Couldn’t make it to GIE+EXPO this year? We’ve got you covered. The editors of Turf Magazine are on the ground, covering everything you need to know at the show. At the end of the day, our editors come together and curate the top moments from the busy day’s events — from announcements at press conferences to inspiring advice from educational sessions. Here are some of the top moments from the last day of the show.

1. Top 4 Ways To Be More Efficient In Hardscaping

Belgard porcelein pavers

Photo: Nicole Wisniewski

Need to find ways to save more time during your hardscape installations? Joe Raboine with Belgard shared some ideas during the GIE+EXPO.

  1. Use an advanced dry mudset for concrete overlays. This enables you to eliminate the step of breaking up concrete before laying paving stones; instead you lay paving stones right on top of the concrete.
  2. Reduce your number of client visits and boost your close rate by using technology that showcases what the completed design will look like on the client’s site … or better yet offer this visual through a virtual reality tool.
  3. Use stones that can be laid in linear patterns, which are simpler to install, creating a cleaner, more contemporary look. The look is growing in popularity and is reflected not in the material of the stone but more in the lines used to create the pattern.
  4. Try using porcelain pavers on clients’ properties. While they cost more upfront (approximately double), they are quicker to install, requiring less of a base, and connect the indoors and outdoors more seamlessly. They are denser and impervious to stain so they look new and last longer.
JCB 2017

Photo: Nicole Wisniewski

2. Top Attachments Typically Purchased With Loaders

When landscape professionals purchase a skid-steer loader or compact track loader, these are the top four attachments they purchase with it, shared JCB’s Randy Tinley during the GIE+EXPO.

  1. Bucket (standard bucket usually comes with the machine)
  2. Scrap grapple (popular for cleanup)
  3. Auger
  4. Mower

3. New Pollinator-Friendly Insecticide

Bayer’s Altus insecticide provides broad-spectrum control of sucking pests with flexible or drench applications that are made before, during or after bloom. Altus is very beneficial for pollinators and there are no restrictions on when to apply the product. According to Bayer, Altus features systematic and translaminar protection of existing and new plant growth and controls pests that include whiteflies, aphids, leafhoppers, mealybugs, psyllids, lace bugs and hard and soft scales. Bayer recommends wearing PPE: long-sleeved shirt and long pants plus shoes with socks and chemical resistant gloves. Foliar applications can last up to 28 days and drench applications can last up to 42 days.

4. Steps Toward More Comfortable Mowing

Mowers were all the rage on the GIE+EXPO show floor. Since landscape professionals spend roughly eight hours in a mower seat daily, comfort is crucial. Mike Simmon from Grasshopper shares some key trends in mower ergonomics.

  1. Look for a machine with more isolation points or vibration dampeners.
  2. Visibility from the seat is important.
  3. Make sure you’re not sitting too high off of the ground. If your center of gravity is lower, your weight is more evenly dispersed and you get better traction and cut quality.

5. Looking To Add Irrigation To Your Business?

Want to add irrigation to your service mix? Conserva Irrigation, the first conservation-based franchise irrigation company, launched in June and made its debut at the GIE+EXPO. Conserva Irrigation was founded by Russ Jundt, who became increasingly disturbed by the amount of water wasted by the typical irrigation system, especially considering there are 45 million residential irrigation systems across the U.S. As a solution, he developed a proprietary process to audit irrigation systems to rate water efficiency of a system based on a numerical scale. This allows homeowners to understand how much water their sprinkler systems are wasting and what improvements they can make in order to reduce water consumption and lower water bills. Today, Conserva Irrigation offers franchises in 32 licensed territories that cost roughly $43,550 to $80,250 each for the initial investment.

6. Leader In Propane

RCI, one of the largest, full-service landscape companies in the southeast U.S., won this year’s Propane Leadership Award from the Propane Education & Research Council, the organization shared at the GIE+EXPO. In 2011, the company changed one-third of its fleet to propane within a year. Now the company uses nearly 100 propane mowers, as well as close to 100 propane autogas-powered trucks. Owner Brandt Martin said the first propane mower he tried simply outperformed their existing gasoline or diesel mowers on operations, maintenance and dependability.