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UFP names a deck giveaway winner

BY HBSDealer Staff

Universal Forest Products has a winner in its 2014 ProWood Desperate Deck Contest, a giveaway that promised a new custom-built deck to the person with the best "desperate deck" story.

Amy Spoonhower of Gordonsville, Virginia made the most compelling case. Together with her fiance, Spoonhower bought a moldy, leaky foreclosed house and worked on the fixer-upper for four years to restore it. However, the couple ran out of energy and money before they had a chance to touch up the decks, which were in a dismal state of disrepair.

The couple will now be the recipient of a $20,000 custom-built deck made with ProWood professional grade lumber.

“I’ve worked since I was 15 years old," said Amy. "I’ve earned everything I’ve ever had in my life that’s of any value—and I’m proud of that. Getting a gift like this feels a little … peculiar. I didn’t earn it or work for it so it’s a peculiar feeling, but a wonderful feeling. It’s a huge reward. I’m still kind of in shock. I was literally shaking for a whole day.”

Curious customers will be able to receive updates on the deck, which will be posted on the ProWood Desperate Deck webpage and on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Troy-Bilt brings Jet leaf blower to Lowe’s

BY David Salazar

Outdoor power equipment company Troy-Bilt introduced the Jet leaf blower that will be sold at Lowe’s stores.

The Jet uses a fan that spins at 130 m.p.h. while bringing in and pressurizing 650 cubic feet per minute of air volume.

"It’s commonly thought the key measurement of a leaf blower’s power and performance is miles per hour, but in actuality, it’s a combination of speed and air volume," Troy-Bilt’s marketing and product management director, Aaron Hanlon, said. "A leaf blower with high speed and low volume is powerful, but only moves a small amount of debris. A product with low speed and high volume moves more debris, but without much force."

The leaf blower, which retails for $139.99, features a design to make the air intake and output line up with the fan to make a quieter engine that gets less hot.

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Briggs and Stratton will acquire Allmand Bros.

BY David Salazar

Wisconsin-based Briggs & Stratton Corporation will be acquiring light tower company Allmand Bros. within the month, the company announced Thursday.

The projected cost of purchasing the Nebraska-based company is $62 million, though the number may change. Allmand Brothers brings in $80 million in sales every year from its light towers, arrow boards and industrial heating products.

"This acquisition helps us to further our strategic initiative of focusing on attractive higher margin, commercial end-use products," Briggs & Stratton chairman, President and CEO Todd Teske said. "The acquisition of Allmand augments our higher margin commercial product portfolio, expands our market access to include the rental channel, and helps diversify our business into industry segments that we do not meaningfully participate in today. In addition, we believe this acquisition will accelerate our sales growth in the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to welcoming the management team and the employees of Allmand to our team, and building upon the strong foundation that has made Allmand a highly successful company."

Allmand Bros. products are sold in 40 countries, and it marked the 75th anniversary of its founding in 2013.

"The combination of Allmand with Briggs & Stratton will provide even more opportunities for our people and our customers,” Allmand Bros. chairman Roger Allmand said. “With a proven track record of operating successfully for over 100 years, we believe that Briggs & Stratton will be able to accelerate our presence globally."

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