The show lowdown

The show lowdown

Fuel education and new products were some of the highlights at the 2013 GIE+EXPO and HNA.

November 5, 2013

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute unveiled the first phase of its Look Before You Pump education campaign aimed at alerting consumers to the danger of misfueling small engines with E15 gasoline.

The campaign starts the conversation with dealers and landscape contractors about the fuel that can contain more than 10 percent ethanol, says Kris Kiser, OPEI’s president and CEO. The initial phase includes educational materials for dealers and contractors, who will be informed enough to talk with consumers about the available fueling options.

OPEI will also be pushing the campaign out via other equipment associations, like boats and snowmobiles. They are moving to work with big box retailers as well to get the word out.

“The fact is, it’s all about the consumer,” says Todd Teske, CEO of Briggs and Stratton and chairman of OPEI, “delivering the value to them that they paid for.”

Dealers and landscape contractors can use the Look Before You Pump web portal to access educational materials at

HNA. More than 1,500 hardscape contractors and distributors attended the 7th annual Hardscape North America at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. HNA also attracted 44 new exhibiting companies for 2013.
Fred Adams, Jr., chair of the HNA Steering Special Committee and president of Fred Adams Paving Company, said, “I am excited about the new events at the show which included a new Hardscape Installer Championship, a Distributor/Dealer Reception and a new HNA Humanitarian Project Award.”

Hardscape contractors, as well as landscape contractors who participated in GIE+EXPO, which was co-located with HNA, attended live HNA demonstrations, educational sessions and workshops to learn how to add hardscape construction or improve their skills and profitability.

A new feature this year – the HNA Installer Championship – was an attraction at the 19-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area. Eight teams competed in three rounds, with Decorative Paving Co., of Loveland, Ohio, emerging as the champion.Decorative Paving received $1,000, an iQ360 14-inch masonry saw with fully integrated dust collection plus accessories, a trophy and bragging rights for a year. The runner up, Cooper Pavers of Mannington, N.J., took home $400, an accessorized iQ360 and a trophy.

The HNA Hardscape Project Awards, which were celebrated during a breakfast on Oct. 25, drew a record 115 entries. Sponsored by Belgard and Ewing Hardscape Products, there were 20 awards presented and 18 honorable mentions. A highlight of this year’s ceremony was the presentation of the first-ever HNA Humanitarian Project Award. Heart of Texas Landscape and Irrigation, owned by Ben Pamplin in Belton, Texas, won the award for their backyard makeover for the Considine family of Nolanville, Texas.

John Considine is serving his third deployment in Afghanistan while his wife, Marily, has been battling breast cancer, raising their two children and dealing with the results of a backyard fire. The makeover was featured for Mother’s Day on NBC’s Today Show.

This year the Distributor Program, themed “What’s the Big Idea?,” was geared towards helping dealers and distributors jumpstart their businesses through a fast-paced program featuring industry experts. Following the program, participants were invited onto the show floor for the Dealer/Distributor Day, during which exhibitors and dealers had one-on-one networking time to discuss products and sales techniques.

Still together. Hardscape North America (HNA) and GIE+EXPO jointly announced that HNA will again co-locate with GIE+EXPO in Louisville through 2016.

“The presence of HNA offers expanded educational and business growth opportunities to the thousands of lawn and landscape professionals who attend GIE+EXPO,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “And, the availability of GIE+EXPO provides additional attractions for the design/build contractors, distributors, dealers, architects and engineers that have regularly attended Hardscape North America.”

“The ICPI is excited about extending our partnership between GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America through 2016,” said Charles McGrath, ICPI’s executive director. “Co-locating with GIE+EXPO brings together landscape and hardscape. It’s a natural fit. This partnership has resulted in positive growth for the show and greater return on investment for exhibitors as well as attendees.”

New products

Ariens Co.

Ariens Co. introduced the new Path Pro single-stage snowthrower, a light weight compact snowthrower designed to be durable enough for use by professional snow removal crews.

The Path Pro features a 21-inch clearing width and Ariens AX engines in 136cc or 208cc displacement options, and can throw snow up to 35 feet, with an option for chute rotation. It weighs in as the smallest snowthrower in the Ariens line, designed to be used by pros or homeowners.

It also features a foldable, ergonomic handle, commercial-duty housing, reinforced rubber augers and a protective guard to shield engine components. It comes in at an entry price of $399.


Caterpillar introduced three new Cat D Series Compact Track Loaders and three new Cat D Series Multi Terrain Loaders as well as two updated D Series Compact Track Loaders. The new and updated machines feature a completely new cab with first-in-class designs that enhance operator comfort and control, new lift arm design for improved sight lines, and increased engine performance for greater productivity. The six new D Series models are replacements for their B3, C and C2 Series predecessors.

IQ Power Tools

The PC912 is IQ Power Tools’ new Dustless Power Cutter, capable of dry-cutting concrete and masonry products while capturing up to 90 percent of the dust.

Its 93cc, 6 HP engine runs with an integrated dust collection system made of 6 square feet of silica formulated filter media, providing more than 800 square inches of surface area to trap hazardous dust on the job. The unit uses a 1.5 HP vacuum fan, and can hold as much as 5 pounds of dust before emptying. The dust is collected with a Quick Spin Filter Cleaning System under the filter and can be released through a dump door without powering down.
The cutter runs at 35 pounds.


JCB unveiled to the North American market for the first time at the 2013 GIE+EXPO the 8026 CTS mini excavator. The 2.7-ton 8026, also previewed internationally at Intermat 2012 and introduced to the European market at the 2013 JCB Global Dealer Conference, provides a conventional tail swing (CTS) option that complements the similarly sized JCB 8025 zero tail swing excavator (ZTS).

The new excavator features short pitch tracks and auto kick-down, with an 11 percent increase in travel speed. It also has a new valve block with 17 percent longer spool stroke for increased precision in control, and a redesigned undercarriage for durability and stability with a swing turret that is 1.3 inches lower.
The 8026 runs on a three-cylinder, 24hp engine, driving a 'Nachi' variable displacement hydraulic pump.

John Deere

John Deere introduced two commercial 61-inch hydraulic walk-behind mowers. Available with either pistol grip or twin loop controls, the walk-behind mowers are designed for landscape contractors who need larger width units to efficiently maintain their contracted properties.

Landscape contractors will be able to purchase a new piece of John Deere equipment with a dealer-installed propane kit. The kit is designed and manufactured by EnviroGard, and is available for John Deere ZTrak zero-turn mowers, QuikTra stand-on mowers, and commercial walk-behind mowers.

Mean Green Mowers

Joe Conrad, owner of Mean Green Mowers, showed off the new Stalker mower, the newest in his line of lithium-powered commercial mowers. The 48-volt, 24 HP “STand on wALK behind mowER” is designed to run quietly and still have the power to tackle inclines.

It comes in 48- and 52-inch floating decks, each powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries that can run the mower for 2 and 1.8 hours on a charge from one battery, respectively. It also boasts the ability to provide auxiliary power from a 110-volt source, and even has a USB port near the controls to power a phone or mp3 player while mowing.

It’s built from a 7 gauge steel chassis and welded steel deck, with lightening holes to keep the weight down and provide a low center of gravity while cutting at a 5-inch height.

The Stalker runs at 76 decibels, about half as loud as a gas engine, and releases zero emissions. Each battery recharges in two hours to overnight, and has been tested to hold its capacity for 1,500 charging cycles.

The mower is available with a night camouflage pattern, black or green finish.