GIE+EXPO is the largest Lawn & Garden Equipment Show in the U.S.
GIE+EXPO takes place each fall in Louisville, Kentucky, with over 700,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibition and hands-on demonstration areas. The show also has educational classes for dealers and mechanics.
It’s a huge show! This year it was a lot bigger and busier – more than one person can cover. I’ll go over what I saw related to TodaysMower in this article. If you would like to read about the new items for snow removal I have an article over on MovingSnow.
GIE-EXPO is for: “Outdoor power equipment, distributed through dealers, retailers and distributors for consumer, professional and rental use; Lawn and garden products/outdoor leisure items, distributed through home centers, dealers and retailers; Light construction and landscape equipment used by general contractors, landscapers, golf course superintendents and parks & recreation crews.”
In reality today GIE+EXPO is a show primarily for lawn equipment dealers and lawn/landscape contractors. So there is really very little for the residential retail market at the show. Yes, the large brands like Ariens, Toro and Husqvarna show a few of their residential products but for the most part retail brands like Troy-Bilt and Craftsman don’t show their products here. I always attend the show as a Dealer/Landscaper instead of “the Press.” This allows me to interact with the shows participants in a more natural way instead of the “corporate view” many companies give the press corps.
Besides a meet-up with dealers it’s a place for the Brands to showcase their new products. As always there were over 100 great new products, 100’s of refinements to existing products and a few copy-cats. Unfortunately many of the copy-cats have issues and just muck up the works. For example, one orange brand is offering a new stand-on zero-turn. It looks cool but they missed some very important ergonomic features. I’m sure they will sell a few just on their reputation alone but it will never be a strong seller.
It’s also a show where small, independent builders show off their creations in hope of attracting dealers to sell them. Many names like OxCart, Mean Green Mowers, and Nordic got their start here. As usual I found many great ideas still looking for an audience. For example L. T. Rich had a prototype 4-wheel contraption they were showing off and OxCart was showing a walk-behind version of their great cart.
I talked with many great people this year. Contractors, dealers, area reps, owners and engineers. Clayton Bruce — Husqvarna, Barbara Bermudez – Ketchum , Rob Wittl, John Horn – Ariens/Gravely, Bill Wright – Wright Manufacturing and many, many others who I didn’t remember to get a business card from. I closed down the show Wednesday night talking to the engineers who developed the Toro SnowMaster and Toro steering wheel ZTR. I enjoyed listening to buyers who purchases 500 zero-turns at a time and many young mowing contractors looking to upgrade to their second mower.
Dan Ariens and John Horn with a landscape contractor.
Nathalie and Wouter Barendrecht – General Transmissions
It’s great to talk to old friends in the business like Gary from Acrease Mowers who have had their products at the show since the 90’s when the show was “International Lawn, Garden and Power Equipment Expo.” It’s also great to talk with the “new generation” like Matt Kunz, Nick Ariens, and Stephen Ariens who are carrying on their fathers and sometime great grandfathers dreams.
How important is this show? The owners and presidents of the companies at the show come from all over the world and spent the entire time on the floor. For example, Dan Ariens – Ariens/Gravely spent all three days on the floor, Nathalie Barendrecht – General Transmissions flew over from France just for this show. Every year almost the entire Craftsman L&G division attends looking for quality items for Sears.
The newest trend that will benefit the industry: Radial Lawn Mower Tires.
Radial tires are tougher, have better traction and handle side-hills well.
The best new product: Gravely PRO-QXT 2-Wheel Tractor.
Gravely re-invented the 2-wheel tractor. Gravely’s first L&G product was the garden tractor. It’s fitting that they reintroduce the 2-wheel tractor for the start of the next 100 years.
The most talked about product: Intimidator Group – Spartan Zero-Turn Mowers.
The list price on the new American made Spartan mowers caused an uproar at the show. We’ll see if Mr. Foster can actually keep that price once the mowers go into production.
Best maturing product: Stand-on Mowers.
20 years ago I stated, “Stand-on mowers are the best way to mow lawns.” All the major brands now have a version or two of this versatile machine. Now – if they will only make a residential model…..
Here are a few pictures of the new items shown: There is a surprise at the end.
Click on the pict to see a large view.
I just wanted to point out this high weed mower. An extremely well built weed mower from Europe. I like the handle brace but don’t like the wimpy front wheel.
Toro 826 OXE with automatic steering
New Agri-Fab Aerator. I can’t remember the size but it’s bigger than ever!
Agri-Fab Aerator . New never flat tires
Agri-Fab is showcasing a new height adjustment. It’s easier to use than the old side-mounted version.
New Agri-Fab Cart
Husqvarna Residential Zero-Turn with reinforced deck
Husqvarna/Briggs & Stratton Lithium Electric Start. With battery meter and quick charge technology
Husqvarna Rear Discharge, Mulching, Lithium Electric Start
Husqvarna Locking Diff
Husqvarna Power Plug, Keyless Start, Useable Gauges
Husqvarna LED Lights, Fabricated Deck
New Husqvarna Deck Design.
General Transmission Electric Mower Drive
Brown Brush OX. If you can knock it down this mower will cut it.
10 minutes before the outdoor area opened Thursday
New Cub Cadet PRO Z 100. 52 and 60 inch decks. ZT-3400 Trannys. Kohler EFI engine!
New Honda 2-stage impeller. The rest of the industry ran away from 90 degree paddles on the impeller years ago. What does Honda know that the rest of us don’t?
Honda Hybrid. This snow blower is only $7000. It is very nice to drive.
DeWalt’s Brushless 40 volt trimmer. As good as gas…
New Spartan Mowers. The owner made 8 demo models for the show but does not have the assembly line built for them yet. They may be available early next year.
AS Serpa. Old European name, now in the U.S.
New Sarlo Hydro. If you want a mower “built like they used to” this is the brand for you.
Nordic Auto Plow for Zero-Turns
Makita jumped into the L&G equipment full montie with recent purchase of DOLMAR power equipment
The Toro outdoor area is always one of the busiest areas of the show.
The Toro Multi-Force was a big hit
Wright Stander outdoor exhibit area. Always busy.
Wright Sport X. This zero-turn is a lot more comfortable to use than all the zero-turns where you sit in the middle of the mower. This would be the 3rd mower I purchased if I was starting a lawn maintenance business today.
Hustler’s new stand-on.
DR Introduced a lot of new equipment at the show.
Articulated loaders don’t tear up a lawn like a skid-steer does. These are the best for established turf.
Husqvarna Reps waiting for customers to try out the the mowers.
Toro GrandStand MULTI FORCE
Toro GrandStand MULTI FORCE. The first multi-purpose stand-on.
Toro Grandstand. Completely redesigned. If you like red on your trailer this is the best.
OxCart’s new walk-behind attachment prototype. Use the hydraulic assist instead of your back! What do you think?
Ground Logic’s new sprayer/spreader. If you are in the lawn fertilizer and weed control business this is the standard everyone else tries to match.
Another pict of the 72 inch Wright Stander ZK. If the TV show “Home Improvement” was still running this would be Tim’s new mower
Gravely PRO-QXT 2 Wheel Tractor
Honda’s new HSS series snow blowers. I’m not impressed
New Spartan. I did like the 2 inch receiver on the back of the mower. Otherwise, I’d wait one year to let them get the bugs out.
Jonsered ST 3368EP. This is the same as the 300 series Husqvarna snow blowers.
I didn’t catch who makes this space heater but I want one for my garage!
Yes, The Argo is still alive and well. I owned one with a Ford Diesel engine years ago.
Global Resources ergonomic seats. The seat is heated and air conditioned!
Brush Blazer Radio Control Brush Cutter
You Tube sensation “Taryl Fixes All”. I don’t know that other guy but I see him in the mirror every morning.
New Kioti Sub Compact.
Another pict of New Altoz residential ZTR
New Altoz residential ZTR. Altoz was the hit of the show last year. Nice mowers for the price!
Big Bad Dog – Maverick
Snow Joe introduced a hybrid snow thrower. 40 volts cordless that will run over 50 minutes on a charge. If that’s not enough you can use an extension cord to finish your driveway.
It’s not for sale but at the show every year. I want it.
Lastec Flex. This mower’s deck flexes in the middle and is the standard for mowing complex berms and other highly landscaped areas. There is nothing else like it.
AS 940 Sherpa 4WD XL
Mean Green Mowers lithium mowers. These are the all lithium electric mowers companies like Apple uses.
Mean Green Mowers continue to expand their lineup.
MoJack EZ Max Mower Lift.
Walker Model S. Nothing cuts a residential lawn better than this mower. Yes, it cuts better than your walk behind.
A few of the attachments you can put on a Walker Mower.
Gravely PRO-QXT 2 Wheel Tractor
Gravely PRO-QXT 2 Wheel Tractor
Ariens Platinum 28 SHO track. These are hard to find at dealers.
This may be your new mower.
New, affordable mowers from Country Clipper
Husqvarna was promoting their Auto Mower. These are very popular in Europe but in my opinion they mow too short for blue grass/fescue lawns here in the U.S.
Husqvarna 46 inch reinforced deck ZTR
Gravely Atlas UTV’s. These new UTV’s are designed for commercial users and have features you can’t find at your local power sports dealer
Gravely Atlas UTV’s. All season cabs, ice chest, racks for all your equipment, largest load capacity.
Gravely invited a few people to try out the new Gravely 2-wheel Tractor the day before the show.
Gravely Pro-Turns. Gravely introduced the new 200 and 400 series at the show. The engineers spend a lot of time listening to customers and these mowers have operator centered ergonomics like no other mower on the market.
Ariens Stand-Ons. 20 years of working out the details on this stand-on, This would be the 1st mower I purchased if I was starting a lawn maintenance business today.
This is why you stay in the Galt House in downtown Louisville!
Husqvarna Dealer Only fabricated deck and auto lock diff.
Many companies have their own in house social media and advertising departments. Other companies use PR firms to work with the news media and handle Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and the hundred other places you use on the Internet. For example, Barbara from Ketchum, Inc. did a great job of coordinating my talks with the engineers and managers at Husqvarna. Thanks Barbara.
Clayton Bruce – Husqvarna. This young engineer knows his stuff!
Last year this booth was packed all the time. The equipment is so dusty because it’s right next to the Gravely and Toro booths.
AS 940 Sherpa 4WD XL. If you got hills this is your mower. They mow ski slopes with this mower.
Gravely is Celebrating 100 years!
Can you say, “Designed by an engineer who has never met a customer.”
As you can see Simplicity/Snapper’s new idea of adding a carrying platform is a big hit at the show. – NOT! They may have had a better response if the tool platform had a tailgate….
If you like be outdoors this is a great “stand on desk” for your office!
Cub Cadet always has a huge display at the show.
Toro always shows their residential products at the show.
Nordic Auto Plow. I think this is the best snow plow on the market but the manufacture NEEDS to develop a better mount.
Ariens IKON X 52. I like the price and the machine.
Gravely Atlas UTV’s, Hydraulic Dump
Last year this was the busiest booth. Fame can be fleeting….
Jacobsen was showing off nine new products at GIE+EXPO, spotlighting its “Professional Series” while also looking to increase its participation in consumer markets. The Professional Series consists of three lines of zero-turn mowers and seven different models of utility task vehicles (UTV)
Do you like the new Cub Cadet Logo?
I live in Wisconsin. There are no Waffle Houses here…
72 inch stand-on. 12 mph mowing speed. If you have to mow your seven acre lawn in one hour – this is the mower for you!
New BOSS ATV Plow
If I was starting a landscaping business today this would be the 2nd mower I purchased.
Just another new stand on mower
LT Rich Snowrator
ARIENS IKON XL
Available Spring 2016
Surprise ending: A whole bunch of videos of the show. If you are bored watch the last video.