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Husqvarna Enters Agreement with Transamerica

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Qualified Husqvarna dealers will now have a new alternative for inventory financing services as a result of Husqvarna's recent agreement with Transamerica Distribution Finance.

The new program from Transamerica provides financial services for the outdoor power industry that include competitive inventory financing rates and dating terms, parts and accessories financing programs, and commercial end user financing solutions.

Another component of the Transamerica service is "Dealer Online." The electronic account management system provides dealers an expedient, professional and accurate way to manage floor-planned inventory. This state-of-the-art system provides ready access to floor plan remittances, electronic invoice detail, inventory management reports and account status reports.

With the agreement, qualified Husqvarna dealers will have the opportunity to choose between Transamerica and Frigidaire Financial Corporation for inventory financing services. The choice of providers will give dealers access to a program that will best serve their needs and assist them in effectively managing and growing their businesses.

"Our agreement with Transamerica Distribution Finance reflects our continuing commitment to providing Total Source Solutions for our dealers," said David Zerfoss, president of Husqvarna. "This relationship means that dealers have another outstanding resource to help them operate more efficiently and profitably."

Senna Tree Company Adds
120-Ton Hydrocrane to Fleet

Senna Tree Company has added the Grove Model 9120 to its fleet of 14.5, 20, 40 and now 120-ton class hydrocranes.

LOS ANGELES - Senna Tree Company has added the Grove Model 9120 to its fleet of 14.5, 20, 40 and now 120-ton class hydrocranes. Made in the USA, the 9120 represents the ultimate in traditional truck crane design. The 9120 can set a 12,000 lb 72" box tree a distance of 100' or "walk" 80,000 lb loads like a 144" box tree or a 60' date palm.

"For customers, the 9120 provides increased capability at reduced costs, plus when you serve only one industry and work almost exclusively with big trees, you gain a level of proficiency that the customer recognizes as added value," says company president John Mote.

The crane can be seen at the Landscape Industry Show February 18-19, 2004 in Long Beach, Calif.

Record Net Sales and Earnings for Toro

Toro's record sales reflect a substantial increase in landscape contractor equipment business.

The Toro Company reports record net earnings ($81.6 million) and record net sales ($1,496.6 million) for the fiscal year ending October 2003. Fourth-quarter net earnings were $5.6 million, with net sales of $310.3 million.

Sales growth is attributed primarily to a substantial increase in Toro's landscape contractor equipment business and new product sales. Worldwide sales climbed in all major product categories.

Toro reached the 5.5-percent profit-after-tax goal of its three-year profit-improvement initiative, according to a company spokesperson.

"A tremendous company-wide effort made 2003 the best year in Toro's history," commented Kendrick Melrose, Toro chairman and CEO. Melrose predicts a net sales growth of 7 to 9 percent for the new year.

Melrose has done well for the company. When he took over in 1980, the company was losing money, and continued to lose money through 1984, when the CEO began to tighten the fiscal purse strings and focus on power equipment for landscape contractors.

Trees for Children of the Troops

Over 1,000 Douglas fir trees, donated by eight tree growers, were delivered to Yule Tree Farms facility in Canby, Oregon, then loaded onto the Central Refrigerated Services truck.

AURORA, Ore. - Members of the Oregon Association of Nurseries' Christmas Tree Chapter donated 1,000 Christmas trees and tree stands destined for distributions through Fort Hood's central refrigerated carriers in Salt Lake City. Fort Hood, Texas, is the largest U.S. Army base in the U.S. The 5-6 foot, fresh-cut, Oregon Douglas fir Christmas trees went to the children of moms and dads serving overseas.

"Operation Thank You" donations came from these Oregon tree growers: Brooks Tree Farm; Helmig Tree Farms; Highland Farm of Oregon; Holiday Tree Farms; Holiday Specialtrees; Noble Mountain Tree Farm; Silver Mountain Christmas Trees; and Yule Tree Farms.

The trees went via a 53-foot refrigerated truck. VanCinco Plastics, manufacturer of water reservoir Christmas tree stands, arranged delivery of the trees stands from its facility in Houston directly to Fort Hood.

"We talked at the chapter level that we ought to do some good will for our troops, which is why we're calling this 'Operation Thank You,'" explained Joe Sharp, owner of Yule Tree Farms. "Christmas is a sensitive time when families are apart, and we wanted to make their Christmas a little brighter."

The Oregon Association of Nurseries' Christmas Tree Chapter was formed in 2000. Oregon is the top grower of cut Christmas trees, distributing eight million of the 25 to 30 million Christmas trees cut annually.

Brigham Young University-Idaho Accredited by ALCA

The Landscape Horticulture program of Brigham Young University-Idaho, located in Rexburg, Idaho, has been awarded initial accreditation by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) after a visit by the accrediting team of William Thornton, Jr., CCLP, Rod Bailey CCLP, Kent Hammond, and R. Douglas Schlosser.

The BYU-Idaho Department of Landscape Horticulture prepares students for expanding career opportunities in horticulture. Graduates with associate degrees find employment with nurseries, garden centers, florist shops, landscape contractors, lawn service companies, interiorscape companies, greenhouses, golf courses, parks, and horticulture supply companies. Demand for graduates is increasing, as are salaries.

Get Your Dixie Chopper Motors Runnin'

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? No, South Carolina Shriners, disguised to protect the innocent, motor their Dixie Chopper Mowers on parade day.

What will those Shriners do next?

Eight Shriners from the Shrine Jamil Temple in Columbia, South Carolina, ride Dixie Chopper mowers in parades throughout the state. Bill Oswald, an outdoor power equipment dealer from Lexington, asked the Dixie Chopper people in June of 2003 to donate eight mowers to drive in the parades. The company agreed, recognizing a good sales opportunity when it saw one.

"I have sold a Dixie Chopper at just about every parade, and you can't believe the excitement and interest we get from people at the parades," Oswald reports.

Oswald and his fellow "Jamil Jokers" dress up in clown costumes to participate in three annual Shriner parades and 15-20 county, city and town parades in South Carolina. Oswald hauls most of the mowers, and the Jokers pay their own expenses.

House Committee to Introduce $375 Billion Transit Funding Bill

Washington, D.C.--The U.S. House on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (TIC) held a press conference Nov. 19, 2003 in the Rayburn House Office Building to introduce its $375 billion, six-year highway and transit funding bill designed to address America's growing congestion and highway safety problems.

Attending the conference were the who's who of transportation: Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) TIC chairman; Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), chairman, Highways, Transit and Pipelines Subcommittee; Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), ranking Democrat, TIC; Rep. William Lipinski (D-IL), ranking Democrat, Highways & Transit Subcommittee; Pete Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association; Brian Nichol, vice president, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; William Millar, president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association; Frank Hanley, general president, International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO; Stephen Sandherr, Associated General Contractors of America CEO; Ed Mortimer, executive director, Americans for Transportation Mobility; and Mike Toohey, American Highway Users Alliance chairman.

Three federal funding proposals for national highway and transit projects over the next six years are under consideration. The Bush administration proposes $247 billion; the Senate, $311 billion; and the House, considerably more generous, $375 billion.

Construction Industry Joins TCC in TEA-21 Congressional Campaign

The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) has launched a national grassroots campaign to "remind" Congress to reauthorize the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). Congress did not act on the reauthorization bill before it expired on September 30, 2003, but gave a five-month extension to keep the program operating.

The construction industry, including the Associated General Contractors of America and the many associations that comprise the TCC, support a robust transportation bill--a six-year, $375 billion package for long-term planning, job creation, and to meet the needs identified by the U.S. Department of Transportations' report to Congress.

The proposal, the TCC believes, will create 1.3 million new American jobs, and be the sparkplug to jump start the economy.

Construction industry workers will be sending postcards picturing "Men/Women Working" road signs with the word "NOT" stamped across them. The TCC has a goal of sending one million postcards. The White House, congressional representatives and other pertinent groups and individuals will receive them. The postcards were inserted in the November 6 issue of The Hill, and as an advertisement in an upcoming issue of Roll Call.

The TCC is planning other grassroots activities to target members of Congress in their local districts.

Turf President Warns of "Influx of Artificial Turf"

In his annual state-of-the-industry report, Ed Zuckerman, president of the Turfgrass Producers International (TPI), predicted an "influx of artificial turf, along with the continuing water shortage" as the two largest issues facing TPI.

Zuckerman stressed the importance of expounding the benefits of natural turf to counter the proponents of artificial turf.

Zuckerman believes the turfgrass industry must build local and national coalitions to raise awareness of the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of landscapes with natural turf, and to combat the repercussions from drought. He cited the Evergreen Foundation ( as one group with these agenda.

Noting the high workers' compensation costs and liability insurance rates, Zuckerman said his company, Delta Bluegrass, in Stockton, California, is looking to handle installation services from within, instead of hiring outside firms. He encouraged green industry companies to investigate such alternatives to mitigate these rising costs.

Zuckerman is the 33rd president of the TPI, a 38 year old not-for-profit association representing 1,100 turfgrass sod and seed producers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and those involved in green industry education and research fields in 40 countries.

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November 19, 2019, 11:41 pm PDT

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