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Five must

Jul 14, 2023

Purchasing a skid steer is often the first big investment for new landscaping owners. It's an investment that, if done right, adds value and provides a quick return. However, the machine is only half the battle. The right attachments are the other half. Here are the first five attachments every landscaping skid steer owner should purchase.

Most of the time buckets are used to transport dirt, sand, gravel and the like. Landscaping buckets are great for that, but also are designed to help grade and level land.

What to look for: When grading and levelling, it's important to see over the top of the bucket from the cab. As a result, landscaping buckets have a low-profile design. It's also important that the bucket sits level with the ground. Landscaping buckets do this by using a raised hitch plate. Lastly, teeth are added to landscaping buckets to help dig into the ground when grading.

When to buy: A landscape bucket should be your first attachment. Other options include rock buckets for heavy rocks and gravel; bulk material buckets for large material quantity and snow removal; and grapple buckets for tree limbs and logs.

How does this make money? The savings on labour alone will provide a return on investment within a couple weeks of regular use. Combine that with the ability to grade and level, and it's not hard to see the value a bucket adds.

Pallet forks are used for loading and unloading anything that's too big to carry. This means sod, seed, brick, concrete bags and the rest.

What to look for: You’ll need to know your machine's make, model and capacity rating, while 48 in. forks are fairly standard. Speak with a salesperson here, but always verify the forks are fully heat treated and built with steel capable of heavy usage.

When to buy: Get these when buying the bucket. These two attachments will do the majority of the work.

How does this make money? Potential workman's compensation claims from heavy lifting aside, faster loading and unloading means time saved. Having forks also gives you the option to add a variety of fork mounted attachments like booms, work platforms and more.

When paired with drill bits, auger drives can make digging holes for trees, shrubs, post mounting and fence installation faster and easier. They can save serious time and expand business capabilities. In addition, auger drives can fit other attachments including stump planers and cement mixers.

What to look for: Drives are simple. Get a planetary drive with a sealed gearbox for less maintenance and an increased lifespan. Look for a single piece shaft assembly to eliminate shaft pull out. Also, invest in a good set of bits as different sizes are needed for different uses.

When to buy: An auger drive isn't necessary a right-away purchase, as most holes can be dug by hand and shovel. However, it does make life easier and gets the job done faster.

How does this make money? Augers are a fairly simple way to save a lot of hard work and time if you find yourself often digging holes. This increase in efficiency makes expanding into new services like fence and post installation an easy decision.

The stump planer attaches to the auger drive and can easily remove stumps without the need to rent a costly stump grinder.

What to look for: These are also simple, just verify information with a sales rep.

When to buy: After purchasing an auger drive.

How does this make money? The cost of owning a stump planer is comparable to the cost of renting a stump grinder for about a week. If the need is to remove the occasional stump, a planer will provide tremendous value and save against unnecessary rental costs.

The cement mixer can get where traditional cement trucks can't, by attaching directly to the auger drive. Cement mixer attachments are pretty straightforward to operate, just load cement mix and water, rotate the bowl using the auger drive, and pour cement as needed.

What to look for: Cement mixers use an adapter to mount to the auger drive. Make sure you have the correct mounting system for optimal performance.

When to buy: After purchasing an auger drive.

How does this make money? The cement mixer will save time on smaller jobs like driveway or sidewalk repair, as well as small cement foundations and other jobs. Similar to the stump planer, the cement mixer eliminates the need for rentals.

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