GIE+EXPO 2013 Post-show Recap

GIE+EXPO was held Oct. 23-25, 2013 in Louisville, Ky. According to Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), show attendance was up 12 percent overall. Dealer attendance was up 6 percent, landscaper attendance was up 16 percent, and exhibitors were up 5 percent. The following are many of the headlines, new products and other announcements from the show:

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute advises consumers to “Look Before You Pump” at gas station

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), announced a national ethanol education and consumer protection campaign, called “Look Before You Pump.”

The “Look Before You Pump” education campaign cautions consumers that it is harmful and illegal to use higher than 10 percent ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment, such as mowers, chain saws, snow throwers, UTVs, generators and other small engine products.

 The urgency of the industry’s campaign comes from research that shows high-ethanol blends of gasoline can damage or destroy small engines not designed to handle it. A recent OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.

The “Look Before You Pump” campaign will reach consumers through radio and video public service announcements (PSA), fact sheets, in-store displays, labeling and product hang-tags. A prominent, red warning hand indicating “OK” for 10 percent ethanol and “No” for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85) is the campaign’s main graphic.

For more information, visit and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.

“Although there is continued uncertainty in the renewable fuels market, one thing for certain is that the way consumers select and use fuel will be changing in the coming years,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “It is incumbent upon our industry to be proactive. We are cautioning American consumers and business owners whose livelihood depends on our equipment to be more mindful at the gas pump. Don’t assume that the gas you put in your car can still go in your mower, chain saw or generator.”

OPEI has developed a number of resources and materials so that every dealer can inform their customers in the way that best fits their needs. These resources can help consumers minimize misfueling which can lead to customer satisfaction issues.

We invite dealers to visit After a simple registration, dealers will find “print on demand” copies of:

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ Campaign Mark which can be used on labels, packaging, fact sheets, and in brochures and ads,
Fact sheets for store employees and for consumers,
A static cling window decal,  
Hangtags for product and
Downloadable videos for in-store use.

Hustler Turf Equipment celebrating 50 years in 2014; introduces new residential zero-turn

* Hustler Turf Equipment will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014. To kick off a year-long celebration, Hustler displayed its Hustler History Museum at GIE+EXPO.

During the show, lawn contractors, dealers, distributors, and retailers had an opportunity to tour the museum for a chance to win a custom Hustler Super Z equipped with a 60-inch deck, Kawasaki FX engine, and VX4 technology. All other attendees were eligible for a chance to win an Apple iPad when they toured the museum.

 Manufactured by Excel Industries, Hustler Turf introduced the world’s first zero-turn mower in 1964. Since that time, Excel’s innovative engineers have further advanced the lawn care industry with these firsts: the dual-path hydrostatic drive system, wing mowing attachment, lift and dump collection system, mid-mount zero-turn, automatic park brake, all-electric zero-turn mower, VX4 deck technology, and the industrial strength Hyper-Drive System. Most recently, Hustler Turf became the first company to equip a commercial sized zero-turn mower with dual wings.

* Hustler Turf Equipment also introduced the Raptor SD to the Raptor family in its line-up of residential products.

This product bridges the gap between the entr- level zero-turn and the prosumer zero-turn markets. The Raptor SD is a low-profile, heavy-duty premium residential zero-turn with a deepfabricated steel deck, toughest front end with large 13 x 6.50 front tires, and exceptional control and handling.

JCB unveils new 8026 CTS mini excavator

 Unveiled to the North American market for the first time at the 2013 GIE+EXPO, JCB’s 8026 CTS mini excavator is a machine offering strength, performance and durability in a compact package. The 2.7-ton 8026 provides a conventional tail swing (CTS) option that complements the similarly sized JCB 8025 zero tail swing (ZTS) excavator.

The new 8026 features:

Short pitch tracks and auto kick-down, with 11-percent increase in travel speed.
New valve block with 17 percent longer spool stroke offers increased precision control.
Easy-clean undercarriage.

The 8026 is highly efficient due to the three-cylinder, 24-hp. engine. It delivers an 8-percent efficiency gain, driving a ‘Nachi’ variable displacement hydraulic pump.

The 8026 has a lower center of gravity, and with its conventional tail swing design, delivers outstanding lift capacity and excellent stability, while offering outstanding productivity and versatility that lead to improved operator confidence.

A redesigned undercarriage offers superior stability and durability. This stability is achieved through a swing turret that is now 1.3 inches lower. A new top roller replaces a metal skid plate, increasing the durability of the new short pitch tracks, which have been introduced to reduce noise and vibration, while also improving overall ride quality.

The open turret design and angled track legs allow the material to fall more easily from the undercarriage and help prevent build-up within the track frame. This makes the 8026 far easier to clean and maintain.

A dedicated boom and longer dipper arm provide superior digging, loading and grading performance, with a maximum digging depth of just under 9.2 feet.

Breakout forces are balanced for higher productivity. A longer-stroke dipper cylinder and revised dig-end geometry enable the bucket to dig right up to the dozer blade.

Bucket rotation on the 8026 is also best-in-class, minimizing material spillage from the bucket during loading, while controllability is greatly enhanced with the new hydraulic valve block.

The low-effort servo controls are intelligently laid out, simple and easy to use and the new valve block technology allows for true straight line tracking while multi-functioning.

A new handheld tool circuit on the 8026 will power a range of hydraulic hand tools, including hammers, drills, pumps and cutters.

The automotive-grade cab interior includes a seat that slides further back for 2 inches of additional leg room, improving operator access and comfort. With new rubber cab mounts and a more refined cooling system, the in-cab noise level is now just 77db.

Serviceability is excellent with daily check points grouped together for easier regular maintenance. In addition, there is an extra 4 inches of space in the rear engine compartment. The side-mounted valve block features color-coded hoses, aiding hose replacement in the event of accidental damage. An easily removable floor panel offers fast and simple access to the swing motor. Access to the battery is also easier now that it’s located under a new hinged-cast tread plate on the cab step.

Grasshopper showcases latest mower models

Grasshopper exhibited some of its latest mower models at GIE+EXPO.

 * New Grasshopper EFI (electronic fuel injection) mowers feature Delphi-based, closed-loop EFI engines that monitor internal and external factors and make automatic adjustments to maintain an optimum fuel ratio and maximize power, decrease fuel use and minimize harmful emissions. Automotive-style plug-in diagnostics facilitate faster and more precise service.

Grasshopper EFI mowers also feature a horizontal crankshaft engine alignment and pressure lube system for cooler operation, decreased maintenance and longer service life, and hydrostatic pump-and-wheel-motor transmissions that deliver smooth response and require less maintenance with 1,000-hour fluid change intervals and no break-in periods.

Models 327 EFI and 727T EFI accept side-discharge cutting decks up to 72 inches, as well as dedicated rear discharge decks and PowerVac Collection Systems.

* The Grasshopper Company also unveiled a new compact zero-turn mower: Model 126V/52.

Model 126V/52 maintains the same professional-quality craftsmanship as all other Grasshopper mowers, with features that include a fully hydraulic, integrated pump-and-wheel-motor transmission; a 26-hp. B&S Commercial Turf engine (with an extended three-year engine warranty); a 52-inch wide, 5.5-inch deep cutting deck with foot-pedal and drop-pin height adjustment; large turf-style drive tires; and a fully-cushioned Cordura-covered seat with padded armrests.

Perfectly suited for landscapers maintaining small-acreage and confined areas, Model 126V/52 provides the agility of a zero-turn mower with a compact size able to maneuver in tight spaces without the fatigue of a walk-behind mower.

Labor Sync exhibits its timekeeping and GPS app for Android and IOS devices

Labor Sync showed how activity from mobile devices creates real time reports with GPS at so you can see where your crews are at any time.

What else can Labor Sync do for your business?

No more paper time sheets!
Save time and money by eliminating inaccuracies and streamlining the payroll process.
Save time and money on billing and job costing.

Free trials, free training
No contracts, no up-front or cancellation fees.
$10 per month per PIN that is used each month.

For more information, call Labor Sync at 877-411-5666, ext. 140

Billy Goat unveils a new product for 2014

 Billy Goat Industries premiered a 2014 new product unveil at GIE+EXPO. In addition, the company showed off the new 26-inch fixed deck Outback Brushcutter and the newly enhanced hydrostatic drive overseeder featuring foot-operated depth adjustment and new long-life, low thatch blades.

* Billy Goat introduced the SC180H hydrostatic drive sod cutter. Whether it’s a simple sod replacement or a larger turf removal project, the new SC180H takes sod cutting to the next level with reliability, simplicity, speed and precise cut performance.

The SC180H features the easy-to-use “Set and Forget” blade depth adjustment where users can simply adjust depth to 2.5 inches with a single lever from the operator station. The unit comes standard with a rear caster wheel for curved cuts that locks when straight cutting. And operators will appreciate the handle isolation mounts that absorb vibration and offer smooth, fatigue-free operation.

The SC180H has a variable speed hydrostatic drive that not only allows operators to tailor cutting speed according to the ground condition, but also allows the unit to be transported at 3.5 mph. The intuitive drive controls are comfortably under-mounted and includes reverse at your fingertips.

The unit’s paddle drive wheels clear mud and improve grip for added control. A heavy-duty front bumper bar along with convenient tie-down points provide for stabile, safe strapping for transportation.

For smaller cuts, a 12-inch blade option is available, and the unit is coupled to 5.5 hp. of reliable Honda power backed by a 3-year warranty.

The Billy Goat Hydro Sod Cutter will be available to ship January, 2014.

* Billy Goat also introduced the BC2600HM and BC2600ICM mechanical-drive, fixed-deck models to supersede the prior BC2403 series of Outback brushcutters. The new BC2600 series will offer next-generation features, ergonomics and productivity. The new series features a 26-inch deck for increased productivity; higher tip speed for better cut quality; a rubberized rear deck trim for added stump clearance in reverse; heavier spindle assembly; improved shifting at the control panel for operator comfort; a shifting linkage for longer cable life; thicker and wider ergonomic handles; and a low engine oil alarm for improved reliability.

The BC2600 Fixed Deck is powered by either a 11.5-hp. Briggs (BC2600ICM) or 13-hp. Honda engine(BC2600HM). Available January, 2014.

* Billy Goat Industry’s newly enhanced OS901SPS overseeder includes a new blade design that reduces thatch and improves blade life due to its sharpened leading edge and attack angle combined with a new foot actuated height adjust that raises and lowers the reel effortlessly and provides more blade depth.

The OS901SPS is hydrostatically self-propelled to reduce fatigue associated with pushing and features bes-in-class, intuitive right and left operator drive controls. The unit is 22 inches wide with an exclusive 11-blade “floating head” cutting system that maintains contact with the contours of uneven ground, increasing seed-to-soil contact and improving germination rates. An exclusive Auto Drop system automatically starts and stops seed drop with bale engagement and disengagement, conserving seed and preventing end-of-run seed piling. The unit comes standard with a 30-pound seed box with excellent visibility from the operator’s position and is generously elevated above the turf to eliminate clogging.

New chain saw expands family of Stihl lithium-ion battery products

 Stihl introduced its most powerful lithium-ion chain saw to date – the Stihl MSA 200 C-BQ. When used with the AP 180 battery, the MSA 200 C-BQ has 15 percent more motor speed, 30 percent more cutting capacity and 20 percent more torque. Quiet enough to use indoors or in residential areas, this cordless electric chain saw allows users greater flexibility to work on projects with minimal noise and no exhaust emissions. The MSA 200 C-BQ is powered by an easily interchangeable 36-volt battery that works with all Stihl Battery KombiSystem tools.

“The battery-powered MSA 200 C-BQ eliminates fuel expenses, cutting the cost of long-term operation,” said Stihl Inc. product manager, Kent Hall. “Convenient and easy to use, this chain saw starts instantly with the pull of the multi-speed trigger.”

The battery indicates the current charge level so users are aware of how much power is available before they begin a job. When the chain saw is in use, the battery runs at full efficiency until depleted.

Low vibration keeps users from tiring quickly during long run times and increases comfort in the cut. The Quick Chain Adjuster feature enables the user to tension the chain without the use of tools. The Stihl Quickstop Plus chain braking system stops the rotating chain in less than one second when the rear handle is released.

This cordless chain saw delivers the speed, cutting capacity, and run time to handle most yard work, carpentry, storm cleanup and firewood cutting jobs.

Kohler Engines introduces new Confidant Series

 Kohler Engines introduced its Confidant engine series. This new vertical-shaft, V-twin engine line was carefully designed to meet the unique needs of both commercial equipment users and property owners who are seeking equipment designed to deliver top-caliber performance and durability. Kohler Confidant engines encompass four models ranging from 19 to 25 hp. Both recoil and electric start options are available, so the engines can be easily customized by OEMs for a variety of applications, including wide-area walk-behind and stand-on mowers, ZTRs, and high-end garden tractors.

“We anticipate strong response to our new Confidant engines because these engines really fill a growing need in the marketplace,” said Dan Luhman, senior product manager for Kohler Engines. “Commercial landscapers and other professionals are continuing to look for equipment that provides exceptional value when rounding out their fleets, while still offering exceptional performance and straightforward maintenance. And, at the same time, more and more homeowners are seeking equipment that will deliver professional results and long-lasting performance. Without question, our Confidant engines check all of these boxes and more.”

Durability and top-level performance are built into each model within the new Confidant series of engines, which are tested to exceed Kohler’s commercial duty-cycle demands. Key standard features include: cast-iron cylinder liner to protect the engine in extreme operating conditions; dual-seal air filter to keep debris out of the engine; and high-torque inertia drive started with extra-large output for quick, reliable starting.

Each Confidant engine also comes standard with pressure lubrication to keep critical parts protected as well Kohler’s PRO Performance Filtration package, a heavy-duty professional filtration bundle that includes a 3500 cm2 air filter, a 6.5 gram oil filter, and a 9-12 micron fuel filter. Another standard feature, although not available on wide-area walk-behind mowers, is Kohler’s Quiet Cam technology. This advancement consists of a rounded cam lobe and solid nylon gear that work together to help reduce sound levels.

The optional cyclonic air filter is a heavy-duty filter that provides multiple stages of filtration for superior engine protection. After being screened at the intake port, air then enters a cleaning chamber, where it is circulated in a rapid, cyclonic motion to remove larger contaminants.  A specialty filter, which can be used in combination with a pre-cleaner, then removes any remaining contaminants to ensure only clean air enters the engine.

“The cyclonic air filter is a great option to have available at this price point,” Luhman said. “It’s an impressive technology that helps maximize power while also prolonging engine life. When used with our pre-cleaner, the four-stage filtration process – called Quad-Clean air technology – is simply unequaled.”

The Confidant engine’s recoil and electric start options also make it ideal for wide-area walk-behind and stand-on mower applications.

Production of the Confidant engine series will begin later this year.

Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group introduces 44 new models for model year 2014

 The Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group is introducing 44 new product models for model year 2014 among its Snapper, Simplicity, Massey Ferguson, Ferris and Snapper Pro brands. The new models are a combination of new products and new line extensions across the various brands, and come on the heels of the 40 new products the Company introduced in 2013.

“We are committed to providing our dealers with new and innovative products with which to grow their businesses,” said Harold Redman, senior vice president of Briggs & Stratton and president of the Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group. “Over the past two years, we’ve introduced more than 80 products across our five brands.”

“Some are brand new platforms like the Snapper rear engine rider and Simplicity tractors with suspension introduced last season,” he said. “Others are line extensions or improvements like the new 48-inch fabricated deck with limited lifetime warranty that we’re introducing this year on specific lawn tractors.”

* Snapper Pro is introducing a new S125xt commercial zero turn. Four models are available starting with a 25-gross hp. unit with 52-inch mowing deck at a retail price of approximately $5,799.

Users can select from 25- or 27-gross hp. Briggs & Stratton Commercial Turf Series engines or 23- or 24-gross hp. Kawasaki FS engines. The drive system features dual, Hydro-Gear commercial ZT-3400 transaxles with 7-inch cooling fans. The unit mows up to 10 mph.

The S125xt is available with either a 52-inch (23- or 25-hp. models) or 61-inch iCD Cutting System with striping kit. A foot-operated deck lift, with adjustable pedal, can change cutting height in ¼-inch increments from 1.5 to 5.0 inches.

The machine features a 2+2 year limited commercial warranty; the engine warranty is for 3 years.

* The new Ferris IS 2100Z model lineup offers commercial cutters six units from which to choose so they can select the engine and deck choice that best meets their needs.

The IS 2100Z is available in the following configurations:

  1. 26-gross hp. Vanguard V-twin with 52-inch iCD cutting system
  2. 25.5-gross hp. Kawasaki FX801V with 52-inch iCD cutting system
  3. 26-gross hp. Vanguard V-twin with 61-inch iCD cutting system
  4. 25.5 gross hp. Kawasaki FX801V with 61-inch iCD cutting system
  5. 32-gross hp. Vanguard BIG BLOCK with 61-inch iCD cutting system
  6. 29-gross hp. Kohler Command Pro EFI with 61-inch iCD cutting system

The Ferris iCD cutting system allows for superior airflow, discharge and quality of cut. All six models feature a commercial Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 powertrain engineered for performance and serviceability.

All IS 2100Z models tout a Ferris suspension system featuring rear-coil-over shocks and front, adjustable shocks. This exclusive suspension system provides the machine operator with enhanced comfort, speed (up to 10 mph), consistency of cut, extended mower life and productivity.

Other features include an easily removable floor pan, a heavy-duty bumper, an ergonomic control panel, an adjustable seat and foldable ROPS.  The machine features a 2+2 year limited commercial warranty; engines are warranted by the manufacturer.

* Model year 2014 Snapper brand highlights include the new entry-level ST Series lawn tractor starting at $1,399 and a new “prosumer” zero turn — the 550Z — starting at $4,999. Snapper will also be introducing a new handheld line up including gas trimmers, a backpack leaf blower and a hedge trimmer this spring.

* Simplicity is extending its lineup of consumer zero turn mowers and also adding a Regent EX lawn tractor model and ZT2500 zero turn model featuring a 48-inch fabricated deck with limited lifetime warranty.

* Massey Ferguson 2000 Series lawn tractors for 2014 will now be offered with V-twin engines versus the single cylinder models offered previously. A new “prosumer” 2950 Series zero turn model featuring a 25-gross hp. Briggs & Stratton engine and 61-inch fabricated deck is offered for $4,999.

* In other news, Briggs & Stratton also unveiled its next generation of smart, clean and affordable inverter generators: the PowerSmart Series P3000. The P3000 delivers enough consistent, quiet power to run a 13,500 BTU RV air conditioning unit. It is the first inverter in its class that offers a USB charging outlet and StatStation LED wattage monitor/maintenance reminder. The PowerSmart Series P3000 inverter generator features computer-controlled technology that continuously and automatically adjusts engine speed to reduce fuel consumption and run up to 80 percent quieter than traditional camping generators. The unit provides efficient and consistent power for both recreational and emergency backup needs that traditional generators can’t match. The unit’s luggage-style, lift assist transportation system allows for easy maneuverability by one person with its telescoping handle and a twin-handle for two-person lifting.

Altoz zero-turn mowers debut at GIE+EXPO

 The 2014 Altoz XC Z line of zero-turn mowers is comprised of high-performance commercial machines.

Providing the foundation of this state-of-the-art lineup is the Aero Deck High Output System. Quality-engineered performance features maximum airflow from its design and Gator Mulcher G6 blades.

The XC Z boasts a 19-mph top speed. It is complemented by a drive system and clutch that produces 250 ft-lbs of torque along with a heavy-duty deck, deck spindles, front forks, and fork castors, as well as tapered wheel bearings.

The XC Z line also features the SmarTrak Monitoring System that keeps the operator abreast and informed. With the SmarTrak built-in maintenance reminders, a digital rpm gauge, alarm protection, and an on-board clock, the XC Z line provides worry-free operation.

The TorqFlex Suspension provides the ultimate smooth ride. The Vibration Isolation System also assists operator comfort by isolating the rider from aggravating vibration to allow the operator to mow all day and limit fatigue. The Engine Isolation System ensures that the operator is comfortable in the most demanding conditions. The seat brings everything together with fully adjustable suspension, lumbar support, tilt adjustment, operator weight adjustment, and more.

“We built the Altoz XC Z lineup for professionals and discerning homeowners who demand the finest quality cut and appreciate a well-designed, quality-built mower,” said Dennis Brazier, Altoz chief executive officer. “We are committed to building a brand that is a game-changer within the industry. It’s reflected in our attention to detail, such as hiding control linkages inside the frame where they’re out of sight and shielded from debris, fingers, and feet. And it’s highlighted by the superior handling and operator comfort that produces a precision-grade cut.”

The XC 720 Z, XC 610 Z and XC 540 Z are the premium models in the Altoz lineup. The 2014 Altoz XC Z commercial line of zero-turn mowers are joined by the XC S, XP S, and XP Z line of Altoz mowers, and are manufactured in Greenbush, Minn. They will be available in select U.S. markets beginning in the fall 2013.

Gravely adds “High HP” model to Pro-Turn Series

 Gravely announced the addition of a 35-hp. Kawasaki FX1000V engine option to its Pro-Turn Series of zero-turn mowers. This option will be available on the Pro-Turn 460 and 472 models.

The Pro-Turn 400 zero-turn mower series is designed for maximum operator comfort and efficiency. The mower features an air-suspension with added seat isolation to provide a smooth, comfortable ride for all-day operation. The air pressure can be adjusted with the touch of a button and comfort foam feels more like an office chair than a standard mower seat. The seat rides smoothly over rough terrain, allowing faster mowing speeds and increased productivity. A rubber isolated foot platform also minimizes vibration for a more comfortable ride.

The seven-gauge fabricated and welded X-Factor deck features an all new deck lift system. Minimal force is required to raise and lower the deck, reducing operator fatigue, especially for operators who manually float the deck over the terrain. Combined with the dial adjust height-of-cut system, the Pro-Turn 400 makes changing cutting height simple and easy to learn. The dial system is faster than pin height-of-cut selectors on other decks.

Fully adjustable control handles allow the operator to fine-tune the settings for an optimum ergonomic position. The arms accommodate any size operator and flip open making entering and exiting the cockpit more accessible. The ability to customize the mower for different users provides all-around comfort.

* Gravely also added the new commercial Pro-Stance 36 mower to the Pro-Stance lineup. With patent-pending features, including integrated transmissions, a dial height-of-cut and foot pedal deck lift, the new Pro-Stance is small enough to fit within gates and tight spaces, yet doesn’t sacrifice productivity and superior results. Like all models in Gravely’s Pro-Stance line, the 36-inch model includes integrated Hydro-Gear transmissions for an industry leading low center of gravity. A lower center of gravity allows operators to easily handle slopes or uneven terrain. Integrated transmissions also reduce leak points and eliminate cross contamination typical in pump and wheel motor systems.

* Gravely introduced the new Commercial 21 walk-behind mower for commercial contractors powered by the Kawasaki FJ180V KAI 179cc OVH engine.

The self-propelled mower features gear-driven, rear-wheel drive. The three-speed shift-on-the-fly transmission allows operators to easily adjust to mowing conditions with ease.

The new mower also features 9-inch cast-aluminum wheels with sealed bearings and steel stabilizer bushings, greasable rear axle with zerk fittings and dust seals, replaceable high-durometer rubber tires, seven height-of-cut adjustment positions from

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