Industry roundup: Fecon announces upgrades to Stumpex 2-speed stump grinder

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Photo: FeconPhoto: Fecon

Fecon announced that it has upgraded its Stumpex auger-type stump grinder to include a 2-speed hydraulic motor for faster stump removal, especially on soft woods.

Designed to maximize 100 percent of machine output, Fecon says the Stumpex 2-speed improves cut time by up to 50 percent, removing 24-inch stumps in less than three minutes. In addition to faster stump processing, the company says the new model reduces wear on blades and cones, allowing longer service life and extending the intervals between blade sharpening.

The company says it is ideal for skid steer loaders and compact track loaders with 60+ horsepower. Fecon says carriers with lower flow will achieve increased cutting time compared to fixed displacement motors.

Easily transported in a pickup truck, the company says the Stumpex 2-speed stump grinders are ideal for arborists, landscapers, land improvement companies, parks and recreation departments, golf courses, municipalities and wherever safe, efficient stump removal is desired.

With no chips or debris strewn about, Fecon says the low-speed high-torque auger-type technology is the safest method of stump removal, and very little maintenance is required.

Since all debris is contained in one area, the company says cleanup is much faster, and there is 50 percent less O & O versus a typical chipper.

Weed Man announces aggressive South Florida development plan

Weed Man recently welcomed its newest sub-franchisor to the 50-year running legacy company.

The company says CEO Joe Chiellini and COO Mark Almeda, of central Florida’s ASI Landscape Management, are now the official sub-franchisors set to drive Weed Man expansion plans and services throughout South Florida.

Weed Man says the duo and their team members will be instrumental to the company’s development across South Florida. With their first lawn care season beginning in 2021, the company says the sub-franchisors will be operating throughout the Tampa Bay area with 14 territories to start.

The company says they will increase the Weed Man brand awareness and service throughout Southern Florida with both new qualified franchisees and multiple corporate locations.Logo for Weed Man lawn care franchise

Weed Man says the business partners are strong examples for the next generation of Weed Man franchise owners, as they have taken their humble beginnings as a two-man residential operation and scaled into a multi-county $14 million commercial business.

The company says Chiellini retired from his nearly 30-year career as a Captain for Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue, all while growing his landscape management company.

The company says Almeda’s been working with Chiellini since 1995, and quickly climbed the ranks as Chiellini relied on his management and leadership, throughout his career with the fire department. Almeda became a partner in 2005 and vice president/COO of the company. Their entrepreneurial drive, unmatched experience and proficiency in the green industry caught the attention of Weed Man.

“We’ve always been motivated to put Weed Man on the map in Florida but knew it had to be done with the right partners, with a strong existing presence in the market and who matched our company’s winning culture,” says Weed Man CEO Jennifer Lemcke. “They understand the vision and know that Weed Man’s proven systems, paired with their level of experience in the area, are exactly what it will take to be successful in Florida.”

The company says the sub-franchisors already have plans for expansion into another Florida market with 11 additional territories planned, and they will be seeking qualified franchise partners to join them in establishing Weed Man lawn care throughout the region.

“We know our established roots and reputation in the area will be beneficial as we grow the franchise,” says Chiellini. “Especially, as we begin working directly with new and driven Weed Man business owners, our role as sub-franchisor will serve as a hands-on, local point of contact. We will be the extra layer and extension of support to the existing corporate leadership team and network of other successful Weed Man franchise owners throughout the United States.”

Kawasaki names new manager of OEM department

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Engines Division recently announced the promotion of Todd Sytsma to manager, OEM department.

Todd SytsmaTodd Sytsma

Sytsma, a Grand Rapids native, has worked as an OEM sales manager at Kawasaki for the past four years. The company says Sytsma’s primary responsibilities will include the growth and maintenance of the brand’s business-to-business sales, working with U.S. based companies.

The company says he will oversee the day-to-day operations of Kawasaki’s OEM department while providing guidance and support to the company’s OEM sales managers, administrators and coordinators. Included in his responsibilities will be regular interaction with the vice president of the division, concentrating on the development and implementation of strategic departmental and divisional initiatives.

“Todd’s experience provides him with the perfect foundation to collaboratively grow Kawasaki’s OEM presence,” says Nelson Wilner, vice president. “His in-depth knowledge of our products, our programs and our ongoing efforts to support industry partners will be a major contributor to future brand achievements.”

A graduate of Calvin University, the company says Sytsma previously served in various sales and management roles in the industrial support category prior to joining Kawasaki.

Equipment and event rental industry prepares for recovery 

The American Rental Association (ARA) says it is forecasting a 13 percent decline in equipment and event rental revenue this year compared to 2019, dropping to $48.7 billion in the United States. However, the ARA says the latest forecast released by the association on Nov. 12 calls for modest overall growth in 2021, ticking up 0.3 percent to $48.9 billion, before accelerating recovery kicks in with growth of 9.2 percent in 2022, 6.8 percent in 2023 and 4.8 percent in 2024 to reach $59.7 billion.

The association says the party and event segment is forecast to show the largest drop in 2020 revenue, down 38.9 percent to $2.2 billion. After so many rental stores saw business virtually disappear in the spring and early summer of 2020, the ARA says the results set the stage for what will look like very favorable comparisons in 2021.

For example, the ARA says its forecast calls for party and event rental revenue to grow by 36.4 percent in 2021 to reach $3 billion, but this recovery falls far short of making up for the 2020 decline. The segment, according to the forecast, is not expected to reach peak 2019 revenue levels again until 2024.

The ARA says the construction and industrial rental revenue also is forecast to finish 2020 with a significant hit in revenue, dropping 13.3 percent to $33.8 billion and a 3.3 percent decline is forecast for 2021 before double-digit growth of 11.2 percent comes in 2022.ARA logo for the American Rental Association

The ARA says the general tool segment weathered the coronavirus pandemic the best and is expected to finish 2020 down 5.2 percent to $12.7 billion and is expected to top its 2019 revenue peak by 2022.

“The forecast shows us how hard the coronavirus pandemic hit the equipment and event rental industry,” says John McClelland, ARA vice president for government affairs and chief economist. “Hopefully, 2021 will see us getting back some of the revenue losses we experienced in the equipment and general tool segments. However, the event segment continues to have a steep hill to climb and we will be working hard to bring more relief to that segment through government stimulus programs.”

The ARA says investment in equipment is significantly down in 2020, with a 43 percent decrease to $8.166 billion, and equipment spending is forecast to rebound by 17.4 percent in 2021 and by 46.3 percent in 2022 to surpass annual investment of $14 billion.

In Canada, the ARA says the total rental revenue for 2020 is expected to come in at nearly $4.7 billion, down 15.2 percent compared to last year, before growing 7.3 percent in 2021, 8.3 percent in 2022 and 6.8 percent in 2023 to $5.83 billion, exceeding the industry 2019 peak of $5.54 billion.

Edric Funk tapped to lead Toro’s Sitework Systems Business

The Toro Company recently announced that Edric Funk, previously managing director of the company’s Center for Technology, Research & Innovation (CTRI), has been promoted to general manager of the Sitework Systems Business at Toro.

The company says Funk’s new role will consist of managing the day-to-day operations and strategic vision for the Sitework Systems Business. Funk succeeds Peter Moeller, who transitioned to vice president of the International Business at Toro.

Edric FunkEdric Funk

With a career at The Toro Company spanning over two decades, the company says Funk has served in various roles across several businesses. Funk started as an engineer in the landscape contractor business, before holding marketing positions in the residential and landscape contractor, international and commercial divisions.

In 2017, after serving as director of global product management for the commercial and international divisions, Toro says Funk was named the director of the CTRI, further expanding his responsibilities with the addition of the engineering technical services (ETS) team in 2019.

Funk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA with a focus on marketing and strategic management from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He also earned a professional certificate in innovation and technology from MIT.

“We are excited for Edric to take this next important step at Toro in managing the business operations for the Sitework Systems Business,” says Rick Rodier, group vice president of the construction, contractor and residential businesses of The Toro Company. “We’re confident that Edric will be able to apply his diverse background and skills in strategy development, product management and leading teams to help bring even more success to the Sitework Systems Business team.”

Funk’s new responsibilities went into effect as of Nov. 1.

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