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.

TCIA Releases Report of Tree Care Related Incidents in 2017
TCIA learned of 129 tree care-related occupational incidents in calendar year 2017. Seventy-two of them were fatal. This report provides what we know about these incidents from the media accounts. Comparing 2017 with previous years, we reported 81, 92 and 92 occupational fatalities in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The youngest victim we recorded was 20, the oldest was 71. The average age of the victim (all incidents) was 43. This relatively high average age suggests that complacency rather than ignorance plays a significant role in these incidents. Supporting this claim:

  • The typical fall victim was unsecured
  • The typical struck-by victim remained in the drop zone
  • The typical electrocution victim violated MAD and made contact through a conductive tool/object.

For those accounts in which an employer was identified, 22 percent of all incidents occurred with TCIA member companies, and 78 percent occurred with non-members. The “Big Three” types of accident causation are the same as they have been in recent years: Fall, struck-by and electrical contact incidents comprise 33, 33 and 17 percent of the total incidents, respectively.

Granz Turf Depot Named Wright New England Dealer of the Year
Granz Turf Depot in New Hampshire has been named 2017 New England Dealer of the Year by EDM Distributors and Wright Manufacturing. The award recognizes Granz Turf Depot’s  outstanding performance as a Wright full line commercial mower dealer. Granz Turf Depot, owned by Bruce Yennaco and Joseph Chevalier, operates four stores in New Hampshire – Granz Power Equipment in Salem; Still’s Power Equipment in Manchester; and Turf Depots in Portsmouth and Londonderry.

DEWALT Unveils Two Lawn Mowers
DEWALT has unveiled the 2x20V MAX* Brushless Mower (DCMW220) and 40V MAX* Brushless Mower (DCMW290). The 2x20V MAX* Brushless Mower is optimized for use with DEWALT construction battery platforms. The two DEWALT 20V MAX* 5.0Ah Batteries (DCB205) work simultaneously to deliver the power demanded by the user and provide flexibility to be used with other tools in the DEWALT 20V MAX* system.  The 40V MAX* Brushless Mower is optimized for use in landscaping applications. It is powered by one DEWALT 40V MAX* 6.0Ah Battery (DCB406). Both the mowers feature high-efficiency brushless motors to deliver consistent cutting performance. They also both offer a 20-inch metal deck to cut a large path, a folding handle for upright storage, and front deck and rear deck carrying handles.

Ditch Witch Dealerships and Individuals Receive Service & Leadership Awards
Ditch Witch has announced recipients of its annual Harold Chesnutt Award, Service and Support Leadership Award, and Service and Support Excellence Award for 2017. Jon Ahlman of Ditch Witch of Arizona was presented the 2017 Harold Chesnutt Award. The annual award recognizes the parts manager in the worldwide Ditch Witch dealer network who best exemplifies the enthusiasm and dedication Harold Chesnutt brought to his profession for more than 30 years. Ahlman has been a member of the Ditch Witch family since 1981. Kyle Liebman of Ditch Witch Northwest was recognized as the 2017 Service Manager of the Year. Presented annually, this award honors the Ditch Witch dealership service manager who best promotes the highest level of product support to customers and superior leadership to co-workers. With a passion for mechanics, Liebman joined the Ditch Witch organization in 1998 and served as a “jack-of-all-trades.” The No. 1 dealership for service and support in 2017 was Ditch Witch of South Louisiana. The other top dealerships included: Ditch Witch of Arizona, Ditch Witch Mid-States, Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan, Ditch Witch of North Dakota, Ditch Witch Northwest, Ditch Witch UnderCon, Ditch Witch of Virginia, and Jesco, Inc.

LiveWall Living Wall Blooms on Bloomington Parking Garage
The new Monroe County Parking Garage in Bloomington, Indiana features a LiveWall installation. LiveWall fills five of the parking structure’s window openings with a variety of plants that bloom in shades of yellow, red, pink, purple and green. Axis Architecture + Interiors was the project architect and ProCLAD, Inc. was the contractor selected to install the parking garage green wall. The window openings in the parking garage measure 8 feet long by 6 feet tall. ProCLAD designed and installed a framework within the window openings with 4-inch by 4-inch by ¼-inch tube steel. They bolted the LiveWall system’s horizontal aluminum rails to the tube steel frames. Each of the five sections of green wall has six rows of LiveWall modular planter boxes, which slide into the rails.

Honda Plans $10.5 Million Expansion of North Carolina Plant
The Alamance County Board of Commissioners gave Honda Power Equipment $157,500 incentives over five years in a 3–2 vote for a $10.5 million expansion of its Swepsonville, North Carolina plant. There could be more investment and incentives in the near future, but not more jobs. The plant has been operating in Alamance County for more than 30 years, company Vice President Robert Whitehead said at the commissioners’ first February meeting Monday, but growing EPA regulation of small gasoline engines, of which the plant produces millions each year for things like lawn mowers, means the plant might need to expand into another product. But the parent company hasn’t decided whether the Swepsonville facility is the best plant for the job. Over the next year, Whitehead said, the plant would expand by 116,000 square feet — 100,000 square feet would be factory floor and the rest offices, according to a report by The Times-News.

Vanguard Launches All-New Single-Cylinder Engine
Vanguard has introduced the first in a complete line of all-new single-cylinder horizontal shaft commercial gasoline engines built from the ground up based on customer input. Vanguard developed the new engines around key areas of performance critical to improving overall productivity, including starting, maintenance intervals, service and support, and total cost of ownership. The new line will span from 5 to 13 gross horsepower to meet power requirements for a wide range of global commercial applications. The new line of engines also includes an advanced version of TransportGuard, Vanguard’s single ignition and fuel shutoff designed to prevent oil dilution during transport.

New President of Nebraska Arborists Association Takes Helm
Kevin Popken of Lawngevity Lawn and the Urban Tree of Fremont took over as president of the Nebraska Arborists Association on Jan. 24 at the association’s annual board meeting held in Omaha. Popken has served on the board for seven years, according to The Fremont Tribune. The Nebraska Arborists Association is an association of arborists from across the state of Nebraska involved in the education, conservation, promotion and care of trees.