2018 GIE+EXPO Post-show Recap

The 2018 GIE+EXPO was held Oct. 17-19 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Ky., and was another record-breaking event. The show topped the last four years’ records in both attendance and exhibitors, making it the largest ever for this mega show. According to show management:

  • More than 24,700 people from around the world attended, representing a 3 percent increase over 2017.
  • With 1,000 exhibits, the indoor show floor and Outdoor Demonstration Area were larger than ever.
  • Servicing Dealer registrants were up 5 percent over 2017.
  • Lawn and landscape pro registrants were up 7 percent over 2017.
  • All 50 states and more than 50 countries were represented.
  • The indoor show floor was 40,000 gross square feet larger than in 2017.
  • The Outdoor Demonstration Area covered more than 20 acres.
  • There were 250 new exhibitors in GIE+EXPO and the co-located Hardscape North America.

2018 GIE+EXPO highlights and new product introductions are as follows:


Keynote address by Dr. Robert Ballard

GIE+EXPO 2018 began Wednesday, Oct. 17, and kicked off with a keynote addresses for dealers by Dr. Robert Ballard, the undersea explorer who discovered the Titanic wreckage. During the session, Ballard shared stories of his undersea exploits and the exploration of the ocean floor.

Ballard pointed out that 95 percent of Earth’s population lives on less than 5 percent of the planet, and he shared tales of the efforts being made to further the understanding of our planet’s oceans.

He also detailed efforts being made to explore moons of Jupiter and Saturn using knowledge gained from discoveries made deep within Earth’s oceans.

One of the greatest undersea explorers of our times, Dr. Ballard is best known for his discovery of the RMS Titanic in 1985, more than 70 years after it sank. He has conducted more than 140 deep sea expeditions, including the first manned exploration of the Mid-Ocean Ridge, and is credited with discovering many key chapters of human history, such as the German battleship Bismarck and President John F. Kennedy’s PT-109. Dr. Ballard’s innovative use of robotic rovers enables exploration of the 70 percent of our planet that lies under the sea.

Ballard said that one of his goals is to motivate the next generation to be excited about deep-sea exploration, to study harder, and ask questions.

The dealer keynote was sponsored by Bob-Cat Mowers and Stihl.


Rescue dogs find new homes with the help of Mutt Madness during GIE+EXPO


Mutt Madness, a dog adoption event for attendees at GIE+EXPO, took place Thursday, October 18 in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Held in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) and GIE+EXPO, the event offered an opportunity for rescue dogs to find their forever homes.

“Louisville Tourism is so pleased to be a part of this innovative partnership between one of our longest running shows and the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS),” said Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “As a premier outdoor tradeshow, GIE+EXPO is the perfect organization to partner with our own KHS as they both share a common interest of beautifying the outdoors – something both humans and dogs can appreciate.”

“We took the definition of ‘show dog’ to a whole new level,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which is the managing partner for GIE+EXPO. “Our industry is comprised of ‘outsiders,’ who love the outdoors and animals. Mutt Madness was a natural fit. After all, who knows your yard the best? Your dog. And who makes your yard possible? The contractors, manufacturers, and landscapers who attend GIE+EXPO. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Kiser presented a $10,000 check – on behalf of OPEI’s education platform, TurfMutt – to KHS during the event to support their good work in animal rehabilitation, rescue, and adoption.

“We are thrilled to see these wonderful dogs find new homes. Ten rescue dogs were adopted at our inaugural Mutt Madness event, and even more dogs from the show found their forever homes over the weekend,” said Kiser.


* In related news, professional chain saw artist Jason Emmons of Bear Hollow Wood Carvers put his talent to use in support of animal rehabilitation, rescue and adoption during GIE+EXPO. Emmons carved at Echo’s outdoor Performance Circuit booth, and his sculptures will be auctioned at KHS’s 2019 annual August fundraiser, Tux and Tales Gala. Emmons is the ideal person to carve for the KHS. His carving career originally began by specializing in pet memorial wood sculptures. His business Bear Hollow Wood Carvers of French Lick, Ind., now runs several teams of professional chain saw carvers appearing around the country specializing in high-end wood sculptures.


UTV University at GIE+EXPO

Back for a third year, the UTV University at GIE+EXPO featured proven powersports dealer training specialists. Held on October 17, UTV University is designed for dealers currently selling UTVs, as well as those considering adding them to their lineup.

Steve Shankin, president and owner of Seizmikshared strategies for rethinking how dealers sell to UTV customers, backed by a significant amount of data to support his strategies.

JW Washington, director business development, Ariens Co., discussed how to effectively target the 8 Utility Vehicle (UTV) professional verticals and drive incremental sales via the Landscape Professional and Governmental segments.

And Mike Smith, president and CEO, Odes Industries, examined the small details that every dealership can capitalize on in order to increase traffic.

UTV University was sponsored by Hisun, and was presented by OPE magazine and PowerSports Business magazine.

The full UTV presentations are available at OutdoorPowerEquipment.com under “Multimedia” in the left-hand navigation bar.


Mean Green Mowers Evolution Series

Mean Green Mowers introduced the Evolution Lithium-powered electric commercial EVO-72-inch ZTR mower. New for 2019, the Evolution can mow for up to 9 hours (depending on battery pack size). According to Mean Green, the Evolution offers five times the power of previous Mean Green mowers, and features an aluminum frame for lighter weight and improved efficiency. The Evolution travels up to 12.5 mph, and is comparable to a 38-hp. engine.




Steel Green introduces sprayer/spreader product line

Steel Green, a Lebanon, Ind.-based startup, which began business in 2018, introduced its line of stand-on zero-turn sprayer/spreader machines – the SG36, SG46 and SG52.

The units feature standard integrated 20/50-amp charging system, oil cooler, heavy-duty shift solenoid starter, high-density poly fertilizer tray, fertilizer hopper, drum parking brakes, overfill protection, tank sump with drain, easy access nozzles, Donaldson air cleaner, 3-quart oil reservoir, and Delavan pump.

The SG36 features 36-inch width, dual 15-gallon spray tanks and a 21-hp. engine. The SG46 features 46-inch width, dual 15-gallon spray tanks, 22-inch rear wheels, and a 21-hp. engine. And the SG52 offers 52-inch width, dual 30-gallon spray tanks, 22-inch rear wheels and a 21-hp. engine.

Steel Green sprayer/spreader machines are available through Advanced Turf Solutions in 10 states and available direct in all other states.


Greenworks Commercial introduces fleet of lithium-ion-powered OPE vehicles

Greenworks Commercial unveiled new professional-grade OPE vehicles at GIE+EXPO. Expanding on its successful introduction of Lithium Z zero-turn mowers this past summer, the new Greenworks fleet now will include new mowing vehicles in the family of lithium-ion-powered OPE vehicles, plus the company’s first-ever line of lithium-ion-powered UTVs, as well.

Greenworks Commercial introduced several new lithium-ion-powered cutting vehicles to complement the award-winning Lithium Z 60R and 48S. First, the company will build upon its commercial-grade Lithium Z zero-turn family with the introduction of a 52-inch 52R ride-on mower that offers the same pro-level performance and runtime in a slightly smaller, more nimble package. In addition, the company introduced a 52-inch 52S Stand-on model offering the same versatility and performance of the 48S with a 4-inch larger cutting deck. The 52R and 52S offer users up to 4.5 and 6 hours of cutting time, respectively.

Just like their predecessors, the newest members of the Lithium Z family offer zero-turn radius maneuverability, zero gas and zero emissions. All four models are powered by an 82-volt 13.8kW lithium-ion battery and feature three 1.5KW brushless blade motors and two 1.7KW brushless drive motors, delivering pro-level cutting speed and power, offering a true gas replacement. Furthermore, all of Greenworks Commercial’s zero-turn mowers are the industry’s only to utilize batteries that have been UL-certified for safety.

For homeowners who shop in the dealer channel, Greenworks is rolling out two heavy-duty, consumer-grade Lithium Z Consumer zero-turn mowers. The new 42-inch and 48-inch Lithium Z Consumer 42R and 48R will both offer up to 4.5 hours of runtime, making them ideal for tackling even the most rigorous of residential lawns that require maximum maneuverability.

For a more economical solution to residential lawn care, Greenworks is planning to round out its fleet of lithium-ion powered cutting vehicles with its first-ever line of lithium lawn tractors available in both 42- and 46-inch models. The 82V Lithium LT42 and Lithium LT46 are ideal for consumers who maintain a large grass area at their homes, and value the convenience and green benefits that lithium-ion power provides. Both of Greenworks new Lithium LT lawn tractors will offer two hours of runtime per charge.

In addition to the new mowing vehicles in Greenworks Commercial’s family of lithium-ion powered OPE vehicles, the company unveiled its first-ever line of UTVs.

The new Greenworks Commercial Stealth and Greenworks Commercial Stealth Crew UTVs offer users the ability to navigate the roughest of terrain while hauling all the tools and materials needed to complete any task. With a payload capacity of 500 pounds and towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, these versatile, rugged, side-by-sides offer the ideal balance of utility and performance. Powered by a 13.8kwh 80V lithium-ion battery, AC Rated 7.5kw motor, both the Stealth and Stealth Crew can reach top speeds of 25 mph on a variety of terrain from forests to farmland to swampy hunting grounds and go up to 45 miles on a single charge. Greenworks’ Stealth family of UTVs will be offered with a wide range of options (upgraded mud tires, 3,500-pound winch, full windscreen, etc.) to customize performance for whatever mission the user wants to accomplish.

“We were absolutely blown away by the industry’s reception for our first Lithium Zs earlier this summer,” said Tony Marchese, director of independent retail, Greenworks North America. “As impressive as those machines are, we realized that we were really just scratching the surface in terms of the versatility that lithium-ion vehicles can bring to the OPE industry. We will now offer the broadest and safest line in the industry. With vehicles for mowing, towing and hauling we will have an option that can help everyone.”

All of Greenworks Commercial’s lithium-ion OPE vehicles come standard with a 2-year frame warranty and 3-year battery and motor warranty.

* Greenworks Commercial also unveiled its first-ever Dual Voltage Technology platform of tools, exclusively for homeowners who shop in the independent lawn and landscape dealer channel. The new Greenworks Dual Voltage system complements Greenworks’ popular Commercial 82-Volt system. Together, the dealer-only families of tools provide dealers who cater to professionals and serious DIYers a comprehensive selection of cordless lithium-ion battery-powered OPE and handheld tools, affording customers greater battery management flexibility and convenience than ever before.

The new Greenworks Dual Voltage tool system operates on a proprietary lithium-ion 24/48V power platform. The Greenworks Dual Voltage batteries are designed to automatically switch over from one voltage to the other when inserted into tools matching the respective voltage platform. In practical terms, the same battery that powers a homeowner’s 48v self-propelled lawnmower can also be used to power a homeowner’s 24v shop vac. Greenworks Dual Voltage system will feature more than 30 different tools, including 48v lawn mowers, string trimmers, edgers, blowers, pole saws, chainsaws and 24v brushed impact wrenches, drills/drivers, impact drivers, shop vacuums, flash lights and angle grinders, that can all be powered by the same battery. The Greenworks Dual Voltage battery platform will come in two options – a 24/48v 4Ah/2Ah smart battery and a 24/48v 8Ah/4Ah smart battery, both of which can fuel the entire range.

* Greenworks Commercial also unveiled its first-ever professional-grade snow thrower. The Greenworks Commercial SN-220 22-inch snow thrower is powered by the brand’s proprietary lithium-ion 82-volt battery system. When the growing and maintaining season is over, operators can use the same batteries to power this powerful snow removal tool to bolster winter season profitability. The 22-inch 82V Snow Thrower provides comparable performance and durability to gasoline-powered throwers.


Briggs & Stratton shares the latest from its range of brands

Briggs & Stratton held a press conference at GIE+EXPO to highlight the latest from its wide range of brands.

* Billy Goat broadens its Force pedestrian blower line starting in January 2019 with the addition of the Hurricane X3 and Z3 zero-turn-radius stand-on blowers. A patented Quad Control Handle System offers seamless operation of forward/reverse direction, automatic return to neutral, integrated operator presence control and a self-activating parking brake. The Joystick Deflector Control provides quick and easy adjustment of airflow from left, right or forward directions, eliminating the need to blow in reverse. The blower housing design efficiently draws air from both sides of the housing to move more air faster and quieter – up to165-plus mph. Combined with the patented Dual Deflector Airflow System, allowing the operator to change the angle of airflow for deeper, more efficient cleaning of leaves and debris, this machine doubles down on performance and productivity so operators can get more done in less time. And with air shutdown on all three discharges, along with convenient front and rear built-in tie-downs, all points of machine transport are a cinch. More features for best-in-class productivity include a torsion-mounted front axle assembly to negotiate curbs with ease and high flotation turf tires for superior hill handling. Max travel speeds of 9 mph for the X3 and 11 mph for the Z3 help complete jobs faster, plus an easy-fill 10-gallon fuel tank provides long hours of operation. The Billy Goat Hurricane X3 is powered by a 627cc and the Z3 a 993cc Vanguard engine.

* Ferris enhanced its zero-turn mower lineup with the new ISX 800. The ISX 800 offers the patent-pending ForeFront Suspension System, the next generation in Ferris independent suspension technology.

The ForeFront Suspension System is a natural evolution of independent suspension for Ferris. The system utilizes four upper and lower control rods that ensure the front caster bearing remains vertical through the full range of travel. This controlled motion results in a smoother ride, more precise tracing of the terrain and an improved cut.

“The ForeFront Suspension System proves that we’re not done taking care of our operators who ride every day,” said Dan Roche, marketing director, commercial products at Briggs & Stratton. “They expect excellent results from their equipment, and we’re providing them with advanced technology you would find on an ATV.”

The ISX 800 has a two-belt iCD cutting system that reduces the chance of a belt dislodging or rolling from the pulley, and is covered by a three-year belt limited warranty. The Ferris ISX 800 is equipped with a Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 transaxle for added durability with every pass, and is powered by the operator’s choice of Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series engines or Kawasaki engines. Operators can choose from a 52-inch or a 61-inch iCD cutting deck. The ISX 800 is capable of mowing at up to 10 miles per hour, and features larger front casters and rear tires than the IS 700Z. A premium mid-back seat provides ultimate operator comfort.

* Briggs & Stratton Corporation also debuted the new Ferris IS 3200 Midnight limited edition commercial mower to celebrate its 20th anniversary of suspension technology. Available for a limited-time only, new styling highlights a premium Ferris suspension, new rugged tires and a multifunctional front end guard with recessed jack mount for increased accessibility and LED lights for increased visibility. Ferris will manufacture 500 units of the IS 3200 Midnight limited edition, and will be sold exclusively through the authorized Ferris dealer network.

* Briggs & Stratton also showcased new Ferris corrosion-resistant stand-on spreaders, stand-on spreader/sprayers and stand-on blowers: the Rover Series granular spreaders, Pathfinder Series spreader/sprayer, Venture Series zero-turn spreader/sprayer, and Ferris FB2000 and FB3000 stand-on blowers.

* Briggs & Stratton also launched a version of InfoHub designed specifically for outdoor power equipment dealers. The new version will help dealers track both location and maintenance needs of rental and demo equipment. For dealers with multiple locations, InfoHub will simplify the process of knowing where each unit is, and also can provide detailed information for invoicing purposes. A geofence technology will alert dealers when a piece of equipment leaves the dealership, providing peace of mind.

* Briggs & Stratton introduced two new commercial-grade Snapper Pro stand-on mowers, the SS100 and the SS200. The all-new stand-on mowers are built to handle high mowing speeds in wide-open areas, while offering productivity-enhancing agility on difficult terrain. The Snapper Pro SS100 is available in two models: one is powered by a 23.0-gross-horsepower Vanguard Model 3867 engine. The compact model includes a 36-inch, 10-guage fabricated cutting deck ideal for navigating tight turns and narrow spaces such as gates. The other model is powered by a 19-gross-horsepower Kawasaki FX600V engine and has a 48-inch iCD cutting system. Both SS100 models feature Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 transaxles, large drive tires and never-go-flat caster tires on the front, allowing the unit to handle any mowing condition at up to 8 mph. The operator platform with suspension is adjustable for a large range of weights and operating conditions, optimizing operator comfort and increasing productivity. The SS200 from Snapper Pro runs on a powerful 28.0-gross-horsepower Vanguard 810cc EFI engine with Oil Guard. The patent-pending Oil Guard System exclusively from Vanguard saves contractors up to 60 percent on oil maintenance per unit, per season. That means less labor costs, less technical skills and less tools needed to perform timely oil changes. Operators can select from either a 52-inch or 61-inch iCD cutting system for superior cut quality. The SS200 has a Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 transaxle, large drive tires and never-go-flat caster tires on the front, ensuring the mower powers through every pass at up to 10 mph.

* Vanguard unveiled the new Vanguard 200 to the commercial turf market, which was developed around several key areas of performance, including starting, maintenance intervals, service and support, and total cost of ownership. The Vanguard 200 features TransportGuard, a single ignition and fuel shutoff designed to prevent oil dilution during transport, easy cold weather starting down to -20°F, 15 percent less vibration and 40 percent quieter performance than the Honda GX200.

* Briggs & Stratton expanded its InStart technology. Integrated InStart uses similar technology as Briggs & Stratton’s InStart Series to provide reliable lithium-ion battery to start the gas engine. The first small engine of its kind, Integrated InStart embeds the battery into the engine. This technology enables the homeowner to connect the mower to a standard wall outlet with a charging cable that connects directly to the engine to charge. With a full charge, the battery will provide starting for nearly the whole season.

* Briggs & Stratton and STA-BIL are joining forces to help homeowners protect their small engines and keep them running smoother and longer. Briggs & Stratton is recommending STA-BIL as the preferred fuel stabilizer to be used in Briggs & Stratton engines. In addition, the two companies will work together on a consumer education campaign launching in Spring 2019. The campaign will focus on reminding homeowners about the importance of using a fuel stabilizer to help combat problems related to stale gas and issues ethanol blended fuels can cause to small gas-powered engines.


Redesigned Honda HRX premium lawn mower lineup

Honda Power Equipment introduced the newly redesigned HRX Series of lawn mowers. The HRX Series, Honda’s most premium residential lawn mower models, now feature the powerful new GCV200 engine that delivers 10 percent more power and torque than the GCV190 it replaces, along with design and technology features that produce a clean, smooth cut. The redesigned Honda HRX lawn mowers are the first Honda mowers to incorporate this all-new GCV200 engine.

First introduced in 2003, the Honda HRX Series pioneered the Versamow System with Clip Director. For the first time on any lawn mower, the HRX Clip Director could easily enable bagging, mulching or simultaneous bagging and mulching of grass clippings in varying degrees through 10 separate settings – all without separate tools. The Honda Versamow System with Clip Director was designed to be a complete mowing system delivering the ultimate in flexibility. The past 15 years of Honda research and development, combined with feedback from HRX users, have driven new advancements for this mower line. Today’s HRX Series of lawn mowers is designed to deliver the ultimate in flexibility and the most satisfying lawn mowing experience.

The redesigned Honda HRX Series lawn mowers feature three significant areas of technological and operational enhancements:

* An all-new Honda GCV200 engine delivers 10 percent more power and torque to the mower’s blades to cut taller and thicker grass without stalling. The newly redesigned Honda HRX Series is the company’s first lawn mower line to incorporate the new GCV200 engine.

* A streamlined engine layout saves time by making it easier for the user to fill the fuel tank, monitor and change the oil, access the sparkplug and air cleaner, allowing for faster, easier and reduced routine maintenance.

* Modern styling – reflecting similar sleek, aerodynamic designs can be seen across other Honda product lines, including automobiles, motorcycles and even jets.

Honda engineers incorporated changes into the HRX lawn mower line to provide a more powerful mowing experience for the user, while grooming grass to a carpet-like finish. Like the original Honda HRX Series, the newly enhanced HRX Series features the Honda Versamow System with Clip Director. This system features a lever, located behind the engine cowling, that operates a sliding door between the lawn mower deck and the grass bag, allowing the operator to easily choose – or change – the preferred mowing option. The configuration also offers a setting for leaf shredding that recirculates leaves until they are small enough to pass into the rear-discharge grass bag. The operator can perform all of these functions smoothly and without the tools or attachments required on most conventional lawn mowers. Like all Honda lawn mowers, the Honda HRX offers reliable features designed to provide years of superior performance.


Fisher Barton adds additional lawnmower manufacturers offering LaserEdge Eversharp for 2019

Fisher Barton announced additional outdoor power equipment manufacturers offering LaserEdge Eversharp lawnmower blades. Developed with commercial lawncare professionals in mind, LaserEdge Eversharp is the first mower blade of its kind. Featuring Fisher Barton’s Eversharp advanced edge, the blade actually sharpens itself while in use, eliminating the need to sharpen the blade and avoiding the costly downtime associated with blade sharpening. In addition, LaserEdge Eversharp consistently produces the high quality of cut that customers expect from commercial lawncare professionals.

In addition to Grasshopper’s widespread availability in 2018, new brands currently available include Cub Cadet, Hustler, Husqvarna and Big Dog brands, and recently added Kubota. Brands available by January, 2019 include Ariens, Ferris, and Snapper Pro. John Deere just released an offering of LaserEdge Eversharp blades available for their 900 Series commercial mowers.

“We continue to work closely with the top lawnmower manufacturers to bring LaserEdge Eversharp to market”, said Andy Strupp, vice president of sales and marketing, “We continue to receive tremendous response from lawn care professionals, especially in areas of the country where high wear and maintenance are key issues to running successful operations.”


John Deere Z700 Series ZTrak mowers

Coming in Spring of 2019, the new Z700 Series zero-turn mowers from John Deere will provide larger property owners with commercial-grade construction to get the job done right. The Z700 Series is designed to increase productivity and enhance operator comfort for those who want a durable and comfortable machine for all-day mowing.

Notable features include commercial-grade transmission and heavy-duty frame; adjustable 21-, 22.5- and 24-inch seats; large fuel tank; integrated park brake automatically engages when steering levers are moved outwards, and disengages when levers are pulled together; three-position adjustable foot platform; cutting-height adjustment system with transport lock; high-capacity deck stamped from a single sheet of 9-gauge steel with commercial-grade reinforcements.

* John Deere also introduced the new diesel Z994R Commercial ZTrak zero-turn mower for more performance and efficiency. The Z994R expands the John Deere portfolio of diesel solutions for professional landscape contractors, and offers enhanced comfort, increased productivity, lower operating costs and longer engine life. The Z994R is powered by a three-cylinder, liquid-cooled diesel engine with gross SAE J1995, PS 24.7-hp. rated power at 3,200 rpm that meets Final Tier 4 emission standards. The high-torque, low-emission diesel engine provides power for tough conditions with low vibration and noise levels. To increase productivity, the Z994R is equipped with a single 11.5-U.S. gallon diesel fuel tank that provides enough fuel capacity for long mowing days with an easy-to-read fuel gauge.

* In addition, John Deere unveiled its new line of M and R Series commercial walk-behind mowers. With six models, including W36M, W48M, W36R, W48R, W52R and W61R, the new walk-behind mowers address primary customer needs of productivity, operator comfort, weight distribution and ground clearance. To maximize operator comfort, the controls for the new M and R Series walk-behind mowers were completely redesigned. The new steering controls have an improved hand position and the control grips have recessed operator presence levers that provide a smooth contour during operation. The spring-loaded neutral locks ease the release of the lock and keep it out of the way during operation. These changes reduce operator effort and minimize operator fatigue after a long day of mowing. In addition, improved weight distribution and position of hand controls make it easier to raise the front end of the mower during curb-climbing applications, improving ease of use and reducing operator effort.


Avant Tecno 423 and 523

The new Avant Tecno 423 and 523 models replace the Avant 420 and 520. Equipped with the new Kubota D902 engine (previously D722), the engines generate more power at lower revs (9 instead of 6kW at 1,600 rpm) and achieve 50 percent more torque compared to the previous 400 and 500 series.

Avant Tecno’s engineers have improved the performance of the multifunction loaders with the new Optidrive drive system by significantly reducing the number of hydraulic hoses and valves responsible for the heat generated by the hydraulic fluid. Less heat in the system also means less stress on the engine power and also a more economical fuel consumption. New radiators and fans further increase fuel economy, but above all contribute to reduced noise emission. This not only benefits the driver with quieter noise in the cabin it also makes working in noise-sensitive areas easier.

* Avant Tecno also exhibited a new, faster Avant 530. The Avant 530 is similar to Avant’s 528 model, but it has two-speed drive motors, making long-distance driving much more comfortable and faster (maximum speed of 19 km/h and 10 percent more pulling force compared to 528 models). The dimensions of the new 530 loader are the same as other 500 series loaders, and the weight did not change significantly, so the loader is easy and efficient to use and storage. The loader’s lightweight and small dimensions allow easy transportation between different locations. The 26-horsepower engine still transports cargo to a height of 2.80 meters and complies with the latest emissions standard (Tier 4 Final / Tier 5).


Kubota unveils all-new commercial stand-on mowers

Kubota Tractor Corporation entered the stand-on mower segment and introduced a new line of commercial mowers at GIE+EXPO. Kubota’s SZ Series is comprised of three models, including the SZ19-36, SZ22-48 and the SZ26-52, and will be available at Kubota dealerships in January 2019. The new stand-on mowers are designed for landscapers who mow zero lot homes or commercial properties with narrow lawns that can’t be mowed with zero-turn mowers. The SZ Series mowers are equipped with Kawasaki FX and FT EFI commercial engines and hydro-gear transmissions, and are designed with a low center of gravity for exceptional stability and fast travel speeds, up to 11 mph, depending on model.

Kubota’s SZ Series mowers are engineered with comfort and ease of maintenance as priority features. An ergonomic cushion pad provides maximum comfort to the operator, designed to support the upper thigh area and reduce knee and lower-back pressure while standing on the mower. The wide and angled operator platform offers ample legroom with the option to flip up the platform and walk behind the mower. Other features include tool-less front reference bar adjustment, tool-less tracking adjustment, adjustable dampened control levers, easy-access to maintenance points and flat-free tires designed to absorb impacts and mitigate downtime.

* Kubota also unveiled three new Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) commercial mowers. Kubota added the Z751KWi with 48-inch deck, Z781KWi with 54-inch deck, and the Z781KWTi with a 60-inch deck to its professional Z700 Series of zero-turn mowers. The new EFI models boast a sophisticated electronic fuel injection system that adjusts the high-pressure fuel delivery for optimum power and fuel efficiency, ideal for challenging conditions and uneven terrain. The new mowers are equipped with Kawasaki EFI engines that combine all the advantages of a fully integrated electronic governor (e-gov), cutting-edge ECU control, and open-loop technology, which contributes to high performance without experiencing power loss, even when confronted by heavy workloads or uneven terrain. Other features on the new EFI models include 24-inch low-profile tires for reduced ground pressure and tire roll, a large 3.5-inch LCD engine monitor and a dial throttle control for precise engine management, a new style suspension seat and a deck step indicator for improved comfort and easy operator entry, waterproof and dustproof safety switches, 6.5-inch no-flat caster tire, and a 12 volt outlet to charge and power 12V devices.


AriensCo new school

AriensCo has always had education at its core, and the new Ariens Academy and Francis Ariens Service School are bringing the company’s efforts to a new apex. With a significant investment, the company announced that it just completed construction on a new academic and training center, just down the road from its corporate headquarters in Brillion, Wis.

The goal is to produce a crop of service technicians for Ariens and Gravely products who are more highly trained and knowledgeable than ever before.

The new academy and service school were created to meet two key objectives: to educate and train AriensCo employees and to help dealers and their technicians learn about new products and technologies and how best to support them. As an added benefit, the academy and service school will primarily be used to bolster the training of RapidCare employees as they seek to improve product support and service for AriensCo dealers and customers.

The Ariens Academy’s new digs feature a state-of-the-art classroom center, complete with multimedia tools and online connectivity. The Francis Ariens Service School, located in the same building, has a full host of technical tools and dedicated workspaces that blend the characteristics of a scientific lab and mechanical garage.

Classes offered for AriensCo employees will also focus on business management and manufacturing operations, along with leadership training, project management and more. This extends the school’s mission beyond technical expertise and into subjects that will also advance individual careers, keeping with the company’s core value of encouraging intellectual curiosity.


Hustler Turf Equipment launches Dash and Raptor SDX zero-turn mowers

Hustler Turf Equipment launched two zero-turn mowers, the Dash and the Raptor SDX. The Dash brings Hustler performance into a smaller model zero-turn mower for residential properties, and the Raptor SDX is designed to tackle the toughest yards.

The Dash is compact and features a patented automatic park brake, foot-operated deck lift, and the ability to easily fit through most gates. Available in two welded, fabricated steel deck sizes – 34 or 42 inch – with a heavy-duty 1×2 fully tubular frame, the Dash is small enough for easy storage in a garage.

The Raptor SDX, the newest model in the Raptor line, is an aggressive residential mower with exclusive 22-inch big bite tires. Built to handle yards up to three acres in size, the Raptor SDX is equipped with luxury features, including Hustler’s SmoothTrak steering for responsive and precise control. It also boasts a patented automatic park brake, a premium, bolstered adjustable seat with internal suspension and a foot-operated deck lift. The Raptor SDX is powered by a Kawasaki FR Series engine and is available in a 48-, 54- or 60-inch welded fabricated steel deck.

Hustler is also expanding its product line with the introduction of pressure washers. The company recently launched a line of five pressure washers, powered by Honda engines. The pressure washer frames and tubing are engineered with lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminum, resulting in a lighter machine.


Schiller Grounds Care brands showcase their newest innovations

Schiller Grounds Care presented the latest information regarding its brands:

* Little Wonder’s new ProVac SI features serrated steel impeller blade technology, as well as a compact footprint and superior suction and shredding capabilities. With a generous 40-gallon bag capacity and ergonomic, foam-gripped handles that angle upward to match the hand’s natural position, the ProVac SI was designed for long-duration use without user fatigue. Just 28 inches wide at its widest point, the ProVac SI can fit through most any gate and work in small spaces. Its throated nozzle design increases airspeed for improved vacuum capability, while a rectangular discharge chute prevents clogging of debris. Bag capacity is optimized thanks to a 12-inch, 1⁄4-inch-thick steel impeller featuring five serrated blades. These blades will make short work of all sorts of debris including leaves, litter, cans, bottles and more. The ProVac SI delivers a 5:1 reduction ratio. The ProVac SI features a thick gauge, all-welded steel housing. Little Wonder offers a 2-year limited warranty on the ProVac SI.

* Bob-Cat showcased its new full line of commercial mowers at GIE+EXPO. The Next Generation Series of Bob-Cat mowers includes five new models: the Predator-Pro 7000, ProCat 6000MX, ProCat 6000, ProCat 5000 and QuickCat 4000. Along with a ferocious new look, the Next Generation Series features improved serviceability, making it easier to reach parts for maintenance. The Predator-Pro 7000 and ProCat 6000MX include a new hitch and a swing-away back bumper, providing full access to the engine. This means faster tune-ups and fixes so that operators can get back to being productive and making money. Bob-Cat also redesigned the operator controls, angling them toward the operator seat for ease of use and to eliminate operator fatigue. The handles have also been redesigned with an almond-shaped, ergonomic grip and a single-bolt height adjustment to make them more comfortable for each individual user. The seat also features improved ergonomics with weight and comfort adjustments for those days when mowing lasts all day long.

* Steiner unveiled its newest tractor model – the 450DX. The new tractor meets the needs of homeowners, small-business owners, contractors and municipalities, touting its efficient 25-horsepower, air-cooled engine and single-speed transmission. The more accessible 450DX features the same oscillating frame, articulated steering, four-wheel drive and Quick Hitch attachment system available on all Steiner 450 tractors. All models of the Steiner 450 deliver excellent performance and control, even on slopes of up to 30 degrees (when equipped with dual tires on front and rear axles).

* Ryan announced a new custom spreader attachment for the Lawnaire ZTS stand-on aerator. The commercial electric spreader – manufactured by Spyker – helps users achieve a new level of productivity when aerating and overseeding. The spreader hopper holds up to 120 pounds of material, so operators can complete large tasks with fewer refills, getting the job done faster. Variable-speed control also comes standard, mounted within arm’s reach of the operator platform, allowing for easy control of a spread swath of up to 16 feet.

* Mantis launched its 3000 Series tillers, which includes the electric Tiller/Cultivator (3550) and the 58V Cordless Tiller/Cultivator (3558). These new products bring enough power to tackle multiple gardening and digging tasks, without the gas, fumes or noise. The Mantis Electric Tiller is powered by a clean and quiet 120V electric motor, while the Mantis Cordless Tiller features a 58V rechargeable lithium-ion battery that delivers up to 30 minutes of full-power performance. Both tillers feature push-button starting and a two-speed motor that delivers the right power for the job.


Toro announces special edition Titan HD zero-turn

Toro announced the all-new Titan HD zero-turn special edition mower. The special-edition Titan HD 2000 Series MyRIDE features Toro bullhorns embossed on the seat and imprinted on the back guard, a tribute to more than a century of Toro innovation. Features such as the MyRide suspension system, which helps reduce bumps and impacts to the operator, and the 7/10-gauge 5.5-inch-deep high-strength steel Turbo Force 60-inch cutting deck make the Titan as comfortable as it is durable. The Special Edition model also features industry-exclusive trimmer and bucket mount brackets to minimize trips back to the trailer or equipment shed while on the job.

* Toro also added the Pro Force blower attachment to complement the award-winning GrandStand Multi Force product family. The Pro Force blower is powered by a 26.5-hp. Kohler Command Pro EFI engine to deliver tremendous air power for fast and easy removal of grass clippings, leaves, aeration cores and other debris. At full throttle, the Pro Force blower can reach air velocities of 7,800 cfm, and the efficient turbine assembly design allows maximum airflow to finish the job faster. “We’ve made an already versatile machine even more functional with the introduction of the Pro Force blower attachment,” said Chris Vogtman, marketing manager at Toro.

GrandStand Multi Force models feature a quick-attach system, centered around a 2-inch hitch receiver for a simple change-out of attachments. The new attachment is used in conjunction with a low-flow hydraulics kit to power through challenging tasks with ease.The new Pro Force blower is available now from Toro’s trusted distribution network.


New ASV RT-25 CTL compact track loader

ASV Holdings Inc. introduced the new RT-25 Posi-Track compact track loader. Featuring similar dimensions as its more powerful cousin, the RT-40, the RT-25 serves as an economical alternative for contractors, rental centers and homeowners working in tight spaces. Its size makes the loader the industry’s smallest sit-in CTL. The RT-25 is also a safer, more productive alternative to walk-behind and stand-on mini loaders in applications such as landscaping, construction and snow removal.

The RT-25 measures just 48 inches wide, making it easy to drive through tight spaces while minimizing the risk of property or machine damage. This includes landscaping or construction in high-density housing or confined areas where structures such as fences may otherwise need to be removed to accommodate larger equipment. The unit’s 3,755-pound operating weight further reduces risks of damage to turf or sensitive surfaces. That low weight also contributes to increased flotation and traction for snow clearing on sidewalks, driveways or in alleyways. A completely smooth turf track is also available to minimize the risk of damage to manicured lawns and golf course greens.

The machine’s industrial 25-horsepower Perkins diesel engine and 5.1-mph top speed allow operators to achieve maximum productivity by moving around quickly and digging and lifting more. The engine is turbocharged so it can output its full horsepower even at high elevations.

The RT-25 features a rated operating capacity of 665 pounds, a tipping load of 1,900 pounds, and an 8.4-foot lift height. ASV builds the machine with the same drive motor as the RT-40, allowing it to achieve the same high-tractive effort, which gives it exceptional pushing and digging power. The RT-25’s quick-attach suits a variety of available attachments. Variable auxiliary hydraulic flow comes standard on the Posi-Track loader. The system operates efficiently and at a high auxiliary circuit flow rate with an 11.3-gpm pump capacity and 3,000-psi system pressure.


Husqvarna introduces new products for forestry and lawn care professionals

Husqvarna introduced several new products designed for lawn, garden and tree care professionals.

“Husqvarna is the only company that can provide you with a full fleet solution, from lawn care to forestry products, from robotics to handheld and wheeled, and even accessories,” said Earl Bennett, president of Husqvarna Brand Division North America. “We are excited to announce that we’re expanding our commercial product lineup even further to offer professionals more solutions to increase productivity and efficiency and help grow their businesses.”

* Husqvarna announced that Yamaha engines will be available for the full line of Husqvarna Z500 series commercial zero-turn mowers. These all-new engines include EFI engines and are among the most fuel efficient in their class. They are known for their higher productivity and start-ability, and they combine Yamaha’s standard of performance and reliability with landscape-industry-specific design and development to reduce both labor and maintenance costs. Ranging from 26 to 33 hp., Yamaha engine versions will be available for all models in Husqvarna’s new commercial Z500 zero-turn series and come with an industry-leading 5-year commercial warranty.

* Introducing its robotic mowers to the commercial market, Husqvarna launched Automower 550 and 550H as a modern solution to business efficiency and strategic growth for commercial lawn and garden businesses. With reliable, automated and consistently high performance, Husqvarna’s professional Automower models are designed for landscapers, municipalities, commercial business estates and sports clubs, allowing owners and operators to direct their workforce to focus on other, more profitable tasks. Automower 550 comes equipped with Fleet Services, Husqvarna’s proprietary cloud-based fleet management software. It can handle lawns up to 1.25 acres and slopes up to 45 percent, and features GPS-assisted navigation and many other industry-leading features. Automower 550H includes the same features as the 550 model but is part of Husqvarna’s brand new high-cut versions of robotic mowers, designed specifically to handle lawns that require a higher cutting height of up to 3.6 inches. Husqvarna is the only manufacturer offering robotic solutions for all grass types.

* Husqvarna introduced the 572XP chain saw, launching the next generation of 70cc chain saws and the company’s new Endurance Collection. The 572XP, along with the new 565, were designed and built from scratch on a completely new platform on the same grounds in Sweden where Husqvarna’s chain saw history began in 1959. The Husqvarna 572XP delivers a 12-percent higher cutting capacity over similarly sized Husqvarna saws, making it an ideal saw for those looking to increase output and productivity. The new engine design offers a wide usable rpm range for peak performance, while its excellent new cooling capacity provides for a longer engine life. The new state-of-the-art filtration system provides longer and better filtration and therefore a healthier engine and optimized performance. Weighing just 14.5 pounds and equipped with a 5.8-hp. engine, the 572XP has a better power-to-weight ratio than any other comparable Husqvarna saw.

* The Husqvarna T525 is designed to be the company’s lightest gas-powered tree care saw for full-time professional use. It includes a powerful, low-emission X-Torq engine for professional performance, ease of use and safety for all pruning and trimming jobs. This new 27cc saw features a quick release air filter cover that saves time when cleaning or changing the saw’s spark plug or filter. The belt eyelet makes it easy to connect the saw to the climbing harness, and the auto return stop switch means the saw automatically resets to the “on” position for easier starting.

* The company announced an entirely new line of gas-powered hedge trimmers, providing powerful precision tools for every type of hedge. Combining productivity and durability, the new series features high cutting capacity due to a special knife design and gear ratio, efficient air filtration through a 2-stage air filter, and a well-balanced overall design. The 522HD60S is double-sided hedge trimmer with a robust design, low vibration levels and 23-inch blade length that also comes as a coarse-cut version. The 522HDR75S is a double-sided, coarse cut hedge trimmer featuring a 30-inch blade length paired with a robust design and low vibration levels. Husqvarna will also offer a single-sided, coarse-cut hedge trimmer in the 522HS75S, which also features a 30-inch blade length.

* Husqvarna also added a new series of 35cc string trimmers for professional use to its product lineup. These low-weight trimmers combine power and extreme durability and designed to be easy to handle and deliver excellent cutting results. Featuring Husqvarna’s powerful, low-emission X-Torq engines and SmartStart technology, the new 535 line contains two straight shaft models as well as one detachable combi shaft model. The 535LS is a powerful professional trimmer with robust construction and easy maintenance, featuring a steel drive and straight shaft with a 34.6cc and 2.2-hp. engine. The 535LST model with a powerful X-Torq engine was designed for full-time brush and grass clearing. The 535LK is the detachable combi-shaft model with a reliable X-Torq engine.

* Raising the bar for what professionals expect from a walk-behind mower, Husqvarna announced the L321AHE. This new all-wheel-drive mower integrates the latest technology advancements with traditional design concepts. Featuring a commercial Kohler HD775 engine, a large-capacity bag, high rear wheels and a reinforced 21-inch PremierCut deck, the L321AHE also includes electric start for simple, frustration-free starting via rechargeable battery.

* Further substantiating Husqvarna’s standing as the only manufacturer that can equip your entire landscaping trailer, the company also announced that it is adding sprayers back into their product lineup after a several-year hiatus. Designed to meet the needs of any commercial or residential landscape job or application, these brand-new sprayers come in three different sizes: 4-gallon backpack sprayer, 2-gallon compression handheld sprayer, and 48-ounce handheld sprayer


Caterpillar introduces 5-seat utility vehicles

Last year, Caterpillar introduced of it’s first-ever Cat utility vehicles – the gasoline-powered Cat CUV82 and diesel-powered CUV102 D. To expand that offering, the product line now includes the gasoline-powered Cat CUV85 and diesel-powered CUV105 D. The CUV85 and CUV105 D both feature a spacious second row to accommodate a total of five people. The CUV85 and CUV105 D 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. These Cat UTVs deliver a premium experience at a competitive price.

* Cat also showcased four new models in the Cat mini hydraulic excavator lineup. The new model range allows customers expanded choices for matching machine capabilities and machine features to the applications: 301.5 (1.5-ton class, standard tail swing, with canopy); 301.7 CR (1.7-ton class, compact radius, with canopy); 301.8 (1.8-ton class, standard tail swing, with either canopy or cab); 302 CR (2.0-ton class, compact radius, with either canopy or cab). Minimum operating weights (approximate) for the new models range from 3,500-4,500 pounds, with weights increasing to 3,900-4,900 pounds, depending on specific machine configuration. Dig depths are 7 feet 8 inches or 7 feet 9 inches, depending on the model, and an available long stick increases depth to 8 feet 4 inches or 8 feet 5 inches. Rubber track undercarriages are standard, with steel tracks available for all models.

All the new models use the Cat C1.1 engine, a three-cylinder diesel rated at 19.2 net horsepower, and 21.6 gross horsepower, while meeting Tier 4 Final/Stage V emissions regulations.


Kioti Tractor exhibits new K9 Series

Kioti Tractor exhibited its new K9 utility vehicle series with the debut of the K9 2400 model. The K9 Series joins the Mechron Series as part of an expanded utility vehicle product offering from Kioti and includes contemporary styling, enhanced ergonomics and an abundance of storage. The K9 2400 features automotive-style dash configuration, tilt steering and front/rear independent dual A-arm suspension with CV joint guards. The K9 boasts a 24-hp., 3 cylinder, in-line vertical, water-cooled Daedong diesel engine with a ground speed up to 31 mph.

Additionally, the K9 has one of the largest all-metal beds in its class with an impressive 1,102-pound capacity and an optional hydraulic dump kit.

* Kioti also showed off its expanded DK10 product line with eight new compact tractor models in the DK10SE Series. The DK10SE series includes four cab models – the DK4210SE HC, DK4710SE HC, DK5310SE HC and DK6010SE HC – and four ROPS models – the DK4210SE HST, DK4710SE HST, DK5310SE HST and DK6010SE HST. The new models offer top-of-the-line comfort and performance to tackle most any job.


Exmark introduces new stand-on riding mower

Exmark introduced the 2019 Staris stand-on zero- turn mower. Staris models deliver increased stability, traction and maneuverability in a wide range of cutting conditions. Optimized for a low center of gravity, the engine placement, operator position, fuel tanks and tower structure are all designed to enhance weight distribution for improved stability and overall performance. The Staris frame is constructed of high-strength tubular steel with the same wall thickness as the industry-standard Exmark Lazer Z zero-turn riding mower.

Staris is available in E-Series models – with a choice of 32-, 36- and 44-inch UltraCut Series 3 cutting decks – and large-frame S-Series models – with a choice of 48-, 52- or 60-inch UltraCut Series 4 cutting decks. Exmark optimized the frame design and caster wheel positioning for each cutting deck width to deliver a superior quality of cut. The side-discharge UltraCut cutting decks also offer the ability to mulch or bag clippings when equipped with the appropriate accessories from Exmark.

Staris offers smooth control with drive speeds of up to 7.5 mph on E-Series, and up to 10 mph on S-Series models, thanks to Exmark’s proven hydro pump and wheel motor combination. The drive system also utilizes hard hydraulic lines, reducing potential leak points and improving durability and hydro oil cooling.

Staris E- and S-Series models position the operator between the drive tires, and provide an adjustable suspension system for increased comfort. Additionally, Staris S-Series is designed with a large open platform and non-slip rubber mat, which allows operators to easily change stance or position for maximum comfort throughout the day.

The intuitive controls make operating Staris easy, and Staris S-Series models feature Exmark’s Smart Controller, which reduces downtime with maintenance reminders, on-screen machine health diagnostics, as well as engine and PTO hours. The Smart Controller also includes an enhanced LCD screen for increased visibility in any light.

* Exmark also expanded its popular Radius line of zero-turn riding mowers to include a new 44-inch Radius E-Series model. The compact new machine offers increased maneuverability and operator comfort. As Exmark’s most affordable Radius model, the 44-inch Radius E-Series machine includes a 5-inch deep UltraCut Series 3 cutting deck. Fully fabricated and welded from high-strength steel, the two- blade UltraCut Series 3 cutting deck features large-diameter, no-maintenance, sealed bearing blade spindle housings. Radius models feature a heavy-duty unibody frame that’s fabricated from 2-inch by 3-inch rectangular steel tubing for maximum durability and strength. The frame design places the heaviest components, including the engine, fuel tank and hydro drive system, lower in the frame for increased stability and traction, with improved weight balance and maneuverability.


Kubota Engine America’s new D902-T-E4 engine

Kubota Engine America’s newest engine, the D902-T-E4, made its debut at GIE+EXPO. The D902-T-E4 is far lighter and more compact than comparable engines, offering an output of 18.5 kW at 2,800 rpm and a maximum torque of 78 Nm at 2,000 rpm. This lightweight, high-torque engine is designed for use in the turf industry, as well as applications including utility vehicles, mini excavators, mini-track loaders, trenchers and welders. The high torque with the lower rpm produces minimal noise, making it an ideal option for the turf industry. The addition of a turbocharger makes it a versatile and powerful engine especially useful for applications at high altitudes. The D902-T-E4 has the same engine footprint as its counterpart, the naturally aspirated D902-E4 mechanical engine. Like the D902-E4, the D902-T-E4 also has a mechanical fuel injection system, so it fits right into its family of Kubota Super Minis. The engine complies with U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage V.

Kubota also introduced the V1505-CR-T engine to the U.S. market at GIE+EXPO. The V1505-CR-T is a vertical, water-cooled 4-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel engine. It can achieve a rated output of 33.0 kW at a speed of 3,000 rpm with a maximum torque of 118.5 Nm at 2,000 rpm.


Stihl showcases a range of innovations

Stihl Inc. highlighted many of its latest innovations at GIE+EXPO:

  • The Stihl BR 800 C-E Magnum and Stihl BR 800 X Magnum backpack blowers are the ideal machines for professional landscapers tackling large properties and heavy debris. Both BR 800 backpack blowers offer 20 percent more power than the Stihl BR 700 backpack blowers, allowing users to clear leaves, grass and heavy debris faster and more efficiently. The BR 800 C-E Magnum comes equipped with a unique starting handle on the side of the unit, allowing users to easily start — and restart — the engine while continuing to wear the blower on their back.
  • The Stihl FSA 130 R AP Series battery-powered trimmer offers instant starts, a 16.5-inch cutting width and a commercial-grade brushless electric motor for optimal performance and durability. Its variable-speed throttle trigger offers three performance levels, allowing users versatility in selecting the best operation speed for the job at hand, conserving battery energy and allowing maximum runtimes. The external battery connection to the Stihl AR backpack battery shifts the battery weight from the unit to the user’s back for optimal weight distribution and user comfort during long work days. It also offers compatibility with more cutting attachments than previous battery-powered models including metal grass blades and brush knives when equipped with appropriate deflector.
  • Part of the AP Series line of Stihl battery products, the HSA 94 R and HSA 94 T hedge trimmers are designed for professionals and feature commercial-grade, brushless electric motors. Both offer instant-start technology and feature a variable-speed throttle trigger with three performance levels for a range of blade speeds. The ergonomic handle is equipped for making cuts in any direction, allowing for efficient and comfortable use.
  • Stihl’s KMA 130 R KombiMotor gives professionals the ability to trim, prune, edge, clean, cultivate, and more with 13 optional attachments – all without gas or exhaust emissions. The external battery source shifts the battery weight to the user’s back or hips, ensuring a lightweight, comfortable and balanced position, regardless of the attachment being used. Its quiet operation enables this unit the flexibility to be used during extended hours, such as early mornings, evenings, holidays and weekends. Instant starts allow quick movement from one task to another, and the variable-speed throttle trigger has three performance levels.
  • The Stihl MS 462 C-M and MS 462 R C-M chain saws were specially engineered for the professional user who desires more power and reduced weight, resulting in less user fatigue. Both chain saw models feature an excellent power-to-weight ratio. These chain saws feature the next generation of the Stihl M-Tronic engine management system, which electronically controls ignition timing and fuel metering. Conveniently, the saws auto-adjust or adapt to varying operating conditions, such as changes in altitude and fuel quality for optimal performance.
  • The Stihl MSA 161 T top-handle chain saw is ideal for professional arborists looking for lightweight, quiet performance for in-tree work. Equipped with a commercial-grade, brushless electric motor, this zero-exhaust, top-handle chain saw delivers ideal speed cutting capacity and runtimes. The MSA 161 T also comes standard with a ¼-inch Stihl PICCO saw chain for precise cutting performance and clean, smooth cuts.
  • The Stihl RE 90 corded-electric pressure washer provides 1,800 psi of water pressure to quickly and efficiently clean decks, driveways, sidewalks, and more. It comes standard with an adjustable flat-jet nozzle, rotary nozzle and a detergent sprayer to tackle a variety of jobs around the home and garden.


Cub Cadet launches PRO Z 972 SD

Cub Cadet introduced a new addition to its PRO Z Series, announcing the release of the PRO Z 972 SD, a professional zero-turn mower that has the capability of operating on slopes of up to 25 degrees.

With the ability to mow confidently and accurately across hills horizontally, landscapers and municipalities can dramatically improve their efficiency and, at the same time, produce a superior quality cut.

“The PRO Z 972 SD gives the operator the speed and cut quality of a commercial zero turn mower on slopes a lap-bar zero-turn mower can’t handle” said Josh Sooy, director of commercial products, Cub Cadet. “Now operators can save time and money, and tackle jobs that previously proved challenging.”

Design elements in the PRO Z 972 SD, such as its dual rear wheels, allow operators to mow tough terrain with a higher level of stability and precision. The one-of-a-kind four-wheel steering system offers total control, and a comfortable, straight-line mow, even on steeper hillsides. This gives landscapers the opportunity to conquer 25-degree slopes they couldn’t mow before with a commercial lap-bar zero-turn.

Additionally, the mower offers a triple-7-gauge steel cutting deck, backed by a five-year, 1,750-hour limited deck warranty. The PRO Z 972 SD will be available for purchase in January 2019.


Powerful new engine for commercial walk-behind mowers added to Kohler Command PRO Series

Kohler expanded its Command PRO commercial lineup with a rugged new vertical-shaft engine in three displacements – 173cc, 200cc, and 224cc. The new Kohler Command PRO engines (CV173, CV200 and CV224) for commercial walk-behind mowers bring a range of benefits to green-industry pros, including best-in-class torque on the 224cc model. The engines also integrate the company’s exclusive Consistent-Cut technology, which helps to maintain high engine speed in difficult mowing conditions to make quick work of tall, wet grass.

“As part of our ongoing dialog with commercial cutters, we identified the need for a new engine platform for walk-behind applications that reflects what professional users said they wanted – performance, durability and enhanced productivity,” said Brett Wegner, product manager for Kohler engines. “Our newest Command PRO vertical-shaft engines deliver a great mowing experience and a clean and consistent turf cut. Plus, they were purposely engineered to stand up to the rigors of everyday commercial use.”

Durability features integrated into the new Kohler Command PRO engines for commercial walk-behind mowers include cast-iron cylinder bores, which ensure peak performance for the life of the engine; dual lubrication, which optimizes performance in all mowing conditions and helps to extend maintenance intervals; and heavy-duty Quad Clean cyclonic air filtration, which protects the engine from contaminants and includes a fully-sealed latching system for additional effectiveness. The engine’s blower housing and recoil are also constructed of steel for long-lasting performance and dependability in the field.

While offering numerous performance benefits to commercial cutters, the new Command PRO walk-behind engine platform also brings an exciting new option to equipment manufacturers and dealers, who are always seeking ways to help end users increase their productivity. The new Kohler walk-behind mower engines are designed to accommodate for the larger mowing decks and faster ground speeds, which have been trending in the industry for both ride and walk-behind applications.

All three models within the durable new walk-behind mower lineup are backed by Kohler’s three-year commercial warranty and feature easily accessible maintenance points for simplified service and repairs.


Wright introduces new basic stand-on mower

Wright Manufacturing introduced a new series of basic stand-on mowers at GIE+EXPO. With prices starting at $5,500, the Stander B is designed for entry-level or part time landscapers, as well as consumers who prefer a well-built commercial mower.

The Stander B is more productive than a walk behind and more affordable than a full-featured stand-on mower. Yet, it is built with Wright’s uncompromising quality and these features.

  • Hydro-Gear ZT-3100 transmissions
  • Kawasaki FS651 engine
  • Sturdy construction
  • Floating 48-or 52-inch deck
  • Unmatched hillside stability
  • Step-off stopping in an emergency or to pick up debris


Delta Systems brings automotive-styled solutions to outdoor power equipment

Delta Systems, a manufacturer of switches, displays and controls for outdoor power equipment, unveiled its new, automotive-like line of dashboard components, aimed to meet operator/driver demands for equipment that is refined in both comfort and performance.

Delta debuted its new components on a “Tech UTV,” a utility vehicle outfitted with Delta switches, interfaces and connectivity solutions. The UTV provided the perfect backdrop to showcase Delta’s designs, which offer the fit and finish of the automotive market, paired with the quality and durability that operators expect.

“Everything we’re showcasing at the GIE show is about creating a differentiated experience for OPE equipment drivers and operators,” said Michelle Specht, Delta Systems’ product marketing manager.

Delta’s “Tech UTV” featured six new Delta designs with a focus on style, convenience and safety:

  • Advanced touchscreen display: This new CAN-bus capable 7-inch advanced touchscreen display provides an operator-focused dashboard that keeps drivers in command with the efficiency, technology and sophistication expected of today’s modern equipment. This next-generation human machine interface (HMI) marks the future of machine maintenance and operator interface, providing at-a-glance notifications and simple operator interactivity.
  • Push-button ignition switch: This switch marries utility and grace, with its simple, straightforward design and a rugged, sealed interior that’s built to withstand grime and water. Its IP67 rating raises the bar in both performance and convenience.
  • Wireless winch control: Allows an operator to safely activate a winch from a distance with a convenient wireless remote or smart device. Using Delta Blue Technology, the winch control is adaptable to any brand unit.
  • Power inverter: Using the equipment’s engine, our Power Inverter changes DC power to traditional AC power, capable of allowing operators to power anything from power tools to work lights to personal electronics.
  • Object detection: Delta’s rear object detection system monitors a specific area around any type of equipment, sensing objects and providing warnings to equipment operators as they approach obstacles in reverse.
  • Rear backup camera: Delta Systems’ new rear backup camera gives equipment operators better visualization, helping them stay safe while also protecting their machinery and surroundings. The two-part system of a wide-angle camera and a digital dashboard display allows drivers to quickly locate objects behind them, eliminating blind spots.


Hydro-Gear releases new zero-turn transaxle

Hydro-Gear unveiled a new transaxle for zero-turn mowers, the ZT-3800, at GIE+EXPO. The ZT-3800 series transaxle is available with two offerings, including a model with an internal expansion tank or an option for an external oil cooler.

“We are very excited to bring the ZT-3800 to market and see our high-performance transaxles driving our customer’s vehicles,” said Mike McCoy, vice president of sales and marketing at Hydro-Gear. “The ZT-3800 offers our customers what they’ve asked for; higher weight capacity with a common frame mounted design, reduced leakage points, and improved heat stabilization in our reliable commercial drive systems.”

The ZT-3800 features an all-steel gear train, a treated motor block, a larger charge pump, and upgraded axle bearing to handle heavier vehicles. The internal expansion tank models allow mower manufacturers to assemble vehicles more efficiently with reduced parts, resulting in fewer leak points. The ZT-3800 with an oil cooler provides lower operating temperatures for drivetrain longevity.

Hydro-Gear also introduced updates to existing models like the T3-HD with full-locking manual differential and a new oil service kit for select transaxle options. In addition to revealing new products, Hydro-Gear gave attendees an opportunity to operate a mower simulator to experience new electronic technology.


Earthquake features mini-cultivators at GIE+EXPO

At GIE+EXPO, Earthquake, the lawn and garden division of Ardisam, Inc., presented its complete line of mini-cultivators. Their featured cultivators included the MC43, a top-selling mini-cultivator and two all new models: the MC33 and MAC, even lighter, yet powerful, right-sized machines.

Earthquake’s MC43, MC33 and MAC can weed, mulch, work in fertilizer, and aerate soil. With their compact size and light weight, Earthquake mini-cultivators are easy to use. Their low center of gravity gives them ground-hugging control and stability, and they nimbly maneuver around even delicate plants. With reliable, energy-efficient Viper 43cc and 33cc engines, Earthquake cultivators deliver plenty of power to get the job done, and Earthquake’s advanced air filtration systems protect the engines from damaging dust and dirt. Engineered to be long-lasting, like all Earthquake outdoor power equipment, the MC 43, MC33 and MAC cultivators are backed by the Ardisam 5-year limited warranty.


Grasshopper displays compact 524V-42 FrontMount Mower

Grasshopper showcased its 524V-42 FrontMount mower at GIE+EXPO. At 8 mph, it is the fastest, most compact out-front zero-turn mower on the market. The 42-inch cutting deck floats independently from the power unit, following the contours of the ground and delivering a carpet-like cut. The same deck can be configured to discharge, collect or mulch. The 5.5-inch deck handles a high volume of clippings at faster mowing speeds. Exclusive PowerFold electric deck lift raises the deck to a near vertical for space-saving storage and easy maintenance. The 524V-42 is powered by a 724cc commercial turf engine.


New Holland Construction C245 compact track loader

The new C245 Super Boom compact track loader offers the highest level of performance in a New Holland Construction vertical lift machine. With a rated operating capacity of 4,500 pounds and breakout force of 9,188 pounds, it’s the largest, most powerful New Holland compact track loader model yet. The C245 not only reaches higher and delivers more power and lift capacity, the rugged construction, smooth, stable ride and exceptional visibility allows operators to work with more confidence and speed.

“The trend in the industry is for larger machines that are capable of doing more work in a shorter amount of time,” said Construction Product Marketing Manager Doran Herritt. “Whether loading gravel into a truck, stacking dense, heavy bales, placing pallets of brick, block or sod, or lifting and carrying other heavy materials, the bigger, beefier C245 is exceptionally productive.”

New Holland’s patented, vertical-lift Super Boom design provides high lift capacities, long forward dump reach, and fast cycle times. It reaches up and out to dump cleanly into the center of high- sided trucks and hoppers. Operators can empty the bucket faster and easier, which in turn increases cycle times.


German wheel loader brand Schäffer continues its U.S. debut at GIE+EXPO

DFD Loaders, Inc. exhibited the Schäffer construction equipment line, which has a six-decade history of innovation and distribution in more than 40 countries. GIE+EXPO was used as a launch platform for DFD Loaders, which announced its exclusive U.S. distribution of Schäffer construction wheel loaders. DFD Loaders expects a strong entry into the compact wheel loader space, given Schäffer’s global reputation for quality-engineered equipment that fills gaps not offered by current equipment offered in the U.S. Schäffer’s entire U.S. product lineup meets EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage IIIB emission standards and is compatible with most skid-steer attachments in the market, due to a universal quick-connect headstock, which comes standard. Other notable design features include patented technology, which makes the center pivot considerably stronger than those of competing products and virtually indestructible, as well as original Schäffer axles designed specifically for high thrust forces.


Spyker’s new Ergo-Pro spreaders

Spyker showcased its new Ergo-Pro Series spreaders at GIE+EXPO. The Ergo-Pro line was designed exclusively for commercial jobs; is offered in 50#, 80#, and 100# capacities; and includes Spyker’s first premium winter spreader. The Ergo-Pro Series showcases a new hopper design that virtually eliminates bridging, allowing material to flow to empty with no shaking or bouncing required. The handle adjusts to fit operators from 5’3” tall to 6’6” tall. Additional durability is achieved through Spyker’s enclosed all-metal gears with lifetime warranty and the largest, impact-tested welded frame in the industry.


TGB unveils its 1000 Series UTV prototype

Although Taiwan Golden Bee (TGB) is a global leader in the ATV market, it is shifting its North American market focus to become a total solution provider for the UTV industry. At GIE+EXPO, TGB unveiled its 1000 Series UTV prototype and new business strategy.

“There is a promising UTV market in the US, but it is limited to a few players, such as Polaris, Honda, Kawasaki, BRP and John Deere,” said TGB President George Lin. “We would like to change that perception. This year it is time to introduce the concept of TGB as the Total Solution Provider for the UTV industry.”

In 2018 TGB has become a UTV total solution provider, producing everything from engine packages to complete UTVs, Lin added.

TGB started manufacturing components for the iconic Vespa scooters back in the 1960s. Since that time, the company has become a global leader in ATVs and scooters, selling hundreds of thousands of units worldwide. In fact, TGB ATV sales have even exceeded Polaris in some of the major sectors of European markets, including Germany and France.

“Now is the time for TGB to become known for its UTV expertise,” said export manager Daniel Hsieh. “We continue to supply powertrain technology to well known companies in North America, but we want the green industry and the powersports market to know TGB can create UTVs from sketches, through prototyping to final production machines.”

“Our slogan is ‘Play different’ and we definitely do things differently than the ‘me too’ mainland Chinese manufacturers,” said Lin. “We want to bring the enjoyment and fun to the customer, reliability and value to the dealers and protect intellectual property rights and be a trusted strategic partner.” To that end, the 997cc fuel-injected powerplant has already undergone EPA and CARB testing and certification.


American LandMaster showcases its LandStar 677EPS

American LandMaster showcased its LandStar 677EPS at GIE+EXPO. The LandStar 677EPS is a reliable, durable, American-built UTV. The LandStar 677EPS is a machine for all extremes. This UTV is powered by the largest engine American LandMaster offers – a 694cc Kohler EFI, and features electronic power steering for maximum torque, unlimited environmental and demand compensation, and maximum maneuverability.



BLEC Cultipack Seeder

BLEC exhibited its Cultipack Seeder seeding system. The front notched ring rollers help make small pockets in the soil, and the grass seed is spread accurately across the full width of the cultipacker. This is a fast and effective way of seeding all areas, and the low ground pressure exerted by the Cultipack Seeder makes it particularly effective on sensitive ground. Because of its smaller size, this rid-on seeder is extremely maneuverable, while still being able to seed more than 50,000 square feet per hour.



GIE+EXPO visitors to Kawasaki exhibit help supply 88,000 meals

Attendees at this year’s GIE+EXPO helped provide nearly 88,000 meals to people in need across America. Kawasaki’s Engines Division teamed with Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger relief organization, to raise funds supporting the organization’s 200-plus local food banks. Each participating attendee got the chance to stop at various stations within the Kawasaki exhibit, learn something new about Kawasaki, and be rewarded with a hat and the knowledge that Kawasaki would then add to its Feeding America donation. Kawasaki also matched any cash donations given by trade show attendees. More than 1,200 of the Louisville tradeshow visitors took advantage of the opportunity to help those in need.





GIE+EXPO 2019 will be held October 16-18, 2019 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. For more information, visit www.gie-expo.com.

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