GIE+EXPO post-show recap

The Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) was held October 29-31 in Louisville, Ky. It offered industry professionals to see what is new for 2010. The New Products Arena, featuring only new equipment, was located on the show floor with manufacturers’ newest items displayed side-by-side. The 19-acre outdoor demonstration area once again allowed attendees to try the equipment for themselves. And, for the first time ever, visitors were invited to attend product launches and supplier announcements. Key announcements from the show are as follows:

Ariens Company acquires Parker Company, Inc.

 Ariens Company announced that it has acquired the assets of debris maintenance equipment manufacturer, Parker Company, Inc. of Phoenix. Ariens will continue to sell Parker products through two-step distribution channels in the outdoor power equipment market. The products will also be made available as brands sold directly to the independent dealer channel for the fall 2010 clean-up season.

“Parker is an established name in the debris maintenance segment. The addition of the Parker lawn sweepers and debris-handling equipment will help extend the lawn and garden season for our equipment dealers with fall clean-up products,” said Dan Ariens, company president. “It will also serve our growing sports turf maintenance segment.”

Ariens will produce the Parker products at its manufacturing facility in Auburn, Neb. The Parker line of products, which serve both the consumer and commercial markets, includes Vac-35 litter vacuums, all-purpose vacuums, ground pack blowers, turf sweepers and lawn sweepers, portable truck loaders, Hurricane Plus blowers and Thatch-O-Matic power rakes

The company expects to make parts available to distributors in 30 to 60 days. Whole goods availability is expected by December.

Excel introduces BigDog Mowers

Excel Industries, Inc., manufacturer of Hustler Turf Equipment, announced the introduction of a new product line of residential and commercial zero-turn mowers.

 “We developed the BigDog Mowers brand because of the need in the distribution channel for a high quality, value-priced, zero-turn product line,” said Paul Mullet, president and CEO of Excel Industries.

BigDog Mowers will be sold through a new distribution network set-up by Excel Industries. These distributors will work with their dealers to market and sell BigDog Mowers.

BigDog Mowers will showcase three series of mowers for its value product line. All mowers come with fabricated decks and are backed by the same quality, technology, and customer service that has helped make Excel Industries a leader in the industry.

“Having two brands will help fill our manufacturing capacity”, added Mullet. “This will help provide stability for our employees and provide additional jobs during these difficult economic times.”

Cat attachments can help contractors diversify

For contractors who have invested in Cat compact equipment — skid-steer loaders, multi-terrain loaders, compact track loaders and compact wheel loaders — the opportunity to diversify and expand can be as close as the coupler at the end of their machines’ boom arms.

More than 34 different Cat work tools are available for such machines as the Cat 287 multi-terrain loader. According to Cat product managers at GIE+EXPO, although the cost of buying attachments can add up, contractors often discover that they can recoup their investment in a short time, because a range of basic attachments allows them to work faster and more efficiently at a greater diversity of jobs.

Plus, the use of attachments significantly reduces overhead costs by simplifying equipment transport between jobs.

The universal-type coupler used on Cat compact equipment allows machines in the contractor’s fleet to share attachments, further enhancing the contractor’s work potential by permitting any available machine to be quickly deployed with just the right work tool. In many instances, the machine also is already equipped with auxiliary hydraulics for handling hydro-mechanical tools such as trenchers, augers and stump grinders. Even better, the machine may be fitted with a high-flow auxiliary system, which expands the range of work tools to include heavy-duty performers such as cold planers and snow blowers.

Husqvarna introduces new PZ Series zero-turn mower

 Husqvarna launched a new professional series of zero-turn mowers for the commercial landscape professional. The new PZ Series couples leading-edge design and engineering with the landscape contractor’s wish list for a unit that exceeds expectations.

The standard Hydro drive system utilizes 16cc hydro-gear fan-cooled pumps and Parker wheel motors to achieve ground speeds up to 12 mph. The combination of oversized pumps, cooling fans and 1.5-gallon reservoir effectively reduce heat for extended service life and provide high torque and smooth operation.

A new 2-speed version featuring Hydro-Gear ZT5400 integrated commercial transmissions will be available in early 2010 and will allow for 30 percent or more higher transport speeds to further increase productivity.

The new PZ Series’ cutting deck utilizes extensive modeling, as well as extensive field testing in various grass conditions, to optimize flow patterns, provide high cut quality, even clipping dispersal and reduced blowout, even at high ground speeds. The wide mouth opening also allows superior discharge in heavy cutting conditions so that ground speeds can be increased.

In addition, the new deck lift features a foot-activated quick-release mechanism that allows the operator to keep both hands on the levers while moving the deck from transport to cutting position and back again. Oversized deck lift assist springs effectively reduce the effort required to raise and lower the deck while a locking mechanism that activates when the pedal is released eliminates the possibility of deck “float”.

All components of the new PZ Series were carefully designed to stand up to the day to day abuse of commercial cutting. Items including a rugged welded tube frame, cast iron lift arms and spindles, premium commercial engines and oversized hydro systems all combine to make a product that will not only be productive, but stay in the field longer.

The Series will consist of five models with Kohler and Kawasaki engines, ranging from 54-inch to 72-inch, including a 60-inch LPG (propane) model.

New Stihl Magnum backpack blower

 The Stihl Magnum BR 600 offers proven fuel efficiency up to 28 percent more fuel efficient than competitive models tested, an impressive power-to-weight ratio and a host of new enhancements to deliver superior product durability — all backed with a new 2-year limited commercial warranty.

The Stihl Magnum BR 600 boasts an improved engine design for increased durability and improved operational life, an enhanced nozzle with extended wear area for longer life, and a new, improved nylon harness for higher wear resistance. And this backpack blower is 69% cleaner than current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements, making it one of the cleanest running backpack blowers in its class.

Designed to tackle professional landscaping needs from heavy-duty leaf blowing to debris cleanup, the Stihl Magnum BR 600 also features easily adjustable blower tubes to provide greater versatility for a wide range of jobs and users.

New cutting system promotes outstanding quality of cut

 The iCD cutting system found on select Ferris and Snapper Pro commercial mowers allows better airflow discharge and a superior quality of cut. The slope nose of the deck forces the blades of grass forward and allows them a longer period of time to rise in the chamber before the blades make contact.

Features of the iCD cutting system include:

Newly designed 0.25-inch-thick Marbain steel blades generate greater lift for a precision cut.
The slope nose has a reinforced leading edge, which provides protection where the deck needs it most and reduces front-end blowout.
Models feature industry exclusive Hercules cast-iron and cast-aluminum greaseable spindles.
Baffle chamber design increases airflow and reduces clumping.
Extra-wide chute opening for greater dispersal of grass.
Center point is offset to allow for supreme cutting and excellent discharge.
Striping kit is standard on all iCD decks.

Toro Expands its lineup of GrandStand stand-on mowers

Toro is expanding its lineup of the popular GrandStand stand-on mowers to include 36-, 40- and 60-inch models, in addition to the original 48- and 52-inch machines.

 “We received a lot of positive feedback after the launch of the GrandStand,” said Randy Harris, senior marketing manager for Toro Landscape Contractor Equipment. “Contractors were very impressed with the overall comfort, hillside performance and quality of cut of the GrandStand. But we also heard some contractors say they’d like a smaller model for working in confined spaces and getting through gates, as well as a bigger model for larger properties.”

The 36- and 40-inch models offer the compact size necessary to get through gates and tight spaces, while the 60-inch model allows contractors to make quicker work of larger properties.

All models come equipped with Toro’s Turbo Force cutting deck, which produces a high-quality after-cut appearance, even when mowing long, wet grass. Select models include Toro’s patented adjustable baffle, which allows landscape professionals to fine-tune their cutting performance in order to conquer changing seasons or turf conditions without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

John Deere launches new ZTrak PRO 900 Series mowers

Professional landscapers continuously look for equipment to help bring more efficiency and productivity to their grounds care operations. John Deere is making the choice a little easier with its latest line of commercial mowers, the ZTrak PRO 900 Series and its “Work it for a Week” program.

 “The new ZTrak PRO 900s are the most productive, smoothest operating, easiest to use mowers we’ve ever built,” said Chase Tew, John Deere tactical brand manager, commercial mowing. “But we want our customers to discover that firsthand. With ‘Work it for a Week,’ operators can purchase a mower and put it to the test on the toughest terrain they have. If they don’t like the way it runs, rides, cuts or handles, they can return it for exchange or full refund within 10 days of purchase.”

The ZTrak PRO 900s also offer a commercial, two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty with unlimited hours.

Designed and developed in response to customer input, the seven models in the Z900 lineup feature the 7-Iron Pro deck with stamped, 7-gauge steel, full-wrap reinforcement and Mulch-on-Demand capabilities. With top mowing speeds of 10.5 or 12 mph, each model has the power and performance operators demand.

For superior controllability, the Z900s include a new, ground-drive transmission featuring a piston motor, internal wet disc brakes and a gear reduction final drive, providing more torque to the drive tires. Users will also appreciate the Comfort & Convenience package with ergonomic control levers including built-in PTO shutoff and electronic deck raise and lower. And for effortless operation, the series offers dial-in height of cut adjustment on the control panel, on-board self-diagnostics, run-flat tires and John Deere’s exclusive Brake & Go system.

Exmark unveils next generation of mowers

Exmark, a leading manufacturer of commercial mowers, introduced four new mowers at GIE+EXPO. These products complement Exmark’s already impressive line-up of professional-grade mowers, some of which have been enhanced for 2010.

 Vantage (pictured) is Exmark’s first stand-on mower providing users with comfort, increased productivity and a superior cut. Combined with ergonomically designed controls including a variable speed bar, Vantage’s self-compensating suspension system reduces operator fatigue and increases job quality. The unit’s compact size offers operators increased maneuverability, standing tall over the front of the machine provides exceptional visibility to keep a better watch on the deck and any upcoming obstacles, while its superior traction and handling allows users to mow changing landscapes effortlessly. Vantage’s durable 1.5-inch by 3-inch steel frame is available with 48- and 52-inch decks. Vantage contains the distinct caster position found on all Exmark mowers and the mower utilizes Exmark’s UltraCut deck to deliver the same cut quality the pros have come to expect from only an Exmark.
Exmark’s Quest SP includes enhancements and additional features to the original Quest mower which provides greater durability and productivity in a heavy duty, zero-turn mower. Quest SP, available with a 20- or 22-hp. Kawasaki V-twin commercial-grade engine, lives longer and maintains blade tip speed for improved cut quality. The mower’s patented cutting decks, available in 44, 48 and 52 inches, yields professional results and the 5-inch-deep deck improves cutting capacity. Quest SP has a ground speed of 0-8 mph moving forward and 0-5 mph in reverse for increased productivity.
The Commercial 21 and Commercial 21 AS mowers are an optimized, clean-sheet design for improved balance and maneuverability. These walk-behind, commercial-grade machines are durable, require less service/maintenance and are easy to use. The 21-inch cutting deck makes Exmark’s Commercial 21 and Commercial 21 AS the ultimate full-featured commercial trim and finish mowers for landscape professionals.
Exmark’s Lazer Z AS is a commercial-grade zero-turn in a value package. Powered by a 20 hp Kawasaki, the Lazer Z AS is available with 48- or 52-inch decks, both 5.5 inches deep with cutting heights ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches. The unibody frame features a rear-sloping foldable ROPS bar and provides operators with a comfortable ride thanks to the unit’s high back seat. The Lazer Z AS has a ground speed of up to 8 mph.

Cub Cadet Commercial adds to Tank S Line

 Cub Cadet Commercial is expanding its ground-breaking Tank S series to give lawn care professionals more options for fuel efficiency with the Tank S D and Tank S LP. Like all Tank S units, the new Tank S D and Tank S LP boast patented Synchro Steer technology for intuitive zero-turn control with a steering wheel and dual foot pedal controls instead of lap bars while giving users the choice of diesel or liquid propane. Both options offer increased fuel economy, extended engine life and are built to handle even the toughest terrain.

“The Tank S is packed full of innovative features but we wanted to take it one step further and expand the line to address more of the key issues facing our industry,” said Allen Baird, product manager, Cub Cadet Commercial. “Our new Tank S units are cleaner, more efficient and engineered for longer life. Combine that with best-in-class features like our Select Cut System cutting deck, allowing users to cut up to seven and a half acres per hour, and our complete line of Tank S products are the perfect solution for increased performance and designed to build your bottom line.”

The all new Tank S D utilizes a clean and efficient 31.2-hp. Yanmar diesel engine for increased performance and fuel economy. The liquid-cooled engine produces a steady and constant level of horsepower for reliable performance making sure constant power is available when needed the most.

The Tank S LP is the ideal solution for commercial cutters, institutions and municipalities looking to reduce emissions and lower fuel costs without sacrificing performance. The benefits of liquid propane go far beyond reduced emissions and offer lawn care professionals longer engine life, longer run times, and less engine maintenance. Additionally, Cub Cadet’s Tank S LP meets all current EPA and CARB emissions standards.

TrunkPump introduces new skid-steer hydraulic dewatering attachment

Lowell Scott Enterprises, Inc., manufacturer of the PTO-powered TrunkPumps, announced the addition of a new line of hydraulically powered dewatering pumps to its application of products. The HYD-3D provides the same low-maintenance one-person operation as other TrunkPump models, with the added benefit of being powered by skid-steer remote hydraulics and other hydraulic power sources.

The HYD-3D provides a new dimension in pumping for those who need to move water or irrigate. The HYD-3D may be purchased manufacturer-direct, and will soon be available through a host of domestic and international suppliers.

New products from Agri-Fab

Agri-Fab introduced several new products that will simplify lawn care, including three ergonomic spreaders with commercial quality gear boxes and easy-set control systems; a new electric dethatcher; and a front-mount dethatcher that connects to virtually all tow-behind lawn sweepers. A new purchasing option for the SmartLINK, Agri-Fab’s all-in-one lawn grooming system, was also detailed.

Source One Outdoor Power Equipment showcases three new products

Source One showcased three new products at GIE+EXPO. The VersaTow Pull-Behind Turf Aerator is an attachment that allows operation at multiple widths. The Plugr Hydrostatic Turf Aerator features a simple hydrostatic design on a reciprocating aerator. And, the Mulit-Use TurfSavr is a multipurpose machine that will spread, slice and dethatch.

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