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Here We Go . . . From the Show . . .

By George Schmok

Just got back from the EXPO 2005 in Louisville. It was a huge show with thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors occupying pretty well all of the fair grounds . . . inside and out.

Outside were all the machines, including a horsepower-packed, straight-piped roadster/truck that blew the ears off all those who ventured too close at the moment of ignition . . . I mean it was awesome when the guy revved it up . . .

Everywhere you looked landscapers were racing mowers, digging ditches or riding Quads (errrr . . . I mean Utility Vehicles . . .) around the acres of steel, sheet metal and gasoline. If they didn't have hotrods, they had really cool choppers, even one featured on the "American Chopper" TV Series. It felt like NASCAR . . .

In fact, a few of the exhibitors were sponsors of NASCAR cars and drivers. I ventured outside and found myself racing the zero turns as well . . . blew the doors off the sulkies . . .

Backhoes were everywhere . . . Dig a ditch here and fill it up there, then back and forth, again and again. I feel sorry for the grounds crew, who will probably have an event next week that requires a pristine lawn . . .

I saw lots of companies offering the stand-behind-mini-track loaders, which are really emerging as a viable tool. With tons of attachments they are great for small jobs and tight spaces. Be sure to practice, though, before you set one of those animals to task . . .

I also saw propane-fueled mowers. Last year propane was about a buck-fifty a gallon, and this year it still is . . . All of a sudden, propane doesn't look too bad. It's also supposed to burn cleaner with non-toxic emissions . . . Good for the environment . . . Better for the landscape!

The finance companies were there as well. I think you'll be seeing more and more finance companies looking for landscape contractors as clients, giving you the ability to offer financing to homeowners and other clients. $78,000 or $400 a month . . . It's worth a look.

With engines everywhere it was no surprise that an engine maker threw a couple of great party/concerts with the likes of Paul Revere and the Raiders and Charlie Daniels tearing up the place and rockin’ out the crowd. Even the Heinekens were gratis . . . Way to Go Briggs & Stratton!

Unless you are constantly altering the air pressure in your mower tires, there were numerous companies that offered foam tire-filling systems. With no air in your tire, it's virtually guaranteed that your tires will live longer than your mowers.

OK . . . Who lowers or removes the roll bar on the mower and forgets to put it back when you get things started up . . .? Well, there is one company that makes a roll bar that sits lower on the frame and then automatically shoots up to regulation if the pitch gets too severe. Doesn't really matter . . . until it's you rolling over in a 3-ton buzz saw . . .

And I did mention the Quads, didn't I? It seemed that almost every company that makes a tractor, also makes a utility vehicle. I'm not sure if its because the ATV show was also in Louisville, but the UV's where pretty hot. I think every landscaper needs at least one . . .

There were a lot of "Landscape Contractors" and a lot of "Lawn Care Professionals" but I didn't see a single "Gardener". I better go and check with my "Lawn Care Professional" to see if he can put in a small retaining wall . . .

And there were a lot of Chinese, getting on their hands and knees to take pictures of the working parts of our machinery . . . Do you think they are trying to steal the technology or do they send pictures of ball joints to their children . . . "Look son . . . A hydraulic rocker arm . . ." You'd think they'd just buy one and take it apart . . .

Anyways, I guess the point is that if you had a chance to attend the show you had to walk away with a thousand of great ideas to make things better, a myriad of ways to add to that bottom line, and a host of images, sights and sounds to make the experience worthwhile . . .

I look forward to seeing you'all next year . . .

--God Bless

George Schmok, Publisher



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June 15, 2019, 10:23 pm PDT

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