Minnesota Manufacturer Seeks Niche in Saturated Commercial Mower Market

Dennis Brazier founded Central Boiler in 1984 in his hometown of Greenbush, MN. Central Boiler is a manufacturer of outdoor furnaces. Over the past few years, Brazier and his team of 12 engineers have been working on a new product line: Altoz Precision Mowers.

But the commercial mower product category is packed with competition. In fact, several well-known brands have went bye-bye over the past few years, including Great Dane, Bunton and Yazoo/Kees. But Brazier thinks he has a mower that fills an unmet need: something that delivers a quality cut but still looks nice.

"We want to build the Altoz brand by focusing on styling and performance," Brazier said during a press conference at GIE+EXPO 2013 on October 24. "Our Altoz mowers feature a precision cut, comfort, speed and style," added Mark Reese, Altoz product specialist.

Appeal to two markets

There are 18 different model combinations in the new Altoz line which are designed to appeal to two primary market segments: prosumers and commercial cutters.

  • The XCZ line offers 54-, 61- and 72-inch cutting widths, and 27- to 37-hp Kawasaki engines.
  • The XCS line offers 54-, 61- and 72-inch cutting widths, and 27- to 35-hp Kawasaki engines.
  • The XPZ line offers 54- and 61-inch cutting widths, and 26-hp Briggs Vanguard or 27-hp Kawasaki engines.
  • The XPS line offers 48-, 54- or 61-inch cutting widths, and 24- or 26-hp Briggs Commercial Turf engines.

"The prices on all of these mowers are very comparable to what's already on the market," Brazier said.

The XCZ models are at the top of the line and, thus, are most-appealing to professional landscape contractors. Unique features of these models include TorqFlex Suspension, the Aero Deck cutting system, and the SmarTrak Monitoring System.

XCZ models also feature a 14-gallon fuel capacity and 19-mph forward speed, according to Altoz.

As 2013 draws to a close and the 2014 landscape contractor buying season kicks into full gear, Altoz can only hope that it is able to assemble a dealer network as quickly as its XCZ mowers can reportedly mow. "We have 350 to 400 Central Boiler dealers already established, but they must meet certain criteria to also become an Altoz dealer," Brazier said, adding that he doesn't expect more than a handful to do so.

That said, Altoz is definitely on the hunt for new dealers over the next few months, but is also cognizant of the potential problems that dealer over-saturation can cause. The company thinks it has a mower that can fulfill an unmet need in the marketplace, and simply wants some dealers who think likewise so they can grow together.

If interested in learning more about becoming an Altoz dealer, click here.