As our portfolio of commercial properties continues to become more diverse, I felt the need to shed some light on the equipment we use to fulfill our landscape management services. Our motto, “Use the right equipment for the right job,” may help you understand how we choose our equipment with the client and property in mind.
To many times I’ve seen landscapers, both professionals and homeowners, using equipment that is either to large or too small for the area they are maintaining. When purchasing and planning to use any type of landscape equipment its always best to fully understand the capabilities and rate of production associated with each piece. Yes, a large area mower will get your job done faster, but at what cost to the health of your turf? There are two HUGE negative results when using the wrong type of equipment: Damage to plant life and inappropriate bids. Both of which can lead to frustration, a waste of money and the need to replace already established plant life.
Damage to Plant Life
- Scalp marks in the turf (deck is to large)
- Rutting made by mowers in turf (mower is to heavy)
- Swirl marks created by string trimmers along edges and obstacles (motor is not strong enough)
- Die back? of shrubs after recent pruning or shearing (over-estimating the power of the tool)
- Crushed limbs on lower branches rather than clean cuts (inappropriate loppers)
Unfortunately, throughout the Upstate of South Carolina landscape companies, both large and small, bid jobs according to the equipment they own rather than the proper equipment for that property. This practice does not place the clients best interest and their investment in mind if awarded the contract. When Green Impact has the opportunity to quote a new landscape maintenance job (or RFP?) the first thing we do is decide what equipment is needed to properly service the property.
What we consider when reviewing potential properties:
- What types of mowers does the property need?
- Small tight areas: 21-30” push mower
- Medium sized areas: 48”-52” walk behind or mid mount z-turn mower
- Medium/large areas: 61” mower
- Extra large: 72” z-turn (Note: the terrain must be relatively flat with minimal obstacles to avoid issues.)
- Large fields: 100” + wide area mower 100” +
When purchasing mowers it is also important to consider the type of tire. Improper tire width can easily tear up turf. To help our clients save on production costs, we also purchase flat free tires to decrease unforeseen downtime when servicing the property.
- What types of trimmers and blowers benefit the property?
- Proper engine size with low noise
- Be sure the engine is strong enough to trim or blow the material on the property. (Example: wet leaves during Fall)
- Keep trimmers sharp and well maintained for an extended life (Prevent crushing of plant)
- Consider battery powered equipment to reduce noise and carbon foot print
- Fuel efficient equipment to cover a large area to reduce gas refill downtime
- Proper engine size with low noise
Other hand tools we use on a daily basis varies from yard rakes, stiff rakes, chainsaws, wheel barrows etc. Green Impact no longer purchases wooden handle tools. They break easily in a commercial setting. Instead, we switched to poly-handled tools that all have a lifetime warranty. Our costs for small tools dropped by 12% switching handle types. Our tools last longer and cost less. This results in less downtime and lower hourly rates for our clients. Even if you are a homeowner, take the time to consider poly vs. wood handles. It could save you $20-30 every 2-3 years.
Although Green Impact makes purchases on a larger scale than the average homeowner, the end goal is always the same: a great looking property and retaining value of the equipment and tools you purchase.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your commercial landscape management project, call Green Impact at 864-243-6860 today!
Some of our favorite landscape equipment resources:
A.M. Leonard: Large selection of hand tools with a product support team that could help you making a purchasing decision before and after your purchase. http://www.amleo.com/
Carolina Lawn and Tractor of Greenville: With a wide variety of John Deere mowers, their staff is very knowledgeable and experienced to help determine the best equipment needed for your property. https://www.deere.com/en_US/products/equipment/riding_mowers/lawn_tractors/lawn_tractors.page
Stihl: The best-known brand that offers a variety of options that will meet your individual needs. Our crews are all equipped with stihl products. We purchase Stihl with our clients in mind. Their products add value from fewer breakdowns, appropriate power, and fuel economy.