Outdoor Power Equipment

April 2017

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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Page 22 of 43

www.outdoorpowerequipment.com OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT APRIL 2017 23 c o n s t a n t l y looking into i n n o v a t i v e 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 BOB-CAT works alongside professional landscapers of various fl eet sizes to understand not only their requirements of the job, but also any potential desires. Understanding how and why they work their terrains is just as important as what they do. Professional landscapers' insights are the key in providing direction in how we design and build our mowers. — Ron Scheffl er, product manager, BOB-CAT We went beyond our standard robust product development process and engaged 100 landscapers to put the new PRO Z mowers to test. For 16 weeks during the heat of the season, they pushed these mowers to their limits. The landscapers provided weekly feedback during this time that informed our fi nal design. No stone was left unturned — everything from cup holders to engine selection was reviewed, analyzed, and tested before making into the fi nal PRO Z lineup. After thousands of hours on the job, these landscapers proved the PRO Z Series could handle the daily demands of serious professionals. — Allen Baird, professional product manager, Cub Cadet We get feedback from commercial cutters and also from our dealers through the commercial cutters. We take this into consid- eration when developing or refreshing existing commercial units. — Brad Unruh, director of product strategy, Excel Industries (Hustler) PHOTO PROVIDED BY STEINER

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