Green Industry Pros April 2022

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The choice of





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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S VOLUME 34, NO.3 | APRIL 2022



12. Rise of Robotics: Robotic Mowers Manufacturers offer a look at how the robotic mowing industry has helped the green industry grow.




News from around the industry.

30. E quipment Focus:


Compact earthmoving equipment.


34. Contractor Profile:

HOW TO TARGET NEW LAWN CARE AND LANDSCAPING CUSTOMERS ONLINE Jay Worth of SingleOps explains how lawn care and landscape companies can leverage social media to reach their target audience.

Drew Standfuss, Greenscape Lawns, Montague, Mich.


MAKING USE OF PGRS Experts from Syngenta and Nufarm discuss how lawn care operators can make the most of plant growth regulators (PGRs).


AVOID A MISMATCH BETWEEN SKID STEERS/CTLS & ATTACHMENTS Universal skid steer couplers can lead to loader compatibility mismatches. Here’s how to avoid them.



PREPPING FOR BUSY SEASON: THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR JOBSITE EFFICIENCY With the weather warming up, homeowners are ready to start spending more time in their outdoor living spaces. For contractors and outdoor living professionals, this means their schedules are also about to heat up.


GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE WORKS FOR GROUND WORKS Having the necessary experience under its belt, Ground Works Land Design provides insight and advice to other firms starting out in the industry.


TOP 10 IRRIGATION, LIGHTING AND LANDSCAPE TRENDS Take a look at the latest styles hitting the irrigation, lighting and landscape worlds.

26 ❙

APRIL 2022



READY TO LEARN H i, everyone. My name is Sarah Webb, and I’m thrilled to be the new editor of Green Industry Pros. I come from a background in B2B publishing, focusing on the green and golf course industries. I previously worked as the managing editor for the Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf brands. Prior to that, I graduated from Wittenberg University, where I studied journalism and Spanish. Following graduation, I spent a semester teaching English in La Bañeza, Spain, and interned at Cleveland Magazine, covering the latest happenings across the Cleveland area. When I first started my career in the B2B publishing industry as an associate editor, I had very little knowledge of the landscaping and golf course worlds, if any at all. I soon realized my new role would require me to consistently step out of my comfort zone and get used to asking “why.” With this mentality, I leaned into the idea of “learning as you go,” complete with trade shows, conferences and media days. While learning the ins and outs of mowers, skid steers and dollar spot, I’ve developed a passion for the B2B magazine world. I love the “aha” feeling of information clicking into place at a product demo, the camaraderie of collaborating with industry peers and the idea that whole magazines are published about topics that the average person takes for granted. While at those previous publications, I became more comfortable with the audiences and industries I was serving, accumulating thousands of minutes worth of


APRIL 2022

phone interviews, traveling to Orlando, Boston, San Diego and many places in between and writing hundreds of articles. All of that felt like a far cry from the first time I’d visited a landscaping facility in the Northeast Ohio area, not knowing anyone in or anything about the industry. As I delve into this new role, I’m looking forward to getting to know you, our readers, and learning more about your challenges and successes as I work with the rest of the Green Industry Pros team to revitalize the brand and provide fresh content across our channels. Already, you may notice some changes this month, as we’ve worked to streamline our sections, making them more reader friendly. We also plan to cover hot topics such as business management solutions (page 18) and the latest equipment (page 30), showcase successful projects completed by our readers (page 28) and, to round out the issue, profile different landscape pros each month to find out what makes them tick (page 34). Be sure to also check out our cover story on page 12 to learn about the latest in robotic mower technology. Please feel free to reach out to me via email at or on LinkedIn with story ideas, tips, questions and more. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

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Volume 34, Number 03


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In the webinar, “How to Service More Customers with Fewer Employees,” industry experts from FieldRoutes, Vibrant Outdoors and Weed Man Lawn Care talk employee hiring, retention and efficiency in an exclusive roundtable discussion moderated by Green Industry Pros Editor Sarah Webb.

CHAT IT UP Do you have an interesting story that you’d like to talk about on our podcast? Or, maybe you’re an industry expert and would like to share some best practices to help fellow landscape companies grow their businesses? Email your ideas to Green Industry Pros Editor Sarah Webb at, and you may be featured in an upcoming episode of our Grass Roots podcast.



To stay up to date on the latest happenings around the green industry, be sure to follow Green Industry Pros’ social media channels:

APRIL 2022




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t’s no secret that even before the pandemic, green industry companies struggled with finding enough labor to service customers and expand their businesses. That’s why the topic of the webinar, How to Service More Customers With Fewer Employees, presented by FieldRoutes and hosted by Green Industry Pros magazine, was spot on. Throughout the hourlong webinar, Mark Stewart, key account manager at FieldRoutes, Phil Fogarty, master franchiser for Weed Man Lawn Care, and Pierre Bridger, director of operations at Vibrant Outdoors, touched on overall labor challenges, creating operational efficiency, keeping employees engaged, incorporating technology to make employees’ lives easier and investing time and money to boost the bottom line. A few highlights of Scan Here the webinar included To continue reading Stewart discussing how the rest of this story companies implementing

technology and software into their everyday operations are the ones with happier and more engaged employees; Fogarty explaining how new innovations such as robotic mowers and battery-powered equipment may help ease the labor strain and Bridger describing his company’s top recruiting methods and how they’ve panned out for the company.




akeuchi-U.S. is preparing to open its first North American manufacturing facility in South Carolina. The new Takeuchi facility will produce compact track loaders and is expected to employ around 100 people when fully operational. Located off the Moore-Duncan Highway in Moore, S.C., Takeuchi’s new 156,000-square-foot production facility and stand-alone office building are close to major thoroughfares Interstate 26 and Interstate 85. The facility will allow Takeuchi to reduce compact track loader production lead time for its North American customers and better meet market needs. “Takeuchi has experienced its greatest demand for compact


APRIL 2022

track loaders right here in North America,” said Jeff Stewart, president of Takeuchi-U.S. “That’s why manufacturing these highly sought-after machines right here in the U.S. simply makes sense. It will be faster and more efficient than shipping them from one of our overseas manufacturing facilities, and we can then pass on those efficiencies to our dealers and their customers.” Compact track loader production at the facility is expected to begin at the new facility by the end of 2022, and Takeuchi is currently hiring for all positions. Scan Here To continue reading the rest of this story

Scan Here

To continue reading the rest of this story

Case Construction Equipment launched its 2022 Case Kickstart Contest, a business development program where landscape contractors enter for a chance to win a prize package built to advance the capabilities, expertise and development of their operation. Landscape business owners are encouraged to enter the contest at CaseCE. com/Kickstart by answering a few basic questions, sharing goals for the year ahead and describing how they will evolve their services if they win the contest. Representatives of Case

and Envisor will select the winners, who will be notified in April. The winner will receive a free six-month lease of any new compact track loader (including the new Case TV620B), a free six-month attachment lease and professional business consultation from Ken Thomas and Ben Gandy of Envisor Consulting. All participants will be invited to attend an exclusive Case Landscape Virtual Summit Scan Here later in To continue reading 2022. the rest of this story

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Real Green by WorkWave, a provider of field service software and solutions to the green service industries, launched Real Green Lite, a software designed for small, early-stage green industry businesses that need to streamline operations, service customers and move cash faster through their business. The program includes field service and customer management functionality and allows users to accurately manage scheduling, routing, invoicing, payments and customer communications in real time, from any location, without a complicated setup or unnecessary features. Real Green was acquired by WorkWave in June 2021.

Case Construction Equipment opens 2022 Case Kickstart Contest


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APRIL 2022



Ruppert Landscape Promotes Wetzonis to lead NC Branch

Ruppert landscape

Ruppert Landscape recently promoted Kevin Wetzonis to lead the company’s Durham, N.C., location as branch manager. In the position, Wetzonis will be responsible for the overall welfare of the Durham branch, including the safety and development of his team, strategic planning and budgeting, training, customer service and day-to-day operations. He attended Montgomery College and University of Maryland University College and is a Certified Landscape Technician. He spent his early career in Maryland in the hospitality industry before joining Ruppert as a crew member in 2003. He has worked his way through the ranks over his 18 years with the company, having held positions as enhancement field manager, landscape maintenance area manager, enhancement manager and for the last year as associate branch manager in Durham, a role which was designed to prepare talented team members to take on future leadership

LMN Launches LMN Gro Business Management App Developed based on customer feedback that nearly 70% of customers expressed the need to manage their businesses on

opportunities. He has twice been honored with the company’s Branch Impact Award (in 2010 and 2018) for his contribuScan Here tions and dedication to the To continue reading Ruppert organization. the rest of this story


the go, Landscape Management Network (LMN), a B2B landscape business management software company, introduced a new business management software app called LMN Gro. Contractors can use LMN Gro to manage customers, track jobs, develop and distribute estimates, manage employee schedules and time tracking and process invoices. The app is designed to help landscape and snow business operators improve productivity, improve efficiency and stay organized as they grow their business. The platform combines LMN’s Pro software in an app-based solution available on Apple and Google Play stores, helping companies and operators stay on top of jobs, costs, crews and customers. LMN Gro gives business owners immediate access to online tutorials, training videos and a library of articles to help set up their accounts. The app is supported by LMN’s customer support team, which is available through both in-app chat and in person to answer questions. LMN Gro is available for $99 per month Scan Here and comes with a free To continue reading 30-day trial. the rest of this story


APRIL 2022

SiteOne Landscape Supply Integrates QuickBooks into App

Daliborka Ribeiro Joins JLG Product Management Team

SiteOne Sync App users can now access Intuit QuickBooks for billing. The app itself is free for all SiteOne account holders. Once connected, landscape professionals can bring purchases from SiteOne into QuickBooks to see product details and fee breakdowns for each transaction. These can then be categorized individually, reducing manual entry and resulting errors, while also gaining access to more important purchase details—including product descriptions, item costs, delivery fees and sales tax for each transaction. There are free videos available online to see how the functionality works.

JLG Industries has named Daliborka (Dali) Ribeiro the director of product management for JLG and SkyTrak telehandlers. In this role, Ribeiro will lead the multigeneration product plan and drive the direction and implementation of JLG’s telehandler go-to-market strategy. In 1998, Ribeiro and her parents moved from the former Yugoslavia to Chambersburg, Pa., where she completed high school and went on to study at Penn State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing. After graduation, she followed in her father’s footsteps and joined JLG in 2005 as a parts pricing analyst. While in her first role at JLG, she continued her studies at Shippensburg University, where she earned a Master

Scan Here

To continue reading the rest of this story

of Business Administration degree from the John L. Grove School of Business. She advanced to a parts pricing manager role and became a senior manager of business development, acquiring responsibilities beyond parts pricing, which included coordination with the supply chain, aftermarket parts sales and integrated technology teams. With more than 10 years of aftermarket experience and an understanding of the JLG business and its customers, Ribeiro then advanced to a director of pricing role, where she led the team responsible for both whole goods and aftermarket parts pricing, before moving into her newest role as director of product management for telehandlers. In her new telehandler role, Ribeiro joins Ara Eckel, Bob Begley and Nate Hoover to round out the JLG product management director Scan Here team. To continue reading the rest of this story

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RISE of ROBOTICS Robotic mower manufacturers provide a look at how the robotic mowing industry can grow the green industry.


or some, the phrase “the rise of robotics” may call to mind futuristic scenes in which robots have taken over the workforce and humans become irrelevant. On the contrary, robotic mowing technology has been designed to help the landscaping industry advance. “Sometimes we see people against robotics because they think robots are meant to take people’s jobs, which is not the case,” says Benjamin Houssa, vice president for robotics at Echo Robotics. “It’s really to give opportunity for businesses to grow. That’s where the industry should be excited and embrace this new technology.” Several robotic mower experts shed light on how this technology can help landscape companies become more efficient and profitable.


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Robotic mowers help landscape companies perform more work with fewer employees.

Echo Robotics

APRIL 2022



As many customers look to clean energy, robotic mowers can help fill that gap.

The Labor Factor

It’s no secret that labor has stood out as a primary concern among landscape professionals for several years, even before the pandemic. That’s where robotic mower technology can ease the strain, according to Alok Sarna, vice president of business development for URS Robot, developer of NexMow. “We’re not focused on wanting to replace labor; we’re focused on labor efficiency and how the labor can be repurposed,” Sarna says. Todd Zimmerman, vice president of product development for PositecUSA, parent company of Worx, agrees. “Robotic mowers help save on labor and time spent on the site,” Zimmerman says. “For example, depending on the brand, current technology may allow a mower to be installed in a given area, so when crews are coming back to do their regular maintenance, they’re going through the yard and completing the trimming, edging and blowing.” In other words, if there’s a robotic mower on-site, the human crews can perform the work that requires a human touch.


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“If you do find qualified labor, do you really want them sitting on a mower mindlessly all day or do you want them creating value-added benefits for your clients?” asks Jake Vollbeer, robotics national sales manager for Echo Robotics. “For landscapers looking to separate themselves, automation is a way to be on the forefront of that.” Perhaps most important is ensuring the safety of the crews landscape companies have on-site. Robotic technology provides a safer alternative to push and ride-on mowers, especially when mowing on slopes, according to Amber Hatch, administrative assistant at Evatech. “The biggest benefit is that Landscape companies can rely on robotic mowers to safely mow slopes.


they can be used in any dangerous area, instead of people tying themselves to a tree with a weed whacker to mow the grass there,” Hatch says. “It increases productivity, and the robotic mowers get it done more efficiently, safer and faster.”

Upping Efficiency


To implement robotic mowing technology into a fleet, it’s about determining how to best leverage technology within the existing systems of the operation, according to Billy Otteman, director of marketing at Scythe Robotics. “As landscapers figure out how to integrate the robotic mowers into their businesses, they will identify how this equipment can fit into and improve operations, increase productivity, make the job of the

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COVER STORY crew easier and help multiply what they can do on jobsites,” Otteman says. Otteman adds that landscape contractors should include an evaluation period after incorporating the mowers to find out where they’re seeing improvements and where friction points can be addressed. For example, Vollbeer notes that it’s important to select sites that give robotic mowers the best chance for success, such as relatively open areas that aren’t prone to a lot of flooding. “There’s a lot of planning and looking at landscape contractors’ portfolio of clients and knowing where they can take automation and implement it successfully,” Vollbeer says. When the technology is implemented correctly, landscape companies can become more efficient in both manpower and the amount of product put down. “From a plant physiology standpoint, robotic mowers greatly reduce the stress that you’re putting on the plant, so you’re going to use less fertilizer and the grass is going to be denser through frequent daily mowing,” Vollbeer says. “You’re still going to have to do some spraying in application, but you’re going to reduce a lot of those inputs.” Finally, because robotic mowers mostly rely on electric power, landscape companies can improve their fuel efficiency, as well. With rising gas prices and tightening regulations on gaspowered equipment, this shift to electrification is key, Sarna says. “There’s a move to toward cleaner energy. In California, there’s been a rush to clean energy solutions because of the regulations kicking in in 2024,” Sarna says. Otteman agrees. “We can use this advanced technology to better take care of the environment by scaling our ability to take care of the planet and take care of our green spaces,” Otteman says. “With landscaping being at the forefront of green space management, we’ve had a renewed conversation about environmentalism, and that’s starting to shape a lot of the


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conversation within the industry.”

Addressing the Challenges Some landscape contractors may still be skeptical—what about challenges relating to upfront cost, run time and training?

Upfront Costs

Regarding concern over the upfront costs of mowers, Vollbeer encourages landscape companies to consider the cost per acre instead. “Landscapers have to know their full burden labor rate and how to utilize that to effectively account for what the mower does per acre,” Vollbeer says. “If you do that and you prepare, automation makes a lot of sense.” Vollbeer adds that for robotic mowers installed directly onto a site, landscape companies won’t have to make big investments into trucks and trailers to move the heavier mowers around. “There’s savings in that, but there is installation and service that needs to be done for the mowers so the landscaper, in turn, would make weekly visits to that location, but instead of going there with a truck and trailer, they could show up in a service van, make sure the mower is working and then use hand tools to provide the auxiliary maintenance that Crew workers focus on detail work such as edging while the robotics take care of the mowing.

needs to be done,” Vollbeer says. Hatch notes that because of the labor factor and less fuel consumption, robotic mowers tend to pay for themselves over time. “You’ll need fewer human beings because it only takes one operator to cover a larger area fast,” she says. “So generally, these units pay for themselves pretty quickly.” To further assist landscape companies with adopting robotic technology, manufacturers offer other avenues to finance the equipment. “I think you’ll see a lot more of the manufacturers working with distributors to understand what financing options look like or renting out rental options,” Zimmerman says. “We have to be able to overcome that initial cost because we know it’s a big challenge for professional landscapers to make the switch.” Other options include manufacturers who opt for a payper-acre mode. For

Scythe Robotics

example, relying on GPS technology and sensors in the machines, some manufacturers may charge the contractor based on how much the machine is mowing. “This way, the

Robotic units installed on residential sites mow often and return to the charging port after each mow. Worx

contractor is not getting charged for the time that the machines are charging overnight in the garage or time even between jobsites,” Otteman says. “This allows the contractors to bring on new technology in a much more feasible way. We’re trying to eliminate some of the risk that contractors face when they are making when they’re bringing on new technology.”

Run Time

For robotic mowers that stay on-site, for example, at a residential property, the unit returns itself to the charging dock once it’s done mowing, Zimmerman says. “For residential, run time isn’t that much of a concern, because it goes out then comes back charged,” Zimmerman says. “(Now), what’s the revolutionary battery technology where I can use this robotic mower to mow four yards and have another battery to put in, and what does that additional investment of that battery platform look like?” Otteman adds that companies may need to evaluate the existing setup

of their facilities to make sure they have the electrical infrastructure in place to support the units. “We’re already trying to help our customers with recommendations on the amount of power needed, how many open breakers you need to be able to support this size of fleet, etc.,” Otteman says. “And then, we’re talking with them about what other electrical equipment they expect to bring on over the next five years and trying to give them the tools they need to approach an electrician or their local municipality utilities to make sure that infrastructure is in place by the time they get these tools.”


Houssa recommends landscape companies view adopting robotic mowers not as a challenge, but rather as a different way of thinking. “The way of reorganizing the team is going to have an impact, and they will probably need also some different skills in the team,” Houssa says. “Sitting on a mower does not require the same skill as installing a more robotic mower.”

Additionally, many robotic mower companies provide educational resources and training to their customers. “With our customers, we have programs to help introduce crews to the technology, get them familiar with and excited about it, test it on smaller levels within the organization to figure out how to optimize the technology for their specific business and then roll out training and educate more broadly,” Otteman says.

Why Now?

Mower manufacturer experts stress that now is the time to consider adopting robotic mowing technology. “A lot of the ingredients are there in the market, and in the future, automation is going to become the norm,” Vollbeer says. “There’s a reticence to jump into new technology because people think it’s going to get better down the road, and it will, no question about it, but the ones that are going to be successful will deploy it sooner and use that knowledge to become very profitable.”

APRIL 2022



How toTARGET New Lawn and Landscaping CUSTOMERS ONLINE


ost companies don’t have an unlimited marketing budget. The question becomes, “How do you spend your marketing dollars most effectively?”

Brand Awareness Versus Lead Generation

There are two reasons to put an ad (any kind of ad) out: brand awareness and lead generation. Brand awareness advertising is creating ads for people who aren’t yet familiar with your company. You should not expect these to make the phone ring immediately.

Any discussion about marketing should start with a high-level strategic talk. The first question you have to answer is: who is my customer? Do anything you can to find out information about your local marketplace. You can buy reports (from companies like Cubit) that give you a ton of data: ages, home values, household income, presence of children, education level, etc. You can get them for your state by county and city. You should also consider surveying your existing customer base. Try sending them surveys to get this same demographic information via a service like SurveyMonkey or pay a marketing company to analyze your existing customer database. This information tells you essential information about your local market that helps you craft effective messages. This is important because you want to make sure the ads you put out will resonate with your potential customers. The point of this is to make sure you’re not sending ads to people who are never going to buy from you.


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Who Should See Your Ads?

APRIL 2022

Consumers generally need several interactions (called “touches” in marketing jargon) before they trust your company enough to contact you for a quote. Brand awareness (also called “branding”) ads are designed to get those “touches” in, so when they’re ready to buy, they call you. Good examples of traditional brand awareness ads are billboards and magazine ads. Lead generation ads capture the

If you do work that produces excellent visuals (like design/build), a place like Instagram might work well. If you do residential work, Facebook might be your best option. For companies doing B2C, you might consider LinkedIn.





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TXL 2000


BUSINESS MANAGEMENT traditional lead generation (or “lead gen”) ad is direct mail.

in mind, the question is, where do you spend money on finding new customers? There are two places that businesses generally pay for ads on the internet: social media and search engines.

Where to Spend Money Online to Attract New Customers?

With our knowledge of our target customers and branding versus lead gen

attention of a person ready to buy. You’re putting your message in front of them at the moment they’re shopping for what you offer. They’ve recognized their need, they have cash in hand and your (hopefully) perfectly timed message arrives. An excellent example of a

Social Media

Hopefully, your research into your existing customers and your market showed you trends. Those trends will help you learn more about where to spend your marketing dollars on social media. If you do work that produces excellent visuals (like design/build), a place like Instagram might work well. If you do residential work, Facebook might be your best option. For companies doing B2C, you might consider LinkedIn. Consider what social media channels your intended audience is using. Middleaged audiences likely use Facebook, while younger audiences are more likely on Instagram. Professional

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audiences (business owners, for example) are best targeted on LinkedIn.

Pay-Per-Click or Search Engine Marketing (PPC or SEM)

This type of advertising is designed to capture people’s attention at the moment they’re looking. When they have a need or are doing research, they use a search engine to look for a business. You bid for specific “keywords.” Then, your company’s ads and messages are presented to them based on the terms for which they are searching. If you’re a design/build company, you might want to bid on words like “patio builders near me.” If you run a tree care company, you should consider bidding on terms like “tree pruning” or “tree trimming in my city.” The most common place to place these ads is Google, but it’s also

costly. You’ll get less traffic (meaning fewer leads) and pay less per lead on Microsoft’s Ad network (Bing). You should also investigate Google’s Local Service Ad product. The short version is that Google agrees to back consumers if a dispute with your business should pop up. The best benefit is that you only pay for a lead (call or form submission) rather than a click.

to help you manage all of this.

Other Considerations

There are many places where you might consider investing money in paid ads or investing the time to create posts and build a following. Facebook has free options, as does Instagram. Consider asking for acceptance into local “neighborhood” groups on Facebook or Nextdoor. There are also large communities of people interested in landscaping, lawn care and tree care on Reddit. These options are usually free and may lead to sources of referrals that are largely untapped by other companies in your market.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a term that encompasses activities you do online on your website and other websites that help your business show up better online. There are a lot of very technical tasks that need to be done on your website. There are also many places where your information needs to be updated and maintained across the internet. Both are critical for effective SEO efforts. Your best bet is to hire a professional


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APRIL 2022

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Dialed in on PGRs Lawn care experts explain how companies can best leverage plant growth regulators.


hen it comes to using plant growth regulators (PGRs), lawn care operators can take advantage of them in a variety of ways. Dean Mosdell, Ph.D., technical services manager at Syngenta, and Aaron Hathaway, technical services manager at Nufarm, explain how. Green Industry Pros: How can lawn care companies use PGRs to their advantage? Aaron Hathaway: So, in lawns, especially if the lawn care operator is doing the mowing and the (chemical) applications to the lawn, they’re doing practices they wouldn’t have to


APRIL 2022

if they could simply slow down the growth of these plants. That’s where PGRs come in because they can simply regulate the growth of any plant. With turfgrass, we can slow down that vertical growth and possibly have to mow less, and even if we’re not mowing less, we’re getting fewer clippings. For growth regulation, PGRs are a great tool. Dean Mosdell: PGRs can reduce vertical growth, leaf elongation and node extension, resulting in a darker green, more compact plant. This can result in reduced clippings, green waste, mowing time and labor required in the mowing process. With labor constraints, the ability to maintain high-quality turf with less effort can be advantageous to full-service landscapers.


Plant growth regulators applied to turf can improve plant health, reduce vertical growth and decrease clippings.

labor required to maintain lawns and landscapes. It is not a replacement, Green Industry Pros: What are the benefits of using them? but rather a tool that can reduce hand labor requirements in lawn care and landscape maintenance. Mosdell: Faster mowing time, less clippings and greater intervals

going back with a backpack blower or raking up some of those clippings. There are also a lot of side benefits including reducing the growth of the turfgrass—you don’t lose all the energy the plant would put into vertical growth. Instead, when you make an application, the plant will partition that growth and use it for other processes. Because they’re not spending all that energy in vertical growth, we found that plants will actually use it in other areas, like root growth, tillering or other physiological plant processes that make that plant healthier. We’ll also see an increase in chlorophyll in the plant, simply because it’s not spreading that chlorophyll across taller plants, and instead of growing vertically, they’ll grow laterally. We’re also still finding more benefits in the way of less water use, because plants can store more carbohydrates, producing greener turf. Mosdell: Turf type is important when

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Green Industry Pros: What do lawn care operators need to keep in mind before using PGR products?



t e.s mowing can b o

@ Re c

Green Industry Pros: Have you seen an increase in PGR use across lawn care and landscape companies? If so, why? Hathaway: A PGR can help reduce the growth and proliferation of some of those weeds (such as annual bluegrass). That’s how I’ve seen a lot of lawn care operators use these PGRs to begin with, but they’re learning that they can use them for a lot more than just in lawns. Mosdell: With the difficulty in finding labor, a PGR program can help reduce

C am


ad be beneficial ck . o t raS to homeowners,

as well. Hathaway: It’s a fairly new practice for a lawn care operator to use PGRs in a lawn to reduce growth, but the benefits are huge. If you could reduce the number of times you mow, especially in the spring, those could pay big dividends to the person doing the mowing. For lawn care operators that also manage landscapes, bushes and hedges, those are areas that take up a lot of time to trim. That’s where we’ve seen lawn care operators or managers using these PGRs in the past, and they’re huge time savers in that area. The main benefit of reduced growth is to reduce mowing and or reduce the clippings after you mow, so that you’re not

considering what PGR to use, as well as the correct rate at which to apply it. The lawn must be free of disease and insect issues and actively growing to fully benefit from a PGR application. Hathaway: There are Class A PGRs, which are fully absorbed early on, and Class B PGRs, which need to be watered in so that the roots of the plants can take it up. Also, different PGRs used at different rates will affect different turfgrass species very differently. We use things like current degree day models to figure out how often we need to reapply these because some PGRs are being broken down faster when it’s warmer outside. The reapplication intervals are a big part of it because if you’re trying to reduce the growth of a plant, you want to consistently reduce the growth of that plant. Getting to that perfect spot is sometimes difficult to figure out because they all work differently on different turfgrass species.

APRIL 2022



AVOID A SKID STEER /CTL & Attachment Mismatch


niversal skid steer and compact track loader (CTL) couplers allow you to mate an attachment with any brand of equipment, but they can also allow size mismatches between the carrier unit and attachment. Improper attachment use can lead to accidents, downtime and unnecessary expenses. Perhaps the most important consideration is the physical size of the attachment and how it sizes up to the capabilities of the loader. “As far as the attachment fitting to the machine, we always recommend that the customer has an awareness of what the machine capabilities are, as well as the attachment capabilities,” says Mike Fitzgerald, loader product specialist, Bobcat. “On the machine, you have the rated operating capacity. You want to take into account what that attachment might weigh. We have an approved attachment list for each of the different sizes of machines.” Attachments are carefully vetted. “One thing we evaluate from the attachment side is the different

operating positions,” says Travis Kidder, product specialist, Bobcat. “Even if an operator is grabbing an attachment just to move it around and potentially load it onto a trailer, that operator can get into a lot of trouble.” When lifting an attachment to put it onto a trailer, the center of gravity changes as you get higher and further away from the loader. So, you really need to pay attention to the rated operating capacity versus the weight of the attachment, as well as how far that weight is sitting out from the center of the machine. “The one thing that we push our sales staff when we’re training [them on] matching attachments with tractors is knowing the rated operating capacity of the machine,” says Ryan Ruhl, team lead for compact construction equipment and training, John Deere. “Some of those attachments are very heavy. [How] to keep the tractor good and stable is a conversation that needs to be had.” Some attachments may require counterweights. “With our lineup of attachments

and our tractors, we make notes when counterweights could be a benefit to the machine,” says Ruhl. “We are being more proactive about training our sales staff on matching not just the flow and horsepower, but also the weight and understanding what rated operating capacity is versus maximum lift weight.” In some cases, attachments that are too large can result in structural damage to the machine. “If you have a snow blade that’s far too wide for a smaller skid steer, you could catch a curb or rock going across the parking lot and damage the loader arms,” says Kidder. It is not always the attachment that is too large. “You can definitely get the opposite side, where the carrier is too big for an attachment,” says Kidder. In this case, the attachment may not be able to hold up to the applied downforce or hydraulic horsepower of the carrier.

Flow and Pressure Considerations

In terms of hydraulic system performance compatibility, consider the performance and limitations of



APRIL 2022

higher pressure...we do see some of those issues today where the system is capable of higher pressure than the attachment is rated for,” says Simmons. Hydraulic horsepower to run a specific attachment comes down to two key variables. “The flow and pressure is what gives you the hydraulic horsepower,” says Fitzgerald. For some attachments, you should consider more than hydraulic horsepower requirements. “We’ve seen some situations where the attachment will have a flow spec. Let’s say it can operate between 26 and 41 gpm,” says Ruhl. “If you utilize a 75-hp tractor that produces 32 gpm, it meets the need of that attachment, but overall, it might not have enough horsepower to push through the material. The tractor can operate the attachment within the hydraulic specs, but it doesn’t have enough horsepower [to perform the task].” The laws of physics dictate that the more power you have available, the more work you can accomplish. According to Case Construction Equipment, one of the most common mistakes that contractors make is buying a skid steer without enough hydraulic power. The standard-flow auxiliary hydraulics package is the most common system, Case notes. Although flow rates differ by manufacturer and skid steer

John Deere

both the carrier and attachment. Each loader can put out a certain maximum flow and pressure, and every attachment is capable of accepting certain flows and pressures. “You want to make sure those are matched,” says Fitzgerald. If you are not certain, the dealer is a good place to start. Just because you can hook up the attachment doesn’t mean it is compatible. “With the universal nature of the skidsteer-style quick attach, you can pick up a variety of different attachments,” says Jason Simmons, attachments program manager, John Deere. “You can specifically see mismatch occurring on the hydraulic side.” A prime example is trying to run a high-flow attachment with standard flow. “You are not getting the optimum performance out of the attachments because the carrier isn’t capable of high flow or vice versa—trying to run a machine on high flow with an attachment that’s only capable of standard flow,” Simmons notes. “It can lead to hydraulic failures on the attachment or other issues with the attachment not being able to withstand that flow rating.” Too much flow from the carrier will put excessive force on the attachment, causing it to wear faster and reducing performance. “With newer machines that are capable of

model, a standardflow system ranges from 17 to 24 gpm. Standard-flow auxiliary hydraulics are included on all skid steers from the factory and operate on the same pressure as the machine’s main hydraulics, which is approximately 3,000 to 3,500 psi. A John Deere high-flow auxiliary hydraulics system also operates on the same pressures (roughly 3,000/3,500 psi) as the main hydraulic circuits but offers a flow rate ranging from 30 to 38 gpm. When even more hydraulic power is required, an enhanced highflow auxiliary hydraulics package is available. According to Case, this highperformance option has flow rates that are similar to a skid steer with a high-flow package, yet operates at up to 4,000 psi. Examples of attachments that require an enhanced high-flow system include larger cold planers, larger mulchers used to clear brush and small trees and large rock saws that you might find in an aggregates operation.

For some attachments, you should consider more than just hydraulic horsepower requirements. The carrier needs enough engine horsepower to effectively perform the task.

APRIL 2022



PREPPING FOR BUSY SEASON: The Right Tools for Jobsite Efficiency

With the weather warming up, homeowners are ready to start spending more time in their outdoor living spaces. For contractors and outdoor living professionals, this means their schedules are also about to heat up. Belgard


ith the weather warming up, homeowners are ready to start spending more time in their outdoor living spaces. For contractors and outdoor living professionals, this means their schedules are also about to heat up. Demand continues to increase, and evidence from the past two years indicates there will be no slowing down. As we approach these busy seasons—knowing many contractors are already booked well in advance—it is important to evaluate tools and processes to ensure you have what your team needs for projects.

Take Customers Inside their Project

The ability to show a customer a visual representation of their design bolsters the customer journey and gives you a competitive edge. It is often hard for homeowners to visualize their space based on design sketches alone. Design programs that allow you to walk the customer through photorealistic renders of the property and proposed design can help you better sell the idea and give the customer a glimpse at how they will live inside the space. Some programs also are adding a virtual reality component,


APRIL 2022

making the visualization process even more exciting and enticing for homeowners. This style of design tool is a great way to encourage homeowners to move forward with their project. It also helps minimize and streamline the process of revising design concepts, given the homeowner can see what the space will look like once completed.

Offer the Right Product Selections

Both you and your customers want to minimize the time needed to complete outdoor living projects. More time for you means the flexibility to take on more work, and more time for the customer equals an outdoor space they can enjoy more quickly. Selecting the right products is key to enhancing efficiency, and there are more options on the market today that can help you tackle projects quickly. Modular hardscape systems offer more design options and faster, easier installation. For projects like outdoor kitchens and fire features, you can utilize modular systems that are shipped in sections that easily fit together with the right installation equipment, such as a skid loader. Modular hardscapes also align with current homeowner trends, as

customers today—especially in the younger demographic—favor the clean lines and modern aesthetic.

Find the Right Partners

While we usually want to do it all, there are times when we need to bring in a partner to help complete the job. You may need assistance getting the right materials or products to bring your customer’s dream project to life. By partnering with other businesses or subcontractors, you can work out agreements that are profitable for all parties. Forging these partnerships makes sourcing products easier and opens the door to partner in the future.

Invest in Training Your Team Though it can be hard to try to squeeze in training during busy season, it’s always beneficial to see what courses are available. Look into training events


around your area where team members can learn new skills, as well as network with other professionals. There also are online options where you and your team can find helpful installation videos about new products and techniques, which will come in handy as you add more jobs to your list, making you all more knowledgeable and efficient. As schedules get busier, take stock of your current strategies, products and equipment to see if there are

ways you can boost efficiency. It may seem impossible during peak times to assess where you need to make changes, but it always pays off in the long run, leading you to more projects and increased revenue.


Director of Residential Hardscapes Belgard



Mow it. Make it. Repeat. With an Altoz tracked mower on your trailer,

you’re better equipped for a full day of collecting cash. Altoz’s patented track system safely and efficiently handles uneven terrain, inclines and wet areas. But of all the places an Altoz can take you, it’s nice to know one of them is straight to the bank. THE ALTOZ TRX 766

©2022 Altoz / GIP2203-C

APRIL 2022




At dusk, more than 30 lighting elements, including some in the pool, are revealed. Ryan Hattaway/Ground Works Land Design


o thrive in the green industry, innovative designs and unwavering customer service must go hand in hand. For Ground Works Land Design, that isn’t a problem. The Westlake, Ohio-based landscape and design firm has made a name for itself in its 13 years of service by creating dramatic outdoor living spaces and prioritizing customer satisfaction. “Our clients come to us because they know, no matter the size or scope of the project, they will receive top-notch customer service through our proven process,” says Joseph Stark, marketing director, Ground Works Land Design. The firm recently completed a project in Westlake, Ohio, where Senior Designer Brandon Kliment


APRIL 2022

led the charge. The customer’s high-end vision included a resort-style pool and backyard. “Our goal was to provide our client with a large-scale backyard transformation that appropriately blended modern elements with the home’s classic surroundings,” Stark says. “We agreed to place water as the focal point and seamlessly work around the resort-style pool. We were expected to finish every inch of the backyard surrounding the pool after its installation. The client had a specific style, which included premium finishes, and through our design process and ongoing customer meetings, we delivered.” To get the job done, the team used excavators, skid steers, mini track loaders, concrete buggies and jumping-jack tampers,

just to name a few. For landscape and hardscape work, teams of four were assigned to each, respectively. However, every professional knows that no successful project can go without a hitch. Ground Works Land Design found its obstacle in the form of the pool’s installation and drainage. “The grade of the property was unusual, particularly on the backside of the lot, behind the evergreens and against the fence,” Stark says. “This made drainage with the pool very challenging.”

paver patios, including a sunbathing deck that resembles the look of hardwood,” Stark says. “Multiple textured four-by-four concrete slabs connect these hardscape features, which are softened by turf, a three-hole putting green and large evergreens on the backside of the property. At dusk, more than 30 lighting elements, including some in the pool, are revealed.” The firm boasts a 30-plus vehicle fleet and 45 employees. Having the necessary experience under its belt, the Ground

industry to make changes, and the green industry was no exception. Supply chain disruptions led to inflation, delivery fallout and mass product shortages. “When scheduling, make sure to set realistic expectations,” Stark advises. “With material price increases and shortages, it’s important to expedite where you can.” While landscape design and build are the firm’s main forte, Ground Works added snow and ice management to its service repertoire in the winter months.

Ryan Hattaway/Ground Works Land Design

With a little creativity, the team managed to find an alternative route to fix the drainage issue. “When laying concrete and turf, we tied all underpiping and plumbing into a storm drain in the rear of the yard,” Stark explains. After solving the drainage puzzle, the team pulled together a beautiful product for their customer and delivered on their promises. “With water as the focal point, we surrounded the pool with three unique

Works Land The firm Design firm continues is able to to expand provide insight its services and advice to with a sister Ry n other firms. stone company, an g si Ha De Granite Works Stone ttaw “A defined d n ay/Ground Works La company process is Design, which was added to crucial for any project,” Stark says. the firm’s portfolio as of late 2021. “Proper scheduling and internal “The team is in pursuit to carve a communication, as well as customer new lane in the landscape industry communication, are at the forefront.” with professional client services The COVID-19 pandemic forced every at its forefront,” Stark says.

APRIL 2022



 Mecalac MCR Series


Comprised of three models, the 6MCR, 8MCR and 10MCR, Mecalac’s MCR Series of compact skid excavators provides the swiftness of a skid steer with the 360degree rotation of an excavator for versatility and travel speeds two times faster than any small excavator. A compact footprint brings Mecalac’s signature end-userfocused design to new applications and industries for increased safety, sustainability and efficiency. The MCR Series features a hydrostatic transmission and strong drive motors. A dedicated pump drives the motor. Each of the three machines is capable of travel speeds up to 6.2 mph. The machine’s Connect system allows operators to quickly transition between attachments— such as pallet forks or digging buckets—without leaving the cab. Additionally, once the pins are engaged, Connect guarantees zero risk of dropping a bucket.

 Werk-Brau Grubber


APRIL 2022


Constructed with an extra-heavy-duty upper channel, AR400 steel cutting edges and triple pass welds on the high-stress areas, Werk-Brau Grubber models are available to fit most excavator sizes and classes, including minis. Available with a replaceable bolt-on edge V-edge or straight edge, the machines are designed for the select extraction of brush and nuisance vegetation; they minimize ground disturbance, reduce erosion and promote grass growth. When paired with an appropriately sized excavator, the Grubber can effectively eradicate infestations of mesquite and salt cedar, removing the root ball to reduce the chance of future propagation.

 Diamond Mowers Drum Mulcher:

Ideal for large mulch and brush clearing applications, Diamond Mower’s Drum Mulcher is a heavy-duty attachment that connects with skid steers and compact track loaders to shred small trees and brush up to 9 inches in diameter with a forward spinning motion that makes it optimal for quick removal. Its helical tooth pattern is modeled after a vacuum brush to feed material efficiently toward the center of its drum, and it has a two-speed variable displacement piston motor for maximum productivity. Based on work environment and operator preference, this mulcher can utilize three different types of teeth: an aggressive, steel-toothed design to grab and pull in material more effectively; Twin Chisel planer teeth for productivity and easy maintenance; and Twin Maul carbide teeth designed to withstand abrasion and extreme ground contact.

Yanmar Compact Equipment


 Yanmar SV40 Excavator


Yanmar Compact Equipment’s ultratight tail swing SV40 Excavator weighs 4 tons, features a 39-hp, electronically-controlled Yanmar Tier 4 Final diesel engine and comes standard with Yanmar’s patented quick coupler, SmartAssist remote communication system and the Yanmar four-year/4,000-hour warranty. Options for the SV40 include a second PTO function, a four- or six-way blade and an additional counterweight. The addition of the SV40 broadens the current excavator product lineup, with two other ultratight tail swing machines and another six excavators with true zero tail swing.

BUILT FOR WORK POUND FOR POUND...BETTER THAN A SKID STEER! Better Visibility  Easier to Maneuver 14 MPH Top Speed  21 GPM Aux. Hydraulics On-the-fly Shifting  Further Horizontal Reach Less Tire Wear  Minimal Turf Disturbance COMPATIBLE WITH STANDARD SKID STEER ATTACHMENTS!


(989) 427-5232 | 200 Quicksilver Lane | Edmore, MI | 48829

APRIL 2022


EQUIPMENT IN FOCUS  ASV RT-40 Post-Track Loader

ASV’s RT-40 Posi-Track loader comes with a 38.2-hp engine Tier 4 three-cylinder Yanmar engine. It is ideal for applications that require work in tight spaces. The compact track loader features a 48.3-inch width, an 8.4-foot lift height, a 931 rated operating capacity and a 7.1 mph top speed. The RT-40’s quick attach fits a variety of attachments and works with an optional adaptor plate for full-sized or walk-behind/stand-on loader attachments. An idler wheels full-metal-face seal package increases the ROC to 1,008 pounds. It can be towed behind a half-ton pickup truck. Additionally, the RT-40 comes ASV standard with variable auxiliary hydraulic flow pressure.

 Fecon 135VRT Compact Track Loader

The machine Fecon features a 132-hp 3.8 L Cummins Tier 4 Final Engine, while a 50-gpm auxiliary attachment flow provides 119 hp to the Bull Hog Forestry Mulcher or other attachments. A 16-gpm reserve allows full machine control. The model features all-steel hoods and standard cage guard and limb risers for greater protection and durability. The operator station includes an 8-inch color display, and there are no cross bars on the doors or windows. The 135VRT mulches material to 8 inches in diameter. A 52-gallon fuel tank allows nearly double the run time between fillups. Hinged belly pans and tilting cooler and condenser guards allow easier cleaning. Sealed fuse panels and improved wiring harness routing enhance durability.

Over 35 New Items for 2022


Scan to view Blade Video.

Built for Powerful Performance!

Visit or call 1.800.841.3989 Servicing dealers and distributors only.


APRIL 2022

® ®

L I G H T I N G & I R R I G AT I O N

Irrigation, Lighting & Landscape Trends ob e.


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.ad rin

rends change all the time. However, knowing about current trends will make your spaces more appealing. Check out these top 10 irrigation, lighting and landscape trends for ideas on what to incorporate into your designs.

5. Functional spaces

Many commercial landscapers have been incorporating sensitive rain sensors that adapt to weather conditions and only provide irrigation when absolutely necessary. These systems help conserve water and energy, and they avoid saturating and overwetting plants.

More buildings are incorporating open designs with contrasting colors and unique stylistic features. Color has become increasingly popular in commercial landscaping, incorporating pops of vibrant hues, where before, there would have been brick or stone. Concrete 55 3.a for spaces between do be. parking lots and stores stoc is now often mixed with colors like blue or yellow, instead of a dull gray.

Water features are popular aspects of landscape design, as they make for a beautiful, relaxing space.

Green roofs are partially or completely covered with plant life, many of which can be harvested for added benefit. These roofs absorb water and regulate heat loss and energy consumption from the building.

Bringing the outside in with new planters, large windows or French doors or bringing the inside out with covered gazebos or cushioned chairs is a great way to add to your space.

1. Responsive irrigation

2. Drought-tolerant plants

Responsible water use has become increasingly important, so incorporating drought-resistant plants like jasmine and rosemary has become popular, as have succulents and other water-saving plants.

4. Energy efficiency

Commercial landscaping now utilizes more fuel-efficient equipment and accessories, for example, solar lights versus electric ones. More commercial landscape architects are also utilizing green methods to create a superb outdoor space.

7. Green roofs

8. Placemaking

9. Water features

10. Melding indoor and outdoor spaces

Placemaking involves the creation of a comfortable, appealing space with fountains, sculptures, seating and a

sto o b e.

relaxing ambience. It is about the creation of a space where people would like to gather.

7 mm

Using native plants helps lower maintenance costs and increase water conservation. Plants like this already naturally thrive in your area, which means less work, and they help attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial creatures that add to the outdoor environment.

6. Distinctive designs


3. Native plants

During COVID19, being outside became a safe way to hang out together. Having a functional outdoor space makes it more comfortable.


Writer Arbeen Landscaping

APRIL 2022


com ck .


Contractor Profile:

DREW STANDFUSS A conversation with Drew Standfuss, president and owner of Greenscape Lawns in Montague, Mich. Jon Minnick: First off, what year was the company founded?

Drew Standfuss: It was 2010

when I officially formed as an LLC, but I’ve been doing it since I graduated high school in 2007.

Minnick: What attracted you to try lawn care, and what was that moment where you decided this is what you want to do?

Standfuss: The day our school hired a lawn care company, I remember being in math class staring out the window just watching these guys rip around on these mowers thinking, what a life: They’ve got freedom, and they’re outside in the nice warm weather. Little did I know that there’s a heck of a lot more that goes into it than just putting on tunes and driving a mower.

Minnick: How did COVID19 impact your business?

Standfuss: The pandemic hit in early

2020, and everybody’s freaking out. Our governor shut us down for a month. Then panic set in: Is there going to be work? I thought for sure it was going to be a rough year, but it ended up being a decent year. 2021 was just off the hook, and we couldn’t keep up with work. Because of COVID, people were home more. They valued family time and


APRIL 2022

were at home to spot things they wanted to enjoy. That was very good for this industry. On that same note, it was tough because we had trouble as far as finding people. Now, our profit is higher, and the amount of volume of work we’re doing is still there, so that showed me that we needed to cut fat. Our employees are happier, and across the board, everybody got raises. It made me realize who in this company is valuable and who’s not.

March and April are tough because you’re worried about renewing contracts. In the fall, you’re renewing for snow. The other one is just employees. How are we going to find employees? How are we going to keep employees happy?

Minnick: What makes you stand

Drew: Put your head down and grind.

out from your competition?

Standfuss: A lot of it has to do

with branding nowadays. Our logos on our trucks are huge. To me, it speaks of professionalism. I feel like people value that more than Johnny in a pickup truck with a sticker in the back window or on the door. Our other thing is customer service. If we goof up, we are there that same day. We are not having excuses. A lot of our customers have been with us for a lot of years. That speaks volumes about us as a company.

Minnick: What advice would

you give someone thinking about getting into the industry?

The way I started was cold calling. Everybody thinks you get some business cards and throw a name on your truck and the phone just starts ringing, but it doesn’t work that way. And if it does, you’re not getting the customers you want; you’re getting people that are just looking for the cheapest price. That’s a hard mistake to overcome because once customers get used to your prices, it’s a nightmare to try to bring them up to where you can be profitable. Also, if customers call with an issue, fix it that day. Don’t wait. That will take you a long way.

Minnick: What parts of the job keep you up at night?

Standfuss: Everything, everything.

DREW STANDFUSS President and Owner Greenscape Lawns


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Interested in becoming a Rotary dealer? Visit or call 800.841.3989. ©2022 Rotary Corporation. Rotary is a registered trademark of Rotary Corporation. Available through servicing dealers & distributors. *Next day delivery available in most areas. Delivery time is subject to change and may vary.


COUNTLESS WAYS TO DO IT YOUR WAY If you have the will to do whatever it takes to move your business forward, we have the performance to conquer whatever stands in your way. Check out the Bobcat® compact track loader lineup.

Bobcat Company is a member of the Doosan Group. Doosan is a global leader in construction, grounds maintenance and material handling equipment, power and water solutions, and engineering that has proudly served customers and communities for more than a century. Bobcat ®, the Bobcat logo and the colors of the Bobcat machine are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries. ©2022 Bobcat Company. All rights reserved. | 1512

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