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MORBARK ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF RAYCO MANUFACTURING

Morbark, LLC (Morbark) announced today it had completed the acquisition of Rayco Manufacturing, Inc. (Rayco) This transaction represents the first addition since affiliates of the private equity firm Stellex Capital Management LP (Stellex) acquired Morbark in 2016. The purchase of Rayco represents a significant move towards the Company's strategic focus on broadening the range of tree care and industrial equipment, aftermarket parts, and service offered to their Customers.

Rayco was founded in 1978 in Wooster, Ohio, by John M. Bowling, who as the owner of a tree care service identified the unique needs of the tree and landscape industry and began to build equipment to meet and surpass those needs. Today the company is dedicated to the design and production of an incredibly innovative line of environmental equipment. The current range of Rayco products includes: stump cutters, crawler trucks, forestry mulchers, multi-tool carriers, and attachments, brush chippers and the all-new AT71 aerial trimmer.

John Bowling, Chief Executive Officer of Rayco, stated, "Our family is very proud of the legacy we have established and nurtured over the past 39 years. As a family-run and -owned business, we view today's transaction as an opportunity to continue growing our business while joining an even larger family."

Dave Herr, Chief Executive Officer of Morbark, commented, "We are thrilled to welcome Rayco to the Morbark portfolio of companies. Rayco is a company that our senior management team has admired for a long time. We value the long-standing success of Rayco and are committed to providing the Bowling family and their dedicated employees the resources they need to continue the success they have built."

Transaction Highlights:

- The transaction is a positive, strategic fit for both companies. Rayco brings a lineup of innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories. In particular, Rayco stump cutters, aerial trimmers, forestry mulchers and crawler trucks will enhance and complement the existing Morbark family of products.

- Rayco founder, John Bowling, will continue his work with the team to develop new products and help improve the company's existing product lines. He will continue to have an economic interest in the combined business and will be a member of Morbark's Board of Directors.

- Morbark will operate Rayco as a new division maintaining its brand identity. Rayco's experienced management team will continue to manage their operations. Teams from each company will work together to determine how to be more efficient and leverage each other's strengths.

- Herr continued, "Rayco has a well-deserved reputation for providing customers with the equipment and service they demand and the value they deserve. That product innovation and dedication will continue without interruption. We are excited by what we can bring to Rayco in the way of our experiences, our dealer network and products to complement current Rayco equipment owners."

About Morbark, LLC

Morbark, LLC, based in Winn, Mich., has been innovating and manufacturing durable, high-performance equipment for forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill and biomass markets for more than 60 years. Morbark equipment helps customers harvest, process and convert wood and other organic waste materials into valuable, useful and profitable products. The Company produces a full line of whole tree and waste wood chippers, flails, brush chippers, horizontal and tub grinders, sawmill equipment, material handling systems and more. For more information, please visit www.morbark.com.

About Rayco Manufacturing, Inc.

Since 1978, Rayco has been one of the most recognizable brands in environmental, forestry, landscaping, and construction equipment. Rayco's line of stump cutters, horizontal grinders, brush chippers, forestry mulchers, and rubber crawler trucks feature innovative designs and a range of options to suit any-sized job and budget, from landscaping to major construction projects. Rayco equipment is engineered and manufactured in Wooster, Ohio, and sold through an international dealer network offering equipment sales, rentals, parts, and accessories, including warranty and technical support. For more information, please visit www.raycomfg.com

About Stellex Capital Management LP

Stellex is a private equity manager that invests in and oversees the US and European corporate assets. Stellex's focus is on middle-market companies going through business or industry transitions, as well as special situation opportunities. Stellex seeks to identify and deploy capital in opportunities that have the potential to provide stability, improvement, and growth for its portfolio companies.

 

Bandit Industries Expands Buildings in 2018

ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich., - Bandit Industries has recently announced two major building additions to expand production capacity and add a new, state-of-the-art parts and service facility.

Bandit will invest $1.4 million in the two expansions. Both are expected to come online in 2018. This is the second round of expansion in as many years.

“We added manufacturing space 18 months ago and revamped our assembly lines in anticipation of the increased demand,” said Bandit President Jerry Morey. “We continue to invest in our future, not only in facilities and gear, but in our workforce, including training. We added 38 people in 2017 and plan to add another 50 employees in 2018. Our employees are what set us apart with the pride we take in the equipment built and in the way we take care of our customers. We are proud of what they do and accomplish.”

The new parts facility will also house a central receiving and distribution area, improving the flow of parts and materials to the six major manufacturing facilities. This will free up extra manufacturing space to further increase Bandit’s production capacity. Bandit has added more than a dozen dealers with over 30 total locations in the past two years.

“As our dealer network expands, the need for parts expands right along with it,” said Bandit Parts Manager Jamie Morey. “This new facility will allow us to respond rapidly to our dealers’ and customers’ parts requests, limiting their downtime and delivering on the promise that we stand behind every Bandit machine sold.”

The parts and service expansion is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. As soon as that facility is completed, the second expansion will start that will add production space for new products Bandit intends to introduce in the third quarter of 2018.

“Our new dealers are reaching more customers than ever before, driving demand for our products,” said Bandit’s North American Sales Manager Jason Morey. “Producing enough new units to meet that demand has provided Bandit with a welcome challenge - one that we’re more than ready to meet.”

Bandit added three-quarters of a million dollars of new cutting and steel processing equipment in 2017 to keep up with the demand for parts for its expanding production areas.


Bandit also introduced a number of new products in 2017 including an entry level stump grinder, several new models of hand fed chippers, a new large capacity self-propelled whole tree chipper, a new intermediate model horizontal grinder, a new forestry mower carrier with mowing and stump grinding capabilities.

Bandit Industries demand isn’t just limited to North America, either. Bandit’s International business continues to grow significantly. “Bandit continues to customize machines and build products for the international market,” said Felipe Tamayo, Bandit’s International sales manager. “We are selling products in every corner of the world, and now sell to 56 countries. We are also designing products specifically for the foreign markets to further gain market share overseas.”

Learn more about Bandit Industries complete lineup of powerful, productive machinery by visiting www.banditchippers.com or by calling 1-800-952-0178.

 
New Smaller Blocks and Pads Available for ProStack Interlocking Cribbing

November 15, 2017 (Guthrie Center, Iowa) DICA's new ProStack Cribbing products have been expanded to include smaller Medium Duty interlocking blocks and pad sizes. The reduced size is specifically designed for aerial bucket trucks and digger derricks where additional cribbing height is needed to support and stabilize the equipment in un-level environments.

Like the original Heavy Duty ProStack Cribbing, the smaller Medium Duty size has an engineered interlocking design that safely provides additional height under outrigger floats for increased cribbing height.

Both Medium and Heavy Duty ProStack Cribbing set-ups are made up of three basic parts; a base SafetyTech Outrigger Pad, ProStack Interlocking Cribbing Blocks and a ProStack, high friction top Grip Pad. The base SafetyTech Outrigger Pad is manufactured with an interlocking pyramid surface. Operators then stack layers of ProStack Cribbing Blocks, to the desired height. Lastly, a ProStack Grip Pad is placed on top of the stack to provide a high friction surface for the outrigger foot, and to protect the pyramid surface on the cribbing blocks.

The new Medium Duty ProStack Cribbing is 6" thick 12"x12" which is half the size and weight of the Heavy Duty 6" thick 12"x24" cribbing blocks. The Medium Duty blocks weigh just 27 pounds each, and are intended to be used with 24" SafetyTech Outrigger Pads.

"ProStack Cribbing performance is predictable and reliable unlike most other solutions commonly employed in the field. The engineered material is strong, impervious to environmental conditions, and all components are ergonomically designed to be user-friendly. By interlocking together, ProStack Cribbing creates a more secure set-up under the stabilizer or outrigger foot. This increases safety in situations where the ground is not level." said Kris Koberg, CEO.

DICA recently displayed the Medium Duty ProStack Cribbing setup for the tree care industry at the TCI Expo in Columbus, Ohio.

 

 

 

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JARRAFF INDUSTRIES ANNOUNCES NEW COO STEVE VANROEKEL

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ST. PETER, Minn. - Jarraff Industries recently announced the appointment of Steve VanRoekel as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Steve most recently served as President and CEO of animal feed company Ridley Inc., Mankato, MN

"We are very excited to welcome Steve to our team. His executive experience and team building skills are an ideal fit and welcome addition to Jarraff Industries," said Heidi Boyum, President/CEO Jarraff Industries.

In his 12 years as CEO and President of Ridley, Steve led a team that created more than $400 million in shareholder value culminating in the acquisition of Ridley by Alltech in June of 2015. After leading the transition to Alltech, Steve left Ridley in November of 2016.

Steve is active in the Greater Mankato Area United Way and has served on the Board of Directors of Mankato-based nonprofits Feeding Our Community Partners and YMCA, where he also participated in its school based mentoring program.

Jarraff Industries manufacturers a line of advanced ROW maintenance, brush clearing and tree trimming equipment including the Jarraff All-Terrain Tree Trimmer, the Geo-Boy Brush Cutter Tractor and the Mini-Jarraff Rear Lot Trimmer.

 

Morbark Names Gold Tier Dealers

February 6, 2018 - Morbark, LLC, is proud to recognize eight of its top equipment dealers - four in Tree Care and four in Industrial Products - with Gold Tier status for 2018, based on their performance during the previous year.

Industrial Products: Columbus Equipment - Ohio, Western West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana James River Equipment - Virginia, Eastern West Virginia, and North Carolina L.C. Whitford Equipment - Western New York Tidewater Equipment - South Carolina, Georgia and Florida

Tree Care Products: Alexander Equipment - Northern Illinois Bobcat of Buffalo - Western New York Schmidt Equipment - Massachusetts and Rhode Island Stevens Products LTD - New Zealand

"Our customers' success is Morbark's success, and our dealers are integral to helping our customers succeed," said John Foote, Morbark Vice President, Strategy and After-Market Services. "Our Gold Tier dealers provide more than just our high-performance equipment; they give our customers local knowledge and support to help them grow and maintain their businesses. They are the best of the best."

Morbark dealers are reviewed and scored annually on their customer service, business plan, equipment and parts sales, service and warranty process, marketing efforts, and much more. The companies earning Gold Tier status are truly exceptional in all scoring aspects, and all but one of these dealers have been awarded the honor previously.

For Industrial: Both James River Equipment and Tidewater Equipment were honored with Gold Tier status for the fifth straight year, while L.C. Whitford earned its second straight Gold dealer award and Columbus Equipment was honored for the first time.

For Tree Care: Alexander Equipment earned Gold Tier status for the sixth consecutive year, Schmidt Equipment earned the honor five of the previous six years, and Bobcat of Buffalo was honored for the third straight year, while Stevens Products enjoyed its second straight Gold Tier award in the Tree Care division.

"Our dealers go through a rigorous review process," said Foote. "We have a series of annual and quarterly reviews that measure performance on various aspects of our businesses. Morbark constantly works with our dealers to improve this process. We're honored to recognize these dealers who are as devoted to continuous improvement as Morbark is."

 

Iron & Oak to Debut Three New Splitters

Rogers, Minn. (February 2018) - Iron & Oak will be debuting three new vertical/horizontal log splitters at the American Rental Association's The Rental Show in New Orleans, La., February 19-21.

These new 24 and 30 ton splitters are powered by Honda engines and feature an innovative Auto Latch System that locks the beam into the horizontal position for safe towing. An enhanced handle assists with transitioning the unit between the horizontal and vertical operating positions. A heavy-duty wedge boasts five bolts per side and pairs with a standard log dislodger for extra durability. The hydraulic system is protected by a 4-stage filtration system which removes metal particles and other micro particles that can contaminate and damage the splitter. The three new models also feature a larger jack wheel than previous models making it easier to move the unit on grass. A heavy-duty log cradle and fenders are standard. A torsion axle 30 ton splitter is available for smoother towing.

About Iron & Oak Located in Minnesota, Iron & Oak manufactures and distributes a full line of log splitters. Since 1982, their commercial quality log splitters have been rated among the top in their industry for their performance, ease of use and reliability.

For more information, visit www.ironandoak.com or call (800) 817-1005.

 
 

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Brave Adds Generators to Line-Up

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Rogers, Minn. - January 2018: Brave will now offer four portable generators with wattage ratings from 5,000-13,000 Watts.

All generators are powered by Honda engines and feature digital CDI ignition offering excellent starting and high-power output. Models utilize top of the line, 100% copper wound head with low THD, making it safe to use with sensitive equipment. A full roll cage prevents damage if generator is tipped and solid base prevents grass, dirt and dust from getting into engine and alternator. Vibration isolation mounts with inter-locking anti-rip brackets provide optimal support. An electric start model with GFCI outlet is available. Optional wheel kits to fit each model are available for convenient portability.

Brave's generator line-up is perfect for construction or industrial applications.

 

Model 2460XP Added To The Beast Lineup

ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich., - Bandit Industries has added an additional option to The Beast horizontal grinder lineup by introducing the Model 2460XP.

Available as a towable or track machine, the Model 2460XP is a machine built from the ground up to outperform every other horizontal grinder in its class.

“We looked at everything when designing the Model 2460XP. Every design decision, every standard feature, and every option was chosen to make this the most productive horizontal grinder with 520 horsepower,” said Bandit Sales Manager Jason Morey. “Anyone who sees the 2460XP in action will be able to immediately see what makes this unit so special.”

Special attention was paid to making the 2460XP among the easiest horizontal grinders to service and maintain. Common maintenance items were designed to be accessible from either the ground or on built-in platforms. This reduces maintenance downtime and increases the useful uptime.

“Key to any of The Beast horizontal grinders is the patented downturning cuttermill,” Morey said. “The 2460XP is equipped with a 60” wide by 30” diameter, 30-tooth cuttermill running Bandit’s patented saw-tooth style cutterbodies. This regulates the size of the tooth’s bite, so most of the material is sized on the initial cut, allowing material to be sized correctly on the first pass so it exits the larger screening area more quickly.”

For the tracked 2460XP, Bandit offers Strickland and Caterpillar, giving customers an additional option for their track machines. Learn more about 2460XP and other wood processing machines at www.banditchippers.com or by calling 1-800-952-0178. Contact your nearest Authorized Bandit Dealer today to arrange a demo, and see how Bandit can build your bottom line.

 

Bandit Industries Features the BTC-300 Track Carrier

ISABELLA COUNTY, Mich., - Bandit Industries unveiled the BTC-300 track carrier in 2017, kicking off a new track carrier line that will include additional machines in the future.

“The BTC-300 is the next evolution for high-performance track carriers,” said Bandit Sales Manager Jason Morey. “And the feedback we’ve received about our new track carrier has been amazing. Customer feedback went into a majority of the design of the BTC-300.”

Many customers are discovering the rugged Bandit construction and luxurious cab with extraordinary visibility, making this machine a dependable addition to their machine lineup.

The cab is comfortable and quiet, making it easy to put a full day of work at the controls. The 10-way adjusting air-ride captain’s chair positions all the controls with easy reach. And bulletproof-grade glass eliminates the need for metal safety bars, so the BTC-300 offers the best visibility among the competition, all while still maintaining FOPS/ROPS/OPS safety standards.

Maintenance components are easily accessible, most from the ground or built-in platforms. Hydraulic pumps are easily accessible, and separate hydraulic systems operate the tracks and the mower head.

The BTC-300 rides on a powerful CAT 315 steel tracks, allowing unbeatable ground clearance. Engine options are available from John Deere, Cat and Volvo up to 321 horsepower.

Outfit your BTC-300 with a 90-inch wide forestry mower head or a 44-inch diameter stump grinder cutter wheel. Both are quick and easy to attach, and can be done in the field without costly trips back to the machine shop. Learn more about the BTC-300 and Bandit’s other wood processing machines at www.banditchippers.com or by calling 1-800-952-0178. Contact your nearest authorized Bandit dealer today to schedule a demo and see the BTC-300 in action for yourself.