Buying and maintaining your equipment is half the battle; to really maximize your investment, you need to give thought to your attachments as well. Some of the most uncommon attachments – chosen carefully – can help you work more efficiently, reduce large equipment purchase or rental costs, and even grow your business.
One of the tricks to buying attachments that produce results long after you’ve stopped making payments is to keep a lid on gadget envy, consider the types of work you do and the services that are natural outgrowth of your current work, and purchase new attachments accordingly.
Bill Chestnut, product manager for Land Pride, says that two of the most overlooked attachments are the crimper and the ditcher. “Runoff and erosion can not only undo a lot of hard work, but people are actually being fined for allowing runoff. When you’ve cultivated and seeded and you want to hold in moisture and keep the seed in place, you sprinkle straw over the whole thing and run the crimper over it – it ‘crimps’ the straw in place and holds everything naturally and pretty securely in place.”
Chestnut says that a ditcher attachment – unlike a trencher – produces a swale cut with gently sloping sides. “With a ditcher, you control the water, bring it in to an area that needs it, deflect it from areas that have a tendency to flood, or drain an area that has already flooded,” he says.
Grapple forks are another attachment that is really geared toward the landscape industry, says Chuck Kennedy, who handles sales and marketing for Blue Diamond Attachments. “They allow you to move pallets of sod, stone and pavers,” he notes. “You can hang on to the load with the grapple and use it to move brush, logs, pipes and other items that tend to fall off your regular pallet forks every time you hit a bump or get on uneven ground.”
“Chippers can bring in additional business for landscapers,” adds Bob Buzzard, product manager for Woods Equipment Company. “Chippers can easily dispose of limbs and branches destroyed by bad weather, or removed during trimming or pruning. Many landscapers allow this business to go to tree service companies, but chipper operation is fairly
simple and buying one would allow you to expand the maintenance portion of your business, especially during normal fall cleanup of properties. Chippers are available for both tractors and skid steers.”
Looking beyond your equipment (to possible attachments) can have a real effect on your bottom line – all it takes is a three-point hitch and a little creativity.