Equip Exposition (formerly GIE+EXPO) set a new record by welcoming more than 25,000 attendees and exhibitors. The 2022 show debuted a new brand and new experiences for its participants, and all indoor and outdoor exhibit space available was sold-out for both Equip Exposition and Hardscape North America, which co-locates with Equip Expo.
“The trade show remains the industry’s family reunion,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Equip Exposition and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which owns the trade show. “This year we shook up the programming a bit and introduced lots of new ideas from an opening welcome reception and new, interactive educational sessions to Mulligan’s 5K Fun Run & Walk, a coffee bar, and an expanded Outdoor Demo Yard.
“This year’s numbers show the industry is strong and optimistic about 2023,” Kiser added. “The industry continues to innovate and bring new technologies to markets evidenced by the major product announcements, education, networking that went on.”
Expo attendees hailed from all 50 states and 49 countries, with the furthest traveling attendees journeying from Guam, New Zealand and Australia.
More than 4,000 people turned out at the first-ever Welcome Reception at Louisville Slugger Field. Nearly 250 braved the cold morning at the inaugural Mulligan’s 5K Fun Run & Walk over the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge. The benefit run and walk, sponsored by Ariens, raised funds for the Kentucky Humane Society.
The following is a recap of some of the highlights and announcements from the show.
Stihl introduced several new products for professional users – including the Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series zero-turn mowers, Stihl MSA 220 TC-O chain saw, and Stihl MSA 300 C-O battery-powered chain saw.
“Since 1974, our strength has been the relationship between Stihl Inc. and our servicing dealers,” said Stihl Inc. President Terry Horan. “And we are very proud of the role we have played in helping small businesses across America flourish and grow.
“We don’t rest on our laurels,” Horan told Equip Exposition attendees. “We know the market is changing and adapting. Our company will be adapting as well. We are committed to continuously expanding our battery product offering and doing so with speed to market in order to compete and win in today’s marketplace. And we are going to share with you today some exciting new products.”
Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series
Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series zero-turn mowers provide professional users with the ultimate range of mowing solutions, boasting efficient operation, smooth cuts, durable components, and a comfortable ride designed to get the job done with less fatigue. Offering a total of 12 new models within the 700 and 900 Series, pros can choose from varying deck widths from 52”-72” across the range, as well as diverse high-performing engine options from fuel-efficient EFI engines to carbureted engines.
Both the Stihl 700 and 900 Series include an advanced four-wheel suspension system with mowing deck height compensation, independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, and rear suspension with shock absorbers. Powerful Hydro-Gear ZT transaxles deliver an efficient top-forward ground speed of 10 mph in the 700 Series and 12 mph in the 900 Series. Both professional series have a reverse speed of 5 mph, allowing the user maneuverability.
To help keep pros comfortable on the job, the 700 Series features a deluxe seat with armrests. However, the 900 Series offers superior comfort with a premium suspension seat providing an adjustable backrest, armrests and padding for comfort during longer professional jobs.
“Stihl is thrilled to launch the two professional series of zero-turn mowers,” said Brian Manke, Stihl Inc. product manager. “With three distinct engine options and various mowing deck sizes, professionals can choose the ideal mower for even the most demanding landscaping jobs.”
Stihl 700 Series and Stihl 900 Series
The Stihl MSA 220 TC-O is the most powerful top-handle chain saw in the Stihl battery lineup, boasting performance comparable to professional gasoline-powered top-handle chain saws. With a high chain speed and durable parts, such as a magnesium motor housing and a brushless motor, this saw can be counted on by in-tree professionals to hold up to a heavy workload. Convenient LED display lights allow pros to quickly see the status of their saw to keep moving on the job. The MSA 220 TC-O provides the power and dependability pros trust from Stihl. The weather-resistant design is low maintenance and easy-to-service and offers replaceable parts.
“In addition to the robust features of the MSA 220 TC-O, the saw utilizes the same 3/8” OILOMATIC Stihl Picco Super 3 chain and 12” Rollomatic E-and-E Light guide bars as its gas-powered counterparts, helping pros seamlessly make the switch from gas to battery,” said Paul Beblowski, product manager at Stihl Inc.
The Oilomatic Stihl Picco Super 3 (63 PS3) is ideal for pairing with chain saws with power between 1.5kW and 2.0 kW (2.0 bhp and 2.6 bhp). Examples of this include MSA 220 T, MSA 220 C-B, MSA 200 C-B, MS 194 C-E, MS 194 T, MS 201 C-E and the MS 201 T.
Stihl MSA 300 C-O
The Stihl MSA 300C-O sets the benchmark in performance as the most powerful battery chain saw in the Stihl lineup. Certified by the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA), this battery saw offers a wide range of applications, from felling and delimbing trees to bucking and storm cleanup. Its lightweight design, rubberized soft touch handles and anti-vibration technology help minimize fatigue. A truly professional-grade battery chain saw, the MSA 300 C-O also features a lightweight magnesium motor housing that provides added durability to this powerful tool.
“Not only does the MSA 300 C-O give pros the benefits of battery in a chain saw that delivers professional-grade performance,” said Stihl Inc. product manager Paul Beblowski, “but it’s also the first of its kind to utilize the power laminate cell technology in the AP 500 S, which increases the life of the battery compared to the previous battery model, thus maximizing product performance.”
Kress unveiled its inaugural line of commercial-grade outdoor power equipment (OPE) at the Equip Expo. Kress presented the CyberSystem battery platform, while enticing Equip attendees to imagine a future free from the gas pump with all the power and performance necessary for professional landscapers and facilities managers.
The new Kress CyberSystem features both 4Ah and 11Ah battery packs with the ability to recharge each 60v battery to 100% in only eight minutes. Additionally, each 60v CyberPack battery is capable of producing up to twice the power output and lasting up to 10 times longer than standard lithium-ion batteries.
“While we know how revolutionary the Kress CyberSystem is, we have been thrilled with the level of interest at Equip – these professionals really understand the future of OPE,” said Todd Zimmerman, VP of product development. “Dealers throughout North America, including strong representation in Canada, are clamoring to get their hands on the new Kress equipment for their customers as they look toward a viable battery-powered, commercial-grade solution that frees them from the hassles of gas.”
Set for Q1 2023 availability, the new line-up of Kress commercial OPE — all of which is fully compatible with the 8-minute CyberSystem — includes:
60V 876cfm Commercial backpack blower
60V 21” Commercial self-propelled mower
60V 16.5” Commercial cordless grass trimmer
60V 16” Commercial brushless chainsaw
Family of RTK robotic mowers with no boundary wire or local antenna
Contractors can get a new spin on a reliable classic with the new PT37 ride-on plow/trencher from Ditch Witch. This ride-on plow/trencher brings durability and usability to a proven model while retaining the simple, mechanical design preferred by many contractors.
The PT37 is a dedicated plow with an optional trencher, reel-carrier and hydra-bore configuration to meet a wide range of jobsite needs. An adjustable side-facing seat allows the operator to see all four tires and the plow box while operating. Further improving its functionality, the PT37 is largely mechanical and features a simplified control display. It also requires less maintenance due to its simplified exhaust cleaning and fewer grease points.
The PT37 ride-on plow/trencher is designed for ease of use and storage. It features a compact footprint, able to scale down to just 36 inches wide so users can enter standard gates and access tight workspaces. Its tires provide cost savings compared to a tracked version and minimizes the impact on yards. An optional dual-wheel configuration provides added traction and stability. A foldable ROPS design allows users to keep the PT37 on a trailer for easy parking and storage in garages.
A Yanmar diesel engine provides gross 36.8 hp. at 3,000 rpm to deliver constant performance while plowing, trenching or boring. An optimized plow design provides down pressure to maintain consistent plowing up to 24 inches deep in a variety of conditions.
“The PT37 is based on a proven vibratory plow model that has been the preferred choice of many contractors for decades and remains in high demand for fiber installation,” said Brant Kukuk, Ditch Witch compact equipment product manager. “It combines the simple design and operation that users want with the next-generation innovation you expect from Ditch Witch. The result is a simple, compact and powerful utility machine that is ideal for irrigation and telecom projects.”
Caterpillar introduced two new mini hydraulic excavator (MHE) ease of use technologies – Indicate and E-Fence – for the Cat 306 CR, 308 CR and 309 CR next generation mini hydraulic excavators.
New to Cat mini excavators, Indicate helps operators to reach grade faster, while E-Fence constrains machine motion to within operator preset boundaries. These technologies are ideal for digging footings, drainage and septic systems, irrigation, electric utilities, and applications near structures or obstacles operators need to avoid. They allow operators of all experience levels to work more efficiently and consistently.
An entry-level grade system, Indicate provides visual and audible indications to bucket position compared to target grade to assist operators in cutting to exact specifications the first time. Regardless of skill level, operators reach target grade faster with improved precision and reduced need for on-the-ground grade checking to create a safer work environment.
With Indicate, the operator selects target depth and slope from the in-cab guidance system, and the monitor provides real-time work-in-progress and distance-to-grade feedback. The technology enables operators to reach grade faster without overcutting, saving time, manpower and saving cost overall.
E-Fence automatically constrains machine motion to within operator preset boundaries for ceiling, floor, wall and swing. Operators work confidently and efficiently by avoiding structures overhead, underground, in front, or to the left or right of the machine.
Once the E-Fence range limits are established using the machine’s touchscreen monitor, no part of the boom, stick or bucket will pass the predefined limit(s). Setting height limits using E-Fence Ceiling helps operators avoid obstacles such as powerlines, ceilings or tree limbs. Fiber optic cables and underground utilities are protected by the defined depth limits established with E-Fence Floor. Structures in front of the machine are protected by E-Fence Wall, and where the mini excavator is working next to live traffic or walkways or loading trucks, E-Fence Swing is ideal to avoid these areas.
E-Fence is ideal for new operators to work within set boundaries and helps minimize job costs from repairs and downtime due to equipment damage and fines from damaging utilities or other structures. For experienced operators, E-Fence allows them to work more efficiently and safely with fewer ground personnel required around the work area.
Both MHE Ease of Use E-Fence and Indicate are packaged with Swing Assist and Bucket Assist features at no added cost. Swing Assist, also referred to as return to trench, automatically stops machine swing at one or two set points, ideal for truck loading and trenching applications. It helps operators hit more repetitive swing targets with less effort, reducing fuel use and improving cycle times. Bucket Assist maintains last known bucket angle and keeps the cut accurate in sloping, leveling, fine grading and trenching applications.
Current production Cat 306 CR, 308 CR and 309 CR Next Gen Mini Hydraulic Excavators are shipped from the factory Ease-of-Use-ready to reduce installation time in the field. Ease of Use Indicate and E-Fence can be ordered bundled together or as separate feature packages, installed at the factory or through Cat dealers as an upgrade kit. These technologies are not currently available for Cat 308 CR Variable Angle Boom, 309 CR Variable Angle Boom, 308 CR Fixed Boom, or canopy models.
BRIGGS & STRATTON
This was the first year that Briggs & Stratton brought all of its businesses and brands together as one booth at Equip Exposition.
“The reason we did so is because all of those brands represent Briggs & Stratton’s ability to power applications for all of our end customers,” said Steve Andrews, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton. “And that’s what we are – we are a provider of power.”
Andrews added that one thing apparent to everyone at Equip Exposition is that more and more products and technology built around electrification. “Two years ago, when Briggs & Stratton got a new owner and I stepped in as CEO, one of the first things we said we were going to do was lean into the electrification trend.”
Briggs & Stratton brought a bolt of energy to Equip Expo with a newly established Vanguard electrification business unit and an expanded lineup of battery products. This comes as off-highway equipment industries, like the turf market, are embracing the many benefits of electrification including lower emissions, less maintenance and reduced noise levels. Vanguard is introducing three new commercial battery options — the 3.5kWh Diecast Commercial Battery, 5kWh* Diecast Commercial Battery and the 7kWh Diecast Commercial Battery.
“For other power providers, electrification may still be a buzz term or a conversation point, but Vanguard has been steadily investing in and growing our offerings in battery power for years,” said David Frank, vice president of electrification at Briggs & Stratton. “We continue to use our proven application expertise to push the boundaries of what’s possible for electrified equipment while working to make our batteries the toughest, safest and most reliable solution on the market. With the newly established electrification business unit and the launch of these latest battery products, we are solidifying our role as a leader in off-highway electrification and the power solutions provider of choice for OEMs around the world.”
Equip Exposition attendees also had the opportunity to view innovative solutions powered by Vanguard commercial battery packs. Visitors of the Briggs & Stratton booth will see the Swappable Battery Pack in two concept units from Billy Goat— a Force-e Blower and a KV-e Vacuum — and the 3.5 kWh Diecast Commercial Battery in the new Simplicity BlueVolt CZ1 zero turn mower.
Ferris Mowers is taking the four-point suspension that made them a favorite among lawn contractors and making it available in an entry-level zero turn mower, the new Ferris 300S.
What makes the Ferris 300S a standout offering in the entry-level zero turn category is its coil-over shocks suspension, available on the rear for the 42-inch deck option and stepping up to four-point suspension in the 48-inch and 52-inch deck options. This patented suspension system eases the impact on the operator of uneven terrain.
The new addition to the Ferris line-up features a fully fabricated steel mower deck. The durable mower deck combines with a pivoting front axle, and ball bearings in the castor spindle to ensure durability and a quality cut for years to come. The Ferris 300S is powered by a Briggs & Stratton PXi OHV V-twin engine.
“The Ferris 300S is a fantastic option for users looking for a zero-turn at an accessible price point that doesn’t skimp on commercial-grade features and offers the suspension found on our higher-priced models,” said Christin Wam, senior director of marketing, Briggs & Stratton. “We’re confident that users will appreciate both the cut quality and comfort of the unit not found on competitive models in this range.”
Billy Goat, a brand of Briggs & Stratton, released a new leaf loader, the DL3700VETR Leaf Dragon. The unit offers a fuel efficient 37 gross HP, EFI Vanguard 933cc engine that is coupled to a 25-inch diameter shredding impeller with a long span belt for increased life and generates 6,900 cpm of high-volume leaf suction. The engine features electric start with automotive style cold weather starting that is ideal for late fall cleanups and is up to 25% more fuel efficient than the carbureted models, helping to save valuable time and money during the season.
In addition, the unit features true curbside intake with a large 16-in. diameter x 10-ft long intake hose that is ergonomically supported with a three-position locking boom, allowing for 45 sq. feet of clean-up coverage before moving the unit. This is double the curbside reach of most other units on the market, offering large jumps in crew productivity. The design also eliminates wear on the rear intake for increased durability. The unit’s double-loop hose handle provides three unique operator positions for added operator ergonomics.
For quick impeller and liner inspection, the Leaf Dragon features a no-tool, two-pin door closure that is safety interlocked and eliminates the time and effort it takes to remove over 15 bolts for impeller access on other units on the market, encouraging preventative maintenance for longer life of the loader. A unique 12-inch wide, 10-gauge soft angle steel discharge chute eliminates the twists found on other units to more effectively spread the load, reduce wear, and improve service.
The road ready DOT trailer is integral to the unit and is fully wired with LED lights for smooth and safe operation. It features wide leaf-spring axles and an adjustable hitch that accepts a standard 2-5/16” ball. The unit also comes complete with wheel chocks, a cone and cone holder, as well as convenient rake holders.
SITEONE / LESCO
SiteOne Landscape Supply launched its Lesco 300 Truck Mounted Tank Sprayer, offering increased profitability for green industry professionals. The new unit features a 300-gallon tank, all electric start and 6.5 horsepower Vanguard engine.
“With an unknown economic outlook in 2023, we recognize it’s crucial for turf maintenance teams to be as productive as possible,” said Nick Schomer, SiteOne director of category management, equipment. “We’re excited to introduce our newest innovation at Equip Expo and offer unbeatable Lesco financing options. This is the perfect time for customers to elevate their business for next year.”
The truck mounted design offers alternative efficiencies compared to a stand-on unit, such as easy towability and space-savings. Featuring a Hydra-Cell pump engineered to be trouble-free and low maintenance, providing users a lifetime cost savings of up to $6,500 compared to traditional double diaphragm and piston pumps.
The tank sprayer is resistant to corrosive chemicals and features molded, peel-resistant measurement labels for easy reading. It also includes a waterproof, lockable storage compartment. The unit attaches to most truck models and covers a large application area.
STANLEY BLACK & DECKER (DEWALT / HUSTLER / CUB CADET)
Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) together with its brands, including DeWalt, Hustler and Cub Cadet previewed their latest ranges of outdoor power equipment at the 2022 Equip Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. DeWalt unveiled its newest solution to professional battery power while Hustler and Cub Cadet also shared advancements in autonomy and operator comfort.
“Stanley Black & Decker Outdoor is helping to revolutionize the outdoor power equipment industry with advancements in electrification and autonomous mowing options,” said Christine Potter, president of Outdoor, Stanley Black & Decker.
As landscapers consider how electric fits within their business, DeWalt unveiled a platform and battery solution – the Ascent Series mowers. DeWalt also previewed its Cordless Pruning Chainsaw at the exposition. Lightweight and compact, the 20V MAX 8 in. Cordless Pruning Chainsaw (DCCS623B) has a high-efficiency brushless motor designed to maximize runtime and motor life with up to 70 cuts per charge. Weighing just 4.6 pounds (tool only), the Pruning Chainsaw is 61% lighter and 3x more compact, designed to reduce fatigue while cutting, trimming and pruning. The integrated tip guard is also designed to provide stability during upcuts.
Hustler released its new model designs for 2023 at this year’s Equip Exposition. Constructed for ultimate performance and operator comfort, the redesigned X-ONE, Super Z and Hyperdrive commercial mowers will feature new seat styling, an adapted steering arm profile, a reconfigured VX deck to add reinforcement to the discharge area and more. The advancements made to X-ONE, Super Z and Hyperdrive will increase operator comfort of these mowers, while maintaining the exceptional cut quality Hustler users have long trusted.
Cub Cadet showcased its full line-up of Pro Series commercial mowers. Built with true innovation to help solve landscaper problems, the lineup includes semi-autonomous technology, slope-conquering designs, exclusive zero-turn steering systems and award-winning stand-ons. Attendees will have the opportunity to demo a range of mowers at the event, including Pro Z SurePath mowers with GPS-assisted Auto Steer technology designed to minimize unnecessary overlap and guide landscapers to an efficient cut.
ASV / YANMAR
ASV Holdings Inc. introduced new high-performance mulchers for the MAX-Series RT-135F and RT-75HD Posi-Track loaders as well as the first ASV-branded snow attachments. A 6-way dozer blade is also included in the updated line of branded attachments. As with all ASV-branded attachments, the mulcher, snow attachments and dozer blade are simple to use and compatible with all brands with the added advantage of being matched and tested for use with ASV machines. ASV’s attachment line also includes an industry-leading two-year warranty with all parts and support available directly through ASV’s dealer network.
“These new attachments allow operators to enjoy ASV performance year-round – seamlessly transitioning from dirt and landscaping work in the summer to snow clearing in the winter,” explained Frank Gangi, attachments product manager for the ASV brand. “Our machines are designed for all seasons and conditions and that includes our attachments.”
Both the RT-135F and RT-75HD Posi-Track loaders are optimized for high performance in forestry and other demanding applications. ASV’s new mulcher attachments are a perfect fit for the machines to achieve maximum power and productivity. Both the RT-135F and RT-75HD offer exceptional flow, allowing operators to get more out of their attachments while maintaining optimal machine performance. The RT-75HD’s highly efficient auxiliary hydraulic system provides 35.7 gpm high flow for reliable execution on the job. For even more power in challenging applications, the RT-135F uses a 132-horsepower Cummins engine combined with a 50-gpm maximum auxiliary flow and oversized auxiliary pump of 66 gpm. The extra 16 gpm within the pump means operators can run high-flow attachments, such as the new mulchers, at full speed while moving the loader without slowing down the tool. Both the RT-135F and RT-75HD transfer more flow and pressure directly to the attachment by using larger line sizes, hydraulic coolers and direct-drive pumps rather than belt-driven pumps, which prevents power loss. The productivity of these machines combined with the new plug-and-play mulchers offers a boost to profitability in applications like forestry mulching, land clearing, trail development and right-of-way work.
ASV’s snowblower, snow blade and snow pusher allow operators to tackle winter jobs with maximum ASV performance and efficiency. The snowblower features a 4-blade fan, heavy-duty gearbox and a high-carbon steel cutting edge to plow through snow and ice. Plus, a No-Freeze-Up chute design seals out snow and freezing slush to minimize downtime. The snow blade and snow pusher have a high-carbon steel cutting edge for a long lifespan. Additionally, operators can add an optional rubber cutting edge to the snow pusher for work in sensitive areas such as sidewalks and grass.
The 6-way dozer blade for grading and leveling rounds out these attachment updates with heavy-duty construction and a hydraulically controlled blade for versatility and easy operation. This all-in-one package combines a dozer, grader and leveler that can be used in a variety of applications such as road work, yard work and more.
The new ASV mulchers, snow attachments and dozer blade are currently available for pre-order through ASV’s dealer network.
Kawasaki Engines has unveiled a new line of engines at Equip Exposition 2022: EVO, the next evolution for Kawasaki Engines, an electronic fuel injected (EFI) engine that offers increased power density and improved fuel efficiency.
The latest development in performance excellence, EVO engines are manufactured at the Kawasaki Engines facility in Maryville, Missouri. EVO’s increased power density and greater efficiency are the result of enhanced intake and a technologically advanced throttle control system. Combined with fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, EVO has been developed to meet the needs of today’s lawn and landscape professionals.
EVO engines include the following features:
Intake efficiency – The compact layout allows for a more direct air path and flow area has also been increased. The shorter path and larger area result in enhanced intake efficiency, which delivers higher performance and improved fuel economy.
New cylinder head design – Developed for high-powered performance, the new FX EVO features cylinder heads with intake and exhaust ports optimized for maximum efficiency and improved flow. The low-pressure casting technology results in high strength, temperature-resistant heads.
Exmark has redesigned its popular Radius zero-turn mower family for 2023. The new Radius models provide commercial cut quality, durability, and reliability, combined with increased comfort courtesy of upgraded operator seats and revised side pod controls. According to Exmark Product Manager, Mike Mayfield, the updated Radius models are a great choice for a wide range of commercial and residential customers.
“Radius models will appeal to entry-level landscape professionals, as well as homeowners with an acreage to maintain,” Mayfield said. “They deliver Exmark’s signature quality of cut and productivity, along with operator comfort that lasts until the mowing is done.”
A heavy-duty fabricated steel frame is at the heart of every Radius machine. The Radius frame design places the heaviest components, including the engine and hydro drive system, low and centralized in the frame for a low center of gravity. When combined with larger drive and caster tires, Radius provides enhanced stability and confident handling on varied terrain.
Radius E-Series and Radius S-Series models are available with a choice of 48-, 52- or 60-inch UltraCut Series 3 cutting decks. Radius X-Series models upgrade to the 5.5-inch deep UltraCut Series 4 cutting decks, in a choice of 52-inch or 60-inch widths.
New electric mower combines low noise and zero engine exhaust emissions
Exmark launched its first electric commercial walk-behind mower –– the Commercial 21 V-Series. The new model offers the commercial cut quality and durability landscape professionals demand, with low sound output and zero engine exhaust emissions, from an electric machine.
Exmark Director of Marketing, Jamie Briggs, said the new machine leverages the company’s cutting deck and blade design expertise to maximize cut quality and efficiency.
“The Commercial 21 V-Series makes it easier for landscape contractors to work in zero engine exhaust emission areas, or HOA quiet zones,” Briggs said. “It gives these professionals a true commercial mower that delivers Exmark’s signature cut quality and durability, with the low sound output and zero engine exhaust emissions they need to operate.”
At just under 81dB of measured sound output, the Commercial 21 V-Series operates well below the OSHA 85dB threshold for hearing protection. The electric powertrain also eliminates service items typically associated with gas-powered mowers, including oil changes and air filter maintenance. The dramatic reduction in service-related downtime ensures the Commercial 21 V-Series is ready to work whenever it’s needed.
The Commercial 21 V-Series is powered by a rechargeable 60 Volt 7.5Ah lithium-ion Professional Power System that provides up to 40 minutes of runtime per charge, depending on conditions. The 5.5A rapid charger provides 90% charge in 75 minutes. Two 60V 7.5 Ah batteries and a rapid charger are included with each Commercial 21 V-Series machine, giving contractors unmatched runtime and flexibility in the field.
Toro is introducing several new pieces of durable and innovative outdoor power equipment to meet the rugged demands of landscape contractors at Equip Expo 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We’re excited to introduce an impressive lineup of battery- and gas-powered tools that will immediately improve productivity for professional landscape contractors,” said Chris Vogtman, director of marketing at Toro. “Our Revolution series of handheld tools increase our battery offerings and integrate with our powerful Flex-Force Power System, while our new Z Master 2000 in both gas and battery options offers an impressive, high-quality cut. Operators can also now get additional horsepower with the new Grandstand HDX, a high-powered version of our popular stand-on commercial mower. Best of all, the new equipment comes Horizon360 capable, which is a real advantage for creating business efficiencies and managing fleets.”
New 60V Max Revolution Series handheld tools
Designed with input from professional landscape contractors, the new 60V Max Revolution Series Handheld tools were built to perform in demanding work conditions and environments all day long. Powered by Toro’s Flex-Force Power System, the new line includes a dual-battery backpack that can hold two 10 Ah batteries — which is designed for comfort and available as a power source for the leaf blower or string and hedge trimmers to keep jobs moving all day.
Operators can easily swap batteries out, so when one battery is done, the workday doesn’t have to be. Outpacing the charging speed of larger, lower voltage batteries, the 60V power comes to you fast — taking just 50 minutes to fully charge our largest battery in the all-new six-pod rapid charger. Plus, the batteries are versatile, powering both Revolution Series handheld tools and the Toro 60V Max 21” Heavy Duty mower.
No matter what the challenge, the Toro integrated 60V battery platform ensures professionals always have a Revolution tool ready. That level of accessibility is an industry first, as many leading competitors are incompatible with tools that require their backpack.
Toro’s new stand-on spreader sprayers makes treating turf a whole lot easier. The SprayMaster features enhanced center of gravity tanks for less turf tear, an industry-first flip up hopper for ease of maintenance and materials management, and larger wheels for a more comfortable ride. Exclusive patented caster lock remains for straight-line tracking and precision spreading and spraying.
The new SprayMaster 60, SprayMaster 40 and SprayMaster 20 models feature smart enhancements for increased comfort and usability and decreased maintenance. Improved stability and balance translate to better chemical application at higher machine speed, while larger 24-inch tires on the 60 and 40 models, and 22-inch tires on the SprayMaster 20 model mean a smoother ride and better visibility.
New Z Master 2000
With a rugged frame and deck modeled after the award-winning Z Master 4000, the new Z Master 2000 has a commanding spirit and the will to cut for years to come. Just like its impressive heritage, this machine delivers high-quality performance and has bullish attitude built into its DNA.
Its beefy Turbo Force deck looks and acts tough — the new Z Master 2000 will cut through the toughest elements Mother Nature can throw at it. The Turbo Force deck is a 50 KSI 7-gauge high-strength steel deck, complemented with an extra-strength tubular chassis and durably rugged I-beam front-end. Add on Toro’s patented MyRide suspension system for go-all-day comfort.
Never go without the tools you need as the new 2000 features several attachments to carry a multitude of tools and accessories on the go. And if that’s not enough utility, easily increase your carrying capacity with the new two-inch hitch receiver. Designed for professionals who want to make the new mower their own, there are several options to accessorize the new Z Master 2000.
New Z Master 2000 Revolution
When Toro introduced its Z Master 4000 Revolution zero-turn mower in 2021, the industry took notice. Now, professional landscape contractors looking for more heavy-duty, customizable battery-power mowing options can turn to the new Z Master 2000 Revolution zero-turn mower. With a sharp look and increased battery pack versatility, operators can customize the power of the new 2000 Revolution based on mowing conditions.
The Z Master 2000 Revolution is built on Toro’s commercial-grade Z Master 2000 Series frame and legendary Turbo Force® deck. The newest member of the Toro Z Master Revolution family offers robust battery-powered go-all-day comfort with Toro’s patented MyRide® suspension system. The suspended operator platform and easy to adjust, personalized ride settings maximize comfort, and every Revolution machine is equipped with patent-pending software in the controls that enables smooth operation.
The Revolution Series mowers are powered by Toro’s HyperCell Power System, which was specifically designed with the same innovative spirit Toro has applied for more than a century to its equipment and delivers all-day power and reliability. The Battery Management System (BMS) allows for impressive run times and quick charging to maximize productivity. HyperCell is built to run cooler than other power systems, so it can last as long as the sunlight. Ultimately, operators gain efficiencies, eliminate engine exhaust emissions, and can complete more jobs with less hassle.
Designed for high performance and professional lawncare pros, the new Toro GrandStand HDX offers the same ride you’ve come to trust with its space-saving, flip-up platform — now with more power from the massive 31 hp Kawasaki or 37hp Vanguard® engine.
Increased efficiency is at your fingertips with ground speeds up to 12 mph and 52-inch, 60-inch, and 72-inch deck options. Not only do these machines have the horsepower to bull through tough conditions, but they also have the size and durability to ensure operator comfort day in and day out.
Pros who choose the Vanguard engine will benefit from the Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) and Vanguard Oil Guard™ System — a revolutionary innovation that extends the life of the oil and better protects the engine. Featuring a remarkable 500-hour oil change interval and up to 60 percent savings on maintenance costs, the Oil Guard System drastically increases efficiency and costs-savings.
Built on the contractor-proven Turbo Force 2 cutting deck, operators can adjust the deck baffle on the new GrandStand HDX to get the most pristine cut even in rough conditions. It also features enhanced dual-capture anti-scalp roller supports to ensure the highest quality of cut in the harshest terrain. Discharge and disperse clippings with the industry’s highest IQ system — the rubber discharge chute clears obstacles, while debris dispersion is second to none.
Kubota Tractor Corporation introduced its updated Z200 Series of zero-turn mowers designed for the residential market. The mower series is comprised of three updated models: the Z232 with a 42-inch mower deck, and the Z242 and Z252 models are available with a 48-inch or 54-inch deck and either Kohler or Kawasaki engines. All mowers feature elements of Kubota’s new K-RIDE comfort system making mowing comfortable and enjoyable, whether it’s mowing for an hour or all-day. The Kubota Z200 Series is engineered for durability and designed for the demanding residential users. The updated models will be available at Kubota dealerships starting in January 2023.
“These mowers are perfect for homeowners with large properties or lawn to maintain that want a durable mower that mows like a commercial mower, and will stand the test of time,” said Tom Vachal, Kubota senior turf product manager. “Some say our mowers are over-engineered for the residential market, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s how Kubota has built its reputation, on durable, high-quality equipment and we keep that bar high across all product lines.”
The updated Z200 Series is designed for homeowners who prioritize performance. Depending on model, the Z200 Series offers a variety of options and features including foldable ROPS (on the Kawasaki engine model) for easy storage in any shed garage or barn; an adjustable suspension seat for improved comfort; a high strength steel mower deck; a convenient storage box with cover; as well as a push button start feature. This mower line comes standard with a 4-year, 300-hour warranty. With powerful engines, rugged transmissions, and strong frames, the Z200 Series is ready to tackle even the toughest residential mowing jobs.
Kubota has outfitted its updated Z200 Series with upgraded comfort system elements to reduce vibration and improve the operator experience – because whether you are mowing for one hour or all day, it should be comfortable and enjoyable. Depending on model, the Z200 Series offer features such as keyless start, a new high-back suspension seat (on the Kawasaki engine model), new foot pan design with foot pan isolators to reduce vibration and a Kubota-exclusive lap bar design. While mowing, the K-Lift pedal allows the operator to easily adjust cutting height with its easy effort, one-push pedal. Plus, an updated HST lever is redesigned to reduce vibration. “Just stepping into the operator seat, you feel the difference, and when you fire up and engage the mower, you appreciate the K-RIDE comfort system,” said Vachal.
Husqvarna Group showcased the latest innovations in their diverse portfolio of forest, garden, and outdoor power equipment at Equip Exposition.
“Innovation and customer-centricity are at the heart of everything we do at Husqvarna, and the trailblazing products we will showcase at Equip Expo perfectly encapsulate our vision for the future,” said Robert McCutcheon, president of Husqvarna North America. “Our vision for Equip Expo and beyond is to meet and exceed our customers’ desire for battery and robotic solutions by pioneering state-of-the-art products that they can rely on. We are excited to connect with our customers at Equip Expo to learn more about their needs as we shape the future of landscaping.”
Attendees had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of Husqvarna’s zero-turn riding mower, set to be released in early spring 2023. Husqvarna also showcased an all-new Automower model that provides high-performance autonomous mowing, as well as the cutting-edge CEORA commercial solution.
CEORA is a robotic mower that operates through virtual boundaries with Husqvarna’s Exact Positioning Operating System. It is designed to handle up to 18 acres of grass. It is ideal for cutting sports turf, campuses, and municipalities. CEORA will be available nationally in 2023.
Commercial users can look forward to a game-changing semi-autonomous stand-on mower, battery rail charger and high-performance chainsaws, helping them create strategic solutions and efficiencies for every part of their business.
Next year’s Equip Exposition, which returns to the Kentucky Exposition Center, will be held October 18-20, 2023.
John Deere announced at Equip Expo that it is pursuing battery-electric vehicle technology because of growing customer demand.
John Deere will offer an electric option in each Turf and Compact Utility Tractor product category by 2026.
With John Deere electrification products, customers can expect powerful performance, quieter and more intuitive operation, easier maintenance, reduced emissions, and improved cost of operation.
The John Deere battery electric vehicle portfolio will be one of the key contributors to the 30% reduction of our fleet emissions by 2030.
– Recap compiled by Robert Augsdorfer, assistant editor, Landscape Business.