Equipment Trends 2016: New Products

Outdoor Power Equipment magazine’s sister publication Landscape and Irrigation recently asked a wide range of equipment manufacturers and other industry experts to share their insights regarding the equipment market, and how the trends they are seeing will impact potential equipment-purchasing decisions (

The respondents also shared the following information on their new equipment offerings for 2016, as well as new products/upgrades that are coming soon.


We have a new Ranger EV Li-Ion. The Ranger EV Li-Ion Polaris Pursuit Camo offers more than three times the total battery lifespan of traditional acid batteries and more than twice the range on one charge (up to 50 miles) to ensure the vehicle spends more time in use. Due to having fewer, lighter-weight Lithium-Ion batteries, the vehicle is 462 pounds lighter, and accelerates faster than Polaris’ lead-acid battery option. To complement the Lithium-Ion battery technology, the pure electric Ranger EV Li-Ion Polaris Pursuit Camo features a refined electrical architecture and a single 48-volt, high-efficiency, AC-induction motor. The driver can select from three modes of operation: High for everyday use, Low for hard work and Max Range for greatest distance.

— Donna Beadle, senior external relations specialist, Polaris Off-Road Vehicles


The Vermeer S725TX mini skid-steer can accommodate a wide range of attachments, enabling landscape contractors to handle an array of projects, from irrigation systems and hardscape projects to tree care removal and fiber-optic installations — making the S725TX one of the most versatile machines a landscape business can have.

The S725TX has a 750-pound SAE-rated operating capacity with a 2,145-pound tipping capacity. A 24.8-horsepower Kubota Tier 4 Final engine features four cylinders, producing more torque than models with three-cylinder engines for improved productivity in tough ground conditions.

Its compact size and choice of track width makes the S725TX ideal for landscape professionals and do-it-yourself homeowners who need the ability to maneuver through gates and other tight spaces. The S725TX is available with either the standard 9-inch track or the narrower 7-inch track option.

— Matt Hutchinson, product manager, tree care/rental & landscape at Vermeer

Ditch Witch

The Ditch Witch factory released its SK850 Plus at The Rental Show in February. This mini skid-steer is powered by a 37-horsepower Yanmar diesel engine, and has a 1,062-pound operating capacity, providing more power and capacity than previous models to help rental companies and landscape operators conquer a variety of projects. At the Ditch Witch factory, we listen to customers and rental partners to continually update and adopt our models to meet the needs of the evolving market.

— Andrew Schuermann, Ditch Witch product manager, compact equipment


New for 2016 season, Hustler introduced the Super S, a stand-on commercial mower with 36-, 48-, 52-, and 60-inch decks with Kawasaki engines as well as Kohler EFI.

The Raptor Limited was also introduced. The Limited is a feature-enhanced version of our popular Raptor 52-inch entry-level zero turn mower. For a few more dollars, the Raptor Limited offers wider tires front and rear, high-back deluxe seat with a thicker cushion, rear bumper, and hour meter.

The full commercial Hustler Super Z models are now offered with Kohler EFI engine options.

The Hustler Hyperdrive Super Z, our premium performance commercial mower, also introduced a 5 + 5 industry-leading warranty. This is an industry first as well as industry best. All Hyperdrive Hustler mowers now carry a 5-year engine warranty (with no hour restriction) and a 5-year/3,000 hour transmission warranty. The Hyperdrive Super Z now comes exclusively with Vanguard Big block engines offering 36-hp. and EFI 37-hp. and carries the Hustler-exclusive 5-year engine warranty. The Hustler Super 104 wide area mower also is using the Vanguard Big Block engine options and will also carry the Hustler-exclusive 5-year engine warranty.

— Frank Nuss, marketing and product specialist, national accounts, Excel Industries Inc. (Hustler)

Briggs & Stratton

We’ll continue to innovate in the area of enhancing productivity. In the past two years, we’ve been able to deliver a complete line of Vanguard EFI engines with an automotive-style closed loop EFI system that delivers up to 25 percent fuel savings over our comparable carbureted engines, in addition to providing better starting, load governance, and stale fuel resistance.

I feel like the next wave of innovation will center around extended maintenance intervals and reduced downtime. We already have an extensive network of support that includes everything from on-engine service information to a dealer network dedicated to servicing commercial cutters, and some of the best service education in the industry, all of which contributes to reducing downtime. We’ve got some really innovative productivity-based products and features in queue that we think will really make a difference for commercial cutters.

— Jim Cross, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power


For 2016, Rayco is introducing the new RM27 Multi-Tool Carrier to the landscape and rental markets. The RM27 is a track-based tool carrier, capable of powering a variety of work tools and attachments. Equipped with a 26.5-hp. Kohler fuel-injected gasoline engine and a powerful hydraulic system for powering work tools, the RM27 is a highly effective and lower-cost alternative to mini skid-steers. Rayco offers a variety of attachments, including a stump cutter, brush mower, tiller, trencher, power broom, and more.

— J.R. Bowling, vice president, Rayco Mfg. Inc.

Cub Cadet

Cub Cadet has taken the direct feedback and requests from hundreds of landscape contractors to design and qualify every component on the PRO Z 100 series. Cub Cadet has given the small-to-medium landscape contractor a better understanding that industry-leading features like durability, comfort and performance don’t always come along with an outrageous price tag. With the options of lap bar or steering wheel control, a contractor can equip his mowing crews with the right mowing machine for all types of jobs, whether it’s challenging slopes and hillsides, or bagging grass on a ribbon-smooth lawn.

— Allen Baird, product marketing manager (professional products)


New developments in the Terex compact equipment line, which includes excavators, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders, skid-steer loaders and compact track loaders, include four ‘rental-ready’ excavator models, an owner/operator excavator model and two Gen2 compact track loaders:

Terex’s four ‘rental-ready’ models TC16-2, TC22-2, TC35-2 and TC35R-2 compact excavators incorporate the Schaeff heritage, conventional design, Knickmatik cylinder and top-mounted cylinder. New exterior design, operator-focused workstation and modern excavator controls are also highlights of these new excavators. The results are in these machines’ digging performance, workstation features and productive operation.

The new Terex TC85 compact crawler excavator is built for demanding excavation jobs and space-restrictive trenching work, featuring the perfect combination of a short radius tail-swing and a Knickmatik boom offset that allows operators to dig alongside the machine’s own tracks. This new model’s deep digging capability makes it an ideal machine for landscaping, general construction, water and sewer, electric and utility, as well as municipal applications.

Featuring a 120-hp, turbocharged Tier 4 final Cummins QSF3.8 diesel engine, the new Terex Generation 2 (GEN2) R350T and R350T Forestry compact track loaders offer operators powerful productivity and quick cycle times. Boasting 360 foot-pounds of peak engine torque, high-flow auxiliary hydraulics, a high-capacity cooling system and a two-speed hydrostatic drive system that allows travel speeds up to 10 mph, these models are ideal for demanding site preparation, construction, infrastructure development and demolition applications, including brush cutting, mulching, cold planing and more.

— Gregg Warfel, division sales manager, compact, Terex Construction Americas

Honda Power Equipment

Honda Power Equipment is excited about our award-winning lineup of lawn and garden and industrial products for 2016. In October 2015, Honda entered the split shaft trimmer market with the introduction of the VersAttach multi-purpose split shaft trimmer system. The VersAttach system combines the power and reliability of legendary Honda 4-stroke engines with a robust lineup of tools to fit a wide range of lawn and garden needs. It can tackle just about any residential or commercial landscape need by offering two power heads and six attachments.

The VersAttach system offers two powerhead models, the UMC425, powered by a Honda GX25 mini 4-stroke engine, and the UMC435, powered by a GX35 mini 4-stroke engine. Each model can be paired with an optional interchangeable edger, line trimmer, blower, hedge trimmer, pruner and cultivator that fit quickly and securely into the attachment shaft by way of Honda’s SureLoc joint locking system, saving time and effort for the user.

— William Walton, assistant vice president of Honda Power Equipment Operations

Billy Goat

In 2016 Billy Goat continues to promote and educate customers on the benefits its recently introduced full line of reciprocating aerators. This new aeration technology features reciprocating cam-driven tines vs. tradition drum-style drum aerators that not only improves hole quantity and quality, but also allows for in-ground turning for unmatched operator maneuverability, operator ergonomics (no lifting) and improved productivity. The machines feature only a fraction of the tines found on traditional drum machines, which saves money and drives fast tine service. In addition, the hydro-drive machines can create variable hole patterns up to 10 times more dense than standard drum units, depending on speed, for better quantity, as well as quick patch and repair opportunities. Commercial customers are seeing significant productivity improvements and happier operators with this new technology — a game changer for commercial aeration.

— Pierre Pereira, director of sales, North America, Billy Goat Industries


New for 2016, select 100V mowers will be equipped with 61-inch cutting decks capable of mowing up to 4.5 acres per hour, making the V Series the perfect entry point for commercial contractors looking to step up from walk-behind or stand-on mowers. In addition, all 2016 100V Series models (including 48- and 52-inch decks) feature single-fill, 6.5-gallon fuel tanks located under the seat for a lower center of gravity, enhanced traction and longer mowing intervals between fill ups. For added convenience, the fuel gauge is located in a visible location in front of the operator seat. These compact power units are powered by professional-grade engines and feature fully hydraulic, “no gears” pump-and-wheel-motor drive systems for smooth operation, powerful performance, long-lasting durability and lower operating costs.

— Mike Simmon, communications specialist, The Grasshopper Company


For 2016, Altoz offered more engine packages from the 4 major brands — Honda, Kohler, Kawasaki, and Briggs & Stratton — than any other manufacturer. We know professional users have preferences, and we wanted to be able to provide the engine they want. 2017 will be an exciting year for Altoz with the introduction of new models in new segments targeted specifically to the commercial cutter.

— Karl Bjorkman, director of sales and marketing, Altoz

John Deere

New to John Deere’s line of commercial zero-turn mower offerings is the Z960M ZTrak mower. Launched in January, the Z960M provides professional landscape contractors with a powerful, reliable machine at an affordable price point. Boasting 31.0 horsepower, the Z960M is available in three deck offerings — 60 inch, 60 inch Mulch On Demand or 72 inch.

Additionally, the existing Z970R is now available with two additional deck options — 60-inch side discharge or 60-inch Mulch On Demand, offering more deck options on the most powerful machine in the Z900 Series lineup.

We also introduced two new Gator models, the XUV560 and XUV590i in both two-passenger and 4-passenger configurations. Both Gator offerings provide landscapers with a solution for tasks that require a vehicle, like moving materials, spraying or carrying items through difficult terrain. The four-passenger versions are a great way to transport crews to difficult-to-reach worksites. Additionally, more than 75 attachments are available that transform the utility vehicles, offering contractors an unparalleled balance of performance and work capability.

— Nick Minas, product manager, John Deere Commercial Mowing

Earthway Products, Inc.

The SideSpred-Control is a new innovation that eliminates the need to use a side deflector, which can adversely affect your application rate, to prevent material from being spread into flowerbeds, on sidewalks, or driveways. Instead of just hitting the deflector and falling straight down or trying to steer the material back into your path, the SideSpred-Control not only limits the area being covered but also the amount of material flowing to ensure proper spreading rates.

— Bob Petrungaro, director of sales – North America, Earthway Products, Inc.

Schiller Grounds Care

We’re always looking to innovate and improve on our products throughout all of our brands, which is why this is an especially exciting year for Schiller Grounds Care. We have all-new products hitting the market, like the Ryan Lawnaire ZTS stand-on aerator, and we’ve upgraded some of our core products as well. The new Lawnaire ZTS is a first from Ryan, but it has decades of expertise built into it. It brings productivity, quality, and efficiency to aeration projects from lawns to golf courses.

We’ve also added exclusive Zero-T drive tires to our commercial Bob-Cat mowers, enhanced our DuraDeck cutting systems, and added key features like a trim side deck guard, and a larger discharge chute for improved grass disbursement.

We are continually working to develop new attachments for Steiner tractors and make our tractors with the quality and versatility Steiner is founded upon.

We stand behind all our new products and updates in our continued effort to make the best equipment we can. Nothing is off limits or too “tried and true.” If we can make it better, we do.

And that’s not just a sentiment. On our entire line of Bob-Cat mowers, we stand behind them with a new industry-leading Mow With Confidence limited warranty on all our commercial mowers — 6 years or 2,750 hours on our larger zero-turn Predator-Pro and ProCat models, and 3 years or 2,500 hours on our walk-behind models.

— Ron Scheffler, product manager – Bob-Cat Mowers, and Anne Marie Sanicola, product manager – Ryan and Steiner


In 2016, Bobcat Company released two new loaders in its equipment lineup — the S595 skid-steer loader and T595 compact track loader — increasing the number of Bobcat compact loader models to more than 20. Both new machines are the largest and most powerful skid-steer and compact track loader in the Bobcat 500 loader frame-size class. The new loaders feature a 74-horsepower, non-DPF diesel engine and a 2,200-pound rated operating capacity to help increase loader performance and improve operator productivity in landscaping applications.

The S595 and T595 are 68 inches wide when paired with a standard Bobcat construction/industrial bucket. The machines’ narrow widths allow them to work in confined or tight spaces, move confidently within a congested worksite or travel between homes.

The S595 comes standard with 2-speed travel, while the feature is available as an option for the T595, helping landscaping professionals transport materials faster to work more efficiently. In addition, the T595 is designed with the new Bobcat compact track loader undercarriage for improved operator comfort and simplified maintenance.

Also available for the T595 in landscaping applications are non-marking turf tracks. Non-marking turf tracks minimize marks left on finished concrete as the loader is lifting and carrying landscape supplies from a street to a jobsite. The tracks also cause minimal ground disturbance to help reduce damage to established yards and repairs when a landscape project is finished.

— Christopher Girodat, marketing manager, Bobcat Company

Little Beaver

We’re always looking at ways that we can improve our drills to make our customers more profitable. A key component is having the infrastructure in place so we can continue to innovate. We recently completed an upgrade and expansion project to update our turning machines and software systems to replace outdated equipment used in the manufacturing process. This new equipment means we can produce new earth drills and trenchers 25 percent faster, getting customers the machines they need more quickly and leaving more time for innovation.

— Mike Hale, Little Beaver sales and marketing manager


For the professional space, we’re very excited about our professional battery series. Battery technology has gotten to the point where it can provide the power that pros need without the long-term costs of buying fuel, and we’ve brought that innovation to a line of battery-powered handheld products.

We’re also planning to provide a new fleet service technology in 2017 that will help landscaping businesses optimize the performance and profitability of their operations.

— Pete Love, director of sales at Husqvarna


Earlier this year, JCB introduced new MyChoice operating software, which provides operators with three operating modes for travel, as well as for loader functions. Mode 1 is precision, for operation in very tight, confining areas. Mode 2 is for general operation, and Mode 3 is for fast, high-duty cycle/high-production applications. The operator can select whatever mode they prefer in travel, as well as for loader functions, thereby satisfying a wider range of operator preferences.

— George Chaney, sales manager, skid steer & compact track loaders, JCB


We’ve got a significant new product launch that we’ll make at GIE+EXPO 2016 that fits in line with general market trends we’re seeing, but we can’t announce the specifics yet.

In the last year and a half, we’ve brought our entire line of skid-steers and compact track loaders (CTLs) up to Tier 4 Final compliance. In some cases, this has included maintenance-free emissions solutions and the first industry skid-steers and CTLs with selective catalytic reduction technology available to the landscaping market. We also introduced a lower horsepower (74 horsepower) version of our popular 580N backhoe, the 580N EP. This model features a maintenance-free Tier 4 Final solution and a base model setup that is ideal for landscaping and residential construction contractors who have thought about getting into a backhoe in the past, but didn’t need that extra horsepower and all the bells and whistles.

— Andrew Dargatz, brand marketing manager, Case Construction Equipment


For 2016, we’ve had a lot of good response so far on our new product launches. We launched the redesigned Gravely Pro-Turn 200 and 400 zero-turn lines and the Pro-Stance stand-on zero-turn mower, which are not only great-looking products, but also include significant enhancements to performance. They’ve been received really well so far, and we’ve pressed our operators to keep pace with the high demand.

— Matt Medden, vice president of marketing, Ariens Company


We will have a major new product launch coming later this year, but that’s about all we can say right now. Our new 72v product lines, the Hauler Pro is really changing the way operators think about electric vehicles. The all-day charge and power output are causing a lot of companies to look again at electric.

— Raven Honsaker, director product strategy, Cushman

Green Pro Solutions

Our new Sprinter models for turf and/or trees are getting great reviews. With different configurations, they can carry up to 500 gallons of liquid, a pallet of fertilizer, a ride-on spreader/sprayer and any other tools you may want, along with a surprising amount of storage. It combines fuel savings of 25 mpg with excellent maneuverability. The sprayer still has all of the flexibility and efficiency of the larger units plus the marketing options and risk management benefits of a fully enclosed spray system, and at lower cost.

We have also redesigned all of our spray systems to provide optimum performance out of a pump, which typically translates into at least a 10-foot gain in spray height.

— Gary Maurer, president, Green Pro Solutions, LLC


Kubota recently introduced its new SVL95-2s compact track loader. The new model offers greater multi-tasking capabilities, more powerful hydraulics and more class-leading comfort upgrades than ever. The SVL95-2s takes the place of the SVL90-2 compact track loader in the Kubota product line-up, and is currently available at Kubota dealerships nationwide. With its more powerful engine, 3,200-pound rated operating capacity and quiet, radio-ready interior, the new SVL95-2s offers customers unparalleled levels of utility and refinement.

With five hydraulic flow presets available for the operator to choose via an in-cab control, the SVL95-2s, when equipped with the optional high flow, is ideal for landscaping jobs that require running more than a single attachment. Furthermore, with is closed center hydraulics and a parallel loader control valve, operators can utilize up to three hydraulic circuits in parallel, which control the loader, the bucket and an auxiliary device such as an auger or drill, making the SVL95-2s capable of performing all three functions at once without sacrificing performance. Pushing down or pulling up with the loader arms while spinning the auger won’t be a problem. Opening and closing grapples or 4-in-1 buckets while exercising the loader or bucket circuits will also be very user friendly.

Kubota recently introduced three new commercial walk-behind mowers: a 36-inch gear drive model (WG14-36), a 48-inch hydrostatic drive model (WH15-48), and a 52-inch hydrostatic drive model (WHF19-52), each powered by reliable Kawasaki V-twin gas engines. The WG14-36 uses a five-speed gear drive transmission, while the WH15-48 uses proven Hydro-Gear variable displacement pumps with Parker wheel motors. All models feature fabricated welded steel decks, maintenance-free spindles, electric clutches and adjustable cutting heights ranging from 1-3/8 to 4-5/8 inches, making them ideal for all common grasses. With this introduction, Kubota is now an all-under-one-roof turf equipment provider.

In addition to introducing the commercial walk-behind mowers, Kubota also introduced the all-new ZD Series zero-turn diesel-powered mowers — the ZD1000 Series and the ZD1200 Series — featuring Kubota’s latest patented innovation, an Aerodynamic Cutting System (ACS), which provides for more efficient use of power resulting in better fuel efficiency and faster cutting performance.

— Jorge De Hoyos, Kubota senior product manager, skid steers and compact track loaders; and Tom Vachal, Kubota senior product manager, turf


A number of battery-powered products are among the latest and greatest products from Stihl Inc. The new Stihl AP 100 and AP 300 Lithium-Ion batteries feature enhanced power-to-weight ratios in light and affordable packages, offering users an unparalleled outdoor power equipment experience. In addition to our newest handheld batteries, professionals can now get gas-powered performance from their Stihl battery products with the 36-volt, 1148-watt hour Stihl AR 3000 backpack battery. Interchangeable with all handheld tools in the Stihl Battery Line, this sleek, high-performance battery has 25 percent more capacity than the Stihl AR 900 backpack battery, running for up to 13 hours and eliminating exhaust emissions and fuel costs.

In spring, we launched the Stihl FSA 90 R straight-shaft battery-powered trimmer. The lightweight, easy-to-use trimmer comes standard with the Stihl Autocut 25-2 loaded with .095-inch Quiet, has a 15-inch Line cutting width and starts with a squeeze of the trigger. The control handle is equipped with EcoSpeed “soft” stop trigger setting, which can extend the amount of work done on a single charge.

Last fall, we welcomed the lightest and most powerful handheld blower into the Stihl family of products. The Stihl BGA 100 battery-powered blower was designed for professionals, boasting higher quality and better ergonomics than many other battery products on the market and performance superior to many gas-powered models.

We have also introduced an assortment of gas-powered products to our ever-expanding line of professional equipment. The Stihl BR 450 C-EF backpack blower is the world’s only professional backpack blower with electric start.

We also upgraded two of our professional gas-powered chain saws, Stihl MS 201 C-EM and MS 201 T C-M with the latest in intelligent engine management technology, Stihl M-Tronic. This intelligent engine management system results in a reliable and fuel-efficient machine that performs optimally in a variety of conditions.

— Steve Meriam, director of sales at Stihl Inc.

Wright Mfg.

Our newest products are the Stander Intensity and the Sport Intensity. The Sport Intensity is the sit/stand version of the Intensity. The Sport gives operators the option to stand when cutting uneven terrain, or the option to sit in order to increase traction or while cutting large areas for an extended amount of time. We are also adding more Briggs and/or EFI engine options to several of our product lines, including the ZTO and the Stander X.

— Hal White, vice president of sales, Wright Mfg.


One exciting product now available is the new GrandStand Multi Force. With two new models, it brings all-season versatility to landscape contractors by combining the productivity of our proven, low-maintenance GrandStand stand-on mower with the ability to add attachments, such as a 5-foot Boss snow plow. The GrandStand Multi Force offers all the advantages of Toro’s current GrandStand stand-on mower, including a large, comfortable operator platform with smooth suspension, outstanding visibility and a small footprint that can get in and out of tight spaces, and is easy to transport. Both new Multi Force models are equipped with Toro’s 7-gauge steel Turbo Force mowing deck, which delivers a pristine after-cut appearance. Additional attachments to enhance the machine’s versatility are coming soon.

— Chris Hannan, senior marketing manager, The Toro Company