Twenty for 2018 new product award winners

Landscape Business announced its selections for the “Twenty for 2018” new product awards. The Landscape Business Twenty for 2018 new product awards recognize products for the commercial landscape and irrigation markets.*

Products were judged by the EPG Media and Specialty Information editorial staff based on innovation, marketability and application within the market.

The Twenty for 2018 award winners, in alphabetical order, are as follows:


Billy Goat Next Gen 25-inch PLUGR aerator

Billy Goat’s Next Gen 25-inch width PLUGR reciprocating aerator offers up to 42,550 square feet of aeration per hour in a single pass, and an estimated 30-plus-percent greater return on investment versus traditional drum units for unprecedented aeration productivity. Variable Aeration Density, a Billy Goat exclusive, lets operators vary hole spacing from 8 to 45 holes per square foot. The unit features self-propelled rear-wheel hydro-drive and front casters for ultimate in-ground turning and best-in-class drive controls for feathering speed with fingertip control. Patent-pending “EZ Lift n Drop” tine engagement/disengagement provides uninterrupted aeration, easier maneuvering and smoother operation.


BOB-CAT XRZ Pro RS commercial zero-turn mower

BOB-CAT’s XRZ Pro RS zero-turn mower is loaded with commercial-grade features that any lawn care professional requires – all at a value-driven price point. It features a powerful Kawasaki FX Series engine, and a choice of 48-, 52- or 61-inch mower decks. The BOB-CAT TufDeck Pro 10-gauge fabricated, welded and reinforced steel mower deck includes the BOB-CAT patented Double Wave baffle system and professional-grade spindle assemblies – all created to maximize vacuum and lift up grass to get a sharper, cleaner cut. Commercial cutters will experience improved run times and productivity thanks to dual fuel tanks with a 9.5-gallon capacity and a forward speed of up to 10 mph. And they can comfortably work all day thanks to a high-back fully mechanical suspension seat with armrests. The new XRZ Pro RS also comes with an aggressive new look, including black wheel rims, black belt covers and a darker seat. It is backed by a 6-year/1,200 hour “Mow with Confidence” limited warranty.


Bobcat Company E85 R-Series excavator

The R-Series E85 excavators from Bobcat Company feature a bold, distinct design geared toward increasing operator productivity and comfort, as well as machine uptime protection. Operators will benefit from the performance of the non-Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), turbocharged Doosan engine with increased horsepower, and an optimized integrated rear counterweight design that enhances the machine’s stability. Also, an optional automatic heating and air conditioning system provides complete control over the cab climate. Strengthened hinges and latches, and more ridged, aligned R-Series excavator panels reduce vibration in the cab, making for a more enjoyable workday. Along with having the largest cab openings in the industry, Bobcat redesigned its R-Series excavator cab for an unbeatable operator experience. There is increased floor space and additional glass surface area, which includes an improved top window and narrower side pillars for visibility that has never been better.


Cat CUV82 and CUV102D UTVs

Caterpillar introduced its first-ever Cat utility vehicles (UTVs) – the gasoline-powered Cat CUV82 and diesel-powered CUV102D. Beginning with a clean design sheet, Caterpillar gathered extensive customer and dealer input to build a UTV that delivers a combination of durability, comfort and maintenance simplicity. Rigorous vehicle testing ensures both utility vehicles meet the quality and reliability customers expect from Caterpillar. The CUV82 and CUV102D feature a rugged steel cargo bed and offer 1,000-pound total rear cargo capacity and 2,000-pound towing capacity for outstanding performance in a variety of applications. The new UTVs efficiently complete hauling tasks, quickly maneuvering over rugged terrain at the worksite at speeds reaching 45 mph (depending on the model). The CUV82 is powered by a 0.8L three-cylinder gasoline engine delivering 50 hp., while a 1.0L three-cylinder diesel engine delivers 25 hp. to the CUV102D.


Cub Cadet PRO HW Hydro Walk-behind

The PRO HW Hydro Walk-behind mower is the latest addition to Cub Cadet’s growing professional line. Designed with direct feedback from landscapers throughout the country, it features a fixed floating 10-gauge deck design with 7-gauge steel top and bottom reinforcements, available in 36-, 48- and 54-inch cutting widths. New sealed spindle assemblies with single-row ball bearings are maintenance-free for the life of the spindle. The Easy-Trac steering technology provides smooth steering with hand lever controls requiring less force to steer, along with single-lever cruise control and straight-line adjustable tracking with fingertip control. It also provides stability on hillsides and slopes while the infinite speed control matches user preference. The rugged design includes the thickest steel yokes, beam and control center in the industry. A fully welded front axle provides increased stress tolerance. The higher clearance and weight balance allow professionals to easily maneuver forward or reverse over curbs.


Dixie Chopper Eagle HP

The Eagle HP from Dixie Chopper offers speed, power, performance, advanced operator controls and comfort. The Eagle HP is offered in deck sizes from 60 to 72 inches and engine options up to 35 horsepower from Kawasaki and Kohler EFI. Each model comes standard with a foot-operated operator-controlled discharge chute, which allows users to keep their hands on the steering levers at all times. The Eagle HP sets out to redefine the mowing experience with its high back, padded armrest, and ISO mounted suspension seat combined with suspension forks that help absorb rough terrain and provide the smoothest ride.


Echo X Series

The Echo X Series represents the company’s “best-in-class” products designed for professional users. The X Series includes bed redefiners, trimmers, brushcutters, hedge trimmers, blowers, chain saws, edgers, pruners, and the Pro Attachment Series. Each model in the X Series has specific top-level attributes designed to help landscape professionals perform their jobs better in respective applications. Features include light weight, increased horsepower, vibration reduction and longer run time. Highlights of the new X Series include the X Series CS-2511T top-handle chain saw and the X Series HCA-2620 hedge trimmer (pictured). The CS-2511T is the lightest gas-powered chain saw in North America, and the most powerful in its class. It features a top-mounted bar oiler, which allows for easy access by the operator and prevents the oiler adjustment screw from getting clogged with wood chips and debris. The HCA-2620 hedge trimmer boasts class-leading power, advanced power head features, lighter weight, improved gear case design and superior three-sided cutting teeth.


Exmark Lazer Z Diesel zero-turn mower

Exmark raised the bar for commercial zero-turn mower productivity with the 2018 Lazer Z Diesel. Available with a new 96-inch UltraCut Flex Wing cutting deck and state-of-the-art RED Technology-equipped Yanmar liquid-cooled diesel engines, the new machine is capable of cutting more than 10-acres per hour. Designed to reduce operator exposure to bumps and vibrations, the Lazer Z Diesel features isolation mounts under the seat base and footrest, as well as within the motion control system. The full-suspension operator seat uses Exmark’s scissor link ball-bearing suspension system, an Elastomeric Vibration Control (EVC) stretch fabric base and custom seat cushion foam for all-day comfort. Lazer Z Diesel models are also available with a choice of 60- or 72-inch UltraCut cutting decks, in side-discharge and rear-discharge configurations.


FX Luminaire DX lighting controller

The DX is an easy-to-program, low-voltage lighting controller that brings customers the convenience of all-in-one functionality. It is simple to operate, and it is the only digital facepack-controlled controller with astronomical timing and event-based programming capabilities pre installed. This means there is no need for end users to buy plug-in accessories such as timers and photocells. With the DX, clients with intermediate on/off lighting control needs have a reliable, high-quality solution. The sleek, contemporary DX features a clean texture that mimics carbon fiber, and comes with an easy-to-read, full-color LCD display that makes installation and configuration a breeze. The DX provides 150- or 300-watt capacities with multi-tap outputs, and it is available in powder-coated galvanized steel and stainless-steel options. Capabilities include manual operation, the capacity to create scheduled programs, and the ability to configure astronomical timing for locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.


Greenworks Commercial GBB 700 dual battery port backpack blower

The GBB 700 cordless blower offers the performance and power needed to support landscapers, turf management crews and golf maintenance professionals, as 690 CFM and 165 mph are now available on demand at the push of a button. Operators can customize their performance and power usage with the variable-speed trigger, cruise control lever, and turbo button. The unit is equipped with two battery ports that come standard with Automatic Battery Switch-Over, offering extended uninterrupted runtime.

Features and benefits include:

  • Axial fan design providing up to 690 CFM/165 mph
  • Brushless motor delivering more power, quieter operation and longer life
  • Dual battery port with automatic switchover for 2x run-time
  • Power station capabilities let users power their whole line of equipment off the same backpack
  • Cruise control, variable-speed trigger and turbo button provide customized performance


Hunter Pro-C Hydrawise

The Pro-C Hydrawise from Hunter combines the power of Wi-Fi-based irrigation management and the convenience of modular expansion into one next-generation controller. Users have the flexibility to manage their controller from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The controller is EPA WaterSense approved and compatible with Amazon Alexa for convenient voice control to start, stop, and suspend watering. Contractors can continue to use their ROAM and ROAM XL remotes for quick on-site system operation. Among the controller’s many robust features is Predictive Watering, which automatically adjusts irrigation based on local, real-time weather conditions, including temperature, rainfall, wind, and humidity. A built-in milliamp sensor quickly detects faulty wires. By adding the simple-to-install HC flow meter, contractors can receive instant notifications about leaking pipes or broken sprinklers. The Pro-C Hydrawise helps contractors save time, save water, protect landscapes, and effectively meet the demands of customers who want the latest technology.


Husqvarna V500 Series

Designed for commercial-grade lawn care, Husqvarna V500 Series stand-on mowers combine extreme efficiency and durability with a compact design for excellent maneuverability. Both V500 models have zero-turn capability and the ergonomic body cushion will provide maximum operator comfort. With a rapid mount-dismount, unbeatable maneuvering and ergonomic operation, operators get the best of zero-turn and commercial walk-behind combined. Backed by Husqvarna’s industry-leading 5-year limited commercial warranty, the V500’s heavy-duty construction, combined with industrial-strength drive systems, delivers long-lasting operation. Other features include tool-less tracking adjustment and removable deck covers, easy-to-reach transmission by-pass and front-mounted hydro tanks and pumps for fast, convenient access and service. Available with a 48- or 54-inch Commercial ClearCut deck, the V500 models provide excellent grass cutting and management.


Kawasaki FT730V-EFI engine

Kawasaki’s new 26-hp. EFI engine and accompanying air filtration system (Vortical Air Filtration) significantly combat issues facing lawn care professionals:

  • Superior debris management using the Vortical Air Filtration and clean-out ports and less maintenance due to increased hours between air filter changes
  • Kawasaki’s integrated e-governor maintains peak productivity, even on steep inclines
  • No power loss through entire load range simplifies mowing function through almost any turf conditions
  • Instant power/load matching maintains optimum blade tip speed for cleaner cuts, reducing the need to re-cut
  • Pros can cover wider areas at a quicker pace, with uniform results and less cleanup
  • No cold-start choke; head-temp monitor guards against overheating as a protection to commercial investment
  • Automatic enrichment means fast, dependable starts, regardless of weather conditions
  • Pros have a decade of experience with the proven 730 block used with this new engine
  • Kawasaki’s open-loop design is the core of simple, reliable performance characteristics
  • SAE-certified horsepower


Kohler Command PRO 999cc engine with electronic throttle body

As part of its ongoing commitment to enhancing the mowing experience for commercial cutters, Kohler integrated an electronic throttle body into its Command PRO EFI 999cc engine. The new technology electronically controls intake airflow – much like in automobile engines – to optimize power and load response. The electronic throttle body is combined with Kohler’s proven electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, as well as the latest engine cooling technology, in the updated Command PRO EFI 999cc to deliver a range of benefits, including quick and easy starting, excellent fuel economy, improved durability and enhanced response in challenging mowing conditions.


Mean Green Mowers ReVolt

ReVolt is the latest innovative mower from Mean Green Mowers that fills the final gap Mean Green’s broad range. The ReVolt is an all-electric 48-inch/52-inch cut dual drive wide-area walk-behind commercial mower. With the option of up to two powerful Green Monster battery packs, the ReVolt can easily get commercial lawn care contractors through a full day of mowing on one charge.  With its low-slung, super-wide stance, and powerful battery packs hovering only 8 inches above the ground, the ReVolt boasts the lowest center of gravity compared to any gas-powered walk-behind available. This allows the ReVolt to hug slopes with fewer worries from the loss of control and oil starvation common with internal combustion engines.


Scag V-Ride II

The all-new Scag V-Ride II stand-on mower is designed with a keen focus on the operator experience, and features a more compact stance, ultra-smooth drive controls, easy deck lift and cutting height adjustment, a spacious operator platform with coil suspension, Tiger Eye Advanced Monitoring System (most models) and easy service access. Larger drive tires ensure traction and a soft footprint. Get the job done fast with best-in-class ground speeds up to 10.5 mph, depending on the model. Thanks to its proven 48-, 52- or 61-inch Velocity Plus or 36-inch Advantage cutter deck, the V-Ride II provides unmatched cutting performance in any conditions. A variety of accessories are available to fit the V-Ride II, allowing users to maximize productivity and profitability.


Stihl HSA 25 battery-powered garden shears

When it comes to touching up trimming jobs or performing precise cutting of ornamental shrubs, turn to the HSA 25 battery-powered garden shears. Part of the Stihl Lightning Battery System line of products, the HSA 25 is lightweight with a rubberized handle for user comfort and secure grip. It features two attachments – grass shear and shrub shear – to meet specific trimming needs. With run times of up to 110 minutes on a single charge, the HSA 25 allows users to complete tasks with clean, efficient cuts, and faster than with manual garden shears. This product is the first Stihl tool designed for detail-oriented trimming tasks and is ideal for users operating in noise-sensitive areas. The HSA 25 comes in a kit including a carrying bag, battery and charger for convenient transportation and storage.


Toro Z Master 7500-D Series

Toro Z Master 7500-D Series diesel-powered commercial zero-turn mowers are built for maximum productivity. To accommodate a wide range of needs, the 7500-D features side- and rear-discharge commercial cutting decks ranging from 60 to 96 inches. The 96-inch cutting deck is highlighted by articulating wind decks that hug the contours of the terrain for a smooth and consistent cut. In addition, the Turbo Force cutting deck features a bullnose bumper, greaseless cast-iron spindles and side bumpers, and is equipped with a hydraulic deck lift. Powered by a Tier 4-compliant three-cylinder 1.6-liter 37-hp. Yanmar diesel engine that is managed by Horizon technology, the new Z Master 7500-D Series provides ample power to handle the most challenging mowing conditions. A 12.5-gallon fuel tank also helps minimize downtime to keep mowing crews productive. Mowers in this new line can reach ground speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour.


Vermeer SPX25 vibratory plow

The Vermeer SPX25 vibratory plow is designed for fast and efficient irrigation system and cable/fiber installation. It features a full-function remote control that gives the operator a 360-degree view of the jobsite, helping to avoid potential obstacles and provide an unobstructed view of the product being installed. The SPX25 vibratory plow is compact, powerful and built with tracks to minimize ground disturbance. The Vermeer SPX25 vibratory plow is powered by a 25-hp. Kohler gas engine that provides ample power for installing at depths up to 12 inches. The dual rubber tracks, with a ground pressure of 3.7 psi on the SPX25 plow, deliver great floatation in soft ground conditions and help reduce jobsite restoration after an install. The SPX25 is also equipped with a pivot-mounted plow that has a 55-degree swing angle that automatically adjusts when turning.


Wright Mfg. Stander X Gen 2 mower

Wright Manufacturing’s Stander X Gen 2 mower improves on the original Stander X with more than a dozen new features, including:

  • An 8-gallon fuel tank for 45 percent more capacity.
  • Push-button deck-height-adjustment lever.
  • A 3-inch-wider platform.
  • Larger frame tubes.
  • More sealed connections in the wiring harness.
  • Redundant circuitry in the PTO switch.
  • Sealed platform switch for greater reliability.
  • Long-life sealed wheel bearings.
  • Larger muffler with engine guard.
  • Highly visible hydro oil cover.
  • Easy access to the hydro oil filter.
  • Heavy-duty control rod ends.

The Stander X Gen 2 is available with Aero Core deck widths of 48, 52 and 61 inches, and engines ranging from 22 to 24 horsepower. With no seat, seat belts or armrests, users can step off for a quick exit or to pick up debris. The Stander X’s low center of gravity and large wheels optimize stability, even on hillsides.



* Manufacturers were allowed to submit more than one new product for consideration, as long as the product was introduced to the market between June 2, 2017, and June 1, 2018. The 20 winners were selected from among qualifying nominations.


Landscape Business – through the website, Landscape Business e-newsletter and the Landscape Business Product Showcase – reaches decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water management companies. Landscape Business is produced by EPG Media and Specialty Information, Minneapolis, Minn.

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