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.

House Committee Approves Bill Mandating E-Verify
The House Judiciary Committee approved by a vote of 20-10 the Legal Workforce Act (HR 3711). This bill, which was introduced by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA), would require employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the E-Verify system. Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), E-Verify checks the social security numbers of newly hired employees against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records to confirm work eligibility.

Read more: What Do You Think of E-Verify — Really?

SiteOne Reports Strong 3rd Quarter Results
SiteOne, North America’s largest wholesale distributor of landscape suppliers recently reported 2017 3rd Quarter Results. SiteOne has 481 branches in 45 states and five Canadian provinces. Third quarter highlights: net sales increased 13 percent YoY to $502.4 million (with organic daily sales increasing 5 percent and acquisitions contributing $34.1 million to growth, or 8 percent); gross margin improved to 31.9 percent; gross profit increased 16 percent to $160 million; gross profit increased 16 percent to $160.3 million; net income of $16.9 million, compared to $14.9 million during the same period last year; adjusted EBITDA of $48.4 million compared to $43.7 million during the prior-year period.

Oregon Products Updates Website
Oregon Products recently launched its updated website, OregonProducts.com. The new site offers forestry professionals, landscape contractors and cordless equipment customers an improved online experience with features that simplify the process of finding and purchasing the correct tool or replacement part.

CASE Extends Warranty On Skid Steers, Compact Loader
CASE Construction Equipment has extended its standard, full-machine warranty on all skid steers and compact track loaders to two years, 2,000 hours (up from one year, 1,000 hours). The new full-machine warranty applies to all models in both product lines, with skid steers ranging in operating capacity from 1,300 pounds up to 3,400 pounds, and compact track loaders rated from 2,700 pounds up to 3,800 pounds.

Project EverGreen’s National SnowCare For Troops Week
Project EverGreen recognized National SnowCare for Troops Awareness Week November 5-11 to raise the profile of the SnowCare for Troops (SCFT) program and spotlight the efforts of the initiative’s volunteers, military families and wounded and disabled veterans it serves. Project EverGreen, in partnership with Boss Snowplow, established the SCFT initiative in 2010 to provide complimentary snow and ice removal services to help military families and disabled veterans. Now in its eighth year, SCFT has seen more than 5,000 military families and 1,500 snow removal contractors.

Read more: SnowCare for Troops Seeks Volunteers

NALP Launches New Industry Accredited Program
The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is launching the Landscape Industry Accredited Company Program. The program is open to all industry companies. Applications requirements ensure that companies:

  • Employ at least 10 percent Landscape Industry Certified staff including at least one person on staff who holds the designation Landscape Industry Certified Staff Manager.
  • Participate in a national safety program
  • Conduct responsible and ethical business practices
  • Complete the Pledge of Excellence
  • Submit three Customer Reference Verification forms
  • Complete the application

SiteOne Hires Gertz To Lead Agronomics Product Business
SiteOne Landscape Supply hired John Gertz as Vice President of Category Management for the agronomics category. Gertz’s main responsibility will be to lead SiteOne’s agronomics product business and manage supplier partnerships in this space. Gertz has been working in the green industry since 1995, starting in sales and marketing roles with both basic discovery and post-patent chemical manufacturers including Dow AgroSciences, SePRO and Sipcam Agro USA, Inc. In 2007, he transitioned to the distribution side of the business, working as Director of Micronutrients / Turf and Ornamental for WinField / Land O’ Lakes. Prior to joining SiteOne, Gertz served as the CEO of PrimeraTurf Inc.

Ariens Awarded NJPA Contract For Landscape Equipment
Ariens Company was awarded a national cooperative contract by the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA). The contract was awarded for landscape and grounds maintenance equipment, and is significant because it marks the first time the Ariens and Gravely brands have been awarded a contract by the NJPA. The contract runs through 2021. Buyers in both the United States and Canada can purchase equipment through the contract, and is valid in all areas where cooperative purchasing is allowed.

2017 GIE+EXPO Shatters Records; New Format Announced For ’18
The 2017 GIE+EXPO, Oct. 18-20 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, set more records, topping the last three year’s records in both attendance and exhibitors. More than 24,000 people from around the world represented a 7 percent increase over 2016, while exhibit space grew 9 percent. GIE+EXPO was recently named the 10th largest show in North America by Trade Show Executive magazine. As a result of the show’s continued growth, a new format will be implemented in 2018, October 17-19, allowing contractors an extra day on the show floor. The indoor show floor will open exclusively for dealers, retailers and the media at noon on Wednesday. Then, beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing Thursday and Friday, the entire industry will be invited to visit the exhibits. The Outdoor Demonstration Area will be open Thursday and Friday.

Here’s a look at this year’s numbers:

  • Over the last four years GIE+EXPO has averaged a 12 percent increase in total attendance.
  • Thirty-four percent of Dealer/Retailer registrants and 44 percent of landscape and lawn pros were first timers.
  • There were over 1,005 exhibits indoors and out in GIE+EXPO and the co-located Hardscape North America, including 226 new exhibitors.
  • The indoor show floor was 50,000 square feet larger than 2016. The Outdoor Demonstration Area covered 20 acres, and attendees had two full days to test equipment. HNA increased in size by more than 16 percent over 2016.
  • The New Products Showcase sold out, featuring more than 100 products that were introduced within the past year, and 25 exhibitors hosted press conferences where most introduced new products.

See more of our GIE+EXPO coverage.

HNA 2017, Hardscape Industry’s Biggest Event
More than 2,400 hardscape contractors, dealers and retailers attended the Hardscape North America (HNA) trade show held Oct. 18-20 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. HNA welcomed 57 new exhibitors in 2017, leading to 16 percent growth on the exhibit floor and making it the largest show ever for the hardscape industry. The co-location with GIE+EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Expo) added up to a total of 1,005 exhibits indoors and out — and provided HNA exhibitors exposure to over 11,000 landscape and hardscape professionals.

AEM Honors JCB With Pillar Of Industry Award
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) recently honored JCB with a “Pillar of the Industry” award. The award reflects the company’s work throughout the past year to improve the business environment for the equipment manufacturing industry. JCB was also praised for its efforts to advocate for pro-manufacturing solutions, and for its participation in AEM’s “I Make America” grassroots program.

Monrovia Announces Record-Breaking Number Of New Plants
Monrovia, the leading grower of premium ornamental and landscaping plants in country, announced their line-up of 35 new and exclusive varieties for 2018, a record setting number for the brand. Jonathan Pedersen, vice president of business development, says the trend for smaller and more manageable landscapes (and container gardening) is not retreating but remains on the on the rise. He adds that consumers also want specimens with big color, big impact and “that dazzle in the landscape while also being notably tough and low-maintenance.”

Arden Bull Retiring From Nufarm; New Hires For Advanced Turf, Solutions And JohnDow
Nufarm announced that National Ornamental Manager Arden Bull is retiring. Arden’s career spanned 47 years in agriculture and specialty crop protection, including 28 years of turf, ornamental, greenhouse, and nursery technical sales. Arden has led ornamental sales at Nufarm Americas, Inc. for the past 12 years. Advanced Turf Solutions in Fishers, Indiana, added four new sales representatives to its team: Jeff Kolbe and Joe Leimbach in the lawn and landscape markets in Chicago and Cincinnati, respectively, Brad Fry in the golf course market in Southwestern Michigan, and Brian Winka in the sports turf market in Missouri. JohnDow Industries in Barberton, Ohio, appointed David M. Riggs to the position of product category manager. Riggs will be primarily responsible for all aspects of product development, planning and execution.

Sidekick Becomes Official Provider Of Rose Bowl Stadium
Sidekick USA, manufacturer of patented natural turf installation machines, announced that it is the official equipment provider and partner of Rose Bowl Stadium. The Sidekick machine is now the exclusive supplier of thick-cut sod installation services for field replacement projects deployed by the facility. The Sidekick is optimized to gently push thick-cut sod together during the installation process. The cut is typically about two inches thick, and 48 inches wide, and weighs 10 pounds per square foot. Prior to the Sidekick, a full field replacement took about three days. Now, the entire process typically only takes one day with the Sidekick. After completion, the field can be ready to use the same day, says the company.

EquipmentWatch Announces Lowest Cost Of Ownership Award Winners
EquipmentWatch named the winners of the 2017-2018 Lowest Cost of Ownership Awards. The winners represent the models, within their respective equipment types, with the lowest five year total cost of ownership and were identified using proprietary EquipmentWatch Ownership Cost data. Here are the 2017-2018 Lowest Cost of Ownership Winners:

  • Backhoes: Deere 310 Series
  • Dozers, Large Track: Komatsu D85 Series
  • Dozers, Small Track: Caterpillar D3 Series
  • Drum Compactors: Sakai SV201 Series
  • Excavators, Compact: JCB 8018 Series
  • Excavators, Large Crawler: Case CX700 Series
  • Excavators, Medium Crawler: Doosan DX300 Series
  • Excavators, Small Crawler: Caterpillar 311 Series
  • Loaders, Compact Track: Bobcat MT55 Series
  • Skid Steer Loaders: Bobcat S70 Series
  • Loaders, Large Wheel: Kawasaki 95 Series
  • Loaders, Medium Wheel: Komatsu WA320 Series
  • Loaders, Small Wheel: JCB 407 Series
  • Motor Graders: Mauldin MG618 Series
  • Rear Dumps: Deere 300 Series

15th Annual Ditch Witch Customer Event In Barcelona Features Latest Underground Equipment
Ditch Witch, showcased its latest equipment and technology at the 15th annual international customer event on Friday, Oct. 27 at the Ditch Witch Barcelona Support Center. More than 350 were in attendance for one of the largest underground construction events in Europe.  As part of the event, customers experienced next-generation advancements that improve comfort, ROI and jobsite productivity, including the newest AT40 directional drill. During the one-day event, customers received hands-on equipment demos of new Ditch Witch products, including horizontal directional drills, trenchers, microtrenchers, mini skid steers, and HDD tooling. The event concluded with a gala reception and dinner.

Cary Shepherd Appointed Vice Chair Of 2018 Accredited Standards Committee ASC Z133
Husqvarna has announced that Cary Shepherd, Husqvarna Commercial Sales Manager – Tree Care, has been appointed Vice Chair of the 2018 Accredited Standards Committee ASC Z133. The committee develops and maintains the ANSI Z133.1 Standard, Pruning, Trimming, Repairing, Maintaining, and Removing Trees, and Cutting Brush-Safety Requirements. It is the industry standard for safe work practices and has been has been guiding tree care safety practices for nearly 50 years. It is the ANSI approved committee for arboriculture operations and resides with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Shepherd is a 24-year veteran of Husqvarna, a Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP) as well as a Husqvarna Qualified Master Sawyer & Instructor. He previously served as Chair of the Chainsaw Subgroup of the ASC Z133 and has been a voting member of the committee since 2009.

LandCare Hires Two New Branch Managers In The West
LandCare recently hired branch managers Rodrigo Sangy and Ceasar Larrach to lead its West LA and Palm Springs teams in Gardena and Indio, California, respectively. The new branch managers bring a combined 40 years of experience to their teams. Sangy has extensive industry experience, having worked as a crew member, supervisor, irrigation technician, and account manager over the course of 17 years in the Washington, D.C. area. Most recently, he worked as a Senior Project Manager for a green roofs construction company. The Brazilian native studied Business and Landscape Construction Management at Rio de Janeiro State University, Plant Science at the University of Maryland, and is a Certified Irrigation Designer (CID) with the Irrigation Association. Larrach brings over 20 years of experience in commercial/HOA property management to the Palm Springs branch. His considerable knowledge of the property management industry paired with several years of experience as an operations manager for a commercial landscaping company provides a solid foundation for understanding the customer/provider relationship. The Cal State LA alumnus has a B.S. in business and is a member of CAI, CMAA, NALMS, ICPM, and IREM.

Read last week’s industry news roundup: Morbark Announces Acquisition Of Rayco Manufacturing