Fecon makes executive promotion

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LEBANON, Ohio – Fecon has announced the promotion of Mark Middendorf to senior VP of sales.  In his new role, Middendorf oversees the global sales effort for all Fecon products.  He has been with the company since 2012 serving first as president of SWX Group, a Fecon subsidiary, VP of sales and currently Senior VP. He gained extensive equipment sales and dealer management experience while working for Toro as national sales manager and Finn Corporation, ultimately becoming a senior VP. He holds a BS in communication from the University of Cincinnati.

“Mark is a great communicator and consensus builder and has proven to be a valuable member of the sales team,” said CEO Bob Dieckman. “As a senior VP of sales, he’ll continue to work with sales channel partners and customers throughout the world, helping then to acquire and best utilize their Fecon equipment.”

Established in 1992 near Cincinnati, Fecon manufactures the Bull Hog forestry mulcher. They also manufacture tracked carriers and tractors, as well as a full range of attachments and other equipment for vegetation management. Their products are sold through equipment dealers and distributors worldwide. For more information on Fecon products, visit  www.Fecon.com.

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Floriculture Industry Mourns Sudden Passing of Matt Willoughby

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Matt-Willoughby-Vaughans featureDuring his time with Vaughan’s Horticulture and other brokers and growers, Matt helped countless customers with his out-of-the-box thinking, and built long-lasting friendships.

The post Floriculture Industry Mourns Sudden Passing of Matt Willoughby appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

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Biological Innovation Building Indoor Ag From the Ground up

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Biocontrols in a GreenhouseLearn how recently published research offers the prospect of moving vertical farming past the economic and environmental sustainability barrier.

The post Biological Innovation Building Indoor Ag From the Ground up appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

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Dates confirmed for amenity sector pesticide survey

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The Government is funding a major survey of the amenity sector to increase its understanding of the total amount of plant protection products used, their modes of application and the key reasons for use.

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Robin Autopilot partners with TurfBot Mowing

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DALLAS – Robin Autopilot USA, a robotic mowing technology company, entered into a partnership with TurfBot Mowing, a brand under the Weed Man USA ownership umbrella.

Under the new partnership, TurfBot franchises will offer robotic mowing services powered by Robin’s technology. TurfBot franchises will have access to all of the tools and resources available through the Robin platform, including patented products, proprietary software, e-learning and training services, and marketing collateral.

Ranked as the eighth-largest company on the 2020 Lawn & Landscape Top 100, based on 2019 revenue, Weed Man expanded into the robotic mowing business when it launched TurfBot in 2018 to test the concept, recognizing the benefits of offering battery-powered and emissions-free robotic mowing services to customers. TurfBot currently operates in three locations and plans for aggressive expansion plans in 2022.

WATCH OUR WEBINAR: Fahey, Lemcke talk about the world of robotic mowing

“We are proud to partner with Weed Man, which has a long and outstanding history as a pioneer and leader in the North American market for lawn care services,” said Logan Fahey, chief executive officer of Robin Autopilot. “We are creating a strong new force in the lawn and landscaping market that will help both of our companies continue our growth as we provide more customers with the opportunity to adopt robotic mowing technology.”

“Robin Autopilot was the obvious choice for us in our search for a partner with cutting-edge technology and expertise that would help us grow in the exciting robotic mowing industry,” said Jennifer Lemcke, chief executive officer of Weed Man. “We believe robotic mowing has a bright future, and we look forward to working with Robin to continue the transformation of the lawn care industry through the wide-ranging environmental and economic benefits of this new technology.”

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Crystal Tractor Supercenters join Takeuchi dealer network

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ATLANTA – Takeuchi-US has expanded its North American dealer network with three Crystal Tractor Supercenter locations in Chiefland, Spring Hill and Ocala, Fla. These locations will now carry the full line of Takeuchi excavators, compact track loaders and wheel loaders. They will also provide equipment rentals, replacement parts and serve as authorized Takeuchi equipment repair centers for customers throughout a six-county region in West Central Florida.

Owned by father-son team Steve and Justin Lamb, Crystal Tractor Supercenters are part of Crystal Motorsports, LLC, a subsidiary of Crystal Motor Car Company headquartered in Homosassa, Fla. Steve Lamb founded the company as an automobile franchise back in 1984, and since then, it has expanded to include other automobile, heavy equipment and motorcycle dealerships.

“We’re very pleased to join Takeuchi’s growing dealer family,” said Steve Lamb, president of Crystal Motor Car Company. “For more than 35 years, we’ve worked hard to earn the respect and trust of our customers here in Florida. Now, we’ll be taking what we’ve learned over time and applying it to Takeuchi’s exceptional equipment. We look forward to helping our current and future customers learn how much more productive they can be with Takeuchi machines.”

MORE READING: Takeuchi introduces new dealer  | Takeuchi names top salesman, dealer of the year

Each of the three Crystal Tractor Supercenters will utilize six inside salespeople and three outside salespeople to support the Takeuchi product line. These individuals will also attend a special Takeuchi sales training, and at least one salesperson from each location will attend Takeuchi’s Corporate Sales School, tentatively scheduled for Spring 2021. There will be a minimum of one Takeuchi-trained technician at each location as well.

“With a reputation for outstanding equipment sales and service, the owners and staff at Crystal Tractor Supercenters are well positioned to help us increase our market share in Florida,” said Henry Lawson, director of sales for Takeuchi-US. “We look forward to working with everyone at Crystal Tractor Supercenters and supporting their efforts as they encourage more Floridians to discover the Takeuchi difference.”

For more information on Takeuchi dealers, visit the Takeuchi dealer page. For more information on Takeuchi track loaders, excavators and wheel loaders, visit www.takeuchi-us.com. Follow Takeuchi on Facebook or on Twitter @TakeuchiMFG

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Ornamentals not "poor relation" despite missing out on seasonal workers scheme

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The Seasonal Workers Pilot, launched in 2019, has been extended and expanded for an additional year with 30,000 visas available for those wanting to come and work on UK farms for a period of up to six months – but ornamental workers are not included.

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Ferris iCD deck the same as Velocity Plus

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Stopped at the local Ferris dealer to look. I liked the ISX 800 with 52 inch deck power by the B+S 26 HP. The owner, who did sell Scag until a couple of years ago, said the deck is the same as the Scag Velocity Plus. Not really buying into the same deck as Scag. Any one have experience with the ISX 800 cut quality or input in general?
Thanks

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Potted Bear Lime Trees

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Q: I purchased a potted Bears lime tree for my

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[Equipment] Failure Is Not An Option

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<![CDATA[Winter is upon us and that means your snow and ice management equipment will be getting a workout.

Equipment Trader, an online classified advertising service bringing equipment buyers and sellers together, offers professional snow and ice management contractors 11 useful tips for maintaining your equipment this winter and to ensure it’s ready to go the distance when you need it to perform.

 

Inspect Equipment Daily
Because extreme temperatures can significantly impact your equipment, start to increase the number of visual inspections you perform as the weather cools down, conducting daily inspections during the freezing winter months. Inspect the electrical wiring, hydraulic hoses, batteries, tire pressure, and the undercarriage, looking for signs of wear, damage, or clogged debris.

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Change the Oil
It is advisable to conduct a complete oil change before and after the winter season. As the weather changes, you want to use oil that is appropriate for the outside temperatures, including engine, transmission, hydraulics, and final drive lubricants. Low-viscosity oil flows more easily in the cold and puts less strain on your engine, making synthetic oil a preferable choice in the winter months (though it is more expensive).

Check the Oil
Even if you switch to synthetic oil during the colder months, always check to make sure the oil is fluid enough for proper flow before starting your machine in extreme cold. You may also consider having your local service shop perform a fluid analysis, which can help determine how oil, coolant, and fuel is used in your vehicle and can help you set an optimized maintenance schedule, during winter and all year-round.

Keep Batteries Charged
Batteries can lose up to half their strength in very low temperatures, meaning your equipment’s battery is working overtime in the cold. Regularly check the battery’s electrolyte levels and, if they are low, be sure to not overfill with water. Doing so can dilute the electrolyte and increases the risk of freezing. If you are storing the machine in extreme cold, the battery should either be insulated or removed and stored indoors at room temperatures.

Check & Replace Hydraulic Hoses
In colder temperatures, hydraulic hoses can become inelastic and may even crack. To avoid cold-related damage, warm up the hydraulic system for up to an hour before operating the attachments, then half-throttle the engine and engage attachments for a few moments before full operation. Even with those precautions, it’s a good idea to have spare hoses, seals, mounts, and fittings available during freezing weather.

Warm the Engine
Before using your heavy equipment in colder temperatures, run the engine until it reaches operating temperature, which helps ensure the intake and exhaust valves will not stick. Starting fluid can facilitate starting, but use caution as it can ignite too early and damage your engine. Block heaters can also accelerate engine warming. Once the machine has run for a while, cycle through the equipment’s functions, which distributes warmed oil to each of the machine’s moving parts.

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Check Tires & Traction
Cold weather causes tires to lose air more quickly, decreasing fuel efficiency and making the engine work harder, so check your equipment’s tire pressure at the beginning of every shift. Using dry nitrogen to inflate tires in freezing temperatures can prevent the formation of ice crystals that contribute to deflation.

Use Caution Driving and Parking
In poor conditions following winter precipitation, maintain traction and control of your machinery by removing as much snow and ice as possible from the jobsite and then taking operations slowly. When parking, clear off any snow or ice from the tires and park on planks to avoid the tires freezing to the ground.

Keep the Tank Full (with the Right Fuel)
If ignored, fuel tanks and lines can freeze overnight in extreme cold, so drain the water from the separator and refill the tank with fuel at the end of each day. Fuel treatments may also be added to thaw frozen filters, liquify fuel that has thickened in the cold, and remove moisture from the lines and tank. You could also consider winter blend diesel, which lowers the temperature at which the fuel gels, but follow the OEM’s fuel recommendations, as the wrong blend can damage the engine.

Follow Safety Best Practices
Make sure your windshield and windows are kept clean and clear during the colder months, as frost and condensation can create dangerous blindspots. Ice can form on steps, grip plates, and grabs, so be careful to not slip when entering and exiting equipment, while also avoiding touching frozen metal with your bare skin as it can cause serious injury. Upgrading your equipment’s lights to LEDs can additionally improve visibility and endurance in winter conditions.

Smart Storage
Before storing your equipment, clean the undercarriage of the machine, which may have collected not only snow, but also salt or other de-icing chemicals that get placed on roads. Ideally, equipment will be stored in a heated facility to protect it from the elements and allow for faster and easier start-up. Short of being indoors, machinery should at least be covered to hide it from precipitation. If your equipment is stored long-term over the winter, detach any attachments so the hinges and joints avoid unnecessary wear from the constant pull of weight and gravity.
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