How to make the most of attachments

September 19, 2022 -  By
Experts say many contractors opt toward renting attachments to keep up with varying project demand. (Photo: John Deere)

Experts say many contractors opt for renting attachments to keep up with varying project demands. (Photo: John Deere)

When it comes to design/build and installation projects there are a wide variety of add-ons to ramp up output from machines. Landscape Management spoke with Kyle Newendorp, Vermeer product specialist; Dee Warren, marketing manager at Land Pride; Daniel Cohen, product application specialist for Caterpillar; and Luke Gribble, solutions marketing manager with John Deere, to learn some best attachment practices.
Newendorp says buckets are the most widely used attachment among landscape professionals.

“Contractors should keep in mind that buckets come in several shapes and sizes,” he says. “For example, the Vermeer high dump bucket is productive at dumping at higher heights and delivers quick dump speeds compared to a standard bucket.”

Newendorp says contractors should consider adding additional attachments to complete design/build tasks.

“A set of pallet forks can help move material around the job site, and a hardscape grapple can help minimize the labor of placing pavers, blocks and small boulders,” he says.

Contractors should also break down each phase of a project to determine what tasks need completed and then decide if an attachment can help them improve their operating efficiency, Newendorp says.

Compatibility is key

Performance and safety concerns can quickly sneak up on equipment users if attachments aren’t 100 percent compatible, says Dee Warren, marketing manager at Kansas-based Land Pride. Warren urges contractors to know the ins and outs of their machines before choosing attachments.

“When considering lifting capabilities, operators need to remember that sometimes it’s more than just weight but also available counterweight,” he says. “Just because the attachment can be hooked up to the power unit doesn’t mean the power unit can lift it safely or operate it.”

Warren says it’s critical for contractors to understand whether attachments work with high-flow or standard-flow hydraulics.

“Hydraulic flow rates and pressures are important; high-flow and standard-flow attachments require match machines,” says Warren. “High-flow attachments on a standard-flow power unit are not going to be efficient; a standard-flow attachment on a high-flow machine can damage the attachment, sometimes severely.”

Buy or rent?

Cohen says finding the right attachment involves variables extending beyond hydraulics and job sites. He says a professional offering new services may want to consider renting attachments first.

“Factors like the availability of replacement parts and the warranty that is offered with the attachment can tip the scales toward one brand or another,” says Cohen. “From a pricing perspective, it is important to understand what is included in the sticker price. Many attachment manufacturers do not include things like hydraulic quick connects and shipping in their advertised price.”

Gribble says renting can give landscapers more adaptability to fluctuating demand and job site logistics.

“Landscape contractors can also consider renting attachments on an as-needed basis,” he says. “Renting attachments is a great way for professionals to complete a variety of applications based on the job, increasing machine versatility.”

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