Trautman Lawn & Landscape Company merges with Sperber Landscape

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Sperber Landscape Companies has partnered with Idaho-based Trautman Lawn & Landscape Company.  

Founded by husband-and-wife team Tal and Jennifer Trautman in 1988, Trautman Lawn & Landscape provides commercial landscape maintenance, installation and snow services in the greater Boise market.

Tal Trautman will continue his leadership of the company alongside wife Jennifer.

“The Sperber partnership will allow us to provide better benefits and opportunities for our existing employees and, will also, set the foundation for growth and expansion,” Tal said. “We are excited about the additional resources, technology, and support from the Sperber team. We look forward to taking this business to the next level.”

“Trautman is an exceptional family-built company that is doing great work within a thriving market,” said Founder and Executive Chairman Richard Sperber. “We are excited for the future as we join forces with Tal, Jennifer and their talented team, and continue our mission to build the nation’s best-in-class landscaping company.”  

CCG Advisors exclusively represented the Trautman’s in the transaction. Brian Corbett, Founder & Managing Partner says, “Jennifer and Tal are great people and have built a fantastic maintenance company and know they will do well as a part of the Sperber family of companies.”

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stake bed brackets

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i made some 4ft. wood sides and front piece for my trailer. the front of my trailer doesn't have stake pockets so i need to tie the front to the sides somehow. i bought off the shelf corner brackets, but they wont work because they are designed to be mounted on the outside of the bedsides, and i need them to be on the inside of the bed side. i was thinking of using some door hinges to connect the front to the sides so that when i need to remove them i can pop the pins and separate everything…

stake bed brackets

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Z Turf debuts new stand-on spreader sprayers

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Z Turf Equipment unveiled its redesigned family of Z-Spray zero-turn stand-on spreader sprayers at the NALP ELEVATE trade show in Orlando, Florida.

Z Turf Equipment Product Manager Jonathan Guarneri said while the new machines are clearly evolved from earlier Z-Spray models, they include new innovations to accomplish specific goals.

“We focused on four important areas in the Z-Spray redesign: machine dynamics, operator comfort, innovation and durability,” Guarneri said. “Each of the improvements and innovations we made comes back to one of those four areas of focus.”

A low center of gravity design places the operator between the drive wheels, with the heaviest components placed low and centrally within the corrosion-resistant stainless-steel frame. The new design keeps machine balance and dynamics consistent, regardless of how much material is in the hopper and tanks. The new design also enables Z Turf Equipment to include a heavy-duty air filter on the engines of Mid and Max models.

The new bi-directional boom is capable of springing both forward and back, so there is less chance of snagging and damaging the boom when maneuvering in tight spaces. A patented foam marker activation system starts the foam marker and spray pump simultaneously whether using the toe switch or the panel-mounted rocker switch.

A contoured operator pad and revised control layout provide increased comfort and economy of motion. The operator platform is suspended by adjustable isolators to lessen the bumps and vibrations reaching the operator, and the hose reel has been relocated to the right side of the machines for easier access. Larger drive tires (24-inch on Mid and Max; 22-inch on Junior) provide a smoother ride over varying terrain.

The new Z-Spray machines are also designed to only need annual maintenance, with just one grease point. The patented flip-up hopper eases hopper cleaning and access to the engine for service. A patented magnetic operator pad removes easily, without tools, for access to the spray chart, or for service and maintenance. A new tank design leaves less leftover material in the tank and features a tools-free tank drain.

The complete 2023 Z-Spray line of spreader sprayers includes:

  • Z-Spray LTS –– Lean-to-steer; 9.5hp Kohler engine; 20-gallon tank; 175lb hopper
  • Z-Spray Junior –– Zero-turn; 16hp Vanguard engine; 24-gallon tank; 150lb hopper
  • Z-Spray Mid –– Zero-turn; 21hp Vanguard engine; 40-gallon tank; 250lb hopper
  •  Z-Spray Max –– Zero-turn; 21hp Vanguard engine; 60-gallon tank; 250lb hopper

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Altoz hires Larson as service parts and accessories manager

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Altoz, manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, is pleased to announce that Rod Larson has joined the Altoz team as the service parts and accessories manager.
 
With over 35 years of experience in the outdoor equipment industry, Larson is well-versed in many aspects of the business. Having owned and operated an outdoor power equipment business and as parts and pricing manager for a major powersports manufacturer, he understands both the dealer’s and the manufacturer’s objectives.
 
“Rod’s extensive experience and strategic vision are assets that will benefit our dealers, customers and organization,” said Altoz Sales and Marketing Director, Karl Bjorkman. “As the Service Parts and Accessories Manager, Rod will focus on working with Research and Development to grow the Altoz accessories line, managing inventory, and administering programs for service parts and accessories.”
 
“This position is a great fit for me with my experience in outdoor power equipment and powersports. I’m eager to make a difference and increase Altoz’s parts and accessories offerings. I’m fortunate to work for a company that has a sincere dedication to their employees, dealers, customers and community,” Larson said.

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A few bad apples.

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99.99% of the time the mower just makes apple sauce. I guess it being apple harvest time. It’s like 80% of the trees apples fell in the last few weeks. With so many apples down,they essentially turned into marbles or ballbearings if you will. A rolled the Cheetah down the…

A few bad apples.

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Battery trimmers cost 6x less to power

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As the title says, we believe that using battery trimmers costs about 6x less compared to gas 2cycle. Your mileage may vary based on electrical costs and fuel costs.

that said, for us, we are estimating it saves $350 per season for a 3 man crew, 30 weeks of service. We think the Saved fuel is somewhat similar to a battery life cycle, so we are not finding that much savings after battery replacements are considered. We think supplying 6 – 5 amp 56 volt batteries gets us close, and 3…

Battery trimmers cost 6x less to power

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Exmark unveils new electric mowers

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At the NALP ELEVATE Show in Orlando, Fla., Exmark introduced its first stand-on electric mower – the Vertex V-Series. The new machine provides the commercial durability and cut quality landscape maintenance professionals expect from Exmark, in a HyperCell powered electric mower.

Exmark Director of Marketing, Jamie Briggs, said the new machine is a natural evolution for the company, especially as more and more contractors look to electric equipment for a competitive edge.

“We built the Vertex V-Series for contractors, municipalities and schools looking for the next generation of zero engine emission mowers,” Briggs said. “It is a highly productive solution for anyone that needs to comply with local regulations, ordinances, or preferences for quiet mowing solutions and zero engine exhaust.”

Exmark leverages the HyperCell Power System to power the Vertex V-Series mowers. Designed specifically for commercial mower applications, HyperCell batteries are designed to run cooler to provide more runtime and longer service life. The Vertex V-Series uses eight HyperCell batteries, with patent-pending management software that optimizes performance for the conditions and delivers up to 7 hours of runtime per charge.

The Vertex V-Series uses commercial high-torque wheel motors working with a planetary transmission to deliver a smooth, responsive feel at the controls and ground speed of up to 10 mph.

In addition to delivering incredible power and torque in use, the electric powertrain also eliminates service and maintenance typically associated with gasoline engines, including oil and filter changes. The use of electric spindle motors also makes belt maintenance and replacement a thing of the past.

This reduction in maintenance time and cost, when combined with the dramatic savings in fuel costs, makes Vertex V-Series a cost-efficient choice for contractors looking to minimize the total cost of ownership of their machines.

Vertex V-Series mowers feature Horizon360 Connect smart equipment remote software, which provides app-based connection to the machine for real time equipment data, battery charge status and location information.

For 2023, Exmark will offer the Vertex V-Series with a 52-inch Electric Series 4 side-discharge cutting deck. Fabricated and welded from high-strength steel to deliver Exmark’s signature quality of cut. The high-torque deck motors feature a 9-inch diameter cast aluminum spindle housings with blade retainers for maximum commercial durability.

Exmark has also launched its first electric commercial walk-behind mower –– the Commercial 21 V-Series. The new model offers the commercial cut quality and durability landscape professionals demand, with low sound output and zero engine exhaust emissions, from an electric machine.

“The Commercial 21 V-Series makes it easier for landscape contractors to work in zero engine exhaust emission areas, or HOA quiet zones,” Briggs said. “It gives these professionals a true commercial mower that delivers Exmark’s signature cut quality and durability, with the low sound output and zero engine exhaust emissions they need to operate.”

At just under 81dB of measured sound output, the Commercial 21 V-Series operates well below the OSHA 85dB threshold for hearing protection. The electric powertrain also eliminates service items typically associated with gas-powered mowers, including oil changes and air filter maintenance. The reduction in service-related downtime ensures the Commercial 21 V-Series is ready to work whenever it’s needed.

The Commercial 21 V-Series is powered by a rechargeable 60 Volt 7.5Ah lithium-ion Professional Power System that provides up to 40 minutes of runtime per charge, depending on conditions. The 5.5A rapid charger provides 90% charge in 75 minutes. Two 60V 7.5 Ah batteries and a rapid charger are included with each Commercial 21 V-Series machine, giving contractors needed runtime and flexibility in the field.

A ¼-inch thick die-cast aluminum cutting deck –– the same deck used on gasoline-powered Commercial 21 models –– delivers durability, with the ability to bag or mulch clippings. A 2.5-bushel bag and mulch kit are included. Cut height is adjustable in half-inch increments, from 1-inch to 4.5-inches.

Experienced landscape maintenance professionals know that achieving an optimal cut quality in different cutting conditions comes down to deck adjustment. Small adjustments to deck pitch, or rake, can make a difference in finished cut quality and mower efficiency, which is why Exmark has introduced Adapt. 

Available on select 2023 Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn mowers, Adapt enables the operator to make quick deck rake adjustments from the operator seat, without tools. 

According to Briggs, Adapt simplifies deck rake adjustment, so it’s easy to understand, whether you’re a landscape contractor or not.

“Adapt is perfect for contractors who maintain a lot of different turf types, because it lets them quickly optimize deck performance for the conditions,” Briggs said. “It’s also ideal for homeowners who want professional looking results, but perhaps don’t have the desire or aptitude to make manual deck adjustments. Adapt takes away the fear of misadjustment because it’s just as easy to go back to the stock ‘home’ setting as it is to adjust away from it.”

By enabling both positive and negative deck rake adjustment, Adapt enables Exmark’s UltraCut Series 6 cutting deck to operate optimally in a wider range of conditions. It works equally well for side-discharge, mulching and bagging.

Selecting a positive rake setting raises the rear of the deck, increasing airflow to increase discharge velocity to reduce deck clumping and plugging, particularly in moist cutting conditions. In addition, going from flat rake to ¼-inch positive rake also reduces power consumption by up to 25%. This results in increased fuel economy and decreased stress on the engine.

A flat or negative deck rake, with the rear of the deck lower than the front, results in increased blade contact with the grass, which can help provide a clean cut with fewer stragglers in stemmy, seedy turf conditions.

For 2023, Exmark will offer Adapt on select Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn mower models equipped with the UltraCut Series 6 side discharge cutting deck, including 52-, 60-, and 72-inch models.

Visit the Exmark website to view specifications and learn more the company’s 2023 new products

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David Kohler to chair Kohler's board

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The Kohler Co. Board of Directors has elected President and Chief Executive Officer David Kohler to the additional role of chair of the board.

The appointment follows the passing of Executive Chairman Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. on Sept. 3 at age 83. The board had previously undertaken a succession planning process to ensure an orderly transition of leadership to guide the global, privately held organization.  

David will chair the Board of Directors and Executive Committee in addition to his role as CEO. This will include full scope responsibility for the three business groups of Kohler Co. (Kitchen & Bath, Power, Hospitality) and all enterprise functions. 

David has been with Kohler Co. for over 31 years and was elected to the role of President and CEO in 2015, having previously served as president and chief operating officer since 2009. He is the fourth generation of Kohler family leadership since the company’s inception in 1873, and only the ninth person to lead the company over the last 149 years.  

“The Board is confident in David’s deep experience, strong leadership, and passion for bold innovation to continue driving our company forward well into the future.  David has proven to be an inspiring and forward-thinking leader for our associates around the world, including in times of uncertainty throughout the global financial crisis, the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and a variety of other challenges,” the company said in a statement. “David understands the importance of developing a strong culture of dedicated associates passionate about innovating, inspiring, and delighting our customers.  He draws upon the legacy of past Kohler leaders and our company’s established framework – grounded in our mission and guiding principles – to ensure company stability, sustained growth, and long-term success.”

“I learned so much from my father, including a tireless strong work ethic, leading with candor and humility, and always driving to innovate,” David said. “He believed that you must have passion for whatever you do in life if you want to be successful. Working alongside him for decades showcased the impact of embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, not being afraid to fail, and always striving for accuracy and consistency.  He left an indelible mark on me personally and professionally.”

Under David’s leadership, the company surpassed $8 billion in annual revenues in 2021. The organization has experienced substantial global expansion in both cutting-edge manufacturing facilities and immersive kitchen and bath showrooms, including the global portfolio of KOHLER Experience Centers, as well as significant growth in e-commerce and digital capabilities.  His leadership has helped KOHLER become the number-one kitchen and bath brand in the U.S. and China, and number-one international brand in India.

The Power Group has experienced sustained growth globally – both organic and through M&A including the acquisition of U.K.-based Clarke Energy in 2015.  The company continues to broaden its expansion of clean energy and distributed energy options with new products, and the 2021 acquisitions of Curtis Instruments (electric vehicle controls) and Heila Technologies (microgrid software controls). David has also overseen the increased focus and investment in the company’s digital transformation and its foray into the Smart Home space with a robust roster of connected products for kitchen and bath spaces.

David served as general chair of the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which at the time was the highest revenue championship in history. David also served as general chair of the 43rd Ryder Cup in 2021 also at Whistling Straits.

When it comes to making a commitment to sustainability, David led the company to be among the first to establish a Net Zero 2035 goal across its operations in 2008. In the years since, the organization has been actively tracking and substantially reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and waste across operations while investing in renewable energy. In June of this year, the company issued its first-ever Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Report highlighting the company’s increased reporting transparency, goals, and progress across environmental sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and social impact.  “Even as a private company, we are accountable for the promises we make and achieving a global standard of excellence in everything we do,” David said.

As chair of the organization’s Executive Leadership Diversity Board, David oversees the objectives and progress toward achieving them. “Every associate must have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment,” he said. “It requires our ongoing investment, focus, and commitment to continue leading boldly.”

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Best Deck cleaning tool

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Does someone make a good chisel/ scraper type tool for cleaning out under the deck? I’ve been using a little gardening spade type shovel. It used to work well on a stamped steel deck but not so much on a welded steel deck. What is your tool of choice for this task?

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Nine Tips for Improving the Efficacy of Your Spray Program

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Cannabis Spraying Ryan DouglasIf you’re responsible for the health and profitability of your cannabis crop, keep these tips in mind as you plan and execute your spray strategy.

The post Nine Tips for Improving the Efficacy of Your Spray Program appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

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