Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.
Industry News Roundup
EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution. The final phase of the two standards were called for by the Climate Action Plan, and promote a new generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient trucks. The standards will address the second largest segment of U.S. transportation in terms of emissions and energy use such as lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, and fuel cost saving of about $170 billion.
ILCA 8th Annual Turf Education Day
The Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) annual Turf Education Day returns for a full-day overview of lawns and turf grass on Friday, September 9, 2016, at the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The comprehensive seminar is for any private or public sector professional who tends-to or looks after turf and lawns. To learn more and register for the seminar, visit the ILCA’s website.
Thieves Steal Two Trucks and Enclosed Trailers from NJ Firm
Police are investigating the theft of two commercial landscaping trucks, two enclosed trailers and landscaping equipment worth an estimated $300,000 from A-L Services Inc., reports nj.com.
The trucks and trailers were stolen from a storage area. Video surveillance footage showed a dark-colored SUV entering the business complex and exiting with the trucks and trailers, according to Morris Plains Police Chief Jason Kohn.
PERC Launches Online Tool Connecting Landscapers with Propane Dealers
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is launching an online tool called the Propane Equipment Dealer Point to strengthen its connection with professional landscapers. Dealers who carry propane landscaping equipment can sign up at no charge to be listed on the site. PERC says the initiative will benefit landscape contractors by making it quick and easy to find a propane equipment dealer simply by entering a ZIP code. The system will provide a list of dealers that not only carry propane mowers, but are also knowledgeable about the equipment.
Jacobsen Celebrates 95th Anniversary
Jacobsen, a Textron Inc. company, announced that 2016 marks the 95th year Jacobsen has been in business. Founded in 1921 by Oscar Jacobsen, Jacobsen produced the world’s first riding greens mower in 1968, the Greens King, which became the standard of the turf maintenance industry. In its 95th year, Jacobsen introduces the HR Series of wide-area rotaries, which includes the HR600, HR700 and HR800.
Farm Recession Impacts Deere’s 2016 Results
According to Deere & Company, the impact of the global farm recession has lead to decline in sales and net income for the third quarter, which ended July 31. The company reports the net income was $488.8 million, or $1.55 per share, for the third quarter, compared with $511.6 million, or $1.53 per share, for the same period last year. “All of Deere’s businesses remained profitable with the Agriculture & Turf division reporting higher operating profit than last year,” said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer.
TruGreen Partners with American Red Cross to Reduce Childhood Drownings
TruGreen is partnering with the American Red Cross to help reduce the drowning rate among the nation’s children. Specifically in areas where there are not have regular access to pools and swim lessons. TruGreen funding support covers swim lesson registration, water safety instructors, lifeguard training and educational kits for both children and their families in these communities.
Inc. Magazine Releases The Inc. 5000
The Inc. 5000 is an exclusive list made up of 5,000 of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Several companies in the green and related industries made the list. Coming in at #1643 is Durante Rentals, their fourth consecutive selection. Another in the construction industry, Legacy Building Solutions was ranked #1952, the first time Legacy has been featured. In the software industry, GPS Insight was ranked #3,668 with three-year sales growth of 85 percent. The rankings are determined by the rate of revenue growth over a three-year span.
LawnStarter Helps with Little Free Library in Austin
Austin-based LawnStarter has teamed up with the Little Free Library organization and the City of Austin to establish 100 Little Free Library locations this year and 500 more by the end of next spring. The libraries are little, about the size of a large birdhouse, and the books are free. Neighbors and residents can take or drop off at anytime like a book exchange.
BackOffice Becomes Forgely; Adds Features
Forgely is the new name of the people management software company formerly known as BackOffice. Since 2010 the company has focused on meeting specific needs of lawn care and pest control companies. The Forgely software includes several new hiring features, including: sharing capabilities that allow managers to post open jobs on free online job boards like Indeed and SimplyHired, as well as their company websites, a ready-to-send Quality Pro application and candidate questionnaires customized for every job and a hiring mini-feed that ensures all hiring managers stay in the loop about qualified candidates and status updates.
LawnGuru Gets Funds to Grow Nationally
LawnGuru, the on-demand marketplace for lawn mowing and snow removal services in Michigan, recently closed a $1 million seed funding round, led by Sierra Wasatch Capital. Other participants included Canyon Creek Capital, Briggs and Stratton and Sequoia Capital’s scout program. LawnGuru, which has grown its revenue by more than 1100 percent since 2015, will use the investment to support its national growth and expansion while continuing the research and development of the company’s technology. LawnGuru is also releasing an all-new Android version of its app.
More Than 100 Riders Primed for STIHL Tour des Trees
More than103 riders have signed up for this fall’s Tour des Trees to benefit the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund). Cyclists will travel 561 scenic miles through North and South Carolina, beginning on Oct. 9 and returning to Charlotte for a victory lap through the city on Oct. 15. Since 2002, TREE Fund has issued nearly $3 million in research, scholarship and education grants for urban forestry and arboriculture researchers, as well as student and community education programs.
People on the Move
Recent promotions and staff changes among green industry companies.
KALO Appoints Dusty Allen as New Area Manager
KALO, Inc., a supplier of specialty chemicals for the agricultural & specialty turf markets, hired Dusty Allen as area manager & key account specialist. Allen will be based in Blackfoot, Idaho, and serve the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Allen previously worked as an agricultural retail account manager for DuPont Crop Protection and senior technical Sales Representative for Bayer CropScience.
Tom Scott Joins STIHL as Information Services Director
Tom Scott recently joined STIHL Inc., as the director of information services. Scott will be responsible for all U.S. activities related to Information Technology (IT) for the company, including business applications, system architecture and communication infrastructure support for STIHL Inc., its branches, distributors and servicing dealers. Scott brings more than 30 years of information technology leadership to STIHL, most recently serving as the interim chief information officer for Dollar Tree Stores in Chesapeake, Va. Beyond information technology, Scott has overseen distribution, customer service and human resources.
Takeuchi-US Promotes Michael Shebetka
Takeuchi-US, compact equipment manufacturer, appointed Michael Shebetka to the position of product and training manager. The move follows the promotion of David Caldwell to national product manager. As product and training manager, Shebetka will be in charge of product information and training for both dealers and field representatives. Additional responsibilities include performing the role of product trainer at Takeuchi’s national training events at the Georgia, U.S. headquarters.
Katie Harper Named Recruiter/Trainer at Davey Tree
The Davey Tree Expert Company promoted Katie Harper to recruiter/trainer. Harper began her career at Davey in 2012 as an intern with Davey’s King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, residential/commercial office. The next year, she interned with the Davey Institute, the company’s premier research, development and innovation division. Since her college graduation in 2014, Harper has worked as a plant health care technician at Davey’s Northern Virginia residential/commercial office.
Kurt Forrest to Head OEM Sales at Kawasaki Motors
The Engines Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. appointed Kurt Forrest to head the company’s OEM sales efforts. As director, OEM sales, Forrest will be responsible for oversight of KMC’s extensive relationships with the OEM community. The Kawasaki team reporting to Forrest consists of four OEM sales managers as well as an experienced sales support and coordination team. All are located at the division’s Grand Rapids headquarters.
Britton Lacy Joins Barenbrug USA
Barenbrug USA has appointed Britton ‘Bo’ Lacy, CGCS, as the product manager for Barenbrug’s professional turf sector starting September 1. Lacy is replacing John Rector who is retiring. As product manager, Lacy will provide technical and sales support for the company’s network of professional turf distributors and work in research and development. Lacy received a Bachelor of Science in turfgrass management from Penn State University and a Bachelor of Science in business management from George Fox University.