Each year the GIE Expo attracts thousands to the Kentucky Convention Center in Louisville. Manufacturers of mowers, UTVs, tractors, and even hardscaping showcase their best and latest products. Dealers, consumers, and media swarm the floors for three days, discussing with engineers, product managers, and salespeople. We do our best to bring you the best products of the 2018 GIE Expo.
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Highlights from 2018 GIE Expo
From the thousands of products and technologies at the 2018 GIE Expo, we break it down to our top 10, as we see it. Be sure to let us know what you think.
10. Jungle Jack Mower Lift
The Jungle Jack from Jungle Jim’s typically sells for $220, however, it’s currently just $199 online. It has an 800-lb capacity and it’s made to lift a mower from just about any side of the machine. The design seems quite simple, but we can see that it could come in really handy for blade changes and maintenance.
9. Honda GCV200 Engine
With more than 20 years with the same engine, Honda decided to upgrade the old GCV190 with a brand-new GCV200. The new 201cc engine produces 10% more torque and horsepower, while still being more efficient than the predecessor. A new cylinder head on the GCV200 has opposing intake and exhaust valves at opposing angles, like a hemispherical (Hemi) head. Updated oil-fill tube and gas tank openings make topping off fluids much easier. The new engine makes it’s debut on the new push mowers, first.
8. Hustler Raptor SDX Zero Turn Mower
The Raptor SDX is a prosumer model under the Hustler brand of Excel Industries. The new SDX is available in 48″, 54″, and 60″ decks, all fabricated from 10-gauge steel. Power is provided by Kawasaki FR engines.
7. Stihl MS161 36V Top-handle Chainsaw
This battery-powered top-handle chainsaw from Stihl has been long-awaited in the USA. Europe has been using this saw for more than a couple of years, with great success. We’ll be glad to get our hands on one of these soon. The MSA161T is expected to hit Stihl dealer shelves in Qtr 1 of 2019 and the MSRP will be $379.95.
6. ECHO PB-8010 Backpack Blower
This new Echo PB-8010 is hot off the assembly lines, and it produces more power than any other backpack blower. At a force of 44 Newtons, this blower would have won our Backpack Blower Shootout a few months back. Echo boasts 1071 cfm and 211 mph, hence your Fall leaves cleanup should be a breeze. The Echo PB-8010 is available now at your Echo dealer for just $599.
5. EGO Commercial Series and 28Ah Battery Backpack
EGO goes commercial with the launch of their 28Ah backpack battery and 3 new commercial tools. The new string trimmer, hedge trimmer, and blower all tether to the BAX1500 battery pack. This pack produces 1568 Wh at 56-volts which should power the hedge trimmer for more than 7 hours. With an IP56 rating, you can use these new EGO Commercial units in the rain. Check out the complete new commercial lineup here .
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4. Makita XCU08 X2 Top-handle Chain Saw
The Makita XCU08 top-handle chainsaw is part of the X2 platform, powered by two 18-volt batteries. This 36-volt saw utilizes Makita’s outer-rotor brushless motor design, providing more power to the blade. The Makita XCU08 chainsaw will be available with a 14″ bar and chain and the XCU09 a 16” bar and chain. Both models use a 3/8” pitch and .043” gauge chain. Look for them in Q2 of 2019.
3. Ferris IS3200 Midnight Zero Turn Mower
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Ferris suspension technology, Ferris is offering this limited edition Midnight IS3200 for a limited time. The Midnight includes 12-position dampeners for superb suspension tuning, front-end guard, special paint scheme, large studded rear tires, and LED lights. Check with your Ferris dealer for more information.
2. Greenworks Stealth HD UTV
Greenworks debuts their battery-powered UTV. Top speed is expected to be 25-35 mph and range is expected to be 45-90 miles. A 7.5 kw motor powers the Stealth UTV, as well as a 13.8 kwh battery, delivers the juice. Pricing starts at $23K and the price as pictured will be about $27K. Greenworks hopes to have these available in Q2 of 2019.
1. Briggs and Stratton 2025 Concept Zero Turn Mower
Rounding out our top choice for the best products from the 2018 GIE Expo is the futuristic zero-turn prototype from Briggs & Stratton. Labeled as a 2025 release, this part-snowmobile part-mower trims the green stuff at 20mph. The seat, handlebar, and suspension design allow the user’s body and knees to absorb some of the shock from undulations and additional speed. Also, modular decks allow for adding and removing blades to suit your needs.
Editor’s note: this article originally published on October 22, 2018.