Equip Exposition (formerly GIE+EXPO) set a new record by welcoming more than 25,000 attendees and exhibitors. The 2022 show debuted a new brand and new experiences for its participants, and all indoor and outdoor exhibit space available was sold-out for both Equip Exposition and Hardscape North America, which co-locates with Equip Expo.
“The trade show remains the industry’s family reunion,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Equip Exposition and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which owns the trade show. “This year we shook up the programming a bit and introduced lots of new ideas from an opening welcome reception and new, interactive educational sessions to Mulligan’s 5K Fun Run & Walk, a coffee bar, and an expanded Outdoor Demo Yard.
“This year’s numbers show the industry is strong and optimistic about 2023,” Kiser added. “The industry continues to innovate and bring new technologies to markets evidenced by the major product announcements, education, networking that went on.”
Expo attendees hailed from all 50 states and 49 countries, with the furthest traveling attendees journeying from Guam, New Zealand and Australia.
More than 4,000 people turned out at the first-ever Welcome Reception at Louisville Slugger Field. Nearly 250 braved the cold morning at the inaugural Mulligan’s 5K Fun Run & Walk over the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge. The benefit run and walk, sponsored by Ariens, raised funds for the Kentucky Humane Society.
Stihl introduced several new products for professional users – including the Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series zero-turn mowers, Stihl MSA 220 TC-O chain saw, and Stihl MSA 300 C-O battery-powered chain saw.
“Since 1974, our strength has been the relationship between Stihl Inc. and our servicing dealers,” said Stihl Inc. President Terry Horan. “And we are very proud of the role we have played in helping small businesses across America flourish and grow.
“We don’t rest on our laurels,” Horan told Equip Exposition attendees. “We know the market is changing and adapting. Our company will be adapting as well. We are committed to continuously expanding our battery product offering and doing so with speed to market in order to compete and win in today’s marketplace. And we are going to share with you today some exciting new products.”
Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series
Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series zero-turn mowers provide professional users with the ultimate range of mowing solutions, boasting efficient operation, smooth cuts, durable components, and a comfortable ride designed to get the job done with less fatigue. Offering a total of 12 new models within the 700 and 900 Series, pros can choose from varying deck widths from 52”-72” across the range, as well as diverse high-performing engine options from fuel-efficient EFI engines to carbureted engines.
Both the Stihl 700 and 900 Series include an advanced four-wheel suspension system with mowing deck height compensation, independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, and rear suspension with shock absorbers. Powerful Hydro-Gear ZT transaxles deliver an efficient top-forward ground speed of 10 mph in the 700 Series and 12 mph in the 900 Series. Both professional series have a reverse speed of 5 mph, allowing the user maneuverability.
To help keep pros comfortable on the job, the 700 Series features a deluxe seat with armrests. However, the 900 Series offers superior comfort with a premium suspension seat providing an adjustable backrest, armrests and padding for comfort during longer professional jobs.
“Stihl is thrilled to launch the two professional series of zero-turn mowers,” said Brian Manke, Stihl Inc. product manager. “With three distinct engine options and various mowing deck sizes, professionals can choose the ideal mower for even the most demanding landscaping jobs.”
Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series
The Stihl MSA 220 TC-O is the most powerful top-handle chain saw in the Stihl battery lineup, boasting performance comparable to professional gasoline-powered top-handle chain saws. With a high chain speed and durable parts, such as a magnesium motor housing and a brushless motor, this saw can be counted on by in-tree professionals to hold up to a heavy workload. Convenient LED display lights allow pros to quickly see the status of their saw to keep moving on the job. The MSA 220 TC-O provides the power and dependability pros trust from Stihl. The weather-resistant design is low maintenance and easy-to-service and offers replaceable parts.
“In addition to the robust features of the MSA 220 TC-O, the saw utilizes the same 3/8” OILOMATIC Stihl Picco Super 3 chain and 12” Rollomatic E-and-E Light guide bars as its gas-powered counterparts, helping pros seamlessly make the switch from gas to battery,” said Paul Beblowski, product manager at Stihl Inc.
The Oilomatic Stihl Picco Super 3 (63 PS3) is ideal for pairing with chain saws with power between 1.5kW and 2.0 kW (2.0 bhp and 2.6 bhp). Examples of this include MSA 220 T, MSA 220 C-B, MSA 200 C-B, MS 194 C-E, MS 194 T, MS 201 C-E and the MS 201 T.
Stihl MSA 300 C-O
The Stihl MSA 300 C-O sets the benchmark in performance as the most powerful battery chain saw in the Stihl lineup. Certified by the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), this battery saw offers a wide range of applications, from felling and delimbing trees to bucking and storm cleanup. Its lightweight design, rubberized soft touch handles and anti-vibration technology help minimize fatigue. A truly professional-grade battery chain saw, the MSA 300 C-O also features a lightweight magnesium motor housing that provides added durability to this powerful tool.
“Not only does the MSA 300 C-O give pros the benefits of battery in a chain saw that delivers professional-grade performance,” said Stihl Inc. product manager Paul Beblowski, “but it’s also the first of its kind to utilize the power laminate cell technology in the AP 500 S, which increases the life of the battery compared to the previous battery model, thus maximizing product performance.”
Next year’s Equip Exposition, which returns to the Kentucky Exposition Center, will be held Oct. 18-20, 2023.
– Recap compiled by Robert Augsdorfer, assistant editor, Landscape Business.