Fecon upgrades Stumpex

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LEBANON, Ohio – Fecon has upgraded their Stumpex auger-type stump grinder to include a 2-Speed hydraulic motor for faster stump removal, especially on soft woods. 

Designed to maximize 100% of machine output, the Stumpex 2-Speed improves cut time by up to 50%, removing 24-inch stumps in less than three minutes.  In addition to faster stump processing, the new model reduces wear on blades and cones, allowing longer service life and extending the intervals between blade sharpening. It is ideal for skid-steer loaders and compact tracked loaders with 60+ horsepower.  Carriers with lower flow will achieve increased cutting time compared to fixed displacement motors.  Easily transported in a pickup truck, Stumpex 2-Speed stump grinders are ideal for arborists, landscapers, land improvement companies, parks and recreation departments, golf courses, municipalities and wherever safe, efficient stump removal is desired. 

With no chips or debris strewn about, the low-speed high-torque auger-type technology is the safest method of stump removal. Very little maintenance is required.

Established in 1992 near Cincinnati, Fecon manufactures the Bull Hog – a 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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John Deere dealers to sell, service WESTERN products for utility vehicles

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CARY, N.C. John Deere has entered an allied distribution agreement with Douglas Dynamics, parent company of WESTERN plows, to sell and support Western products through the John Deere dealer channel.

Through this agreement, John Deere dealers in the U.S. and Canada will sell and service WESTERN snow and ice removal products that are compatible with John Deere Gator Utility Vehicles.

“With more than 70 years of experience in making integrated snow and ice removal products, Douglas Dynamics was the obvious choice for us,” said Justin VanderHeyden, John Deere product marketing manager. “WESTERN snow and ice control products are the brand of choice for those who move snow, so we’re excited to provide this new offering for Gator Utility Vehicles.”

This agreement enables one-stop-shopping for utility vehicle customers who also want WESTERN snow and ice removal products.

“John Deere’s global brand presence and reputation for manufacturing the highest quality products while providing outstanding service aligns closely with our long-standing brand strength and dedication to quality and service,” said Michael Frank, manager of business development for Douglas Dynamics. “The partnership brings two premium brands together with the shared goal of providing John Deere dealers and customers with easy access to best in class snow and ice control products for John Deere Gators.”

Initial product offerings include the following WESTERN blades:

  • 72-inch (1.82-m) Hydraulic Straight Blade
  • 72-inch (1.82-m) Hydraulic V-Blade
  • 72-inch (1.82-m) Manually Adjusted V-Blade
  • 72-inch (1.82-m) Straight Blade
  • 66-inch (1.7-m) Straight Blade

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ECHO expands brand with wheeled trimmers, chipper/shredders

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CHICAGO

ECHO has added two new product categories to the brand portfolio – wheeled trimmers
and chipper/shredders. These products are essential tools for landscapers, farm
and ranch owners and various agricultural applications.

“It’s
an exciting time for ECHO, as we continue to expand our categories and offer
innovative solutions to end users. Like all our products, the new wheeled
trimmers and chipper/shredders are built to be durable, powerful and reliable
tools that get the toughest jobs done quickly and efficiently,” said Jason
Wilk, Product Manager, ECHO Inc.

Key
applications for the walk behind wheel trimmers include cutting dense weeds and
mowing tall grass, with five-times more power than a handheld trimmer. The
heavy-duty, commercial design allows for easy and convenient trimming along
retaining walls, fences and other tight areas. Large 16-inch diameter wheels
are designed for smooth maneuverability over rough terrain, while an extra-wide
24 in. cutting swath, coupled with ultra-heavy duty .155” Cross-Fire™ trimmer
line increases cutting performance and efficiency.

ECHO has three wheeled trimmer models to choose from:

  • WT-1610: 163 cc Briggs & Stratton engine. MSRP $559.99
  • WT-1610T: 163 cc Briggs & Stratton engine with the ability to tilt the deck, allowing the operator to efficiently cut hard to reach areas. MSRP $699.99
  • WT-1610HSP: Self-propelled model with 160 cc Honda engine and 3-speed transmission. MSRP $999.99 

Visit the ECHO Wheeled Trimmers product page here.

The three new chipper shredders are compact, powerful and loaded with heavy-duty, professional features. The thick-gauge steel chipping and shredding hoppers handle material ranging from light brush to large branches. The chipping hopper, with razor-sharp, heat-treated blades mounted to a heavy-duty flywheel, can chip branches up to 3” in diameter. Additionally, the shredding hopper contains free-swinging shredder blades that can pulverize lightweight material up to ¾” thick and handle other garden waste. All three models feature convenient, flat-free tires and handles for easy transport.

ECHO has three chipper/shredder models to choose from:

  •  SC-2013, 208 cc Briggs & Stratton engine. MSRP $1,299.99
  • SC-3013, 306 cc Briggs & Stratton engine. MSRP $1,699.99
  • SC-4213, 420 cc Briggs & Stratton engine MSRP $2,049.99

Visit the ECHO Chipper/Shredders product page here.

Both the wheeled trimmers and chipper/shredders come with a three-year consumer warranty and one-year commercial warranty. For more information, visit www.echo-usa.com.

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Ways the New Technical Requirement for LEDs Will Affect Horticulture Lighting

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Osram's Phytofy RL lighting systemThe new requirements are designed to help the industry transition from traditional metrics to data that best represents performance.

The post Ways the New Technical Requirement for LEDs Will Affect Horticulture Lighting appeared first on Greenhouse Grower.

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Toro debuts POWER TRX HD Snow Blowers

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The new POWER TRX HD Snow Blowers from Toro are ideal for large lots and driveways and designed with improved power steering capabilities and stability. The 28” POWER TRX HD commercial snow blower has a wide 28” clearing width, and the 32” POWER TRX HD commercial snow blower covers still more territory with a 32” clearing width. 

POWER TRX HD units feature a hydrostatic-powered transmission for self-propelled operation, and the track drive grips the surface for stability and traction on tough terrain and slopes. Toro’s Infinitely Variable Speed gives the operator total control over the machine’s speed and makes it a breeze to change speeds on the go. 

“Users with slopes or steep terrain and heavy snow areas can clear large spaces in a short time with the POWER TRX HD series, which is also powered by a self-propelled hydrostatic transmission,” Christina Howell, marketing manager at Toro. “It’s a great solution for homeowners with steep driveways, in heavy snow areas that need to adjust their housing up or down, with a push of our quick-adjust lever they can easily go up for climbing or transport, flat to blow off a level surface and down to dig into the snow

Driven by Toro’s 420cc premium 4-cycle OHV engine, both models have the power and capacity needed to clear snow more than 20” deep, hurling snow over 60 feet depending on conditions. The one-push electric start lets the operator get right to work, and the power steering ensures smooth, tight turns. Built-in handwarmers and LED headlights help ease the job in cold, dark conditions. 

The patented Anti-Clogging System minimizes clogging and routes heavy snow away from the chute and back into the auger. Heavy-duty, cast-iron skids with drift cutters help the POWER TRX HD snow blowers cut through heavy snow. The Quick Stick chute control makes changing the deflector direction easy and smooth. 

With all-steel construction and commercial-grade quality, both POWER TRX HD models are built for years of dependable service and reduced maintenance. More information on POWER TRX HD Snow Blowers can be found on Toro’s website.

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Steel Green introduces new snowplow attachment

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Steel Green Manufacturing has purchased the rights to manufacture the Z-Plow and will be producing a snowplow attachment to transform its zero-turn spreader/sprayer into a powerful sidewalk snow-removing machine with up to 350 pounds of salt-spreading capacity.

The Z-Plow was created by Eric Smith in Caledonia, Michigan, in 2012 and has been field-tested for nearly eight years. Smith will remain involved with the product as a business consultant with Steel Green Manufacturing.

“Many spreader/sprayers sit unused all winter long,” said Matt Smith, sales manager at Steel Green Manufacturing. “The SG Snowplow allows lawn care operators to maximize their equipment investment and earn revenue during the off season. When the snow season is over, uninstalling the plow is simple, and applicators can get back to fertilizing in minutes.”

The SG Snowplow is made with all stainless-steel construction and resists corrosion from salt and liquid deicer. It features a poly plow blade, which is lighter and stronger than comparable steel plows. Live hydraulics control the plow angle, down pressure, lift and float with a single joystick valve. The rubber cutting edge scrapes clean without damaging sensitive areas, and LED lights provide ample light.

The SG Snowplow is compatible with Steel Green Manufacturing models SG46 and SG52. The SG52, provides 60 gallons of liquid capacity and holds up to 7 bags of granular salt.

The company will also be selling an attachment kit for the SG Snowplow that is compatible with 2015 and newer Z Spray Mid (Intermediate) or Z Spray Max.

The SG Snowplow will be available this fall. It comes with the plow, winter tires assembly, LED lights and attachment kit, for a cost of $3,995. The attachment kit includes hydraulics, hoses, brackets and fittings, and will be compatible with other attachments available from Steel Green Manufacturing in the future. Find more at www.steelgreenmfg.com.

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GIE+EXPO, Hardscape North America launch free online portal

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LOUISVILLE – Show organizers have launched GIE+EXPO ToGo, a free online portal that will connect industry members to the new innovations they would have found at the show this October. Exhibitors are currently loading their information into the portal, which will go live in October and remain active through the end of 2020. It can be accessed via www.gie-expo.com and www.hardscapena.com starting Oct. 1.  

"As the industry adapts to our new business reality, manufacturers and suppliers are responding and looking for ways to stay connected to the thousands of outdoor power equipment dealers, retailers, landscapers and hardscape contractors they would have met at GIE+EXPO and HNA," said  Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and managing partner of GIE+EXPO. "This year, GIE+EXPO ToGo will be that point of connection." 

On the portal, visitors will find:

  • Exhibitor profiles for both GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America that can be searched by name or product type
  • A new product spotlight where exhibitors will launch their latest innovations
  • Resources such as product specs, demo videos, special event links, brochures and more
  • Exclusive special offers

Beginning Oct. 1, visitors are encouraged to register for a free My ToGo Planner, which will allow them to save exhibitor listings, links and product information. It also provides access to show specials and discounts. Creating a My ToGo Planner will give attendees the ability to compile a must-connect-with list of exhibitors and to share saved exhibitors, products and contacts with colleagues. 

"The My ToGo Planner will be the visitor’s ticket to some exclusive opportunities within the portal," said Warren Sellers, show director. "Manufacturers and suppliers have indicated they will use this as a launch pad for their new products, and some are planning special offers. If you were looking forward to seeing new products and shopping for your company at the shows, you’ll definitely want to set up a free account and explore the portal." 

The annual trade shows are sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Professional Grounds Management Society, National Association of Landscape Professionals and Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.

For more information visit www.gie-expo.com or www.hardscapena.com.

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Bobcat reveals lineup of new zero-turn mowers

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WEST FARGO, N.D. – During a recent livestream media event, the Bobcat Company debuted its all-new lineup of Bobcat zero-turn mowers.

With an extensive 21-machine lineup that includes both zero-turn (ZT) sit-on and zero-turn stand-on mowers (ZS), Bobcat mowers allows the company to expand upon its established presence in the landscape industry and capture additional opportunities in the turf and lawn care markets.

The new zero-turn mowers join compact track loaders, compact excavators, skid-steer loaders, compact tractors, utility products, small articulated loaders and mini track loaders in the bundle of Bobcat products in landscaping, grounds maintenance and turf applications.

The company also recently released its new line of large excavator attachments.

“We have an opportunity to bring high-performance, high-quality equipment that Bobcat is known for to the world of turf with zero-turn mowers,” said Ron Scheffler, a senior product manager. “Our customers in commercial landscaping already know Bobcat equipment, now they can round out their fleet with Bobcat zero-turn mowers. And because we know that residential turf customers are just as enthusiastic, introducing mowers is an opportunity to welcome a new audience.”

Bobcat zero-turn mowers will be manufactured in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. They will be distributed through select Bobcat dealerships in the U.S. and parts of Canada.

Zero-Turn Mower Models
Models vary in engine, horsepower, deck width, and fuel capacity. To determine which models offer the best performance for the application, refer to each machine’s corresponding model number as shown below:
  • ZT2000
  • ZT3000
  • ZT3500 (Commercial)
  • ZS4000 (Commercial)
  • ZT6000 (Commercial)
  • ZT6100 (Commercial)
  • ZT7000 (Commercial)
 

Among the notable features are the Bullnose AirFX Cutting System, which is available on the new ZS4000 through ZT7000 zero-turn mowers. Its deep profile and bullnose design lift the grass to the blade, and it creates a powerful vacuum for a razor-sharp, uniform cut.

Meanwhile, the engine provides a major strength for professional mowing operations. The Bobcat zero-turn mowers come with a Kawasaki or Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine, depending on the model. And with the heavy-duty Hydro-Gear transmission, landscapers can take on challenging turf conditions. The transmission features hydrostatic transaxles to quickly and efficiently power through turf. The pump and motor are housed together in a single sealed housing for better durability and reduced maintenance.

The commercial models – ZT3500 through ZT7000 – hold up to 15 gallons of fuel, and the mowers are equipped with an ergonomic design and placement of controls, pedals and gauges to ensure operation is easy and intuitive. On the right-hand side, customers can find the “comfort command center” as well as a high-back suspension seat, almond-shaped handles, anti-vibration footplate and smooth, responsive controls that provide intuitive operation.

A swing-away bumper also gives operators fast access to internal components, so tune-ups are more efficient. There’s also an additional hitch system.

Whether landscapers are working on a residential or commercial property, Bobcat zero-turn mowers can be equipped with parts and accessories that fit the job.

  • Mulching Baffle Kit
  • ECO Plate
  • Grass Catcher: Poly-Dump, 3.75 or 5.0 bushel
  • Weight Kit
  • BOSS-Vac™ Pro 12-bushel Collection System
  • BOSS- Vac™ 8-bushel Collection System
  • Deck Striping Kit
  • ZT Hitch Kit
  • No-Flat Caster Wheel Options
  • Magnetic Light Kit, 12V
  • Light Kit, Footplate
  • ROPS Kit
  • Canopy Kit

To learn more about the mowers, click here.

 

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Work Truck Week returns to Indianapolis for 2021, 2022

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FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry announced Work Truck Week will return to Indianapolis in March 2021 and 2022.

The dates and general information for the events are listed below:

Work Truck Week 2021

March 9–12, 2021

Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

Sessions begin March 9

Exhibit hall open March 10–12

Work Truck Week 2022

March 8–11, 2022

Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana

Sessions begin March 8

Exhibit hall open March 9–11

 

The Work Truck Show features the latest vocational trucks, vans, vehicle components and truck equipment, as well as extensive educational programming, including Green Truck Summit.

The show is intended for anyone who works with commercial vehicles, including public and private truck fleet operators, manufacturers, dealers, equipment distributors and upfitters.

Registration for Work Truck Week 2021 opens this fall. Sign up to receive event information at the show’s website. 

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It’s all about fall

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Annual turf packages, which typically consist of six to seven applications, including pre-emergents, fertilizer and insect control, are a staple for LCOs. “Fall is the ideal time to renovate turf,” says Jim Foglio, president of Lasting Impressions Landscaping in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. “About 10% of our customers opt for fall packages such as aeration and overseeding, which has a huge impact for next year.”

Many companies admit that fall turf services are not necessarily a huge moneymaker, mostly because not every client opts for them. But they are still an essential part of the lineup of total turf care offerings. “Services such as aeration may provide only a small profit, but it’s more a benefit to customer retention,” says Brian Ethridge, chief technology officer with Waynes Environmental Services, based in Birmingham, Alabama and Nashville, Tennessee.

“Your customers expect the service, especially for cool season grasses, and healthy lawns lead to customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals, which are huge in this business sector.”

While annual chemical treatments typically range from $5 to $10 per thousand square feet of application, services for fall turf care like aeration and reseeding usually are priced at 1.5 to 2.5 times that rate, LCOs say. Pricing also may increase depending on the complexity of the property, such as slopes or the number of gates.

Generally, the companies we spoke to for this article realize a 30 to 40 % profit margin from fall turf services.

Build in additional services.

Working fall care into your packages is a simple way of selling long-term turf health to existing contracts. For example, it’s prudent to add a fall soil testing service or a lime application to maintain soil pH as the last service of the season. Improved turf performance also keeps customers coming back year after year. “We are constantly studying what works or doesn’t,” Ethridge says. “Our mindset is that our customers are not buying applications, but rather 365 days of full-service lawn care program.”

A few companies offer a la carte turf services in autumn.

“You do occasionally get someone calling in the fall to ask if you can do anything to help their lawns,” says Erik Sweetser, president of Green Grass Lawn Care in North Hampton, New Hampshire.

“But it’s not that common. The majority of our clients opt for the annual package starting in the spring.”

Educate your clients.

It’s no use trying to sell a service your clients don’t understand. Stay up to date on turf care, and be generous about sharing your knowledge with customers. Blog, send out email newsletters and include information with billing statements. “Explain how fall work such as aeration benefits lawns now and in the future,” Foglio says.

“Teach customers that although we start improving the soil now, it will take a full season to see the effects of our efforts.”

In addition, instruct customers on how to water properly so they’re partners in working with you, not inadvertently against you, to build healthy turf that’s more resistant to stressors.

Educate your technicians.

Make sure your employees inspect turf before any product application. “We walk every lawn and look for disease, weeds and signs of insect activity prior to service,” Ethridge says.

Identifying potential problems such as thinning areas also yields an opportunity for selling services such as fall renovation that will benefit the turf health and appearance in the long-run.

Offer renovation services.

Most lawns benefit from regular aeration. Aeration improves soil impaction, reduces thatch and creates pores from the removal of soil plugs through which moisture or plant nutrients are absorbed by the soil.

“We always recommend aeration and overseeding when a lawn begins to decline,” says Linda Smith, owner of Progressive Lawn Managers in the Greater St. Louis area. “But ideally, it should be done annually.”

It’s also essential to tailor the service to the individual property. “It’s not one-size-fits-all,” Foglio says. “For example, overseeding can be lucrative, but you have to look at that specific lawn’s needs. Is it shade or sun? We don’t use the same seed for everyone. You’re not going to get good results or promote customer retention that way.”

Don’t forget that aeration should be done when grass is actively growing so it recovers quickly to fill in the openings in the turf left by the aerator.

That means fall is the ideal time for aeration of cool season grasses, which grow fast after emerging from summer stress. But warm season grasses should be aerated in spring or early summer, which is their period of active growth, Ethridge says.

Get the word out early.

Selling fall services starts early in the year. Technicians can leave information starting with the first application of the season.

Periodic email blasts, social media and notes on the bottom of electronic billing remind customers of the importance of preparing their lawns for winter.

Some companies do direct mailers or offer discounts on annual packages to new clients picked up during the fall push. The point is to get the word out repeatedly. “We make lots of mentions to keep the concept of year-round turf care ever-present in our customer’s minds,” Ethridge says.

The author is a freelance writer based in the Northeast.

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