No Ponies but Lots of Other Surprises at GIE+EXPO

Incremental improvements move industry in positive direction
by Ron Hall/Editor-in-Chief
10/15/2013

By this time next week I expect to be in Louisville, Ky., at the GIE+EXPO. I drive there. Depending upon the amount of traffic and road construction that I encounter on I-75 I can make it there in about 6 hours, usually less. I like Louisville, which is a cool city and very easy to get around in. And I look forward to attending the GIE+EXPO, of course.

The big attraction for me at the GIE+EXPO is seeing the new stuff. There's always something new. For me at least, every GIE+EXPO is like being a kid on Christmas morning. While I keep hoping for that pony - that really big, whopping surprise - I'm never disappointed with the smaller but nice surprises that I discover there.

Blockbuster, industry-changing products are few and far between. I'm talking about something as revolutionary as a commercial zero turn technology, mini & compact landscape equipment or the spectrum of low-a.i., environmentally benign weed and insect controls that we count on to keep our lawns green and weed free. You may be able to think of other industry game changers.

Even so, and make no mistake about it, we're in a period of ever-accelerating technology that, in spite of being incremental, is hugely positive for our industry. Step-by-step advances in product design and manufacture will most certainly allow us to run our companies more efficiently, offer more environmentally valuable and life-enhancing services to the public and also to reward ourselves and our teams financially and with greater career satisfaction.

Specifically, and assuming there's nothing at the GIE+EXPO to take my breath away (Who knows, right?), I expect to see:

- commercial equipment that's bigger, faster, more fuel efficient and more comfortable to operate;

- the next evolution of battery-powered technology showcased in commercial equipment;

- more promotion of and interest in alternative fuels, with propane again getting lots of attention from contractors;

- "natural" or "organic" product and systems suppliers becoming more prominent on the show floor.

While I'm still hoping to find my "pony" (a new technology that will transform the industry) at the GIE+EXPO, it's more likely that I'll see (and will share with you) will be the many  incremental improvements in products that we've all come to rely upon and appreciate.