- Are You GDPR Complaint? The Deadline was May 25, 2018
- Proposition 65 – New Labeling Requirements Effective August 2018
- Briggs Updates FY18 Earnings Guidance
- Douglas Dynamics Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $148.45 Million
- Ariens Closes Nebraska Plant
- Husqvarna CFO Decides to Leave the Group
- 2018 Green Industry Benchmark Report and Analysis
- Kubota Tractor Corporation Completes Land Purchase for Future Logistics Campus and Midwest Division Office
- Walbro Files Patent Infringement Case Against 35 Companies with ITC
- Research Analysts Offer Predictions for Toro Co’s Q3 2019 Earnings
- EDA Releases 2018 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey Report
- Thoughts for the Day
- EETC Holds Successful Annual Conference
- Walbro Files Patent Infringement Case Against 35 Companies with ITC
- Attend spoga+gafa Show – September 2-4, 2018 in Cologne
- BOSS Employees Recognized as Everyday Heroes
- Man on a Mission to Mow Lawns in all 50 States for a Good Cause
This advice is from NAW:
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted in 2016 and becomes effective May 25, 2018. This regulation is the EU’s attempt to provide better data security and privacy protection for EU citizens and to allow them greater control over their personal data.
If you own or store any personal data, including an email address from an EU citizen, you are considered a Data Controller.
- Data Controllers and Data Processors are required to understand and follow the requirements of the regulation. In brief, the major requirements include:
- EU citizens residing in the EU (“EU citizens/residents”) must consent to the storage and use their personal data. This requires the affirmative action by the individual to give consent. For example, pre-checked opt-outs are not compliant.
- Individuals who are EU citizens/residents and EU authorities must be notified within 72 hours of discovering a security breach impacting the personal data of such individuals.
- EU citizens/residents must be able to receive copies of their digital personal data when requested, as well as a description of where they are stored, their use, and the opportunity to correct them.
- EU citizens/residents have the right to have their personal data deleted and not used or shared.
- GDPR requires that organizations have data privacy controls and security built into products and systems. It is expected that this requires the use of commercial best practices for data security.
According to the regulation, GDPR applies to any company or organization that stores the email address or other online identifier of a single EU citizen who resides in the EU. Given the far-reaching application, companies should consult with their technical and professional advisers to assess your operations and make changes needed for compliance. You can see the full text from NAW here.
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, it enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. If you sell into Califorina, you are required to comply with to Proposition 65. While the rules have been in place since 1986, new regulations regarding warning labels and more take effect in August 2018.
Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers the Proposition 65 program. OEHHA, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), also evaluates scientific information on substances considered for placement on the Proposition 65 list. The list contains more than 1,000 chemicals. Once a chemical is added to the list, companies have 20 months to comply with the warning label requirement. Businesses with less than 10 employees and government agencies are exempt from Proposition 65’s warning requirements and prohibition on discharges into drinking water sources.
OPEESA has created a page that provides a variety of links to help you deal with this complex issue.
Briggs & Stratton (NYSE:BGG) updated its FY18 earnings guidance recently. The company provided earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $1.33-1.50 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $1.54. The company issued revenue guidance of $1.92 billion, compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $1.45-1.62.
A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on BGG shares. ValuEngine lowered shares of Briggs & Stratton from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, April 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Briggs & Stratton from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, April 26th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and three have given a hold rating to the stock. Briggs & Stratton currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $28.50.
NYSE:BGG opened at $19.01 on that Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $805.09 million, a PE ratio of 14.74 and a beta of 0.72. The company has a current ratio of 1.61, a quick ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Briggs & Stratton has a 1-year low of $17.11 and a 1-year high of $27.34.
Briggs & Stratton (NYSE:BGG) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 25th. The industrial products company reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.83 by $0.01. Briggs & Stratton had a net margin of 1.09% and a return on equity of 10.11%. The firm had revenue of $604.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $616.19 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.83 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Briggs & Stratton will post 1.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.95%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 14th. Briggs & Stratton’s payout ratio is presently 42.75%.
Briggs & Stratton announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, April 25th that authorizes the company to buyback $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the industrial products company to reacquire up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other Briggs & Stratton news, CEO Todd J. Teske sold 26,573 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.97, for a total transaction of $610,381.81. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 381,604 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,765,443.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Frank M. Jaehnert acquired 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 1st. The shares were bought at an average cost of $17.50 per share, with a total value of $87,500.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 10,000 shares in the company, valued at $175,000. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 4.20% of the company’s stock.
Briggs & Stratton Company Profile
Briggs & Stratton Corporation designs, manufactures, markets, sells, and services gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment to the original equipment manufacturers in the United States. It operates in two segments, Engines and Products. The Engines segment offers four-cycle aluminum alloy gasoline engines that are used primarily by the lawn and garden equipment industry.
Ariens Closes Plant in Nebraska
Ariens Co. is closing its plant in southeast Nebraska. The announcement was made on June 14 and impacts nearly 200 employees at its Auburn plant. The shutdown is expected to be finished between Aug. 17 and Oct. 15. Production will be moved to the company headquarters plant in Brillion, Wisconsin, as a way to hold down costs.
The company says full-time Auburn employees will be provided with a severance package based on the number of years they’ve worked at the plant. And employees may apply for positions at the Wisconsin facility, with the assistance of a relocation bonus.
Ariens bought the Auburn plant in November 2007 from Auburn Consolidated Industries.
Husqvarna CFO to Leave the Group
Jan Ytterberg, CFO of Husqvarna Group since 2015, has decided to leave the Group. Jan Ytterberg has been appointed CFO of Volvo Group.
“We would like to thank Jan for his successful contribution to Husqvarna Group and wish him all the best in his new position” says Kai Wärn, President and CEO of Husqvarna Group.
The date on which Jan Ytterberg will leave his position is yet to be decided.
Douglas Dynamics Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $148.45 Million
Analysts expect Douglas Dynamics Inc (NYSE:PLOW) to post $148.45 million in sales for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have provided estimates for Douglas Dynamics’ earnings. The lowest sales estimate is $145.20 million and the highest is $151.70 million. Douglas Dynamics posted sales of $139.37 million in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 6.5%. The business is expected to announce its next earnings report on Monday, August 6th.
On average, analysts expect that Douglas Dynamics will report full year sales of $509.90 million for the current year, with estimates ranging from $503.20 million to $516.60 million. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the company will post sales of $527.60 million per share, with estimates ranging from $516.30 million to $538.90 million. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Douglas Dynamics.
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Douglas Dynamics (NYSE:PLOW) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, May 7th. The auto parts company reported ($0.03) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.12) by $0.09. Douglas Dynamics had a return on equity of 14.06% and a net margin of 11.66%. The firm had revenue of $84.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $75.90 million. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.14) EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several equities analysts have issued reports on PLOW shares. Craig Hallum set a $50.00 target price on Douglas Dynamics and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. Zacks Investment Research cut Douglas Dynamics from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Douglas Dynamics in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Douglas Dynamics from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Douglas Dynamics presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.00.
NYSE PLOW opened at $47.65 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a current ratio of 3.83. Douglas Dynamics has a 12-month low of $30.20 and a 12-month high of $48.10. The company has a market cap of $1.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.23.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 29th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 19th will be given a dividend of $0.265 per share. This represents a $1.06 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.22%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 18th. Douglas Dynamics’s payout ratio is 77.94%.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Lazard Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Douglas Dynamics by 10.0% in the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 536,913 shares of the auto parts company’s stock worth $20,295,000 after acquiring an additional 48,710 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Douglas Dynamics in the 4th quarter worth approximately $2,470,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Douglas Dynamics by 8.3% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 113,353 shares of the auto parts company’s stock worth $4,285,000 after acquiring an additional 8,679 shares during the period. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Douglas Dynamics in the 4th quarter worth approximately $268,000. Finally, AlphaStar Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Douglas Dynamics in the 4th quarter worth approximately $387,000. Institutional investors own 89.77% of the company’s stock.
About Douglas Dynamics
Douglas Dynamics, Inc operates as a manufacturer and up-fitter of commercial work truck attachments and equipment primarily in North America. It operates in two segments, Work Truck Attachments and Work Truck Solutions. The Work Truck Attachments segment manufactures and sells snow and ice control attachments, including snowplows, and sand and salt spreaders for light and heavy duty trucks, as well as various related parts and accessories.
Kubota Tractor Corporation Completes Land Purchase for Future Logistics Campus and Midwest Division Office
Kubota Tractor Corporation announced the completion of a 200-acre land purchase within Phase II of Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton, making the company the first major tenant for the industrial park. Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer met with the company to tour the site where it will construct two one-million-square-foot, state-of-the-art logistics facilities for its new North American Distribution Center (NADC). Kubota plans to plant solid roots in Kansas to expand distribution capacity and streamline logistics processes for the timely delivery of Kubota-branded service parts and equipment to U.S. customers.
“Kubota is ready to begin this exciting project along with our city, county and state partners to expand our infrastructure and create solid footing in the Midwest, the Heartland of America,” said Masato Yoshikawa, president and CEO of Kubota Tractor Corporation. “We are proud to make this significant investment here in Kansas, a state that shares our values and supports our ambitious goals for the future.”
Also on hand for the tour was Edgerton Mayor Donald Roberts. “Edgerton and our partners have a proven track record of thoughtful planning and significant investment in infrastructure attracting businesses to Edgerton and growing our local economy,” said Mayor Roberts. “The central proximity of Edgerton within the U.S., and its world-class inland port and intermodal facility, give companies like Kubota direct connections to the global supply chain and the ability to quickly and efficiently ship goods by rail and truck to their final destination. Kubota has been an ideal leasing tenant, and we are thrilled to welcome them as our newest neighbor as they fully integrate into the local community.”
The company has already experienced increased access to its 1,100-strong dealer network since it began leasing space in the area in 2015. The current 765,000 square-foot leased facility will remain in operation in Logistics Park Kansas City until the new facilities are complete. It will continue to be the source for Kubota parts and equipment for worldwide export.
“Kubota’s continued investments in Edgerton makes it one of our state’s greatest business success stories,” said Colyer. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the company’s commitment to continue strengthening the state’s manufacturing and logistics base and creating future job growth. Kubota already employs 150 in Edgerton and this expansion will add more jobs to the area in the future, including expanding their 1,500-employee Great Plains operations in Salina, Kansas. We thank Kubota for believing in the potential of our state and investing in the future of our residents.”
Once complete, the new facility will allow the company to continue to receive and process shipments from Asia and Europe, in addition to goods from suppliers in North America, with more capacity and with accelerated shipping speed for the timely delivery of Kubota parts and equipment.
“Kubota will anchor the expansion of Logistics Park Kansas City and NorthPoint is proud to continue our more than four-year partnership with the company to see their future plans come to fruition here in Edgerton,” said Patrick Robinson, NorthPoint Development.
“As Kubota’s construction partner, Clayco’s focus and commitment extends far beyond the structures we are building,” said Anthony Johnson, Clayco executive vice president. “Our team’s goal is to ensure we are providing an environment where Kubota’s employees can operate safely and efficiently, and can deliver high quality products to their customers every day.”
As the company continues on a high-growth trajectory, Kubota maintains its commitment to expanding its product offerings, with operational excellence as a priority. “Increasing the capacity of our parts and logistics operations in Kansas will enable us to achieve even greater operational efficiencies to make Kubota’s business stronger and more competitive to meet our growing customer demand,” Yoshikawa continued.
The new campus will also house Kubota’s newest Midwest Division office, which is an extension of the company’s existing divisional operation structure that provides regional support to Kubota dealers. Kubota’s division offices are located in Suwanee, Ga.; Fort Worth, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and, Lodi, Calif.; and, soon to be in Edgerton, Kansas.
2018 Green Industry Benchmark Report and Analysis
The Green Industry Benchmark Report details the results of a two-month-long surveying effort that reflects the opinions of nearly 300 green industry business owners and managers who provide services including landscaping, irrigation service, mowing, fertilizing and snow removal. This is the sixth year HindSite Software has released a Green Industry Benchmark Report.
“The Green Industry Benchmark Reportis the only report of its kind,“ said Chad Reinholz, HindSite’s marketing manager. “With nearly 70 pages of results and analysis and more than 50 graphs, the Green Industry Benchmark Reporthelps green industry businesses better understand how their peers operate – and take steps to improve their businesses.”
Among the key findings:
Economic optimism abounds in the green industry, with 70% of respondents expecting the economy to improve in 2018, up from 48% just two years ago.
A tight labor market is the biggest concern for a typical green industry business. 88% of respondents find it somewhat or very difficult to find employees, while just 1% said it was very easy. Additionally, attracting and retaining employees was the number one issue for the typical green industry business, with 36% saying it was their biggest issue.
As a result of the tight labor market, prices and wages will likely increase in 2018. 43% of respondents expect to raise wages by more than 3%, while 80% expect to increase prices. 43% cited rising labor costs as their primary reason for raising prices.
To combat a tight labor market, businesses are turning to field service software to be more efficient. Half of respondents now use software, up 7% from a year ago. 43% of field service software users said that the primary benefit is efficiency.
Another way businesses are combatting a tight labor market is by improving employee benefits. Last year, 40% of respondents said they offer health benefits. This year, 45% do.
Businesses expect healthy revenue growth in 2018, with 87% expecting their revenue to increase this year. 74% of businesses experienced year-over-year revenue growth in 2017.
Weekly training is an indicator of success, with those that train their employees weekly more likely to experience revenue growth in excess of 10%.
This year’s Benchmark Report added information about wages for typical green industry business laborers, including irrigation technicians, crew leaders and crew members.
“We’re always looking to improve the value of the Benchmark Report,” said Reinholz. “Last year we added interviews with green industry business owners and employees. This year, we added data about wages, which we can then cross-reference with the location of the respondent to deliver regional wage averages.”
Research Analysts Offer Predictions for Toro Co’s Q3 2019 Earnings (NYSE:TTC)
Analysts at Northcoast Research increased their Q3 2019 earnings per share estimates for Toro in a research note issued on Tuesday, May 29th, Zacks Investment Research reports. Northcoast Research analyst T. Hayes now forecasts that the company will post earnings of $0.79 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $0.78. Northcoast Research also issued estimates for Toro’s Q4 2019 earnings at $0.44 EPS.
Several other brokerages have also recently commented on TTC. ValuEngine upgraded Toro from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 24th. Dougherty & Co upgraded Toro from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, June 11th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Toro from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 30th. Finally, Cleveland Research cut Toro from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, May 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $70.67.
Shares of TTC traded down $0.74 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $60.00. 503,704 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 570,511. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 1.50. Toro has a 12-month low of $56.60 and a 12-month high of $73.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.90, a PEG ratio of 2.24 and a beta of 0.64.
Toro (NYSE:TTC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 24th. The company reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.02. Toro had a return on equity of 45.89% and a net margin of 10.08%. The firm had revenue of $875.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $901.26 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.08 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of TTC. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in Toro during the 4th quarter worth about $508,000. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in Toro by 399.2% in the 4th quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 32,038 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,090,000 after purchasing an additional 25,620 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Toro in the 4th quarter valued at about $214,000. Copeland Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Toro in the 4th quarter valued at about $6,052,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp acquired a new stake in Toro in the 4th quarter valued at about $855,000. 75.43% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 22nd will be issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 21st. Toro’s payout ratio is currently 33.20%.
Toro Company Profile
The Toro Company manufactures and markets turf maintenance equipment and services, turf irrigation systems, landscaping equipment and lighting products, snow and ice management products, agricultural micro-irrigation systems, and residential yard and snow thrower products worldwide. Its Professional segment offers turf and landscape equipment products, such as sports fields and grounds maintenance equipment, golf course mowing and maintenance equipment, landscape contractor mowing equipment, landscape creation and renovation equipment, rental and construction equipment, and other maintenance equipment; snowplows, salt and sand spreaders, and related parts and accessories; and sprinkler heads, electric and hydraulic valves, controllers, computer irrigation central control systems, and micro-irrigation drip tape and hose products, as well as professionally installed lighting products.
EDA Releases 2018 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey Report
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – The Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) announces the release of its 2018 Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey Report, an annual overview of the relationship between agriculture and outdoor power equipment dealers and their suppliers designed to enhance improvements in the supply chain.
The survey enables equipment dealers to rate up to seven of the manufacturer lines they carry in 11 key business categories, such as product quality, availability and technical support; parts availability, quality and return policy; communication, warranty and marketing/advertising support, as well as providing a separate rating for overall satisfaction.
“Every year, we find invaluable information in this survey that has the ability to directly impact the relationship between dealer and supplier,” said Joe Dykes, vice president of industry relations for EDA. “When valuable, third party data is available for these dealers and manufacturers, the quality of products and service their customers receive can improve immensely.”
This year, more than 2,200 dealers participated in EDA’s Dealer-Manufacturer Relations Survey Report, providing a total of 8,800 individual ratings. Results are compiled anonymously from all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces and distributed to EDA dealer members and the manufacturers featured in the survey report. Manufacturer members of EDA are eligible to receive additional statistics not available in the basic report as well as their dealer comments. EDA encourages equipment dealers and manufacturers to join the association to receive the many benefits of membership, including a complimentary report. Non-members may order a copy of the report here.
Survey results are also used to determine recipients of EDA’s annual Dealer Choice Awards within each of the four manufacturer categories. The 2018 recipients will be announced in the coming weeks.
Walbro Files Patent Infringement Case Against 35 Companies with ITC
Walbro LLC announced on June 14 that it filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) for unfair practices in import trade to initiate an investigation of 35 companies involved in manufacturing, importing or selling products that use carburetors from seven different carburetor manufacturers.
The complaint alleges infringement of patented Walbro carburetor technology and includes 87 different examples of infringement in a diverse range of products including chain saws, hedge trimmers, cultivators, string trimmers, brush cutters, pole saws, hammer drills, water pumps, leaf blowers, sprayers, generators, post drivers, earth augers, ice augers, mini-bikes and aftermarket replacement carburetors. The company is seeking a General Exclusion Order prohibiting importation of infringing products, and a Cease and Desist Order barring further sales of products that contain infringing carburetors.
“Walbro’s carburetor technology enables the performance of outdoor power equipment around the world,” said Matthew Riddle, chief executive officer of Walbro. “The five patents we are asserting represent important technologies that allow these machines to meet consumer performance expectations while also meeting US regulatory emission requirements. The 35 named companies are using Walbro technology without paying for it.”
Thoughts for the Day
“People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.”
“In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.”
– Audre Lorde
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.”
– Andy Rooney
“The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice.”
– George Eliot
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
– Benjamin Franklin
“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”
– Ronald Reagan
“Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself.”
– Julia Cameron
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
– Audrey Hepburn
“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”
– Robert Orben
EETC Holds Successful 22nd Annual Conference
The Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC) held a very successful 22nd Annual Conference–with individuals from as far away as California, North Dakota, and Maine gathering in Auburn, Alabama. EETC had more than 20 manufacturers and 13 distributors represented and 19 educators in attendance from both secondary and post secondary schools that have a Outdoor Power Equipment program.
The networking opportunity for those in attendance is invaluable and we heard of quite a few schools going back with commitments for donations to their schools programs. All received some great continuing education directly from the manufacturers and for the first time this year EETC had a manufactures/distributors training roundtable discussion that provided an opportunity for these corporate trainers to discuss best practices in training dealer technicians.
Save the Date: The next conference is scheduled for April 3-6, 2019, in Portland, OR.
Attend spoga+gafa – September 2-4, 2018
This autumn the world’s largest outdoor and garden fair returns to Cologne. From September 2-4, 2018, more than 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world will present the most innovative products in the industry, while around 39,000 visitors from 114 countries will once again experience the new and exciting elements of this year’s spoga+gafa.
This year the Garden BBQ segment is again reaching a new dimension with everything it has to offer – outdoor kitchens complete the existing grilling competence of the spoga+gafa and are perfectly positioned with the outdoor kitchen world.
The new format shows purist, clear and the very latest in modern furniture, accessories and appliances for cooking in the garden!
In the centre of the exhibition stands the event area with its cooking shows, presented by Mk2 The Garden Kitchen, Napoleon Grills and spoga+gafa. The stands from the well-known exhibitors of exclusive outdoor kitchens form the perfect setting – the result is a 360-degree overview of one of the newest garden trends.
If you have questions, please email Elaine Brook
BOSS Employees Recognized as Everyday Heroes
BOSS Snowplow employees Val and Korey Carlson recently were recognized with the Everyday Hero Award from The Toro Company for their many volunteer hours logged with the Goodman-Armstrong Creek Rescue Squad in Wisconsin.
Since 2005, the Everyday Hero Award has recognized employees who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to strengthening communities through volunteerism.
Together, the Carlsons contributed a combined total of 518 hours in 2017 with the rescue squad, which is a non-profit emergency transport service that serves the Goodman and Armstrong Creek areas in northeast Wisconsin.
The Carlsons were selected for the award from among Toro employees worldwide.
“Val and Korey fit the criteria and have a great story of service to their community,” said Judson McNeil, president of The Toro Foundation.
Everyday Heroes are nominated by a nonprofit organization or their peers. Volunteers can be involved either in a single organization or a range of causes. Award recipients receive both company recognition and a monetary gift that can be directed to a nonprofit organization of their choice.
BOSS Snowplow manufactures plows and other equipment for trucks, UTVs and ATVs –such as salt and sand spreaders and box plows — built for snow and ice management professional as well as the homeowner. BOSS has grown to be among the leaders in sales of truck mount plows.
BOSS products are designed and manufactured in Iron Mountain. The company maintains a network of nearly 800 dealers worldwide.
The Toro Company produces outdoor environment equipment that includes machinery for turf maintenance, snow and ice management, landscaping, rental and specialty construction and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. Toro does business in more than 125 countries, with $2.5 billion in sales in fiscal 2017.
Man on a Mission to Mow Lawns in all 50 States for a Good Cause
Rodney Smith is on a mission to mow lawns in all 50 states, but his goal isn’t just about lawn care — it’s about letting people know he cares.
In 2016, Smith founded a lawn care nonprofit, Raising Men Lawn Care Service, in his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. Raising Men Lawn Care Service helps young people give back to their communities. The kids in the program visit veterans, the disabled, the elderly, single moms and anyone who needs help doing yard work. They mow people’s lawns, shovel show, rake leaves and more — free of charge.
“In 2016, I saw a man mowing his lawn, struggling. So I got out of my car and helped him,” Smith tells CBS News. That moment inspired him to create the movement. He says at the time he was completing his bachelor’s degree in computer science. He began mowing lawns for those in need whenever he had free time. “I cut lawns in between classes,” he recalled.
Then he decided to start incorporating kids into the mission. He says about 60 kids in Huntsville have joined up, and that was just the beginning.
“It started in January … By April, we went viral, and ever since, it’s continuing to grow,” Smith says. He says he decided to expand the movement across the country when a woman from Ohio reached out to him. “She showed her grandson what we were doing in Huntsville and he wanted to join,” Smith says.
Smith says now 137 kids across in the U.S. have joined Raising Men Lawn Care Service, as well as one in Canada and seven in Bermuda and the U.K. to help out in their own communities.
“It took off pretty well, but the ’50 Yard Challenge,’ really made it big,” he says.
The 50 Yard Challenge is an idea Smith came up with to spread the word and the mission of his organization. He challenged kids to mow 50 lawns for people in need. The kids join by posting a photo of themselves on social media with a sign that says they accept the 50 Yard Challenge — and then they get to work.
Smith wanted to complete the 50 Yard Challenge himself, but he raised the stakes. He challenged himself to the “50 Yards in 50 States Challenge.”
Last summer Smith visited all 50 states in 39 days, driving to 48 and flying only to Hawaii and Alaska. He decided to embark on the journey for a second time this year, so on May 17, he began traveling all 50 states again.
In the first three weeks, Smith has visited over 20 states. When he spoke to CBS News on Thursday, June 7, he was in North Carolina. He had already mowed about three lawns there, he said, and was about to head out for South Carolina. After South Carolina, he was going to stop in Savannah, Georgia, and then keep on going.
The “50 Yards in 50 States” title is a bit misleading, since he doesn’t just mow one lawn in each state. In the past, he has done up to four a day. But on this trip, he wants to do a bit less so he can focus more on talking to people.
“This time I’m stopping in schools and organizations…talking to kids about community service,” Smith said.
Smith says he pre-plans where he is going to stop in each state. “Before I started the tour, I showed people which state in each city I was going to, and asked if they could submit lawns of disabled people, single moms, vets, whoever needed their lawn mowed for free,” he says. People cans submit suggestions for Smith on his website.
“If I don’t have enough [requests in an area], I go on Facebook or Twitter and say, ‘I’m here, does anyone know a disabled person, single mom, vet, whose lawn needs to be cut?'”
His says his social media pages have been the best tool for the charity. He updates them often with photos from his travels.
He says the lawn care company Briggs and Stratton helped sponsor his trip across the U.S. and gave him a new mower for the journey. “I also have supporters that sponsor my rooms, and meet up with me, and give me gas cards,” Smith says.
As for his favorite place to visit, he says New York City is up there on his list. He took a break from mowing lawns to get some pizza and go sightseeing in the Big Apple.
When asked about his favorite people he’d met, Smith had a harder time answering, but one couple stood out to him. “There was a husband and wife in Vermont. A year before, they were struck head-on by a car. They were on a motorcycle… They almost lost their lives,” Smith says. “The husband has a traumatic brain injury and he can’t do anything.”
“I came to cut his lawn and it meant a lot to him,” Smith says.
Smith says starting this charity has showed him his true passion in life: to help people. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in computer science, he went back to school to get a master’s in social work. He graduated just about a month ago, he says.
Smith doesn’t know exactly when he’ll complete this year’s trek across all 50 states, but he’s almost halfway there. Sometimes kids who have joined Raising Men Lawn Care come out and help Smith when he’s mowing lawns in their state.
He hopes his travels help the movement grow. “I hoping on starting chapters in all 50 states to get even more kids involved,” he says. “I’d like to see it become a national program some day.”
He’s planning to reward volunteers who successfully complete the 50 yard challenge. “When they complete 50, we go surprise them, mow lawns with them and give them a brand new lawn mower,”