Equipment Solutions for Landscaping Labor Shortages

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Equipment Solutions for Landscaping Labor Shortages

If an industry-wide labor shortage wasn’t enough of a problem, add on the cost and difficulty of recruiting seasonal employees. These are the primary reasons why many landscapers are turning to Cat® equipment to help them get the job done.

User-Friendly Equipment Is Key

Recruiting employees who are not only dependable, but also able to operate your equipment, is quite the challenge. Therefore, it is especially important to consider the user-friendliness of the machines you plan to rent or purchase for upcoming projects. So, what constitutes a “user-friendly” machine? Here are a few checklist items to evaluate:

  • Machine safety – Above all, the safety of you and your crew is critical. Cat machines are factory-built with backup cameras, so the operator can remain aware of his/her 360 degree surroundings without having to turn around in the cab.
  • User interface – Machine operation should be intuitive, with easy-to-use display systems, so even the most novice operators will be able to quickly learn the controls within the cab. Many Cat machines have a graphic display system that allows operators to customize their preferred operation and language settings.
  • Ease of maintenance – Daily maintenance checks are essential to maintaining the health and performance of your equipment. The easier it is for your operators to complete these checks, the better. Cat compact machines provide ground-level access to all daily service points (e.g., fluid levels, filters, gauges).
  • Operator comfort – When you find hard-working employees, you certainly want to keep them on-board. This is why Cat machines are designed to be ergonomic and comfortable, with features like fully pressurized, air-conditioned cabs and adjustable armrests and joystick controls.

Supplementing Manual Labor with Cat Attachments and Technology

Cat Attachments and technology are not only replacing the need for added manpower, they are also helping landscapers tackle tasks in less time. Some of the advancements that are proving to be especially useful in landscaping applications include:

  • Cat 304.5e2 XTC Mini Excavators combine the normal functionality of a mini excavator with a skid steer loader coupler interface to allow landscapers to handle multiple tasks with one machine. For example, in a debris-clearing application, you can pick up items, place them into a material handling bucket and carry them off site to be dumped — all in one pass, with a single machine.
  • The Cat AccuGrade™ Box Blade attachment allows you to grade surfaces to accurate levels from within the cab, eliminating the need for a second person to manage grading stakes.
  • Common landscaping tasks, such as raking dirt or stones and digging holes for planting, can now be automated through the use of Cat Augers and Landscape Rakes. This not only replaces the amount of manual labor needed, but significantly speeds up the process.
  • Hydraulic couplers allow operators to change out attachments using controls from within the cab and in a shorter amount of time than with manual couplers. These couplers are an ideal option for companies that must change out attachments several times throughout the day in order to complete the work.

In addition to solving labor shortage issues, equipment costs are more predictable than manual labor costs. Creating the optimal balance of equipment and labor is the best way to reduce total overhead expenses and bid on jobs more accurately. Purchasing or renting the right Cat equipment may just be the key to being able to tackle more jobs throughout the busy season.

To learn more about Cat equipment solutions for landscaping applications, contact your local Cat dealer.

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