Equip Expo and Hardscape Draws 27,000 Contractors

December 27, 2023

Football field build

Well, I can officially say “getting old sucks.” The last two months I’ve been recovering from having a new knee installed. Come March, I will be having the other knee replaced, as 48 years of kneeling on pavers took its toll.

I have been able to travel and teach a few classes, thank goodness. One of my favorite trips is to Equip Expo and Hardscape North America in Louisville, KY. This event happens every October and this year drew a record breaking 27,000 landscape and hardscape contractors from all 50 states in the U.S. and from 46 countries.

The show is well worth the trip. There are eight education tracks: Tree Care, Pool & Spa, Irrigation, Landscape Lighting, Leadership, Hardscape, Sales & Profitability, and Technology. I instructed the Advanced Level 2 NCMA Class and taught two hardscape seminars: one on paver installation and one on wall installation.

There are over 1000 booths with landscape and hardscape products on display, as well as 30 acres of outdoor booths where you can test drive all kinds of equipment. There is a UTV test track and a drone zone where you can become certified to operate your drone.

One of the highlights for me is the installer competition in which companies from around the country compete for $20,000 in prize money. The competition was fierce this year, and the detail and scope of the 90-minute builds have come a long way over the years. Most of the teams who compete have won their regional contest, which are sponsored by manufacturers. This year’s winner at the Northeast Hardscape Expo (March 20 & 21st at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT) will represent our region at the 2024 HNA competition next October.

As the landscape and hardscape season winds down it’s time to take a break, catch up with the family, take in a few free seminars, and plan for next year. I hope to see you at an event soon!

— by Bill Gardocki,, past president of NHLA (1994 & 1995) Bill is now a hardscape educator.



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