Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

SEP 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Cut Down On Cost, Labor and Debris The Walk Behind Blower by Brave is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to saving time and labor. In a comparative study between a standard backpack leaf blower and a similar piece of equipment with almost identical wind output speed by another manufacturer, the high output blower was more than twice as fast in clear - ing a 40' by 40' area of leaves. According to the study, a typical handheld leaf blower took 20 minutes and 16 seconds to clear the 40' by 40' plot; a backpack blower took closer to 17 minutes to move all the leaves, while the high powered blower, with output speeds hovering around 200 mph, took just 3 minutes to entirely clear the area of debris: saving roughly 17 min - utes over the handheld leaf blower. MSRP for this piece of equipment is $1,499. Unveiled in the beginning of this year, Harper Turf Equipment's "MultiLoader" is a 837-pound, large vacuum with a 20" serrated impeller that reduces larger debris into smaller pieces. The manufac - turer's suggested retail price is $7,875 for the MultiLoader and $1,500 for the as- sociated trailer. The best practice for this type of equip - ment is to create a pile of lawn clippings, leaves and other small debris located close to a road and have one person oper - ate the vacuum nozzle while another per- son drives the truck. This saves time and makes it much easier to get debris into the back of a truck. The Lawn Debbi, by IBBZ inc., is an - other helpful piece of equipment that can cut down on labor time. After backing a lawn mower full of clippings up to the Lawn Debbi, it is able to load and unload all of its contents with the push of a but - ton. The hopper takes around 30 seconds to load and 40 seconds to unload. It can be mounted onto a truck and removed when not in use. The base model starts at $6,999. Steve Wahls, owner of IBBZ, relates that contrac - tors tell l him that the Lawn Deb- bi "paid for itself in one season." Composting Best Practices The United States Composting Council has in-depth construction guides for several different types of composting bins on their website, Their ba - sic receptical is designed to be a portable wood and wire-composting bin that is 3' tall by 4' feet long and 4' feet wide. The reason that the bin is made lightweight and portable is because when it comes time to gather the compost from the bottom of the pile, the bin can be easily taken apart, or picked up and moved, to allow access to the underneath composted material. The EPA provides this list of things that can be composted: fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, nutshells, shredded newspaper, cardboard, paper, yard trimmings, grass clippings, houseplants, hay and straw, leaves, sawdust, wood chips, cotton and wool rags, dryer and vacuum cleaner lint, hair and fur and fireplace ashes. One alternative, if you don't want to create your own composting site, is given by Brian Campedelli, a landscape contrac - tor and owner of Pioneer Landscapes in Massachusetts. He relates that a local farm in his area is happy to take his leftover or - ganic debris and turn it into compost for mulch and fertilizer. LC DBM Left This is the Lawn Debbi by IBBZ inc., of Loomis, Neb. It is a dumping insert that includes a debris loader and its website states that it will work on "most lawn trailers with minimal modification." The Lawn Debbi can be removed when not in use for added utility. At the push of a button, the loader will empty itself. Below Pictured is the Wet & Dry Floor Blade by One Pass Water Blade in Hollister, Calif. It features a patented, silicone "Y-Blade edge" that is able to conform to ground surface irregularities and costs $32.95. It can be used similarly to a regular broom; however it has the added benefits of working well with liquids and being easily cleaned. Above This is the Catchy Can, a hybrid between a dustpan and a trashcan. It was the brainchild of Robert Garcia, a landscaper- turned-business owner from Southern California. The original goal behind the Catchy Can was to eliminate the need to carry both a dustpan and a trashcan; reducing the amount of tools that a contractor purchases, hauls and maintains. Within the past year, reports estimate that around 15,000 Catchy Cans were sold to landscapers and gardeners. It costs $44 and holds 32 gallons. 26 LC DBM

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