Industry Update


Cotton Awarded Fourth U.S. Patent

Don Cotton was granted patent protection on an invention that improves the method used to sharpen reel-type mowers. Cotton, who also has three other patents, is president and owner of Turf Pride LLC, Andalusia, Ala.

From left, Vice President Wayne Buchberger and CEO Rodney Miller, McCormick; Ryan Delaney; and President J.L. Hans Bouwers, National Sales Manager Greg Bouwers and Product Manager Sergio Correia, Landini.

Spirit Implements Enters Supply Agreement

Spirit Implements, LLC, Waupaca, Wis., entered an exclusive supply agreement with McCormick International USA and Landini, McCormick Canada. Spirit will supply front-end loaders and other tractor attachments for the U.S. and Canadian market. Ryan R. Delaney founded the company in 1999 and is currently its president and sole owner.

Hawthorne Runs Dutch Auction

Caterpillar dealer Hawthorne Pacific Corp., Waipahu, Hawaii, ran a six-week Dutch auction online, selling Caterpillar and allied products on a first-come, first-served basis. During the auction, prices were decreased by a fixed amount daily Monday through Friday.

The Groundskeeper Wins Subcontractor of the Year Award

The Cornerstone Building Foundation named The Groundskeeper its Subcontractor of the Year. The award is based on quality of craftsmanship, contributions to the community, consistency of service to clients, responsiveness to schedule and budget, emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, and longevity of the company. The Groundskeeper employs over 700 people in markets in Las Vegas, Nev.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Albuquerque, N.M.; St. George, Utah; and Austin and San Antonio, Texas.

ValleyCrest Adds Sprint GPS Solutions

Sprint and ValleyCrest Landscape Companies announced an agreement for Sprint to add GPS services to ValleyCrest’s communications tool kit at select branch locations. The location-based services will help ValleyCrest better track employee job location and company assets for these field branches. The tool will also help in handling payroll and route job assignments.

Dr. John Thomson, left, and Nick Federoff.

AES LawnParts Selected as Tanaka Distributor

Tanaka Power Equipment selected AES LawnParts, Olathe, Kan., as a distributor for Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and southern Illinois. AES has years of industry experience and has received multiple Shindaiwa Samurai Sword awards for exceptional sales performance.

Thomson Receives SEE Award

Dr. John A. A. Thomson, originator of SUPERthrive, received the Lifetime Environmental Awareness Award from Sustainable Environmental Education, a nonprofit organization. Radio show host Nick Federoff presented the award at Thomson’s Vitamin Institute facilities in North Hollywood, Calif.

Toro and AST Resolve Wireless Soil Monitoring Dispute

The Toro Co. has agreed to settle all outstanding litigation with Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. The parties’ patent infringement, trade secret, false advertising and other claims and counter-claims were resolved without any admission of liability or wrongdoing, nor any licensing agreement, by either party.

Both companies will continue to compete in the field of soil sensing with their respective technologies, Toro’s Turf Guard and AST’s UgMO, and they have agreed not to disparage one another’s product.

While Toro believes that Turf Guard never infringed a patent that AST licensed, the company nevertheless agreed to modify the Turf Guard source code to address AST’s concerns and resolve the dispute. The modification does not impact Turf Guard’s performance or functionality.

Pressler Joins AST

Paul Pressler has joined the board of Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. as vice chairman. Pressler is a director for Avon Products, Inc., OpenTable, Inc. and Overture Acquisitions Corp., and is an adviser to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. He is working with the UgMO team to help forge strategic partnerships, expand growth opportunities and promote UgMO’s water advocacy role.

News from Maruyama

Maruyama U.S., Inc. hosted its first North American distributor council meeting in St. Louis, Mo. Council members include Steve Purdy, Jack Ball, Rick Roberts, Robert Smith and Donald Marquis.

Maruyama announced business partnerships with two outdoor power equipment distributors. Smiths South-Central Sales Co., Springhill, La., will distribute the full line of Maruyama commercial products in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Roberts Supply, Inc., Winter Park, Fla., will cover Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Wolf Joins Stihl

Stihl, Inc. announced the appointment of Matthias Wolf to the position of manager of manufacturing engineering. He comes to Stihl with more than 10 years of management experience, most recently as vice president with the American subsidiary of Hengst Automotive. Wolf received a master’s degree in mechanical and electronic engineering from the Technical University of Berlin (Germany) and a certification in accounting and finance from Midlands Technical College.

Martin Levy

Jacobsen Hires Levy, Holds Dealer Training

Martin L. Levy has joined Jacobsen as vice president of sales and marketing, with responsibility for the Americas and Asia Pacific. Levy has worked for Ingersoll-Rand Co. and Doosan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration from the University of Miami, Coral Gables. Levy is replacing Ralph Nicotera, vice president of sales, who has spent 35 years with the company and will retire in early 2010.

Jacobsen held a two-day sales training program at Madden’s on Gull Lake resort near Brainerd, Minn. The training was facilitated by Erik Sides, Jacobsen University’s training manager, assisted by Gene Klinkman, product support manager, and Les King, northwest territory sales manager.

RSC Launches Used Equipment Web Site

RSC Equipment Rental launched an updated used equipment sales Web site, accessible at Visitors can quickly search for equipment by type, make, model, year and current location, and information sheets can be prepared for specific units. A separate “Great Deals” section features limited-time opportunities on selected pieces of equipment.

Mrotek Joins Terex AWP

Mike Mrotek was appointed to the position of senior product manager for Terex Aerial Work Platforms’ Genie telehandler product line. Previously, he was an industry marketing manager for Rexnord. Mrotek earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in business administration from DePaul University.