Landscape & Irrigation

March 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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12 March 2017 Landscape and Irrigation As in past years, lawn mower reliability, and being easy and inexpensive to maintain, continue to be extremely important issues for landscape professionals. In addition, this segment is focused on how to get the most value from their lawn mower model — or fl eet — investment while helping to effectively complete outdoor landscaping maintenance and projects. Because these trends tend to drive buying habits, Honda places durability, reliability and low cost of ownership at the top of the list for new design attributes for its lawnmower lineup. — Elisha Lipscomb, Honda Power Equipment, senior marketing strategist, lawn & garden Ergonomics are becoming more important as professionals expect comfort in addition to performance. We've addressed this with a new suspension seat, which features deep cushions and mechanically adjustable suspension with elastomeric vibration control (EVC) to reduce operator fatigue during long working hours. Productivity is also paramount to professionals, so we use the latest techniques and technologies to maximize the cutting deck performance of each of our mowers. — Giovanni Crespi, director of regional product management of Husqvarna North America From a market trend perspective, uptime, ride quality and effi ciency remain top of mind for our customers. We are constantly looking into innovative design features, new technology, and product and service solutions to help our customers increase their uptime. One solution is the Michelin X Tweel Turf, which virtually eliminates fl ats, which eliminates downtime from having to change tires. Another solution is the John Deere Neverstop Services and Support, a comprehensive set of solutions offered by John Deere dealers, including a full line of commercial-grade products, genuine John Deere and aftermarket parts, service and support, money-saving rewards, and special fi nance options. This includes our Parts OnSite, same-day and next-day parts, mower loaner program, leasing and fl exible fi nancing, and GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards. — Ruben Pena, product marketing manager, zero- turn mower, John Deere The overall market is healthy and growing. The housing market is strong, and landscape professionals are always getting more sophisticated in terms of running their operations effi ciently and looking forward to technology advancements such as fl eet monitoring and telematics to reduce downtime and monitor effi ciency to improve their overall profi tability. Because gas prices are low right now, effi ciency and quality of cut are the two main purchase drivers for landscape customers. In addition, commercial customers are looking for durability and performance. Kubota is known for its legendary quality, durability and performance. We started with diesel mowers and now we offer a complete range of gasoline engine mowers with the same features that customers have always expected and appreciated from Kubota. — Rajesh Joshi, Kubota product marketing director, turf What we've seen and what we want to accomplish with our tractors and attachments are value and versatility. We fi nd that people are willing to spend their money on something a little more durable, powerful and higher quality, and put their trust in it. Not only that, but rather than have several machines that do specialized tasks, a Steiner tractor does it all. For a business owner, there's a lot of value in that, and it's something they can build on as their business grows. — Craig Rohde, marketing manager for Schiller Grounds Care (Steiner) We've witnessed increased commercial expectations. With the demand for high reliability and low cost of operation, we see mowers evolving into higher-performance machines that are more compact with added power, less weight and better maneuverability. This matches the needs of more complex landscaping with more intricate hardscapes and water management berms. — Ed Wright, director of research and development, Wright Manufacturing L&I: What types of feedback do you receive from landscape professionals? And how are the insights and comments from professionals factored into your commercial mower design and manufacturing? At Gravely, employees working in all aspects of our company are constantly listening to landscape professionals. We have a team of business development managers who are tasked with fi nding good landscape contractors who are willing to provide us with honest feedback about our equipment. This team works with landscape professionals day after day and reports back to our corporate headquarters with the information we need to improve. That endeavor alone has been huge in helping all of our departments understand the audience we're creating this equipment for; and since listening intently to them, we've made some big improvements and changes. In addition to that, we also know that our dealer base has some great insight into the needs of landscape professionals, what our equipment is doing to help them, and what our competition is doing. So, we use all of that information to determine how our efforts can make their lives easier and their businesses more profi table. — Matt Medden, Ariens Company VP of marketing P HO T O P RO VI DED B Y H U S Q V A R N A SPECIAL FEATURE

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