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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FEATURE STORY | Trends www.outdoorpowerequipment.com OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT AUGUST 2017 29 still a strong professional presence on the gasoline side of the marketplace. While the overall market for battery is expected to grow, gasoline is ex- pected to be relatively stable. We are seeing that landscape pro- fessionals continue to buy the vast ma- jority of their equipment from servic- ing dealers. This is one of many factors contributing to the growth of our more than 9,000 Stihl servicing dealers. As usual, the key factor influencing buying habits is the weather. – Steve Meriam, director of sales at Stihl Inc. THE STATE OF THE U.S. ECONOMY and the uptick in construction have affected equipment-buying habits. In light of the resurgence in residen- tial and commercial construction, the need for additional lawn and landscape maintenance services is on the rise. Further, there is a growing consumer trend toward "do it for me" as opposed to "do it yourself," which is a positive indicator for an increasing demand in commercial power products among landscape and irrigation companies. – Mark DiPietro, assistant vice presi- dent of Honda Power Equipment FOR US, OUR Mow With Confi- dence warranty is something that people really look to. They want to know that you stand behind your product. We've continued to improve and go above and beyond when it comes to quality components and mower performance, but in the end, people want to have that warranty in their corner. The market also looks for a great price for a great piece of equipment. – Ron Scheffler, product manager, Bob-Cat Mowers IN EACH OF OUR KEY MARKETS, the idea of versatility tru- ly impacts a buying decision. From homeowners and hobby farmers to facility managers, they want to know that the trac- tor will help them complete tough tasks. They also want to know that their investment goes a long way, with all the avail- able attachments. – Matt Donohue, business manager, Steiner Tractors RELIABILITY IS HUGE FOR US across the board. Our custom- ers — especially landscape professionals — want products that will work every time, and work in the same way they always do. People look for durability and consistency. Total cost of own- ership is also extremely important. Budgets are always tight, but man- ufacturing products that are more reliable, more durable, last longer, and reduce maintenance intervals help our customers reduce the cost of ownership over the entire life of the product. – Kyle Nelson, product manager, Ryan Turf COST CONTINUES TO BE A KEY FACTOR that drives equipment purchases, as professional landscape contractors need to maintain a man- ageable cost of operation to ensure business remains successful. One of the key factors that impacts operating costs is machine maintenance, which translates to equipment downtime, and we have introduced new service offerings to minimize this. Financing is another service that helps professional landscape contrac- tors better manage cost of operation. Have a conversation where you discuss your equipment needs, as well as maintenance and financing, ensuring that you have the ability to focus on what is important — grow- ing your business. – Ruben Peña, product marketing manager, zero-turn mowers at John Deere LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS are looking to increase productivity and maximize the return on investment on their equipment. In particular, they're looking at how machines are helping the operator have a more comfortable experience, because a com- fortable operator is a productive operator. Buyers are paying for premium features like pressurized and climate-controlled cabs, heated seating, and air ride suspension because they know it will help their bottom line. We've also been hearing a lot of positive feedback from our customers who appreciate the flexible control choices. – Gregg Zupancic, product marketing manager, skid-steers and compact track loaders, John Deere Construction and Forestry ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS impacting equipment-buying habits is the increased demand for fiber build-out across sev- eral major cities. Utility operators are seeking out equipment that helps them complete fiber installation faster, while saving time. And vibratory plows are increasingly being used for fi- ber installation on residential lawns as they have minimal sur- face disruption. Overall, this demand has led to an increase of PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN DEERE TURF AND LANDSCAPE DIVISION PHOTO COURTESY OF CLASSEN

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