In Rural Lifestyle Dealer's 2017 Dealer Business Trends & Outlook survey, dealers shared details about the specific rural equipment categories they think will increase revenues in 2017. Of the 26 categories, zero-turn mowers topped the list with about 60% of dealers expecting unit sales increases of 2-8% or more. Tractors under 40 horsepower ranked second, with about 57% of dealers expecting unit sales increases of 2-8% or more. Rotary cutters ranked third with about 45% expecting increases of 2-8% or more and front-end loaders ranked fourth with about 40% expecting increases of 2-8% or more. Utility vehicles rounded out the top 5, with about 39% expecting unit sales increases of 2-8% or more. (See the table "Product Lines with Most Potential to Increase Unit Sales in 2017.")

Zero-turn mowers topped the list in the 2016 survey as well. Rotary cutters and front-end loaders making the top 5 list for 2017 pushed down the rankings of chain saws and lawn tractors from the 2016 survey. Last year, chain saws ranked number 2 but dropped to number 6 this year. Lawn tractors ranked 5th in the 2016 survey and dropped to 7th this year. Utility vehicles and tractors under 40 horsepower made the top 5 last year at 3rd and 4th place, respectively.

Two other products that gained ground this year are backhoes and post-hole diggers. Backhoes ranked 19th last year and moved up to 15th this year. Post-hole diggers ranked 20th last year and climbed to 16th this year. Spraying equipment had the biggest drop, falling from 16th last year to 22nd this year.

Read the complete article