By Mike Hale
Never let poor productivity of handheld equipment and the risk of disturbing the turf with skidsteer tracks slow down your landscaping business. Whether you’re installing fence posts, planting trees or soil sampling, using an earth drill helps you work faster with minimal impact to the customer’s lawn.
Here’s how earth drills maximize your productivity.
Features that protect the operator and equipment also save your budget.
Paying workers’ compensation or shop repairs can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Avoid dangerous kickback to the operator with a steel torque tube on mechanical and hydraulic models. The torque tube transfers drilling torque from the drill head to the engine carriage, virtually eliminating the risk of kickbacks to the operator as well as damage to the transmission and drive cable. Traditionally, contractors used two-man hole diggers, but choosing a model with a torque tube cuts labour costs in half.
Another safety feature found on hydraulic units is a pressure-relief valve to stop the machine if hydraulic pressure reaches unsafe levels. More safety and less downtime equals greater productivity.
Accuracy and speed are fundamental for completing more projects.
Manually digging holes is a tedious and inefficient process. Drill several feet deep in seconds rather than minutes with mechanical drills that achieve speeds as fast as 360 RPM and hydraulic drills that reach 285 RPM.
Comfortable and convenient features lead to more productivity.
Avoid throwing the towel in early due to operator aches and pains. If you hit an obstacle, hydraulic earth drills feature a comfortable one-touch reverse control to help you back out without having to manually lift the dirt and auger on your own.
And, padded handles, easy access to the throttle controls and on/off switches on mechanical and hydraulic earth drills ensure a comfortable operation.
Simple maintenance equals less downtime.
Easy servicing ensures that equipment is always ready to go and helps protect your equipment against wear. An earth auger with easily replaceable and reversible points and blades keeps the project running smoothly by cutting through a variety of soils and extends the auger’s service life.
Easy maneuverability is key to getting around the worksite.
Bulky equipment, such as skidsteers, are difficult to manoeuvre through tight spaces and might require following up with handheld tools to get the job done, which can eat up valuable work hours.
Compact mechanical or hydraulic earth drills with wheeled power sources, on the other hand, easily access narrow side yards. The pneumatic tires, coupled with the drills’ light weight, prevent lawn damage and make them easy to move.
Save valuable truck or trailer space for hydraulic earth drills by using a two-inch ball hitch for transporting. Or, for additional hauling options, cut the weight in half by unhooking the removable power pack for easy loading and unloading.
Keep these tips in mind as you select product to help you be faster and safer as well as grow your job list.
Mike Hale is sales manager for Little Beaver Inc.
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