As many of you guessed, I spent last week in Louisville, KY at the GIE-EXPO. It is the largest lawn & garden dealer show with over 650 vendors and 25 acres of outdoor hands-on exhibits. In this article I will go over some of the highlights of the show and give you a glimpse of what’s coming for new residential products for 2014. I’ll write detailed reviews of the products I know you will want over the next few months.
GIE-EXPO is aimed specifically at lawn & garden dealers so most of the products showcased at the event are for the customers that these dealers sell the most to – namely commercial lawn mowing companies. Most of the products at a show like this are the biggest and baddest machines. Machines designed to withstand hours of use per week. Only a few companies like Husqvarna, Toro and Ariens brought some of their residential products.
For example John Deere only brought their Commercial lines and MTD only brought their Cub Cadet line. There was no representation of the other dozen or so names they sell like Troy-Bilt, Columbia or Remington. Husqvarna did bring the Jonserd brand so I was able to see what they will be offering through that name for 2014.
What was interesting to me was the lack of participation by the Chinese manufactures. I expected 30 or 40 booths filled with Chinese products but I only saw a dozen or so and those were sparsely populated with specialty equipment like generators, pumps and 40 volt cordless electric tools.
First, I would like to thank everyone I talked to at GIE-EXPO. So many people and so little time – I know I will not remember all of your names. Feel free to remind me as time goes on.
I would like to point out 5 people who did an outstanding job of helping me understanding their products.
Mary Lyn WiningerLinkedIn. Mary Lyn handles social media for Ariens and is one of the best social relationship managers I have met. If I ever have a question on any Ariens product she works as quickly as possible to get me the answer. I watched Mary Lyn talk with hundreds of people at the Ariens outdoor booth on Thursday and after six hours was just as interested in listening and helping as the first person she met that day. Great job Mary Lyn!
Michael ParkinsLinkedIn Michael is one of those rare individuals who listens – really listens and bases his decisions on what you tell him, not what he wants you to do. Raven MPV 7100
Hilary ConnerLinkedInAgri-Fab. I really enjoyed discussing Agri-Fab products and where the company is going with Hilary. Hilary is another of those rare individuals who listens to you and then offers help and advice to solve your problems.
Wouter BarendrechtGeneral Transmissions. You don’t know Wouter or the company he manages but I’ll bet you have at least one of his transmissions in your gas powered lawn equipment. Wouter always has the time to listen and help me understand his products so I can help you understand why they work the way they do.
Gary KunzKunz Engineering. There are probably less than a hand full of people in the world that know mower deck design as well as Gary. Gary and his son Matt only manufacture three products – AcrEase Tow-Pull Behind Finish Mowers, Rough Cut Trailmowers & Till-Ease ATV UTV Tillage Equipment – and they are best. It is always a treat to visit with Gary and discuss his unique take on the Lawn & Garden Industry.
A Few Pictures Of The Show
About 1/4 of the show’s length inside
The weather was great both days
Want to drive a new Cub Cadet?
Cub Cadet Zero-Turns
Bad Boy Booth
Dixie Chopper Shock & Awe!
Residential Products Showcase
Altoz hit the market last year with two ultra-high end zero-turns that not only mowed well but look like the best mowers on the market. At GIE-EXPO two new high end homeowner versions, the XR540 & XC610S.
Yes, The Hustler is comfortable
New Gravely JSV showing off
Platinum 30 SHO Snow Thro
Remember the PUG. This near indestructable UTV is back and ready for your acreage.
Briggs & Stratton Lithium Start. That’s the battery on top.
Briggs & Stratton 675EXi and 725EXi Series. The L-head is gone!
This is what your new Briggs & Stratton Pressure Washer will look like.
New Compact Briggs & Stratton Generators
Cub Cadet XT3 Shaft Drive
Cub Cadet XT2
Cub Cadet XT1
Cub Cadet Camo – If you are going to camo a mower shouldn’t be green?
Cub Cadet 3X Tractor Mounted Zombie Killer. It uses a full frame mount for better traction when running over the zombies.
Raven Bagger Side
New Bagger for the Raven MPV-7100. Notice how it does not raise the center of gravity.
Raven Bagger Open. I hope Denver Global patented this because this is the way a bagger is supposed to work!
Worx 56 volt Cordless. New Mowers, Trimmer and Blower
Walker Model S an engineering marvel
Ventrac Field Mower. This is what you really need instead of trying to mow your pasture with a lawn tractor or zero-turn
Toro Steering Wheel ZTR. I liked the 50 inch a lot.
New Snapper Tractor. I didn’t get a chance to get the details
Simplicity Operators Area
Lots of National Chain Saw Carving Experts
Husqvarna showing off their big Zero-turns
Polaris Grapple Bucket
Peco Vac. A great alternative to the large Agri-Fab Units
Peco Z Trimmer. One of the best kept secrets in the Lawn & Garden kingdom.
Let the kids design their own ZTR and this is what you get 🙂
Showing off the new Kohler Command Pro EFI
Nordic Plow. Cleans your snow but leaves your gravel and turf intact. These work so well major ball fields are using them. Tractor, ZTR and UTC models
Mean Green built in grass blower. What’s next? remote control?
Why-yes! HydroGear Smartec Remote Control Steering. If they don’t get stupid on the price this may revolutionize the way we mow lawn.
Acrease Brush Mower. Can you tell I like them?
New Hustler Flip Up Deck Raptor
Country Clipper for the rest of us. Front step, grab bar, joystick steering. Like Hustler 2 years ago – you may never have heard of these but they are among the best.
I spent enough time with Honda to realize everything I say about them is fact.
The only Chinese Snow Blowers at the show. Show special! Buy 6 for only $250 each!
I had an very interesting discussion with A Tuff-Torq rep on the failure rate and why.
2015 Husqvarna Z200. Fabricated deck on a residential
Dewalt 40 volt
The Dixie Chopper Eagle did very well for the entire show.
Another secret of the mower world. If you have hills this Canycon will mow them.
Big Dog Residential
Ariens Residential. They did not bring the Home Depot lawn tractors
ExMark Steering Wheel. It must be good – I heard another manufacture Rep making fun of it.
Bad Boy Rear End. Those are not decals. Each word is lazer cut into the heavy duty steel. These Bad Boys are meant to mow!
Enough for now! I have over 300 pictures and 20 or so videos that I will share this winter.
About Paul Sikkema
Paul Sikkema has been writing about snow blowers, riding mowers, and other lawn and garden equipment for over 10 years. Paul does most of his writing out in his workshop where he feeds the wildlife and birds in the yard.
He spends as much time with his granddaughter as he can.
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Very cool new products. Thank you for sharing with us! -Jim Myrtle Beach SC