Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) magazine, sister publication to Landscape Business, recently completed its annual “Equipment Trends” focus. In part 2 of the Equipment Trends 2018 coverage, the manufacturers that responded to the Equipment Trends questions shared information regarding their latest equipment and any new products/upgrades coming soon.
New for 2018, Wright Mfg. launched the second generation Stander X. It is one of Wright’s longstanding and successful product lines and, this year, Wright made several improvements that make it even more maneuverable, powerful and durable – and it has higher fuel capacity.
Greenworks North America
Greenworks introduced three new rechargeable products to the marketplace this year. The first is the introduction of the first UL-approved 82v rechargeable commercial stand-on and ride-on zero turn mowers. These units are designed for the professional landscape contractor, and can cut for 4 to 5 hours (depending on the cutting conditions) on a single charge. The third introduction is the new 82v Greenworks GBB700 dual battery port backpack blower, which is the first rechargeable backpack blower to achieve 700 cfm and offer about an hour of run time with two 5-amp hour batteries.
This year, Husqvarna introduced its first-ever stand-on mower, the V500 series, that comes in a 48-inch or 54-inch deck size; overhauled the design of its commercial zero-turn line; introduced a new hydro-walk mower series, as well as a commercial 21-inch push mower.
For Automower, Husqvarna is launching several new models this year, and is focusing very heavily on this segment. Husqvarna believes 2018 is the year robotic lawnmowers will see a more widespread adoption across the entire U.S. market. Husqvarna is also heavily focused on some of its new battery series products, such as the 536LiHe3 hedge trimmer and new backpack batteries, including the BLi550X and the BLi950X.
2018 will also showcase further developments in Husqvarna’s new Fleet Services technology, which was created to help landscaping companies more efficiently manage their operations.
Masport will introduce a BBC version of its highly successful professional “Contractor” 21-inch gasoline-powered walk-behind mower. The BBC model will be available in two engine options – the Honda GXV160 and the Briggs and Stratton Series 850. Contractor BBC will feature an improved transmission shaft configuration and new stronger axles.
2018 is a huge year for Redmax. Redmax launched more 50 new products including a re-launch of Redmax chain saws, introduction of Redmax commercial battery, as well as a full launch of wheeled product including walk-behinds, tractors and zero-turn mowers. Redmax now offers a full-line solution where end users can outfit an entire fleet with Redmax. According to Redmax, the key will be to take the huge product launch in 2018 and build upon it in 2019 and beyond.
John Deere expanded the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire offering for 2018 John Deere R Series QuikTrak stand-on mowers. Available for purchase with the machine or as a standalone part, the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire for stand-on machines brings many of the same features found in the original offering to a new product category. Using the Michelin X Tweel Turf airless radial tire, professional landscape contractors will experience reduced downtime by eliminating flats.
Milwaukee Tool launched its most requested tool to date – the M18 Fuel 16-inch chain saw. This chain saw not only has the power to cut hardwoods, but it also cuts faster than gas saws up to 40cc. The Powerstate brushless motor was purposely built for this chain saw, and it allows the saw to maintain speed through demanding applications without bogging down. Milwaukee Tool also redesigned the Redlink Plus Intelligence, utilizing electronics never used before in power tools. This newly designed package ensures maximum performance and protection from overload and overheat. The electronic package also allows the chain saw to achieve instantaneous throttle response, reaching full speed in less than one second. When paired with Milwaukee Tool’s new M18 Redlithium high-output HD12.0 battery, the chain saw delivers unmatched runtime with up to 150 cuts in 6×6 cedar on just one charge.
Milwaukee Tool also upgraded its M18 Fuel blower this year to put out more power in a smaller, lightweight package; and introduced a new easy load trimmer head for the M18 Fuel string trimmer.
Schiller Grounds Care
Schiller Grounds Care offers six brands – Bob-Cat, Ryan, Classen, Little Wonder, Steiner and Mantis – so it has a steady churn when it comes to new product development and/or upgrades. A variety of new products have been introduced for 2018, including the Bob-Cat XRZ Pro RS, a commercial zero turn at a value price point; the Little Wonder Pro Vac SI vacuum featuring Hi-Carbon serrated steel impeller blade technology; and the new Mantis 3000 Series lineup, which includes an electric tiller/cultivator and a cordless tiller/cultivator featuring a 58V lithium-ion battery. Both feature best-in-class two-speed operation.
Significant upgrades include new user-friendly controls and decreased vibration on Ryan’s popular Jr. Sod Cutter, as well as a new Flex Deck articulating mower attachment for Steiner tractors that is designed to improve quality of cut on uneven terrain including hills and slopes.
Coming this summer are more attachments for Steiner, including a new turbine blower attachment, and upgrades to the Ryan and Classen stand-on aerators. Schiller Grounds Care will announce more at GIE+EXPO 2018 (booth #3052) in October.
The 2018 Exmark line features new models and innovations designed to deliver increased productivity and long-term value.
The all-new Lazer Z Diesel raises the bar for commercial zero-turn productivity with an available 96-inch UltraCut Flex Wing cutting deck. Powered by state-of-the-art RED Technology-equipped Yanmar liquid-cooled diesel engines, the Lazer Z Diesel is capable of cutting more than 10 acres per hour. Lazer Z Diesel models are also available with a choice of 60- or 72-inch UltraCut cutting decks, in side- or rear-discharge configurations.
Exmark introduced the next generation of its patented RED Technology, now available on select 2018 Lazer Z S-Series, Lazer Z X-Series and Lazer Z Diesel zero-turn models. RED Technology works with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and e-governor technologies to increase engine responsiveness, so RED-equipped machines to operate at a lower rpm range. The result is increased fuel efficiency and reduced noise. A convenient console-mounted LCD screen offers real-time monitoring of vital mower functions, in addition to operating statistics, maintenance reminders and troubleshooting information. RED-equipped machines also incorporate a clutch saver feature, which momentarily reduces engine rpm when the clutch is engaged to reduce component stress and wear, while retaining the ability to engage the clutch on the fly.
Select 2018 Lazer Z S-Series zero-turn models feature the new Exmark Smart Controller, which reduces downtime and provides a more robust operator interface. The Smart Controller offers useful user data including interlock status, PTO and total hours, fuel level, maintenance reminders and machine health status. On-screen alerts include fuel level, engine temperature, oil pressure and more, and a single LED status light quickly notifies the operator if an error has occurred. A “Limp Mode” feature disables the cutting system in the event of a critical system error to prevent further damage.
Following the successful 2017 introduction of the Radius zero-turn mowers, Exmark has introduced a new suspension platform-equipped Radius S-Series model for 2018. The suspended platform uses three coil-over dampers to isolate the cast aluminum operator platform from the mower chassis atop three inches of vertical travel. The travel of the suspended platform is isolated from the cutting deck to maintain consistent cut quality, and Exmark’s trailing arm design minimizes lateral movement for increased stability.
Radius S-Series models are available with a choice of 48-, 52- or 60-inch UltraCut side-discharge cutting decks, or a 60-inch UltraCut rear discharge cutting deck.
The new 24-inch stand-on aerator features a compact design that easily fits through 36-inch gates. The efficient hydro drive system offers infinite speed control up to 6.8 mph. The compact design heightens maneuverability, and the ergonomic controls and foot-activated hydraulic tine control are easy to use.
Exmark’s Quest family of residential zero-turn riding mowers has been updated for 2018 with improved engine protection, an updated control panel and a tough new look. Quest models feature commercial-style fabricated and welded Series 2 cutting decks with sealed blade spindle housings for maximum durability.
Honda Power Equipment introduced an all-new EU2200i inverter generator. The new generator is part of Honda’s Super Quiet Series, with four models from which to choose – the EU2200i, the EU2200i Camo, the EU2200i Companion, and the EB2200i for industrial use. The new EU2200i lineup replaces Honda’s top-selling EU2000i model. The Honda EU2200i inverter generator is the perfect portable generator for work, home or play – delivering 10 percent more power than the outgoing model, allowing customers to power more of what they need, but with virtually no change in weight or cost. For example, an extra 200 watts could mean the addition of a slow cooker, or a box fan, or a computer to what’s already being powered. With a larger engine, easy start-up process and easier maintenance, the Honda EU2200i is a versatile and reliable portable generator.
The Troy-Bilt TB30E lithium-ion battery riding mower was a first-to-market product launch in March 2018 and delivers up to one hour of cutting power – an ideal choice for the average neighborhood yard size of an acre.
Stihl has a wide range of new products forthcoming in 2018 to include both battery- and gasoline-powered equipment:
As part of Stihl’s continued expansion of the Stihl Lightning Battery System, earlier this year, Stihl introduced the Stihl RMA 460 battery-powered lawn mower and the Stihl MSA 140 C-BQ battery-powered chain saw. Both models are part of the AK Battery Series – allowing users one battery for multiple product applications.
Professionals can expect to see several more products roll out later this year within the Stihl AP Battery Series – engineered for long runtimes and extended use.
In addition, gasoline-powered equipment will remain a significant part of Stihl’s investment in groundbreaking design and engineering, with new products for professionals slated for release in the near future.