Green Industry Pros March 2022

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If you have the will to be a cut above, we have the way to rule the turf. See Bobcat® zero-turn mowers at your local dealer. Bobcat Company is a member of the Doosan Group. Doosan is a global leader in construction, grounds maintenance and material handling equipment, power and water solutions, and engineering that has proudly served customers and communities for more than a century. Bobcat ® and the Bobcat logo are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries. ©2022 Bobcat Company. All rights reserved. | 1500

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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S VOLUME 34, NO.2 | MARCH 2022



20. Mowing More With Less: Upgrading Your Commercial Equipment Manufacturers discuss what lawn and landscaping contractors should look for when upgrading to a higher-quality or larger mower.





News from around the industry.



Creating Emotion Through Landscape Design, ‘Agrihood’

Readers share about trending technologies and products.

Father/son team C2 Collaborative takes pride in its planned use and reuse of spaces, including their Miralon project in Palm Springs, Calif.


Why Lawn Care Businesses are Primed for Market Consolidation


While growth may be the case for several lawn care companies, it’s not necessarily the future of every lawn care business.


Why every homeowner is a candidate for payment options.


Increase Your Business Revenue With Job Costing and Estimating Software


How to set your pricing in lawn and landscaping.

16. EQUIPMENT & TECHNOLOGY Three ways machines can help landscapers with workforce shortages.


In case you don’t believe job costing is important or benefits your company, ask yourself which jobs are earning, and which are losing?


Green Pest Solutions for the Green Industry

The potential hazards of old outdoor pest treatments and some green alternative solutions.

36. EQUIPMENT IN FOCUS: BATTERY-POWERED EQUIPMENT Throw Away the Cord and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Incorporating new hardscaping concepts for a cohesive backyard.


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Battery-powered equipment is taking the lead in the landscape industry as professionals move away from gas and corded electric.

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immense problem for the industry, so it’s important to look at the work you need to perform in the spring and recruit now. Crew Checklist: This comprehensive jobsite checklist ensures your crew(s) don’t overlook any details. Now is a good time to review and determine if revisions are needed. Scope of Work: Before you lock in your clients, go over your scope of services and update anything to clearly state what the customer should expect. What is your standard cleanup service vs. additional cost services? Don’t be afraid to offer bundled packages for higher margins. While this checklist isn’t an earth-shattering new idea, it is a reminder that sometimes the Checklists simplest idea can Who doesn’t love have a big impact a good checklist? on what you do, Well, some people keeping you on don’t I guess, but task. It’s equally checklists are a important to keep simple, powerful tool these checklists updated to keep professionals m to your changing business on task and make sure @A .co li a k s o ck e i S a b e l ni k au - a d o b e. s t and equipment mix. Should you details aren’t overlooked. And determine it’s time for something new, in this day of doing more with less, who we’re here to help. couldn’t use a little help? This month, Gigi Wood talked with The most important checklist for manufacturers about what mowers are a landscape professional right now is a good fit when you’re ready to take Spring Cleanup Preparedness. Here’s on more, and larger, jobs (pg.22). Take what it should cover: a look at this month’s Equipment & Technology column (pg.16), where Brant Spring Cleanup Preparedness Kukuk from Ditch Witch discusses ways Equipment: Look at your trucks, machines can help short-staffed landmowers, lawn tools, powered equipment scapers. Lastly, Bryce Gill writes about and trailers. Make a note of what needs battery-powered equipment taking the repair or replacement and make that lead in the landscape industry (pg. 36). expense now. A Maintenance Checklist Prepare for spring and give yourself a is helpful here. leg up on success. Labor: The labor shortage remains an iving in Wisconsin, winter is an event we prepare for every year. We pack up the patio furniture, winterize plants, get out the storm windows, have the fireplace inspected, throw a bag of cat litter in the trunk of the car, dig out the winter gear, tune up the snow equipment… the list goes on. But this year, it seemed all for not. At the time I write this, I think the southern U.S. states have gotten more snow this winter than my small sliver of Wisconsin. It was nice to “take a winter off ” this year. I get it, warm states. But now, here we are — March 20 marks the first day of spring and there’s plenty of work to be done preparing for the changing seasons.


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MARCH 2022

Published by AC Business Media 201 N. Main Street, 5th Floor Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 (800) 538-5544

Volume 34, Number 02


Brand Director ....................................................................Jason DeSarle Sales Representative ....................................................Megan Perleberg Sales Representative ...........................................................Sean Dunphy Sales Representative ...........................................................Nikki Lawson Sales Representative .............................................................Kris Flitcroft


Group Content Director......................................................... Jon Minnick Associate Editor .................................................................Hannah Gooch Assistant Editor ............................................................................ Bryce Gill Staff Writer ....................................................................................Gigi Wood


Audience Development Manager ....................................Angela Franks


Senior Production Manager .................................................Cindy Rusch Art Director .................................................................................. Willard Kill AC Business Media Chief Executive Officer .......................................................... Ron Spink Chief Financial Officer ................................................ JoAnn Breuchel Chief Digital Officer ....................................................... Kris Heineman Chief Revenue Officer ................................................... Amy Schwandt VP Audience Development.........................................Rhonda Hughes Director, Demand Generation & Education .................... Jim Bagan VP Operations ..................................................................... Nick Raether Group Content Director..................................................... Jon Minnick Change of Address & Subscriptions — P.O. Box 3605 Northbrook, IL 60065-3605 • (877) 201-3915 Fax: (847) 291-4816 • List Rental — Bart Piccirillo, Sr. Account Manager Data Axle • (518)339-4511 Reprints & Licensing — Megan Perleberg Green Industry Pros [USPS 003-763 and ISSN 2168-121X (print), ISSN 2168-1228 (online)] is published six times a year: January/February, March, April, May/June, July/August, September/October by AC Business Media. Periodicals postage paid at Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Green Industry Pros, P.O. Box 3605, Northbrook, IL 60065-3605. Subscriptions: Individual subscriptions are available without charge in the U.S. to qualified subscribers. Publisher reserves the right to reject non-qualified subscriptions. Subscription prices: U.S., $35 per year; Canada/Mexico, $60 per year; and all other countries, $85 per year. All subscriptions payable in U.S. funds, drawn on U.S. bank. Back issues, if available, cost $10 prepaid. Printed in the USA. Copyright 2022 AC Business Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recordings or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.

@greenindustrypros @greenindustrypros @greenindpros

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STIHL FSA 135 R is assembled in the United States. Attachments, batteries and chargers sourced internationally. ©2022 STIHL


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Brant Kukuk, product manager at Ditch Witch, talks about how the right machines can get work done faster with more power.



Automated Outdoor Solutions (AOS) and Robotic Lawn Care Systems (RLCS) are partnering to digitalize professional lawn mowing at a low cost and zero emissions.


The Northwoods of Minnesota is home to Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and it’s also where the Lund family makes a living as the Trail Blazerz, a service business.



The U.S. robotic lawn mowers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.32% by 2027.


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MARCH 2022


Crew Collaborative, a nonprofit focused on the construction workforce, has received a $15,000 grant from The Toro Company Foundation

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Today’s forecast: perfect conditions for growing your business.

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ofit © Kubota Tractor Corporation, 2022. This material is for descriptive purposes only. Kubota disclaims all representations and warranties, express or implied, or any liability from the use of this material. For complete warranty, safety and product information, consult your local Kubota dealer. For the complete disclaimer, go to and see the posted disclaimer.

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roject EverGreen has appointed its 2022-23 2022-2023 Project EverGreen officers and board of directors. Executive Board Officers Kevin Laycock of SiteOne Landscape Supply takes President: Kevin Laycock, SiteOne Landscape Supply. over as president of the national non-profit. Joining him Vice president/President-elect: Scott A. are Scott A. Bills, CSFM of Sports Field Solutions as vice Bills, CSFM, Sports Field Solutions. president/president-elect, and Fred Secretary/Treasurer: Fred Haskett, Haskett of TrueWinds Consulting TrueWinds Consulting, LLC. Our collaborative work returns as secretary/treasurer. Past president: Joe Shooner, “Our collaborative work shows Focal Point Communications. shows that healthy parks that healthy parks and green spaces 2022-23 Board of Directors: Beth and green spaces play play a critical role in bringing people Berry, Advanced Turf Solutions; Cayla a critical role in bringing together to improve the overall Chamberlin, Rocket Community environmental and well-being of our people together to improve Fund; Tim Demerath, PBI-Gordon; neighborhoods and communities,” Furrer, Valley Green; Boyd the overall environmental George says Cindy Code, executive Montgomery, Toro Company; Blaine and well-being of our director of Project EverGreen. Pinkerton, Nufarm; Linda Satter, The Project EverGreen Sipcam-Agro; Takisha Truss, Glaxo neighborhoods board and its advisory Smith Kline; Alan White, Turf Systems; council work to measurably Ashley Williams, TKXS; Andrew increase and improve the amount of healthy green Bray, National Association Scan Here spaces in underserved areas across the country. of Landscape Professionals; To continue reading Russ Mitchell, Albaugh. the rest of this story



minority investment deal announced Feb. 4 by German industrial group STIHL through its venture arm STIHL Digital will help the Malling, Denmark-based robotics company TinyMobileRobots raise its profile and extend distribution globally. STIHL Digital acquired 23.8% of the company, buying out a state-funded investment managed by venture capital firm Borean Innovation. Private investor Anders Fauerskov, former co-owner of TC Group, will continue to own part of the company. TinyMobileRobots has in the five years since its founding come to dominate the market for robotic positional marking, and while it owns


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half of the U.S market for like products sees North America as a growth region. The company offers two models aimed at sports field marking — the TinyLineMarker Sport for schools and sports clubs and the TinyLineMarker Pro for municipalities and those with higher volume and more complex sports field marking needs. The TinyLineMarkerPro includes a library of sports field templates pre-installed versus a single template for the TinyLineMarker Sport. It also offers improved traction, faster marking speeds and twice the paint capacity. Both robots mark sports fields accurately, with between 1 and 2 centimeters in

MARCH 2022

variance. The robots are controlled through a tablet-based application that enables users to superimpose the placement of the field on a satellite photo of the sports field. Robots orient using built-in global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capabilities and communicate with the tablet controller through cellular data connectivity. Using machine vision, the robots can sense objects in front of them and wait until the way is cleared before proceeding. —Charles Rathmann

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Pennsylvania Bans Invasive Plants Sales The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has added ravenna grass, glossy buckthorn and common buckthorn to a list of noxious weeds — plants that cannot be legally sold or cultivated in the state. The non-native plants spread aggressively into wooded areas and

fields, crowding out beneficial plants and disrupting native ecosystems. The ban on sale and cultivation will take effect April 5, 2022 with enforcement phased in over the next year. “Pennsylvania is working to repair the damage done by plants that were introduced to our landscape decades ago without foresight into how they might harm our environment and food supply,” says Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Banning the sale of invasive plants and educating homeowners and consumers to plant native species today are both vital for protecting our environment, our food supply and our economy tomorrow.” Property owners should consider eliminating these plants and seek native alternatives.

Irrigation Association Announces Newly Elected Directors

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The Irrigation Association has new members of its board of directors: • Aaron Budimlija, executive vice president of business development, Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply (Olathe, Kan.). • Stuart Eyring, CEO, HydroRain (Bountiful, Utah). • Mike Hemman, president and CEO, Netafim (Clovis, Calif.). • James C. Reid Jr., president, Reid Brothers Irrigation and Equipment Co. LLC (Americus, Ga.).

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PROFITABILITY, PERFORMANCE AND VERSATILITY One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to commercial sprayers and spreaders, that’s why Z Turf Equipment offers a complete line of Z-Spray® units to meet your specific needs. With the ability to apply granular and liquid materials simultaneously or separately, these versatile machines are the ultimate resource for your business during your busiest time of the year. These durable Z-Spray spreader sprayers feature powerful commercial engines and high-grade, corrosive-resistant, stainless-steel components, ensuring your equipment will endure many seasons to come. Z Turf Equipment has also added more than 700 North American dealers, making it easier than ever for customers to get the parts and service support they need to keep their machines running at peak productivity.


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Yanmar Building Industrial Engine Manufacturing Plant Yanmar Engine Manufacturing India has started production at its new industrial engine manufacturing plant in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The plant will produce 80,000 units of 15 kW to 37 kW class industrial engines per year with production capacity planned to increase to 160,000 units. The engines will be sold globally. The plant will first produce engines for Yanmar brand tractors manufactured by International Tractors Ltd (a joint venture company of Yanmar) and for other agricultural and construction industry OEMs.

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Briggs & Stratton Showcases EFI/ETC Engine, Swappable Batteries at WOC Briggs & Stratton was at World of Concrete 2022 to display its lineup of Vanguard power solutions. Highlights at the Vanguard booth included the 1.5kWh swappable battery technology and the new single-cylinder Vanguard 400 engine equipped with electronic fuel injection (EFI) and electronic throttle control (ETC), as well as the Vanguard Commercial Lithium-Ion Battery Packs and the lineup of singlecylinder horizontal shaft engines. “Our customers’ needs are everchanging, so Vanguard has designed a product lineup to meet the growing demand for diverse power solutions,” says Amy West, Briggs & Stratton

marketing manager, commercial power. The new single-cylinder Vanguard 400 EFI/ETC 14.0 Gross HP engine is launching in March 2022. This is the latest Vanguard model to incorporate EFI and ETC technology, which improves performance, load acceptance and fuel efficiency.

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Planning to Pay for a Project With Cash

@kali9 – Getty Images


hether you’re new to offering payment options to homeowners or are just trying to get better at it, you may be wondering which of your customers may be ideal candidates for payment options. The simple answer is more than you think. Research has shown that one of the most effective methods for offering payment options is to offer them to every single customer. By doing so, you can see an increase in leads, close rate and average project size. Never speculate whether a customer wants or needs a loan. You might be wrong, and that means you may end up leaving money on the table or even losing out on a landscaping project altogether. There are all kinds of customers who prefer a payment option, including those who are:

 Whether you’re new to offering payment options to homeowners or are just trying to get better at it, you may be wondering which of your customers may be ideal candidates for payment options. The simple answer is more than you think.

that have to do with the project or if a non-related emergency happens and they need access to the funds.

Many homeowners have the cash on hand to complete a landscaping project and may think they don’t need financing. However, offering a choice of loans to cash-paying customers gives them a cushion in the event of unexpected or higher costs during a project. It’s been estimated that homeowners will spend an average of 44% more on a project when offered payment options.

Looking for Monthly Payment Options

Wanting to Keep Cash on Hand Longer

Not Sure How to Pay for a Project

Using financing can help a homeowner keep their cash on hand longer for other needs, allowing them to use the bank’s money for their landscaping project instead. This gives them more flexibility for additional costs


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With fixed monthly payments and a low-interest rate, this may give the homeowner the flexibility to decide and move forward on the project. Many homeowners value the convenience of a simple payment plan that gets them the landscaping project they want before the seasons change.

Research has shown that 35% of homeowners haven’t thought of how they’re going to pay for a project until after hearing a bid. By offering payment options in your initial pitch, you’ve already addressed one of, if not the most

MARCH 2022

important, concerns that a homeowner may have throughout the process. Here are some good ways to offer financing without appearing pushy or driving the sale away? • Include in your marketing materials • When you first set the appointment • During the first in-home pitch • During follow-up conversations If the customer doesn’t commit right away, you may still have a chance to land the job. If a homeowner calls with additional questions, remember to bring up payment options. Another great way to keep in touch is by email. If you nurture the customer the correct way from the beginning, you’ll see more success in closing more deals and getting to work.

Joel Cannon Senior VP EnerBank USA

2/21/22 10:08 AM





o one goes into the green industry to get rich. We work in this space because we love it. You still have to eat, rent or a mortgage to pay, and payroll to meet. How do you make sure you’re pricing your services correctly so that you don’t find yourself at the end of the year having made eight bucks an hour?

How much gas are you consuming per mile on each truck or per hour on your mowers? It’s easiest to lump it in with your overhead costs to simplify things. You can put it in overhead if you want, but it has to go somewhere. The point is this: everything that

Total overhead $$ / number of hours on job sites = Hourly Overhead Rate For example, if my total overhead for the previous 12 months was $300,000 and I had 10,000 hours of direct labor (on a job site), I would do the following equation: $300,000 / 10,000 = $30 I add that $30 to each hour I’m quoting for labor, and I’ll cover my expenses.

Accounting for Costs

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Expenses break down into two general categories for most green industry companies: direct costs (related to a specific job) and overhead costs (those needed to run the business but not associated with a particular job). Examples of direct costs are plant material, soil, pavers — anything that you can say, “We used ‘X’ amount of this on the Johnson job.” You may be able to break them down by square footage (with fertilizers, mulch, or pavers, for example). Overhead costs are things you need but can’t assign a value to, like your mortgage, internet, and non-billable labor (manager’s salaries, etc.). Some things don’t quite fit either bucket. You use gasoline for direct costs (to get to and from a job site, etc.), but it’s nearly impossible to calculate.

Calculating Prices

Once you’ve accounted for your Hourly Overhead Rate, you have two things left to do. First, calculate your revenue per employee, per hour. How much money does a single employee generate? You want to break this up by service line. A mower doesn’t generate the same revenue per hour as a hardscaping crew. So, the best practice here is to split things up by department. This way, you avoid overpricing your maintenance work or underpricing your design/build work. Lastly, you need to figure out what your profit targets are. If you’re a younger, smaller business, aim for 20% net profit. If you’re more established with lots of employees, you’re probably good at around 12% net profit.

you spend for the business must be accounted for. Overhead costs are the most overlooked for most landscapers. Many of us are great at accounting for our direct costs because those are pretty fixed. But we’re not accounting for the indirect (overhead) costs when running our businesses.

Accounting for Overhead

One way to do this is simple division. You take all overhead costs for the past year and divide them by the total number of direct labor hours (hours spent on a job site), and See Carla Iniguez’s math examples at that will give you an Hourly Overhead Rate to charge.

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Carla Iniguez CEO Cycle CPA

MARCH 2022


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Landscapers With Workforce Shortages

Tip 1: Easy Operation Means Simple Productivity

With a smaller crew, each job is an all-hands-on-deck endeavor. This means that each employee needs to be knowledgeable about and confident in operating every piece of equipment. A variety of factors play into making a machine easy to operate. The first is knowing that crew members can access convenient training tools, whether online, in a classroom or on the jobsite. This can help ensure safety while leveraging equipment features. It also can help get new employees trained and to the jobsite quickly. The second factor is making sure that your equipment has features that help operators safely, quickly and efficiently complete any job. An example of this is a stand-on skid steer. The hop-on/ hop-off ability of a stand-on machine is very beneficial for smaller crews.

Tip 2: Power Equals Efficiency

Powerful equipment is key when


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Ditch Witch

f you feel like you’re unable to hire workers to get the job done, you’re not alone. The 2021 Green Industry Benchmark Report found that attracting and retaining employees is still the most frequently cited issue in the green industry, with more than 70% of landscapers reporting difficulties in finding employees in their industry. While the industry comes together to find solutions to attract and retain employees, an easy and immediate step you can take to compensate for a lack of workers is to make sure you are maximizing use of your equipment.

With smaller crews and growing demand, many landscapers are taking on two or three different jobs in a day, so machines with more power will keep crews efficient, leading to higher profits.

there is less manpower on the jobsite. Machines with more power can fill the gaps by lifting loads that would otherwise require three or four workers. Machines that can pick up and transport more weight reduce the time spent loading or unloading materials from trucks, ultimately helping crews move more quickly through a project.

Tip 3: Versatility is a Crew’s Best Friend

Versatile machines are growing in popularity with landscapers. A versatile machine offers landscapers the ability to take on multiple different jobs with one machine by using its different attachments. Plus, having just one machine on-site reduces transportation headaches and keeps

MARCH 2022

jobsites from being congested. For example, an operator can take one machine on a job, load, dig or move material with a backhoe attachment, swap out to a trenching attachment to dig an irrigation line and then attach a bucket to remove dirt and then restore the ground with a box rake attachment. Demand for landscape work is expected to stay strong despite the unknown longevity of the labor shortage. This means landscape professionals will need equipment that is easy to learn, safe to operate and innately efficient, while delivering the power and versatility needed to get multiple jobs done, even with a small crew.

Brant Kukuk

Product Manager Ditch Witch

2/21/22 10:14 AM


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DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY: Incorporating New Hardscaping Concepts for a Cohesive Backyard


he demand for outdoor living products remains high, meaning contractors are booked months (or even years) in advance. With multiple projects lined up to complete in 2022 and beyond, it’s critical contractors and crews stay up to date on design trends and product and equipment updates to keep themselves on track. Today, outdoor living is part of daily life, and these spaces are used for a variety of functions and activities. Knowing this, there are some key design concepts and products to consider when working on outdoor living plans as peak season approaches.

Mixed Materials: Blending Landscapes, Hardscapes

The industry is seeing a huge shift in outdoor design to incorporate more mixed materials. Hardscapes and landscapes are blending in what is known as entangled or biophilic design. This style uses true natural elements or materials that mimic nature to create a more organic look and feel. Entangled design comes to life through many different design options and techniques. A few common methods can be used to achieve this modern, natural style with hardscapes. • Fading: Likely the most common, the fading technique allows hardscapes to blend into turf or grass. This creates an

effect that appears as if vegetation has “broken” into these surfaces, which can help soften the space and achieve a very pleasing natural aesthetic. • Outcropping: Burying large stone boulders or outcroppings into PebbleTec the landscaping Water features come in an array of options, from more provides an traditional fountain styles to copper and stone water bowls, intriguing visual which can be integrated with fire features and planters. effect, making both the hardscapes and landscape appear as features blend into entangled design, if they are woven around these features. creating a modern yet timeless aesthetic. Overall deck designs have shifted to • Formal inset: While this can be include curved decks that have a more considered a standard design, it still organic flow. Using composite decking, creates a beautiful effect. Formal contractors can create a variety of insets, curved or angular, in the curved designs — from curved edges to paved surface, maintain a classic circular decks and even intricate shapes. look but still allow for the inclusion of natural elements like trees, plants or even a water feature. Creating Cohesive Designs • Stepping Stone: The stepping As contractors head into their busier stone technique is becoming more seasons, the shift in how customers and more popular, especially think about outdoor living today around pool designs. Pavers are should be top of mind. With the rise set in a stepping stone pattern and in entangled design and the need integrated with real grass or turf. for increased functionality, it’s more In addition, new products and textures important than ever for designers, are becoming popular to enhance contractors and their teams to look at the biophilic design and offer more visual “big picture” of their projects and ensure interest to a designs are as cohesive as possible. project. Natural wood and stone Joe Raboine in patios, decks Director of Residential and other outdoor Hardscapes elements help these Belgard


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Equipment You Need. Prices You'll Dig. Attachments, parts, and more

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Upgrading Your Commercial Equipment


his year is expected to be one of growth for lawn and landscaping businesses. Homeowners have been more focused on their outdoor spaces since the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns began, paving the way for increased jobs for lawn and landscaping companies. The $115.6 billion industry is set to grow by at least 0.9% in 2022,

landscaping workforce shortage has only increased in recent years, as demand for its services has also risen. This has led business owners to rethink the jobs they take on and the work they complete. Many lawn and landscapers are becoming more selective in the work they accept, taking on fewer, but larger and more profitable jobs — and adding more efficient equipment in the process. As lawn and landscaping businesses grow with the increase in work available, many contractors may need better equipment and may be wondering what machines to upgrade to. Many are looking for more efficient and powerful mowers that can help them complete large jobs faster with fewer workers. Green Industry Pros asked several manufacturers what mid-size and heavy-duty mowers they would recommend to small businesses looking to improve their fleet. “In today’s workforce and overall environment, machine and operational efficiency are more important than ever,” says Ron Scheffler, senior product manager for Doosan Bobcat North America. “Owners and operators are still up against limited hours in the day and limited seasons, but they are challenged now on having to do more with less.”

according to at IBIS World, after an already busy 2021. Jobber’s most recent financial news, for example, shows revenue growth for lawn and landscaping contractors increased 14% in 2021 and work is expected to continue its upward trend in 2022. More work is great if there are enough employees to do it all. The lawn and

Adding Productivity

At Ferris, a division of Briggs & Stratton, engineers consider contractor productivity when designing machines, says David Dwight, senior director, Husqvarna


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MARCH 2022

 Husqvarna’s 500L series is considered its premium commercial class mower.

2/21/22 2:29 PM

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John Deere


Doosan Bobcat


product management  The Deere Z955R EFI zero-turn mower at Briggs & Stratton. is designed to reduce fuel costs. “Productivity remains a key factor for moving between jobs faster contractors today as they face staffing will increase productivity. issues and increased demands on 4. Increased fuel capacity: their limited time,” he says. “So, any Having a mower with a contractor looking to upgrade their larger fuel tank means equipment, be it a zero turn, a tractor, less fuel stops and stand-on or walk-behind, should keep more time cutting. productivity in mind. And productivity 5. Operator comfort: is a factor of a few elements coming The easier it is for the together: What kind of maintenance operator to maneuver downtime can I expect from a given equipment comfortably, machine? Size of cutting deck and the more productive they groundspeed certainly contribute can be, Dwyer says. to productivity but they go and-inAnother way to increase hand with operator comfort.” Ferris’ suspension system, for example, productivity is to reduce the need for refueling, is designed to improve operator comfort says Nick Minas, product and allow for faster and longer mows. manager at John Deere Many Ferris mowers use the Vanguard Commercial Mowing. Oil Guard system, Dwight says. “Features like the Vanguard Oil Guard Electronic fuel injection (EFI) engines are found on several of our units means that becoming increasingly a mower can go 500 hours between oil common in commercial changes, resulting in less downtime for mowers, which is the routine maintenance,” he says. “Even case for Deere’s Z955R the configuration of the fuel tanks on EFI ZTrak Zero-Turn some of our equipment results in fewer Mower, launched in 2019. stops for refueling throughout the day.” “We have seen continued Sean Dwyer, global product manager growth of machines at Husqvarna suggests there are five equipped with EFI factors to consider when thinking about upgrading to a higher production mower. engines in this space,” says Minas. “Uptime “There are five things we feel and fuel-efficiency will improve productivity to help continue to be top grow the business,” he says.  The Bobcat ZT3500 Zero-Turn Mower is built concerns of professional Those factors are: with a Kawasaki FX-series engine. landscape contractors, 1. Better performing and wider “The commercial mowing industry driving manufacturers cutting deck: Productivity is all about is very dynamic, and there are several to develop more solutions for achieving a clean cut and even clipping trends that we expect will continue equipment, such as EFI engines.” dispersal on the first pass. If you need over the next few years,” Minas says. The 29-HP EFI engine on the John to double cut to make things look good, “New technology entering the market Deere Z955R EFI model reduces fuel your productivity is lost, he says. is appealing to customers, as it provides use and boosts fuel savings, he says. 2. Premium commercial engines: Highnew solutions to common problems, “The Z955R EFI also supports quality commercial engines with higher such as operator comfort and machine the growing demand for higher horsepower will increase productivity uptime. As we debut new products and horsepower EFI machines, along and typically have features like highdevelop new offerings, business owners with the comfort features found in capacity air filters to increase engine and landscaping professionals should our R-spec models,” Minas says. life and reduce maintenance costs. strive to identify new ways to increase EFI engines are only the tip 3. Efficient drive system: Although productivity and decrease downtime.” of the iceberg when it comes to ground speed while cutting will always Another example of an EFI mower mower technology, he says. be at the mercy of the grass conditions,

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COVER STORY offers light kits and a two-speed lever for its ZT7000 series. <s></s> “The ZT7000’s Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 hydrostatic transaxle drive system delivers maximum output and torque, featuring a twospeed operation that delivers transport speeds up to 19 mph,” Scheffler says. “This feature is exceptional and allows owners to go from job to job quickly without having to move their truck or trailer. That time savings can add up to significant productivity.”


is Ferris’ ISX 3300. Dwight says it’s the most productive gas powered zero-turn in the company’s lineup. The 3300 includes ForeFront Suspension for a smoother ride and provides more precise tracing of the terrain, leading to an improved cut. “Its 11 gallons of fuel capacity and groundspeeds of up to 12 mph ensure that the ISX 3300 is all about getting work done,” he says. “Plus, select models feature powerful EFI-ETC technology for easy starting and smooth, consistent productivity.” Doosan Bobcat’s mowers have several features for contractors to consider when they need more productivity from their machines, Scheffler says. For one, the Doosan Bobcat AirFX deck has a vacuum lift that allows grass to stand up before it reaches the blades. “The newly engineered, bolt-on, replaceable Air-Gap baffles provide more efficient airflow, which generates a cleaner deck at the end of the day,” he says. “This allows the landscaper to spend more time mowing and less time cleaning up.” Doosan Bobcat also

Reducing Maintenance Downtime

Maintenance issues are no joke and have a real impact on a contractor’s bottom line. Frequent maintenance problems can affect the number of jobs a contractor can take on and stall a business’ growth. It’s best if machine parts are easily accessible for repairs when needed, and the time between servicing mowers can be extended. Deere has an extensive dealer network to help service machines when repairs are needed. “John Deere NEVERSTOP Service and Support provides landscape contractors with the solutions needed to keep their fleets up and running, allowing them to focus on the important things, like growing their businesses,” Minas says. “When it comes to parts, we know you want choices, so John Deere has a complete portfolio of OEM and aftermarket part options.” Ferris


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 KIOTI stand-on, zero-turn mowers have 24 horsepower Kawasaki engines.

MARCH 2022

Contractors should prioritize serviceability in the mowers they are considering, says Steven Benedict, turf care product manager at KIOTI Tractor.

Operator Comfort Leads to More Profits

Each manufacturer stressed the importance of operator comfort in relation to job productivity. Not only do ergonomic features reduce operator fatigue, they help retain workers. “Operator comfort is something winning contractors are starting to think about more and more as they try to get as many productive hours as they can on a machine in a day,” Ferris’ Dwight says. “Operator comfort matters whether it is an owner operator contractor or if the contractor is trying to be an employer of choice for the mower operator.”

For New Owners and Beginners

Lawn and landscaping looking to upgrade to better-quality equipment that may come at a higher price point, there are many options. Many contractors start their businesses with used or new mowers in the $5,000 range. As they pick up more jobs and need to add or improve equipment, there are several models available in  The Ferris FW25 walk-behind. the $7,000-$10,000

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on s. s

Thick decks. Powerful engines. All-day comfort. DEWALT® commercial mowers are prepared to tackle the toughest jobs as soon as they’re off your trailer. These mowers feature Kawasaki® engines, thick tubular steel frames and automotive-inspired accents to keep you comfortable from job to job. And it’s all backed by industry-leading warranties. So, when it is your name on the truck, trust the name that’s been on the jobsite for 100 years.

hat e

© 2022 DEWALT. DEWALT® and GUARANTEED TOUGH® are registered trademarks of the DEWALT Industrial Tool Co. All rights reserved.

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COVER STORY range that can make a difference in quality, productivity and fuel savings. Doosan Bobcat’s Scheffler recommends the ZT3500 model for contractors new to the industry, who are looking for solid but affordable equipment with which to start. “It’s built with steel fabricated spindles, easy serviceability and a powerful Kawasaki FX-series engine,” he says. “This is a smaller, compact, sit-down commercial product, where owners can get into tight areas with more maneuverability. This model lets an owner get more items on their trailer at a lower price point. Overall, this is a great and efficient machine for a landscaper owner/operator.” KIOTI’s ZXC zero-turn-radius mowers line includes nine riding models built for a variety of commercial mowing needs. Models feature traveling speeds of 9-10 mph and include Briggs & Stratton, Kohler or Kawasaki engines, combined with Hydro-Gear transmissions. Owners can choose from 48-, 54- or 60-inch mower decks, each with a fabricated, reinforced 10-gauge steel deck and standard notch blades. The 12.5-gallon fuel capacity requires less frequent refueling. “The seat and deck lift lever positioning ensures the mowers comfortably

accommodate users of all builds, and optimized control connections and linkages create a precise and responsive driving experience,” Benedict says. Dwight says the Ferris FW25 comes with several important features, namely its PTO switch. The switch allows the operator to stop the blades without cutting the engine. The FW25 has a 10-gauge steel deck that comes in 36- or 48-inch widths. “(The PTO switch) is an ideal timesaving and convenience feature for when you need to walk away from the mower to move an obstacle or piece of debris,” he says. Toro Mid-Size ProLine mowers have easy-to-use controls, making them a quick study for new employees. Prolines come with Kawasaki FS engine drives, a bull nose bumper, 18-inch rear wheels and deck sizes go up to 60 inches. Cut height can be adjusted quickly and easily. “The ProLine is a great option for contractors looking to up their game with a reliable and powerful machine that landscape crews love to operate and will deliver a high-quality cut for years to come,” says Jared Nuessen, marketing manager at Toro. Toro recently launched its new Revolution series, which takes two of Toro’s mower platforms — the GrandStand and the Z Master — and added lithiumion battery power technology. “We like to say that the new Toro Z Master Revolution zeroturn mower is big, bad and battery-powered,” Nuessen says. Built on Toro’s commercial-grade Z Master 4000 Series frame and Turbo Force deck, the new Toro Z Master Revolution includes the company’s patented MyRIDE suspension system.

Upgrading Your Fleet Lawn and landscaping contractors



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who have been in business for a while and want to upgrade to higher-quality construction, larger fuel capacity, more powerful engines and better rider comfort also have plenty of options in the $10,000 and greater range. The John Deere M and R Series Commercial Walk Behind Mowers feature completely redesigned controls and improved weight distribution, improving operator comfort and requiring less effort to raise the front end of the mower. In addition, the R Series offers 8.5 inches of ground clearance, reducing interference with curbs and the risk of property damage. Agile across various terrains, KIOTI’s new ZXS Series of stand-on zero-turnradius mowers offers efficiency and comfort for all the jobs on your list. Launching in 2022, the series includes two models, the ZXS48 and ZXS54, to choose from. Each model features a 24-horsepower Kawasaki engine with Hydro-Gear transaxles. Choose from 48- or 54-inch mower decks with a fabricated, reinforced steel deck, standard notch blades and a seven-gallon fuel tank that requires less frequent refueling. Removal of the operator pad reveals extra space and access to all serviceable components such as transaxles, drive belt, battery and fuses for painless maintenance and upkeep. Meanwhile, Scheffler says the Doosan Bobcat ZT6100 with its extra features, like a rotating bumper and larger drive wheels for a wider footprint make for an effective mower upgrade. “This model also comes with the option for a <s>l</s> hitch receiver, so as an owner who is growing their business, they would have the option to utilize a tow-behind aerator or other applicable attachments,” he says. “For a top-ofthe-line experience, our 7000 model has an all-new FX1000V Kawasaki EFI engine, which is super-efficient and uses 25% less gas than standard carburetortype engines. And with a 15-gallon fuel capacity, an operator will only have to

The DEWALT DW33 has a large, 33-inch reinforced steel deck.

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Durability isn’t some add-on feature. It’s something that’s built-in from the beginning—in your mower and your game. With USA-grade reinforced steel and components engineered and tested to perform at every turn, it’s Grasshopper you trust when every day is #MowDay. For more, visit





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COVER STORY stop once to get gas during the day.” In Doosan Bobcat’s walk-behind category, Scheffler recommends the company’s new line, WB700, which it soft launched at GIE last year. The three machines in the lineup have 36-inch, 48-inch and 52-inch decks to choose from. “These will be pure commercial

mowers and the warranty will match that of our current commercial product lineup,” he says. “This includes all hydraulic components and our durable, tough deck cutting system with a true floating deck and steel-fabricated spindles. Ergonomics focused on operator comfort, easy to use and easy to control, these units will be great

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for trimming and task work and are excellent complements to our ZT lineup.” Cub Cadet’s PRO Z 900 with EFI engine in either its 60-inch or 72-inch deck size offer the most productivity and comfort, the company says. A 72-inch deck will maximize efficiency, but it’s also too large for some properties, which is why a 60-inch option is available. These units are fitted with Cub Cadet’s largest engines, decks and comfort features to reduce operator fatigue, like an air-ride seat that adjusts to the operator’s personal preference. This line of mowers comes in both lap bar and steering wheel options, the latter gives the operator greater control on slopes and hills of up to 20-degrees. Contractors looking to upgrade should consider Grasshopper Horizontal engines and pump-and-wheel-motor drives. Grasshopper model 329B can mow more than 6.5 acres per hour and is a good fit for contractors looking for high-end, high-capacity performance at a practical price point, the company says. Model 329B includes a 29 horsepower Vanguard Big Block horizontal crankshaft engine and 16cc pump-and-wheel-motor hydrostatic transmission system. DuraMax cutting decks are available in 52-inch or 61-inch widths and constructed with formed and welded U.S.-grade seven-gauge steel, double-layered with 10-gauge steel across the spindle plane. DuraMax decks feature 8-inch spindles, 5.5-inch cutting chambers and ¼-inch MARBAIN blades. The operator station and multi-point integrated suspension system provides improved comfort, although contractors can upgrade to Grasshopper’s to a higher-grade suspension seat, as well as DuraFlex suspension forks for the front caster tires. Husqvarna says the 500L series is an exceptional value in the “premium” commercial class and like the Z400XS series, is available with a 54-inch or 60-inch deck. Along with a higher strength chassis and heavier duty construction throughout, it also features rugged Hydro-Gear ZT5400 transmissions

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wi T Z-



with ground speed up to 12 mph. Toro’s upgrade mower of choice is its Z-Master 4000 HDX Pro. The mower includes a 31




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horsepower Kawasaki FX921V engine, heavy-duty commercial grade hydros, semi-pneumatic caster tires, 24-inch Turf Tires and a 52-inch, sevengauge, high-strength steel Turbo Force cutting deck. Other features include an hour meter, USB ports, phone holder, and a cup holder. There are many different choices in the $7,000-$10,000 price range in various styles. Manufacturers have several commercial models in stand-on and zero-turn styles. For example, the DEWALT X554 stand-on was built with commercial specifications, such as the 26 horsepower Kawasaki FT EFI engine, a Cub Cadet

12cc Hydro-Gear pump and Parker Wheel motor transmission. Meanwhile, Grasshopper recommends model 226V-G4 for contractors looking to upgrade from an entrylevel zero-turn mower. Powering the model 226V-G4 is a Vanguard 26 horsepower vertical crankshaft engine and a HydroGear ZT-4400 transaxle hydrostatic transmission system. New technologies are constantly emerging in the mower market. For instance, Cub Cadet has launched its SurePath model, which is a semiautonomous mower. It’s designed for a more accurate cut and to decrease operator fatigue. The online version of this story includes several more models in these categories.


The PRO Z 900 with EFI engine in either Cub Cadet’s 60-inch or 72-inch deck size.

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t starts with an idea. At least, that’s what father and son duo Paul Haden and Jack Haden of landscape architecture firm C2 Collaborative in San Clemente, Calif., tell us. And with 40 years in the business and clients scattered all over the world, who are we to argue? C2 Collaborative provides landscape architectural services for a variety of projects, from custom estate homes and masterplan communities and resorts to commercial/retail, residential and sensitive habitat programs. The company’s approach is to join in an active partnership with clients in the design process. The Hadens are not only landscape and architectural designers; they’re also self-proclaimed visionaries. “My end goal is that when you walk into those spaces, you smile,” Paul says. “You smile because you feel welcome, engaged, comforted and included. We want to invoke an emotional reaction.” C2 Collaborative’s vast portfolio does just that. The company takes pride in their planned use and reuse of spaces. Just take a look at C2 Collaborative’s Miralon project in Palm Springs, Calif. Miralon was originally supposed to be a residential community set on a golf course. When C2 Collaborative purchased the property, the Hadens


knew they wanted to give the community a new purpose. The way they see it, golf courses are a dime a dozen in Palm Springs. “We came up with different ideas, but ultimately landed on planting 7,000 olive trees in the golf course fairways,” Jack explains. “Instead of a golf course, now you live on a working agrihood or a farm where the olives can be picked,

refined and turned into olive oil on site for the residents and to benefit the HOA. You can now walk through the olive groves, which were golf cart paths before.” Spanish, Italian and California species of olive trees can be found throughout the Miralon agrihood. An agrihood is a play on “agriculture” and “neighborhood,” where a residential community is set on a foodproducing property. Agrihoods are significantly more environmentally friendly than golf courses in terms of water use and farming. In the midst of California’s water shortages and conservation efforts, it has never been

An agrihood is a play on “agriculture” and “neighborhood,” where a residential community is set on a food-producing property. Agrihoods are significantly more environmentally friendly than golf courses in terms of water use and farming. C2 Collaborative


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 Miralon was originally supposed to be a residential community set on a golf course. When C2 Collaborative purchased the property, the Hadens wanted to give the community a new purpose. The way they see it, golf courses are a dime a dozen in Palm Springs, Calif. C2 Collaborative




a e ter

more important to be environmentally conscious in designing landscapes. According to Iowa State University, which specializes in agriculture and has experts who study agricultural communities, agrihoods are an offshoot of residential demand for more gathering places, walking paths and community connectedness in subdivision design. The most common agrihoods are those that range in size from 100 to 1,000 homes, with significant land set aside for farm and protected environmental areas, according to Iowa State. Sometimes agrihoods are created in upscale neighborhoods, other times they are built in low-income and senior citizen urban areas. Agrihoods are often built around farms that have been in the same family for generations. “The olive grove is going to have a community impact, too,” Paul

adds. “They’re going to donate some of their products and proceeds to community-based groups that are in need in and around the Palm Springs area for public benefit.” Miralon is now described as a place where “modern new homes in Palm Springs blend with parks, miles of trails and olive groves in a prime desert location.” The community includes 97 acres of open space. As with any great design, it’s important to see it through to the end result. “One of my favorite parts of the process is when it’s getting built,” Paul says. “We’re a very hands-on group. We’ll go out in the field and work with the contractors and will direct where things go, make sure they’re following the plans or see if we need to make some field adjustments.”

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Both Jack and Paul attribute much of their success to their employees. “As father and son team, it is a very personal practice and that’s why our employees love working here,” Jack says. “We do have fun, but we work hard. We have a lot of great creatives here.” The company has been certified by Great Place to Work, a business that’s been grading workplace culture since 1992. An example of this workplace culture is how C2 Collaborative hosts events where former workers share their knowledge and experience with current employees. “How we we treat, mentor and work with our our employees is different than than some other offices that we’ve heard of,” Jack adds. C2 Collaborative’s success has given them a reputation across continents. Their designs can be found in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt and Costa Rica, among other countries. As for the future of C2 Collaborative, Paul maintains a positive outlook with his son, Jack, as president. Paul plans to continue working at the company for a few more years, but is happy to sit back and watch his company thrive. “For me, I’m getting to see my firm transition from first generation ownership to a new generation and see where it goes from here,” Paul says. “It’s pretty darn exciting.”

Paul Haden

founder, C2 Collaborative. C2 Collaborative

Jack Haden

president, C2 Collaborative. C2 Collaborative

MARCH 2022


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©Halfpoint –

WHY LAWN CARE BUSINESSES ARE PRIMED FOR MARKET CONSOLIDATION While growth may be the case for a number of lawn care companies, it’s not necessarily the future of every lawn care business. In fact, more so than perhaps most other industries, lawn care is primed for market consolidation.


emand for home improvement and lawn care services have spiked as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and according to a recent report, landscapers specifically saw a nearly 46% increase. And while demand shows no sign of slowing down, especially as we near the start of lawn care season, a primary conversation driver is how business owners are prepared to scale and grow. While growth may be the case for a number of these companies, it’s not necessarily the future of every lawn care business. In fact, more so than perhaps most other industries, lawn care is primed for market consolidation.


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Most Businesses In The Space See Return Customers There is a longstanding misconception that lawn care maintenance should only take place in spring. Ensuring a healthy, green lawn beyond just the spring and summer months requires consistent maintenance and essential services — such as aeration and overseeding — timed throughout the course of the year, every year. Lawn care businesses have repeat customers annually, as well as multiple touchpoints and opportunities to upsell customers throughout the year. This built-in, annualized

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audience is attractive to potential acquirers because of the high potential for not just customer acquisition, but also retention and recurring revenue.

Flow of Repeat Customers According to a new study, 75% of homeowners said their outdoor space was indispensable during the pandemic. And with more Americans spending time working, parenting and learning from home than ever before, they are prioritizing improving their homes and putting funds behind those improvements. In fact, the same study found that more than 50% of Americans spent more than $1,900 on improvements. With a greater focus on home improvements, coupled with the ongoing maintenance required by homeowners, businesses experienced a slew of return customers who not only wanted services, but needed them.

Looking For An Exit Strategy According to recent data, nearly 60% of small businesses lack succession plans. As older generations look for an exit strategy, there are fewer people available to not only do the job but take over the business. Reports indicate there has been a steady decline in people willing or wanting to work in a skilled labor profession for years. Despite the soaring demand across home services industries, as well as increased wages to incentivize applicants, there is still a gap between business demand and eager workers that stems from a generational gap in education. Millennials and Gen Z didn’t necessarily grow up with the same trade programs early in their academic career as older generations and were instead encouraged to pursue higher education. Without much buy-in from younger

generations to own a lawn service company as leadership ages out of the industry, consolidation by a likeminded business may be one of the only remaining profitable options. The pandemic has highlighted lawn care businesses as a worthy investment. Whether your company is being acquired or are doing the acquiring, owners must understand that either decision will likely result in a business shift that is meaningful for their specific trajectory. And given that home service businesses — and lawn care companies in particular — are in high demand by consumers with no sign of slowing down in the near future, now is the time to decide if you’re considering either of these paths.

Hetal Engineer

Director, SBA Sales The Bancorp Bank



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with Job Costing and Estimating Software

Modern fleet management software


e get it; the pen, paper and filing cabinet you have been using for over a decade haven’t steered you wrong yet, but the more time you are spending in your office instead of at a jobsite, you are losing money. Based on a recent survey, more and more lawncare and landscaping contractors are using software to help manage their businesses. Job costing and estimating software in particular can help manage a company’s costs and improve revenues. Job costing and estimating functionality is offered in many all-in-one software systems that landscapers use to help run almost all aspects of their business. In this day-in-age, if you aren’t using software to better streamline your business development, then you have fallen behind your biggest competitors. Let’s break down the basics of what this software does, how it can benefit your business, the cost and which software may be best for you.


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What Does Job Costing Accomplish?

If you want to get a better grasp on profitability, it all begins with accurate job costing. This is the process of reviewing all associated costs on a job. For landscapers, there are a few main cost categories that are important to track: • Materials: All materials associated with the job, such as pavers, mulch, gravel, etc. • Labor: Every hour that every employee spends on the job, including the drive time, site prep and clean up, as well as subcontractor labor costs. • Equipment: Include purchase cost, repair maintenance and any rental equipment. • Overhead expenses: Rent, supplies, utilities, advertising and other costs. This is a lot to track. As a business owner, you’re tasked with not only running the business, but also making sure it’s profitable.

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“With our virtual estimating feature, users can respond to customer inquiries with accurate estimates within minutes from any location, at any time of day, in any weather, increasing the chances of closing the sale and eliminating the need to visit a property in-person to measure and estimate,” says Tim Robinson, COO of WorkWave, which produces Real Green Lite.


Benefits of Job Costing

In case you don’t believe job costing is important or benefits your company, ask yourself which jobs are earning and which are losing? Job costing software can help you as a business owner plan for your company’s future based on the answers to those questions. In other words, you can make adjustments that can help increase your company’s revenue and ensure profitable jobs. This will help you decide whether you need to raise prices. Job costing software can help you decide if equipment requires too much maintenance, or if a client is costing more than they bring in. Take a look at your day-to-day tasks and what goals you have for your crews and your business. Some marks have to be hit for your company to make a profit. The best way to increase revenue is by establishing team goals and track the results with job costing software. If you don’t know what you need to do to make a profit, then it’s difficult to increase revenues. In other words, you’re doing the work, but can’t be sure whether that work is generating profit? The software will relieve you of this guessing game by providing you with

Modern fleet maintenance software

real data on estimated costs and actual costs and where you can make changes.

marketing, and public relations • Fleet management software

How Much Does it Cost?

Features to Consider


Here comes the million-dollar question: how much does it cost? The answer depends on what you are looking for, but the cost doesn’t have to break the bank. The total cost will depend on the size of your company and the features you need. According to, 9% of small business’s revenue is spent on information technology, while medium-sized businesses spend 4% and large companies spend 3%. This price is dependent on your crew size and the number of software systems you subscribe to. For software, you have to calculate the amount it costs per user per month. The good news is that many platforms allow for a free or discounted trial period so you can determine if it is going to be of benefit to you and your business. According to, businesses need the following software: • Accounting software • Time tracking software • Project management software • Customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage customer relationships • Communication software • Payment transaction software to make payments online • Software for sales,

Real Green Lite Software

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Don’t neglect the other aspects of your business, however. There are software features such as fleet management, CRM features, and more that can be offered in its individual software or be featured in all-in-one software that offers multiple business management features. “Fleetio provides value in many areas to landscaping business owners/ contractors, the biggest being vehicle and equipment tracking, in addition to maintenance,” says Ashlee Biggs, head of marketing at Fleetio. “Specifically, our customers tell us they value the ability to easily perform daily vehicle inspections from their mobile phones, create work orders to capture needed maintenance for vehicles, as well as integrate the data from their existing GPS/telematics providers into Fleetio.” Software is consistently being redesigned and innovated to better fit the needs of landscapers in the industry and with that, are more allin-one platforms and software that offer more than one function with the feedback of its end users. when choosing the right software for your business. “With Real Green Lite, users can run every aspect of their business including scheduling, routing, invoicing, payments and even customer communications, from any device, any location, 24/7,” says Robinson.

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SOLUTIONS for the Green Industry T

he time, money and effort you spend creating a beautiful landscape is all for nothing if pests make their way onto the property. What’s worse, many pest control solutions contain harsh chemicals that can eat away at landscape plantings and become harmful to welcomed wildlife. Luckily, you have options. SiteOne’s “Green Treatments” webinar hosted by Pat Ryan of Pesticide Distribution & Marketing outlined the potential hazards of traditional outdoor pest treatments and introduced green alternatives. For example, chemical run-off into lakes and streams or winds carrying sprayable treatments past their intended target areas can damage plants and animals, present health hazards for humans or become


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ineffective as their target area was not met. In addition, using the wrong pesticide or treatment can be detrimental to people, wildlife and the landscape while being a waste of time and money. That’s why the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) stresses the importance of properly identifying the pest you are dealing with before applying pest management solutions. The best way to get rid of pests, though, is by preventing them in the first place. Being aware of what attracts pests can be crucial in avoiding infestations. Standing water, access to food and overgrown yards bring critters and insects of all kinds, including mosquitos and mice. Mice are a pest on their own, but they are not the main problem. Mice are often riddled with tick larvae and can spread ticks as they run through your

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Focus Finder/Adobe Stock

©Victor –

yard and even your home. Ticks and mosquitos can be deadly to humans as they are carriers of diseases and difficult to control. Preventing these pests from breeding and thriving on your property is the most effective form of pest control. Today’s pest control laws have made it possible to effectively treat for pests without damaging the surrounding environment. The new legislation dictates the proximity of sprayable pesticides to bodies of water or homes, prohibits the use of harsh chemicals in sensitive areas where humans or wildlife would endure the effects and, perhaps most effective, introduced green

alternative pest control solutions. Remember to use safety protocols and use the least toxic methods first when applying pesticides and insecticides. It’s also helpful to inform home and business owners of any problem areas that could be attracting pests, such as overgrown yards, clutter, leaf piles or overly damp spots. Green pest management solutions include: 25b Plant Oil Products: • 25b plant oil products are pesticides made with ingredients deemed safe for people and the environment. • Effective against mosquitos. • Low-odor formula, gentle on equipment. • Fast-acting; immediate pest paralysis followed by death. • Biodegradable, can be used near water. EcoVia EC and MT • EcoVia EC is a botanical insecticide used to treat many crawling and flying insects. • EcoVia MT is used specifically for mosquito and tick control. • Available in dissolving blocks, sprays, dusts and granules. • Effective against mosquitoes, ticks, roaches and more. • Approved for all treatment zones.

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BurrowRX • BurrowRX is a carbon monoxide device that uses a smoke oil tracer for controlling burrowing rodents. • Dry ice formula fills rat burrows with CO2. • Kills rats within three minutes. • Rats also carry ticks, so both pests are taken care of with one solution. Rodents Stop • Rodent Stop is a barrier paste to rodentproof a home or business. • Pet friendly. • Natural solutions, no poisons. Pro-Pell • Pro-Pell is an all-natural repellent that is not easily washed off of surfaces such as sidewalks. • Uses essential oils to deter pests. • Cannot be smelled by humans, but effective against mice for up to 60 days. • All-natural repellent. Thermacell Tick Tubes • Thermacell Tick Tubes are a no spray, pet-safe, biodegradable and environmentally friendly way to kill deer ticks. • Tubes filled with permethrin-cured cotton for mice to add to nests. • Tick larvae is eradicated as mice sleep on the cotton.

MARCH 2022


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REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT Battery-powered equipment is taking the lead in the landscape industry as professionals move away from gas and corded electric.


attery-powered equipment is taking the lead in the landscape and lawn care industry, as many contractors and landscapers are switching their from gas and corded electric to battery-powered. There is no denying the consumer demand for a reduced carbon footprint, and this is the green industry’s contribution to that new standard. “In the past year, we have seen substantial interest in battery-power technology, especially in cities and states where emissions regulations are emerging,” says Nick Moore, director of sales electrification, Briggs & Stratton. “Additionally, advancements in, and awareness of, electric automotives have driven people to take a closer look at batterypowered outdoor power equipment.” There are a many battery-power OPE manufacturers whose equipment is suitable for a professional contractor as would a gas equivalent. This is mostly due to the engineering of the batteries, the voltage of the battery and the amp hours. Several brands offer diverse lines of battery-powered products built for long run times and performance, while also improving existing gasolinepowered products. With new industry standards and bills being passed, there are more reasons why landscapers may


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be interested in switching their fleet to be all-electric. For starters, the overall maintenance cost, lifespan, efficiency and sustainability are not compromised. There may be a larger upfront cost for electric, but does it pay for itself for the long haul?

other engine-related maintenance. Don’t forget these all require proper preparation for the colder months like draining the fuel and using additives.

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How Does it Compare?

There is no denying that gas-powered equipment can be more expensive than almost any battery-powered tool. With gas products, there is more than what meets the eye. According to, products that require gas for power require more maintenance than their electric counterparts. For instance, service on the engine will require replacement filters, spark plug cleaning and

MARCH 2022

Vanguard Lithium Swappable Battery Briggs & Stratton

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ery on

“Price also depends on how much battery power is on board, as well as motor and controller performance levels,” says Moore. Comparing gas to electric, gas might win every time it comes to power. However, battery-powered equipment may have a longer lifespan and better usability. They are lighter overall and do not require as much maintenance. There is almost nothing better than using lighter equipment, reducing operator fatigue and allowing the equipment to perform more jobs before needing any maintenance work. This contributes to efficiency on the jobsite, as well as usability. Where battery-powered equipment may lack power, it makes up in efficiency, usability and sustainability. “With gas-powered equipment, you have to consider the size of the engine in order to accommodate for the maximum load needed to get the job done,” Moore continues.

Let’s not leave out corded electric equipment, as it typically provides more power, but there is always the risk of accidentally unplugging the tool. So, which is going to help get the job done faster? “For instance, Vanguard LithiumIon batteries have a lifespan where after 2,000 cycles you will still have 80% of the original capacity, a cycle being a full discharge and then charge back to 100%. So, over time, your run time will reduce, but it is really up to the user to determine when it gets too low that they may want to replace the battery,” says Moore. To break it down in simple terms, gas-powered tools will provide more output power, which can mean you

@Dmitry Kovaluchuk -

are spending less time cutting a branch or edging the grass. But the equipment is going to be heavier due to the engine inside. This may cause the user to work slower due to fatigue. There is the idea that battery-powered equipment won’t provide as much power, but is that true? We do know that battery equipment gives users freedom to move about the entire jobsite, requires less downtime for maintenance, and are lighter in weight. Lastly, although corded-electric tools provide a


Provides a powerful alternative for professional landscapers who demand versatility and options in power sources.


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EQUIPMENT IN FOCUS comparable amount of power as gas and battery equipment, they do not provide the same usability on a jobsite as they have limited range and there is the risk of accidentally unplugging the tool. As previously mentioned, there is a push for reducing the carbon footprint and there is no better time than now to hop on that bandwagon. The green industry is working to make the equipment contractors need to perform their tasks at each jobsite more efficient and more eco-friendly. Two types of equipment offer this feature and those are the battery-powered and cordedelectric power equipment. Considering all of the limitations that come with a corded-electric tool, it might be outdated for the work and demand of contractors.

New Components and Technologies

Every battery is different, but one trend the industry is seeing is the ability to

monitor the health of the battery. There is no worse timing than to be at the jobsite, working and the battery unexpectedly dies on you. Do you have a replacement? Was that the B r ig replacement? gs & Stra Or will you have tton to try to recharge the battery or use another tool? These are all things that one must consider when getting batterypowered equipment and using it for bigger projects or for multiple projects a day. However, there are ways to combat the unknown and allow yourself as a landscaper an efficient and a completely finished job for




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MARCH 2022

The Vanguard 5kWh Commercial Battery is tested to withstand harsh conditions.

your customers. You can do this with the new batteries in the market. Vanguard batteries also have an inherent battery management system, which helps users monitor the health of a battery and ensure they are maintaining top performance. Make no mistake, there is always room for improvement. Although batteries are constantly being upgraded and created with new features and designs, there are still some limiting factors to consider. For instance, the run-time of battery-powered equipment could use some improvement based on common concern in the industry. “When we are working with OEMs, a concern we hear often is balancing the run-time needed while keeping equipment costs down. Equipment manufacturers want to eliminate a customer’s ‘range anxiety’ without making the machine overly expensive,” Moore says. “As a power solutions provider, we’re helping OEMs find that sweet spot of power and cost efficiencies as the electrification market grows.”


There are many misconceptions about batteries. Users may be concerned about battery life, efficiency, power and on topic of sustainability,

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When to Switch

According to Moore, landscape professionals will most likely make a complete switch to battery-powered equipment when some of those limiting factors are improved, such as the run times, cost factors, as well as regulations and restrictions. Other benefits that will be considered will be the benefits to end-users, like reduced noise levels and lower vibration and improved operator comfort. More and more, users are becoming comfortable with electrified products and their ability to meet needs on the jobsite. “As a power solutions provider that offers both battery and engine products, we’re constantly evaluating the state of the industry and listening to the feedback and needs of our customers. We are closely working with OEMs, understanding their pain points and offering solutions that help them do their job and be successful in a world with changing demands,” Moore continues. “Wherever the industry takes us, Briggs & Stratton and Vanguard will be there to offer powerful products our OEMs and their customers can count on.”

Briggs & Stratton

whether or not the batteries are recyclable, and they are by the way. Many consumers are misinformed about the current batteries offered in the market. “There’s been this misconception around batteries that they offer lower power compared to gasoline-powered engines. In reality, the power a battery can offer oftentimes meets or exceeds the need of the application,” says Moore. “Another misconception is that battery power can’t handle the elements. It’s especially important for the professional landscape audience to understand that today’s battery solutions are built tougher and tested under severe conditions. This ensures the battery can deliver a consistent and powerful performance in harsh environments and applications.” So, how does battery equipment compare to gas or corded electric? One might say that it’s an overall better option.

Landscape professionals will most likely make a complete switch to batterypowered equipment when some of those limiting factors are improved, such as the run times, cost factors, as well as regulations and restrictions. Other benefits that will be considered will be the benefits to end-users, like reduced noise levels and lower vibration and improved operator comfort.

HOSES THAT WORK AS HARD AS YOU DO Municipal and commercial landscaping jobs are no easy task. When you need to tackle mulch and straw blowing, and leaf vacuuming, let our industrial hoses handle the load. • Extremely abrasion resistant • Excellent flexibility • High tear strength


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NEW PRODUCTS Takeuchi TB20e Electric Compact Excavator

STIHL BT 131 Earth/Ice Auger

The TB20e is the first Takeuchi batterypowered machine in a line of electric products being developed. Similar in performance to Takeuchi’s diesel-powered TB216 compact excavator, the TB20e is 100% batterypowered with zero exhaust emissions and reduced noise/vibration levels. When fully charged, the TB20e offers a continuous working time ranging from four to eight hours, depending on the application and environment. The excavator has an operating weight of 4,255 pounds, a bucket capacity of 1.34 cubic feet and a primary auxiliary flow of 9 gpm. Maximum reach is 13 feet, 4 inches. and maximum digging depth is 7 feet, 10.1 inches. The TB20e also features a comfortable operator’s station with a color display. Read More:


The STIHL BT 131 earth/ice auger has a fuel-efficient engine and a larger fuel tank than previous models; this auger works longer with fewer refuels. It also includes a vertical-pleated air filter for better air filtration, extended service intervals and increased product life. Its semi-automatic choke lever enables a simplified starting procedure that helps pros get to the job faster, while the STIHL Quickstop auger brake stops operation if the bit is snagged.

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Key Features: • Low-emission engine (36.3 cc) with a larger fuel tank (710 cc) • 30% longer run times than previous model • Low rpm (200 rpm) • The brake locks the clutch, allowing users to manually unscrew the auger from the hole. Read More:




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Offer your rental customers a cost effective solution for their landscaping and construction projects with the RockVac. The self-powered machine will vacuum rocks, wood chips and shavings, sand, gravel, leaves, compost, mud, sludge, glass and debris. Fill a wheelbarrow in less than 3 minutes!

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Altoz TRX tracked zero-turn mowers are an ideal solution for municipalities, solar fields, water retention ponds, fruit orchards/ groves or anywhere the terrain gets challenging. The TRX lets you safely and efficiently mow where traditional zero-turn mowers struggle, or simply cannot reach. Altoz’s patented track system with rear torsional axle suspension provides a smooth ride, maximum stability and minimal ground disturbance.

2100 MAX PSI 1.2 GPM† 13 Amp Electric Jobsite Pressure Washer Designed with internal storage capability to stow and retrieve the included wand and nozzles, the unit has a frame for stacking and is three times smaller when stored in the closed position. Weighing 24 pounds (tool only), its compact design allows the unit to be stored vertically or horizontally and includes multiple grab points for loading and unloading, wheels for ease of movement and a retractable handle for hassle-free mobility. Accessories include a 25 foot high pressure hose, turbo nozzle for up to 2.4 times cleaning width, 15º nozzle, 40º nozzle, a soap nozzle, wand with nozzle storage and a built-in removable soap tank for projects that require detergent for a full clean.

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1.800.841.3989 •

©2022 Rotary Corporation. Rotary is a registered trademark of Rotary Corporation. Available through servicing dealers & distributors.









866-537-6168 •

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INFOGRAPHIC Green Industry Pros recently surveyed readers like you on a variety of topics. We asked about technologies, software and products readers plan to have on their trailers in 2022. Here are their top answers.



Handheld Power Equipment


Landscape Lighting




Compact Construction Equipment


Hand Tools


Biologicals, Organics




Lawn Aerators








Water Features, Pond Products


Hardscape Materials


Business Management Software


Debris Blowers & Loaders, Power Rakes, Vacuums


Design Software




Fleet Tracking, Routing Software





Battery Powered Blowers


Battery Powered Blowers


Job Costing & Estimating


Battery Powered Trimmers


Battery Powered Trimmers


Labor & HR


Battery Powered Chainsaw


Battery Powered Chainsaw


Fleet Management


Equipment Trackers


Equipment Trackers




Battery Powered Mowers


Battery Powered Mowers


Training & Education


Battery Powered Edgers


Battery Powered Edgers




Smart Sensors






Robotic Mowers


Robotic Mowers


Smart Sensors


respondents not % ofusing advanced tech

in their operations today


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respondents not % ofadding technology in

their operations in 2022



of respondents not using any of the listed software options in their business

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ADVANTAGE. 3 Next day delivery 3 Shop 24/7 at 3 FREE tech support 3 Flexible payment options 3 Over 9,500 outdoor power equipment parts

We build powerful partnerships with independent dealers. Dealers rely on Rotary for guaranteed quality parts, exceptional service and the best value around. Our goal is to build a solid relationship by offering innovative ideas, profitable sales programs and dedicated support from an experienced team of professionals who will make a powerful impact on your business.


Your Partner for Success.

Interested in becoming a Rotary dealer? Visit or call 800.841.3989. ©2022 Rotary Corporation. Rotary is a registered trademark of Rotary Corporation. Available through servicing dealers & distributors. *Next day delivery available in most areas. Delivery time is subject to change and may vary.

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Do more than trim time — shred it. When every landscaping job is different, versatility is the name of the game. John Deere compact excavators and our full line of attachments help you get more done with less. Visit to learn more.

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