Selecting lawn care equipment can be a tricky proposition—especially if the grounds manager making the choices isn't asking the right questions. John E. Gibson, is president of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and director of operations for Denver-based Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care. Gibson said grounds managers are prone to a number of common mistakes when shopping around.
“They often buy the equipment based on bells and whistles, when the core job of that equipment is not the unit's strong point,” he said. “Also, they frequently go for equipment of a size that gets them either too much or too little for the job they really need.”
To avoid slipups in acquiring lawn care equipment, Gibson recommends using the following checklist as a reference tool:
Gibson added that one trend in lawn care is common to most other service industries: mechanized equipment that increases production and while reducing required manpower.
The Maverick industrial boom mower lets users access hard-to-reach areas, with variable reaches from 21 to 24 feet, or 27 to 30 feet. The boxed-section contour gives the unit added strength in sections where it is most needed, and it delivers optimal strength-to-weight ratios. A computer provides simple troubleshooting from within the tractor cab. A broad range of cutting heads is offered. Alamo Industrial. www.alamo-industrial.com.
XR-7 mowing decks offer a range of cutting options. Choose from side-discharge, mulch, or catch configurations. Operators can mow tall or fine grasses efficiently and effectively. The design minimizes clumping and buildup for optimal finished appearance and improved productivity. Other features include an easy-to-install mulch kit, 7-gauge deck plate and sidewalls and 11-gauge doubler and 7-gauge tripler (nearly ½ inch thick) at spindle mounts. The decks come in widths ranging from 54 to 72 inches. Hustler Turf Equipment. www.hustlerturfequipment.com.
The Grizzly zero-turn-radius mower offers three twin-cylinder engine options: a 24-hp Honda, or 25- or 27-hp Kohler Command Pro. Choose from a 52- or 60-inch cutting deck, with 18-position positive-lock deck lift and foot assist. The smooth-riding Big Rig seat suspension system raises for ease of access to belts, pulleys, and other parts for maintenance and cleaning. Optional attachments include two- and three-bag grass catchers, mulch kits, and a snow blade. Dixon Industries. www.dixon-ztr.com.