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6 Pieces of Equipment You Need for a Start-up Landscaping Business

Joe KnowsBefore starting a landscaping business, you'll need some essential pieces of equipment. Use this list to make sure you have the most important items you'll need to make your business successful.

Shovels

People who don't work in the landscaping industry rarely know about all the shovel types that can help you do your job more efficiently. Some of the most useful shovels include:

  • square-mouth
  • trench
  • round-mouth
  • spade

Shovel - Fotolia

Photo: Fotolia/Horticulture

When you have these shovels, you can choose the right tool for the job. If you need to dig a long, narrow path, then a trench shovel should work well. If you want to remove a large section of sod or dirt, a square-mouth shovel will help.

Wheelbarrow

wheelbarrow

Photo: Flickr by Jonas B

A bag of quick-setting concrete can weigh 80 pounds or more. Even the burliest landscapers could only move so many bags before their muscles give out. A wheelbarrow makes it easier to transport heavy items. It also provides an easy place to store dirt, rocks, and other materials that you might want to relocate.

Without a wheelbarrow, simple jobs that should only take a couple of hours will turn into projects that take days.

Cordless Drill

Cordless drills don't offer as much power as corded models, but they come in useful for small outdoor jobs that don't require a ton of torque. Cordless drills can also make it easier for you to reach small areas. It's also convenient when you don't have nearby outlet to plug in your drill.

Cordless Drill - Fotolia

Photo: Fotolia/abhbah05

You can get the most out of your drill by using edge preparation to keep the bits sharp. The sharper your bits are, the less friction they create while drilling through wood. That can make your cordless drill seem more powerful than it actually is.

Chainsaw

Landscapers who don't have chainsaws might waste a lot of time on difficult jobs. If a tree has gotten so out of control that you couldn't possibly prune it into shape, then you might need to remove small limbs. A chainsaw will reduce the time and physical energy that you put into removing those limbs.

Chainsaw - Fotolia

Photo: Fotolia/cpickard2790

Make sure you have a sharp chain. A sharp chain will cut right through wood. A dull one will cause the chainsaw to buck and stick inside the wood.

Keep a spare chain with you at all times. That way, you can swap them out if your chainsaw gets dull.

Tiller

Tillers use heavy tines cut through the dirt. This lets landscapers prepare large areas for planting.

There are different types of tillers that you should consider before choosing one for your business. Some of the most popular types include:

  • rear-tine tillers
  • front-tine tillers
  • cultivators
  • counter-rotating tines

Tiller - Fotolia

Photo: Fotolia/Gilly Smith

You can also choose between electric- and gas-powered tillers. Gas models give you more power to tear through difficult ground that contains a lot of rocks and roots. Electric models aren't as strong, but they're cheaper to operate because you don't need to purchase gas. If you only have an electric model, though, you'll need to make sure that your work site has an available outlet. You can't use an electric tiller without electricity.

Trailer

You should have a truck or similar vehicle to move all of your equipment. No matter how big your truck is, a trailer will make it easier to haul equipment between the day's job sites.

Trailer - iStock

Photo: iStockphoto.com/kozmoat98

Make sure you choose a trailer that will suit your growing business. You don't want to get one that's just big enough to hold the items you currently use. Next year, you might decide to invest in a riding lawnmower to make work more efficient. If your trailer is too small for the mower, then you'll have to spend money buying another trailer.

Always look to the future so that you don't have to replace your items to keep up with your workload.

What are some of the tools that you use most during landscaping jobs? Would you recommend other pieces of equipment for people just getting into the landscaping industry?

nebraskadave
1/13/2014 11:34:33 AM

Joe, all good points. I'm just a backyard landscaper with only an occasional use for a trailer which I rent. My projects are done mostly with hand tools although I do have a chainsaw, cordless drill, and a wheel borrow. I will suggest that spending the extra money on quality tools will indeed be the better option. Lower quality tools don't last as long or work as well. I learned that the hard way. Well, at the time I thought I just couldn't afford the quality tools but over the long run, it costs less. I'm not a landscaper by trade but I end up doing allot of landscaping work for friends and neighbors. ***** Have a great landscaping day.