Local News

Local News

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YAMABIKO Produces 60 Million Engines

Almost three and one-half years after the merger of the Kioritz/ECHO and Shindaiwa Companies into YAMABIKO Corporation, the company recently celebrated landmark engine production at its two primary Japanese factories.  

The Morioka facility (formerly Kioritz) produced its 50th million engine, while the Hiroshima facility (formerly Shindaiwa) produced its 10th million, bringing total production to 60 million engines.

The Kioritz Company, former parent of ECHO Incorporated, was formed in 1947 with a mission to increase food production post WWII with the development and manufacture of Japan’s first manually operated spraying equipment. Five years later, it moved into the development and production of two-stroke engine powered products such as trimmers and brushcutters.

The former Shindaiwa Company was formed in 1952, focusing on the production of electric chain saws and circular saws, and industrial machines using electronic control technology such as generators and welders. In 1975 it entered the two-stroke engine market.

Both companies have more than 50 years of experience in the professional outdoor power equipment machinery market. With the technical knowledge and experience from Kioritz, ECHO, and Shindaiwa, the YAMABIKO merger created a solid corporate foundation which provides millions of 2-stroke engine products sold worldwide through authorized dealers.

ECHO Incorporated, in Lake Zurich, IL, is a subsidiary of YAMABIKO and serves not only as a distribution center for ECHO and Shindaiwa products in the Americas, but also is the largest assembly plant within the YAMABIKO group.

A ceremony commemorating the engine production milestone was held at the Morioka Division in Japan with guests including the Vice-Governor of Iwate Prefecture and the Mayor of Takizawamura.


ECHO is Bronze Level Sponsor of PGMS

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) is an individual society of grounds professionals advancing the grounds management profession through education and professional development.

The majority of members are institutional grounds managers who work for organizations such as colleges, universities, municipalities, park and recreation facilities, hotels/motels, etc.  Many independent landscape contractors are also in membership.

All have joined together for the purpose of education and economic advancement.  The ultimate goals are to assist the individual manager in developing techniques and management skills to assure an outstanding grounds management program for his or her organization, clients or employers, and to upgrade the level of the profession.

ECHO is a bronze level partner, donating $2,000 to help support the mission of The Professional Grounds Management Society.

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General Power Equipment Attends 43rd Annual Power Show Ohio

Boasting a showcase of more than 600 brands of equipment and supplies, The Power Show Ohio is the place to see and exhibit farm, construction, and lawn and garden equipment.

Besides being able to view just about every kind of loading, mowing, grain handling, logging, livestock equipment and computer software, attendees could attend seminars on topics ranging from oil & gas issues, water quality & algae problems and grain marketing.

General Power Equipment (located in Columbus, OH) was proud to display a booth full of ECHO and Shindaiwa equipment, relaying just what Power Show attendees are looking for:  quality equipment, useful information and innovative technology. 

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Bob King Unleashes Inner Child?

ECHO Carving Team member Bob King teamed up with Burton Snowboards to carve out some serious fun for Jay Peak Resort’s Riglet Parks.  What is a Riglet Park you might ask?  It’s a really fun and snowy place that kids can learn to snowboard.  Kids of all ages can have a great learning experience in the Burton Star Wars themed Riglet Park at Sierra-at-Tahoe, and also at Jay Peak Resort’s Disney-Pixar Toy Story themed park in northern Vermont.  Thanks for helping to make winter fun again, Bob!


ECHO Inc. Supports Education

When ECHO was approached by McHenry Community High School in McHenry County, Illinois regarding expanding their Power Mechanics class, we saw a great opportunity to help educate students and promote the ECHO brand.  Dave Garrett, the Power Mechanics instructor, teaches over 150 students each year.  In 2012 they had only 4-stroke Briggs & Stratton engines for the students to learn with.  Thanks to ECHO’s generous donation of 32 PB-265 blowers, their program has expanded to include 2- stroke engine theory and diagnostics.

Dave took the initiative one step further and contacted the EETC (Engine & Equipment Training Council) and McHenry High School is now in the process of becoming EETC accredited.  EETC http://www.eetc.org/home.html is a non-profit association whose goal is to address the shortage of qualified service technicians in the outdoor power equipment industry. Made up of more than 450 industry professionals including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, associations, and educators, the EETC is striving to create professional power equipment technicians for today's sophisticated power equipment products. In order to meet these needs, the association has developed the EETC Technician Certification program to measure the skill level of repair technicians working in the industry today.

EETC accreditation is very important to schools because it ensures that their school has all the necessary tools, engines and the right curriculum available for their students. This will provide them with the skills they need should they choose a job as an outdoor power equipment technician.   

Ron Jensen, Sr. Manager, Product Training and Consumer Support, and Dan Lloyd National Service Administrator paid a visit to Dave’s Power Mechanics classroom last spring and provided an informative and interesting power point presentation on small engines and career paths in power equipment industry.  Students then participated in a hands-on activity learning about different 2-stroke emission engine technology and performing adjustments on 2-stroke engines, after which they were invited outside to operate some of the ECHO power equipment.    

The support ECHO provided to the McHenry Community High School has resulted in a more well-rounded and comprehensive small engines program, and afforded the students hands-on experiences they would not have otherwise enjoyed.  Future plans include more hands-on activities with these 2-stroke engines and offering a second semester of Power Mechanics for students.

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ECHO Inc is a Proud Sponsor or the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show

The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show just completed its 33rd year of family entertainment by exhibiting log rolling, log rolling dogs, chopping, sawing, axe throwing, dragster chain saws, and tree climbing.  They put on a historical, educational, humorous show filled with audience participation reaching over one million people yearly.   The Lumberjacks show how logging skills were used years ago, and then compare it to today's methods.  "Timberjacks" compete with each other using an old time Lumberjack cross-cut saw and today's technology, the chain saw ... muscle against machine.  For more information, go to www.lumberjackent.com

2013 GIE+EXPO Dealers Choice Award Finalist

ECHO's CS-590 Timber Wolf chain saw was named as a finalist in the 2013 GIE+EXPO Dealer Choice Awards.  Winners were honored on the last day of the EXPO which took place October 23-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.  This year's Dealers Choice Awards covered lawn and garden products and services in four categories:  Accessory/Attachment, Handheld, Industrial/Engine and Wheeled.

This year almost 400 lawn and garden power equipment dealers participated in the eighth annual Power Equipment Trade GIE+EXPO Dealers Choice Awards, voting on their favorite products on display at GIE+EXPO.  Power Equipment Trade solicited product nominations for all GIE+EXPO exhibitors, and selected up to five finalists in each category.  Power Equipment Trade dealer readers and other qualified dealers participated through an on-line ballot system and also voted in person at the show.

ECHO Participates in 2014 Grainger Show

Grainger’s 2014 Customer Show features the solutions, expertise and products to help customers get the job done … and ECHO was there to show folks needing handheld outdoor power equipment exactly what professional grade tools could do for them.

The show took place February 10-12 in Orlando, Florida and welcomed more than 15,000 attendees with more than 600 supplier booths.  Manning the ECHO booth was Tom Cahill, Sr. National Account Representative.  He was also joined by Mike Best, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, along with Dan Rosenberger, National Account Manager.

Tom reported that along with incredible foot traffic, ECHO received some awesome exposure and excellent interaction with Grainger’s suppliers and customers.

Grainger specializes in selling facilities maintenance products such as material handling, safety and security, cleaning and maintenance and heating/cooling.  ECHO became a Grainger supplier of handheld outdoor power equipment in 2013.


ECHO Helps Glen Haven Colorado Volunteer Fire Department

Glen Haven was hard hit by the Colorado flood in September of 2013.  The small mountain community lost the only road in and out of town, and many residents lost their homes and businesses.  Glen Haven's volunteer fire fighters worked long hours trying to rebuild foot bridges and clear debris for the town and put out a call for much needed chain saws.  They received Poulan chain saws, but they could only be used for limbing trees due to their small engine size.

Golden Eagle Distributing was contacted for a chain saw donation, and was happy to help by sending a CS-590-20 Timber Wolf to Glen Haven to handle the BIG trees.

Midwest Equipment Company Upcoming Events

ECHO Distributor Midwest Equipment Company will be participating in the following trade shows throughout April:  Evansville Home Show in Evansville, IN, (April 5 & 6, 2014); Madisonville Home Show in Madisonville, KY, (April 11 & 12, 2014), and the KPPA Trade Show in Frankfort, KY, (April 25, 2014). Stop by and visit their booth!

Midwest Equipment will also be holding their annual ECHO Chain Saw Challenge in June and July.  Check back for more details!

General Power Equipment Upcoming Event

ECHO Distributor General Power Equipment will be participating in the Butler Chain Saw Carving Invitational.  Be sure to stop by their booth!

You'll also see the ECHO Chain Saw Carving Team members (Mark Colp, Jason Emmons, and Bob King) carving in the invitational!

ECHO Supports EETC Scholarship Program

ECHO Incorporated is proud to support  the Equipment & Engine Training Council’s Paul H. Scholten Memorial Scholarship fund.    Students must be pursuing a certificate or degree in power equipment technology at an EETC accredited school in order to be eligible.  Applicants are judged on their academic achievement, leadership activities and student statement.  Preference is given to qualified applicants who exhibit financial need.  ECHO’s Ron Jensen, Sr. Manager, Product Training and Consumer Support, presented the scholarships.

Scholarships, which are given in memory and tribute to Paul H. Scholten (1940-2002), aid students in educational expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, and housing as they pursue their degrees and careers in the power equipment industry.  Paul H. Scholten was a founding member of the Equipment & Engine Training Council, its past President and fervent advocate for excellence in power equipment service and repair.  The EETC dedicates these scholarships to Paul in the hope that young people entering the power equipment industry will regard him as a role model for excellence in all of their life’s endeavors.

Thanks to ECHO and the EETC, each of five scholarship recipients received $1000 towards their college expenses in a OPE Technician Program.  ECHO wishes the best to this year’s recipients Ross Daniel Lubner of Appleton, WI; Easton Marie Murry of CobleSkill, NY; Paul Curtis Pickering of Waco, TX; Richard Terrell Morris of Raymond, MS; and Kyle Bernard Volker of Alexandria, MN.

ECHO Participates in ISA Trade Show

ECHO Incorporated will have a booth hosted by ECHO distributor, Golden Eagle Distributing, at the 2014 International Society of Aboriculture in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Trade show dates are August 3 - 5.  Come and see what all the outdoor power equipment buzz is about at ECHO in booth 441!

Check out ECHO's new and improved chain saws, set up a field trial for you and your crews, speak with local dealers and enter a fantastic raffle for a chance to win one of three CS-355T chain saws!

If you want to access event details on your mobile device, click here to download the app for the ISA Arborist Expo!

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ECHO Runs Second Annual "Carving for the Cure" Event

ECHO Distributor, Outdoor Equipment Distributors, Inc. in Raleigh, NC, ran their second “Carving for the Cure” Event May 1-3 at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, NC. 

Thirteen carvers from around the country created pieces of art from blocks of wood using chain saws and hand tools.  Spectators watched as the wood blocks took life and then were able to participate in auctions for the sculptures as well as machine-made quilts to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.®  There were also additional raffles with the proceeds going to the cancer organization, and the local Susan G. Komen chapter was present to accept cash donations as well.  Outdoor Equipment Distributors was please to report that over $5,200 was raised for the “Cure”!  This money will provide 52 free mammograms for women who would not have been able to afford them otherwise. 

All competing carvers were given awards based on the dollar amounts their carvings earned through sculpture sales during the event and live auction, and each carver took home an ECHO chain saw. 

ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment, Joe’s Tractor Sales in Thomasville, NC; and the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market were the primary sponsors of this event.

ECHO Improves Recycling Program

ECHO Incorporated builds on its already expansive recycling and sustainability program by adding a more efficient in-house program for employees. New containers (blue for aluminum and green for plastic) have been placed around the ECHO campus to spur on recycling efforts and keep our environment "clean and green".

It's worth noting that in 2013, ECHO recycled 132,340 pounds of aluminum and 270,527 pounds of plastic. For more information about ECHO's pro-environment commitment, please click here.

ECHO Participates in 2015 Thunder on Ice Event

ECHO was pleased to participate in the 2015 Thunder on Ice ISR World Series of snowmobile ice drags in Oconto Falls Wisconsin, February 13-14.  This event has been hosted by the Oconto Falls Sno Jokers snowmobile club for the past five years and has participants from all over the U.S., Canada and even Sweden.  The event is a fund raiser with proceeds going towards local school scholarships and athletic programs along with assistance to fire and rescue agencies.  One participant won a CS-590-20 ECHO Timber Wolf chain saw.  And the ECHO Snow Bike made an appearance courtesy of Ron Jensen, Director of Warranty & Product Training.  Several participants took it for a ride ... the unit is one of only 360 produced.

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ECHO Sponsors an EETC Scholarship: And the Winner Is…

Each year ECHO and the Equipment & Engine Training Council (EETC) have worked together to provide a $1,000 scholarship to a student participating in a small engine technician program from an accredited school.  The Paul H Scholten Scholarship can be used for books, tuition or school expenses.

This year, the winner of the Paul H Scholten Scholarship is back to back winner Easton Marie Murray. Easton is a sophomore at SUNY Cobleskill College of Agriculture and Technology majoring in Agricultural Equipment Technology.  Besides being a hard-working and successful student, Easton has quite a few accomplishments to her resume.  She is member of the National Honor Society, the Agricultural Engineering club treasurer, 1st Place Welder in FFA Ag Mechanics Competition, a student ambassador, teacher’s assistant, a tutor or the Agricultural engineering department and works for Capital Tractor as a technician.  Easton’s drive and dedication was not only evident in her essay to EETC but in all of her accomplishments.  This is what made her ECHO’s choice to win the scholarship.

ECHO’s own Ron Jensen had the honor of presenting the winning certificate to Easton Murray’s teacher, Nicholas Testa at this year’s conference held in Mundelein, IL.   This year’s conference was sponsored by ECHO and Subaru Industrial Power Products. The educators in attendance had the opportunity to tour ECHO.

In the first photo: Easton Murray participates in a tractor pull.

In the second photo from left to right: Ron Jensen, Nicholas Testa and Erik Sides, Executive Director of EETC.

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