GIE+EXPO 2019 Post-show Recap

GIE+EXPO 2019 was bigger than ever. The outdoor power equipment industry’s main event, held October 16-18 in Louisville, Ky., featured 1,000 exhibits inside the Kentucky Exposition Center and in the turf area outside, more than 20 acres of outdoor demonstrations and test driving, seminars, networking opportunities, free concerts, and much more.

According to show management, 2019 was the sixth consecutive record-breaking year for GIE+EXPO. The show drew more than 26,500 people from around the world. In addition, the indoor exhibit floor and the Outdoor Demonstration Area were larger than ever, covering 24,000 net square feet more than last year.

According to GIE+EXPO show management:

  • Lawn and landscape attendee categories increased by 18 percent.
  • Servicing dealer registrants increased by 8 percent.
  • 34 percent of dealer/retailer and 42 percent of lawn and landscape attendees were first-time attendees.
  • Attendees hailed from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
  • Indoor booths were spread throughout 675,000 square feet of exhibit space.
  • The Outdoor Demo Area exceeded 20 acres for the third year in a row.
  • More than 80 products were highlighted in the New Products Spotlight.
  • The number of software and technology companies exhibiting increased to more than 80.

Speakers and industry education at GIE+EXPO included a keynote from Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman. Waldman overcame a lifelong battle with claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a highly decorated fighter pilot with more than 65 real world combat missions. His energetic keynote was about focusing on what really matters in business – building high-performance, trusting teams and fully serving your customers and co-workers.

Brian Beaulieu, the one of the country’s most informed economists, presented a Special Friday Report at GIE+EXPO 2019.

GIE+EXPO attendees were also treated to three nights of free concerts at Fourth Street Live! in downtown Louisville, with headliner performances by The Crashers, Easton Corbin and Cassadee Pope.

As always, the highlight of GIE+EXPO was the ability to hear about – and demo – the latest the industry has to offer. The following are some of the key headlines and highlights from this year’s event:


OPEI hosts Lucky’s Mutt Madness at GIE+EXPO, unveils new TurfMutt

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) held the second annual Mutt Madness pet adoption event (recently renamed Lucky’s Mutt Madness) at GIE+EXPO October 17.

Kris Kiser introduces “Mulligan,” the new TurfMutt.

Conducted in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS), this year’s pet adoption event honored Lucky the TurfMutt, the rescue dog who “pawed it forward” by educating children in grades K-8 and families about caring for our living landscapes and the benefits they offer through OPEI’s TurfMutt program. Lucky passed away recently, but his life’s work –the TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program, as well as a commitment to supporting animal rescue and pet adoption – will continue.

“GIE+EXPO is the leading industry trade show for landscape contracting, outdoor power equipment and hardscaping professionals and retailers. Thousands of show attendees drive to GIE+EXPO, making it possible for many to take home a dog in need of a forever home,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “And they have the heart to do it – because they know what a yard means to a dog and a family. These are the people who make outdoor living possible.”


There were multiple litters of puppies, as well as several mature dogs, up for adoption at Lucky’s Mutt Madness. According to show management, 15 pets found a new home.

At Lucky’s Mutt Madness, the TurfMutt Foundation and GIE+EXPO donated a $10,000 check to KHS to support their good work in animal rehabilitation, rescue and adoption.

Also, at Lucky’s Mutt Madness, Kiser introduced his newly adopted dog, and female named “Mulligan,” who, during the event, donned the cape as the new TurfMutt.


PERC announces $5,000 donation to Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) donated $5,000 to Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops program as part of an in-booth promotion conducted throughout GIE+EXPO week for contractors.

PERC announced the amount after tallying the total number of entries to its in-booth trailer giveaway sweepstakes. On behalf of each contractor who entered the in-booth trailer giveaway sweepstakes, PERC donated $5 to the GreenCare for Troops program.

“PERC is proud to support GreenCare for Troops, an organization that assists American service members and their families during deployment. Propane is an all-American fuel, and for many of the family-run, small businesses who make up much of the propane industry, supporting those who protect our nation is very important,” said Jeremy Wishart, PERC director of off-road business development. “We were excited to see how many lawn and landscape industry professionals participated in growing our donation to GreenCare for Troops. To reflect that spirit, we are rounding up PERC’s total donation to $5,000.”

GreenCare for Troops connects families of active-duty deployed service members with professional lawn, landscape, and snow removal volunteers in all 50 states. Volunteers provide free services to eligible families in their area for the length of their deployment, typically nine to 12 months.

PERC also presented Jim Langendorf, with Olympic Lawns from Springboro, Ohio, as the winner of its trailer giveaway sweepstakes. In addition to the trailer itself, a 16-foot Big Tex Trailer, Langendorf took home an Exmark Lazer S-Series propane mower, a Spartan RTHD 61-inch propane mower, a Stihl cordless blower and cordless trimmer, a water cooler, and 25 safety vests and pairs of work gloves.


Mean Green Mowers partners with The Kobi Company to develop an autonomous commercial electric mower

Mean Green Products, LLC and The Kobi Company, a leader in robotic solutions, are collaborating to develop a safe and affordable, large-area robotic mower.

According to Mean Green, Mean Green and Kobi can now offer an autonomous commercial electric zero-turn mower with a return on investment measured in months instead of years. A typical landscape crew of two workers can now be reduced to one and get the same (or more) work done in a day. The fuel and maintenance savings of the Mean Green electric mower and the labor cost savings of the Kobi autonomous system can add up to savings of $20-30/hr.

“We are proud to be working with The Kobi Company to convert our latest electric mowers to quiet, zero emission autonomous mowing machines” said Mean Green Mowers’ President Joe Conrad. “It’s a natural fit to combine our latest commercial electric mowers with high tech robotic automation”.

“We have designed our autonomous mowing module with mower speed, accuracy, and safety in mind. By using the latest in computer vision technology and artificial intelligence, we have been able to produce a system that can easily navigate any environment, even below trees and up close to buildings,” said Kobi CEO Andrew Ewen. “After years of writing code and exhaustive testing, we now have a safe and affordable autonomous solution for commercial landscape operations”.

Exclusive testing with selected customers and certification pending the new ANSI/OPEI 60335-2-107-2019 Robotics standards in the fall, will continue through 2020 with plans of production units by 2021.


Ferris expands turf care family with the new FS5250 Voyager high-capacity commercial spreader sprayer

Ferris unveiled the FS5250 Voyager high-capacity commercial spreader sprayer, which can efficiently handle expansive areas while improving productivity. A pivoting front axle, wider footprint and low center of gravity increases traction and operator confidence on uneven terrain.

“Research is pointing to the fact that landscape contractors are growing their businesses by adding turf care to their service offerings,” said Dan Roche, marketing director of commercial products, Briggs & Stratton. “Adding the FS5250 Voyager to our robust line of spreader/sprayers is another tool to help landscapers who trust Ferris to extend their season and grow their businesses by offering higher margin services.”

Designed with commercial areas, sports turf and large properties in mind, the FS5250 Voyager is built to make quick work of the task at hand. FS5250 Voyager’s operator platform is cushioned by rubber isomers, and simplified controls amplify comfort, helping the operator precisely apply product. The FS5250 features a stainless-steel frame and runs on a 38-gross horsepower Vanguard V-Twin engine. Additional Voyager features include:

  • Equipped with a 250-pound-capacity Ferris hopper and 80-gallons of liquid capacity to provide maximum coverage of up to 7.4 acres with liquid material.
  • Three-section breakaway boom. Operators can select from a 4-, 8- or 12-foot spray width to precisely deliver liquid product without stopping to refill.
  • Molded pockets for increased granular capacity. The unit has molded pockets in the liquid tanks, equipping the FS5250 to carry up to 100 pounds more granular material; the location of these pockets allows for easy loading.


* Ferris ISX 2200 and ISX 3300 zero-turn mowers with ForeFront suspension.Briggs & Stratton Corporation also introduced the new Ferris ISX2200 and ISX3300 – upgrades from the popular IS2100 and IS3200 units. These mowers feature an updated bumper, innovative ROPS design and the next generation of independent suspension – ForeFront Suspension System.

“The ForeFront Suspension System proves we are committed to building mowers that deliver a high cut quality with the advanced suspension system you would find on an all-terrain vehicle or race car,” said Dan Roche, marketing director of commercial products, Briggs & Stratton. “ForeFront technology on new ISX2200 and ISX3300 means operators can mow faster with more control and confidence. These mowers are engineered to work hard so the landscape contractor can feel good when they go home after the long day.”

ForeFront Suspension System gives landscape professionals the ability to mow at a higher speed while having more control over the mower. ForeFront utilizes four solid control rods with hardened radial ends. This powersport-inspired front suspension geometry eliminates caster chatter, ensuring the front casters remain in the ideal orientation throughout the entire range of suspension travel to improve the ride and quality of the cut. Dual-rate coil springs resist component motion and allow the operator to select from five-position adjustments for conditions, preference and attachments. Ferris ForeFront shocks feature mower-specific internal valves, oil capacity and bump/rebound setting for maximum ground contact while absorbing terrain.


Billy Goat celebrates 50 years in business

Billy Goat is celebrating 50 years of craftsmanship. From a small business loan and a single leaf and litter vacuum in 1969, Billy Goat Industries has grown to be a leading global manufacturer of outdoor specialty turf equipment.

By 1974, the company expanded manufacturing and moved to its present location in Lee’s Summit, Mo., where founders Bill Coates and Mort Platt focused on expanding the vacuum line, adding blowers to the portfolio, growing domestic distribution and began exporting globally. The company added the first truck loader in 1986, a truck-mounted vacuum for picking up large amounts of leaves, which rounded out a full line of debris solutions for the marketplace.

New markets and seasons were explored in 1992 as Billy Goat entered the paving maintenance industry with the “crack cleaner,” known today as the Grazor, a machine that cleans vegetation and debris from cracks. In addition, the company became wholly owned by the Coates family in 1993. Continued growth warranted a plant expansion in 1995 with 20,000 feet of production space for welding and fabrication. And later in 1995, the company pursued the specialty mowing segment with the addition of the Outback brushcutter to its portfolio.

In 1997, the company entered the lawn renovation segment with the introduction of power rakes, followed by aerators in 2001, overseeders in 2002 and sod cutter in 2004. By 2002, the company segmented into three distinct product categories, including Lawn Renovation, Specialty Mowing and Debris Management. In 2003, “Billy Goat University” was constructed and dedicated to customer, dealer and distributor education.

By 2009, the company outgrew its location, and an additional headquarters building with added warehouse space was purchased. The acquisition of Plugr aerators followed in 2014 and complemented the introduction of the company’s 30-inch hydro reciprocating aerator, creating the premier lineup of commercial reciprocating aerators on the market.

In May of 2015, Billy Goat Industries was acquired by Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

After 50 years, Billy Goat recorded record sales and enjoys No. 1 or 2 market positions in most of its categories and continues its portfolio and market expansions with the introduction of its self-propelled post-hole auger.


Vanguard Oil Guard now available on Hustler Turf Equipment

Briggs & Stratton announced the expansion of its Vanguard Oil Guard system to Hustler Turf Equipment. Launched in 2017, Vanguard’s Oil Guard innovation has quickly proven to enhance productivity and reduce maintenance costs.

“Vanguard developed Oil Guard to significantly reduce downtime associated with engine oil maintenance – and that’s exactly what it does,” said Christine Davison, senior marketing manager, commercial power, Briggs & Stratton. “We’ve seen incredible success with Oil Guard, which has an immediate impact on increasing productivity by decreasing oil maintenance. We’re excited to expand this cutting-edge solution to Hustler mowers.”

By increasing oil maintenance intervals to 500 hours, and with its easy fill cap and integrated oil filter, Oil Guard not only improves productivity but ensures oil changes are cleaner, faster and easier. Instead of two-quarts of oil, Oil Guard relies on a five-quart oil reservoir. Stored away from the heat of the engine, the oil is able to cool in the aluminum tank, allowing the engine more oil to do the same amount of work. The result is a 60 percent oil maintenance cost-savings per unit and season.

“Integrating the Vanguard Oil Guard innovation allows us to offer increased productivity, cost-savings and improved ease of use to Hustler customers,” said Brad Unruh, director of new product development, Hustler. “We’re looking forward to offering this innovation on our mowers and are confident customers will benefit from the reduced engine oil maintenance and immediate increase in uptime.”

Oil Guard will now be available on the Vanguard Big Block EFI that powers the Hustler Super 104, Super Z HyperDrive, and the all-new Super 88 stand-on mower.


Bobcat Company introduces 15 new compact tractors

Bobcat Company is going back to its roots with its new line of compact tractors, attachments and implements.

With 15 new models – ranging from 21 to 58 horsepower – across four transmission types, Bobcat tractors are perfectly designed to take on the challenges and chores homeowners with acreage and agriculture producers face daily.

“Compact tractors are a natural complement to existing Bobcat compact equipment,” said Chris Knipfer, general manager, Bobcat compact tractors. “In fact, many of our current customers who own loaders and excavators also own tractors. We now have a Bobcat compact tractor option for those customers.”

Bobcat offers an extensive lineup of sub-compact and compact tractors across four platforms to best match customer needs. Each model varies in size, horsepower, and open-station or cab options. To determine which model offers the best features for any given customer, it’s important to reference each machine’s corresponding model number: CT1021, CT1025, CT2025, CT2035, CT2040, CT2535, CT2540, CT4045, CT4050, CT4055, CT4058, CT5545, CT5550, CT5555 and CT5558.

The compact tractor model number provides valuable insight on each machine’s structure and power. The first two digits represent the tractor’s frame size, or whether it is a 1,000, 2,000, 4,000 or 5,000 platform machine. For example, in CT2XXX the number two indicates that the tractor in question is a 2,000-platform machine. The digit following the first two numbers indicates whether the tractor has an open canopy (ROPs) or a deluxe cab. While a CT50XX has an open canopy, a CT55XX offers a deluxe cab. The final two digits in the model number represent the engine horsepower of each tractor. For example, the CT4055 offers a 55 horsepower engine while the CT4058 has a 58 horsepower engine.

Every Bobcat tractor model comes standard with four-wheel drive. Customers can easily engage four-wheel drive whenever the work demands it to provide superior power and traction in even the toughest working conditions.

Select Bobcat tractors also offer steering brakes – models CT2025 and up – to give customers greater control.


Husqvarna introduces suite of new professional products

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

“Husqvarna has invested a lot of time and research to bring this collection of new products to life for tree care and green space professionals,” said Earl Bennett, president of Husqvarna Brand Division North America. “The All-Wheel Drive Automower, zero-turn mowers with HTE transmissions and several new, powerful battery products highlight Husqvarna innovations designed for professionals to complete their jobs more safely, efficiently and effectively.”

  • Automower 535 all-wheel drive (AWD). Expanding on its robotic mower category within the commercial market in 2020, Automower is available in all-wheel drive (AWD). With superior terrain performance, Automower 535 AWD (MSRP: $4,299; installation sold separately) can handle slopes up to 35 degrees and maintain up to 0.9 acres of turf. Automower 535 AWD features technology that optimizes the control of each individual wheel to enable superior operation in the most demanding terrain – even in rainy conditions. Commercial construction provides durability and reliability. Automower 535 AWD can be integrated into a full fleet solution that allows operators to monitor and control an unlimited number of robotic units at no extra fee.
  • New zero-turn mowers – Parker HTE transmissions. Husqvarna’s new Z400 Series of professional zero-turn mowers is designed for maximum performance and easy serviceability. The Parker HTE Series transmission is designed to last longer while delivering more power, a quieter performance and 10 percent better fuel efficiency than the M-ZT Series. An integrated parking brake is easy to engage and a serious time saver during lawn maintenance operations. Routine service is streamlined, simply lift the seat to discover an open engine bay with access to adjustments, sealed fuses, fan covers, and all transmission and engine fluids. Each model in Husqvarna’s Z400 Series of zero-turn mowers includes a folding ROPS for added versatility to use and store in tight locations. LED digital fuel gauges offer a quick view of fuel levels in the 6-gallon dual fuel tanks. The Z400 Series includes the Z448, Z454, and Z460. Husqvarna is also bringing two new Z400X options to the series. The Z460X introduces a Parker HTE 12 transmission, with a 23.5-hp. Kawasaki FX engine and a 60-inch cut deck. The Z454X also features a Parker HTE 12 transmission with a 22-hp. Kawasaki FX engine and a 54-inch cutting deck.
  • More battery-powered options. Husqvarna announced several new innovations to its growing portfolio of battery-operated products. The new 520iHT4 hedge trimmer offers an extended reach – over 14 feet – thanks to a telescoping arm. Husqvarna’s quiet, lightweight, balanced, easy-to-use, battery driven hedge trimmers are highly efficient and charged by a powerful 36V Li-ion battery. The Husqvarna 550iBTX backpack blower delivers an impressive blow force (21N) within the battery-powered commercial space. It features an integrated system, a high-capacity backpack battery and class-leading power. The blower is IPX4 weatherproof and features continuous boost mode and cruise control, as well as an intuitive keypad with battery status and running modes directly on the handle. The Husqvarna K 535i is a lightweight battery-powered cutter with low vibrations and user-friendly ergonomics. The excellent power-to-weight ratio makes it a versatile addition for lighter land or hardscaping jobs and perfect for quick and efficient cuts.
  • Professional handheld 500 Series trimmers. The Husqvarna 535LST is a trimmer in the versatile 35cc class, built for tough commercial use. Top class performance is provided through its raw powered X-Torq engine, ergonomics and excellent durability. This powerful trimmer with bevel gear is designed to withstand high torques. The patented X-Torq engine delivers more power and less fuel consumption and exhaust emissions compared to a conventional engine. The new 535LK (is a high-powered, heavy-duty professional combi trimmer with reliable X-Torq engine.


Greenworks G 181 chain saw

Greenworks Commercial announced that it has expanded its award-winning line of 82-Volt tools with the new GS 181 chain saw. The GS 181 is Greenworks Commercial’s most powerful chain saw to date, delivering to landscape and tree service crews unparalleled cutting speed and efficiency for even the most rigorous of jobs, while offering the convenience and environmental benefits of lithium-ion power.

“The combination of the 2.5 KW motor and 11,500-rpm chain speed delivers true gas-replacement performance without any of the noise, fumes or emission concerns,” said Marchese.


Cub Cadet zero-turn holds hills, self-levels with new seat

Cub Cadet unveiled an addition to its PRO Z Series of commercial zero-turn lawn mowers. The new PRO Z 972 SDL can mow up to a 25-degree hillside, or 46 percent of grade, and comes equipped with a self-leveling air-ride seat. The seat, which automatically levels 15 degrees in each direction side to side, offers a full 30 degrees of self-leveling that dramatically improves operator comfort when mowing steep hillsides.

“Our machines are built to respond to the challenges that commercial lawn equipment operators face on the job every day,” said Josh Sooy, director of commercial products, Cub Cadet. “With the ability to hold steep hills combined with the increased comfort and stability of a self-leveling seat, the PRO Z 972 SDL is the only zero-turn on the market uniquely qualified to handle these tough mowing conditions.”

The self-leveling seat, which allows operators to level side to side, maintains comfort on steeper inclines and minimizes the physical impact of mowing on a slope. The seat can be either locked for fixed operation or unlocked for full travel and swivel capabilities.

“The PRO Z 972 SDL provides the productivity of the non-self-leveling unit while maintaining all-day comfort on steep slopes. Along with the self-leveling seat, the unit includes a fully integrated lighting system to allow for low-light operation and to meet the standards of cities, municipalities, parks and recreation departments, and departments of transportation,” said Sooy.

The PRO Z 972 SDL is backed by a three-year, no-hour-limit warranty and a five-year, 1,750-hour limited deck warranty. It will be available for purchase in February 2020 at your local Cub Cadet dealership.

* Cub Cadet PRO X Series.Cub Cadet also unveiled the latest addition to its PRO Series, announcing the PRO X Series of stand-on mowers. The mowers, which are the first stand-on mowers in Cub Cadet’s professional lineup, add to the company’s growing line of commercial lawn equipment and provide a durable and innovative option for landscapers looking for the flexibility and productivity a stand-on mower provides.

“The PRO X Series finishes out the core of our extensive line of commercial equipment, giving operators the flexibility to mow a wider range of properties while providing superior productivity over a sit-down zero-turn mower. The small footprint of the PRO X series also frees up trailer space to further improve efficiency,” said Sooy.

A fully fabricated 10-gauge deck shell with 7-gauge top and bottom reinforcements gives the PRO X Series a strong backbone. And with a maintenance-free design, the spindles, bearings, hubs, casters, rims, linkages, levers and other pivot points do not need greasing.


Toro introduces new ZTR lineup

Toro introduced a new ZRT lineup with models to fit every price point from $2,399 up to $32,999 MSRP.

  • The new Toro TimeCutter zero-turn mowers provide total control over mowing speed with Toro’s Smart Speed technology. TimeCutter units are built to last with an IronForged cutting deck that ensures years of outstanding performance. TimeCutter units also feature Kevlar belts, a 10-gauge steel deck shell, a reinforced leading edge across the entire deck and 6-inch heavy-duty spindles.
  • Toro’s new 60-inch Titan mower is the ideal fit of commercial power and luxury comfort to make short work of big acreage. The unit features the MyRide suspension system, a commercial drop pin height of cut, canister-style air filter, a flexible discharge chute, a wide front tubular axle, huge front tires and a reinforced 10-gauge high-strength cutting deck with a triangular bullnose leading edge.
  • The Z Master 2000 features a powerful Toro engine, upgraded hydros and 24-inch rear tires. And it’s built to take on the toughest hits with a fully tubular frame, and 7/10-gauge high-strength Turbo Force steel deck. The Z Master also provides world-class comfort with Toro’s MyRide suspension. Z Master boasts stylish available upgrades such as custom stitched seats featuring the Toro Bullhorn logo, and customized license plate. Built-in lights, a Toro sun canopy and Michelin Tweels are also available on the Z Master 2000 Special Edition model. Toro stands behind its Z Masters with a 4-year, 1,000-hour warranty.


Excel Industries launches Hustler Turf Super 88 zero-turn commercial mower

Excel Industries, manufacturer of premium commercial and residential turf equipment sold under the Hustler Turf Equipment and BigDog Mower Co. brand names, announced the official launch of the Super 88, a zero-turn mower designed to increase productivity for commercial operators.

The Super 88 meets the growing need of commercial contractors who require the efficiency of a stand-on mower. It features the cut quality of a 54-inch deck and productivity of an 88-inch cut, allowing operators to mow faster and with a smaller crew.

“As stand-on mowers gain in popularity with commercial audiences, the Super 88 will become an important part of the Hustler Turf catalog,” said Adam Mullet, vice president, sales and new products for Excel Industries. “This mower solves problems, helping to reduce operator fatigue while providing the agility to maneuver in tight spaces.”

The Super 88 features two engine options: A Vanguard 36-hp. carbureted engine and a Vanguard 37-hp. EFI engine with oil guard system. It also has a 14-gallon total fuel capacity. Multiple accessory kits are also available for the Super 88.

Also on display at GIE+EXPO were the newly refreshed Hustler Turf TrimStar and Super 104. All TrimStar models now feature an electric start, a 5-inch deck, and more to enhance commercial performance. A frame upgrade means increased strength by using larger cross tubes, among other updates.

Offering a 104-inch width of cut, zero-turn precision and up to 11-mph speed, the Super 104 now offers a Vanguard EFI with Oil Guard, alongside other new features.

* Product updates From BigDog Mower Co.BigDog Mower Co. displayed a refreshed version of the Hike, a longtime favorite among users because of its ease of use, wide stance, sturdy drive system and power-bar steering. The walk-behind Hike now boasts a 5-inch deck depth and 20-inch rear tires. Like Hustler Turf’s TrimStar, the Hike now boasts an electric start standard on all models. An upgraded frame allows for increased strength by using larger cross tubes and adding gussets. The Hike’s update improves park brake lever engagement with added low friction sleeve bushings, a more ergonomic knob and more.


Vermeer launches CTX160 mini skid-steer

Vermeer is expanding its line of mini skid-steers with the addition of the powerful and compact Vermeer CTX160 mini skid-steer. With a rated (SAE) operating capacity (ROC) of 1,600 pounds, 16.7 gallons per minute of auxiliary hydraulic flow and a width of 42 inches, the CTX160 provides high lifting capabilities while remaining compact and nimble to operate. This durable Vermeer mini skid-steer can handle jobs such as moving heavy material, working ground-engaging attachments and efficiently maneuvering in congested operating conditions – including passing through a standard gate. The Vermeer CTX160 is sized for challenging landscaping, hardscaping, rental, utility and general construction work.

“What makes the mini skid-steer loader versatile and unique among tool carriers is its ability to efficiently maneuver where larger loaders can’t,” said Brett Newendorp, landscape market manager at Vermeer. “We designed the CTX160 to give contractors a class-leading ROC in a small footprint so they get the best of both worlds. Also, it helps operators stay confident in their equipment when it is built with quality and durability in mind.”

The Vermeer CTX160 features a vertical lift path design, with a hinge-pin dump height of 88.75 inches for efficient clearance when dumping material in to a trailer or truck. The unit is powered by a 40-hp. turbocharged Kohler KDI diesel engine that does not require a diesel particulate filter (DPF), helping to reduce the cost and complexity of the engine.

With a weight of 4,000 pounds and a 9 inch rubber track undercarriage, the CTX160 provides optimal traction when transporting heavy material and in harsh working environments. Its Vermeer chariot-style ride-on platform has an integrated operator presence system that disengages the loader’s ground drive and attachment motion when the operator steps off the machine. The platform also provides operator comfort and visibility.

The control station on the Vermeer CTX160 includes a single, pilot-operated joystick for smooth functionality. It has a dual auxiliary system so the operator can switch between high flow for ground-engaging attachments and low flow for optimal control. Also, the unit’s universal mounting plate fits a wide range of Vermeer-approved attachments.

The Vermeer CTX160 is backed by a 3-year/3,000-hour limited warranty on the loader arms.


Exmark launches new 96-Inch Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn riding mower

Exmark launched the new 96-inch Lazer Z X-Series model, its largest, most powerful gasoline-powered commercial zero-turn mower. Capable of cutting up to nine acres per hour, the 96-inch Lazer Z X-Series provides the increased productivity necessary to get jobs done more quickly and profitably.

“Landscape maintenance professionals need mowers that enable each worker to get more work done, faster, with reduced maintenance and service-related downtime,” said Exmark Director of Marketing, Jamie Briggs. “The 96-inch Lazer Z X-Series leverages Exmark’s latest innovations to give our customers a powerful new option that mows faster, with increased operator comfort and maximum reliability in the field.”

The rear-discharge UltraCut flex wing cutting deck features a full-floating 48-inch center deck with two 24-inch wing decks, for a total of 96-inches of cut width. Both wing decks can flex up to 20-degrees up and 15-degrees down, which minimizes scalping and increases productivity in undulating terrain. A hydraulic deck lift offers the ability to raise or lower the wing decks to ease loading and minimize trailering space. As a result, the 96-inch Lazer Z X-Series fits on trailers capable of handling a 72-inch zero-turn mower.

Exmark designed the UltraCut flex wing deck to use four matching blades, which eases service and delivers the company’s signature cut quality in a wide range of mowing conditions. The deck is also designed to deliver unmatched mulching performance and is equipped with a factory-installed mulch kit.

A durable air-cooled Kohler EFI commercial engine powers the 96-inch Lazer Z X-Series. Exmark incorporated a number of innovations to further increase reliability and longevity through reduced operating temperatures, including an external oil cooler and an engine hood designed to screen intake air coming into the engine. This provides it with an ample supply of cool, clean air, while reducing the potential for debris build-up around cooling fins.

Patented RED Technology works with the Kohler engine’s electronic governor, now utilizing an electronic throttle body (ETB), to virtually eliminate the governor lag associated with traditional mechanical governors. This increased responsiveness allows operation at a lower, more fuel-efficient RPM level without compromising productivity or cut quality.

* Exmark Tractus tire and wheel combo.Exmark also launched its new Tractus tire and wheel combination. Designed to eliminate the flat tires that increase downtime, Tractus is available as an accessory for select Exmark Lazer Z zero-turn mower models. Exmark designed the Tractus tire and wheel combination to offer a similar ride quality to a pneumatic tire. This increases operator comfort, while the proven tread design offers superior traction in a wide range of turf conditions, with reduced marking when turning on concrete. With first availability slated for early 2020, Exmark will initially offer three Tractus versions for gasoline-powered Lazer Z models of different sizes.

* Z Turf Equipment introduces 2020 models. Z Turf Equipment – the new parent brand of Z-Spray lawn care equipment – unveiled its complete 2020 line of commercial lawn care equipment. Highlights include a new Z-Spray LTS spreader sprayer and updated Z-Spray and Z-Aerate machines. The new Z-Spray LTS spreader sprayer is based on Exmark’s proven stand-on spreader sprayer design, updated with new spread and spray controls for easier, more precise application settings. The new controls increase application precision for optimal results and reduced material waste. Constant agitation in the tank ensures materials are kept in suspension for consistent spray performance, even when using wettable powders and other dry-flowable materials. The lean-to-steer design enables the operator to control speed and direction with one hand, which frees the other hand to adjust spread or spray controls, or perform spot treatments with the easy-to-access spray wand. The intuitive control layout makes the machine easy to operate and make adjustments on the fly. A proven Spyker spreader system features an adjustable spinner speed, and is capable of broadcasting dry materials between four and 22 feet. The hopper can carry up to 175 pounds of material, with space to carry up to 50 pounds of bagged material atop the tank. Other features of the Z-Spray LTS spreader sprayer include a corrosion-resistant stainless steel main frame and powder coated control tower, stainless steel operator platform, with isolation mounts for a more comfortable ride, and a single-cylinder Subaru EX27 commercial engine.


Caterpillar launches new 6-ton class Cat 306 CR mini hydraulic excavator

The new Cat 306 CR mini hydraulic excavator marks Caterpillar’s entry in the 6-ton class offering. Designed with an improved customer experience in mind, the 306 CR mini excavator is built to exceed customer expectations with strong performance, enhanced operator experience and simplified maintenance with extended service intervals. With standard exclusive features like stick steer and new LCD monitor, it provides a great value for customers and boasts industry-leading performance.

The new mini excavator features heavy-duty main structures, a fuel-efficient engine, load-sensing hydraulics, spacious cab and exclusive Cat Stick Steer system. It shares a similar controls layout and common components with the full line of Cat Next Generation mini excavators to simplify training, offer quick adaptation for operation and lower owning/operating costs.

With its long stick option, the 306 CR delivers a maximum dig depth of 162 inches and 15,821 pounds maximum operating weight when equipped with the sealed and pressurized cab.

* New Cat SSL and CTL models.Caterpillar also announced the release of 16 new Cat D3 Series skid-steer loader (SSL) and compact track loader (CTL) models. These new machines advance the D and D2 Series’ reputation for quality, comfort, and performance and deliver improvements in operator experience, and track loader stability. The D3 Series models also support a line of new smart attachments. This advanced machine technology recognizes certain attachments and tailors the controls and operator information to match the tool and the task.


John Deere expands EFI offerings with new Z955R ZTrak mower

John Deere showcased the new Z955R ZTrak zero-turn mower, adding more fuel-efficient options to its expansive commercial mowing product catalog. The Z955R is equipped with an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) engine, and is designed to increase fuel efficiency and productivity during long days of work.

“As any commercial landscaper knows, productivity and fuel efficiency are key factors that can impact the profitability of their business,” said Natalie Haller, product manager, John Deere. “With the new Z955R mower, we are delivering another EFI model to our line-up that is designed to withstand the demands of a commercial landscape operation. From a reliable and powerful EFI engine to features that directly address and improve operator comfort, the Z955R machine is a productive solution for any commercial landscaper.”

The Z955R, with a 60-inch side-discharge deck is powered by a 29-hp. EFI engine, delivering class-leading performance and efficiency. With this model, John Deere is providing landscape professionals with an EFI engine at a higher horsepower, increasing fuel efficiency and power in varied mowing conditions. The increased horsepower allows the Z955R to quickly tackle common activities, such as material collection, mowing in thick turf conditions and mulching, while the EFI engine increases the overall fuel economy.

Other features on the Z955R model include two seat choices with the comfort-boosting ComfortGlide suspension. With ComfortGlide, the seat can travel up to two inches fore and aft, absorbing bumps for a significant enhancement to ride comfort. The fully adjustable seat option features lumbar support, control dial for easy adjustment and seat latch for seat lifting. Standard adjustable foot pegs further maximize operator comfort.

The standard Comfort & Convenience package features padded, ergonomically angled control levers. Electronic controls allow the operator to raise and lower the deck or disengage mower blades at the push of a button. Additionally, the John Deere exclusive Brake-N-Go machine starting system simplifies machine operation, allowing the operator to simply set the parking brake and turn the key to start mowing.

* John Deere adds 72-inch deck option to Z994R ZTrak.John Deere is also expanding its diesel mowing options with a new 72-inch deck size on the popular diesel Z994R ZTrak zero-turn mower. The new 72-inch deck option increases operator productivity, particularly when managing larger terrains, while still offering premium quality, enhanced comfort, lower operating costs, and longer engine life.

The Z994R mower is powered by a Final Tier 4, three-cylinder, liquid-cooled diesel engine with gross SAE J1995, PS 24.7-hp.-rated power at 3,200 rpm. The high-torque, low-emission diesel engine provides power for tough conditions with low vibration and noise levels.

Equipped with a single 11.5-U.S. gallon diesel fuel tank, the Z994R provides enough fuel capacity for long mowing days, and offers an easy-to-read fuel gauge.

In addition to the 72-inch deck size, the Z994R is available with a 54-inch or 60-inch 7-Iron Pro side-discharge mower deck, or the 60-inch 7-Iron Pro Mulch On Demand mower deck.


Michelin airless radial turf product line expands

Michelin North America, Inc., is adding to the portfolio of its Tweel airless radial line. At GIE+EXPO, Michelin showcased three new turf products coming to the prosumer and commercial zero-turn radius line.

  • New 15-inch ZTR caster design for larger commercial diesel mowers
  • New 22-inch TURF size ZTR mowers for the prosumer market
  • New hub for electric ZTR mowers made by Mean Green

To accompany large diesel ZTR mowers that use a 26-inch drive tire, the new 15-inch Michelin X Tweel Turf Caster will make its debut in 2020. The new 15x6N6 size configuration is designed to provide enhanced performance and more stability with its flat, smooth-rubber tread design and is able to fit a large range of mowers, including the John Deere Z997R Diesel. The tire has a load capacity of 370-pounds and a 16-mph speed rating.

ZTR mower operators will be able to buy the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless solution using 22-inch, rear tire/wheels with 4×4 or 5×4.5-inch bolt-pattern hubs for their prosumer mowers in the first quarter of 2020. The 4×4-inch bolt pattern has a 529-pound load capacity, while the 4×5.4-inch bolt pattern has a 727-pound load capacity. Available on original equipment or aftermarket, the 22-inch, black-hub version will fit:

  • Bad Boy Elite (4×4)
  • Grasshopper 700 series (5×4.5)
  • Hustler Raptor SDX & FasTrac (4×4)
  • Kubota SZ Stand-On & Z100 (4×4)

“We continue work with commercial mower manufacturers to supply the Tweel no-compromise solution for larger and heavier commercial mowers as well as smaller mowers for the prosumer market. As a result, we are expanding Michelin’s award-winning airless solutions for the turf community,” said Justin L. Brock, Michelin marketing manager for the construction and Tweel segment in North America.

Exclusively designed for customers who use the Mean Green Rival mower with 52-inch or 60-inch mower-deck options, Michelin has engineered a new electric-motor, green-wheel hub for 24x12N12 turf tires. The hub will have a 5×6.5-inch bolt pattern and a 1.70-inch offset and will be available starting in the second quarter of 2020.


American LandMaster reveals 2020 model lineup

American LandMaster revealed its new 2020 lineup. Across the entire 2020 line, American LandMaster has added the Carlisle (Timken) drive belt and improved the driver pulley. This gives the vehicle a much smoother acceleration while also providing assisted stopping power when letting off the gas. All models will also now come standard with a voltage meter, hour meter and fuel gauge. Finally, all models except the 350 will now have the option to upgrade to one of 4 different bed options. The options include a standard poly bed, steel flat bed, steel bed with a tailgate, and flip seat steel bed.

American LandMaster also made several model-specific changes across the lineup. First, the entry-level 2WD Landstar 350 will now come standard with limited-slip rear differential. This automatically senses when there is loss of traction on the rear wheel and drives equal power to the opposite wheel.

Some of American LandMaster’s biggest changes in 2020 were to the Landstar 455. This 2wd EFI vehicle will now have four wheel hydraulic brakes. It will be equipped with two front hydraulic disc brakes and two rear drum brakes. In addition, the 455 will now have the option to add power steering.

The previous Landstar 677 and Crew 4x have been renamed to the Landstar 700 and Landstar 700 Crew 4. This change better aligns the model naming conventions with their CC power. The Landstar 700 and Landstar 700 Crew 4 are both 694cc powered EFI Kohler engines and come standard with power steering, differential lock, and on-demand 4WD.

In addition to its base models, American LandMaster also has two specialty models. The Cruiser and The Untamed. The 2020 Cruiser will be available in several models including the 48V Electric, 455, 550, and 700 Crew 2. The 550 Cruiser and 700 Crew 2 Cruiser will come standard with power steering.


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