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Home prices rise again

BY Ken Clark

Home prices rose in November, according to the widely read Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 major markets. 

For the year, the index was up 5.5%. The index also showed its 10th consecutive month-over-month gain, beating the string of nine straight increases that occurred during the homebuyer tax credit incentives of 2009 and 2010. 

Of the 20 markets, Phoenix showed the biggest gains, up 22.8%. New York City was the lone market on the index to show a decline. It was down 1.2% from its reading of the previous year. 

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Toro, GreensPerfection form greensmower agreement

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Toro Co. has entered into an agreement with GreensPerfection to manufacture and market greensmower brushes developed by Rod Lingle, CGCS for Toro’s lineup of Greensmaster walk and riding greensmowers. Under the agreement, Toro is the only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to offer Lingle’s GreensPerfection brushes on its equipment.

“The new GreensPerfection brushes are an excellent addition to our greensmower line,” said Helmut Ullrich, senior marketing manager for Toro greensmowers. “It’s all about playability for our customers, and the GreensPerfection brushes offer a new management tool for superintendents.”

The Toro/GreensPerfection brush offerings combine mowing and brushing into one step. The brushes work in concert with the rotating design, which causes less damage to the turf and provides more lift to the grass blades than traditional groomers. It also throws sand and debris to the front of the mower instead of into the reel to help maintain reel sharpness. 

GreensPerfection rotating brushes are currently available on all Toro Greensmaster mowers.

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Newell Rubbermaid unveils Hilmor tool brand

BY HBSDealer Staff

Newell Rubbermaid has launched its new Hilmor tool brand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning/refrigeration (HVAC/R) technicians. Hilmor is the third anchor brand within the company’s Tools segment.           

"Hilmor completely changes the game in the underserved HVAC/R tool category," said Rich Mathews , SVP marketing for the Hilmor brand. "We invested years of intense end-user insight and product development work to understand and address the unique challenges technicians face on a daily basis. These technicians are among the most highly trained and skilled in the professional trades, and they deserve tools that help them overcome the complex challenges they face on job sites. Our new Hilmor brand fills this gap with the biggest wave of innovation the HVAC/R category has seen in a long time." 

The Hilmor brand launched at the International Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) in Dallas. The company also began an integrated marketing campaign across digital, social and print, inviting users to "ReTool + Conquer."   

The Hilmor line includes 150 HVAC/R tools. Six premier products from the new line are:

Dual Readout Thermometer with Thermocouple Clamps: This thermometer provides two digital readings to help simplify the calculation of superheat and subcool. 

Electronic Gauge with Vacuum Sensor: This hybrid gauge offers analog and digital displays. Built-in features include pressure/temperature data for 39 refrigerants and color-coding.

Aluminum Manifold (4-Valve and 2-Valve): It comes in two-and four-valve combinations and features a forged aluminum body and high-impact gauge boots.

Compact Bender: It allows for tube-bending up to 90 degrees. Additional features include a universal crossbar with color-coded mandrels, a quick-release button to free tubes without damage and a spring-loaded ratcheting lever.

Compact Swage Tool: Pistol-shaped, it can handle tight spaces. The handle is spring-loaded to control pressure on swages from 5/16 ins. to 1-5/8 ins. 

Quick-Engage Flare and Swage: It can flare and swage, and features a clothespin-like clamp to secure tubing.

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