by Gregg Wartgow, associate publisher and editor in chief of Green Industry Pros magazine.
With Father’s Day fast approaching, my mind immediately reflects on a lifetime of struggling to find the right Father’s Day gift for my dad. He’s always been a blue-collar guy who doesn’t golf or travel. He works, works some more, then comes home and works around the house on the weekend. For my dad, like so many dads out there, another Packer’s shirt or necktie falls pretty flat at the gift-giving ceremony.
You know what would make for a fantastic gift for a lot of dads out there? A new piece of lawn equipment. There are several emerging trends in the landscaping industry right now that have led to countless new product introductions. The neat thing is that many of these advances in product design have made it more feasible for the average homeowner to put his hands on a quality product without having to take out a second mortgage.
Here are some Father’s Day gift ideas based on the most-popular products being researched at our website’s online product guide.
Ethanol fuel treatments. Ethanol-containing fuel can wreak havoc on small engines. In fact, E15 (15% ethanol) is not even legal to use in small engines like you’ll find on lawnmowers or string trimmers, for example. But E15 is coming, and E10 has already proliferated throughout the country. There are now a handful of ethanol fuel treatment products on the market. You simply add them to your ethanol-containing fuel much like you would add a fuel stabilizer. You can also purchase premixed fuel for your 2-cycle engines like STIHL Motomix®. Check in with your friendly neighborhood servicing equipment dealer to see what they might have available for you to purchase.
Battery-powered equipment. Several manufacturers have added battery-poweredequipment to their product offerings. This technology has come a really long way. Run times are much longer, recharge times are shorter, and the equipment itself really packs some power and performance. STIHL’s extended-reach hedgetrimmer, a new product introduced this spring, is a great example.
Just like the pros use. Then again, if your dad is a traditionalist and would just as soon work with a gas-powered trimmer, hedgetrimmer of leaf blower, there are many “prosumer” models available for a good price. By “prosumer” I mean product that’s designed for everyday homeowner consumers, but features commercial-duty performance in many respects. You’ll only find these high-quality products at independent servicing dealerships.
Mowers. Speaking of prosumers, zero-turn riding mowers have officially become main-stream. Prices have also really come down. A time-saving, well-made zero-turn can be had for $2,000 to $3,000 these days. Wait … that’s a pretty expensive Father’s Day gift, right?! Well, if that’s the case, get together with other family members and go in on it together. Dad will totally thank you, especially as he gets older and things like speed and comfort become more important to him when doing yard work.
Hopefully some of these ideas help to get your wheels turning as you shop for the perfect Father’s Day gift this spring. If not, you could always get Dad another necktie. After all, he’ll need something to wipe the dirt and grease off of his hands when he’s working out in the yard this summer.
Gregg Wartgow is associate publisher and editor in chief of Green Industry Pros magazine, SnowPRO magazine, The Pro Report and Equipment Dealer Digest eNewsletters, and GreenIndustryPros.com. He’s been covering the Green Industry for more than 15 years.