Making Tracks At GIE+EXPO

View photos of the Expo here.

Approximately 20,000 people – exhibitors, buyers, dealers, retailers, manufacturers' representatives, rental shops, distributors of lawn, garden and outdoor products and equipment for consumer and commercial use, lawn and landscape professionals, general contractors, forest land owners, golf course superintendents, and parks and municipal buyers – attended the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Oct. 23-25.

The event was sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network, the Professional Grounds Management Society and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Hundreds of exhibitors showcased their latest innovations inside the 425,700-square-foot exhibit hall, as well as in a large outdoor demonstration area. Caterpillar spotlighted a variety of equipment, including three models of compact rubber-track loaders – the 279C, 289C and 299C. The new models have rated capacities of 3,200, 3,850 and 4,150 pounds, at 50 percent of tipping load. Net-horsepower ratings are 82 for the 279C and 289C, and 90 for the 299C.

In addition, Caterpillar featured the Caterpillar 904H compact wheel loader. With 52 net horsepower and an operating weight of 9,900 pounds, the 904H replaces the 904B.

Caterpillar's TH255 super compact telehandler has a rated load capacity of 5,500 pounds, lift height of 18 feet 4 inches, and capacity at maximum reach of 1,850 pounds. Equipped with a universal skid-steer coupler, the TH255 can handle a variety of work tools including forks, hooks, buckets, augers, and brooms.

Vermeer Corp. featured the RTX100 pedestrian trencher with an intuitive VZ steering system that requires minimal operator effort to control machine direction. When transporting or operating the machine, steering is controlled by the slight movement of a directional control bar.

According to Vermeer, operators have the ability to easily interchange between tires and tracks without purchasing a separate model platform. Interchangeable tires and tracks allow the machine to be configured for maximum productivity in varying ground conditions.

FINN Corp. introduced its new Material Transfer System (MTS). With the ability to carry and discharge a variety of materials including aggregate, soil mixes, mulch, sand, and palletized loads, the MTS is the first of its kind in the company's product line. The MTS offers several unique features, including a reversible main floor conveyor and cross belt. The reversible cross belt is exclusive to the MTS and gives the user the option to unload material from either side of the machine – curbside or road-side.

According to FINN, the MTS has a 15-cubic-yard, 11,200-pound capacity hopper constructed of lightweight yet durable aluminum.

FINN Corp. exhibited its line of trailer-mounted bark blowers during the show. The company offers two models, the BB302 and BB705, which are designed for small to mid-size mulching projects. The BB302 is powered by a 33.5-horsepower, V1505 Kubota diesel engine and has a 1.5-cubic-yard capacity hopper. The BB705 is powered by a 71-horsepower, V3300 Kubota diesel engine.

And FINN Corp. displayed its new Titan HydroSeeder that features a 170-horsepower, turbo diesel, Tier 3 compliant Cummins QSB engine.

Express Blower Inc. exhibited its new TM-45 blower. This blower spreads a wide variety of materials, including compost, mulches, soil blends, aggregates, and wood chips, for applications such as landscaping, erosion control and construction. Powered by a 275-horsepower, turbo-diesel, Tier 3 compliant Caterpillar C-7 engine, the TM-45 is a fully self-contained, steel-framed aluminum box designed for mounting on a variety of truck or trailer configurations. And for even more efficient blowing of heavier and more abrasive products, the unit is also available in an optional TM-45MD.