GIE+EXPO 2012 recap

By Steve Noe

Following is an in-depth look at many of the major happenings at the 2012 Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), which took place at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center Oct. 24-26.

Ariens Company unveils several new products

The Ariens Company, which will be celebrating its 80-year anniversary in 2013, introduced several products under its Ariens and Gravely brands.

Ariens Hydro Pro Sno-Thro 36

Gravely Pro-Turn 460 LPFor the upcoming winter, the Brillion, Wis.-based company unveiled two new snow throwers: the Hydro Pro Sno-Thro and Compact Track 24 Sno-Thro. The Hydro Pro Sno-Thro represents the company’s first snow thrower with a hydrostatic transmission for infinitely variable speed; the hydrostatic transmission was engineered in partnership with Hydro-Gear. The Compact Track 24 is ideal for homeowners with rough terrain or hard-packed snow to clear. It features a 208-cc Ariens Polar Force engine by Briggs & Stratton, a 24-inch clearing width and 5.5-inch track width.

For commercial cutters, Ariens Company introduced the Pro-Turn Series of mowers for those landscape contractors looking for a fully commercial mower at an opening price point. It also expanded its Gravely Pro-Turn 400 Series of commercial mowers from two fuel choices (gasoline and diesel) to three with the introduction of the 460 and 472 LP propane models. The Pro-Turn 400 LP models have a Kawasaki FX850V EnviroGard-converted engine, specifically designed for propane. Based on feedback from landscape contractors, Ariens also made some enhancements to its Pro-Stance stand-on mower, which was introduced in the spring, so that it can now be used as a walk-behind mower as well. Gravely also announced improvements to its commercial X-Factor deck, such as improved spindles, a new chute profile, an enlarged discharge opening and standard baffles.

For residential cutters, Ariens Company also introduced two 21-inch residential walk-behind mowers — the Ariens Razor and Gravely XD3 — with several user-friendly features, including a Rite Hite handle bar single-point height adjustment. Operators can adjust the height of the Rite Hite handle bar quickly and easily while standing in the operating position, and they can fold the handle bar down or into an upright position for easier, more compact storage.

B3C Fuel Solutions introduces its two most innovative products

B3C Fuel Solutions expanded its environmentally friendly family of products and solutions for ethanol- and bio-diesel-blended fuel (bio-fuel) related problems with the introduction of its two most innovative products: 1) Gasoline Tank Snake, and 2) Ethanol Shield with Combustion Cool Technology.

The Gasoline Tank Snake represents a radical new way to stabilize gasoline and ethanol-blended fuel while removing bound and unbound water naturally attracted by ethanol-blended fuels. The Gasoline Tank Snake is designed with antioxidants to preserve the fuel and includes a proprietary blend of space-age polymers and microporous material that absorbs and breaks the water-ethanol bond at the molecular level. This virtually eliminates phase separation from occurring while reducing the corrosive effects of ethanol-blended fuels. The non-toxic Gasoline Tank Snake has a built-in indicator that lets the user know when it is time to be replaced. The entire Snake starts turning light blue as it absorbs water. When saturated with water, the Snake turns dark blue, indicating it is time to replace the Snake with a new one. The Snake may be placed in all gas cans to provide stabilized/water-free fuel to outdoor power equipment. It may also be placed in the gas tank of outdoor power equipment during storage via a braided multi-line high molecular weight polyethylene tether. This prevents moisture from condensation due to temperature fluctuations and water that the ethanol-blended fuel attracts through normal fuel system venting.

The Ethanol Shield with Combustion Cool Technology (CCT) is an advanced multi-purpose fuel stabilizer. Ethanol Shield now has a triple-antioxidant fuel-preservative package along with CCT. This new formulation also contains a thermal stabilizer that protects the fuel from heat that radiates from the engine and sunlight. The formulation change began Oct. 15, 2012, with B3C’s Professional-strength Ethanol Shield Gallons. By spring 2013, all Ethanol Shield products will include CCT. CCT reduces heat in the engine by reducing the parasitic load at the top of the combustion chamber during combustion. Utilizing a heat imaging camera, B3C has documented up to a 39-degree Fahrenheit reduction in temperature when using CCT. Today’s ethanol-blended fuel naturally increases engine temperatures. This excessive heat causes 2- and 4-cycle engines to wear out prematurely. Many operators see performance loss, especially under heavy load and when air temperatures are above 90 degrees F. During B3C’s initial field-testing, it has received reports of immediate and dramatic improvement in power under load and when hot. With Ethanol Shield CCT, machines now hold peak power all day, idle smoother, have better throttle response, and no longer have hot restart issues.

Billy Goat’s Z-Force Blower

Billy Goat’s QuietVac

Billy Goat’s BC26 Brushcutter

Billy Goat’s DL3500V truck loader

Video monitorBilly Goat offers new products,
pumpkin chunkin’ and more

Billy Goat Industries showcased its complete lineup of renovation and cleanup equipment, including four new products, as well as introduced one solution. The new products were the Z Force Blower, QuietVac, Outback Brushcutter, and a 35-hp. truck loader. The solution was the integration of a video monitor for its merchandiser.

The Z Force Blower quickly attaches to any major zero-turn mower via standard heavy-duty JRCO mounting bracket. The blower has a 360-degree rotational discharge, allowing air to be diverted in any direction with the tap of a foot on the magnetically mounted pedal for rapid leaf and grass cleanup.

The 33-inch QuietVac (QV) has an advanced cyclonic filtering system, along with exclusive dust sock technology, that dramatically reduces dust in dry conditions and cleans quietly at 84.5 dBA, the lowest noise level in its class. QV features a self-propelled hydrostatic drive with shift-on-the-fly transmission, which has infinite forward/reverse speeds for excellent maneuverability; a six-blade propriety armor plate fan, which offers up to 12-to-1 reduction for composting in dry conditions; and a 51-gallon-capacity turf bag, which loads/unloads easily with a hassle-free, two-latch bag system.

Billy Goat extended its Outback Brushcutter line with the BC2600 Series. The BC26 comes standard with Tuff Torq hydrostatic transmission, featuring Enhanced Traction Control (ETC) and pivoting deck with return to neutral. The hydrostatic transaxle with ETC is fully automatic, sensing when a rear wheel starts to spin, locking the wheel, and providing positive forward traction. Engineered to glide over uneven terrain, the pivoting brush deck hugs the ground for a better cut.

Outdoor booth visitors were given the chance to chunk a pumpkin to experience the productivity of the new DL3500V 35-hp. truck loader and receive a “I blew chunks at GIE+EXPO” T-shirt. Driven by Vanguard power with electric start, the new unit features Billy Goat’s exclusive dual-shredding system with Piranha blade and produces 5,050 cubic feet per minute of suction power. A 20-inch impeller with 18 cutting points provides up to 12-to-1 debris reduction. A 14-inch by 10-foot clear poly helical hose is ideal for taking huge bites out of any debris pile.

Billy Goat also announced the integration of a video monitor for its one- and three-bay merchandisers. The 7-inch, color, swiveling monitor with push-button activation is pre-loaded with six Billy Goat product videos. The battery-operated monitor attaches directly and securely to a Billy Goat merchandiser in minutes and is housed in an attractive white powder-coated steel housing. It helps sales staffs to educate customers about Billy Goat product and provides a comprehensive merchandising solution for retail dealer stores.

Ferris IS 600Z

Snapper rear-engine rider

Simplicity Conquest tractorBriggs & Stratton showcases
complete product arsenal

Briggs & Stratton Corporation showcased several products across its many divisions.

* Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power: The Vanguard Vehicle Power Lineup, which includes engines in the 13- to 23-gross-hp. range, was on display. The lineup has proven to meet the rigorous challenges of off-road utility vehicles on numerous well-established brands, including E-Z-GO, Club Car, Cushman, Bad Boy Buggies, Argo, Toro and John Deere.

On the consumer engine side, Briggs & Stratton showcased the 1000 Series compact riding mower engines, the E-Series push mower engines, and the 750 Series and 950 Series snow blower engines.

* Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group: Ferris introduced the IS 600Z and IS 700Z Series zero-turn mowers. The IS 600Z features patented suspension technology, a patent-pending steering system, a 27-gross-hp. Briggs & Stratton Professional Series or 18.5-gross-hp. Kawasaki FS600V engine, Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 transaxles, 44- or 48-inch cutting width, foot-operated deck lift, 5.5-gallon fuel tank and removable floor pan. (To see and learn about the IS 700Z, see page 27.) Ferris and Snapper Pro announced a new 2+2 limited warranty on all of its riding mowers. Under this new warranty, Ferris and Snapper Pro ride-on mowers are covered for four years (48 months) or 500 hours, whichever comes first. During the first two years (24 months), the mower is covered for unlimited hours. Belts, tires, brake pads, hoses, battery and blades are covered for 90 days. Ferris also announced the recent launch of its mobile-friendly website,, which can be viewed on mobile phones and tablet devices. The Snapper rear-engine rider, which was introduced in 1962, has been revamped for its 50th birthday and will live on in four new models: the RE100, RE110, RE130 and RE210. Simplicity introduced its 2013 tractor lineup — Broadmoor, Conquest and Prestige — which will pair a high-speed transmission with a patent-pending suspension system to absorb vibration and uneven terrain, so mowing speeds won’t compromise comfort.

As for portable power products, Briggs & Stratton introduced two Elite Series pressure washers: a 3,100-pounds-per-square-inch (psi), 2.8-gallons-per-minute (GPM) model and a 3,300-psi, 3.2-gpm model. Designed for homeowners, these easy-to-maneuver pressure washers have a 4-wheel design, 3-position fold-down handle, 3-gallon fuel tank for 5-7 hours of run time before refueling, a reliable and easy-to-start Briggs & Stratton OHV engine, and easy-access hose connections and on-board tip storage. Briggs & Stratton also unveiled new 16- and 20-kilowatt standby generators that meet tough National Fire Protection Agency standards, allowing homeowners to place the generators as close as 18 inches from the home. Closer placement options may help make standby generators a reality for homeowners with small lots.

On the service side, Briggs & Stratton unveiled a new concentrated version of its Advanced Fuel Treatment, providing outdoor power equipment owners with an even more affordable formula to protect small engines against the potentially damaging effects of ethanol-blended fuels. The new concentrated formula of Briggs & Stratton Advanced Fuel Treatment protects any gas engine, including 2-cycle engines that use a blend of oil and gasoline, for up to three years.

CORE Outdoor Power’s CB420 handheld blower

CORE Outdoor Power’s CHT410 hedge trimmer

CORE Outdoor Power’s Quad Power PakCORE Outdoor Power expands
GasLess line of products

CORE Outdoor Power, the manufacturer of GasLess outdoor power equipment for commercial markets and the discerning homeowner, announced the expansion of its suite of GasLess products. Following the successful spring 2012 debut of the CGT400 line trimmer, CORE Outdoor Power introduced the CB420 handheld blower and CHT410 hedge trimmer.

The CB420 handheld blower weighs only 11 pounds, runs up to 400 cubic feet per minute, and produces wind speeds up to 110 miles per hour. This blower is not only extremely efficient, but equally quiet, making hearing protection unnecessary. The CHT410 hedge trimmer weighs just 12 pounds, runs up to 90 minutes, and delivers the same powerful, noise-free operation.

These GasLess products provide consumers and commercial users with a lightweight and cost-effective, yet powerful alternative to gas engines. The CORE GasLess motor technology features the highest energy factor per weight of any existing motor or engine and is specifically designed to replace existing conventional motion devices, motors and engines by coupling the innovative motor design with a high-energy Power Cell. The unique motor technology eliminates the copper windings found in traditional motors, instead utilizing a multi-layered circuit board stator that works in conjunction with permanent magnets and a power cell to very efficiently produce high torque and significant power.

Understanding the need for versatility and longevity for the commercial market, CORE Outdoor Power also introduced the Quad Power Pak. The Quad Power Pak is compatible with all CORE products and functions as both a back pack, offering users four times the run time, and a mobile charging system. When being used as a mobile charging system, it has the capability to charge 4 Power Cells simultaneously using a 12-volt power supply (such as a vehicle power outlet) or a typical AC wall outlet.

“The versatility of this technology is really quite amazing, and we plan to incorporate the unique motor design into additional CORE products down the road,” said Lincoln Jore, president and CEO, CORE Outdoor Power. “We anticipate a product demand that rivals what we have experienced with the CGT400 line trimmer and are looking forward to continuing to provide effective GasLess alternatives to the outdoor power equipment market.”

CORE Outdoor Power’s engineering team is continually working to add innovative products and is planning to introduce a self-propelled push mower in 2013.

Dixie Chopper’s Silver Eagle EFIDixie Chopper debuts 2013 lineup

Dixie Chopper rolled out its 2013 zero-turn mower lineup, including several new models and two “back-by-popular-demand” models.

Back by popular demand are the “Twin,” which features two 27-hp. Generac engines and a 74-inch deck, as well as the Classic family (5 models), which is available in 27, 29 or 33 hp. — including an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) option — with a 50-, 60- or 72-inch deck. Other new models include the Zee 2 family of residential mowers (3 models) with a 21- or 23-hp. Kawasaki engine and a 42-, 48- or 54-inch deck; a 44-inch Magnum; an EFI Magnum; a Kawasaki-powered Silver Eagle; and an EFI Silver Eagle.

In conjunction with the new model year introduction, an all-new was launched with a fresh new look, an enhanced dealer locator, and an interactive product comparison guide. Mobile device users are automatically directed to a new mobile version of the site.

Echo CS-355T chain saw

Echo introduces CS-355T chain saw

Echo Incorporated unveiled the CS-355T chain saw, the company’s “crowning achievement” in top-handle chain saws. Built with input from tree-trimming professionals, the new chain saw made its public debut at GIE+EXPO.

The CS-355T is Echo’s premier top-handle chain saw targeted to arborists. The compact design offers an ideal combination of light weight, easy starting and powerful cutting performance at an affordable investment. Weighing in at 8 pounds, the CS-355T features a 35.8-cc commercial-grade two-stroke engine that delivers 25-percent more power than the Echo CS-360T chain saw.

“The CS-355T chain saw is the ideal arborist’s saw,” said Brad Mace, product manager, Echo Incorporated. “We listened to feedback from the field, and this is the saw arborists want. It’s lightweight, well balanced, comfortable to hold, and has all the power needed to perform.”



Honda GCV160 engineHonda announces mower, engine news

During a joint news conference at GIE+EXPO, Honda Power Equipment unveiled new design enhancements to its HRX and HRR Series premium residential lawn mowers, while Honda Engines debuted its all-new Best-In-Class series of general-purpose engines.

For starters, Honda Power Equipment expanded the HRX and HRR Series with the introduction of the HRX217VLA and HRR216VLA models. The HRX217VLA lawn mower includes a Variable Speed Smart Drive and Nexite deck; this self-charging, electric-start model also is equipped with a small Cyclon-sealed lead-acid battery for easy and dependable starting. The battery is mounted on the mower’s handlebar and integrated with a convenient automotive-style key switch. The HRR216VLA is a self-propelled, Variable Speed Smart Drive mower with electric-start capability for easy and convenient starting. This model also includes the 3-in-1 Clip Director, MicroCut twin blades, and the new scroll and ramp design that allows for improved mulching performance by optimizing recycling of fine clippings.

Receiving several key feature updates, both the HRX and HRR Series have been redeveloped to include technological enhancements that improve ease-of-use and performance for homeowners and landscapers. All HRR models received a significant design upgrade: the inclusion of the 3-in-1 Clip Director. The HRR lineup incorporates a newly designed, lighter-weight GCV160 engine for increased maneuverability; the new GCV160 model also has a redesigned fan cover for improved cooling, along with the new scroll and ramp design.

Honda Engines debuted its all-new Best-In-Class series of general-purpose engines. Starting with the new GCV160 engine, Honda will unveil new Best-In-Class models on a rolling basis. These new engines, with all-new class-leading features, are uniquely designed to provide Honda’s smooth and reliable power to a variety of residential and commercial products.

Honda eventually will offer a Best-In-Class model within each of its engine series (GC, GS, GX), providing a new, more flexible engine variant to meet the individual needs of power product manufacturers. Regardless of engine series, each Best-In-Class engine model will feature lower weight, improved cooling, innovative design enhancements, more flexibility in use, and the possibility of future personalization by end users.

Husqvarna showcases expansive lineup

From chain saws to snow throwers, Husqvarna had its complete fleet of outdoor power equipment products on display at GIE+EXPO.

“Husqvarna is about performance, durability and innovation,” said John Marchionda, vice president of marketing, Husqvarna, “and this week, commercial and consumer users will see firsthand the strides Husqvarna continues to make in developing equipment that makes work easy, efficient, safe, and productive.”

Featured items at GIE+EXPO included the following:

Husqvarna 550 XP chain saw

Husqvarna 525LST string trimmer

Husqvarna R 120 Rider

Dixon SpeedZTR 48 SE zero-turn mower

Husqvarna M-ZT commercial zero-turn mower

Husqvarna HU800AWD residential walk-behind mower

Husqvarna ST 121E snow thrower

Husqvarna 1830EXLT snow thrower* Chain saws: Husqvarna’s 550 XP chainsaw — for professional loggers and skilled land owners — features RevBoost, which provides instant high chain speed for efficient de-limbing. Its X-Torq engine technology provides more power, up to 20-percent-less fuel consumption, and 75-percent-less exhaust emission. The slanted cylinder design gives the 550 XP a lower profile, allowing for greater control. Plus, the retaining function prevents bar nuts from loosening. An optional feature is TrioBrake, which allows the chain brake to be activated either automatically by the inertia release mechanism or mechanically by hand.

* Trimmers: Commercial landscapers enjoy the benefits of the Husqvarna 525LS and 525LST trimmers, which feature a heavy-duty clutch and drive shaft and comfort handles for easy control during the toughest jobs. With its powerful X-Torq engine technology, easy-access stand-alone starter and large two-stage air filter, the 525LS/LST is packed with power, versatility and durability. The 525LST features a special, high-torque bevel gear, so the trimmer can work parallel to the ground for a high-capacity swath and superior cutting performance.

* Riding mowers: The new, versatile R 120 Rider articulating riding mower offers consumer-friendly features that deliver performance and convenience for homeowners. It provides a 42-inch side-discharge deck and a wide variety of cutting heights, making maneuverability, trimming and mowing underneath overhanging objects easier than ever. Its simplified foot-pedal operation, ergonomic control placement and thick steering wheel provide a car-like driving experience. A new electric version of the articulated rider platform will also be introduced. The new 36-volt “Rider Battery” will feature a 33-inch cutting deck and up to 90 minutes of cutting time per charge.

Husqvarna’s Dixon ZTR brand is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a SpeedZTR 48 SE special edition zero-turn mower. With an easy-to-adjust, 48-inch, fabricated deck with cast-iron spindles, 24-hp. Kawasaki FR engine, new dual-outlet exhaust and special decal package, the SpeedZTR 48 SE performs and looks like a champion.

Speaking of anniversaries, the Husqvarna LS series of premium lawn tractors is celebrating its fifth year, with additional features and benefits. The LS tractors feature electric blade engagement, premium engines, pedal-operated hydrostatic transmission, brush guard, comfort package, 23-inch Turf Master rear tires, dual exhaust and a heavy-duty reinforced stamped or fabricated deck.

New for 2013 are the Husqvarna M-ZT series entry-level commercial zero-turn mowers. The M-ZT mowers feature rugged fabricated decks with cast-iron blade spindles, premium seats, commercial-duty 12-cc integrated transmissions and high-horsepower engines. The new 810-cc Endurance Commercial engines feature cyclonic air filtration to reduce service intervals and increase engine life. The M-ZT will be available in 52- and 61-inch variants.

* Walk mowers: Husqvarna’s extensive line of feature-packed lawn mowers for demanding homeowners has been enhanced by a number of new models.

This spring, Husqvarna is launching its first All-Wheel Drive walk mower. Designed for uneven terrain and the toughest mowing conditions, the sleek yet rugged HU800AWD features a heavy-duty steel deck and a powerful Honda GCV 190 engine. Complementing its All-Wheel Drive feature, the HU800AWD has wheels with an aggressive tread pattern, which provides additional traction and maneuverability.

The rear-drive HU725BBC features Husqvarna’s new SingleStart Cutting System, which allows the operator to disengage the blade with the engine still running, eliminating the need to restart the engine after emptying a full grass bag. The front-drive HU550FH brings premium features like automatic choke and high rear wheels to the value segment. Like all Husqvarna walk mowers, they come with a 3-year warranty.

Celebrating the Dixon brand’s anniversary, Husqvarna is launching a range of walk mowers in the familiar blue color scheme, including push, front-drive, rear-drive and wheeled trimmer models.

* Snow throwers: When winter arrives, roadways and sidewalks can be cleared with ease, thanks to the Husqvarna ST121E and 1830EXLT snow throwers. Each features an electric starter, ensuring users that they never have to worry about a dead battery on a cold winter morning.

The ST121E is a compact, high-performing, easy-to-maneuver, single-stage snow thrower for driveways and paths. It is equipped with a SnowKing engine and an innovative remote chute rotator that facilitates the direction of the snow. Also, efficient LED lighting enables work in early mornings and late nights.

The 1830EXLT is a dual-stage unit with a heavy-duty auger to feed snow into the housing, a high-speed impeller to discharge the snow, heated handles, power steering, and a standard LED headlight for greater visibility in unfavorable conditions. A heavy-duty hydrostatic transmission provides power to track drive system to tackle the deepest snow drifts.


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