Scottdale, Ga, October 7, 2014: In an industry where the most exciting conversation is typically about battery performance or carrying capacity, a small war has broken out between two venerable manufacturers. The “stock chaser” war started when Cushman, a division of Textron, took exception to a head-to-head comparison between its stock chaser and one manufactured by Pack Mule posted on the Pack Mule web site. And their exception raised the hackles of Pack Mule CEO, Bob Fisher.
“It wasn’t that they responded. We’re glad that they did,” said Fisher. “But it was the language they used. Essentially they accused us of misleading the public and telling falsehoods. They should know that those are fighting words.”
The Cushman response was printed in the September 2014 issue of Cushman’s dealer newsletter, “Deep Treads.” In the story, Cushman took exception to eight of the approximately two-dozen points of comparison in the video.
Fisher said that he wasn’t looking for an apology from Cushman, but rather a clarification of exactly what they thought was a falsehood.
Fisher emphasized that the information contained in the video came from hands-on use and published information.
“We bought one of their stockchasers and put it through its paces this spring, right alongside the Pack Mule stock chaser. Periodically we’ve checked their web site to make sure that nothing had changed. At the time of the Deep Treads article, nothing had.”
“For instance,” he said, “they called us out for saying they didn’t have a programmable controller, but their response was that they were going to have one soon. And we compared their one-year warranty with our three-year warranty, and now they’ve announced that they’ve introduced a two-year warranty.”
“This, I think, shows the value of providing specific and accurate information to the market. We all improve our products.”
“We have a lot of respect for Cushman, as we do our other competitors” Fisher said. “We just feel that it serves the customer better if they can make point-by-point comparisons. These machines look very much alike on the outside, but there’s a lot of difference in the details. We’d be happy for Cushman or any of our competitors to do the same kind of comparison.”
“The interesting thing,” he said, “is that, despite the inflammatory language, if we simply conceded every point in the Deep Treads article, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Pack Mule would have still been the leader.”