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 31 of 51

FEATURE STORY | Trends 32 AUGUST 2017 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com MANUFACTURERS WILL LEVER- AGE TECHNOLOGY and connec- tivity to help professionals reach new levels of productivity and profitabil- ity. Pros will have more information about their equipment to increase re- liability and uptime, as Toro has start- ed to provide through its Horizon Technology offering. Increased con- nectivity will support fleet manage- ment, particularly where it relates to service intervals and parts ordering. – Chris Vogtman, marketing man- ager for landscape contractor equip- ment, Toro; and Ross Hawley, senior marketing manager, residential and landscape contractor equipment, Toro TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION is at its peak right now with all the various technologies maturing and getting more and more reliable. Our industry will be impacted by these technologies just as many others already are. On the hardware side, battery and sensor costs are significantly down, data storage is cheaper, and overall packages are getting smaller in size and easy to fit in cur- rent equipment without significant redesigns. On the software side, there are canned data analysis and apps more readily avail- able and customizable for customers and companies to help use the data in meaningful ways to improve reliability. The winners will be the ones that can use technology and transform the data to enable operators to lower their operating costs without any sophisticated additional means. – Rajesh Joshi, Kubota product marketing director, turf/RTV MOST RECENTLY, WE HAVE SEEN the demand for battery- powered equipment increase. The challenge in previous years has been the lack of power and work time, but with the new technol- ogies we offer, we've seen landscapers and municipalities make the shift to battery. We work with nationwide and state rebate pro- grams that incentivize users to either trade-in or purchase sustain- able products. Many entities see an investment in battery-powered equipment as an investment in their community because they're eliminating exhaust emissions and disruptive noise. At the same time, there are budget benefits as well. With reduced fuel and main- tenance costs, and because battery equipment is easier to operate, reduced training is required for employees. In the future, there will be greater use of connected technol- ogies that provide landscapers, operators and dealers more data that allows them to better manage and service their equipment. – Steve Meriam, director of sales at Stihl Inc. THESE NEW TECHNOLOGIES all add to the arsenal of tools available to the lawn and landscape professional, and we think that is a good thing. With more solutions for the lawn care profes- sional, the better they can service their customers and grow their business. For example, battery-powered outdoor power products aren't just quiet and efficient, but also satisfy air-quality regula- tions and noise ordinances imposed by homeowners' associations, institu- tions and commercial office building managers. Steadily improving battery technology allows for product expan- sion to lawn care products, offering more choices in how to complete a job in the most efficient, cost-effective way, which should be good for the bottom line of the business. – Mark DiPietro, assistant vice president of Honda Power Equipment ALL THESE TOOLS will help the landscapers and dealers to continually improve their efficiencies, from budgets and quoting to maintenance and fast response time. – Ron Scheffler, product manager, Bob-Cat Mowers TECHNOLOGY IS BECOMING a bigger part of our industry each year. Steiner currently use drones when filming our prod- uct videos to enhance the viewer's point of view and increase the ability to view our products in use. We also unveiled our new 450 tractor online via an innovative, interactive, live-streaming press conference. Our industry continues to explore ways to expand the use of technology and how it will impact the use of power equipment. Steiner fully supports these efforts and looks for- ward to watching how these technologies continue to progress and evolve, and the ongoing impact it will have on our industry. – Matt Donohue, business manager, Steiner Tractors TECHNOLOGY IS ALWAYS ADVANCING, and will no doubt affect our industry as well. As mentioned previously, most of these advancements revolve around improving efficiency and making life easier. I think we will continue to see improvements in these efficiencies, whether it's by the technologies mentioned previously or by something completely new. That's why we con- tinue to focus on making the actual work better and easier for landscape industry professionals. It will be interesting to watch how these technologies continue to progress and evolve, and the ongoing impact it will have on our industry. – Kyle Nelson, product manager, Ryan Turf THESE TRENDS IN TECHNOLOGY are definitely worth pay- ing attention to, and we at John Deere are continuing to mon- itor progress in these areas. As an industry, mobile technology and Internet-based solutions create exciting possibilities. As we continue to keep an eye on the evolution of technology, we are working closely with our customers and dealer networks to un- derstand customer needs and identify innovative solutions to bring to the marketplace. – Ruben Peña, product marketing manager, zero-turn mowers at John Deere CABS ARE BECOMING more like the interior of a car with features like Bluetooth and heated seats. These are just a few of PHOTO COURTESY OF TURF TEQ

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