As you prepare for the new season, check out the latest lawn care equipment and products.
By Jennifer M. Holloway
While snow, ice and middle-of-the-night plowing jobs may be a burden now, spring is not far away—and new lawn care equipment and products are being introduced at every turn. This year companies are definitely not holding back when it comes to staple machines, like mowers. From brand new lines to fine-tuning proven standards, manufacturers have spared no effort in designing machines that combine efficiency, productivity and comfort. Improvements for chemicals—both synthetic and organic—have also been made.
Ever mindful to utilize resources more efficiently, the most successful landscapers are on the lookout for innovative products. “While our company has plans for mower purchases this spring,” says Ben Pamplin, executive vice president and COO of TLC Landscaper of the Year Finalist, Heart of Texas Landscape & Irrigation, Belton, Texas, “I’m also looking for advances on the chemical side of the industry that will prove useful in cutting back on labor costs.”
Manufacturers of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides continue to experiment with new formulations to do just that by extending time between applications and finding combinations that work regardless of extraneous variables like weather and equipment requirements.
Equipment to apply chemicals is also advancing with more diverse options available for spreader/sprayers, from zero-turn models to those with increased capacities.
If winter is becoming a nuisance, take a break and begin planning some of those spring equipment purchases. The snow can wait.
Keeping Up a Classic
The Dixie Chopper Classic has carefully evolved from the company’s initial zero-turn design, featuring a quad loop hydraulic system, performance filters and an operator controlled discharge chute (OCDC) for heavy-duty mowing needs. Engines range from 27-33 hp with decks available in 50, 60 and 72 inches. Other features include a new retractable seatbelt, new floor mat and engine guard.
New Ferris Lineup Features Yanmar Engines
The Ferris IS 2500Z mid-mount ZTR mower line for 2011 includes three models featuring Yanmar 3-cylinder, in-line diesel engines with cast iron blocks: a 20-hp with 52-inch iCD cutting system, a 24-hp with 61-inch iCD cutting system and a 24-hp with 52-inch iCD cutting system. With a top speed of 10 mph, operators can mow up to 5 acres per hour.
Steering Wheel Replaces Lap Bar
The Cub Cadet Z-Force S commercial ZTR features Synchro Steer technology, which replaces the lap bar with a steering wheel and offers steerable front wheels for increased stability and control. Offered with a 22- or 25-hp Kohler Command V-Twin engine, the Z-Force S has ground speeds up to 8.5 mph and uses a fabricated, slope-nose cutting deck in 48- or 60-inch widths.
Building on Success
Husqvarna’s P-ZT line of zero turn mowers borrows key attributes from the PZ line, like a commercial duty chassis and heavy-duty front casters. It features a 2- by 3-inch tube style frame and a cutting deck with ¼-inch thick top deck area for added structure and spindle support. The deck also includes heavy-duty scalp roller mounts and a rubber discharge shield. Pneumatic tires come standard; flat-free versions are optional.
Grasshopper Introduces V-Series
The latest mower in Grasshopper’s new line, the V-Series, is the 226V MidMount. Featuring a 26-hp Professional Series V-Twin engine, the Model 226V includes an advanced debris management system, 12-gallon fuel capacity and forward mowing speeds up to 9 mph. Other highlights include a fabricated 5 ½-inch deep cutting deck with optional Down Discharge mulching and PowerVac capability and a Shock Impact Reduction System with shock-absorbing footrest.
Makes the Cut for Commercial Work
The ZTi zero-turn mower from Land Pride works well in commercial applications, and offers features such as low center of gravity, ample legroom and arm extensions. The mower is available with 54- and 60-inch decks, has 1- to 5-inch cutting height in ¼-inch increments, four anti-scalp rollers, two hydraulic reservoirs and a choice of Honda, Kawasaki or Briggs & Stratton engines.
The new 34-inch HomePro mower from Billy Goat is ideal for residential properties and designed to be compact, leaving more room in your trailer or equipment garage. The HP3400 features a deck with a two-blade cutting system, and the unit is adjustable in both the front and the rear. Available with optional grass catcher or mulch kit.
Servicing is a Snap
The S200x zero-turn mower from Snapper Pro is available in a 25- or 27-hp Kawasaki or 27-hp Kohler engine with 61-inch cutting width or a 32-hp Vanguard Big Block engine with 72-inch cutting width. All models feature a foot-operated deck lift for adjusting cutting height and two-stage industrial air-cleaner. The seat flips forward for access to all major components, and all high-pressure hoses are wrapped in industrial strength material to contain leaks.
Spray All Types of Liquids
The S15 Spray-Pro ground-driven push sprayer is a fully capable, smaller version of Earthway Products’ S25 Spray-Pro Mark III. The S15 is designed for spraying all types of liquids including ice control products, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Use it for areas where your boom sprayer won’t go.
Ride-On Spreaders and Sprayers
Ground Logic manufactures a line of ride-on spreading and spraying equipment that feature Honda engines and 100-percent stainless steel construction. Spreading capacities range from 120 to 220 pounds with spraying capacities from 12 to 16 gallons. The spray rate can be adjusted from 1/8 to ½ gallon per 1,000 square feet.
Zero-Turn Spreader/Sprayers & Aerators
LT Rich Products’ zero turn spreader/sprayer line includes the Z-Max, with a 50-gallon liquid capacity and 300-pound granular capacity, while the Junior 36 offers 18 gallons and 200 pounds, respectively. The line of Z-Plug aerators and attachments help operators eliminate the intensive labor associated with aerating. All machines are customizable to the operator’s specific needs.
Top of Class Spreader
The Earth & Turf MultiSpread Model 220 is a pull-type, two-wheel drive topdresser spreader with a capacity of 15 cubic feet and a spread width of up to 60 inches. It was manufactured to replace the Model 200. The 220 spreads a variety of materials: topdressing for lawns, athletic fields, infield mix for baseball infields, chips on pathways and salt-sand or grit on sidewalks and driveways.
One Application Works for Six Months
“Spread it & Forget it” controlled-release fertilizer from Agrium is powered by Duration CR to feed lawns and professional turf for six months or more with just one application. The nutrient release of the fertilizer isn’t dependent on temperature, and not affected by rainfall or irrigation, while the membrane coating is durable enough to withstand the rough handling of spreaders and mowers.
Weed-Free Turf with Fewer Odors
PBI/Gordon introduces Trimec 1000 Low Odor Broadleaf Herbicide, which contains a formula combination that gives the herbicide a unique ability to resist crystallization for more complete plant absorption. Due to the low odor, the product is well suited for public areas. It can be used in most cool-season and warm-season turfgrass areas.
Toro has added a propane-powered mower to its Z Master G3 Series. The unit features a 29-hp Kawasaki engine with ground speeds up to 11.5 mph. The fuel tank holds 43.5 lbs of liquid propane mounted behind the seat for better deck and drive tire visibility. Available with 60- or 72-inch deck with cutting height from 1 to 5 ½ inches.
New Walk-Behind Line
John Deere’s WG and WH Series of commercial walk-behind mowers feature six new models with gear or hydrostatic transmission, ranging from 16 to 20 horsepower. Gear models have 7-gauge fabricated decks and 5-speed transmission, while hydro models include 7-gauge fabricated floating decks and twin loop handle controls with front and rear index bars. All models available with flat free tires.
Improved Cutting Quality
Ventrac’s side discharge HM & HP mower decks are designed for the 4000 series tractors to provide a better quality of cut as more grass is moved efficiently through the deck tunnel. All models offer full-width rear rollers with large pneumatic front swivel caster tires. The HP deck is a 72-inch mower with a left offset of 6.5 inches for mowing along ditches, ponds and trimming near obstacles.
Versatile Task Master
The Steiner 430 Max Articulating Tractor has full-time 4-wheel drive, an articulated frame, hydrostatic transmission and power steering. Air and liquid-cooled engines range in output from 21- to 33-hp, and more than
20 Quick-Hitch lawn, yard and grounds care attachments—from mower decks and scoops to blowers and plows—are available to increase the tractor’s productivity.