2015: A Year in Review

Our most popular content of 2015. Read the overview here, and see links to the individual stories below.

As the industry continues to flourish and as 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back on some of the popular topics that sprouted in the green industry this year.

Top News and Feature Articles

The year 2015 was a year of growth through mergers, alliances and acquisitions. John Deere Landscapes reached an agreement to acquire Shemin Landscape Supply, which according to John Deere Landscapes offered a great opportunity for customers to gain business growth. Associa formed an alliance with the recently merged Brickman/ValleyCrest, now called BrightView the company is Associa's exclusive landscaping provider. MTD Products acquired two companies, CORE Outdoor Power and Precise Path Robotics, that the company said would keep MTD on the cutting edge of innovation.

The year’s newly released products and services featured expansions on recently introduced technologies and spotlighted easy maintenance for operators. New commercial riding mowers at the beginning of 2015 focused on many aspects that continued through the year. The emphasis on EFI-powered mowers stayed steady throughout the year along with propane, and other manufacturers made strides in offering products that bagged clippings. New commercial engines for 2015 offered a great deal of EFI introduction—Kohler continued to expand on their offering as did Briggs & Stratton and Subaru (for equipment like chippers and UTVs), while Kawasaki introduced their first EFI engines. Briggs & Stratton also introduced the EXi Series lawnmower engine, which is developed to never need an oil change; consumers only need to keep track of oil levels. John Deere began offering the X Tweel Turf tire on its ZTrak B, M and R series, created with Michelin Tweel Technologies, which was spotlighted at both the 2014 and 2015 GIE+EXPO. Walker Manufacturing’s website, helps new and existing customers gain understanding about what real productivity increases look like and how to achieve them with Walker mowers, continued to be a valuable tool for contractors.

Just how much should landscape company owners be making? What are the 10 marketing mistakes lawn care companies make, missing their chance at growth and increased profit? What are the best tips for commercial landscape maintenance bidding according to management consultant, Gary S. Goldman? An always popular subject, bettering businesses, was the focus of a number of different popular articles this year. Coming from the business side of things, landscape contractors were asked to rate some of the businesses in the green industry, including leading brands of engines, work trucks and turf herbicides. For its the second year in a row, the Grasshopper Company donated a commercial-grade zero-turn mower to a combat-wounded veteran to the 2014 recipient Steve Ellsberry, standing strong to the company’s commitment to support the nation’s military and combat heroes.

Top videos

This green industry YouTube sensation gained top views on both an article highlighting his backstory and a couple videos. Tim Gross—or as he’s known online, Taryl Dactal—is an Indiana servicing dealer who puts a unique spin on how-to equipment servicing videos. Helpful tips with a great deal of humor, Taryl tackled what to do when your chainsaw runs poorly and advice to combat the growing epidemic of lawn mower neglect in two of his popular videos.   

Another in the how-to genre are the Hector’s Shop videos. A production of the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC), Hector tackles quick oil changes on mowers, tractors and other large equipment with the use of a slick little tool.

At GIE+EXPO 2015, the Green Industry Pros team scoped out two exciting new mowers. Mower manufacturing veteran Robert Foster debuted his new company and the zero-turn Spartan mower behind it. The Toro GrandStand Multi Force Mower offers multi-attachment capabilities, including use with a Boss snowplow. We chatted with Mike from Elite Lawn Care in Illinois about his thoughts on the machine.

Delving into the realm of how to manage your company as you grow to the half-million mark, contractor Justin Foley talks about what he—as an owner—must do to escape the ‘half-million-dollar’ quicksand trap.

Top Products

Below are some of the top views in our online product guide for the year.