Oct. 25 2018 05:08 PM

GIE+Expo was the backdrop for many new equipment introductions.

GIE Expo featured many new equipment introductions.

GIE+Expo is the show where many mower, outdoor power equipment companies and earthmoving equipment companies launch their “latests and greatests” for the upcoming season. Companies exhibiting at the 2018 edition lived up to the expectations of attendees with many new products sporting innovative features designed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the need for human labor.

At the outdoor demonstration area, Deerfield, Illinois-based Caterpillar treated members of the green industry press to a viewing of 4 new 1-to-2-ton and 6 new 3-to-7-ton Next Generation mini hydraulic excavators with expandable undercarriages. The 10 new units are distinguished by “industry-first” standard features such as joystick steering, LCD control screens, tilt-up canopies or cabs, as well as new options including air-conditioned cabs that are sealed and pressurized to keep out dust.

CAT also showed off a new compact joystick-controlled wheel loader, the 903D, that features a 25 percent increase in both lifting capacity and travel speed. It has new optional features, such as creep control, throttle lock and a work-tool electrical harness. The power train uses a fuel-efficient Tier 4 Final CAT C2.4 diesel engine, rated at 40 net horsepower, with a hydrostatic transmission that provides travel speeds up to 12.4 mph. CAT-designed planetary-reduction axles, available with optional differential locks that can be engaged “on the fly,” allow the 903D to respond instantly to changing ground conditions.

A new addition to CAT’s line of UTVs was also shown, one that can seat five riders comfortably.

Inside the building, Mean Green Products’ President Joe Conrad pulled the tarp off its brand-new Evolution Series EVO-72 zero-turn electric commercial rider with a 72-inch deck. As with all the Hamilton, Ohio-based company’s mowers, it runs off a lithium-ion battery pack (the EVO-72’s is “the size of 3 Tesla car batteries,” according to Conrad) capable of delivering 5-10 hours of mowing time. (At the time of the press conference, the provisional patent on the new mower was only 30 minutes old). High-strength aluminum in some parts of the frame makes it lighter, and a solar canopy overhead keeps the rider cool and the battery charged.

Watertown, Wisconsin-based fisher barton blades inc. showed off the LaserEdge EverSharp self-sharpening lawn mower blades the company introduced in 2018. You can find them on commercial mowers from Grasshopper, Cub Cadet, Hustler, Husqvarna, Big Dog, Kubota and John Deere’s 900 series. By January of 2019, look for them on Ariens, Ferris and Snapper Pro’s commercial machines as well.

Exmark showcased its 2019 Staris, a new stand-on zero-turn riding mower. Staris is available in E-Series models, with a choice of 32-, 36- and 44-inch UltraCut Series 3 cutting decks, and large-frame S-Series models, with a choice of 48-, 52- or 60-inch UltraCut Series 4 cutting decks.

The Toro Company, Bloomington, Minnesota, had several product announcements, including its all-new Titan HD zero-turn special edition mower, available from Toro dealers for a limited time. The special edition Titan HD 2000 Series MyRIDE features iconic Toro bullhorns embossed on the seat and imprinted on the back guard, a tribute to more than a century of Toro innovation.

Greenworks Commercial, Charlotte, North Carolina, took its battery powered equipment to new levels with its first-ever line of lithium-ion-powered Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs). Greenworks will now offer more lithium-ion powered outdoor vehicles in their line than any other company in the industry, ensuring a safe, emission-free solution for every type of end-user for any outdoor maintenance need.

Stay tuned for more equipment updates from GIE+Expo at www.igin.com and in upcoming issues of Irrigation & Green Industry.