RER ran a series of interviews with manufacturers of lawn-and-garden equipment in its June issue. RER spoke with J.R. Bowling, vice president of Wooster, Ohio-based Rayco Manufacturing, about advancements in its products, future trends and the impact of Tier 4.
RER: What are the main areas of technological advancement in your product line, in the industry in general?
Bowling: One of Rayco’s new product advancements in the rental industry has been the introduction of swing-out operator control stations on compact stump cutters. Rayco’s Super Jr Stump Cutters (available with 25-hp Kohler or 35-hp Vanguard engines) are now available with swing-out control stations that give operators two positions for grinding and a third position for passing through gates. The two grinding positions allow for better visibility of the grinding action while keeping the operator at the control station. For passing through gates, the control arm swings in-line with the machine, allowing the operator to follow the unit through a gate.
What are some of the trends you see now and in the foreseeable future in your type of equipment?
The value proposition is more important than ever in today’s economy. Customers are not as liberal as they once were about “splurging” to get a higher end unit with more bells and whistles unless those features add value. Rayco has sought to offer rental customers value by offering features such as tracks and swing-out controls on our Super Jr series of hydraulically controlled stump cutters.
What EPA, CARB regulations or other environmental concerns are affecting your R&D, the manufacturing and marketing of your equipment?
Emissions concerns are driving up cost in our industry for diesel-powered equipment. Once Tier-4 emissions levels are the norm, prices will be significantly higher. It’s therefore a good idea to purchase diesel-powered machinery sooner than later to avoid the steep price increases that will no doubt hit in 2012.