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 33 the features that are making opera- tors' jobs easier and increasing their productivity. At CONEXPO-CON/ AGG 2017, John Deere announced an exclusive global strategic alliance through which John Deere Construc- tion & Forestry dealers will provide the Kespry Aerial Intelligence System to their customers on jobsites around the world. Starting in North Ameri- ca, the alliance enables John Deere customers to use Kespry's fully inte- grated industrial drone platform to capture topographic data in minutes with survey-grade accuracy. – Gregg Zupancic, product market- ing manager, skid-steers and compact track loaders, John Deere Construction and Forestry WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING at advancements in machine tech- nology, then taking stock of which innovations are available and where there are opportunities to push the envelope to bring greater value. That being said, in the construction equip- ment industry, the environment that we expose some of these electronics to can become challenging. While we always want to remain innovative in our product offerings, we are cognizant of two factors that impact the ability of operators to do their job. First, we consider if the technology will be durable enough to last in a variety of environments. Second, will this technology provide a tangible benefit to the customer? New innovations are exciting, but taking the time to receive operator input and proper testing can move technology from ideas to timesaving and effective tools for operators. – Chris Thompson, Ditch Witch product manager for com- pact equipment PRODUCTIVITY IS AT THE VERY CORE of what we do. We're always looking ahead at how technology can be applied to keep dealers and landscape professionals more efficient and produc- tive. That's why we consider ourselves "providers of power" as op- posed to an engine manufacturer — because it can mean a lot of different things. In the case of alternative fuels such as propane, Propane Power Systems has developed EPA-certified conversions for 11 models of Vanguard engines. The future of electrification and connected products is exciting for the landscape industry when you start thinking about how they can be applied to make contractors and dealers more productive. – Jim Cross, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power AS NEW TECHNOLOGY becomes available, professional landscapers will need reliable technology that helps them grow their business and supports their livelihood. In the golf industry, Cub Cadet's RG3 autono- mous greens mower provides a level of automation that golf course su- perintendents are looking for to help with keeping grounds in superior condition. On the residential side, Cub Cadet offers Bluetooth technol- ogy on select lawn tractors, so con- sumers can better track maintenance schedules. For professional landscap- ers, there is a growth opportunity for them to use battery-powered hand- held equipment in the future. – Allen Baird, senior product marketing manager, Cub Cadet AS ADVANCEMENTS IN BATTERY, motor and electronic technologies continue, you are going to see a bigger shift from gas to cordless, due to in- creases in power and run time. These advancements will also open up the door for future cordless solutions that previously were not viable. These technologies also increase communi- cation in the field, promoting addi- tional safety and efficiency for crews. For example, tool loss continues to be an area of frustration for professionals where technology is starting to step in and play a major role. Tool loss, and the time spent looking for missing tools, contributes significantly to a company's bottom line. A single lost or damaged tool on a jobsite can increase the time spent complet- ing a task by over 30 percent. To address this frustration, Milwau- kee Tool recently launched a professional-grade Bluetooth tool and equipment tracker called the TICK. Designed to withstand the harshest environments, the TICK can be easily attached and hidden from sight on any product, regardless of brand, providing users an invaluable way to track anything in their inventory — from lawn mowers to ladders — through the free One-Key inven- tory management app. – Andrew Lentz, senior product manager, Milwaukee Tool AT GRAVELY, WE THINK it's extremely important to keep an eye on trends in technology, and continuously dedicate R&D resources to maintaining up-to-date information on the latest developments. That being said, it is important to us to always keep our customers and their needs at the forefront of our ef- forts. So, with any new technology that we choose to pursue and incorporate in our lineup, we want to make sure first and fore- most that it will play a part in increasing our customers' return PHOTO COURTESY OF MILWAUKEE TOOL PHOTO COURTESY OF STIHL INC.

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