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How stand-on skid steers cut a company’s labor in half

March 9, 2022 -  By
Nelson Landscaping likes to use the Ditch Witch SK1050 stand-on-skid steers due to its size, operating capacity and balance. (Photo: Sundance Photography)

Nelson Landscaping likes to use the Ditch Witch SK1050 stand-on-skid steers due to its size, operating capacity and balance. (Photo: Sundance Photography)

For Nelson Landscaping in Oklahoma City, Okla., the company’s Ditch Witch SK stand-on skid-steers are like having an additional crew on a job site, says Justin Moseley, project manager.

“It’s doubling your work power, essentially,” he says. “It takes our labor force and it almost cuts it in half.”

The equipment’s weight is a big factor why Nelson Landscaping opted for Ditch Witch’s stand-on skid-steers, Moseley says. It’s not uncommon for a crew to tow a stand-on skid-steer, an attachment or two and pallets of products on a dual-axle trailer.

“Having smaller machines gives us all of our capability of getting material to the job site easier,” he says.

Moseley says Nelson Landscaping’s Ditch Witch mini excavator also comes in handy for design/build projects, and the company will occasionally rent an additional one.

Attachments galore

The Ditch Witch stand-on skid-steers are so invaluable to Moseley because of their versatile attachments. Every crew has a Ditch Witch stand-on skid-steer with a bucket and fork. Most crews also have a trencher attachment.

“That’s what we use on a daily basis,” he says. “It’s easy to use all the different attachments that we need to have. Most of our places that we go to, we’re installing the sprinkler system, we’re doing the landscaping, we’re installing all these big boulders (and) decent-sized trees.”

Nelson Landscaping also has a power rake crews use for grading hills with the Ditch Witch SK500. The company also uses an auger attachment to dig holes for tree planting. Another thing Moseley likes about the stand-on skid-steers is their mobility and 2,270-pound weight and a maximum track width of 42 inches.

“They can get through gates, minimize your footprint without tearing up an existing yard,” he says.

First step

Moseley says when he started with Nelson Landscaping, the company did not have any stand-on skid-steers. That changed quickly when he showed Nelson Landscaping’s owner how much more productive crews could be with a Ditch Witch stand-on skid-steer.

“I was on a landscape project and asked the owner if I could show him a way of doing something a lot faster on doing just the demo work to pull everything out of a flower bed,” he says. “I rented an SK and did it. He said, ‘Wow, that was fast.’”

Nelson Landscaping’s first skid-steer was the Ditch Witch SK735 in 2013. While Ditch Witch no longer manufactures that model, Moseley says his crews refer to the one still running as “Old Faithful.”

The company also has many Ditch Witch SK850 and SK1050 stand-on skid-steers. Moseley says the SK1050 is the perfect size for the company — with its 1,062-pound rated operating capacity — and it replaces the work of three or four crew members with one machine.

“That’s about the size that we like to run, because it’s just big enough to do a lot of our heavy lifting, lifting our boulders or trees, moving gravel or dirt,” he says. “It’s a lot better balanced machine; it’s got a lot more power to it than the 755. It’s our niche that we’ve found that we really like.”

Location, location

Nelson Landscaping went with Ditch Witch products partially based on the company’s proximity to

Ditch Witch’s headquarters in Perry, Okla. Moseley points to a strong relationship with the local Ditch Witch dealership as a key to Nelson Landscaping’s growth.

Moseley says many times Ditch Witch will approach the team at Nelson Landscaping to get feedback on products and features in development.

“They’ve been great to work with,” he says.

Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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