With spring approaching and landscaping jobs becoming more common, what equipment do you need for landscaping? Dead plants and winter debris need to be cleared, weather damage repaired, and outdoor areas rejuvenated ready for use in the longer, warmer days to come. Nature is unpredictable, each job comes with its own challenges and hand tools and muscle are often not enough. As a result, power tools and heavy equipment may be needed, but these can prove expensive to buy. The obvious answer is to hire the relevant equipment, especially if it will only be used for a limited number of jobs. With this in mind, we offer an overview of the most commonly used items for hire and their applications.
The most obvious piece of landscaping equipment and by far the most used. Even for small areas, a self-propelled mower significantly speeds up the work and requires much less effort to use. Petrol driven mowers are particularly useful for large areas of grass or work in rural areas where a mains power supply is unavailable. An adjustable cutting width allows adjustment from large to small areas, for example borders between flower beds and narrow walkways. A large collection bag is also useful, extending work times between emptying and reducing delays.
To complement the effect of a thorough mowing, a lawn scarifier will further rejuvenate a tired or neglected lawn. The scarifier strips away dead grass, moss, and other undesirable elements to give fresh growth space for living plants. While allowing air and sunlight to reach the grass, it also aerates the ground, encouraging new growth. Similarly, to a self-propelled lawn mower, petrol driven scarifiers allow long runtimes in all areas, however remote. Integral collector bags save time clearing refuse away, saving time and effort.
Also known as brush cutters, strimmers have a multitude of uses for clearing new areas and touching up existing ones. Connected to a harness worn by the user, two handles are used to swing a rotating tip with toughened plastic wires in place of blades. This makes it a lightweight portable option for clearing long grass and weeds in open or hard to access places. Strimmers are also ideal for finishing lawn edges and trimming grass around trees and lawn features that mowers struggle to reach. Electric models are available, but petrol-powered versions provide greater cutting power.
If lawns need to be replaced or removed entirely for new flower beds or vegetable patches, a petrol driven turf cutter is a must. Digging turf out by hand is time consuming, hard physical work and ensuring a level surface afterwards can be difficult. A straight sharpened steel cutting blade below is lowered to the desired level ensuring a consistent, level depth. A gearbox drive system increases torque to the rear wheels, providing enough force to cut through compacted, hard soil.
Rotavators are used to rejuvenate soil and prepare it for new planting using rotating curved blades to cut through compacted earth. They are equally useful for breaking up compacted soil exposed through turf cutting or turning over new areas for seed sowing. They can also be used to incorporate compost or new higher grade soil into the existing ground, or level out rough, uneven surfaces. Cutting speed can be adjusted depending on the hardness of the ground and forward and reverse operation ensures a consistent finished texture.
Powered hedge trimmers not only speed up trimming that would otherwise be done with shears but give extra reach. This is especially true of long handled models, allowing a reach of up to three metres. This allows the user to cut taller hedges without the need for ladders which could overbalance and fall. Electric hedge trimmers have the advantage of lower weight, to minimise user fatigue during extended use. However, petrol driven trimmers deliver more cutting power to speed work up, have no cables to potentially cut and need no mains power.
To completely remove hedges, cut down trees or remove overhanging or dead branches, use of a chainsaw will probably be necessary. Fallen trees will need to be cut into manageable pieces for removal and again a chainsaw is the most effective tool. If building retaining walls or similar structures from wooden sleepers, a chainsaw allows on site cutting and shaping.
Once trees have been felled, the remaining stumps will need to be removed. Doing this by hand with basic tools is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Petrol driven stump grinders use rotating teeth to grind and cut through tree stumps, easily removing them. Small but extremely durable, they are easy to manoeuvre on a portable wheeled chassis into smaller areas such as urban gardens. Despite their small size, they are surprisingly powerful and able to quickly remove small and medium tree stumps.
Augers and bores use a petrol driven helical blade to bore cylindrical holes for fence posts and stanchions. They can also be used to dig deep, wide bore holes to plant trees or large shrubs. As the blade cuts into the ground, soil is drawn up the rotating screw thread and deposited around the hole ready for removal. Larger diameter bits can be used depending on the size of hole required and single or dual operator variants are available.
Diesel powered chippers rapidly render waste wood into mulch and use a waste chute to distribute this where needed. The mulch can then be used as fertiliser for new plants or removed using a powered compact dumper. Chippers come in a variety of sizes, from freestanding wheeled chippers for garden waste to tracked self-propelled chippers for heavy duty work in remote areas.
SERV Plant Hire are plant and machinery specialists offering a huge variety of construction and landscaping equipment for hire to the North West of England. For heavy duty landscaping and forestry work, we also offer a range of excavators and attachments to suit any need. Contact us to discuss your landscaping equipment requirements, we will be happy to help.