Most Clicked OPEI SmartBrief Stories

1. OPEI recommends safe mowing methods for slopes

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute is giving recommendations for mowing slopes, including choosing the right equipment and knowing how to properly operate the mower. Operators should also assess the terrain and stay vigilant. "It is very important that you pay attention to the terrain, be vigilant of risks and know how to fully operate your mower," said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. Read more.

2. Stihl is among top brands for battery-powered tools

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Stihl's range of battery-powered outdoor equipment features some of the top products to watch this year. "Many of its tools feature the new EC brushless motor that is virtually maintenance-free, very durable and more efficient, offering even longer running time from the batteries," Jean Vernon writes. Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model), The (03/25)

3. Review: Billy Goat Outback Hydro manages tough vegetation

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 23, 2015

The Billy Goat Outback Hydro with either a 13hp Honda or 12.5hp Briggs & Stratton engine can trim back rough vegetation fast and can mulch tall grass, small trees, brambles and shrubs. "If the machine can push the plant over, it will mulch it," according to this review. Horticulture Week (U.K.) (03/20)

4. New Cobra lithium-ion cordless lawn mowers hit market

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

The new Cobra MX4140v 16-inch push lawn mower and 18-inch self-propelled mower feature a lightweight Samsung 40V lithium-ion battery. The batteries have no "memory effect," which means battery capacity will not weaken over time. Additional features include both mulching and side discharge options on the 18-inch model and a power indicator light system that offers four warning levels about battery life. Horticulture Week (U.K.) (03/26)

5. Elephants rescue stranded trucker in La.

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

Two elephants helped save a Louisiana trucker from an embarrassing accident this week, keeping his truck upright after it got stuck in mud and started sliding into a ditch. The elephants, which were on their way to a nearby circus, held the truck in place with their foreheads until help arrived. United Press International (03/25)

6. OPEI issues best practices for equipment safety, maintenance

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute has released safety and maintenance tips for lawn mowers, edgers, chainsaws, string trimmers and generators. These include information on sharpening blades, storing equipment, inspections and fuel safety. The group also reminds equipment owners not to use gas with more than 10% ethanol, as higher-percentage blends are dangerous for small engines. Power Equipment Trade (registration required) (03/2015)

7. Robomow to hit shelves of UK electronics store

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Robomow, a robotic lawn mower, will be sold at UK-based electronics retailer Maplin this year. The company saw a 136% increase in sales in and expects further growth in the 2015 season. Horticulture Week (U.K.) (03/24)

8. How to pitch eco-friendly ground covers to clients

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Landscapers pitching eco-friendly ground covers should mention those that can handle heavy foot traffic or will grow well in the specific conditions of the client's yard. For example, kidney weed will do well in sunny areas and hot climates, while moss thrives in shade. Green carpet rupturewort provides an evergreen covering that turns red in winter. Green Industry Pro magazine (03/24)

9. Outdoor power-equipment dealers see rush of spring tune-up requests

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 23, 2015

Outdoor power-equipment dealers are getting a rush of requests to tune up lawn mowers, string trimmers and other equipment for spring. "We tell people, once the (service) specials have been established, get them in here or have a free pickup, it's almost like a feeding frenzy, dozens of them, all of a sudden, boom," said Dave Bauer, service manager of Steve's Ace Home & Garden in Dubuque, IA. Meanwhile, Jesse Bell, service manager at Roeder Outdoor Power in Dubuque, is warning customers against the harmful effects of using ethanol fuel in outdoor power equipment. Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, Iowa), The (03/22)

10. U.S. Treasury warns about bull market

OPEI SmartBrief | Mar 23, 2015

The stock market's 6-year-old bull market could become a threat to the U.S. financial system if prices experience a sharp decline, the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research said in a report. Plunges in stock prices have previously played a part in bringing about systemic crises, the report said. MLex (subscription required) (03/18)

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