Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

2016 GIE Show – Tractors, Mowers, Cordless OPE and More!

2016 GIE Show Kentucky

There’s simply no question that when you step into the 2016 GIE Show the future is here. Just about everyone was demonstrating a new technology that simply wasn’t possible 10 years ago. We saw battery-powered riding mowers, new oil circulation systems, zero turns with tractor treads, and more. I almost sprained my neck glancing left and right as I walked through the myriad of new and innovative tools and products. One thing was certain, this coming year will bring a lot of advancement in the area of outdoor power equipment. We’re going to have a banner year reviewing the new products and accessories that are just now being announced.

EGO 530 cfm blower

EGO 56V Brushless Self-Propelled Mower

We started our journey at the EGO booth. Front man Gerry Barnaby demonstrated the EGO 56V self propelled battery powered mower going uphill. With the included 7.5 Ah battery and Fast Charger, this tool presents a serious alternative to gas guzzling push mowers.

Kubota ZD1500 Zero Turn Mower

Kubota had their ZD1500 zero turn mower on display. You can configure the new ZT mower its decks as large as 72 inches. The mower features a powerful 30.8 horsepower Kubota diesel engine. This ZD1500 will hit dealers in December. It arrives just in time for Pros to prep for the 2017 mowing season. They also might be in just in time to maximize use of those 2016 profits!

Kubota BX80 Sub-Compact Tractor

The Kubota BX80 sub-compact tractor looks like something we’d love to test out this year. It lets you disconnect and reconnect attachments like a backhoe or front end loader—without leaving your seat! You can use the single lever hydraulic disconnect on the LA340 and LA344 Swift-Tach Loader to disconnect all four of the hydraulic lines at one time. Even the full-forward opening hood was carefully crafted. It allows for easy cleaning and service access to the top-of-class Kubota diesel engine.

eXmark Radius Series Zero Turn Mowers

Next up was the new eXmark Radius series zero turn mowers. The new Radius line comes in three “flavors”: E-Series, S-Series and X-Series. All of the Radius mowers use a unibody frame of 2-inch by 3-inch rectangular steel tubes. Exmark positioned heavy components like the engine, fuel tank and hydro drive system, lower in the frame for increased traction and maneuverability. You can get deck sizes up to 60-inches, and the eXmark Radius ZT mowers cut at up to 10 mph.

Husqvarna Automower

Of course, since we’re talking about the future, the Husqvarna AutoMower was on-hand and cutting away non-stop at the 2016 GIE show this year. This isn’t the first year it’s been shown of, but having it running non-stop was a great way to demonstrate just how reliably and consistently these automakers function.

Altoz TRX Tracked Zero Turn Mower

The Altoz TRX zero turn mower won a 2016 Pro Tool Innovation Award this year, and it’s going to present a nifty solution for cutting wet areas, hills, and other places where terrain might trip up a typical wheeled zero turn.

EGO 56V Brushless Chainsaw

As we passed by the EGO Power+ booth again, we noted that their chainsaw carver had been using their 56V cordless chainsaw nearly non-stop and was making some good headway on a few very creative pieces. Several companies were doing fancy chainsaw carving at the 2016 GIE Expo, but EGO’s guys seemed to work almost non-stop.

EGO 530 cfm blower

Toro Outdoor Power Equipment

Toro has a new line of 40V cordless outdoor power tools that look pretty aggressive. Their blower claims 480 cfm of output, and they have a full suite of tools that we’ll look forward to reviewing this coming season.

Of course, the Toro Titan HD 2500 zero turn, with its built-in jack frame mount and super-wide front tires, makes for an impressive mower. It also has integrated tool carrying capability, so you can mow while toting along your string trimmer or backpack blower. You can even take along a bucket for cleaning up trash along the way. This is a really robust and well thought-out mower that we feel will make for a great addition to the Toro line.

Makita XCU03 18V X2 XLT Chainsaw

Makita showed off an early model of their XCU03 18V X2 LXT rear handle chain saw at the 2016 GIE show. The final model will come out in their signature teal color and is expected to hit stores in Q1 of 2017. The demo model we got to experience was still bearing the Dolmar orange color. We got to see this tool in action, and it was a smooth cutter with plenty of power for limbing and similar tasks.

Cub Cadet Pro Z Series

Cub Cadet revealed several new products from the Pro Z Series which showed off excellent build quality. There were a few convincing testimonials from some operators who got an early look at these zero turns. Club Cadet also has an impressive 3-year no-hour-limit commercial warranty which is one of the best in the industry.

DeWalt 40V Max Outdoor Equipment

DeWalt had a surprise for its Pro users at the 2016 GIE show. The new 40V Max 6-pack Charging Station will sequentially charge batteries. Peter than that, however, is that it will choose the least drained battery to start. It then proceeds to the next highest charged battery and onward until all batteries achieve a full charge. This type of intelligent charging is a step up from what we’re used to. The system is also water resistant, and it’s packaged as a weatherproof road case so you can easily take it on the road.

DeWalt 40V 6-pack battery charging station

DeWalt also released a couple new tools, including this 40V articulating hedge trimmer. That’s going to be a popular tool for Pros who frequently have to trim tall hedges.

DeWalt 40V articulating hedge trimmer

Ferris and Briggs & Stratton Oil Guard System

The Ferris Z2 SRS Stand-on mower cuts at up to 10 mph. The mower decks can be ordered in 52” or 61” cutting widths. The operator platform includes an adjustable suspension technology, with integrated forward and reverse levers and ergonomic thigh pads. Pros can choose either the Vanguard 810cc EFI lawn mower engine or the Kawasaki FX801V. Both include a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Ferris Z2 zero turn mower

What you should really take note of, however, is the new Briggs & Stratton Oil Guard system. This system uses a large remote oil reservoir located external to the engine and lets landscape contractors run commercial mowers for 500 hours between oil changes. For many, that’s an entire season. Draining oil is also easier as you simply turn the valve and drain the oil right out. Filter changes occur at the top of the unit, so ongoing maintenance stays simple. The Vanguard motor, and Ferris mowers, are the first place you’ll see this system. In particular, the Oil Guard System is integrated into the IS 3200Z, IS 2100Z, F320Z, F210Z, SRS Z2 (stand-on), and FW35 (wide-area walk-behind) mowers.

Briggs & Stratton Oil Guard system

Redback 120V Tools

Redback showed off its 120V outdoor power tools, and we are looking forward to getting these in for testing early next year. Among these are your expected mowers, trimmers, and blowers—but also tools like post hole augers and other tools.

Redback 120V tools

Snapper XD 82V Tools

The Snapper XD line of 82V tools includes a 21″ push mower, string trimer, leaf blower, hedge trimmer, and an impressive 18″ bar. They currently have 2.0 Ah and extended-run 4.0 Ah battery packs. These tools are going to be interesting because they present a consumer-level solution that may show up at Walmart and other retailers.

Snapper 82V outdoor equipment

Lera Cordless Tools

Lera is a Chinese company that develops tools and platforms for other brands as an OEM manufacturer. They have three lines, including 40V, 62V, and 84V battery-powered products. They showed off several battery-powered mowers as well as a host of other tools.

Lera 84V self-propelled mower

Their lithium-ion batteries integrate one or two USB ports and a handy LED light bar. It activates when you press and hold the battery gauge check button.

Lera 62V battery LED USB

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