Briggs & Stratton

briggs strattonBriggs & Stratton began life in 1908 as a car manufacturing company, started by Stephen Briggs and Harold Stratton. The firm marketed a $125 car officially called the Flyer but informally known as the Red Bug. This phase of the company’s operation did not last long, as it was out-competed by other car makers. The Milwaukee firm changed over to making aluminum engines, which were well suited to the emerging small engine market, as rotary lawnmowers and other yard and garden devices entered the scene. During the Second World War, the company manufactured generator motors for the U.S. government. In the succeeding decades, it bought out multiple lawn care businesses, including Snapper, Simplicity, Murray, and Victa.

Briggs & Stratton owns several lawn and yard care brands and supplies engines to many other independent firms. However, it also produces its own branded line of powered equipment, of which pressure washers are some of the most important. The home series of washers are medium strength products with an affordable price, and are either electric or gas powered. The Elite Series and Pro Series add even more power. The firm has won the 2003 Halo Award for Best Environmental/Wildlife Campaign from the National Wildlife Federation. Though headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the company’s production is scattered across numerous U.S. facilities, mostly in the South, which manufacture some 9 million engines annually.

Other Briggs & Stratton devices include standby and portable generators, and a range of snow blowers. Lightweight single stage blowers are suitable for shallow snow on short driveways, while light-duty double-stage blowers are good for more frequent snowfalls. Heavy snowfalls are dealt with medium- and heavy-duty snow blowers, which are tough, powerful, and self-propelled. The strongest of all are professional-duty dual-stage snow throwers, which include such features as dual-trigger steering, 38 inch clearing widths, push-button chute rotation, heated hand grips to provide comfort and prevent frostbite in even the coldest conditions.