Replacing a wheelbarrow and shovel is a back-breaking, labor-saving, revenue-driving relief, particularly for jobs like building retaining walls.
Compact equipment is a workhorse for projects that call for hauling heavy soil, grading, tamping and lifting. It’s like adding a pint-sized Hercules to the crew – with limits, of course.
“We do most of the groundwork with equipment rather than by hand because, obviously, it’s faster that way,” says Ben Polzin, vice president of operations at Down to Earth Garden Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “Whether that’s digging trenches, backfilling or the initial site prep, we do all of this now with compact equipment.”
Polzin keeps a range of attachments on hand at his business: augers, trenches, a tree spade, bucket, fork, pallet attachment and a rock bucket that can pick up and move heavy stone and boulders. For walls, he generally sticks to the bucket. And, Down to Earth usually uses both a skid-steer loader and mini excavator on retaining wall projects.
“We do everything from decorative walls to extremely functional walls that are holding back a lot of earth,” Polzin says. “So, our equipment use depends on what the project entails.”
Read the full story from the September issue here.