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Five essential skid steer attachments for landscapers

Monday, May 8, 2017

By Mitchell Salva, Arrow Material Handling Products

Buying a skid steer is often the first big investment for new landscaping owners. It’s an
investment that, if done right, can both add value and provide quick return. However, themachine is only half the battle. The right attachments are the other half. Here are the first five attachments every landscaping skid steer owner should purchase.

Bucket
What does it do?​ Most of the time buckets are just used to transport dirt, sand, gravel, and the like. Landscaping buckets are great for that, but also are designed to help grade and level land.

What to look for?​ When grading and leveling it’s important to be able to see over the top of the bucket from the cab. As a result, landscaping buckets have a low-profile design. It’s also important that the bucket sits level with the ground. Landscaping buckets do this by using a raised hitch plate. Lastly, teeth are added to landscaping buckets to help dig into the ground when grading.

When to buy?​ A Landscape bucket should be your first attachment. Other options include rock buckets for heavy rocks and gravel, bulk material buckets for large material quantity and snow removal, and grapple buckets for tree limbs and logs.

How does this make money?​ The savings on labor alone will provide ROI within a couple
weeks of regular use. Combine that with the ability to grade and level and it’s not hard to see the value a bucket adds.

Pallet forks
What do they do?​ Loading and unloading anything too big to carry. This means sod, seed,
brick, concrete bags and the rest.

What to look for?​ You’ll need to know the machine make, model, and capacity rating. 48 inch forks are pretty standard. Speak with a salesperson here, but always verify the forks are fully heat treated and built with steel capable of heavy usage.

When to buy?​ Get these when buying the bucket. These two attachments will do the majority of the work.

How does this make money? ​Potential workman’s comp claims from heavy lifting aside, faster loading and unloading means time saved. Just having forks also gives you the option to add a variety of fork mounted attachments like booms, work platforms, and more.

Auger drive
What does it do?​ When paired with drill bits, auger drives can make digging holes for trees, shrubs, post mounting, and fence installation faster and easier. They can save some serious time and expand business capabilities. In addition, auger drives can fit other attachments including stump planers and cement mixers.

What to look for?​ Drives are pretty simple. Get a planetary drive with a sealed gearbox for less maintenance and an increased lifespan. Look for a single piece shaft assembly to eliminate shaft pull out. Also, invest in a good set of bits as different sizes are needed for different uses.

When to buy?​ An auger drive isn’t necessary right away as most holes can be dug by hand and shovel. However, it does make life a lot easier and gets the job done faster.

How does this make money? ​Augers are a fairly simple way to save a lot of hard work and time if you find yourself digging holes often. This increase in efficiency makes expanding into new services like fence and post installation an easy decision.

Stump planer
What does it do?​ The stump planer attaches to the auger drive and can easily remove stumps without the need to rent a very costly stump grinder.

What to look for?​ These are pretty simple, just verify information with a sales rep.
When to buy?​ After purchasing an auger drive.

How does this make money?​ The cost of owning a stump planer is comparable to the cost of renting a stump grinder for about a week. If the need is just to remove the occasional stump, a planer will provide tremendous value and save against unnecessary rental costs.

Cement mixer
What does it do? ​The cement mixer can get where traditional cement trucks can’t by attaching directly to the auger drive. Cement mixer attachments are pretty straightforward to operate, just load cement mix and water, rotate the bowl using the auger drive, and pour cement as needed.

What to look for?​ Cement mixers use an adapter to mount to the auger drive. Make sure you have the correct mounting system for optimal performance.

When to buy?​ After purchasing an auger drive.

How does this make money?​ The cement mixer will save time on smaller jobs like driveway or sidewalk repair, as well as small cement foundations, and other jobs. Similar to the stump planer, the cement mixer eliminates the need for costly rentals.

About Arrow Material Handling Products
Arrow fabricates and distributes high quality forks and attachments for most makes and models of forklift trucks, skid steers, loaders, telehandlers, tractors and construction equipment. The company is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas and has facilities in Virginia, California, Iowa and Ontario Canada. Arrow's products are sold to original equipment dealers, rental houses, forklift and construction equipment dealers.

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