Hydro-Gear demonstrates new innovations again at Equip Exposition 2023 – Louisville, KY
As the outdoor power equipment industry celebrated 40 years of the Expo with the 2023 edition of Equip Exposition, Hydro-Gear showed why it is known as one of the industry’s most innovative suppliers. The company introduced two new product families, HGMe™ and STM™, as well as new compact forms of their 58V and 88V Smartec PowerPack® lithium-ion battery packs. All of the new products officially launch in 2024.
The HGMe extends the company’s commercial electric lineup into a higher class and builds off the well-proven gear components of the popular hydraulic HGM™ motor. Paul Jones, Market Segment Director, indicated that customer interest has been strong. “Customers have been asking for a product like this and we are making it easy for them to adopt it as a drop-in from the HGM, ZT-4400, and ZT-5400,” said Jones.
Thanks to Equip’s unique outdoor demo feature, show attendees were able to test drive an HGMe-equipped vehicle powered by 58V Smartec PowerPack batteries. “We’ve heard a lot of smooth, powerful, and quiet type comments which is kind of what we expected based on our own evaluations,” said Scott Wilmoth, Marketing Manager. “Another great thing about the demo area is that it gives people a chance to really experience how we can adjust the machine to a user’s preference or troubleshoot it using our mobile apps. We are still the only component supplier that can offer full systems with complete design and manufacturing control of hardware and software,” he explained.
Also available to ride and drive was an installation of the company’s commercial ZT-3400e system powered by 88V Smartec PowerPack batteries. The company also demonstrated its drive-by-wire system in a tracked RC Mower equipped with a ZT-4400. “Drive-by-wire capability is a new feature for the ZT-4400,” Wilmoth explained. Previously it was not available above the ZT-3800 in Hydro-Gear’s lineup.
The company is equally excited about the STM motor family. “These motors are capable of going anywhere small engines are performing work functions today, the possibilities are endless,” said Mike McCoy, Vice-President. The company will offer the motors in various configurations to match the application’s needs. Options include a standard end cap, e-brake, or thru shaft with a cooling fan as well as multiple voltages.
New display elements highlighted the company’s battery offerings. On the new Compact form, “We wanted to give customers another option for some applications. Our original Slimline format is great for creating a low vehicle center of gravity in ZTR’s but other applications may require something else,” McCoy explained. The indoor booth included a UTV with Smartec batteries and components to demonstrate the capability and flexibility of its systems. Wilmoth indicated booth traffic was strong during the show’s three days. “This show just keeps getting bigger and better. It’s something we look forward to every year, we enjoy the opportunity to present our innovations and delight our customers.”
About Hydro-Gear – Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Sullivan, IL, Hydro-Gear is a world leader in the design and manufacture of precision drive solutions for the commercial, residential, and electric markets. The company markets residential-grade hydraulic products under its Hydro-Gear brand, commercial-grade hydraulic production under its Hydro-Gear commercial brand, and electric products under its Smartec brand. With multiple manufacturing sites and global operations, Hydro-Gear’s goal is to ensure our products and services always meet our customers’ rigorous requirements and exceed their expectations.