight from their mobile device and keep more detailed records for warranty purposes. In addition, they can streamline the inventory counting process and expedite their parts receiving process.

 

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Michelin X Tweel Turf in use

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John Deere Z997R Diesel ZTrak commercial zero-turn mower

John Deere unveils
Z900 Series ZTrak with
Michelin X Tweel Turf

John Deere and Michelin Tweel Technologies announced the new Michelin X Tweel Turf for commercial ZTrak mowers during GIE+EXPO. The new Michelin X Tweel Turf is an airless radial tire sold exclusively for John Deere ZTrak 900 Series models with 54-, 60- and 72-inch deck sizes. Unlike traditional pneumatic tires, the Michelin X Tweel Turf virtually eliminates tire downtime and is nearly maintenance free.

Landscape professionals can experience greater performance, increased uptime and a lower cost of ownership with the Michelin X Tweel Turf. It offers uniform cut quality, enhanced operator comfort, and increased productivity. Because the Michelin X Tweel Turf is an airless radial tire, it minimizes the cost and time spent on repairs and maintenance.

The Michelin X Tweel Turf has the same dimensions and bolt pattern as a standard 24x12x12 tire, and features automotive rubber technology, allowing the tread to last up to three times longer than standard turf tires.

“John Deere has consistently offered revolutionary technology to the professional landscape contractor, such as Mulch On Demand, the first mowers with an integrated transmission, E85 Flex Fuel capability, and now — in partnership with Michelin — the Michelin X Tweel Turf,” said Nick Minas, product manager, John Deere Commercial Mowing. “Since the Michelin X Tweel Turf is nearly maintenance free, these could very well be the last rear tires contractors will ever need for their zero-turn mowers.”

The first commercial Michelin X Tweel airless radial was introduced in October 2012 for use on skid-steer loaders. In 2013, the Michelin X Tweel SSL was selected as one of the Contractors’ Top 50 New Products by readers of Equipment Today. In January 2014, Equipment World named the Michelin X Tweel SSL one of the “five game-changing” construction products of 2013 for its 2014 Innovations Awards.

“The Michelin X Tweel Turf is the no-maintenance, no-downtime, no-compromise solution — bolt it on and forget it,” said Jack Olney, commercial director for Michelin Tweel Technologies. “The Tweel airless radial innovation, coupled with John Deere’s tradition of providing superior quality mowers, sets a new standard for the landscape industry.”

To learn more, visit JohnDeere.com/Tweel and calculate your potential cost savings of the X Tweel Turf over pneumatic tires.

In addition, John Deere unveiled the new Z997R Diesel ZTrak commercial zero-turn mower. The Z997R features a powerful 37.4-hp. Final Tier 4 diesel engine, providing a workhorse solution for customers needing a large zero-turn mower in all conditions, including tall and wet grass. The Z997R is available with a 60-inch or 72-inch 7-Iron PRO side-discharge deck, an industry-exclusive 60-inch 7-Iron PRO Mulch On Demand deck, or a 60-inch 7-gauge fabricated rear-discharge deck.

For additional information, go to www.deere.com.

 

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Kawasaki debuts EFI engine

The Engine Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., introduced the first in what will be a broad array of electronic fuel injection (EFI) engines at GIE+EXPO. This latest Kawasaki powerplant, the FS730V, harnesses the advanced aspects of EFI technology now available in a package intended to be a leader in the turf industry.

The company’s stringent horsepower certification process, which makes it the industry’s only engine distributor to certify engine power with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), lists the FS730V at 25.5 horsepower. And more important, the consistency of power throughout the usage curve makes the engine an ideal workhorse for almost any cutting chore.

Kawasaki’s engineering field tests generated data showing virtually no engine speed loss or reduction in blade tip speed across the entire load range. The unit’s integrated load-sensing speed command, sequential-firing injectors, advanced ECU and instant throttle response combine to let the user quickly move through cutting jobs that would easily slow some engines.

Wet grass, inclines, and many other impediments to speed completion of a mowing chore present little or no obstacle to the performance and reliability of Kawasaki’s new FS730V. The engine’s ability to automatically match power to load — seamlessly fine-tuning fuel use — delivers maximum productivity without a need for premium fuel.

The FS730V continues to employ proven Kawasaki features such as the company’s well-known v-valve technology and hemispherical heads and pistons for maximum power and performance efficiency. Its ECU-controlled automatic cold-start enrichment process eliminates choke; the head temperature monitoring helps prevent over-heating; and the ECU-controlled ignition coil timing process both retards spark for easing start-up and advances spark for maximum power at full throttle. Matched to this new EFI technology, these Kawasaki features round out qualities of an engine that will demand attention from anyone serious about getting the most efficient use from a mower.

To learn more, visit www.kawasakienginesusa.com.

 

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Kohler, seven OEMs showcase
Command PRO EFI 824-cc engine

Kohler Engines developed its latest product advancement — the Command PRO EFI 824 cc — in direct response to the growing trend toward larger mowing decks and faster speeds for commercial ZTR mowers. As a result, equipment manufacturers in the green industry have responded strongly to the new engine. Numerous OEMs have already committed to the technology and displayed the new Kohler engine in their 2015 mowers during GIE+EXPO, including Bad Boy, Cub Cadet, Dixie Chopper, Gravely, Husqvarna, Scag and Wright.

“By staying focused on the evolving needs of the industry, it appears that we’ve really struck a chord among OEMs and end users alike with our new Kohler 824-cc engine,” said Mark Johansen, director of marketing for Kohler Engines. “It was certainly rewarding to see our newest engine in so many commercial mowers while walking the show in Louisville. We’re grateful for the ongoing support of our OEM customers, and we look forward to continuing to work in close collaboration to meet the needs of lawn and landscape professionals in 2015 and beyond.”

Launched just prior to this year’s GIE+EXPO, the Kohler Command PRO EFI 824-cc engine is available in four models (ECV850, ECV860, ECV870 and ECV880), which offer between 27 and 33 horsepower, as well as best-in-class peak torque. In addition, the new engines deliver industry-leading fuel efficiency that will allow commercial users to save at least $600 per engine in fuel costs over similar-sized carbureted engines, based on typical commercial cutter usage.

For additional information about the new Kohler Command PRO EFI 824-cc, visit KOHLEREngines.com. 

 

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Kubota Z122R
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Kubota Z700X

Kubota expands residential,
commercial zero-turn mower lines

Kubota Tractor Corporation announced the expansion of its Kommander Z100-Series residential zero-turn mower line with the addition of the Z122R, and the company introduced three new models to its Z700-Series commercial zero-turn mower line: the Z724X-48, Z724X-54 and Z726X-60.

The Kommander Z122R residential zero-turn mower is equipped with a powerful Kawasaki FR engine and a more compact 42-inch mower deck. The Z122R makes its debut into the consumer market with a promotional price of $3,899 that is coupled with legendary Kubota quality, comfort and performance. The 42-inch deck allows the operator to maneuver through smaller spaces smoothly for improved efficiency and a superior quality cut. The Z122R provides ultra-smooth steering, superior ergonomics and a best-in-class, one-piece tubular steel frame for enhanced safety and stability.

“With Kubota’s new Kommander Z122R mower, homeowners do not have to choose between high-quality performance and affordability,” said Christine Chapman, Kubota turf product manager. “These new mowers are quality engineered to provide excellent maneuverability, high efficiency and a superior cut in one well-styled and comfortable package — all available for under $4,000.”

The new Z700-Series models — the Z724X-48, Z724X-54 and Z726X-60 with 48-, 54- and 60-inch decks, respectively — are powered by Kawasaki’s industry-proven FX engines and engineered to ensure superior results. With dual Parker Torqpact GT 14 transmissions, the Z700X-Series puts exceptional torque and power on the ground where it is needed. Each model features a durable 7-gauge-steel deck with a 6-inch cutting depth, providing outstanding stability with an efficient, high-quality cut. The Z700X-Series offers unmatched ergonomics with a wide operator station, a thick high-back adjustable seat and a convenient deck-height adjustment dial.

“The new Z700X models retain the superior performance and commercial-grade Kubota engineering of our current Z700-Series line, but now offer customers the option of a Kawasaki FX engine,” said Rajesh Joshi, Kubota product marketing director, turf equipment and utility vehicles. “With our focus on product innovations to meet customer and dealer needs, the Z700X is our response to numerous requests to offer a Kawasaki engine option within the Kubota commercial zero-turn lineup.”

For further information, visit www.kubota.com.

 

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Masport showcases new
walk-behind trim mower

Masport unveiled the Masport “Utility” side-discharge walk-behind push mower at GIE+EXPO. This mower is available in 2 widths of cut: 21 and 18 inches. Using heavy 14-gauge steel on the 21-inch machine and 16-gauge steel on the 18-inch machine, Masport has achieved a strong, sturdy design suitable for use as a trim mower or a small-yard walk-behind push mower. Powered by Briggs & Stratton’s series 675EX and 450E engines and featuring ball bearing wheels for ease of pushing, these two mowers are welcome additions to Masport’s quality walk-behind lineup. For more information, visit www.masport.com.

 

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PERC debuts web, mobile apps
to estimate savings with propane

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) released a suite of cost calculator tools for customers in three of the industry’s fastest-growing markets: agriculture, commercial landscape, and on-road fleets. The calculators estimate potential fuel savings and return on investment (ROI) with clean, American-made propane when compared with conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel.

“One of the main reasons fleets, agribusiness operators or commercial landscapers consider making a switch to an alternative fuel like propane is simple: They want to improve their bottom line,” said Tucker Perkins, PERC’s chief business development officer. “With these new applications, equipment dealers, propane providers, and customers can easily calculate fuel costs with propane specific to their market and operations. And with the online and mobile tools, they can share results on the spot via e-mail.”

The PERC cost calculator series currently includes the Propane Irrigation Engine Calculator, Propane Mower Calculator, and Propane Autogas Calculator, which are conveniently available in multiple different platforms.

* The Web tools can be operated with Internet access online at propanecostcalculator.com.

* The calculators can be downloaded as a desktop tool for users to complete without any Internet or mobile access.

* Downloadable worksheets can be printed and filled in by hand for users without computer access.

* Mobile applications are available for phones and tablets in app stores for Apple and Android devices.

* Results from the applications can also easily be shared by e-mail.

To learn more about propane and propane-powered technologies, or to access PERC’s cost calculators, visit propanecostcalculator.com.

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Stens kicks off 45th anniversary
with declaration and dedication

In honor of the customers who have contributed to its success over the past 45 years, Stens announced that 2015 will not only be the Stens “Year of the Customer,” but it also dedicated its 2015 catalog to its customers.

The Stens 2015 catalog features many pictures, comments and testimonials from the company’s customers, as well as pictures of Stens employees — all of whom have helped Stens reach this milestone. The catalog also contains several additions to Stens product lineup, including expanded offerings of cylinders and spindles, new True Blue fuel line, new maintenance kits, expanded industrial/rental parts, additional mower blades, new belts for unique and hard-to-find sizes, new Stens Cart & Course-branded golf cart accessories, and much more.

For more information or to request a catalog, call the Stens customer service team at
(800) 457-7444 or visit www.stens.com.

 

Stihl Inc. celebrates 40th anniversary
with eye toward the future

In early October, Stihl Inc. celebrated its 40th anniversary of manufacturing in the United States with an Oktoberfest event held in conjunction with its national sales meeting at its headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va.

The company continued that celebration with its dealers on Dealer Day at GIE+EXPO with an Oktoberfest-themed booth featuring a German band, plenty of beer and brats, and a $5,000 giveaway, while announcing that it was looking at another record year in 2014 and unveiling several new products and technology for 2015.

“Any celebration of Stihl’s success is a celebration of the servicing dealer,” said Nick Jiannas, vice president of sales and marketing for Stihl Inc. “On behalf of all Stihl employees around the world, I want to thank you, Stihl servicing dealers, for your continued support of Stihl products and programs and for helping us become (the) number one (selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment) in America.”

Tanya Kistner, owner of Eau Claire Lawn Equipment, Eau Claire, Wis., was the lucky winner of the $5,000 giveaway. The new product and technology introductions included the following:

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* Stihl TSA 230 Cutquik: Stihl introduced the world’s first lithium-ion powered cut-off machine, the TSA 230 Cutquik. The new battery-powered TSA 230 Stihl Cutquik cut-off machine starts with ease and changes the game for the jobsite, delivering maneuverability and solid cutting performance in a lightweight, compact package. With zero exhaust emissions, the TSA 230 enables indoor cutting in enclosed spaces and other jobsites where users are not permitted to use traditional gasoline-powered cut-off machines. Wet cutting is made easier with onboard water connection and control which suppresses dust. Dry cutting in dust-sensitive areas is aided by an available depth guide with vacuum adapter.

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* Stihl HTA 85 lithium-ion pole pruner:
Stihl also introduced its first lithium-ion powered pole pruner, the HTA 85. Telescoping to 12 feet to make easy work of tree-trimming tasks, the HTA 85 runs on the same advanced interchangeable 36-volt rechargeable battery system as other Stihl lithium-ion tools. With no engine or filter to maintain and no fuel or engine oil needed, this pole pruner helps save time and money. At only 10 pounds, 8 ounces (without battery), the HTA 85 pole pruner offers lightweight, balanced cutting, thanks to its low-maintenance, brushless, commercial-grade, high-torque electric motor, and this extended-reach tool’s low vibration makes operation more comfortable than gasoline-powered units. The automatic chain-oiling feature lubricates the guide bar and saw chain. The HTA 85 starts with the engagement of a trigger and the variable-speed trigger switch allows for precise cutting by controlling the chain speed.

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* Stihl HLA 85 lithium-ion hedge trimmer:
Stihl unveiled its first lithium-ion powered adjustable telescopic hedge trimmer, the HLA 85. This extended-reach hedge trimmer — equipped with an adjustable telescopic shaft (up to 10.5 feet) — makes easy work of cutting high bushes and hard-to-reach places near the ground. A durable 20-inch Stihl blade, ground on both sides, gives professional performance and the ability to cut precisely. The battery-powered trimmer produces low noise and low vibrations, making for a quieter work environment and offering comfortable operation. The brushless, commercial-grade, high-torque electric motor provides the power needed for tough cutting jobs and requires minimal maintenance. A run time of up to 11 hours at full power (with the AR 900 backpack battery) minimizes downtime on the job and the optional Rapid Charger enhances its fast re-charge rate. At 12.6 pounds, the cordless hedge trimmer is lightweight in comparison to gasoline-powered models, making it easy to handle. The compact design allows portability and provides outstanding control and maneuverability when making cuts. The gearbox can also be folded completely back for easy storage. Another versatile tool in the Stihl Battery KombiSystem line, this new hedge trimmer runs on the same advanced interchangeable 36-volt rechargeable battery system as other Stihl lithium-ion tools.
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* Stihl Concept Chain Saw: Stihl constantly tests new technologies and presented the remarkable results of the feasibility study for a chain saw – the Stihl Concept Chain Saw. The Stihl Concept Chain Saw demonstrates its impressive acceleration and excellent dynamics in actual sawing operation. The Stihl Concept Chain Saw will not go into volume production, but the knowledge gained during its development and testing will go into optimizing future Stihl products. The Stihl Concept Chain Saw features components that utilize materials such as carbon fiber, titanium and refined die-cast magnesium. The result is significant weight reduction without compromising durability. The Stihl Concept Chain Saw also utilizes fuel-injection technology. The result? Easier starting, quick acceleration and constant power delivery in a variety of working conditions. The Stihl Concept Chain Saw has the power of the MS 661 C-M with similar weight as the MS 362 C-M, resulting in a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio.

For more information, visit stihlusa.com.

 

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Toro Recycler with SmartStow

Toro Company continues
centennial celebration

On July 10, 2014, Toro Company celebrated a rare business milestone — achieving 100 years in business. According to Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer, Toro attributes its remarkable longevity to “the character of our people and channel partners, and their relentless commitment to serving our customers and building market leadership through innovation.”

Toro continued its year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary at GIE+EXPO by showcasing a number of new product innovations. Notable innovations being featured included the popular Toro Recycler with SmartStow. The mower is designed to be stored vertically, minimizing the unit’s footprint and providing easy access to perform routine maintenance.

Toro also unveiled the new Recycler 22-inch All-Wheel Drive (AWD) model. This rugged mower is engineered for optimal performance on steep hills while delivering a high level of operator control. The mower is equipped with Personal Pace automatic drive and traction assist to keep operators safe in particularly challenging terrain.

In addition, Toro introduced the brand-new TimeCutter SW zero-turn tractor. These new models combine the maneuverability and timesavings of a zero-turn mower with the familiar ease of a steering wheel and speed control pedal, much like a car or tractor. All TimeCutter models come standard with a hitch to pull yard-care attachments.

For more information about Toro and its latest innovations, visit www.toro.com.


Walker shares study results

For two years, Walker Manufacturing has conducted a comprehensive study of competitive zero-turn (ZTR) mowers compared to Walker Mowers to find the most productive mower in the industry. The simple question was: “What is the most productive mower in the real world of mowing?”

Walker did this by using property studies to compare different ZTR types on different landscapes and how the various Walker models competed. The study was done by mowing four different properties for 16 weeks each year (32 total weeks) with different brands of mowers that are competitive with Walker models to and were separated by category as: 48-inch deck width, 60-inch deck width, 48- to 54-inch grass handling, and 30- to 36-inch compacts.

On average, the study found the Walker Mower to be 20- to 25-percent more productive than competitive mowers.

“We were surprised by the results,” said Walker President Bob Walker. “We knew we had a productive machine, but seeing the Walker consistently outperforming competitive mowers by 20 to 25 percent was eye opening to us.”

Contrary to popular thinking, the study found that the highest ground speed does not mean productivity. Actually, winning the race of overall job time is done by a variety of other factors coming together to get into places where other mowers can’t and being more efficient in steering and maneuverability.

Tim Cromley, marketing manager at Walker, explained the thinking behind the study: “A number of ZTR manufacturers have “productivity calculators” on their websites, but they only account for driving speed — they are just a measurement of covering ground at a certain speed, and they don’t really account for variables on the lawn or with the performance of the tractor. Lawns have obstacles, tight places, hills and various other challenges for mowers. The Walker Productivity Calculator is based on real data collected in real places on a variety of machines. There has never been a more comprehensive study done in the OPE industry on productivity, and business owners who are serious about cutting their labor costs (which is about 55 percent of operating costs) need to take a close look at what the Walker can do for their company.”

In addition to showing customers the data, Walker has been demonstrating the results for salespeople at their out front Advantage (OFA) Sales Training for the last two summers. More than 250 salespeople have attended OFA Sales Training and learned why the Walker is the most productive mower on the market and how to demonstrate this for customers.

For more information, visit thewalkeradvantage.com.

 

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WORX debuts Power Share program with launch of multi-featured 56-volt MaxLithium trimmer

WORX, a Charlotte, N.C.-based manufacturer of green outdoor power equipment, introduced its new 56V Power Share program. Anchoring the high-voltage program is the WORX 56V MaxLithium trimmer that not only performs like a gas trimmer, but is up to 20-percent lighter than most gas models.

The new WORX 56V Power Share program includes the trimmer, two lawn mowers, a hedge trimmer and blower. Each yard tool in the Power Share program shares the 56V MaxLithium battery pack.

“Battery technologies have made great strides, and we are continually improving our technologies which can be found in our new 56V Max Lithium platform,” said Brandon Martin, product manager for WORX. “We’re not just slapping batteries onto products. The 56V Power Share platform features innovation and performance to tackle even the most high-maintenance yards.”

The most usage of trimmer line occurs during edging. When the line makes contact with a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt, it can shred and deplete the line. WORX developed a new line-feed method, called Command Feed, which can advance trimmer line instantly. No more bumping or waiting for line to advance before cutting. With Command Feed, the user electronically controls when to feed more line by pressing, then releasing, a push button above the trigger. This feature not only conserves line, but also eliminates downtime when edging and waiting for additional line to advance.

Plus, this trimmer uses a thicker professional line (.080-inch diameter) that is more durable than conventional line. WORX incorporates a quick-change, easy-to-load, pre-wound spool accessory, so there’s no fumbling with line changes.

The company also designed a new method to switch from trimming to edging. When the large push button, located high on the shaft, is pressed, it releases the power head assembly so it can rotate into place for in-line wheeled edging. This new twist-and-edge feature operates smoothly for a seamless transition between functions.

In edging mode, two wheels help guide the trimmer along the edge for professional-looking results. When not in use, the wheels can be stored on the trimmer’s shaft or removed entirely. The 56-volt trimmer weighs only 8.8 pounds and has a cutting swath of 13 inches.

The trimmer also features the WORX exclusive pivoting head, which allows the shaft to pivot from 0 to 90 degrees. This enables the user to reach under decks, dense bushes and trees, as well as hard-to-reach areas and other obstacles. The trimmer’s cutting angle is adjustable to match the terrain for trimming berms and drainage ditches without scalping the turf.

The lightweight, ergonomically designed trimmer is balanced to minimize operator fatigue. Its adjustable, D-shaped handle is designed for maximum comfort and control and can be adjusted to fit the operator. The trimmer reaches a full charge in 90 minutes.

The WORX 56V trimmer (WG191, $199.99) includes one 56V MaxLithium battery pack, 90-minute charger, edging support wheels, plus two spools of line. The trimmer is covered by the WORX three-year warranty. It’s expected to be available in March 2014 at www.worx.com and other retailers.

Other outdoor products in the WORX 56V Power Share program and their availabilities include:

* 56V MaxLithium 19-inch lawn mower (WG771, $499.99, March 2015)

* 56V MaxLithium 19-inch lawn mower (WG772, $399.99, March 2015)

* 56V MaxLithium 24-inch hedge trimmer (WG291, $199.99, March 2015)

* 56V MaxLithium blower (WG591, $199.99, August 2015)

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