Outdoor Power Equipment

August 2017

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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Page 26 of 51

FEATURE STORY | Trends www.outdoorpowerequipment.com OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT AUGUST 2017 27 job can be completed, the more profi t- able a company will be. The goal of in- creasing effi ciency while maintaining a high-quality performance will con- tinue to be more and more important. – Kyle Nelson, product manager, Ryan Turf THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT AS- PECTS of commercial mowing equip- ment that professional landscape con- tractors continue to demand: operator comfort and equipment uptime. Ma- chine reliability and operator comfort are pivotal to maintaining a successful operation. Understanding these fac- tors is top of mind for our product teams, and we are always looking for new solutions to help solve this. – Ruben Peña, product marketing manager, zero-turn mowers at John Deere WE'RE SEEING STRONG GROWTH in the compact equipment market as compact excavator and tracked load- er sales are booming. These types of machinery are easy to transport and easy to operate, making them attrac- tive tools for landscape business own- ers. The versatility of the machines is also a big plus. – Gregg Zupancic, product market- ing manager, skid-steers and compact track loaders, John Deere Construction and Forestry ONE MAJOR TREND we are seeing is the continued utilization and acceptance of the mini skid-steer. This market continues to grow year-over-year at a very fast pace. Landscape oper- ators and contractors continue to comment on the versatility of these compact units, increased jobsite visibility, and ease of access compared to traditional ride-on skid-steers. The variety of available mini skid-steers is giving operators more choices as they face compact jobsites or larger, more extensive projects. – Chris Thompson, Ditch Witch product manager for compact equipment LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS are continually looking for ways to increase their productivity. In the last couple of years, we've seen EFI become widely accepted by the industry, deliver- ing better fuel economy, chokeless starting and improved load governance for a more consistent cut. We think the next evo- lution will be features and technologies that reduce downtime. – Jim Cross, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power THE PROFESSIONAL MOWER cat- egory continues to grow, and that's where we are focusing our efforts now. We have a strong landscaper testing program through our local dealer part- ners that allows pros to test products. They provide us with feedback that helps us design and build products tailored to exceed their needs and ex- pectations. Pros rely on these products every day, so providing products with unmatched strength, comfort and du- rability is extremely important. – Allen Baird, senior product marketing manager, Cub Cadet THERE'S DEFINITELY BEEN an in- creased focus on cordless solutions due to numerous benefi ts. First of all, cord- less outdoor power equipment provides a large reduction in noise, especially blowers. This offers many advantages for the professional: they are able to start earlier without disturbing clients; it in- creases communication levels in crews; and it provides a solution in municipali- ties that outlaw gas blowers. – Andrew Lentz, senior product manager, Milwaukee Tool THIS YEAR, WE'VE BEEN SEEING an increase in demand for our lower- price-point zero-turn models. We think this could be due to several factors, but, largely, we feel that contractors are do- ing everything they can to stretch their dollar and increase their bottom line. With Gravely's quality lineup of commercial mowers, there are plenty of options at all price points, and we do our best to accommodate every type of business owner. – Matt Medden, Ariens Company VP of marketing L&I: What key factors are impacting equipment- buying habits this year? WEATHER AND the housing market. – Donna Beadle, senior public relations specialist for Polaris THE ECONOMY SEEMS to be improving, and there is plenty of moisture throughout most of the U.S. – Brad Unruh, director of product strategy, Excel Industries (Hustler Turf ) THE CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT of the U.S. housing mar- ket seems to play a large role when landscapers are in the market PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIGGS & STRATTON COMMERCIAL POWER PHOTO COURTESY OF POLARIS

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