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GIE+EXPO 2017 Show Recap

Compiled by Steve Noe

The 2017 Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), which took place Oct. 18-20 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., featured plenty of exhibitor news. Following is an in-depth rundown of many of the top stories, listed in alphabetical order by company or brand name:

Altoz introduces TRX accessories for year-round utility

After making a big splash with the introduction of the TRX, the industry’s first tracked zero-turn mower, at GIE+EXPO 2016, Altoz returned to the show with new accessories for the TRX to expand its use to year-round. The Greenbush, Minn.-based company introduced a utility plow that is ideal for moving snow or light-density aggregate, as well as a spreader for easy application of light rock salt, grit, fertilizers and other fine materials. Already a workhorse used for clearing and reclaiming property and for cutting grass, weeds and light brush, the TRX can be equipped to take on even more tasks in all seasons, increasing the return on investment (ROI) for commercial users, municipalities and utility companies. Features of both accessories are as follows:

Utility Plow

  • Durable, all-steel construction for superior strength and durability
  • 7-gauge trip frame superstructure, adjustable 72-inch moldboard with 48-inch trip frame
  • Responsive, quick hydraulic speed for lift, lower and angle control
  • Steering-control-mounted controller with illuminated buttons for 1-hand control
  • Fully enclosed, sealed, hydraulic operating system
  • Custom 2-inch receiver hitch for easy mounting

Spreader

  • 3-cubic-foot/180-pound capacity
  • 10-inch steel spinner with spreading width adjustable from 4 to 20 feet
  • High-density UV-protected polymer
  • Modular steel frame
  • 12-volt DC/7- to 10-amp direct-drive motor

The TRX provides first-of-its-kind, patent-pending technology for commercial use on sloped, wet, snow-covered and rough terrains. Equipped with rear-mounted tracks and torsional suspension system, the TRX allows commercial users, utility companies and municipalities to maintain places they effectively or safely can’t with a traditional zero-turn mower or snow removal equipment. The exceptional stability and traction of the TRX enables operators to safely maneuver inclines, side hills, ditches, varying terrain and wet conditions with the agility and comfort found in all Altoz zero-turn mowers. And thanks to its low ground pressure and high traction, the TRX reduces compaction and minimizes ground disturbance while maintaining outstanding traction.

TorqFlex front suspension and rear torsional track suspension provides a smooth ride by bridging uneven terrain and reducing operator fatigue. Additionally, TRX’s commercial-grade track and flat-free front tires eliminate potential tire damage caused by sharp rocks, glass or debris commonly encountered in vacant lots, roadside ditches and spaces bordering high-traffic areas.

The introduction of the Altoz utility plow and spreader expands the TRX’s abilities year-round, making it truly a machine for all seasons, conditions and environments.

 

Ariens Company highlights snow removal products

With winter quickly approaching, Ariens Company highlighted its latest snow removal products at GIE+EXPO. The Brillion, Wis.-based company showcased its Professional 21 single-stage snow thrower, Classic Sno-Thro series, and RapidTrak technology

Designed for heavy-duty work, the Professional 21 is a 21-inch single-stage snow thrower that is built to be durable, reliable, performance driven, and maintenance friendly. It features a spring-loaded scraper bar that self adjusts to follow the contours of the ground, a thick paddle that cleans to the surface, and optimal handlebar positions for system performance and user comfort. The Professional 21 also features an open engine design with access to the carburetor, recoil and spark plug for easy maintenance. Keeping ease-of-use in mind, the machine also features an easy start sequence on the engine and an on/off switch instead of a key to guarantee that the machine starts in any weather conditions. Reinforced housing sides, high-impact wheels and a reinforced rod beneath the housing guarantee extra durability, even in tough conditions. The Professional 21 also includes an hour meter to help keep maintenance schedules on track. When the work is done, the easy-load handlebar system helps guide the machine up onto the back of a truck with ease.

“With the Professional 21, we’ve come up with the ultimate machine for commercial users,” said Matt Medden, Ariens Company VP of marketing. “Professionals are looking for something that’s easy to use and can stand up to the work they’re completing every day. The Professional 21 has thoughtful features incorporated, specifically designed to impact the machine’s durability and performance, which we think will go a long way in helping pros get the job done.”

For price-conscious residential users, the Classic Sno-Thro series offers the same features that Ariens snow lineup is known for, but at a lower price point. It is available with a 24-inch housing, making it small enough to fit into tight storage space for homeowners in urban settings; durable, all-steel construction, including a steel chute, dash and skid shoes; and a top-loaded aluminum gear case, which helps prevent oil from leaking out of the unit. The Classic 24 is available at a promotional price of $699.

The RapidTrak technology is an on-demand track drive system that allows a snow thrower to operate as fast as a wheeled snow thrower, but with the luxury (traction) of a tracked machine.

Ariens Company also highlighted the recent opening of Brillion Power Equipment, a previously vacant building located across the street from its headquarters, which it converted into a concept store and is now being used to demonstrate best-in-class dealership practices, test merchandising concepts that might be offered to its dealers, and learn more about overall customer experience. The store is being managed by Mike Buboltz, an Ariens and Gravely dealer, who owns Hardware Plus in downtown Brillion.

 

BOB-CAT makes bold statement

In addition to sponsoring the free concerts at Fourth Street Live!, BOB-CAT unveiled a bold new look for its 2018 commercial zero-turn mower lineup. Designated as the RS Series, the new design will appear on the XRZ Pro RS, FastCat Pro RS, ProCat RS and Predator-Pro RS models. The XRZ Pro RS is a brand-new model for 2018.

The new RS Series models retain the familiar BOB-CAT green bodies, but add black rims, black belt covers and darker seats to create a uniquely aggressive appearance, whether on a landscaper’s trailer or a dealer’s showroom floor. They combine this new look with high-performance commercial engines, high-quality drive systems, rugged mower decks, and industry-leading warranties for years of reliable operation.

In addition to the updated styling, all RS Series models feature a fully mechanical, adjustable suspension seat for improved operator comfort and Zero-T drive tires for improved performance.

“BOB-CAT commercial zero-turns are well known for their adherence to durability, quality of cut, and ease of ownership above all else,” said Troy Blewett, director of marketing. “They’re high-performance commercial mowers, and now they have a new look to match.”

The new XRZ Pro RS is loaded with commercial-grade features that lawn care professionals require, all at a value-driven price point. For the 2018 mowing season, it is available three models, featuring powerful Kawasaki FX Series engines and a 48-, 52- or 61-inch mower deck. The BOB-CAT TufDeck Pro 10-gauge fabricated, welded and reinforced-steel mower deck includes the BOB-CAT patented Double Wave baffle system for maximum vacuum and lift. Hydro-Gear ZT-3400 twin hydrostatic transaxles offer smooth performance and agility. Commercial cutters will experience improved run times and productivity, thanks to dual fuel tanks with a 9.5-gallon capacity and a forward speed of up to 10 mph. And they can comfortably work all day, thanks to a high-back, fully mechanical, suspension seat with armrests.

“The new BOB-CAT XRZ Pro RS is our latest professional-grade mower built for the rigors of commercial mowing,” said Ron Scheffler, product manager for BOB-CAT. “Based on 60 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise, this latest addition to our zero-turn mower line comes loaded with commercial-grade features. Importantly, it combines superior value with the toughness and reliability customers have come to expect from BOB-CAT.”

The suggested promotional prices for the new XRZ Pro RS start at $6,799. Prices vary by dealer. Taxes, freight, set-up, and delivery are not included.

In addition, BOB-CAT introduced its commercial AirFX cutting system, which provides a better quality of cut and more uniform dispersal of clippings. The AirFX cutting system features a 5.5-inch deep-profile deck, which offers improved vacuum and grass processing; gapped baffles, which create more efficient airflow, resulting in better clipping dispersal, less clumping and improved deck cleanliness; and a bull nose design, which allows grass to spring back up before it reaches the cutting chamber for a cleaner cut. The AirFX cutting system will be available on BOB-CAT’s 52- and 61-inch ProCat and Predator-Pro commercial zero-turn mowers.

BOB-CAT also introduced a 21-inch commercial walk-behind mower designed to meet the demanding needs of professional landscapers. It is available in two self-propelled models — one with zone starting and one with a blade brake clutch (BBC). Powered by a 179-cc Kawasaki FJ180V KAI Series engine, the new mower uses a high-vacuum, cast-aluminum deck to maximize airflow and grass lift for a pristine cut.

 

Briggs & Stratton continues innovation tradition

Briggs & Stratton Corporation continued its focus on bringing innovation to outdoor power equipment to help customers solve problems and get work done more easily on the jobsite or at home. The company showcased new products, power and technology under its Briggs & Stratton, Vanguard, Ferris, Billy Goat, Simplicity and Snapper brands.

“Briggs & Stratton’s mission remains focused on providing practical innovations driven by our customers’ needs,” said Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton’s chairman, president, & CEO. “GIE+EXPO provides a great opportunity to showcase how our most recent user-driven problem-solving process has resulted in innovations that increase productivity, offer greater product performance, and improve the user experience.”

For commercial cutters and landscapers, a variety of new productivity-enhancing products were on display. Select Ferris mowers feature the Vanguard Oil Guard system, which allows for 500 hours between oil changes and up to a 60 percent annual cost savings. New Ferris 400S, IS 600Z and SRS Z3X zero-turn mowers allow commercial cutters to reach new levels of productivity, agility and comfort with features that complement the brand’s patented suspension technology. The new Billy Goat debris loader with a Vanguard EFI engine offers easier starting and fuel savings of up to 25 percent over carbureted equivalents. Billy Goat also featured a new Force II wheeled blower and a new laser clad blade on the Next Gen Hydro-Sod Cutter, offering precision cut and longer blade life.

Briggs & Stratton launched more than just products to increase productivity for commercial cutters. InfoHub for commercial turf is a new Internet of things, Web-based business solution that enables them to be more productive in the office too. With less time and less work, InfoHub for commercial turf helps cutters make more money through features such as real-time crew and equipment tracking, simplistic job scheduling, profitability and efficiency analysis, and more. Live demos of the InfoHub business solution were held at Briggs & Stratton’s indoor and outdoor booths.

Residential outdoor power equipment is a part of Briggs & Stratton’s long history, and this year’s products took it to the next level with innovations under the Briggs & Stratton, Simplicity and Snapper brands. The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower Series inverter generator addresses several top unmet needs of generator shoppers. It’s more than 60 percent quieter, 30 percent lighter, and 45 percent more compact than standard portable generators. For homeowners in colder climates, the new Briggs & Stratton lineup of dual-stage snow blowers offers features such as dual-trigger steering, heated handgrips, durable steel components and more.

Homeowners seeking more room in the garage have new space-saving outdoor power equipment options from Briggs & Stratton. The Briggs & Stratton 2,000-psi electric pressure washers are easy to use and have a collapsible handle design for easy storage in tight garage spaces or on shelving. Spring 2018 brings the expansion of Briggs & Stratton’s Mow N’ Stow technology that is exclusively available on Toro’s SmartStow with Recycler walk mowers. The expanded offering has a new power rating option and multiple drive-type options. They are the only gas mowers that can be stored upright to take up to 70 percent less garage space.

Briggs & Stratton continues to expand other popular innovations. To address consumer requests for easier maintenance, Just Check & Add is expanding with the introduction of the 625 EXi Series and the redesigned Professional Series engines. Now consumers have more engine options that never need an oil change. Continuing on the path of giving homeowners more power options, Briggs & Stratton offers the Nexcel Series lithium-ion battery powerhead. At 82 volts max, it offers reliable, long-lasting performance with up to 45 minutes of run time. Briggs & Stratton unveiled its new patent-pending electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, designed specifically for residential engine applications. The company considers it a simpler, smarter approach to EFI.

Powered by a Briggs & Stratton battery, the Snapper XD 82-volt Max lithium-ion battery multi-tool system includes the tools that consumers need to get yardwork done easily. GIE+EXPO represented the first chance for lawn and garden professionals to see 12 new Snapper XD 82-volt tools, such as additional walk-behind mowers, string trimmer attachments and a cultivator. Snapper also introduced four re-designed SPX models with a new look and updated features such as a contoured seat and an integrated hour meter.

The Simplicity Regent sported a new design and new features such as electric height-of-cut and updated tires with improved tread design for better traction, and two Regent models will have rear suspension. Simplicity will also offer three new medium-duty dual-stage snow blowers featuring dual-trigger steering, heated handgrips and electric start.

Beyond engines and outdoor power equipment, show attendees got a look at a common home product that was due for an upgrade. The new GarageBOSS Press ‘N Pour Fuel Can, endorsed by Briggs & Stratton, features a simple and intuitive press-button spout design, allowing consumers to spend more time getting the job done and less time figuring out how to get fuel out of their gas can.

“We are excited to unveil so many new product innovations for our turf and lawn care customers all in one place,” added Teske. “We’re committed to being a leader in offering user-driven innovations that support our turf and lawn care customers and dealers.”

 

Cub Cadet showcases its latest line of professional equipment

In addition to serving as the premier sponsor of the second annual UTV University, Cub Cadet showcased its latest innovative products for the professional landscape and turf industry at GIE+EXPO, including a new professional hydro walk-behind mower, a full line of professional zero-turn mowers and new turf equipment for the specialty turf market. It also introduced its FastAttach blade system for consumer users.

“We design all elements of our commercial line with the professional in mind,” said Dave Mullen, VP of product marketing, Cub Cadet. “We then put these products through rigorous testing with professionals, so they can tell us how we can improve. The result is a rugged, quality, dependable lineup that exceeds expectations of the pros who rely on the performance of these products every day.”

Highlights of Cub Cadet’s products that were on display at GIE+EXPO include:

Cub Cadet PRO HW hydro walk-behind mower

Cub Cadet launched the new PRO HW hydro walk-behind mower at GIE+EXPO. The newest addition to Cub Cadet’s growing professional line was designed with direct feedback from landscapers across the country. The new mower features a fixed floating 10-gauge deck design with 7-gauge-steel top and bottom reinforcements, available in 36-, 48- and 54-inch cutting widths. New sealed spindle assemblies with single-row ball bearings are maintenance free for the life of the spindle.

The Easy-Trac Steering Technology provides smooth steering with hand-lever controls requiring less force to steer, along with single-lever cruise control and straight-line adjustable tracking with fingertip control. It also provides stability on hillsides and slopes, while the infinite speed control matches user preference.

The rugged design includes the thickest steel yokes, beam and control center in the industry. A fully welded front axle provides increased stress tolerance. The higher clearance and weight balance allow professionals to easily maneuver forward or reverse over curbs.

Cub Cadet PRO Z Series

Unveiled for the first time at GIE+EXPO last year, the pro-tested lineup returned to the show with an assortment of options for landscape professionals.

Cub Cadet’s PRO Z commercial zero-turn mowers set a new benchmark, providing more strength, performance and comfort than ever. The full lineup consists of the PRO Z 100, 500, 700 and 900 Series, designed to meet the needs of different-sized landscape crews.

The PRO Z line is loaded with category-leading features, including the only triple-7-gauge deck on the market, now available in 48-, 54-, 60- and 72-inch cutting widths. The steel cutting deck has three layers of 7-gauge steel, a rolled leading edge and side reinforcements, making it the thickest, strongest steel deck in the industry.

Cub Cadet went beyond its robust product development process and engaged 100 professional landscapers in thousands of hours of rigorous real-world testing. Their feedback impacted final product design, addressing common setbacks landscapers experience over long seasons of demanding work, making the PRO Z Series uniquely positioned to address the specific needs of landscape professionals.

Cub Cadet Infinicut

The Cub Cadet Infinicut brings enhanced performance to sports turf by adjusting to various conditions. The line of precision turf mowers is designed for user adjustment to fit the specific field needs based on the latest conditions of the day. From the dynamic return floating head mechanism to the variable clip speed, height-of-cut adjustment, moveable bedknife and swappable dual power sources, the Infinicut provides more functionality than any other turf mower.

As the only all-electric sports field mower in the world, in battery mode, it is so cost effective that it can largely pay for itself through annual fuel savings alone. It can also easily convert to gas power if preferred. The hybrid configuration improves fuel efficiency, while the battery drive reduces noise. It is available in 21-, 22-, 26-, 30- and 34-inch widths.

Close collaboration over the past two years with the All England Tennis Club, which manages The Championships at Wimbledon, helped refine the product to provide premium results for improved tennis courts. In addition to tennis facilities, it is also ideal for golf courses.

Cub Cadet RG3

By using a proprietary positioning technology better than GPS, the Cub Cadet RG3 with Precise Path Technology moves precisely and safely across golf course greens. It travels in straight lines and along the perimeter without the need for an operator, delivering consistent and repeatable cuts every time, so every green is mowed exactly the same way. The advanced robotic technology allows for mowing and rolling in a single pass with consistent overlap. The result is a green-to-green consistency that provides an overall better short game for many golfers.

With uniform pressure and speed, RG3 provides straight lines and consistent overlap for superior-looking greens. Golf course superintendents who use RG3 have indicated that regular golfers notice a difference on the greens and have reported higher scores because of the better ball roll. In fact, after a fleet of RG3s was implemented at a golf course in Florida, more than 90 percent of members surveyed indicated a noticeable improvement in the consistency of ball roll on the greens.

Fewer footprints and reduced edging was observed by golf course superintendents with RG3 than by using heavy rollers. RG3 also allows for it to be used after heavy rainfalls, as it does not damage the greens surface the way a heavy roller could when it is wet. There is a reduction in wear patterns on the collars and approaches because RG3 is programmed to not turn in the same place every day. It also turns with less abrasion than standard mowers.

Cub Cadet FastAttach blade system

For consumers, Cub Cadet’s new FastAttach blade technology allows blades to be changed faster and easier than ever before. It allows a dull blade to be removed and a sharp, new blade to be installed in just minutes, with no tools.

The FastAttach blade system has been rigorously tested for safety and security. Thousands of hours of testing have been performed to ensure that the system and blades meet safety and compliance standards. FastAttach also features Secure-Lok technology, which ensures the blades are in their proper position and stay securely in place, until the next blade change.

Installing a new mower blade each season is one of the easiest things that can be done to improve the appearance and health of a lawn. A dull blade tears the grass, causing it to turn brown. A sharp blade cuts the grass evenly and cleanly, leaving behind a greener and healthier-looking lawn. FastAttach makes having sharp blades on a rider easy, since it allows old blades to be removed and new ones installed in just three easy steps.

The FastAttach blade system will be available on select 2018 Cub Cadet models. Although these units will come standard with FastAttach high-lift bagging blades, Cub Cadet will offer additional FastAttach blade options, so operators can do more with their lawn. The FastAttach Xtreme mulching blade recycles grass into finer clippings, whereas the FastAttach sand blade lasts up to three times longer than standard high-lift blades in sandy conditions.

With FastAttach blade technology, blades can be changed safely, more often, and with less effort for a quicker way to a sharper-looking lawn.

 

Dixie Chopper Eagle series lands at GIE+EXPO

Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. (TSV), a Textron Inc. company, launched its new Dixie Chopper Eagle series at GIE+EXPO.

The Eagle series includes 10 different models. The Eagle is available with a 27-hp. Kawasaki FX or 27-hp. Kohler Command EFI engine, as well as a 54- or 60-inch cutting deck. The Eagle HP offers more power with engine options up to 35 hp., paired with a 60-, 66- or 72-inch cutting deck. Both Eagle and Eagle HP models feature a deep 7-gauge shell to handle more volume when tackling tough grass.

The Eagle series comes standard with a foot-operated operator-controlled discharge chute (OCDC), which allows the operator to keep both hands on the steering levers while blocking the chute on the fly. The mowers also feature the InCommand console with keyless password-protected ignition and SoftStart clutch for smoother clutch engagement.

“We can’t wait to launch the Eagle series to the industry,” said Matt Jackson, product manager of Dixie Chopper. “The series is faster, more powerful, and more productive than anything we have created before. With features like OCDC and the InCommand console offering keyless ignition and SoftStart clutch engagement, we’re confident that the Eagle series will take the commercial mower market by storm.”

In addition to SoftStart keyless ignition for easier clutch engagement, the InCommand console also features a blade and job timer, tachometer, and fuel gauge. Coupled with a Parker HTG series transmission delivering smooth steering and ground speeds up to 14 miles per hour, the Eagle series has been built with productivity and comfort in mind.

The Eagle HP comes standard with an ISO-mounted platform featuring a full-suspension seat with padded armrests, recline and lumbar support for ultimate comfort. Springer forks on the Eagle HP models also help to absorb bumps and imperfections in the turf, providing a smoother ride for the operator.

“We are very proud to have raised the bar yet again with the new Eagle series,” said Rachel Thompson, vice president of turf at TSV. “Innovation and customer service is in our DNA, and we remain committed to designing and building zero-turn mowers that help our customers get their job done fast.”

Visit www.dixiechopper.com to find out more about the new Eagle series.

 

Echo debuts X Series

Representing the company’s “best-in-class” products designed for professional users, Echo Inc. introduced the Echo X Series at GIE+EXPO to expand and replace the Pro Extreme series.

The Echo X Series features 19 models within eight product categories, with each model having specific top-level attributes designed to help landscape professionals perform their jobs better in respective applications.

“The Echo X Series was well received at the show,” said Wayne Thomsen, Echo’s vice president of marketing and aftermarket. “All our products are professional grade, but the X Series identifies key models for pro users designed to provide significant attributes in their target applications. In addition, the new branding helps the professional user easily identify what we consider to be our best in class per category. The series will grow over time as new products are introduced with the latest engine technology and innovative features geared for the pro user.”

The series was a highlight at the company’s GIE+EXPO booths. The full line was on display indoors, and attendees were able to test the SRM-2620 vs. SRM-2620T trimmers in the company’s outdoor test circuit. For an added indoor experience, visitors were able to experience the major attributes of the series in a virtual reality experience called the Echo Chamber.

The expanded lineup includes:

TRIMMERS/BRUSHCUTTERS

  • SRM-2620: Base model includes Speed-Feed head and Black Diamond line
  • SRM-2620T: Provides greater torque to handle the toughest jobs
  • SRM-2620U: Uses ergonomic U-shaped handle for brush clearing

CHAIN SAWS/POWER PRUNERS

  • CS-501P: Lightest weight in its class (50.2 cc) with bar length up to 20 inches reduces fatigue and increases productivity — ideal for smaller trees
  • CS-620P/CS-620W: The greatest power for its class (59.8 cc) with bar lengths up to 27 inches to effortlessly fell large trees
  • PPT-2620/PPT-2620H: Low weight, high horsepower and durable shaft for efficient pole pruner performance

BLOWERS

  • PB-770H/PB-770T: Lightweight backpack blower with ideal combination of air speed and air volume for powerful and efficient cleanup

EDGERS/BED REDEFINER

  • PE-2620: Lighter, open-faced shield for easy operation
  • BRD-2620: Expertly redefines flower and mulch bed edges seven times faster than a shovel

HEDGE TRIMMERS

  • HC-2420: Echo’s lightest double-sided hedge trimmer with 24-inch blades for easier maneuverability in smaller areas
  • HCA-2620: Articulating shaft simplifies trimming the tops of tall hedges
  • HC-3020: Echo’s longest double-sided hedge trimmer with 30-inch blades for greater reach
  • HCS-3020: Echo’s lightest single-sided hedge trimmer with 30-inch blades enables quick completion of sculpting and trimmer jobs
  • SHC-2620: Two-sided, shafted hedge trimmer with simple, fixed gear case for lighter weight to lessen fatigue
  • HCS-4020: Echo’s longest single-sided hedge trimmer with 40-inch blades for greater reach across wide hedges

PRO ATTACHMENT SERIES

  • PAS-2620: Strong performance (25.4 cc) with wide array of attachments to accomplish almost any task

In addition, Echo also displayed a full line of 58V lithium-ion cordless products, including a push mower (a first for Echo), a chain saw, a handheld blower, a hedge trimmer, and two variations of trimmers.

 

Exmark raises productivity bar with new Lazer Z Diesel

Exmark unveiled several new products, highlighted by its all-new Lazer Z Diesel commercial zero-turn riding mower. It features a 96-inch UltraCut Flex Wing cutting deck, as well as Yanmar liquid-cooled diesel engines equipped with Exmark’s patented RED Technology, which gives users an increased ability to control mower power and efficiency with defined performance modes.

In addition to the Lazer Z Diesel, Exmark introduced the next generation of its patented RED Technology; a Smart Controller, which offers a wealth of user data, on select 2018 Lazer Z S-Series commercial zero-turn riding mowers; and a 2018 Radius S-Series zero-turn riding mower with a suspended operator platform. On the residential mower side, Exmark displayed its redesigned Quest zero-turn riding mowers with improved engine protection, an updated control panel and a new look. The company also unveiled a 24-inch stand-on aerator and a spreader attachment for its 30-inch stand-on aerator.

As for the new Lazer Z Diesel, Daryn Walters, Exmark director of marketing, said it delivers increased power, productivity and durability for landscape professionals maintaining large properties, or who regularly mow in tough conditions.

“The Lazer Z Diesel is the right tool to make quick work of the largest, toughest jobs,” said Walters. “Capable of mowing in excess of 10 acres per hour, the 96-inch model is the most productive diesel mower Exmark has ever built. It also raises the bar for the cut quality, operator comfort, fuel efficiency and ease of use professionals can expect from a large zero-turn mower.

“As a result, the Lazer Z Diesel is the ideal choice for municipalities, universities, landscape contractors and others that need a highly productive, versatile, efficient and durable mower to maintain vast expanses of turf.”

Exmark engineers placed the engine and radiator lower in the Lazer Z Diesel chassis, lowering the machine’s center of gravity for improved handling and increased stability. The design couples the engine directly to the transmission, eliminating drive belts for a more robust, efficient powertrain. With reduced service requirements, in addition to extended service intervals, the Lazer Z Diesel drive system delivers maximum uptime and a lower total cost of ownership compared to other machines.

The all-new UltraCut Flex Wing cutting deck is a rear-discharge design featuring a 48-inch center deck with two 24-inch wing decks, for a 96-inch total cutting width. The deck uses four matching blades to deliver consistent cut quality across the entire 8-foot cutting width. The configuration is also designed to deliver unmatched performance when equipped with the optional mulch kit accessory. Both wing decks can flex up to 20-degrees up and 15-degrees down to minimize scalping and maximize productivity on uneven terrain. The ability to hydraulically raise or lower the wing decks eases loading and unloading. Raising the wing decks also reduces the required trailering space, allowing the 96-inch Lazer Z Diesel to fit on most trailers designed for 72-inch zero-turn riders.

In addition to the 96-inch UltraCut Flex Wing cutting deck, the Lazer Z Diesel is also available with Exmark’s exclusive 60- or 72-inch UltraCut cutting decks in side- or rear-discharge configurations. Fully fabricated and welded from high-strength 7-gauge steel, these decks feature Exmark’s exclusive flow-control baffles for a signature quality of cut. A hydraulic deck lift is standard on every Lazer Z Diesel machine.

RED Technology-equipped, liquid-cooled Yanmar diesel engines power the new Lazer Z Diesel machines. For applications requiring maximum power and torque combined with quiet operation, Exmark offers the 1.6-liter common rail direct-injection engine as an option on all three models. A 1.3-liter turbo diesel engine option delivers maximum fuel efficiency, responsive power and reduced noise on 60- and 72-inch Lazer Z Diesel models. Both engines deliver the reduced exhaust emissions necessary to achieve EPA Tier 4 compliance.

Exmark’s patented RED Technology works with electronic governors in the Yanmar engines to increase responsiveness by virtually eliminating the governor lag associated with traditional mechanical governors. This increased responsiveness allows the engine to operate at a lower, more fuel-efficient rpm level without compromising productivity or cut quality. RED Technology also tracks machine health, delivering on-screen service alerts and productivity statistics to maximize machine uptime and encourage regular, required maintenance.

New Lazer Z Diesel machines include a number of technologies designed to increase operator comfort through reduced exposure to bumps and vibration. Isolation mounts under the seat base and footrest, and within the motion control system, provide three-dimensional isolation from vibration transmitted through the mower frame. The full-suspension operator seat features Exmark’s scissor link ball-bearing suspension system, Elastomeric Vibration Control (EVC) stretch fabric base and custom seat cushion foam for all-day operator comfort.

Exmark includes a 5-year/2,000-hour warranty — with no hour limitations for the first 2 years — with each Lazer Z Diesel model.


Grasshopper displays two FrontMount models

Grasshopper Company highlighted its largest and smallest FrontMount models at GIE+EXPO. Features of the new FrontMount 900D 1.3L and 526V-52 are as follows:

Grasshopper 900D 1.3L FrontMount MaxTorque diesel mower

* The 900D 1.3L FrontMount MaxTorque diesel mower is Grasshopper’s largest and most powerful front-mounted zero-turn mower. Powered by a Tier-4 Final-compliant diesel engine, this mower provides plenty of torque to power through heavy, lush grasses while delivering a manicured cut. It is available with a 61- or 72-inch DuraMax, 5.5-inch-deep deck. This clean-diesel-powered mower delivers better fuel economy, less vibration and a quieter operation. New features include an electronic fuel gauge with digital hour meter and two USB charging ports. Extra-large 24x12x12, low-pressure, bar-tread tires provide a smooth ride and extra traction.

Grasshopper 524V FrontMount mower

* The new 500V Series mowers are the fastest, most compact FrontMount models. They are available with a 724-cc Commercial Turf engine with a 42-inch cut or an 810-cc Vanguard engine with a 52-inch cut. The 42-inch deck manually flips up, while the 52-inch deck features the Grasshopper-exclusive PowerFold electric deck lift that raises the deck at the flip of a switch, allowing easy underside access for cleaning and blade replacement.

 

 


Gravely unveils redesigned Pro-Walk mower

Gravely unveiled the completely redesigned Pro-Walk commercial walk-behind mower at GIE+EXPO.

The Gravely Pro-Walk is a commercial-grade walk-behind mower designed for the professional landscaper. With welded deck designs in 36-, 48-, 52- and 60-inch sizes, the Pro-Walk incorporates enhancements that improve cut quality, durability, maneuverability and ease of use. The Pro-Walk was redesigned with features that make it easier to use than previous versions.

One of the most notable changes, the Pro-Walk now features Gravely’s premium X-Factor II Deck, a 10-gauge, all-steel welded deck that comes backed with a lifetime warranty. The 10-gauge deck has an integrated wear bar on its front with two additional gussets to guard against the leading edge and to prevent baffle bending. The deeper deck also allows grass to move more freely through the space, improving efficiency and quality of cut.

Now even easier to use, the Pro-Walk was designed with new intuitive steering controls, which offer a shorter learning curve while providing precision handling. Ergonomics were also considered when designing the new steering panel. The mower’s controls position the operator in a neutral position, reducing wrist and arm fatigue. In addition, adjustable handlebars provide four height positions to accommodate operators of any size. Also contributing to the machine’s ease of use, a wide wheelbase provides outstanding hillside stability, while the flip-up side-discharge chute increases maneuverability and reduces damage to the surrounding environment.

In 2016, Gravely introduced a constant-belt tensioning system to the market with the launch of the new Pro-Turn 200 and 400 units. Now standard on the Pro-Walk, Gravely’s constant belt-tensioning system enhances the unit’s overall performance. The system maintains a constant belt tension, which produces a consistent blade tip speed; eliminates belt slippage that can damage belts and pulleys; improves engine efficiency and reduces the load, which saves fuel and engine life; and eliminates spring adjustments to save time by ensuring consistent cut quality.

In addition, the new deck level system features an exclusive design requiring only a four-point adjustment, reducing parts by 50 percent, which helps the mower maintain its best cutting performance. The deck level system also eliminates deck hanger welds, resulting in a flat deck and improving cut quality. A flip-up deck pin was added for easy access to the vital areas on top of the deck.

Also new on the Pro-Walk is the Hydro-Gear ZT-2800 transmission. It boasts a one-inch axle for heavy loads to take the wear of any commercial cutting condition. The transmission also supports speeds of up to 8 mph and is strategically positioned on the machine to provide a lower center of gravity for increased hillside stability. In addition, the ZT-2800 transmission has 89 percent fewer leak points than a traditional pump and wheel motor system.

The Pro-Walk features larger (20-inch) rear tires to help operators overcome challenging mowing conditions with less damage to the turf they are working on. Puncture-proof semi-pneumatic front tires make the Pro-Walk a long-lasting, durable machine.

“The new Gravely Pro-Walk was designed following feedback that we’ve received from landscape contractors across the country,” said Trae Humphreys, Ariens Company senior commercial product manager. “It features upgrades that increase efficiency and make this mower one of the easiest walk-behinds to operate. We really kept the user in mind when going through this redesign, and incorporated things that would make their job easier.”

The Pro-Walk series will be available for purchase beginning in January 2018. The Pro-Walk starts at a list price of $6,989. For more information, visit www.gravely.com.


Honda showcases Miimo and more

Honda Power Equipment highlighted its latest new products, including a robotic lawn mower, updates to its mower lineup, and its portable power products.

At an interactive, experiential display at its outdoor booth, Honda Power Equipment showcased Miimo, the company’s first robotic lawn mower for the U.S. market. Introduced earlier in 2017, Miimo delivers automatic, convenient, intelligent mowing, resulting in a consistently well-maintained lawn. Highlights of Miimo include three different programmable cutting patterns with a programmable timer setting, quiet operation and quick recharging. Honda’s battery-powered mower automatically maintains the lawn within a defined area. Using a boundary wire similar to electronic fencing, sensors and timer, Miimo delivers homeowners regular, unattended grass cutting for a beautiful lawn. Depending on the lawn size and complexity, the two available Miimo models make easy work of grass cutting. On a single charge, the HRM310 and HRM520 can cut up to 0.37-acre and 0.75-acre lawns, respectively. Miimo is now available at select Honda Power Equipment dealers in the United States.

The Honda Power Equipment team also discussed new updates for its HRR lawn mower, including updated styling and new wheels that deliver improved traction and wear. Powered by the lightweight Honda GCV160 engine, HRR mowers are easy to start, operate, and maneuver, and they deliver high performance and outstanding fuel efficiency. All HRR models include the 3-in-1 Clip Director. With just one touch, the operator can quickly switch from mulching to bagging, eliminating the need for a mulch plug.

Honda Generators featured its full line of portable power, including the EB2800i and EG2800i models, as well as charging stations for personal electronic devices. The Honda EB2800i industrial OFI generator, the newest addition to the Honda Industrial Series lineup, was developed to serve the contractor market, providing high-quality power for multiple-tool use on the jobsite. At a dry weight of less than 67 pounds, the EB2800i portable generator was designed with the single worker in mind. The generator is light enough for one person to load and unload from a truck, operate, and carry around the jobsite, all while providing ample power for a variety of tools, including small compressors, air circulation fans, large concrete drills, multiple hand tools, electric concrete vibrators, circular saws, and battery chargers up to 2,800 watts. The Honda EB2800i complies with current OSHA and LA-ETL regulations while ensuring safe operation with GFCI-protected receptacles.

 

Husqvarna showcases innovative and sustainable OPE technology

At GIE+EXPO, Husqvarna unveiled new products that showcase the company’s leadership in zero-emission and robotics technology.

For 2018, Husqvarna is presenting new models for its Automower robotic mower series, its Cloud-based Fleet Services system, as well as portfolio expansions for the company’s extensive lineup of battery-powered products, further positioning Husqvarna as a leader in green power equipment technology and sustainable solutions.

“Innovation has been the founding core of our business for more than 325 years, and our products reflect decades of research and state-of-the-art engineering and design,” said Jeff Dewosky, vice president and general manager of Husqvarna North America. “Husqvarna is committed to offering the same level of quality and innovation for its zero-emission lawn and tree care equipment in order to provide sustainable solutions for the future of our industry.”

New Automower models

Expanding its Automower lineup, Husqvarna will release several new models in 2018 with innovative technology and products designed for new audiences.

The Automower 310 (MSRP: $1,499.95; install kit sold separately) will join the current lineup as a new entry-level model, serving 0.25-acre lawns and slopes up to 22 degrees. This new model also comes with “Connect from Home,” the Automower’s new connected Bluetooth functionality. The existing Automower 315 model will see a competitive price drop to MSRP $1,799 (install kit sold separately) and will now serve up to 0.4-acre lawns.

In 2018, Husqvarna will also introduce the Automower X-line, making the Automower Connect app standard for those models. Automower Connect allows owners to control the mower from their smartphone, wherever they are. The app for iOS and Android devices lets owners receive their Automower’s current status and change settings remotely. It also transmits the Automower’s precise GPS-tracked location in the unlikely event of a theft. The Automower X-line will be available in two models: Automower 315X (MSRP: $1,999.95; install kit sold separately) and Automower 430X (MSRP: $2,699.95; install kit sold separately).

All-new battery products

Husqvarna continues to invest in the battery-powered market segment with innovative technology that matches gas-powered equipment in performance, efficiency and durability. For professional lawn and tree care experts and homeowners, the company will offer several new battery products in 2018.

The 536 LiHE3 hedge trimmer (MSRP: $399.95; battery and charger sold separately) was designed for commercial-grade use and complements the existing 536LiHD60X by offering a slightly shorter 22-inch knife, an extended shaft, and an articulating cutting head.

Complementing the company’s extensive battery lineup of handhelds is the new 21-inch battery mower, available as the LE121P push mower (MSRP: $399.99; battery and charger included) and LE221R self-drive mower (MSRP: $599.95; battery and charger included). These are powerful mowers for proficient homeowners with an extended run time due to their twin-battery bays. They are lightweight and versatile mowers with a high cutting and collecting performance due to their steel decks and single-blade design. Their ergonomically designed handle and single-point height adjustment system make them easy to use, and a transmission run by the electric motor delivers smooth handling for the self-drive version.

With its new BLi100 (MSRP: $129.95), BLi200 (MSRP: $199.95) and BLi300 (MSRP: $299.95) batteries, Husqvarna is introducing a line of lithium-ion technology that will replace the current models, offering faster charge times (50-80 minutes), higher capacities and 100Wh, 200Wh and 300Wh, respectively.

For longer performance and commercial-grade equipment, Husqvarna is adding two new backpack batteries with increased capacities to replace current models. The BLi550X (MSRP: $599.95) and BLi950X (MSRP: $949.95) backpack batteries will power equipment with 550Wh and 950Wh, respectively, while offering the same innovative backpack design that is comfortable to wear even through long shifts. These batteries also work with existing harnesses and provide long-lasting power and top-class performance, while allowing professionals to work efficiently with fewer breaks for changing batteries than ever before.

Rounding out Husqvarna’s zero-emission technology portfolio of 2018 are the new QC500 charger (MSRP: $199.95), designed for fast and efficient charging of bigger batteries, as well as the company’s first voltage inverter, Vi600F (MSRP: $229.95), for infield battery charging using a standard plug.

Fleet Services

The company is also launching its Cloud-based Fleet Services system in early 2018, which connects lawn and tree care operators and their entire fleet of machines directly to an online portal or mobile app via Bluetooth, enabling professionals to have insights into their operations at their fingertips. By mounting a small wireless machine sensor to an outdoor power product, Husqvarna Fleet Services captures machine status data, translating it into valuable information that can be used to help boost productivity and improve the bottom line.

In addition on the commercial side, Husqvarna introduced the company’s first-ever commercial stand-up mower series — the V548 and V554 with 48- and 54-inch ClearCut decks, respectively. The company also unveiled several new zero-turn, hydro-walk and walk-behind mowers. Plus, it displayed its new chain saw accessories, including the X-Cut SP33G low-vibration pixel saw chain (Husqvarna’s first-ever chain designed, developed, and manufactured in the company’s state-of-the-art production facility in Sweden) and its 3/8-inch-pitch X-Force laminated guide bars.

On the consumer side, Husqvarna also upgraded its entire 400 e-series chain saws, introduced the aforementioned chain saw accessories, and unveiled its new 300 garden tractor series with 48- and 54-inch ClearCut decks.

To learn more, join the conversation by liking Husqvarna on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HusqvarnaUSA) and by following Husqvarna on Twitter (www.twitter.com/HusqvarnaUSA).

 

Hustler Turf showcases product updates

Hustler Turf Equipment introduced product updates throughout its mower lineup at GIE+EXPO. These updates take the solid and reliable Hustler mowers to the next level with increased comfort and strength that zero-turn operators are looking for.

“We are excited to announce the new and improved enhancements to the Hustler Turf lineup,” said Brad Unruh, director of product strategy. “Hustler is known for its innovative spirit, and we are continually looking for ways to improve our already solid lineup of mowers and build them even better for our customers.”

Upgrades start with the residential Raptor family of mowers. Kawasaki FR series engine options will be available on select models of the Raptor and Raptor SD. The Raptor and Raptor SD will also come with an engine guard standard. The Raptor Limited will now be equipped with Flex Forks and an upgraded seat to maximize operator comfort.

Beginning with the 2018 model year, the Kohler 7500 Series EFI engine will be available on select models of the Hustler FasTrak. Benefits of the Kohler 7500 Series EFI engine include quick and easy starting, more power, and enhanced fuel efficiency.

The Hustler Super Z and Super Z HyperDrive commercial mowers will feature the new enhanced VX4 deck. Now constructed with heavy 7-gauge steel, the deck will also feature a reinforced spindle area, a formed steel bump bar on the leading edge, commercial anti-scalp wheels with internal spacer, and additional upgrades.

For 2018, the Super Z and Super Z HyperDrive will also feature engine guard bumpers, an 11.7-gallon fuel tank, rear wheel with heavier center disc, tapered front caster and wheel bearings, and new deck lift and height pinning system.

Tapered front caster and wheel bearings, front tie downs, and revised deck lift are some of the updates on the Hustler Super S stand-on mower.

“Residential models have more options and standard features that appeal to a broader range of customers and give them the best overall value in a residential mower,” said Unruh. “Commercial units are being completely upgraded in strength and durability to meet the most challenging demands of a commercial cutter and keep them going without downtime.”

 

Hydro-Gear introduces SMARTEC ZT DRIVE system

Hydro-Gear unveiled a new drive technology designed to improve the operator experience and maximize performance. Known as the SMARTEC ZT DRIVE system, this first-ever production mower drive system incorporates individualized and intelligent vehicle performance while maximizing the operator’s comfort, efficiency and capability.

“For years, we’ve heard complaints of the same problems in turf care,” said Ray Hauser, president of Hydro-Gear. “With the new SMARTEC ZT DRIVE, we’re attempting to solve all those problems with the introduction of electronic controls. Introducing SMARTEC ZT DRIVE unlocks a door for users to experience drives that think fast, respond early, and are hard-wired for customization.”

Using a machine equipped with the SMARTEC ZT DRIVE system gives operators the ability to individualize performance settings to the way they like to mow. Customization is easy through MYMOW, a personalized performance interface that stores an unlimited number of settings for the same mower such as forward and reverse speed, acceleration and overall control. It is the first time this level of detailed and precise tuning has ever been possible for a mower.

SMARTEC has developed the MowNet system software, a new innovation where all components are integrated with easy plug-and-play connectivity, simplified wiring, and on-demand upgradability.

The SMARTEC MowNet App is being developed and includes the MYMOW Personalize Performance Interface. “The MowNet App allows for troubleshooting and performance management to be within the fingertips of the user,” said Alyn Brown, SMARTEC market segment manager. “With the simple use of a tablet or smartphone, customization and adjustment is possible.”

As another industry first, this system includes an optional Dynamic Stability Assist module that automatically monitors and adjusts the mower’s performance across 9 axes of motion. This pioneering innovation eliminates the need to periodically adjust the zero-turn mower’s tracking control linkages. Even more importantly, the mower will intelligently self correct its heading for straighter mowing and improve controllability on gentle slopes. Dynamic Stability Assist reduces operator fatigue while continuing to make mowing fun.

Machines may also have the capability to be produced with different operator control systems such as lap bar, steering wheel, or joysticks on the same vehicle, appealing to the preferences of the owner.

SMARTEC is currently working with turf manufacturers to refine and incorporate this drive system into future models. This SMARTEC system will be produced at Hydro-Gear’s new Indianapolis Innovation Center.

 

TSV launches new additions to Jacobsen zero-turn series

Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. (TSV), a Textron Inc. company, announced the launch of its new Jacobsen ZT900 and ZT1000 zero-turn mowers. Building on the success of the ZT400 and ZT600 launched in 2016, the two new models in the series continue to deliver dependable performance and professional results.

The ZT900 models are available with a 27-hp. Kawasaki engine or a fuel-efficient alternative from Kohler. They also feature a 54- or 60-inch cutting width and can reach ground speeds of up to 12 mph.

The ZT1000 comes equipped with either a 35-hp. Kawasaki engine or a 33-hp. fuel-efficient Kohler engine. The models feature a 60-, 66- or 72-inch cutting width and can reach ground speeds of up to 14 mph. With operator comfort in mind, the ZT1000 comes with an all-new ISO-mounted platform suspension seat as standard with padded armrests, recline, and lumbar support.

The ZT900 and ZT1000 feature the InCommand console with keyless password-protected ignition and SoftStart clutch for smoother clutch engagement.

“We are very excited to introduce these two new additions to the Jacobsen zero-turn series,” said Rachel Thompson, vice president of turf at TSV. “Quality, reliability and productivity are central to everything we design and manufacture at Textron Specialized Vehicles, and these new products are no exception. We are delighted to offer customers some fantastic new features, which will increase speed and efficiency while providing an incredibly smooth and comfortable driving experience.”

Both models feature Parker transmissions, which are compact, quiet and efficient. They also have maintenance-free PEER Turf Xtreme spindles with Contamination Exclusion Technology for increased durability. The PerfectTension deck drive system maintains optimal belt tension for reduced maintenance and up to three times increased belt life expectancy. In addition, Jacobsen ZT mowers offer 1,000-hour oil- and filter-change intervals, saving time and money.

Visit www.jacobsen.com to learn more about the new models in the ZT series.

 

John Deere expands commercial ZTR lineup, introduces stand-on mower with new tires

Remaining in touch with the evolving needs of professional landscape contractors, John Deere announced the addition of two new commercial zero-turn-radius mowers. The ZTrak Z945M and ZTrak Z955M models offer professionals electronic fuel injection (EFI) engines with higher horsepower for increased fuel efficiency and power in varied mowing conditions. The company also announced the availability of the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire for the R Series QuikTrak stand-on mowers.

The Z945M (27-hp., 824-cc EFI engine) and the Z955M (29-hp., 824-cc EFI engine) are available with multiple deck offerings. Both models are available with a 60-inch side-discharge or 60-inch Mulch On Demand (MOD) deck, and a 72-inch side-discharge deck is also available on the Z955M. The increased horsepower makes quicker work of common activities, such as material collection, mulching and mowing in thick turf conditions, and the EFI engine improves overall fuel economy.

“Our customers are hard working and need equipment that is just as hard working as them,” said Nick Minas, product manager, John Deere Commercial Mowing. “They demand higher-horsepower EFI machines to more efficiently tackle varied mowing activities. With the latest additions to our ZTrak mower line, we’re satisfying the needs of our professional customers while providing additional value with increased comfort and ease-of-use features.”

To help operators stay more comfortable on long mowing days, the new mower offers an optional premium suspension seat on the M and R series machines. The newly designed seat offers a thicker bottom cushion, additional padding on the back with ergonomic contouring, and adjustable armrests to improve ride comfort and the overall mowing experience. For added convenience, users will also notice an enlarged and angled fuel filler neck to complete fueling with less mess on all new Z900 Series ZTrak mowers.

For more information about the Z945M, Z955M and the rest of the John Deere ZTrak zero-turn mower line, visit www.JohnDeere.com/ZTrak.

Building upon the popularity of the Michelin X Tweel Turf product for zero-turn mowers, the airless radial tire is now available for purchase with a 2018 John Deere R Series QuikTrak stand-on mower, or as a stand-alone parts purchase. With the addition of the Michelin X Tweel Turf product on a stand-on machine, professional landscape contractors will experience increased uptime that is virtually maintenance free, positively improving their bottom lines.

“Since first launching in 2014, the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire has been extremely popular with our customers, providing a solution that helps them to reduce downtime due to tire maintenance,” said Carl Agee, product manager, John Deere. “By expanding this technology to our QuikTrak line, we are now able to offer our stand-on mower customers increased uptime by eliminating flats.”

The Michelin X Tweel Turf product offers customers a variety of benefits. Because it is an airless radial tire, the product eliminates flats, improving uptime. Additionally, the cost of repairs and maintenance is reduced, positively impacting the bottom line.

With the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire, professional landscaper contractors no longer need to spend time checking and optimizing tire pressure, as no air is required. In addition, the product provides a more consistent height of cut, as there is no fluctuating tire pressure. With the use of the Michelin X Tweel Turf product, professional landscape contractors can also expect a longer tire life, as it lasts two to three times longer than a pneumatic tire with equal tread depth.

The Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire for QuikTrak stand-on mowers will be available for purchase from John Deere dealers in 2018.


Kawasaki debuts EFI engine with Vortical Air Filtration

Kawasaki Engines, a division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., introduced an all-new engine and accompanying air filtration system at GIE+EXPO. The FT730V-EFI is the first engine from Kawasaki to employ Vortical Air Filtration (VAF), an air-intake methodology that significantly combats many of the ongoing issues faced by lawn care professionals and homeowners.

VAF, which provides longer engine life due to its inherent debris-cleaning effects, also requires less maintenance as the pre-filter and filter can run for up to 50 hours before requiring cleaning. The VAF technology incorporates air intake methodology that is engineered to focus on getting clean air into the engine without also introducing external debris, such as loose grass clippings.

This advanced, high-efficiency air intake system uses centrifugal air movement to move heavy grass, dust, and debris away from the air filter, then ejects accumulated debris out of the engine through a duckbill debris ejection valve. Once the ejection process is completed, only fine dust is left, which is easily trapped in the filter. The benefits of this system are many, with cleaner intake air contributing to longer engine life, reduced maintenance, and improved performance.

Grass entering the cooling air path system under normal mower use is easily removed through the large clean-out ports located over cylinder heads. The cover for these clean-out ports is neatly integrated into the VAF cover.

Kawasaki’s new FT730V-EFI system employs an integrated e-governor (eGov) that immediately adjusts engine power-to-load for maximum cutting power at higher speeds, cleaner mowing when units are used in heavy turf, as well as minimizing the need for re-cuts. The same EFI system is currently available on three other Kawasaki engine models from the company’s FX and FS product lines.

Kawasaki’s single, sealed ECU — the heart of the company’s EFI system — is sufficiently protected to avoid exposure to weather, dirt and vibration.

The open loop design, which avoids the need for an oxygen sensor, maintains low engine temperatures, which in turn helps reduce oil consumption and contributes to a longer overall engine life.

Utilizing the proven 730-series engine block that has been part of Kawasaki’s lineup for 10 years, this newest engine is a welcome addition to the company’s ever-broadening line of general-purpose powerplants.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Kawasaki Engines distributes gasoline engines for landscape, industrial and consumer markets. The division sells to and services customers through a network of more than 40 OEMs; 15 distributors; and more than 7,500 independent dealers throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, select countries in Central and South America, and the U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific, including Guam.

 

Kohler Engines unveils new products

Kohler unveiled the new 5400 Series engines for lawn tractor applications and the integration of an Electronic Throttle Body into its Command PRO EFI 999-cc engine.

Designed to bring easy starting and quiet, smooth operation to lawn tractor applications, the 5400 Series single-cylinder engine line includes 17- to 19.5-hp. models. Key features encompass a new Triple-Balance System, which was specially designed to significantly reduce vibration, as well as Kohler’s Smart-Choke Technology, which allows users to “Just Turn-the-Key and Go” without having to prime or choke the engine.

“When it comes to lawn tractors, users want an engine that’s easy to start, smooth running, simple to maintain, and built to last,” said Brett Wegner, product manager for Kohler Engines. “Our new 5400 Series more than delivers by incorporating a variety of user-friendly advancements. When developing this line, we applied our expertise from Kohler’s robust twin-cylinder engines to design in many durable features and user benefits. Without question, the 5400 Series takes our single-cylinder offering for ride-on mowers to the next level.”

In addition to Kohler’s new Triple-Balance System and Smart-Choke Technology, the 5400 Series incorporates the company’s Consistent-Cut Technology, which helps to maintain engine speed in tough conditions for a cleaner turf cut. An inverted oil filter allows for dripless oil changes, while ergonomic quarter-turn knobs provide easy access to the air filter for quick, tool-free replacement. Each model within the new 5400 Series is also backed by Kohler’s comprehensive 3-year warranty.

“The 5400 Series replaces the Kohler Courage single-cylinder engine line — which is being retired — and represents our next generation of technology in this engine class,” Wegner added. “We believe this line will be an appealing new option for today’s technology-driven lawn tractor users. But, it also represents an opportunity for outdoor power equipment dealers who have been seeking a new engine in this horsepower range, designed from the ground up, around the needs of their customers.”

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

“I wish everyone who spends time on a mower could try this engine,” said Eric Raquet, product manager for Kohler Engines. “You can really feel the difference in tall, wet grass. Our new Electronic Throttle Body brings some extra muscle to the table, and takes the Command PRO EFI 999 cc to powerful heights of horsepower, torque and reliability.”

Ideal for commercial zero-turn-radius mowers, the Kohler Command PRO EFI 999-cc engine is available in models between 35 and 38 hp. Durability and performance features are numerous and include large-capacity filters, high-performance spark plugs, hydraulic valve lifters, and a fully integrated oil cooler. For added peace of mind, the engine is also backed by Kohler’s 3-year commercial warranty.

 

Kubota unveils new commercial mowers, upgraded residential riding mower line

Kubota Tractor Corporation unveiled two new commercial mowers and a newly upgraded residential riding mower line at GIE+EXPO. Professional landscapers and other turf industry professionals were the first to see Kubota’s commercial mower introductions, including the new Z700 family of zero-turns and a new 21-inch self-propelled walk-behind mower. Kubota also introduced the newly upgraded residential T Series riding mower line at the show. All of the new mowers will be available at Kubota dealerships in December 2017.

“We are particularly excited to be introducing the new Z700 models; I have no doubt that landscape professionals will rejoice when they experience the new premium adjustable suspension seat,” said Tom Vachal, Kubota senior turf product manager. “Adding the 21-inch commercial walk-behind mower to our popular W Series family of walk-behind mowers ultimately provides turf professionals with more options and versatility under the Kubota brand they have come to trust.”

The Z700 Series offers exceptional performance, value and comfort. The new premium suspension seat allows operators to customize their ride with a weight adjustment knob. The seat will allow for up to 3 inches of vertical travel while being able to slide fore and aft 6 inches. With Parker TorqPact HTG 14 transmissions, the most power-dense transmission available for commercial turf applications, the Z700 Series is designed for an optimum combination of speed and torque to deliver higher efficiency. Better overall efficiency means more horsepower to the deck and less heat into the oil, which translates to a fast, high-quality cut, whether the turf is easy or tough, or the terrain is rolling or flat.

Kubota’s new 21-inch commercial walk-behind mowers are available with a blade brake clutch in the WGC6-21 model and with a zone start option in the WG6-21 model. These 21-inch mowers combine cutting and bagging performance with extreme durability. The cast-aluminum deck with steel edge guards, and cast-aluminum wheels with dual ball bearings and replaceable wide rubber tires, meet the demands of the lawn care professional. The 3-speed heavy-duty transmission is designed for performance and long service days. The new model boasts the Kawasaki FJ180 commercial-duty engine. The ergonomic controls deliver easy operation and comfort throughout the day. With the introduction of this new deck size, Kubota’s W Series now includes 21-, 36-, 48- and 52-inch deck options.

Kubota also unveiled three new residential models that will replace its previous T Series mower lineup. The new and improved T Series line is comprised of the T2090 with a 42-inch deck and the T2290 with 42- and 48-inch deck options. The residential ride-on mower line has been popular for years, and Kubota improved on its features by engineering an ultra-sharp turning radius; operators can now turn the mower 360 degrees with only a 14-inch turning radius. A foot-operated hydrostatic transmission pedal simplifies control of speed and direction, leaving hands free at all times for precise steering and maneuvering in confined spaces. The biggest upgrades to the new T Series are found in comfort features. The flat foot pan provides clear operating space and ample room for the operator to enter and exit the mower. All three models feature a high-back seat that adjusts a full four inches forward and back for just the right operating position, and the T2290 models include a parallel link seat suspension system. The new fabricated 42- and 48-inch cutting decks offer professional-quality results. The T2090 and the T2290 boast powerful 2-cylinder V-twin engines that produce 20 hp. and 21.5 hp., respectively. The new T Series mowers are available with a 4-year/300-hour warranty.

 

Masport expands mower lineup

Supporting its nationwide distributor, Power Distributors, Masport once again exhibited at GIE+EXPO. It’s been another busy year for the engineering team at Masport with additions to the company’s North American lineup in both gasoline- and battery-powered lawn mowers.

At GIE+EXPO, Masport featured its new “Contractor” commercial walk-behind mower lineup and introduced two new battery-powered models featuring the Briggs & Stratton Nexcel 82-volt powerhead, along with Masport’s own “M Tech” 58-volt system.

Masport is a 107-year-old New Zealand-based company, which is a household name in New Zealand and sold in 45 countries around the world. Masport started offering its products in the United States in 2012.

Power Distributors, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and Power Source Canada in Canada distribute Masport’s range of consumer & commercial outdoor power equipment to servicing dealers across North America. Masport is a dealer-only brand in North America and is ideally suited to this form of distribution as its manufactures feature-rich and high-quality products. They are almost exclusively powered by Briggs & Stratton engines, with Honda-powered options also available in the commercial mower range.

For more information, visit www.masport.com.

 

Mean Green starts electric mower revolution with new ReVolt

Wearing “Leading the Electric Mower Revolution” T-shirts, the folks at Mean Green Mowers continued to challenge tradition and lead an electric mower revolution by unveiling a mower appropriately named the ReVolt.

“Tradition can be a great thing when it comes to family and friends, but following tradition in the outdoor power equipment world can lead to the same old boring and inefficient products that have little or no innovation,” said Joe Conrad, president of Mean Green Mowers. “Much like our American Revolutionary patriots of over 240 years ago, it is time to seek independence and escape the traditional. It is time for the ‘Electric Mower Revolution’ to free us all from the loud, polluting, gas-guzzling mowers of 1950’s era technology.

“Our forefathers did it, and now it is time for us: ReVolt!”

Designed by Joe’s son Matt, who also designed Mean Green’s Stalker all-electric commercial stand-on mower, the ReVolt fills the final gap in the broad range of Mean Green mowers. The ReVolt is an all-electric, 48/52-inch-cut, dual-drive, wide-area walk-behind commercial mower. With the option of up to two powerful Green Monster battery packs, the ReVolt can easily get commercial lawn care contractors through a full day of mowing on a single charge. With its low-slung, super-wide stance, and the company’s powerful battery packs hovering only 8 inches above the ground, the ReVolt boasts a low center of gravity. This allows the ReVolt to hug slopes with fewer worries from loss of control and oil starvation that is common with internal combustion engines.

For more information, visit www.meangreenmowers.com.

 

Michelin expands Tweel airless radial line and distribution network

Michelin Tweel Technologies, a division of Michelin North America, Inc., showcased new mower products and announced new distribution outlets at GIE+EXPO. The news was as follows:

  • New 26-inch zero-turn-radius (ZTR) mower size for four-bolt wheel-pattern hubs
  • New, 18-inch stand-on mower size for a 2018 John Deere model
  • New partnership with Sunbelt Outdoor Products for Michelin X Tweel Turf replacement tires
  • Addition of Ag-Pro as a distributor for X Tweel Turf products

“Michelin continues to demonstrate the forward momentum of this award-winning airless tire through the growth of the product portfolio and distribution network,” said Olivier Brauen, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies. “With uptime so crucial for our customers, the Michelin X Tweel airless radial tire provides an unparalleled solution. Building relationships in the market is our goal.”

Scag and other operators of ZTR mowers using a 26-inch, four-bolt pattern rear wheel will now be able to buy the no-compromise airless solution for their commercial mowers. Available through the Tweel dealer network, the black hub version of the Michelin X Tweel Turf is a single unit, replacing the current tire/wheel/valve assembly. It performs like a pneumatic tire, but without the risk and costly downtime associated with flat tires and unseated beads.

Featured on the 2018 John Deere QuikTrak stand-on commercial lawn mowers, the new 18-inch Michelin X Tweel Turf will be available on this new equipment. The QuikTrak is John Deere’s top-rated stand-on machine for commercial mowers and landscapers. The four-bolt pattern yellow hub is also available on the 24-inch Michelin X Tweel Turf, designed exclusively for the John Deere ZTrak 900 Series mowers with 54-, 60- and 72-inch deck sizes.

In an exciting collaboration with Sunbelt Outdoor Products, the distributor will become a partner with Michelin to sell Michelin X Tweel Turf mower and golf cart products. With seven distribution centers across the United States, Sunbelt Outdoor Products is a wholesale lawn and garden parts distributor, dedicated to servicing outdoor power equipment resellers.

Retail customers will now be able to purchase Michelin X Tweel Turf products through Ag-Pro Companies. Ag-Pro is one of the largest John Deere dealers in the United States. Headquartered in Boston, Ga., near Thomasville, Ag-Pro operates a total of 50 locations across Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Texas — offering sales, parts and service — with 960 employees.

 

Oregon offers muscle of gas, benefits of battery power with new 120V Professional Series

Oregon showcased its new 120V Professional Series outdoor power equipment line. This robust series of cordless, battery-powered equipment is engineered with more power than comparable gas-fueled equipment to take landscaping crews to a whole new level of productivity.

In engineering these innovative products, Oregon drew from its more than 70 years of experience helping outdoor professionals get their jobs done. Consolidating extensive input from commercial landscaping crews and experienced industry veterans, Oregon created a suite of tools that meets a demanding set of requirements, including the power to match gas-fueled equipment, offer low noise, and the ability to operate in any kind of weather.

“Oregon has been serving lawn and landscape professionals for decades,” said Josh Huffman, business segment director, outdoor power equipment for Oregon. “We understand the need for cordless products that are powerful enough for heavy commercial work, but also enable crews to operate quietly and with more care for the environment. We’re confident that our new Oregon 120V Professional Series will help extend the work day, reduce downtime, and offer the professional-grade reliability and durability needed to help our customers grow their businesses.”

The Oregon 120V Professional Series is debuting with four pieces of equipment that offer a legitimate cordless alternative to commercial gas tools, delivering more power and torque for professional-grade performance, noise reduction technology, and a low total cost of ownership.

Available for the 2018 season will be:

  • Oregon 120V Professional Series backpack blower
  • Oregon 120V Professional Series string trimmer
  • Oregon 120V Professional Series extended hedge trimmer
  • Oregon 120V Professional Series edger
  • Oregon BX975 and BX650 batteries

All Oregon 120V Professional Series tools are fueled by Oregon’s interchangeable 120V battery platform placing the battery in a backpack-style carrier for reduced tool weight, better maneuverability, and better overall ergonomics for operators. Available in two capacity levels, the BX975 is a 973-watt-hour power pack, while the lighter BX650 still offers a robust 648-watt hours.

The Oregon 120V Professional Series will be available at dealers nationwide in 2018. To learn more, visit www.OregonProducts.com/en/120VProSeries.

 

PERC announces winners of Propane Leadership Awards

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) announced a Pennsylvania dealer and a Louisiana landscape contractor as the recipients of the second annual Propane Leadership Award on Dealer Day at GIE+EXPO. PERC awarded Louisiana-based Rotolo Consulting, Inc. and R.S. Hollinger & Son, Inc. in Mountville, Pa., with the honor.

“We’re excited to announce RCI and R.S. Hollinger & Son, Inc. as the recipients of this year’s Propane Leadership Award,” said Jeremy Wishart, deputy director of business development for PERC. “Both businesses have helped bring awareness of propane mowers into their communities, and share the benefits of the clean fuel with their customers. They did the research on propane and understood the positive impact it could have on their business, both financially and environmentally.”

Brandt Martin (RCI) and Lynn Hollinger (R.S. Hollinger & Son, Inc.) each received a personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bat to commemorate the award.

One of the largest full-service landscaping companies in the southeast United States, RCI began using propane commercial mowers in 2011 and changed one-third of its fleet to propane within a year. Now, the company uses nearly 100 propane mowers, as well as close to 100 propane autogas-powered trucks to meet the needs of its growing customer base. Martin said the first propane mower they tried simply outperformed any of their existing gasoline or diesel mowers on operations, maintenance and dependability, and the company’s success is due in part to its reliable propane mowers.

For R.S. Hollinger, bringing propane equipment to the dealership’s sales floor helped the company get a leg up on its surrounding competition, one of the factors that convinced Ebling’s Service Plus in neighboring Myerstown to acquire the company as Hollinger and his brothers plan for retirement. Hollinger said he sees R.S. Hollinger as an early adopter in a market segment he believes will only grow as demand increases for reduced emissions services. Adding the propane equipment to the dealership was an easy process, and partnering with a local propane retailer helps ensure both he and his customers have a great experience with the fuel.

For more information on using propane for landscaping and to find out more on becoming a propane equipment dealer, visit propane.com/commercial-landscape.

 

RedMax unveils new technology for lawn and tree care professionals

RedMax, a global outdoor power equipment brand of Husqvarna, presented its 2018 portfolio of professional products at GIE+EXPO. RedMax is expanding its lineup to offer professionals the full solution of equipment for commercial lawn and tree care needs.

Highlights from this year’s show included an entirely new line of durable commercial zero-turn mowers, powerful chain saws for tree care professionals, as well as new zero-emission battery-powered handheld products and accessories.

“Developing innovative and reliable products for commercial use is paramount for us,” said Jeff Dewosky, vice president and general manager of Husqvarna North America. “We are excited to share our latest innovations for RedMax that show how our products can help professionals be more productive and efficient with intelligently designed products that focus on what matters.”

With the CZT series, RedMax is introducing a brand-new zero-turn mower line for lawn care professionals that offers a durable design, powerful and productive operation, and high-quality fabricated-steel decks. The rugged commercial construction features a welded steel tube frame, heavy-duty casters, flat-free tires and a sturdy deck lift system. Built for commercial use, the cutting decks offer strength, as well as reinforced and oversized components, giving operators more time in the field and less time in the shop. The modular design of the chassis provides convenient access to all regular service parts, as well as major components.

The CZT (MSRP: starting at $6,399.95) is available as a 52- or 61-inch model, includes ROPS, and a four-year warranty. For the bigger jobs, the CZTx (MSRP: starting at $9,399.95) is an excellent option and comes with cutting deck widths of 48, 54 or 60 inches, 16-cc pump and motor, ROPS and a 5-year warranty. RedMax is also offering a new commercial walk-behind mower for 2018. The CWP21 (MSRP: $499.95) is a tough, maneuverable machine with a 21-inch reinforced steel deck and is built to meet the demanding commercial needs with a powerful engine.

 

Spider 3RIDER makes world debut at GIE+EXPO

Dvorak, the Czech Republic-based manufacturer of the Spider range of remote-controlled slope mowers, gave a world preview of its advanced prototype Spider 3RIDER at GIE+EXPO.

All of Dvorak´s current machine portfolio is remotely operated, but the new larger 3RIDER provides the operator with the option to sit on and drive the machine. It can be operated by a seated driver on slopes of up to 15 degrees and then, when the slope becomes too extreme, the operator can dismount from the mower and continue to operate it by remote control from a safe position away from the machine.

Following the initial development of this multi-functional mower, long-term testing is now being carried out to determine its robustness in real and varying conditions.

Improving and adding to its product portfolio with new and innovative product developments has been Spider’s focus for some time. For this new concept, it was imperative that the company further developed its unique steering system, known as the DANCE STEP, which has been tested and proven since 2004.

The DANCE STEP is created using a patented chassis design and enables omni-directional mowing without complicated maneuvering: four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering allow the mower to move forward, sideways and backward with unlimited continuous turning of all wheels 360 degrees. The current product offering — Spider Mini, Spider ILD01 and Spider ILD02 — use this four-wheel synchronized steering system.

The 3RIDER uses a more sophisticated steering mechanism that has been enhanced and moved forward by several stages. As each wheel is steered independently, the operator can use different configurations for varying terrains.

The first option is the aforementioned DANCE STEP, where all wheels are steered together in 360 degrees. The second option is the Ackerman steering system, as used on the majority of today’s motor vehicles, which allows the wheels to rotate at different speeds for safe cornering. The final option is zero turn. In this mode, all four wheels can be positioned at 45 degrees, allowing the Spider 3RIDER to turn around its vertical axis without damaging the grass or terrain, helping operators to be more productive as they can turn more quickly. It is the first machine to provide these different steering options.

The axles are independently attached to the main frame, allowing the mower to articulate on uneven terrain. The operator´s seat is centrally located, and the front mowing deck is attached to the main frame at midpoint and kept on the terrain by a torsion bar, which provides the operator with the best possible 360-degree view and allows the deck to float, following the contour of the terrain. The 3RIDER is the first mower to use this type of solution.

There are also some major changes to the mowing system. The front-mounted 5-foot-3-inch deck uses seven small high-speed rotary motors and blades and has proven to be extremely efficient. The front row of four blades rotates in one direction, while the rear bank of three rotates in the other direction. Changing to the mulching option is simple and quick. The standard blades are replaced with mulching blades and a switch on one of the drive motors is activated so that in mulching mode, all blades rotate in the same direction. From an environmental perspective, because the Spider 3RIDER uses smaller blades, it creates less suction beneath the deck and is kinder to the small creatures and invertebrates that inhabit the turf.

The 24.9-hp. Kubota diesel engine is the tried and tested version used across the green industry and provides the power for a high-quality cut of 2.4 acres an hour, even in difficult conditions. As it is below the Tier 4 Final threshold, it does not need the regenerative capabilities associated with larger engines.

 

Stihl Inc. launches iMow, more

Stihl Inc. made a grand entrance into the robotic mower market with the launch of the iMow during its Dealer Day press conference held in its festive Oktoberfest-themed booth. The Virginia Beach, Va.-based company also unveiled several other new products, as well as held a drawing for its $5,000 giveaway.

Stihl iMower RMI 632 P robotic mower

The Stihl iMow RMI 422 P and iMow RMI 632 P robotic mowers allow homeowners to enjoy their lawn without having to do any work. These smart mowers will quietly and efficiently mow lawns. They automatically mow on a regular basis and can handle thick, rough grass and slopes up to 24 degrees. Depending on the model used, these mowers can handle from 1/4-acre to 1 acre with a durable, double-sided steel blade, adjustable cutting heights and high-performance Stihl battery technology. They feature automated and customizable features such as intelligent hood sensor (allowing the iMow to work around solid objects), flexible programming, automatic charging and more. It is serviced by specially trained Stihl iMow dealers who will customize it specifically for your yard.

“iMow can be tailored to a homeowner’s lifestyle and schedule, adding customizable convenience to mowing,” said Brian Manke, product manager at Stihl Inc. “The user tells iMow when to mow — while at work, while the kids are at school, at night while sleeping — and then enjoys a great-looking lawn.”

Stihl iMow comes standard with an integrated battery and outdoor docking station. Additional shared features of iMow include:

  • Quiet operation — allowing for the flexibility of early-morning and nighttime use, ideal for noise-sensitive areas
  • Automatic charging — with its intelligent charging system, iMow finds the optimal balance between getting the job done and maintaining battery charge by automatically returning to its charging station and charging at the optimal charge rate as needed
  • Mulching mower functionality — generates significantly less dust than a traditional mower, returns nutrients and moisture back to the soil for a healthier lawn, and is beneficial for air quality and those with allergies
  • An edge mowing option to get a clean cut along the edges of the mowing area
  • Auto-adjust capability — whether manually skipped or mowing schedule is delayed due to weather, iMow compensates, making up lost time later in the week
  • Built-in rain sensor to delay mowing when raining, return to the outdoor docking station until the sensor is dry, and automatically resume the mowing plan
  • Smart safety technology — if someone attempts to lift or tip the iMow, the mowing blade is designed to stop and only resume mowing when manually instructed by the user
  • Anti-theft system with user-chosen security PIN prevents a change in settings and can only be reset by a Stihl branch or distributor

Stihl HSA 25 battery-powered garden shears and accessories

In addition to the iMow robotic mowers, Stihl Inc. unveiled its first-ever battery-powered garden shears (HSA 25) for detail-oriented trimming jobs and performing precise cutting of ornamental shrubs; a residential battery-powered chain saw (MSA 140 C-BQ); a 19-inch battery-powered walk-behind mower (RMA 460); the powerful Stihl BR 700 X backpack blower (64.8 cc) with a light and maneuverable tube; the versatile TS 440 Stihl Cutquik cut-off machine (66.7 cc) for general construction applications and limited-access cuts; and four pressure washers, including two residential models (RB 200 and RB 400 Dirt Boss) and two commercial models (RB 600 and RB 800).

The winner of the drawing for Stihl’s $5,000 giveaway was Matthew Owen of Big Ridge Outdoor Equipment in Brevard, N.C.

 

Toro backs up innovation theme

Toro’s theme for this year’s GIE+EXPO was “Powered by Innovation” with a tagline of “Toro innovations mean added productivity and a better bottom line for your business.” And Toro backed that up with plenty of new products and technology at the show.

For landscape contractors, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based company introduced the Z Master 7500-D Series of diesel-powered zero-turn mowers, the next generation of Horizon Technology on select Z Master 6000 Series zero-turn mowers, TacTec flat-free tires for select Toro zero-turn mowers, the MyRIDE suspension system on its TITAN HD 2000 Series zero-turn mowers, a 24-inch stand-on aerator, and a 55-inch-wide power broom attachment for the Toro GrandStand Multi Force stand-on mower.

The Z Master 7500-D Series diesel-powered zero-turn mowers feature a side- and rear-discharge commercial cutting decks ranging from 60 to 96 inches for maximum productivity; the adjustable wing decks of the 96-inch deck model flex up and down to hug the contours of the terrain for a smooth and consistent cut. Powered by a Tier 4-compliant, four-cylinder, 1.6-liter, 37-hp., Yanmar diesel engine, the Z Master 7500-D Series provides ample power to handle the most challenging mowing conditions. The unit also features a 12.5-gallon fuel tank, minimizing downtime and keeping mowing crews productive, and it can reach ground speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour. “This new model combines the speed and maneuverability of a traditional zero-turn mower with the power and productivity of a large-scale commercial mower,” said Chris Hannan, senior marketing manager at Toro. “This new mower also delivers the quality of cut that is expected of Toro products, and the large 96-inch cutting deck will improve productivity versus smaller decks.”

On the residential side, Toro announced the availability of the MyRIDE suspension system for the Toro TimeCutter MX zero-turn mower line and an improved 42-inch stamped cutting deck for select TimeCutter zero-turn mowers. Toro also highlighted the new 22-inch Recycler Personal Pace mower with PoweReverse, a self-propel drive system that works in both forward and reverse to mow challenging areas with less effort, and it announced SmartStow technology, which allows the mower to be stored upright, will also available on that mower. On the handheld side, Toro also displayed its all-new family of PowerPlex 40V Max lithium-ion products, which includes a brushless DC blower, a brushless DC chain saw, a 24-inch hedge trimmer, a 13-inch string trimmer/edger, and a 14-inch brushless DC string trimmer.

For snow removal, Toro introduced its most powerful commercial two-stage snowblower, the Toro Power Max HD Commercial 1028 OHXE (38806), as well as two new Power Max snowblowers, the Toro Power Max 824 OE (37793) and Power Max 826 OXE (37797).

Toro also introduced several commercial and siteworks products, including its most powerful Toro Dingo, the TX 1000; the Toro Groundsmaster 4000-D and 4010-D rotary mowers with a powerful turbo-charged 55-hp. Tier 4-compliant diesel engine; the Toro Groundsmaster 7200/7210 with Polar Trac system, which transforms a mower into a powerful snow removal machine; the Toro MB TX 2500 Tracked Mud Buggy; and the Toro Workman GTX utility vehicles.

For more GIE+EXPO 2017 coverage, please visit OPE’s website at outdoorpowerequipment.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OutdoorPowerEquipmentMag.

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