With some worksites becoming smaller, the cost of labour increasing, and workplace health and safety a top concern, it is more important than ever for arborists to consider equipment that can help them solve these problems. Mini skid steers have become increasingly popular amongst arborists because, while they may be a compact machine, they provide big benefits. Here, we will look at why you should consider adding a mini skid steer to your fleet and how it could change the way you do business.
Craig Baillie, National Sales Manager for Environmental Equipment at Vermeer Australia, said that there are three key reasons behind the increasing uptake of mini skid steers.
“Mini skid steers are a compact and versatile piece of equipment, allowing arborists to gain hydraulic access to spaces that were previously difficult to get to or completely inaccessible. They’re also very versatile and can be used for tasks such as heavy lifting, landscaping and planting trees, which also reduces the amount of manual labour for workers and improves safety,” Mr Baillie said.
A compact solution for urban areas
Access is often limited in urban and congested areas which makes the use of large equipment difficult. Due to their small size, mini skid steers are easier and safer to manoeuvre around a typical residential yard, plus the risks of injury to workers on-site are minimised.
“Mini skid steers come in a range of widths from 36 to 40 inches (91.4 to 101.6cm) without the standard bucket, allowing them to travel through most gates and other narrow entryways,” Mr Baillie said.
“Larger machines cannot travel through such tight spaces, and are otherwise limited to the front yard and street area.”
One machine meets multiple needs
Mini skid steers are an extremely versatile machine due to their universal mounting plate, enabling contractors to quickly and easily swap out attachments to complete different jobs. This helps to expand services and pick up additional revenue.
“Vermeer’s mini skid steer loaders are compatible with various attachments such as different buckets, spreader bars, augers, trenchers, cement mixers, grapples, irrigation plows, rippers, road brooms, swing hoes and grass slasher, which increases the chance of picking up more work,” Mr Baillie said.
“These attachments also help improve productivity and efficiency. For example, you can attach a grapple to grab and crush bundles of brush faster than doing it manually.”
Reducing risk to workers Arboriculture can be very labour intensive, so equipment that can minimise labour costs and reduce health impacts is vital to the efficiency and productivity of a business.
Mini skid steers help create a safer work environment by reducing the potential for injuries as workers don’t have to drag and carry heavy logs and brush around the worksite, or lift it onto other equipment such as chippers.
“As mini skid steers can do the heavy lifting, there is less strain put on workers bodies. This reduces the chance of injuries occurring, with a corresponding reduction in sick leave. It also increases productivity and efficiency of workers as they can get more done, faster and then concentrate on other aspects of the project,” Mr Baillie said.