Business roundup: Ditch Witch treats 300 customers to VIP event

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Updated Apr 20, 2017
Photo: Ditch WitchPhoto: Ditch Witch

Ditch Witch recently treated more than 300 customers worldwide to their annual two-day Orange Iron Experience event held at the company’s headquarters in Perry, Oklahoma.

“This annual event helps customers directly see and demo our latest products, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the factory,” said Dennis Wierzbicki, Ditch Witch president. “We are committed to providing exceptional support and service to our customers worldwide, and this event gives our customers the chance to personally connect with our Ditch Witch family, latest underground construction equipment and foundational history.”

The company held an equipment program that introduced customers to the latest Ditch Witch, Subsite Electronics and Hammerhead hands-on equipment demonstrations and products. Those in attendance received a tour of Ditch Witch’s manufacturing faculty and campus, had a meet-and-greet with the designers and engineers who build the equipment and attended a Super Witch show.

Companies continue to sign up for Propane Dealer Point

Propane equipment dealer point logoOver the course of six months, nearly 500 outdoor power equipment dealers were added to Propane Equipment Dealer Point, a free, searchable database that allows landscape contractors to find local, knowledgeable dealers committed to selling propane mowers. Launched by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) in the summer of 2016, the tool continues to grow daily according to the organization.

“That so many applications were submitted in such a short time shows that dealers see the value of being listed in the database as a way to drive more customers through their doors while differentiating their product offerings from the surrounding competition,” said Jeremy Wishart, PERC deputy director of business development. “Plus, contractors now have a way to easily find a local dealer who can provide real details about propane equipment and partner with them on the path to fleet conversion.”

The company says that every equipment dealer listed in the database prior to being listed is vetted with a series of questions, which helps contractors know they are interacting with dealers able to answer questions regarding propane equipment.

In recent surveys conducted by PERC, more than 60 percent of dealers surveyed said they expected to offer propane equipment in the next three years.

Currently the company says there are 47 states listed in the database and several states have dozens of signups already listed. Texas has more than 30 dealers listed, Pennsylvania has more than 40 and Florida, California and Indiana have more than 20.

Hydro-Rain launches Wi-Fi sprinkler controller

Hydro-Rain recently announced that it has launched its Hydro-Rain B-Hyve Pro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller, which allows users to remotely monitor, optimize and manage a customer’s landscapes. Using an Internet connection, users can now control irrigation systems using the B-Hyve Pro app from anywhere via a tablet or smartphone. Operators can also use their voice to control the system with Amazon Alexa-compatible devices.

Photo: Hydro-RainPhoto: Hydro-Rain

By using the B-Hyve Pro app, users are able to connect to an unlimited number of Hydro-Rain B-Hyve Pro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controllers to schedule and maintain irrigation systems across multiple sites.

Along with being able to customize programming, the company says that professionals can use this system with Smart Watering to automatically manage irrigation systems by accessing real-time local weather data to deliver the correct amount of water to lawns and gardens. The system will also make adjustments based on seasonality and weather events.

“This is a breakthrough innovation that lets irrigation professionals conveniently control landscape irrigation systems from anywhere,” said Stuart Eyring, chief operating officer at Hydro-Rain. “We’ve eliminated the need to drive back and forth for simple programming adjustments, helping professionals save on travel costs and time spent on house calls — all while smartly conserving water.”

Additional features include:

  • Bluetooth compatibility: When Wi-Fi is not available on a job site, the Hydro-Rain B-Hyve Pro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller can be operated using Bluetooth.
  • Key certifications: The system is certified by EPA WaterSense and SWAT to more efficiently use water. It is also eligible for rebates in many cities or water districts across the country.
  • Catch cups: In addition to Smart Watering, this system incorporates the catch-cup feature to deliver up to 25 percent more water savings.

The system is currently available in two models, eight station or 16 station, from various Hydro-Rain distributors in both the U.S. and Canada. The eight station model has a list price of $185, and the 16 station model is available in $225.

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