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Companies in the News: Updates from Bobcat Co., Echo and more

November 9, 2021 -  By
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Bobcat Co. has partnered with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF), a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening disaster response in America by training highly skilled canine and handler search teams.

The partnership spotlights SDF’s National Training Center in Santa Paula, Calif., where shelter dogs are trained to become rescue dogs through simulated rubble piles and mock disaster sites.

Founded in 1996, SDF has trained 180 certified first responder and canine teams that have deployed to 216 disasters and missing person searches. Through this partnership, Bobcat equipment is used to create and maintain realistic onsite training environments at the 125-acre National Training Center, which is designed to simulate conditions in various types of natural and manmade disasters.

“We are excited to partner with the Search Dog Foundation and help support their mission to provide search and rescue training for dogs and their handlers,” said Laura Ness Owens, vice president of marketing, communication and public affairs at Doosan Bobcat North America. “The Search Dog Foundation empowers lifesaving work that truly matters to all of us. Bobcat is honored to support these heroic first responders, who act with courage, determination and toughness.”

At SDF’s National Training Center, dogs must learn to crawl through tunnels, maneuver on ladders, navigate unstable surfaces and detect human scent beneath debris. A Bobcat T750 compact track loader, Bobcat E35 excavator and a variety of Bobcat attachments are used for brush clearing, trenching, road maintenance, moving rubble to create new training courses and learning opportunities and to modify existing courses for the dogs and their handlers.

Over the past 25 years, SDF and its dogs and handlers have worked to save lives in hundreds of disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Irma, the Oklahoma City bombing, California mudslides, the World Trade Center attacks and earthquakes in Nepal, Haiti and Japan.

Echo kicked off its 50-year anniversary celebrations at the 2021 GIE+EXPO.

Established on Nov. 16, 1972 in North America, Echo is a manufacturer of professional-grade, high performance outdoor power equipment for commercial and homeowner use.

During the celebration, Wayne Thomsen, vice president of marketing and product management, Echo, unveiled a Limited-Edition Echo PB-580T Backpack Blower, designed with an all-black engine shrouding and commemorative gold trim. The limited-edition units will not be available at retail level; instead, Echo will be awarding 250 units through October 2022 by means of social media contests and other sweepstakes.

“For 50 years, Echo has provided a tremendous amount of innovation to the outdoor power equipment industry. We’re very proud of the legacy we’ve created, and we have every intention to carry that forward for another 50 years and beyond,” said Tim Dorsey, president and CEO, Echo.

Since 2017 alone, Echo has launched 109 new products, including 20 in 2020.

In light of the recent state law signed into effect by California Governor Newsom banning the sale of gas-powered outdoor power equipment, Greenworks Commercial is helping landscape businesses transition to clean alternatives.

“With the new law banning gas sales starting in 2024, it’s important for landscapers to be ahead of the curve,” said Tony Marchese, Greenworks Commercial vice president of sales and operations. “Taking advantage of California’s $30 million incentive fund, we can help commercial landscapers transition easily and cost effectively.”

The new law is also motivated by a concern for landscape workers’ health, as gas-powered small engines have been proven to increase the risk of asthma and other health concerns.

Vanguard partnered with JEM Technical (JEM), a manufacturer of integrated custom hydraulic valve assemblies and components and a full system integrator of electronic solutions.

JEM will utilize Vanguard Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery Packs in its customized engineering solutions for OEM customers.

“We’re always thrilled to find reputable and reliable companies like JEM Technical to partner with and supply with quality products,” said Chris Davison, Briggs & Stratton senior marketing manager, commercial power. “We look forward to collaborating with JEM and seeing how they utilize our battery lineup to create new, customized solutions for OEMs of mobile and stationary equipment.”

Headquartered in Minnesota, JEM has nearly 40 years of fluid power and controls application experience. Since 1984, it has earned a solid reputation as a quality distributor and manufacturer of engineered valves, manifolds and electronics controls. Today, OEM customers in North America rely on more than three decades of engineering and business experience to help them design and build equipment with robust fluid power systems.

Scag Power Equipment tapped Power Source Canada (PSC) as its new distributor for Canada, effective Nov. 1.

PSC is a national distributor offering whole goods and affiliated parts and service for major brands of outdoor power equipment, serving the whole of Canada. The company operates from its headquarters in Milton, Ontario, as well as an additional distribution center in Delta, British Columbia.

“We are thrilled to partner with an industry leader such as Scag whose innovation and attention to quality is recognized and respected throughout the power equipment industry. Together we will work to build a strong dealer network in Canada,” said Mark Baillie, president of PSC.

John Deere is celebrating 25 years of manufacturing its ZTrak commercial zero-turn mower lineup, commemorating a history that started in 1997 with the launch of the F620 and F680 zero-turn mowers.

The brand continues to build on its commitment to effective and efficient commercial landscaping offerings with the recent launch of the Fastback PRO Rear-Discharge Mower Deck, offering time-saving solutions for professional landscapers. John Deere will continue to remain dedicated to offering customers solution-based designs that aid in increased performance and customer satisfaction.

“Ever since the first ZTrak zero-turn mower, Deere has kept the pedal down in terms of product improvements. For us, there’s always an improved model or attachment around the corner,” said Nick Minas, go-to-market manager, John Deere. “This anniversary celebrates 25 years of providing value and innovative products to our customers. We are excited to continue developing and designing the most effective equipment solutions for years to come.”

To commemorate the anniversary of the ZTrak, John Deere featured a 25th-anniversary unit front and center at this year’s GIE+EXPO, with a special decal included on all MY2022 ZTrak Z900 Series units to highlight this tremendous milestone.

Oldcastle APG, a CRH company, has acquired Pebble Technology International, which specializes in branded outdoor living products and the category-defining brand in aggregate swimming pool finishes.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., PebbleTec operates from five locations across the U.S. and boasts an established history spanning four decades. Known for providing The World’s Most Trusted Pool Finishes, PebbleTec has a reputation for excellent product quality and high-touch customer service.

Oldcastle APG said its acquisition of PebbleTec significantly enhances its proposition in the thriving pool category. This supports CRH’s integrated and solutions-focused strategy by providing Oldcastle APG customers including architects, developers, builders, contractors and more with complete end-to-end solutions for outdoor living environments.

This acquisition follows several recent purchases by Oldcastle APG, including hardscapes company EP Henry earlier this year.

Aquascape donated its expertise and labor to help the Batavia High School Ecology Club build a beautiful ecosystem pond in the campus courtyard.

Ed Beaulieu, vice president of field research and contractor development for Aquascape, designed the pond and led students, staff, and volunteers during the build on Oct. 8 and 9, 2021.

The shallow, elongated pond modeled after the Fox River, stretches across a 30-by-10-foot space. Beaulieu included an intake bay in the pond’s design to simplify the maintenance; students in the vocational track plan to take on maintenance responsibilities to complement their learning curriculum. The city of Batavia donated limestone, recycled from a building teardown, to create a border for the water feature. Massive logs helped naturalize the feature and had to be muscled in through the school’s library (the only point of access on the construction site) by volunteers and Batavia firefighters.

“Sponsor of the Ecology Club Elizabeth Faulhaber reached out to us last year asking for help on ideas for a pond, and I couldn’t resist volunteering my efforts for the design and construction process,” said Beaulieu. “Our challenge was working with a new group of students every few hours as they rotated through the construction process with our technical team. Fortunately, two incredible young ladies stayed the entire build and led by example. Rather than me teaching each new group how to dig properly, place rocks, and backfill voids with river rock, Abbey Piwowarczyk and Eleni Salas, both seniors, demonstrated all of the proper steps to their peers.”

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor. She can be reached at swebb@northcoastmedia.net.

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