The right equipment will help you trim unruly growth — and grow your business.
The landscaping industry is booming. Whether you’re just starting a landscaping business or you’re looking to keep your edge (pun intended), having the right equipment for the job is a must. Even ardent DIYers with large homes or steep hills will have better luck creating the lawn of their dreams using commercial-grade lawn and landscape equipment, which offers more power with less maintenance and more durability than consumer models.
Looking to upgrade or expand the equipment at your disposal? Below are a few critical tools of the trade that every professional should have ready to go the next time a new customer calls.
Robotic mowers may be the wave of the future, but for most companies and professionals today, a regular commercial mower will do the trick. The standard walk-behind model with its compact cutting deck allows you to nimbly mow in tight spaces and is gentler on delicate turf than heavier machinery. It’s also easier to transport. The precise speed controls of self-propelled models provide more control on jobsites with slopes.
For larger properties, consider leveraging the speed and power of a zero-turn rider mower. With a higher blade tip rotation than most rider counterparts, you’ll gain cleaner cuts and improved mulching. In addition to reducing mowing times thanks to speeds of up to 8 mph, a zero-turn can also accommodate a variety of attachments ranging from trailers to lawn aerators, rollers or even snow plows.
Edgers are the perfect tool for cutting crisp, clean lines between garden beds and lawns, along sidewalks and around other points of interest within a yard. Commercial walk-behind models are capable of quickly cutting through thick brush and tough soils at rates up to 30 feet per minute. You’ll also have complete control over the look of the edge, with adjustable depths and widths ranging on some models to as much as 9 inches wide and 7 inches deep.
Weed trimmers allow you to detail areas of the yard or jobsite a mower can’t reach. They make quick work of tall grasses, brush and weeds. Commercial models (available in electric, 2-cycle or 4-cycle varieties) feature more powerful engines and higher-grade materials for withstanding long hours of operation. Trimmers can be outfitted with line or blades depending on the type of brush you’re clearing. Some models include either a harness or ergonomic handlebars.
When autumn rolls around and you need to tackle heavy leaf debris, a walk-behind blower features a powerful fan that can blow at speeds up to 180 mph. A walk-behind blower can not only move heavy leaves, but can also clear debris from cracks during surface repair and disperse standing water on roofs or sports fields.
For clients with hedges, a gas or electric-powered trimmer will save you time and provide the perfect cut and shape. Double-sided trimmers are the most common. They have blades on both sides and are well suited for precision shaping, topiary and making cuts in tight spaces. For trimming large, straight hedgerows or tall boxwood, consider a single-sided hedge trimmer. Their blades are lighter and longer and will help you make a perfect, long, straight cut. Some feature a clipping collector/debris sweeper to reduce the amount of time spent cleaning up post-shave.
Long reach pruner
When you need more reach, consider adding a gas powered long reach pruner to your toolset. These machines feature a two-piece shaft with a small saw at the end that can be extended up to 11 feet for easy removal of high branches or pruning of tall hedges. With a long reach pruner you can improve the health of your client’s trees and increase the amount of sunlight reaching beds while keeping both feet firmly on the ground.
For reclaiming overgrown property, consider a commercial brush cutter . Walk-behind models can clear several acres in only a few hours. They feature powerful engines, durable cutting tines capable of chewing up saplings and tall brush and a limited-slip or a full-slip differential to enable operation over rough and uneven terrain.
For whipping lawns and parks into picture-perfect shape and doing it efficiently, the right landscaping equipment is essential. If you’re starting or growing a landscaping business and you don’t have the cash to buy all the equipment you need, or you’re a homeowner looking to access a piece of equipment you won’t need very often, renting can be a smart option. United Rentals offers a variety of lawn and landscape tools and equipment for rent.
United Rentals can help you get nearly any type or class of equipment whether you're a landscaping professional or any other type of general contractor.
Michael D’Estries is a freelance writer who specializes in science, innovation and the arts.