Here we will build a list of tools a landscaper should have and explain why they need them. This article will be handy particularly for readers who may be thinking about going into the landscaping business. Landscapers use a variety of tools in their trade and not all use the same tools to accomplish the job, but we will cover as many possibilities as possible and explain what the best tool is for each job.
1. Small spade: This tool is used to dig holes for annuals, dig up weeds in hard to reach spaces and to carefully dig around root balls of smaller plants.
2. Large spade: A large shovel is always used by landscapers to dig holes for medium to large plants or shrubs, move top soil from a pile to garden beds and many other common tasks.
3. Pruning tool: These are commonly used to cut small branches on shrubs and bushes to keep them in a nice shape and keep them healthy.
4. Three prong cultivator: These are used to break up clumps of soil after using a tiller and can also be used to remove small rocks and weeds from garden beds.
5. Sprayers: You may want to have a couple of these. The best kind for landscaping are the ones that you pump up with air to gain water pressure. They also make some battery powered ones, but they need constant maintenance. You should have a least one for insecticides and one for clean water.
6. Leaf rake: You will often need a good spring brace rake to clear the customer’s yard of debris such as leaves and twigs.
7. Garden rake: This is a steal rake with several hard metal prongs. These are commonly used to rake flowerbeds to even out the soil. They are also used to move gravel and other materials that are used common by landscapers.<
1. Tiller: Every landscaper that plants flower gardens needs a good gas tiller to prepare the flower beds and break up soil for easier planting.
2. Gas powered chain saw: A gas chain saw is needed to trim larger trees. There will always be a customer with a tree to far from a power supply for an electric saw, so we recommend using a gas chain saw. They are also much more powerful.
3. Grass mower: Mowers come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most widely used brands that landscapers use is Torro. The mower you use will depend on your budget and workload. If you have a decent budget and customer base, stand up riding mowers are know for being fast, efficient and maneuverable.
4. Weed whacker: You will need a weed whacker to cut grass in areas that are not reachable with a mower. They are also used to cut down large patches of weeds or tall grass before mowing or landscaping. You should have a gas powered one rather than electric because there are always places where you will not be able to reach a power outlet and believe it or not, there are always those customers that will complain that you are drawing on their electricity.
5. Leaf Blower: If you are on a very tight budget you could get away with a rake and broom, but a leaf blower is essential for any professional landscaper. They are used to blow leaves, grass and other debris from the customer’s yard. This is usually the last thing a landscaper uses to clean up after they are done with a job or done for the day.
6. Utility trailer: A landscaper will need to have at least one good trailer. They are used most often just to carry your equipment from one job to the next. They are also necessary to haul away debris and to carry materials to the job site.
7. Snow blower: many companies in colder climates make up for the slow season by doing snow removal during the winter months.
Larger Equipment for Larger Companies
The equipment a landscaper uses may be quite different for different areas of the country. For example in warmer climates such as Florida and parts of California, customers will often want large palm trees transplanted from one location to another. A landscaper in these areas will need to use a large crane truck and a flat bad semi truck to move some of these monsters.
Of course, if you are a landscaper in such an area on a shoestring budget, you can always either rent the equipment or farm out the job to a larger landscaping company that can handle it. There are plenty of jobs you can still find that will not need all of the heavy duty machinery. Here is some of the heavy machinery that a landscaper may use. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need most of this equipment to start out:
1. Crane truck: These are used to transplant and move large trees that can not be lifted by hand.
2. Flat bed semi truck: These are used by larger operations that handle transplanting full grown trees and need to move large earth moving equipment such as a bulldozer.
3. Bulldozer: Large contracts may require heavy earth moving. This is the true meaning of landscaping. These machines are used to actually reshape the land.
4. Ditch Witch: If you are doing a job that involves moving the earth, you may need to replace pipes or wires underground. A Ditch witch is used to quickly dig a ditch deep enough to burry pipes and wires. These are also commonly rented on an as needed basis.
5. Skid steer: Commonly known as Bob Cats because of the brand’s popularity, a skid steer is used to move large amounts of dirt, gravel or other materials around. Often used when a bulldozer is too big for the job.
Due to their high cost, many companies rent these only when they are needed.
6. Back hoe: These are used if you have to dig very big holes. Sometimes when planting larger trees, a back hoe can be used to dig a hole big enough to support the large root ball. Again, these are only owned by very large landscaping operations and are not required to start a business.
Photo by Buck, Creative Commons Attribution License