As the year comes to a close, Rural Lifestyle Dealer has compiled the top articles from each month of 2020. Take a look at what stories were trending on in October 2020.

1. Briggs & Stratton Board of Directors Focused on Executives and Themselves Rather than Innovation

Now that Briggs & Stratton has changed hands, it’s time to tackle the elephant in the room: its board of directors.

The small engine maker’s nine directors in June awarded executives more than $5 million of retention bonuses rather than make a $6.7 million interest payment on debt they incurred. That forced the more than 100-year-old company into bankruptcy and a sale earlier this month to New York private equity firm KPS Capital Partners. 

Was the Briggs board a mutual protection society for its top executives and, frankly, its members? Or did the board, through no fault of its own, encounter impossible obstacles and have no choice but bankruptcy?

2. Former Briggs & Stratton CEO Seeks $11.7 Million in Bankruptcy Case

Todd Teske, the former chairman and CEO of Briggs & Stratton, has filed an $11.6 million claim in the bankruptcy case seeking his share of payments that are likely to be in the range of 7-8 cents on the dollar, reports the Milwaukee Business Journal.

According to the report, “It’s not clear whether Teske’s claim covers some or all of the payments that would have been included in his $8.8 million ‘golden parachute’ package.

3. AGCO Announces Intent to Establish AgRevolution Dealership

AGCO Corp. announced today its intention to acquire certain assets of Boyd Company of Louisville, Ky. Upon completion of the agreement, AGCO will form AgRevolution, an agricultural equipment dealership to provide industry-leading products and support services to the farming community throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana. The new company is expected to begin operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of the equipment manufacturer on Jan. 1, 2021.

AgRevolution intends to operate Boyd’s current dealership locations in Columbia and Mayfield, Ky., and temporarily share space with Boyd’s construction equipment locations in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and Evansville, Ind. AgRevolution leadership is currently identifying additional permanent locations and building a customer-focused staff from current Boyd ag employees and seeking talented new team members.

4. Poll: U.S. Presidential Election

Who do you plan to vote for in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election?

5. LandPro Equipment Opens New Facility in Fairmount City, Pa. 

LandPro Equipment recently celebrating the grand opening of its new Fairmount City, Pa., location located at 7852 Route 66 in Fairmount City.

Fairmount City has been home to a John Deere dealership since the 1960s. Over the past 20 years the location has changed hands several times until 2018 when it became a part of the LandPro Equipment family. At that point, planning for a new facility began.

The new building broke ground in November 2019 and was completed at the end of July this year. The new facility is a 16,000 square foot building that boasts heat floors for technicians, air conditioning throughout, a training room, large showroom for customers to look at equipment inside, a large parts stock room and sales area as well as large lot to showcase new and used ag, turf and compact construction equipment.

6. Most and Least Reliable Lawn Tractor Brands

In Consumer Reports’ latest survey of 11,217 subscribers, John Deere takes the top prize as the most reliable brand of lawn tractors and among the more reliable zero-turn-radius mowers. And reliability is key — in our fix-it surveys, readers told us that they're more likely to repair lawn tractors and ZTRs than any other products we ask about, even such big-ticket major appliances as washing machines and refrigerators.

But while several John Deere models, including the John Deere X350-42, $3,200, and the John Deere S240-42 Sport, $2,500, top our riding mower tests, they tend to be pricey, and you'll sacrifice a bit of performance if you zero in on a John Deere ZTR. So how heavily should you weigh reliability when deciding on the best riding mower for your property? Consider these key findings.

7. Industry Q&A: Has Your Business Felt the Impact of the Briggs Sale?

For those who carry any of the Briggs & Stratton product lines, has the sale of the company to KPS Capital Partners had any impact on your business yet? If so how?

8. Lastec Introduces World's Biggest Zero-Turn Mower

Lastec introduces the world’s biggest zero turn mower with the 120 inch cutting width WZ1000 flex deck commercial zero turn mower. The WZ1000 joins the Lastec range of commercial and golf course mowers known throughout the world for a premium quality of cut with independently flexing decks. Built in the USA and starting at $48,900 USD, the WZ1000 provides up to 8.73 acres/hour coverage to fit the wide area production needs of commercial landscapers, lawn care professionals, sports fields, and golf courses

9. Judge Upholds Pioneer EDA Dealer Protection Law

During the 2017 North Dakota legislative session, the Pioneer Equipment Dealers Assn. (formerly the North Dakota Implement Dealers Assn.) supported the introduction of S.B. 2289, a comprehensive and impactful farm equipment dealer protection bill. The legislation was passed with overwhelming support from lawmakers and was signed by Governor Doug Burgum in March, 2017. Four months later, the manufacturers filed a Federal lawsuit seeking to block the bill in its entirety. The lawsuit consisted of a 63 page complaint and a motion for a preliminary injunction. The Judge granted the manufacturers’ motion for an injunction, which effectively put a stay on the law until the Judge could make a decision regarding the merits of the manufacturers’ complaint.

On Oct. 19, 2020, the Judge ruled in favor of the dealers on the remaining claims (relating to trademark law, federal pricing statutes, and constitutional issues) and the new law will apply to all dealer agreements signed after Aug. 1, 2017.

10. AGCO Introduces Massey Ferguson 1800M and 2800M Series Compact Tractors

AGCO Corp.a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, announces a new family of premium compact tractors ― the Massey Ferguson 1800M and 2800M Series, with five models ranging from 35 to 60 engine horsepower. These new 4-wheel-drive tractors build on Massey Ferguson’s reputation for nimble, versatile and reliable performance with new, advanced Iseki engines, styling and design updates, as well as comfort and convenience enhancements. The new 1800M and 2800M Series replace the 1700M Series compact tractors and are offered in both factory-installed cab and open-station ROPS models.

Featuring 1.83-liter, 3-cylinder Iseki diesel engines, the 1800M Series tractors are available in two models with 36.2 or 39.4 engine horsepower. The 2800M Series offers three 2.43-liter, 4-cylinder Iseki-powered models, from 48.8 to 60.3 engine horsepower. These engines are turbocharged for responsive power, liquid-cooled for increased durability and standard-equipped with glow plugs for fast, reliable starting in frigid temperatures. Clean-burning Iseki engines meet Tier 4 emissions standards and can be found in specialized equipment used worldwide in a broad range of demanding ag, turf and commercial applications.