The Grasshopper Company, manufacturer of zero-turn mowers and year-round grounds maintenance equipment, earned the 2016 Dealer’s Choice Award for the Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) manufacturer category for use in commercial and residential applications for turf, lawn or grounds maintenance, announced the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA). This is the second consecutive year that Grasshopper has won this top award as selected by dealers throughout North America.
The awards are presented annually to manufacturers that receive exemplary ratings in EDA’s Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey of 12 key categories of dealership operations and support. Grasshopper led all OPE manufacturers in all 12 categories, including overall satisfaction, product quality, parts quality, technical support and communication with management.
“We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to recognize Grasshopper with the Dealer’s Choice Award for the second year in a row,” said Rick Lawhun, EDA president and CEO. “It is a testament to their dedication in providing top-quality products, parts and service, and we greatly appreciate their support of the dealer network. Congratulations to the team and employees on achieving this recognition.”
Survey respondents indicated Product Quality was the most important category when ranking manufacturers. Grasshopper’s manufacturing methods such as robotic welding, robotic metal forming and powder-coated painting; plus product introductions like the fold-up mower deck and swing-out steering levers are examples of industry-changing innovations Grasshopper has introduced for decades. “Dealers build their businesses around products on which they can stake their reputations,” said Grasshopper President Stan Guyer. “This second Dealer’s Choice Award is validation we’re getting it right based on their expectations.”
In comments included with the survey, one dealer noted, “Grasshopper is the best company to do business with. They listen to the dealer and work closely with us. They allow good profit margins, and the quality of their product is top-notch.”
Grasshopper chooses to invest in the independent dealer network through such principles as fresh inventory and providing product support through a knowledgeable team. “We have the flexibility as a family-owned company to place quality and relationships ahead of numbers,” said Guyer. “Continuous improvement throughout, whether it’s design to manufacturing to final assembly or delivering parts, has led to a level unmatched in the industry,” said Guyer. “A company priority is for each customer to happily reflect on their purchase at one, five or 20 years and know they made the right choice.”
Grasshopper products are sold in all 50 states and in 40 international markets through more than 1,000 independent dealers. A complete range of Grasshopper snow removal and grounds maintenance products are available in addition to commercial-grade, zero-turn radius, front- and mid-mount mowers. The company began full-scale production in 1969 and introduced the industry-adopted swing-out levers shortly after. Other firsts include the first diesel-powered zero-turn-radius mower in 1983 and the T-Drive commercial-grade hydrostatic transmission system co-patented with Parker Hannifin in 2008. The company’s world-famous logo first appeared in 1965 during the product’s early development.