3 reasons to invest in attachments

February 22, 2019 -  By
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Photo: Case Construction Equipment

Photo: Case Construction Equipment

Selecting the right equipment is key, but it is just as important to choose the attachments that will be most beneficial for the business. Mark Crutcher, COO of Landscape Development Inc. (LDI), headquartered in Valencia, Calif., says the firm’s main attachments are rototillers, trenchers, augers and brushcutters. To select those attachments, Crutcher says they first evaluate their primary work and then take a look at the most commonly used pieces of equipment. “Each business has a core set of tasks that need to be performed, and that’s ultimately what drives the type of equipment and attachments you utilize,” he says.

Be sure to review the most common ground conditions you encounter. Users with heavy-duty work in terrains such as rock and clay can improve attachment efficiency with a higher torque rating. For example, John Deere has made improvements to its PA30B planetary auger by increasing the max torque rating from 4,166 to 4,500 pounds-foot of torque, according to Gregg Zupancic, product marketing manager for John Deere Construction & Forestry.

There are numerous benefits of using equipment attachments. Here are three of the positives including versatility, safety and labor.

1. Versatility

Investing in equipment that can be used in more than one application is key to versatility. “The objective is to mechanize because that makes you much more efficient,” Crutcher says.

Equipment is one of the more expensive items in a landscape contractor’s budget, which is why companies will want to make sure each machine is getting high utilization. “You have to have enough equipment so you’re not holding up jobs,” Crutcher says. “But the last thing you want to do is own an expensive piece of equipment and have it sitting 80 percent of the time.”

Instead of having three dedicated pieces of equipment, a contractor can have one piece of equipment with three different attachments. “Attachments should always be seen as a business-building acquisition — one that significantly improves the total cost of ownership of that machine over its lifetime,” says Perry Girard, product manager, Case Construction Equipment.

Photo: Case Construction Equipment

Photo: Case Construction Equipment

2. Safety first

Above all else, safety is the top concern when operating equipment and attachments. “Safety is the most paramount thing and the biggest challenge that we face,” Crutcher says. “So, anything that we can do to put the crew in a situation where they can be safe, it’s better.”

At LDI, there is an operator with a dedicated piece of equipment and a complete set of attachments, says Crutcher. “We prefab the back of the truck to accommodate all the attachments, so they’re easy to get on and off the piece of equipment,” he says.

The liability is higher for some projects when using labor for a project versus a piece of equipment. Especially on a slope, for example, the risk of injury decreases when using a piece of equipment with an attachment, Crutcher says.

3. Labor-saving

“I’ve got more work than I do laborers,” Crutcher says. Do attachments save labor? The answer, Crutcher says, is yes because the machine can go faster than an individual or a group. But, every crew doesn’t necessarily need to have a piece of equipment. “A lot of times people will run equipment and then it will just sit on the job site. It will be used for a very short period of time,” Crutcher says. “When you have dedicated operators, the uptime on the equipment is much higher because it’s one operator going from site to site to site.”

By utilizing attachments, a landscape contractor can prevent the risk of potential injuries and cut labor hours. “The more efficient I can make the crews, the more opportunities I can create for them for career advancement,” he says.

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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