When a large-scale landscaping project involves demolition, land clearing or grading, you need versatile, heavy-duty equipment and machinery that empowers your team to get the job done on time and on budget. But with so many types of landscaping equipment available and many machines multi-purpose in nature, developing the capabilities of your landscaping machinery fleet involves consideration and foresight.
Making informed equipment decisions
With the financial outlay involved in purchasing new equipment and other important ownership considerations such as maintenance and storage, making the right equipment fleet decisions for your business is a must. With that in mind, here are a few questions that you’ll need to ask yourself:
What kind of work do you engage in?
To invest in the right landscaping equipment, there are many things to consider regarding the work your business engages in, such as demolition, clearing and loading tasks. However, you’ll also need to consider a range of more specific factors, such as loading height, ground disturbance and equipment attachments. As such, landscaping businesses not only need to look for versatile, multi-purpose equipment but also recognise when one machine is more suitable than another. For example, if ground disturbance needs to be avoided, tracked equipment like compact track loaders is a more apt choice over wheeled equipment like skid steers.
How big is the working space?
Ensuring you can get your heavy equipment on site and move around safely is essential, so you’ll need to not only consider the size specifications of the equipment you’re thinking of investing in, but also maneuverability. This is an important consideration that may make one item of equipment more suitable than another, for example, as a compact wheel loader must make a three-point turn to turn around while a skid steer loader can turn on its own centre, a skid steer would be the more astute choice when working on sites with limited space.
What materials do you handle?
The size of your landscaping projects and the materials you’re handling regularly will determine, to a great degree, the capability of the landscaping equipment you need. This could mean that, for example, when looking to add a Cat excavator to your fleet, you may need to consider a Cat 313 excavator over smaller Cat mini excavators like the Cat 305 or Cat 306. However, with greater power and capabilities generally comes greater weight, so you’ll need to factor in the equipment footprint, weight and a range of other key factors when comparing models.
Essential equipment for landscaping businesses
As a landscaping business owner, your reliance on quality machines isn’t just about getting the job done right and keeping the competition at bay — it’s also about your bottom line. That’s why it’s so important to invest in quality landscaping machinery from industry leaders like Caterpillar that enhances the capabilities of your fleet. Here are three of the most commonly utilised items of equipment on landscaping projects.
Backhoe loaders, compact loaders, skid steer loaders and wheel loaders are among the most widely-employed landscaping equipment in Australia and across the globe. Generally larger than a skid steer loader or mini excavator, backhoes combine the functionality of a loader and excavator in one machine and are used for a wide range of digging, trenching and backfilling tasks. Compact track loaders and skid steer loaders like the Cat 239D3 and cat 216 are versatile landscaping machinery that can employ a range of attachments to manage tasks such as earthmoving, digging, grading, trenching, brush cutting and mulching. The small size of Cat compact loaders and Cat skid steers makes them ideal for working in tight, confined and limited-access areas.
One of the most popular items of landscaping machinery, dozers range in size from small models like the Cat D5 to the significantly larger Cat D11 and are generally employed in landscaping projects to collect and push dirt and other materials, making them ideal for levelling areas and building berms. While larger landscaping projects may require a larger Cat dozer like the Cat D9 or Cat D10, most landscaping businesses employ smaller dozers due to their more compact size and lighter footprint that enables access to tight and confined spaces and allows for less ground disturbance. While dozers aren’t as versatile as loaders, in addition to straight-edge, universal and combination blades, they can also be fitted with loading buckets to pick up materials.
Versatile, multi-purpose and compatible with a variety of attachments, including buckets, blades, hammers and trenchers, excavators are essential items of landscaping equipment and are commonly employed for planting and trenching in addition to digging and excavating tasks. Cat mini excavators are very popular on landscaping projects, especially where work is carried out between buildings or along retaining walls, but larger excavators like the Cat 311 are commonly employed on large-scale landscaping projects. Another reason mini excavators are widely employed on landscaping projects is that they’re easier to move than bulkier machines and are more cost and energy-efficient to operate.
In addition to loaders, dozers and excavators, other examples of equipment employed on landscaping projects include utility compactors, telehandlers and wheel tractor-scrapers.
Cat landscaping equipment attachments
The wide range of versatile, multi-purpose Cat landscaping equipment can be fitted with an extensive selection of attachments that enable your operators to employ task-specific tools, including:
Augers — Available in a range of speed and torque options, augers are the attachment your team needs to drill holes and extract soil efficiently.
Blades — A variety of angle and dozer blades for loaders and bulldozers are available to doze, move and plough a range of soil, gravel and material types.
Buckets — From ditch cleaning and grading buckets to light material handling and industrial grapple buckets, a wide range of bucket attachments are available to suit each job.
Couplers — Hydraulic (controlled from the cab) and mechanical Cat couplers are available, enabling your operators to change attachments quickly and easily.
Hammers — Suitable for skid steers, backhoes and excavators, hammer attachments are used to smash through materials like concrete, tiles and rock.
Mulchers — Engineered to improve recovery speed for consistent mulching power and minimise stalling, mulcher attachments shred undergrowth, shrubs and small trees.
Rakes — Landscape rake attachments are designed to pulverise, aerate, level and condition soil while collecting and removing debris and rocks from the site.
Stump grinders — Available for compact, skid steer and wheel loaders, stump grinders are the specific attachments used to grind and remove tree stumps.
Tillers — Landscaping tillers are employed to break up, mix and stabilise soils, helping to prepare the site for turf, concreting, paving and other groundwork tasks.
Trenchers — Engineered to dig narrow, straight-lined trenches for cabling, piping, irrigation and other applications, trenchers are available in a range of teeth configurations.
Wheel saws — When a landscaping project requires powerful and precise cuts through materials such as concrete and pavers, wheel saws are the ideal attachment.
Why invest in Cat landscaping equipment for your business?
As industry leaders in the heavy equipment market in Australia and globally, there are many reasons to invest in Cat landscaping equipment for your business:
- High-quality Cat equipment helps to maximise your profit margins by enhancing productivity and minimising downtime
- Provide a safer, more comfortable work environment that helps you attract new staff and retain your current employees Enhance your business’s competitiveness by having the tools you need to get the job done right on hand.
Source: Hastings Deering