Oct. 17 2011 03:18 PM

Max Walker

Max Walker, founder of Walker Manufacturing, Ft. Collins, Colorado, passed away September 19, 2011. He was 88 years old.

Walker started his company in 1980. The small, family-owned business has flourished since then:

Walker Manufacturing currently has 23 North American distributors and 23 international distributors, as well as over 1,100 dealers worldwide, selling and servicing Walker Mowers.

His sons, Bob and Dean Walker, oversee the day-to-day operations of the company.

Millionth Engine Rolls Off Assembly Line

A milestone was celebrated as Kohler Engines rolled its one millionth Courage V-Twin engine off the assembly line in their Hattiesburg, Mississippi plant and into a place of honor. The Courage V-Twin engine is primarily found in riding lawn mowers; it comes in 11 models ranging from 20–27 hp.

Production began in 2005, just as Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Kohler, based in Kohler, Wisconsin, is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies. It was founded in 1873.

Shoemaker Named President

James W. Shoemaker, Jr., has been named president of Morbark, Inc., Winn, Michigan. He replaces Lon Morey, who will remain as chairman of the board.

Prior to his appointment as president, Shoemaker served as vice president of operations. He joined Morbark in 2003.

“We are fortunate to have a leader like Shoe, who can step up and move the company forward during this critical time,” says Morey. “He not only has the extensive operations, accounting, and supply chain experience, which will be instrumental in our global expansion, but he also has extensive experience in change management.”

Morbark manufactures high-performance equipment for the forestry, tree care and biomass markets.

Wright Introduces New Mower

Wright Commercial Products is introducing a new mower, the Sport X, at the Green Industry Equipment Expo. The Sport X combines all the features of the company’s Stander, with Wright’s new AERO CORE deck design.

Deere Dealers to Sell Honda in U.S.

A new sales and marketing agreement between John Deere and Honda Power Equipment was announced that will allow to sell John Deere dealerships to sell Honda premium power products in the Unites States.

Under the terms of the agreement, participating John Deere dealers will offer Honda’s walk-behind lawnmowers, generators, tillers, water pumps and snow blowers. In addition, Deere said, it will no longer market John Deere-branded walkbehind mowers or walk-behind snow blowers in the U.S.

Shipments of Honda inventory will be phased in, beginning in 2012. John Deere dealerships are independently owned and the company said all active dealers will be offered the opportunity to sell the Honda product line during a sign-up period beginning in late 2011.

Yazoo/Kees Brand Discontinued

Charoltte, North Carolina-based Husqvarna has announced their intent to discontinue selling products under the Yazoo/Kees brand name. The company intends to discontinue manufacturing and selling products under the Yazoo/Kees brand by year’s end.

John Marchionda, vice president of marketing, said the decision was a part of the “brand rationalization strategy within the Husqvarna group.” The manufacturer will continue to produce similar products under both Dixon and Husqvarna brands.

Husqvarna will continue to process warranty claims and make available service parts for an extended period of time.

Kubota Recalls Riding Mowers

Kubota is recalling roughly 6,100 riding mowers, due to a faulty fuel hose clamp. The clamp may detach from the fuel filter and allow gas to leak out, posing a fire hazard.

The recall affects 16 models from T, GR, and ZG series of mowers. They can be identified by the serial number, located on the left front frame for T series models, and on the right front frame for GR and ZG series models.

Kubota is contacting customers who purchased the affected riding mowers. Customers with affected mowers are also encouraged to call Kubota to schedule a free inspection and repair.

For the complete list of recalled mowers, visit the official press release at www.cpsc.gov/ or contact Kubota at 800-752-0290, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday.