Monday, 22 January 2018

5 Stubborn Weeds That Resemble Wildflowers

Wildflower patch

They’ll emerge when you least expect it, or maybe right on time. Perennial and annual weeds in the landscape can cost in resources consumed, hours logged and plant quality reduced. Getting ahead of them — or stopping them in their tracks — saves not only all of the above, but it gives you peace of mind. The first step? Identification. Here, American Nurseryman Magazine highlighted a few wickedly stubborn weeds that look like wildflowers.

Plantago major

Photo: iStock | Watcha | Ian_Redding

1. Plantago major

Among the most common and persistent of perennial landscape weeds is Plantago major, the broadleaf plantain — no, not the banana relative. It’s easily recognized by its basal rosette of leaves that are generally smooth and broadly to narrowly oval, bearing a resemblance to those of spinach. There’s no visible above-ground stem, so the low-lying weed can be somewhat difficult to pluck if hand-weeding is attempted. A short taproot is present, but unless the entire root is pulled, this perennial will spring back up in no time.

If left to develop, leafless stalks emerge to bear long, dense, cylinder-shaped flowering and fruiting spikes; the single flowers are tiny and inconspicuous, and the equally small fruiting capsules yield a plethora of narrowly oval, brown seeds.

Lotus corniculatus

Photo: iStock | pazzy774 | PaulReevesPhotography

2. Lotus corniculatus

The semi-erect stems of Lotus corniculatus (birdsfoot trefoil) spread up to 3 feet long, growing from a rugged, dense crown. This tangle of a perennial plant forms a sturdy mat from stolons and rhizomes. Alternate, compound foliage is composed of five oval to rounded, smooth margined leaves; on each compound leaf, there are three larger leaflets at the terminal and two smaller leaflets near the stem.

Bright yellow to golden yellow, pea-like flowers, which sometimes are delicately streaked with red, gather in flat-topped clusters at the ends of long stalks. Fruit comprises several cylinder-shaped pods that are formed in the shape of a bird’s foot. Each capsule holds several oval to round, shiny, dark olive to black seeds.

Rumex crispus

Photo: iStock | slur

3. Rumex crispus

The elongated, narrow leaves of Rumex crispus (curly dock) form a low-growing rosette; each leaf emerges somewhat oval to rounded and then stretches to form a lance-shaped leaf that sports wavy margins.

The perennial plant bolts prior to flowering, unbranched — and it can reach 3 to 4 feet in height.

Clusters of small, greenish flowers bloom on the upper stems, maturing to a deep, reddish brown. A single seed is enclosed in a shiny, reddish brown, three-sided fruit. Smooth, erect stems have multiple branches and may reach up to 12 inches tall.

Senecio vulgaris

Photo: iStock | dadalla | Whiteway

4. Senecio vulgaris

Although it’s an annual, Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel) is capable of producing multiple generations each year, making control rather like a game of whack-a-mole. Variably shaped leaves emerge in alternate arrangement and can be sparsely hairy to smooth, with margins that appear smooth to slightly wavy. Older leaves bear deep, irregular lobes and coarsely toothed margins.

Clusters of several yellow, cylinder- to cone-shaped flower heads appear at the ends of stems, opening to reveal small, rayed, golden yellow, daisy-like flowers. At maturity, a puffball-shaped seedhead develops — somewhat resembling that of a dandelion — and each small seed is then windborne.

Convolvulus arvensis

Photo: iStock | gubernat | sjallenphotography

5. Convolvulus arvensis

This lovely plant is proof that some of the worst thugs are among the loveliest in appearance. Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed; morning glory) is a twining, creeping perennial vine that invades and doesn’t let go. It climbs, it creeps, it trails up to 6 feet or more, and slender stems break easily, making removal difficult.

Alternate, arrowhead — to spade-shaped leaves grow to about 1 to 2 inches long.

The easily identified, funnel-shaped, morning glory flowers generally are white but may blush slightly pink; each flower has two leafy brackets about 1 inch below the flower base. Fruit appears as egg-shaped capsules containing small gray, brown or black seeds.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in American Nurseryman Magazine.

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Small Business Optimism On The Rise For 2018

Optimism Rising

Small businesses are feeling pretty good already this year, according to Turf‘s surveys, as well as general small business surveys. More than 60 percent of landscape professionals are planning on raising prices this year in mowing and maintenance services.

And according to the Capitol One Small Business Growth Index, 60 percent of small business owners feel that current business conditions are good or excellent, indicating that optimism is at peak level.

In fact, “small business owners are exuberant about the economy,” says Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), publishers of their own Small Business Optimism Index. “We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting research.”

What’s behind all this optimism?

Capitol One survey respondents point to rising consumer optimism being a nice boost to small business optimism.

Second, job creation plans increased by small businesses, NFIB says, meaning the labor market is showing signs of improvement. And the number of small business owners who said it’s a good time to expand also increased. “Hiring plans soared, primarily in construction, manufacturing and professional services,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

Finding qualified workers has been a persistent problem for landscape businesses and small businesses alike. At the end of 2017, it was the second most important problem facing small business owners, according to NFIB research; only taxes polled higher. Nearly half (45 percent) of small businesses answering the Capital One survey also list taxes as their top small business concern.

If tax relief happens, Duggan says “2018 is shaping up to be a great year for small businesses, workers and the economy.”

What do you think? What are your expectations for 2018? Let us know by sending a note to nwisniewski@grandviewmedia.com.

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Small Business Optimism On The Rise For 2018

Optimism Rising

Small businesses are feeling pretty good already this year, according to Turf‘s surveys, as well as general small business surveys. More than 60 percent of landscape professionals are planning on raising prices this year in mowing and maintenance services.

And according to the Capitol One Small Business Growth Index, 60 percent of small business owners feel that current business conditions are good or excellent, indicating that optimism is at peak level.

In fact, “small business owners are exuberant about the economy,” says Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), publishers of their own Small Business Optimism Index. “We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting research.”

What’s behind all this optimism?

Capitol One survey respondents point to rising consumer optimism being a nice boost to small business optimism.

Second, job creation plans increased by small businesses, NFIB says, meaning the labor market is showing signs of improvement. And the number of small business owners who said it’s a good time to expand also increased. “Hiring plans soared, primarily in construction, manufacturing and professional services,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

Finding qualified workers has been a persistent problem for landscape businesses and small businesses alike. At the end of 2017, it was the second most important problem facing small business owners, according to NFIB research; only taxes polled higher. Nearly half (45 percent) of small businesses answering the Capital One survey also list taxes as their top small business concern.

If tax relief happens, Duggan says “2018 is shaping up to be a great year for small businesses, workers and the economy.”

What do you think? What are your expectations for 2018? Let us know by sending a note to nwisniewski@grandviewmedia.com.

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Friday, 19 January 2018

Conserva Irrigation Offering Franchise Opportunities

The green industry saw a new addition to its franchise roster when Conserva Irrigation began offering franchise opportunities this past summer. The company was founded by Russ Jundt and partner Tom Olson in 2010. The two had previously operated an underground utility company that did some irrigation work for a time, but Jundt says they were discouraged by the water-wasting practices and lack of solid design principles they often saw in irrigation. Twelve years ago, the two also became the very first Mosquito Squad franchise in the country, and the benefits they saw from the franchise model (“It was like, ‘wow — systems!’” Jundt recalls) led them to believe that landscape irrigation would be a great fit for this type of approach.

“I did some research and found that there were no national irrigation franchises, which was curious because there are so many other franchise opportunities out there,” says Jundt. He also began to research new irrigation technologies and was pleased to see new water conservation technologies coming into the industry. So, in 2010, Conserva was founded and Jundt and Olson began planning what their franchise model would look like. The following year they also began actually testing their irrigation processes in practice, signing on clients and testing their water conservation methods, as well as their marketing messages, to prove they worked.

Finally, in 2014, some pilot locations were established in different parts of the country (the Midwest, the Northeast, later the Southeast) to see how irrigation practices and products might be different in different locations. “Just as importantly, we were looking at how our marketing message was received in other places,” says Jundt. Data was collected and the whole system was fine-tuned before, in June 2017, franchise agreements officially began to be signed.The growth has been rapid, with 33 territories licensed by the time the calendar turned to November. Some new franchisees have lawn care company owners looking to add irrigation as a new service; others have worked for irrigation companies and wanted to go out on their own; some have changed careers from corporate life because they wanted to own a business of their own. The one thing they have in common, says Jundt, is a commitment to the overall Conserva Irrigation mission of water conservation.

Another thing that appeals to those who are purchasing Conserva franchises is the opportunity for what Jundt calls “cooperatition” — the chance to collaborate with other franchisees and solve problems, while also pushing themselves and each other in terms of growth and success. Practically speaking, Conserva provides franchisees with a turnkey system for getting their businesses up and running, from a week-long initial training as well as follow-up visits and online guidance to a fully outfitted and wrapped van delivered to them to an aggressive marketing plan to a proprietary HindSite sales software system to negotiated irrigation product arrangements with Toro and SiteOne Landscape Supply. Perhaps most important is a signature “SES” rating system devised to help homeowners understand how much water their irrigation system is using and how much certain changes could save.

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Like A Boss: Keeping Pests Under Control

Aedes mosquito

Jay Dembeck

Photo: Rock Water Farms

Jay Dembeck, maintenance manager for Rock Water Farm in Aldie, Virginia, says that encouraging clients to treat their properties for mosquito and tick control is important not only to protect their families, but to protect RWF crews as well. When the company sends maintenance crews out to work on properties for long days — often working up close in mosquito and ticks’ habitats — they want to ensure their safety, too.

The company recently began making a stronger push for their organic tick and mosquito spray. Dembeck says that the Northern Virginia area is notorious for mosquitoes and ticks. In fact, one of the local counties ran a big campaign to educate residents on Lyme Disease. Loudoun County also created the Loudoun Lyme Disease Commission and adopted a 10-point action plan to mitigate the disease. These efforts were recognized as a model program by the Virginia Association of Counties. The County maintains a number of resources for the local community to learn more about the disease.

The region’s climate and geographical make-up has a lot to do with its conditions. There are pockets of woodlands intermixed with wetland protected areas. Ticks are usually found in more dry terrain and mosquitoes thrive around pockets of wetland area that cannot be developed because they are protected by the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. As a result, both types of insects are found throughout the area.

“The high concentration of pests in our region is a real problem,” Dembeck says. “That’s why it’s so important that clients are educated on the seriousness of these concerns. We were happy to see Loudoun County put together a great educational campaign and we also take on some of that responsibility for education.”

Rock Water Farm has written blog posts and shared one-on-one with clients about the dangers of these pests. Diseases like West Nile, Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Zika Virus are all real concerns that people need to be aware of, Dembeck says.

Of course, there are also concerns about the safety of doing perimeter control so Dembeck says education about their product is also important.“We use a product that is safe for families with pets and kids but that doesn’t mean we don’t get concerns or need to answer questions,” he says. “It’s important to educate the client.”

Getting more clients to spray for ticks and mosquitoes is not only beneficial to them and their families, but to Rock Water Farm, as well.

“When we have crews out there working in bushes on a property, they’re being exposed to ticks and mosquitoes,” Dembeck says. “We really like to see our clients taking steps to manage these pests on their properties as it protects them, and it protects us. It’s really a win-win all around.

Read more:

Our Like a Boss series highlights some common business challenges landscape professionals face and how they conquer them. Discuss your biggest business challenges on LawnSite’s Business Management forum.

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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Employers Flood The DOL With H-2B Visa Applications: This Week’s Industry News

Visa

Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Employers Flood the DOL with H-2B Visa Applications
Employers in the U.S. have already filed more visa applications for H-2B foreign guest workers to begin work this spring and summer than are available for the entire fiscal year, according to the Department of Labor (DOL), reports Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). On Jan. 1, the first day seasonal businesses could file for the visas, employers sent the DOL about 4,500 applications covering 81,600 jobs for work that begins between April and October, far exceeding the 33,000 H-2B visas available during that time. The H-2B visa program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary, low-skilled nonagricultural jobs, primarily in landscaping, forestry, hospitality and recreation. The cap has been met quickly in previous years, but the number of applications filed on the first day is “absolutely unprecedented,” said Kevin Lashus, a partner in the Austin, Texas office of law firm Fisher Broyles. “The demand will far, far exceed the cap,” he tells SHRM.

Massey Foundation Donates $3 Million to Performing Arts Center
Harvey and Carol Massey recently donated $3 million toward the construction of the second phase of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida. The gift is the couple’s third donation to the arts center and brings their total contribution to $5 million since 2009. To commemorate the gift, the arts center’s staircase will be named the “Harvey and Carol Massey Family Grand Staircase.” The $3 million gift is the single largest gift ever donated by the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation and helps close a financial gap in what the arts center must raise to complete construction of its Phase 2. Based in Orlando, Florida, Massey Services is the nation’s fifth largest pest prevention company and the largest privately held family-owned company in the industry with about 2,000 employees.

Greenworks Commercial Partners with Carswell Distributing
Greenworks Commercial and Carswell Distributing Company announced an exclusive partnership whereby Carswell and Carswell OEI will provide distribution, logistics, service and sales support for both the Greenworks Commercial 82-Volt line of tools and the newly launched Greenworks Elite 40-Volt line of tools, among independent dealers in 13 states (including Texas and Oklahoma) in the U.S. Southeast.

Study Predicts More Battery Power, Chinese Products
Three of the main takeaways of the Freedonia Group Global Power Lawn & Garden Equipment Study, made available for sale this past December, are:

  1. Demand for outdoor lawn and garden equipment, thanks to the large number of golf courses and sports parks, and also strong demand for lawn care, remains concentrated in North America and Western Europe.
  2. China will account for an increased share of global output lawn and garden products, especially in the low-end product segments where their cost efficiency provides a significant advantage. However, established producers in North America and Western Europe will remain the leaders in supply of riding mowers and other high-end products.
  3. Improving battery technology leading to increased power and longer run times will increase demand for battery-powered equipment. Rising demand for robotic mowers, which typically rely on battery power, will also boost sales.

NHLA Train the Trainer Program Set for Feb. 4-7
The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA) will be offering its Train the Trainer program entirely in Spanish for the first time in February 2018. The program will take place February 4-7 in Waldorf, Maryland, and will be taught by NHLA President Pam Berrios. Participation in the program is limited due to the individualized attention provided. The $1,400 registration fee ($1,200 for NHLA members) includes training materials and supplies, lodging, meals and round-trip ground transportation from and to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Landscape Workshop Acquires Henkel Denmark in Kentucky
Landscape Workshop, based in Birmingham, Alabama, added its ninth branch location in the U.S. Southeast with its recent acquisition of Henkel Denmark in Lexington, Kentucky. Founders Bill Henkel and Gordon Denmark will both stay on with their central Kentucky company that will be rebranded as Landscape Workshop. Denmark will be general manager of Lexington Maintenance and Henkel general manager of Lexington Construction.

SiteOne Launches Pro-Trade
SiteOne Landscape Supply has announced the launch and exclusive distribution of Pro-Trade Lighting products, a line of professional-grade LED lamps and lighting solutions for landscape contractors. The line features durable brass fixtures with a lifetime warranty and aluminum fixtures backed by a five-year warranty. Fixtures are available with or without lamps installed and aluminum fixtures are available in two color options – bronze and black.

Harvest Group Announces Monthly Webinars For 2018
Industry surveys indicate the landscape industry had a decent year in 2017, with many regions of the country experiencing double-digit growth. The Harvest Group has announced its 2018 webinar series schedule. Hosted by The Harvest Group – Bill Arman; Ed Laflamme, CLP; Steve Cesare, Ph.D.; Fred Haskett, LICM: Alison Hoffman and Cindy Code – the webinars feature proven, easy-to-apply management and growth strategies learned from years managing and growing landscape businesses. All webinars run from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST.

  • January 29: How to Pay Your People: Compensation programs that motivate and foster loyalty. Presenters: Steve Cesare and Fred Haskett
  • February 19: Owners’ Survival Guide: A checklist of “elephant in the room subjects” that need to be addressed to help owners balance their personal and business lives. Presenters: Fred Haskett and Ed Laflamme
  • March 19: The Secret to Successful Selling: Proven sales techniques to close more sales, and make more money. Presenters: Ed Laflamme and Kelly Haskett
  • April 23: Job Sequencing for Greater Profits: Simple processes to become more efficient and profitable. Presenters: Fred Haskett and Bill Arman
  • June 18: Quality Counts! Learn how the Harvest Q.C. Program produces higher quality, greater profits and loyal clients. Presenters: Bill Arman and Ed Laflamme
  • July 23: Top 7 Best Practices: What all Companies Should Know. Identify practices that lead to greater profits and a more valuable company. Presenters: Fred Haskett and Bill Arman
  • August 20: The Ultimate Account Manager. Learn what account managers need to do to keep your clients happy and make more money! Presenters: Fred Haskett, Ed Laflamme and Bill Arman
  • September 17: Preparing Your Company for Sale. Learn what it takes to make your company more valuable and more saleable. Presenters: Alison Hoffman and Ed Laflamme
  • October 29: Building Loyalty Programs for Team Members. Ideas and programs to motivate and retain key employees. Presenters: Ed Laflamme and Bill Arman

EquipmentWatch Announces Finalists for 2018 Highest Retained Value Awards
EquipmentWatch has announced the finalists for the third-annual Highest Retained Value Awards. The awards recognize manufacturers in 30 equipment categories — spanning the construction, agricultural and lift/access manufacturing sectors — for products that show the highest retained value over the last five years.  New categories for 2018 include corn headers in the agricultural sector and tandem compactors in the construction sector. Winners will be announced in conjunction with World of Concrete 2018, held in Las Vegas January 23-26, 2018.

 

People In The News:

The Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (VNLA) recently welcomed Shellie Archer of Richmond, Virginia, as the association’s new executive director. Archer began her career at Philip Morris USA and its parent company, Altria Group. Following those experiences, she ran her own consulting firm. Archer’s appointment is part of a strategic leadership succession plan put in place following previous Executive Director Jeff Miller’s retirement announcement following 30 years of service to the Association. Miller will remain with VNLA in an advisory role through June 2018 to assist with the shift in leadership and ensure a seamless transition. To further represent and support our members, the VNLA’s office is now centrally located in Richmond, Virginia.

Profile Products, Buffalo Grove, Illinois, appointed Jim Tanner as president and chief executive officer. Tanner took over for outgoing CEO John A. Schoch Jr., who is transitioning to executive chairman and will remain active in manufacturing operations. Tanner has more than 20 years experience with the company, holding executive sales and marketing positions. Most recently he served as president and chief operating officer.

Ruppert Landscape, Laytonsville, Maryland, promoted Rob Groves to the position of branch manager in our northern Richmond landscape management branch. Groves has over 15 years of green industry experience and holds a degree in ornamental horticulture from Pennsylvania College of Technology. He has been with the company for more than 10 years.

Ron Coleman, owner of Greenscapes in Ohio won a trip for two to the Washington, D.C., MLB All Star game next July, announced the website EchoMeansBusiness.com. EMB is a web portal, for professionals by professionals, sponsored by ECHO Inc. ECHOMeansBusiness.com is a resource for all grounds professionals to build the community and network to grow individual greenscape businesses. EMB was launched in April of 2017 with the help of the User Advisory Group (UAG).

Environmental Science, a business unit of Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced that Jose Milan has been appointed Turf & Ornamentals Global Market Manager. In this role, Milan will have a global focus on delivering exceptional Bayer brand experience for customers in the golf course management, lawn & landscape and production ornamentals markets around the world.

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2018 Product Roundup: Riding, Stand-On, Walk-Behind Mowers

How To Handle Client Schedules

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Altoz
TRX
Released in 2017, the TRX is still new to the market and the industry’s first tracked zero-turn mower. TRX provides patent-pending technology for commercial us on sloped, wet and rough terrain, the company says. The TRX has the options of 61- or 66-inch finish-cut or rough-cut mower decks, Kohler Command Pro EFI 33-horsepower or Vanguard EFI 37-horsepower engines.
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Bad Boy
Maverick series
The Maverick series are commercial- grade mowers from Bad Boy with an Integrated Drive System featuring the EZ-Ride System. Each mower has a solid steel, all-welded and fabricated frame and deck. The fully adjustable handles on the steering help provide operator comfort with the SteerTek Precision Drive.

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BOB-CAT
21-inch commercial walk-behind mower
BOB-CAT’s new 21-inch commercial walk-behind mower, powered with a 179cc Kawasaki FJ180V KAI Series engine, uses a high-vacuum, cast aluminum deck to maximize airflow and grass lift. Standard features include a high-lift Marbain steel blade, 2.5-bushel nylon mesh grass catcher with dust liner and mulch plug. A 3-speed rear wheel drive transmission features steel cut gears, an internal spring clutch and full ball bearing construction.
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Bradley Mowers
52-inch stand-on mower
The 52-inch stand-on mower from Bradley features a 26-horsepower Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine with Donaldson Air Filter. It also has responsive zero-turn controls and a heavy-duty fabricated steel frame with floating deck with a Hydro-Gear ZT3400 hydro drive system.

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Cub Cadet
Hydro Walk
The new Cub Cadet Hydro Walk professional mower will minimize maintenance and maximize performance, according to the company. It features a strong beam and control center, and maintenance-free spindle assemblies that can withstand demanding jobs while delivering a precise cut, the company says. The machine will be available at Cub Cadet dealerships in spring 2018.
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Dixie Chopper
Eagle series
The new Eagle series includes 10 different models. For the Eagle, contractors can choose from either a 27-horsepower Kawasaki FX or a 27-horsepower Kohler Command EFI engine. It is also offered with either a 54- or 60-inch cutting deck. The Eagle HP offers more power with a range of engine options of up to 35 horsepower, and either 60-, 66- or 72-inch cutting decks.

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Exmark
RED Technology
Exmark has launched the next generation of its patented RED Technology. Available on select 2018 Lazer Z S-Series, Lazer Z X-Series and Lazer Z Diesel models, RED Technology delivers increased fuel efficiency, ease of use and long-term durability, according to the company. An easyto- use console-mounted LCD monitor screen offers enhanced monitoring of vital mower functions, with reporting of operating and property statistics, maintenance reminders and troubleshooting information, the company says.
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Ferris
SRS Z3X
Features of Briggs & Stratton’s new Ferris SRS Z3X (Soft Ride Stand-on) include a patent-pending front axle, adjustable operator platform, anti-scape wheels and 24-inch rear drive wheels. The SRS Z3X mower includes a standard-locking 4-position speed control with either a 61-inch or 72-inch mower deck. It is available with either a 37-gross-horsepower 992cc Vanguard BIG BLOCK EFI engine with Oil Guard or a 29.5-gross-horsepower 852cc Kawasaki FX850 EFI engine.

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Grasshopper
900D
The new 900D 1.3L MaxTorque diesel mower is Tier 4 Final-compliant and has a 1.3L, 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled diesel engine with an advanced combustion system. The mower comes with choices of either a 61- or 72-inch DuraMax decks powered with a splined PTO shaft. Standard features include a combination electronic fuel gauge and a digital hour meter.
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Gravely
Pro-Walk
The Pro-Walk commercial walk-behind mower has been redesigned for 2018 with Gravely’s premium X-Factor II Deck, a 10-inch gauge, all-steel welded deck. The redesign includes new, intuitive steering controls and the Hydro-Gear ZT-2800 transmission, the company says. Larger 20-inch rear tires help operators overcome challenging mowing conditions with less turf damage, according to the company.

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Honda
HRC
The Honda HRC commercial mower series features three models. With a Honda OHV commercial grade engine, each mower has eight cutting positions and a mowing capability of 0.75 inch to 4 inches in cutting height. Each mower has 9-inch wheels and a heavy duty 16-gauge steel, 21-inch deck.
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Husqvarna
V548 and V554
Husqvarna offers its first-ever commercial stand-on mower series with its V548 and V554 models. Available with a 48- or 54-inch commercial ClearCut deck, the mowers provide excellent grass cutting and management, the company says. The heavy-duty construction and industrial- strength drive systems deliver long-lasting operation, backed by Husqvarna’s industry-leading fiveyear limited commercial warranty, according to the company.

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Hustler Turf
Kohler 7500 Series
Beginning with the 2018 model year, the Kohler 7500 Series EFI engine will be available on select models of the Hustler FasTrak. Benefits include quick and easy starting, more power and enhanced fuel efficiency, the company says. The Hustler Super Z and Super Z HyperDrive mowers will feature the new enhanced VX4 deck. Now constructed with heavy 7-gauge steel, the deck will also feature a reinforced spindle area, a formed steel bump bar on the leading edge, commercial anti-scalp wheel with internal spacer and additional upgrades.
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Jacobsen
ZT900 and ZT1000
The new Jacobsen ZT900 and ZT1000 zero-turn mowers are available with a 27-horsepower Kawasaki engine or a fuel-efficient alternative from Kohler. They also feature a 54- or 60-inch width of cut and can reach ground speeds of up to 12 mph. Both models feature the InCommandTM console with keyless password protected ignition and SoftStart clutch for smoother clutch engagement.

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John Deere
Z945M and Z955M ZTrak
The Z945M and Z955M ZTrak models from John Deere offer zero-turn mowers that have EFI engines with higher horsepower for increased fuel efficiency and power in varied mowing conditions. Boasting 27-horsepower and 29-horsepower engines, the Z945M and Z955M machines are equipped with several features to improve productivity and comfort, including multiple deck offerings and an optional premium suspension seat, the company says.
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Kubota
21-inch commercial walk-behind mowers
Kubota’s new 21-inch commercial walk-behind mowers are available with a blade brake clutch in the WGC6-21 model and with a zone start option in the WG6-21 model. Both models feature a cast aluminum deck with steel edge guards, and cast aluminum wheels with dual ball bearings and replaceable wide rubber tires, a 3-speed heavy-duty transmission and the Kawasaki FJ180 commercial duty engine.

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Mean Green
ReVolt
Mean Green has a growing line of battery-powered mowers, including the ReVolt walk-behind model. This quiet dual-drive unit features a low center of gravity for positive control even on slopes with or without a sulky, the company says. It’s available in 48 or 52-inch-cut with the option of up to two powerful Green Monster battery packs. The unit’s powerful battery packs hover only 8 inches above the ground.
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Michelin Tweel Technologies
26-inch zero-turn radius (ZTR) mower
Michelin Tweel Technologies, a division of Michelin North America, Inc., offers a new 26-inch zero-turn radius (ZTR) mower size for four-bolt wheel-pattern hubs; a new, 18-inch stand-on mower size for a 2018 John Deere model; a new partnership with Sunbelt Outdoor Products for MICHELIN X TWEELTURF replacement tires; and the addition of Ag-Pro as a distributor for X TWEEL TURF products.

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Scag Power Equipment
V-Ride II stand-on mower
Scag’s new V-Ride II stand-on mower is re-engineered with a more compact stance, ultra-smooth drive controls, easy deck lift and cutting height adjustment, a spacious operator platform with coil suspension and Tiger Eye Advanced Monitoring System (most models), according to the company. The V-Ride II can achieve ground speeds up to 10.5 mph, depending on the model, and is available with 48-, 52- or 61-inch Velocity Plus or 36-inch Advantage cutter deck.
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Spartan Mowers
Spartan CAT Diesel SRT HD
The new Spartan CAT Diesel SRT HD comes standard with a front receiver hitch and a Direct Drive Spiral Gearbox for power and efficiency. The mower length and distribution combined with the CAT engine make the machine easier to maneuver and use on hills, according to the company.

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Toro
Z Master 7500-D
The new Toro Z Master 7500-D Series are diesel-powered commercial zero-turn mowers. They feature side and rear discharge commercial cutting decks ranging from 60 inches to 96 inches for maximum productivity. The adjustable wing decks of the 96-inch model flex up and down to hug the contours of the terrain for a smooth and consistent cut. The mowers are powered by a tier-4, four-cylinder, 1.6-liter, 37-horsepower, Yanmar diesel engine.
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Walker Mowers
H24d
The H24d from Walker Mowers features a Kohler KDW1003 diesel engine with 1028 cubic centimeters of displacement. The machine provides consistent power and smooth, quiet operation with a self-cleaning radiator, 9.4-gallon fuel capacity and Grammer suspension seat allow for comfortable extended operation. The standard utility bed and optional add-ons make the mower a versatile, year-round performer.

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Worldlawn
King Cobra
The King Cobra from Worldlawn comes as a 52- or 60-inch commercial, riding mower with zero-turn radius. Available in four models, the mower can be powered by Kohler EFI or Kawasaki FX series engines. It features a single point height setting with four fine adjustments and Hydro-Gear ZT5400 transmissions.
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WORX
WORX 20V 13-inch mower
The new WORX 20V 13-inch mower with Intellicut is ideal for small areas. This compact mower is less than half the weight of a conventional mower, collapses for easy storage and is powered by two removable, 20V MAX 4.0 Ah batteries. The compact mower features two-step electric starting with starting levers on either side of the handle.

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Wright
King Cobra
Wright Manufacturing’s new Stander X Gen 2 mower has more than a dozen new features than the Stander X, including: an 8-gallon fuel tank for 45 more capacity, push-button deck height adjustment lever, a 3-inch wider platform and larger frame tubes. The Stander X Gen 2 is available with AERO CORE deck widths of 48, 52 and 61 inches and engines ranging from 22 to 24 horsepower. The Stander X’s low center of gravity and large wheels optimize stability, even on hillsides.

 

 

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