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.
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