Landscaping has become a major industry segment in the construction market employing a lot of manual labour. It involves a lot of tasks like earthmoving, site preparation, irrigation, paving, grading, excavating and material lifting, placement and movement with most of the work needed to be done in restricted spaces.

Given that these days, labour shortage is the main issue plaguing every industry including the landscaping industry, the need for more and more landscaping equipment is increasing drastically as these machines not only increase the efficiency, accuracy and productivity and save time at the job site but also enhance safety. Accompanied with various attachments, the landscaping equipment are well-equipped to perform various tasks in a short span of time without the need for having many labourers performing the tasks manually.

Below is the list of all the major equipment that can be used for various landscaping operations...

Backhoe loaders

One of the most popular equipment that is used in landscaping projects is Backhoe Loaders (BHLs). These machines offer high versatility and can be used for numerous applications including digging ditches, laying pipes, demolitions, excavating, lifting, loading, grabbing, transporting materials, levelling, laying the foundation for buildings and drainage systems and much more at the job site with various attachments.

BHLs have three components i.e., tractor, loader and backhoe. The tractor is used for moving the other two components from place to place. As for the loader and backhoe, when you dig up a lot of dirt to make a hole, you generally require a loader to either move the dirt out of the area or to fill it back when the work is done. Thus, the most common application of BHL is digging a trench with the backhoe and then filling it back with the loader. Because of the machines dual nature i.e., loader and backhoe, they are an ideal choice for many landscaping projects. There are many manufacturers in India manufacturing BHLs of which Mahindra Construction Equipment’s Mahindra EarthMaster BHL model is very popular. It comes with a variety of superior features and technology and is highly compatible with numerous attachments.

Mini hydraulic excavators

Mini hydraulic excavators can also be used for landscaping projects where space is a major constraint. Be it clearing the land, digging trenches for drainage or for irrigation system installation, mini hydraulic excavators can come to help. With a variety of attachments available like grading buckets and blades for smoothening any surface, augers, hydraulic thumbs etc., mini excavators make landscaping work much easier, thereby, allowing you to easily switch from one task to another and reduce the need of many equipment on the site.

Skid steer loaders

Another machine that can perform many tasks involved in landscaping projects is skid steer loader with its various attachments. This machine can do things like digging, loading, grading and carrying plant materials, dirt, mulch and rocks. Skid steer loaders can easily work on and around sidewalks, curbs or pavement. The front bucket of the machine can be replaced with various types of attachments like hydraulic breaker, pallet booms, auger, mower, snow blower etc., to execute different jobs.

Compact wheel loaders

Even these machines can be employed for applications like digging, loading, grading, carrying plant materials, dirt, mulch and rocks. Accompanied with various attachments like broom, grapple buckets etc., they can greatly help in various landscaping tasks.

Compact track loaders

Offering manoeuvrability and high versatility, these machines can also be used for a variety of tasks. Compact track loaders are generally great for rough ground conditions i.e., if it is wet, soft or sandy ground.

Industrial/ agricultural tractors

Landscaping is one of the primary applications of these machines which offer more power and greater durability during rigorous operations. With their three-point hitch assemblies and other towing capabilities, they are ideal for a number of finishing applications.

Typical landscaping equipment attachments

After discussing the various equipment solutions for landscaping labour shortage problem, here is the list of the major attachments that are used with the various types of landscaping equipment...

1. Augers- Through augers, BHLs and mini hydraulic excavators can easily drill holes for planting trees and shrubs even on a hill side and rocky terrain. They can also be used for fence posts installations.

2. Backhoes- The main tool of the BHLs and even used with other equipment, backhoes are generally used for digging drainage channels and trenches for laying irrigation pipes or for lifting heavy loads.

3. Brooms- Generally, they are attached to the backhoes and used for cleaning the surface after the job is complete. They can be even used for clearing snow in winter and hence used with skid-steer loaders too.

4. Blades- Available in varying size, they are used for various tasks majorly involving moving, cleaning debris and levelling any material.

5. Grapple buckets- They are used to remove bulky materials such as tree limbs and for cleaning up the ground.

6. Landscape rakes- For tasks like conditioning, levelling and removing rocks from soil before sowing seeds or laying sod, landscape rakes are used.

7. Light material buckets- Such buckets with long floor length and tall bucket height are used for light applications such as hauling mulch, snow etc. They can be attached to skid steer loaders too.

8. Multipurpose buckets- Very versatile buckets, they can be used for digging, dozing, clamping, back-dragging, grading and levelling tasks. They can be attached to skid steer loaders too with extended reach.

9. Pallet forks- They are highly labour-saving devices with the capability to speedily load and unload palletized materials like sod, fertilizer or decorative stones.

10. Trenchers: They are used for installing water sprinkler systems and can be even employed for removing roots that grow too close to buildings and paved paths.

11. Hydraulic thumb: This attachment used with the mini hydraulic excavator works with the bucket or a grapple and can be easily used for debris clean-up, tree removal and picking up the tree branches so as to load or unload them.

Overall, keeping in mind the various complexities involved in the landscaping projects and the increasing problem of labour shortage and high associated costs, it surely makes sense to opt for the various above-listed landscaping equipment solutions and the required attachments.