Walk-Behinds Trip Commercial Turf Sales In ’05: OPEI

Posted on January 5, 2006

A 15% drop-off in sales of intermediate walk-behinds was one of the key reasons that sales of commercial turf equipment dipped slightly in 2005, according to figures from the Outdoor Power Institute (OPEI). The trade association conducts a monthly shipments research program that represents between 75% and 100% of all commercial turf care shipments and also provides consensus estimates for all original equipment manufacturers that do not participate in the shipments program.

According to the OPEI’s estimates, for the 2005 model year (September 2004 to August 2005), overall commercial turf equipment sales were down just 1.9% from the previous year, totaling 291,383 units. The most significant drops were in two of the smallest niches, intermediate commercial walk behinds, which were down 15% to 37,426 units, and three-wheel commercial riders, which fell 27.3% to 907 units.

Several segments remained strong, including walk-behind rotary mowers, up 1.6% to 50,686 units; and transmission steer front-mount mowers, up 35% to 9717 units. Total sales for all riding turf equipment also rose slightly, to 203,271.