Landscape Contractor Manager May- June 2024

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CEO John Murphy


Christine Clancy

Sales Director

Bradley Buchanan


Tom Foster

Advertising Sales Manager Arron Reed 0466 923 194

Production Editor Michelle Alder

Design Cat Zappia


P. +61 3 9690 8766


Copyright Landscape Contractor Magazine is owned by Prime Creative Media and published by John Murphy. All material in Landscape Contractor Magazine is copyright and no part may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (graphic, electronic or mechanical, including information and retrieval systems) without written permission of the publisher. The editor welcomes contributions but reserves the right to accept or reject any material. While every e ort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, Prime Creative Media will not accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published.

The opinions expressed in Landscape Contractor Magazine are not necessarily the opinions of, or endorsed by, the publisher unless otherwise stated. © Copyright Prime Creative Media, 2024.


All articles submitted for publication become the property of the publisher. The editor reserves the right to adjust any article to conform with the magazine format.

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NSW 2065, Australia
+61 2 9439 7227 Contents Features 8. Feature walls 14. Shove it! 20. Geo fabrics on steep grades 24. On the cover: STIHL’s top tools for landscapers this EOFY Regulars 72. Eye on the industry 82. Business and finance 84. Association news 91. Subscribe and win! Focus sections 28. Property maintenance 46. Mini excavators Test Drives 56. LiuGong 9170F ZTS 60. Cub Cadet Ultima ZTXS4 48" Case studies 66. A1 Rubber and Barefoot Projects 68. Sunbrush Australia chooses JCB 70. Cingo and Supergroups For a limited time, get a FREE professional-grade 36v battery with selected STIHL AP battery system tool bundles. SUBSCRIBE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A HUSQVARNA 525iRXT BRUSHCUTTER VALUED AT $1353 RRP CASE STUDIES A1 Rubber Ditch Witch Cingo + JCB TEST DRIVES LiuGong 9170F ZTS Cub Cadet Ultima ZTXS4 48" FEATURES Mini excavators Property maintenance Eye on the industry + Association news SUPERCHARGE YOUR KIT WITH STIHL’S AP BATTERY SYSTEM Tax time! $7.95 inc GST May/June 2024 CONTRACTOR ON THE COVER The Barefoot Projects team designs, estimates and builds visionary landscapes and enduring spaces using A1 Rubber products. Image: Barefoot Projects
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It’s not all about the awards nights, but they’re certainly something to look forward to. Image: LincB/

From the editor

It’s with great pleasure we welcome on board the Master Landscapers of South Australia.

I know there are those among you who, having noticed my eager attendance at various association awards nights, will feel I’m excited at the prospect of a dinner suit, fine dining, and a very pleasant evening with some of the industry’s best professionals.

And who wouldn’t be?

But I can honestly say that has nothing to do with my joy at seeing Master Landscapers of South Australia – MLSA – share its achievements and goals in Landscape Contractor magazine.

Naturally, seeing the magazine grow makes me feel good, and since we’ve been part of Prime Creative Media growth has been a bit of an eye opener. As editor I can

see it measured with great accuracy by the accounts and business-management departments of the company, and while it’s always good to feel I’ll have a job for at least another two months, it’s not the kind of thing that fuels the satisfaction of working on a title like this one.

The real thrill, the honest, inner glow of satisfaction from this magazine, comes from seeing people in the landscaping world in Australia accept Landscape Contractor magazine as part of their working lives, and even more, feeling the mag can help them achieve their goals and work through their di iculties.

Nowhere does that show more, or feel better, then when we’re accepted by an association.

Associations are the backbones of entire

industries, existing to help members excel in their trades and operate in a fair and equitable environment. To be included in that goal is an acknowledgement that we really can help, and that does, I have to say, feel a bit special.

So a huge welcome to MLSA. We can’t begin to tell you how glad we all are to be included in your endeavours.

And if there were a space at a table at an upcoming awards dinner…well…I could check my calendar…

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Feature walls

Marc Worner highlights how, just like their internal counterparts, external feature walls can create a true sense of style and distinction.

Living walls come in all types of designs and many are sold as complete packages, ready for installation, using the plants of your choice. Image: xKas/

Afeature wall can help break up a big space so as to make a cosy nook, frame a large backyard or draw the eye to other interesting aspects of a landscape. It can also be used e ectively to anchor a garden design around a specific theme. Outdoor feature walls should both complement and contrast with other walls outdoors. Try to be more creative and make it more three dimensional than an indoor feature wall.

Reflect a moment

As usual, design is a critical element to good outcomes, so trying to add continuity with the inside of the house is a high priority. To create a sense of continuity and flow between the exterior and interior designs, try using the same materials, textures or colours used on any internal feature walls and floors. If no features exist, you’re only limited by your imagination and your clients’ budget.

Depending on the look you want to achieve or what is already in place, consider which finish will work best for your feature wall – from urban raw concrete to horizontal timber slats, a green wall, textured wall tiles, corrugated steel, brick, Hebel or paintwork.

An outdoor fireplace can create an outdoor feature wall which is dramatic. Image: BlazingDesigns/

TIP: It helps to create the illusion of space in small areas. Mirrors can do wonders.

Living walls

Inset an outdoor fireplace in a wall of the entertainment area and surround it with wood to ceiling height. Playing on its fireplace

setting, you can create an outdoor feature wall which is dramatic. As an added bonus, your clients won’t have to go far for firewood. Let’s say your customers live in an apartment or townhouse and want to add more plants to their home; think about installing a green-wall feature. Living walls


come in all types of designs and many are sold as complete packages, ready for installation, using the plants of your choice. If the green-wall e ect has to happen where it’s unlikely plants will thrive; think about using artificial plants which require next to no maintenance and always look good. Remember though, like artificial turf, you get what you pay for!

TIP: For large or multiple green walls, give serious consideration to sub-contracting out this mini project to a specialist

Stacked stones are widely used to decorate walls, fireplaces, pillars, and water features. Image: knelson20/

company and save your team for other jobs that they do better and protect your financial bottom line.

Looking good

Painting is another cost-e ective way to create your feature wall.

Choose the colour based on the e ect you want to achieve. Australia’s climate is both harsh and diverse, so it’s generally preferable to use lighter colours or reflective finishes to reduce heat absorption. For instance, a warm yellow gives a space the Mediterranean feel.

Turn one bland wall into feature wall with a functional spot for seating and shelter. Built-in seating is practical and can double as storage. It can also be used to visually section o di erent areas. Adding a roof means your owners can enjoy the fresh air whether it’s sunny or raining.

Try dressing up a wall with a designer screen in metal or heavy-duty plastic that come in a myriad of designs from the major hardware chains. Simply attach it to an existing wall or set posts in position and create a feature wall to shield the household garbage or car parking.

More recently, the humble retaining wall has often been turned into a feature wall of using the Gabion technique. That is, a selection of rocks of di erent sizes encased in open-weave galvanised metal cages. It is an ideal way to retain the ground, add usable space while achieving good drainage, and the look is quite industrial. Construction is labour intensive though, because you select both big and smaller rocks and insert them in place according to the heights and widths of your wall.


Horizontal timber slats are a contemporary alternative to standard timber paling fences. They’re a great way to inject natural elements into the urban setting and a simple way to warm up a concrete or rendered space and again section o unsightly areas like garbage storage.

Distressed Oregon timber panels are great for renovating an undercover entertaining

Built from natural stones, stacked-stone cladding comes in various shades, adding a warm ambience to the space. Image: Brad Pict/

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Corrugated steel is an ever-popular cladding option for contemporary homes. Image: iFocus/

area. One example is to use whitewashed timber – which lightens the wood – while the distressed technique allows the natural grain to show through. It’s ideal for beachy, country or industrial design.

Northern Rivers Timber ( o ers reclaimed Oregon boards that come predominantly from milled down ceiling trusses, floor joists and posts and beams. It slices them up, wire brushes them, and attaches them to a ply backing board for easy installation. They are soft, light and display a wide variety of timber grain, and are supplied in planks pre-attached and o set to charcoal painted backing.

TIP: Straight lines make the most of a garden’s minimalist aesthetic and play up to its symmetry.

One idea a lot of landscape designers are incorporating in their external areas is using timber-look tiles for feature walls. Timber cladding is so popular at the moment, however, it can be quite painful to look after over the years. The use of timber-look tiles in feature walls helps create an ambiance of warmth with timber, without the hassle and maintenance headaches of the real thing. The Tile Wizards in Queensland, NSW and South Australia are very supportive of the landscape industry.

The design results using timber for a feature wall are endless depending on the look you want to achieve. It might be a geometric pattern to achieve an art deco feel to an otherwise modern space.

With a barn-like feel, rustic style timber gives any space an instantly lived-in feel. Timber from old fence palings is also cheap

to source and easy to install, making this a highly economical option.

Inset an outdoor fireplace in a wall of the entertainment area and surround it with wood to ceiling height. Playing on its fireplace setting, you can create an outdoor feature wall which is dramatic. As an added bonus, your clients won’t have to go far for firewood. Polishing and lacquering wood adds warmth and a slightly elegant feel.

Curved timber walls are breathtaking. The ultimate combination of form and function, this might be the most interesting way to use timber cladding.


Stacked stones are widely used to decorate walls, fireplaces, pillars, and water features.

Built from natural stones, stacked-stone cladding comes in various shades, ranging


from red to brown to grey, adding a warm ambiance to the space. This design element is being increasingly used near the entry door to homes. Stone tiles, though, are generally one of the more expensive options. However, if you opt for tiles a maximum of 20mm thick, you can easily attach them to external brick, Besser or concrete walls. Simply stack and stagger the natural stone panels and they’ll adhere to each other like tiles. They are actually stone veneers so there is not the weight factor of solid stone.

With the variety of colour and texture available, bricks are also a versatile material to use for a feature wall, and the natural variation in brick can add a one-of-a-kind look. Brick is weatherproof, low maintenance and will last a lifetime.


Corrugated steel is an ever-popular cladding option for contemporary homes. It is

composed of sheets of hot-dip galvanised mild steel, cold-rolled to produce a linear corrugated pattern. It’s versatile, lightweight, weatherproof, fireproof and available in a range of colours. It’s quick and easy to install, and despite being a non-renewable resource, steel is also 100 per cent recyclable, making it a smart choice for anyone building sustainable homes on a budget or wanting the industrial look for their landscape.


Hebel is a lightweight, precast, foam concrete building material that simultaneously provides structure, insulation, fire and mould resistance. Products include blocks, wall and cladding panels.

One of its advantages in construction is its quick and easy installation, because the material can be routed, sanded or cut to size on site using standard carbon steel power tools. Transport costs of large loads is low

because of its light weight.

Hebel can be coated with stucco, plaster compound or cement rendered to guard against the elements or covered with brick or vinyl.

TIP: To really shine a spotlight on new feature walls, install external lights to create the perfect frame for customers’ features at all hours. Lights do wonders for texture and dimension. Let the light wash down it and create a stunning look.

Think about it

So, the next time your customers are looking for bright ideas to add a comfort zone with ambience, utilise wasted space or dress up dull spots, you can o er to transform their outdoor living area without breaking the bank, in a short time, with little disturbance to their household – by adding exceptional feature walls. 13
Steel is 100 per cent recyclable, making it a smart choice for anyone building sustainable homes on a budget or wanting the industrial look for their landscape. Image: TheWaterMeloonProjec/ Horizontal timber slats are a great way to inject natural elements
the urban setting. Image:

Every landscaper would be aware of grinding hours with a shovel. Choosing the right equipment for a job, and ensuring users are trained in the equipment’s correct use, can go a long way to reducing workplace injuries. Image: Horticulture/

Shove it!

It’s no surprise that most workplace injuries in the landscape construction and maintenance industry are based on incorrect use of tools and equipment resulting in overexertion, body strains and muscle and ligament injuries. John Gabriele points out there are many instances where the safest and most e icient option is with hand tools.

Hand tools are very versatile, and although their use may be limited in some circumstances, their importance on the job can be critical. Selection of the correct quality hand tools, and more importantly their appropriate use, can minimise the potential for injury.

What makes a well-designed hand tool?

The answer is in ergonomics, which, based on the Webster dictionary definition, is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so the people and things interact most e iciently and safely.

Unfortunately, with the introduction of mass-produced hand tools, not all tools have been produced equally when it comes to ergonomics. Mass-produced hand tools

have not been designed to meet the physical requirements of every individual, so it’s crucial to select hand tools according to individual needs and physical characteristics and to ensure correct technique is applied in their use.

To be called ‘ergonomic’, a tool should be designed to reduce the physical e ort required from the person using it. Good ergonomic design takes into consideration the following factors:

• Physical characteristics and limitations of operators

• Biomechanics (how your body works) –structure, strength, and mobility

• Fatigue and manual dexterity, and

• Task-related characteristics and work requirements.

Natural selection

Every landscaper has served an apprenticeship on the digging tools and would be aware of grinding hours on a shovel. The handles or shafts of shovels are usually long to provide leverage when digging, but can also be relatively short, particularly on broad-mouth shovels used for moving bulk materials such as sand or gravel. The length of the shaft is important to ensure correct leverage can be achieved. Ergonomic design of shafts with curved handles helps the operator use the weight of their body rather than relying on back and arm strength – a downside with straight-shaft shovels – and the type of materials shafts and handles are constructed from is as varied as the tools themselves. Traditional wooden shafts and

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digging tools will determine the amount of e ort required to use the tool e ectively. This weight is referred to as ‘unproductive weight’, and if this can be reduced, the e iciency of the task can be increased through less muscular e ort.


Spades are another versatile tool no selfrespecting contractor should be without.

Spades, unlike shovels, have a relatively flat blade with straight edges, and the blade is usually in line with the shaft and not angled forward. It’s this feature that makes all the di erence. The design makes it e icient in cutting through sods and for slicing straight edges in trenches or holes and edging garden beds.

The shafts of spades are usually short with a DY-handle or T-handle, but there’s also an O-handle on the market which gives more

Traditional wooden shafts and handles are constructed from spotted gum or other hardwood timbers. Image: sushytska/

options on how the tool is held and provides better ergonomics. There is also a range of long-handled spades which can make light work of digging planting holes, particularly for smaller size stock in 150mm-200mm containers. The longer shaft eliminates the need for bending, thereby making the tool even more ergonomically e icient.

Opertional matters

Even with the most expensive and wellldesigned ergonomic maintenance tools, there is still a risk of workplace injury if a team has not been adequately trained in their correct use. Proper technique is critical to reducing the risk of injury. To minimise these risks the following points should be


considered when using any digging tools:

• Select the correct tool for the job at hand

• Round-bladed shovels are for moving fine materials such as sand and soils

• Square-mouth shovels are for coarse materials

• Use smaller-width shovels to reduce the weight of materials being lifted

• Break down the task by alternating between tasks every 15 minutes to reduce fatigue and muscle strain

• Move your feet and turn your entire body when digging or moving bulk materials,

• Rather than twisting the body, alternate between shovelling on the left and right side of the body

• Avoid large forward bending, stretching limbs and uncontrolled motions

• Ensure minimal back bend and maximise knee bend

• Use a repetitive technique rather than erratic movements

• Place wheelbarrows close to the work face to reduce the throw distance to no more than 1.3m, and

• Where practicable, use mechanical aids such as trenchers or backhoes to do the digging.

Digging deeper

Shovelling and digging tasks are hard work and require a strategic approach to ensure

both e iciency and safety. The average rate of shovelling is around 15 scoops per minute, but at that rate fatigue will set in quickly. It is therefore recommended there should be a 15-minute break from continuous shovelling every 15 minutes. This is of course dependant on the prevailing climatic conditions. Factors like extreme heat, extreme cold or wind will reduce the shovelling rate.

The rate-per-minute will also be a ected by the type of material being moved, the weight of each shovel load, and the ease with which the shovel or digging implement can be inserted into the load.

The weight of each load is also a factor to consider and should be adjusted according to the shovelling rate.

The total weight of a shovel-plus-load should not exceed between 6.5kg where a shovel rate of 15 scoops per minute is required.

Maintaining an edge

As with all tools, a little maintenance will go a long way to ensure a safe working life and improve performance. Preventative maintenance on all tools provides many benefits. Before and after each use, inspect the shovel for any signs of damage. Check the blade for cracks, chips, or other signs of wear and tear and replace any worn parts immediately.

The total weight of a shovel-plus-load should not exceed between 6.5kg where a shovel rate of 15 scoops per minute is required. Image: Milan/

Here’s a few tips to help keep shovels in good shape:

• Prevent rust and corrosion by cleaning and drying shovel heads after each use and occasionally oiling or greasing the blade. Hose o any debris and use a soft brush to remove any remaining stubborn dirt

• Lightly sand wooden handles to remove any possible splinters, and wipe over shafts, handles and blades with a light oil. Linseed oil is perfect for the job to prevent rust and to condition timber handles to reduce splitting. Simply wipe tools over with an oil-soaked rag and remove any excess oil with a dry cloth, and

• Improve performance by sharpening the cutting edge of the blade with a sharpening stone or angle grinder.

Can you dig it?

Shovelling and digging are par for the course as a landscape contractor, but complacency and poor technique can make this relatively simple and common day-to-day task a major contributor to workplace injuries. Take the time to select the best-designed tools for the task, ensure sta are appropriately trained in the correct technique for safe and e icient use of the tools, and before long your crew will be moving mountains.



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The costs and hassles of remediating a water-scoured bank are significant.

PGeo fabrics on steep grades

Jonathan Garner considers another practice which should be discussed before completing the planting stages of a landscape asset.

lanting to retain soil on steep slopes and riverbanks is sometimes tricky. It can be an economical solution to managing sensitive grades or possibly a costly experience if the soil erodes or, worse still, slips.

The sooner we get vegetation covering and root systems holding the soil together the better.

Safety first

Given we’re all experiencing significant rainfall events where we may receive over 30mm of rain within a few hours, or maybe a month’s worth of rain over a couple of days, relying on plants alone to retain a slope can be insu icient for a successful outcome. How the freshly planted or established bank copes with rain events generally depends on our initial preparation and the use of some variety of either biodegradable or permanent geo textile material.

Initial success will rely on how water running onto the slope is managed, soil preparation, and how the fabric is installed. Long-term success will rely on minimal

If faced with Lantana it may be better to physically remove the vegetation and crowns by hand, or engage a forest mower to slash the area down to a smooth finish while leaving most of the root systems in the ground where they’ll help retain the soil.

erosion and how well the plants have established.

Remember steep slopes can be dangerous. It may require additional measures beyond geo textiles. Always assess the project thoroughly, and if there’s any doubt about stability and safety, involve a suitable specialist, as this could become a very expensive exercise.

Plant choice

You might be working anywhere from the tropics in the north to the cool temperatures of the south, so I’ll leave appropriate plant selections to your own research. But regardless of the location, the quest is to have the somewhat unattractive fabric and hillside hidden with healthy plants as soon as possible. Keep in mind the steep bank you’re


facing might have limited or very little soil. It might be an expanse of exposed shales or compacted clay. You may need to create retained planting structures for soil to grow woody groundcovers that can grow far wider to cover more ground.

Again, I’ll leave you to determine exactly what plants to use, but consider varieties that have dense root systems, are low growing, fast to establish and are drought tolerant. Dense root systems will hold the soil better. Low growers are less likely to blow over or fall apart in strong winds, and the qualities of rapid establishment with drought tolerance are both self-explanatory.

Take control

Now that we’ve been awarded the project, time is of the essence to have it established. Analyse the soil and make plans to have the machines, the labour and the materials ready to go so there are no delays or intervals during the project. The longer the bank is left exposed, the greater chances of trouble occurring. If you’re busy on other jobs and the bank is already cleared or thinly covered with soft wooded weeds then cover it with a temporary fabric or the product you’re

planning to use – even though reusing the fabric will be a real pain and installing a temporary fabric is an added cost to the environment and the project.

The costs and hassles of remediating a water-scoured bank are significant. If the bank is more or less covered with woody weeds such as Lantana, or worse still, Blackberry, then leave the bank until you’re ready to tackle it without pause or breaks in the program. Regardless of whether the bank is vegetated or not, create a temporary system at the top of the bank that can either divert or slow down the movement of water running onto the works area. Systems such as straw bales, silt fencing, coir logs, or dish drains with sediment traps will all help to temporarily reduce challenges associated with water running onto the bank, and with the same water running o with your precious topsoil.


Approaching the works with a machine or by hand is more or less the same.

One of the most important things to do is to keep your soil disturbance consistent. In certain situations it may be better to leave

large stumps or boulders in the ground rather than tearing them out. Creating soft depressions or backfilling after removing large obstacles creates areas that will be prone to erosion or slumping after heavy rains. Naturally, retaining or removing these kinds of obstacles will be specific to the site. This is where advice from specialists will be of great help.

If I’m faced with a steep bank of a woody weed such as Lantana or worse still, Blackberry, I’ll be inclined to physically remove the vegetation and crowns by hand, or engage a forest mower to slash the area down to a smooth finish while leaving most of the root systems in the ground where they’ll help retain the soil. It’s easier to manage regrowth chemically than it is to keep a hillside intact.

When I’m planting pots of up to 200mm and I have the luxury of an excavator to prepare the soil, I’ll set out the planting scheme according to the plan by locating each planting spot with a 50mm thick dressing of compost for the excavator to tickle in. The exposed roots can be removed with loppers or an axe, and the soil raked to a smooth finish.

Approaching the works with a machine or by hand is more or less the same. Either way it’s important to keep the soil disturbance consistent. 21

Avoid weed mat. Mulch won’t stick to the slippery polypropylene and gaseous exchange through the soil is greatly reduced.

Without a machine I’ll have to rely on muscle.

Aiming to level these areas will assist with planting and further identifying the spots a little later. If compost isn’t required, then stakes or irrigation flags work just fine. Naturally, the extent of soil preparation will depend on the ground conditions and the pot sizes of the plants going in. I’ll leave the extent to your judgement.

As mentioned earlier, 140mm-200mm plants are my preference. They’re young, vigorous and much cheaper to replace than 300mm models. Given the adverse ecology we are working with, plant losses are possible. Once the planting spots are suitably prepared and before the fabric is installed, ensure surface roots are removed and the surrounding firmer areas are raked to consistent grades. This is vital to ensure minimal voids between the fabric and soil. Voids flap in the wind and allow the soil beneath to migrate.

Keeping it pinned

The next step is to dig a 200mm deep trench along the top of the bank to rest the fabric in place by burying.

Most fabrics are available in two-metre widths, which makes the installation manageable for two or three people. Although the temptation to let the geo-tex roll down the hill on its own will be high, doing it in a controlled manner will pay dividends.

By gradually rolling the fabric down the hill you’ll be able to accurately mark the planting spots while pinning the material into solid ground so the fabric hugs the contours of the soil beneath. Depending on planting densities, budgeting for five pins or staples per metre with a lump hammer on hand to knock them in will see you sorted. Providing a 200mm overlap between neighbouring panels of fabric is also a must. You’ll soon discover that both the specified 100mm overlap and the three pins per square metre are insu icient. Mild steel pins are cheaper and work better than galvanised. The rust developing on the pins increases the grip they have on the soil.

Plant and irrigate

Once the steep bank is wrapped up nice and snug, it’s time to get the green things in. Laying extension ladders on the bank is a useful and safe way to work without disrupting the fabric, and having the planting spots marked already will also enable you to walk on the firmer areas while carefully cutting the fabric open to plant the treasures in their previously prepared locations. Naturally, you’ll be using the excess soil from planting to create the soil berm to retain water around the root ball.

If you plan to irrigate, this is the time to install the system, be it a spray or a more e icient drip system. Pinning the drip lines above the fabric will also help to keep the

material hugging the ground. Locating the system uphill and pinning the emitter directly to the soil will ensure capillary action is at play and the precious water isn’t running along the hose and away from the targeted rootzone. Inline vacuum breaking valves will prevent emitters from blocking with soil particles.

If you’re using a coir or jute-based fabric, consider broadcasting pre-emergent herbicide granules before mulching with a thicker graded mulch such as forest blend. The inconsistent particle sizes help to keep it intact. Consistent grades such as pine barks tend to wash downhill.

If you’re using a non-woven synthetic fabric aim for black and apply the pre-emergents around the plants. Black fabric blocks the necessary light to germinate weed seed and the regrowth from existing roots. White fabric will give you sunburn when installing and also stands out if your mulch shifts. Over time layers of organic debris gradually bury the fabric, but it’s there for good and will keep the hill intact.

If you need to replant, simply cut it open to access the soil

Avoid weed mat. Mulch won’t stick to the slippery polypropylene and gaseous exchange through the soil is greatly reduced. Although there’s loads of information about the varieties of materials online. There’s not so much advice on how to use it. I hope this advice helps.


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From brushcutters, to chainsaws, lawn mowers, blowers and cut-o machine, the STIHL AP system has every inch of the outdoors covered. And for a limited time, commercial users can get a FREE 36V professional-grade battery with selected STIHL battery tool bundles.

Here’s STIHL‘s top picks for landscaping professionals this year. For a limited time, get a FREE professional-grade 36v battery with selected AP battery system tool bundles. Visit your local STIHL dealer to learn more today. Find yours at

FSA 135 and FSA 135 R Battery Brushcutters

Thanks to the powerful EC engine and the wide range of STIHL cutting tools you can use with these brushcutters, the FSA 135 and 135 R are ideal for clearing large areas or grass and shrubs. Professionals have the option to choose from a bike-handle (FSA 135) or a loop handle (FSA 135 R), depending on the task at hand and their personal preference.

The brushcutter’s ergonomic control handle enables users to adjust the speed on an infinitely variable basis, allowing the user to work as e iciently as possible and save energy, and there are three speed settings. The power-saving mode is indicated by an LED and an eas- to-clean air filter with metal grille ensures a long service life as it provides optimum engine cooling.

The power-tool housing of the FSA 135 has a dedicated position for the STIHL Smart Connector 2 A. This smart new technology is designed to make life easier by managing

the tools for you. From providing product run times reminding about upcoming or overdue maintenance, to showing the last location of tools, STIHL connected takes tool and fleet management to another level.

RMA 510 and 510 V Battery Lawnmowers

Next in line is the incredibly popular RMA 510 which needs little introduction.

STIHL’s most popular mower in the AP battery range boasts a whopping 51cm/21“ cutting width, a dual battery slot so batteries can be changed over in an instant, large rear wheels and a huge 60L grass catcher, making the RMA 510 more than capable of tackling the toughest of lawns. Awarded ‘Best Battery Mower

Recommended by CHOICE 2021, 2022 and 2023’, STIHL’s RMA 510 V is the self-propelled alternative and is perfect for professionals tackling larger or sloped areas, or for those working over longer periods of time.

On the cover FSA 135 and FSA 135 R Brushcutters. Images

MSA 300 C-O Battery Powered Chainsaw

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get your hands on the world’s most powerful battery-powered chainsaw; tax time is it.

Designed with professional users and arborists in mind, the new MSA 300 C-O sets a new benchmark in performance as the most powerful battery chainsaw in STIHL’s growing battery range, making light work of felling and cross-cutting large trees.

The power behind the MSA 300 C-O is the AP 500 S, which was designed specifically to power the MSA 300 C-O. It’s the first battery in the AP System to use laminated battery cells capable of delivering an impressive high-power output of 3 kW, comparable in performance to the popular MS 261 C-M, one of STIH:’s all-rounder petrol chainsaws.

The MSA 300 C-O is the first batterypowered chainsaw to feature a full antivibration system, making it extremely comfortable to use. It has the lowest vibration figures across all STIHL‘s battery and petrolpowered rear-handle chainsaws. 25
RMA 510 and 510 V Battery Lawnmowers. MSA 300 C-O Battery Powered

HTA 135 Battery Powered Pole Pruner

The HTA 135 Battery Powered Pole Pruner is the most powerful battery pole pruner in the AP Battery System.

Reaching up to five metres in height, the HTA 135 allows professionals to complete their work safely from the ground, rather than climbing the tree, saving plenty of time and reducing the risk of injury. The lightweight magnesium gearhead helps with maneuverability and balance, while the tough branch hook helps with the removal of loose cuttings from the tree.

The particularly rigid telescopic shaft of the HTA 135 enables quick length adjustment and exact positioning, enabling precise cutting of tall trees. The telescopic shaft can be extended up to a length of 405cm, with the total length of the tool ranging from 285cm to 405cm.

The HTA 135 allows professionals to reach a height of around five metres.

The HTA 135 can be used with 3/8”P and 1/4”P STIHL saw chains, ensuring maximum cutting performance.

BGA 86 Battery Blower

The STIHL BGA 86 battery blower is one of STIHL’s most popular blowers among both professionals and landowners.

This professional-grade blower o ers a strong blowing performance and a lightweight design weighing just 2.8kg (excluding the battery), allowing the user to complete their work without any discomfort. It’s also very low-noise, which is perfect for professionals working in public spaces.

Thanks to the single-hand multifunction handle, users have all the controls in one hand and can operate the device reliably whether they are right or left-handed. The infinitely variable speed control can be used to precisely adjust the blowing force to suit the surface being cleaned. The BGA 86 leaf blower is equipped with a round nozzle as standard, and the blower tube can be easily adjusted to one of three levels to suit the operator’s height, ensuring it’s working at the right distance from the ground.

AL 301-4 High Speed Battery Charger

The STIHL AL 301-4 is a gamechanger for professionals utilising STIHL’s commercial range of battery powered tools.

This mobile multi-battery charger allows professionals to charge up to four STIHL AP or AR batteries sequentially, meaning they’ll never be without a full charge throughout their day.

The AL 301-4 is specifically designed for use in vehicles and on the go, and has a robust design as a result. The AL 301-4 is compatible with all AP batteries, and is also capable of charging STIHL’s AR backpack batteries with a connecting cable and AP adapter.

For a limited time, get a FREE professionalgrade 36v battery with selected AP battery system tool bundles. Visit your local STIHL dealer to learn more today. Find yours at

HTA 135 Battery Powered Pole Pruner. BGA 86 Battery Blower. AL 301-4 High Speed Battery Charger.



The AMR is a revolutionary product that directly addresses inherent problems in the landscaping industry. Autonomous technology allows you to work smarter, safer and deliver improved results and revenue.

• Reduces your labour requirements and costs.

• Single operator can generate the same revenue as a crew of three.

• Manage fewer employees with greater productivity.

• Grow your business with less labour.


75-77 Westgate Drive, Altona North, VIC 3025

P (03) 8369 6610



The ultimate solution for accessibility, efficiency and safety when it comes to mowing slopes and challenging terrain.

• Remote operated for optimum operator safety.

• Mow slopes and hazardous terrain in half the time with just a crew of one.

• Designed to secure niche revenue, maintaining:



FIND OUT MORE Full specs, features, videos, photos and more.
• • • • •

Property maintenance

Brandon Kroon and Husqvarna

A few months after purchasing a new home, a young couple saw a storm destroy six large trees that lined their driveway. Brandon Kroon of BK Carving grabbed his Husqvarna chainsaws and created beautiful art from the remaining trunks.

When the topic of ‘chainsaws’ comes up, very few people would think immediately of precision carving and artistic beauty.

But Brandon Kroon is di erent. Brandon entered the chainsaw carving and sculpting scene in 2013 and, armed with his Husqvarna chainsaws, has done a wide selection of artworks, projects and commissions throughout Australia. He’s placed in a number of international competitions, most notably winning the US Open International Carving Competition in 2022, along with receiving the Carvers Choice Award.

When the Victorian couple wanted a unique and stunning tribute to their storm-damaged trees, Brandon produced magnificent examples of his truly exceptional and eye-catching art.

Six trees that came down in a storm were integrated into the landscape design of this Victorian home. Chainsaw artist Brandon Kroon was commissioned to do the animal sculptures in the trunks. The biggest and healthiest looking log was used for a lyrebird. It needed alot of strength in the timber to hold the fragile design of the tail. Carvings: BK Carving. Landscaping: RB Landscapes. Images: Peter Ingamells Photography

Husqvarna’s 540i XP® is a powerful and e icient battery-powered chainsaw, equivalent to a 40cc pro petrol saw when fitted with a BLi300 battery.

Carving bars like Husqvarna’s 10" 1/4" .050 60DL have a smaller nose radius and are ideal for sculpting and other precision work.

The challenge

After the trees came down in the storm Brandon was asked to carve into the six cypress logs which had been integrated into the landscaping design and fixed into the ground.

“In 2021 I did a private commission for the couple, a carving of their family dog that had passed away, and they were great to work with,” recalled the Victorian artist. “Once the work began on the cypress logs, each day they checked the progress, and when I’d finished a carving they would decide on what animal should be carved next and where it should be positioned, considering what could be seen on the walk up and down the stairs, how the animal shape worked on the logs and how it was viewed from the home.

“They wanted to be adventurous, so the carvings were all at di erent heights. Some 29
The 24" X-Tough light bar is a regular part of Brandon’s kit. The carvings were all at di erent heights, and some were in narrow fissures.
30 LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR Property maintenance
Brandon Kroon produces amazing sculptures with his Husqvarna chainsaws .

Husqvarna’s X-PRECISION™ SP11G is a semi-chisel ¼" mini 1.1mm chainsaw chain which cuts like a scalpel.

The X-CUT® C85 is an advanced, full chisel, high-performance 3/8" 1.5mm chain with outstanding durability and cutting e iciency, a sharpness that lasts, and low stretch.

were in holes! They wanted it to have a bit of mystery so people would have to really look to find the animals.”


right equipment

The result was absolutely stunning, and a tribute to the vision of the clients and the skill of the artist.

And of course, the tools which allowed the precision, creativity and millimetre perfection. Brandon explained, “The saw needs to be steady and stable with no vibrations. That’s why I use Husqvarna battery saws for the detailed work. I can’t have the tip of a saw jumping when I’m carving out an eyeball.

“And of course battery-powered saws are lighter with no fumes, so they’re great for tight, awkward spaces and long, hot days of work.”

Brandon’s Husqvarna equipment on this job included:

• A 572 XP® petrol chainsaw

• A 24" X-Tough light bar with the X-CUT® 3/8" .058" (1.5mm) 84 C85 chain

• A 540i XP® 36 V battery cordless electric chainsaw (power-equivalent to a 40cc petrol saw)

• A Husqvarna 10" carving bar 10CAH.13.S 10" 1/4" .050 60DL, and

• Husqvarna X-Precision™ SP-11G chain.

“I started with the 572 XP®,” he outlined. “I’d carve out the rough shape of the log, then, after the big sections had been carved o , the focus shifted to shaping. I’d use the 550 XP® Mark II to hollow out and fine tune the shape of the carving, then finally a combination of the 340i & 540i XP® for most of the details.

“Reliability is needed in jobs like this where you’re in particularly tight and awkward positions,” said Brandon. “You want something that’s going to have enough

power, but is also light enough to do the job well.

“It needs premium equipment, and that’s why I use Husqvarna chainsaws.”

Learn more about Brandon’s art at Scan the QR code or head to to see the entire Husqvarna range. 31

New Cat® 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders

Delivering industry-leading lift and tilt breakout forces, and with significantly increased torque.

Building on D3 series compact track loader success, the all-new, next generation Cat® 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders are a ground-up redesign of the previous series, improving on the features that made the previous models so popular.

The first next-generation models in the compact track loader line, the 255 and 265

The all-new, next generation Cat® 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders are a ground-up redesign of the previous series, improving on the features that made the previous models so popular.

elevate the Cat loader reputation through improved engine performance, lift and tilt performance, stability, operator comfort and technology.

“We kept the DNA of the D3 series while reimagining the possibilities of loader performance using the voice of customer feedback to lead the way,” said Rohan Mills,

Senior Product Consultant for Caterpillar.

“Both next generation models leverage the many benefits o ered by the vertical-lift design. The new Cat 255 replaces the 259D3, while the 265 replaces both the 279D3 and 289D3 machines.”

All Cat next generation compact track loaders are identified by the ending model

Property maintenance
Images: Caterpillar

number ‘5’. The simplified nomenclature uses the middle number to represent machine size with larger numbers designating larger machines.

A new performance standard

The new 255 and 265 loaders are powered by Cat C2.8T and Cat C2.8TA engines respectively, which offer 74.3hp (55.4kW). The new engines maintain horsepower across a wider RPM range and boast significant torque increases – gains of 13 per cent for the 255 and 43 per cent for the 265 – for improved working performance. A redesigned engine compartment mounts the engine and cooling package lower into the frame for improved stability, giving the operator confidence in handling heavy loads and throughout all aspects of the work cycles.

The new 255 loader delivers class-leading lift height, and compared to the 259D3, delivers 36 per cent more tilt breakout, 26 per cent higher lift breakout force, and a 24

per cent increase in rated operating capacity (ROC). Height to the B-pin for the 265, compared to the 289D3, increases by 193mm, resulting in a class-leading maximum lift height of 3.35 metres for easier truck loading. The 265 also delivers 19 per cent higher tilt breakout force and 22 per cent higher lift breakout force.


Standard hydraulic-system pressure is increased to 3500psi (24130kPa).

New for these next generation machines, the closed-centre auxiliary hydraulic system allows the 255 and 265 to operate all Cat Smart Attachments, including the Cat Smart Dozer Blade, with the standard auxiliary hydraulics provided.

For machines equipped with Standard Flow, both models are shipped from the factory outfitted as ‘High Flow ready’. The High Flow functionality is easily activated via a new software-enabled attachment (SEA),

permitting on-machine or remote activation of increased hydraulic flow to 113 litres per minute (30gpm) at the standard system pressure. The High Flow XPS factory option increases auxiliary hydraulic system pressure to 4061psi (28000kPa) for both models, while also increasing the hydraulic flow to 113 litres per minute for the 255 and 129 litres per minute for the 265.

The 255 equipped with the High Flow XPS option offers customers class-leading auxiliary hydraulic performance not before available in a mid-size chassis machine.

Reengineering of lower machine components results in a stronger and stiffer undercarriage for improved machine stability and less pitching when filling the bucket with material. Its torsion suspension undercarriage delivers better operator comfort, track wear and material retention, plus the stiffer design results in smoother graded surfaces. The 255 loader offers a new 320mm bar-tread narrowtrack option. 33
The new 255 Compact Track Loader delivers class-leading lift height.

Both the Cat 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders feature a larger cab design with 22 per cent more overall volume and 26 per cent additional foot space.

New engines maintain horsepower across a wider RPM range and boast significant torque increases for improved working performance.

Improved operator’s o ice

Both the Cat 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders feature a larger cab design with 22 per cent more overall volume and 26 per cent additional foot space. With a 2.75” (70mm) increased interior width, the new cab expands footwell-to-ceiling height by 1.8” (46mm) and allows for an additional 1.5” (40mm) of hip room and 1.1” (28mm) more width between the joysticks for improved operator comfort.

A range of new mechanical and air-ride suspension seat options are available for the 255 and 265 loaders, including a high-comfort seat that is both ventilated and heated. New auto temperature control plus vent outlet positioning above the operator helps the new HVAC system to quickly cool the cab’s interior.

Next generation loaders are equipped with either a five-inch (127mm) standard LCD monitor or an eight-inch (203mm) advanced touchscreen monitor, depending on the technology package selected. Like the D3 series’ advanced display, the standard monitor features Bluetooth connectivity and supports functionality for rearview camera feed, creep, job clock, maintenance reminders and 32 languages. The advanced touchscreen monitor

34 LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR Property maintenance

provides a higher level of control over standard monitor functionality, delivers advanced radio control, and supports the multicamera 270˚ option.

The new advanced joysticks provide integrated control of the advanced touchscreen monitor so all machine function control and adjustments can be made without the operator removing their hands from the controls.

Featuring a low entry point, entering and exiting the 255 and 265 loaders is much easier. The redesign allows the operator to open the cab door without the lift arms being fully lowered to the frame stops. A simplified two-step door removal process allows operators to quickly remove it without tools. Visibility is improved via the lower engine mounting, a 59 per cent larger rear window and bigger top window that provides a 15 per cent increase in viewable area.

Advanced technologies

These new compact track loaders deliver the next level of integrating machines with technology. Both the standard and

advanced monitors o er the ability to run Cat Smart Attachments, such as the dozer and grader blades and backhoe. These attachments are tied into the joysticks, and the machine automatically recognizes the type of attachment and the required joystick pattern for controlling it.

The available Cat Product Link Elite system tracks machine hours, location, asset utilisation, provides fault code details and

delivers advanced monitoring and machine health, that is remotely accessible via VisionLink®. In addition, Product Link Elite provides remote flash and troubleshooting capabilities and quickly enables the remote activation of the SEA High Flow feature.

For more information about the new next generation Cat 255 and 265 Compact Track Loaders, contact a Caterpillar dealer or visit 35 255 265 Engine Cat C2.8TCat C2.8TA Gross power, HP (kW) 74.3 (55.4)74.3 (55.4) Engine Torque, Nm (ft-lb) 221 (300) 280 (380) Operating Weight, kg (lb) 9628 (4367)10492 (4759) Rated Operating Capacity @ 35%, kg (lb)2499 (1134)2822 (1280) Hydraulic Pressure – standard, kPa (psi) 3500(24130) 3500 (24130) Hydraulic Flow – standard, lpm (gpm) 23 (86) 23 (86) Machine width w/wide tracks mm (inches) 1760 (69.3) 1925 (75.8) Hydraulic Pressure – SEA High Flow, kPa (psi)3500(24130) 3500 (24130) Hydraulic Flow – SEA High Flow, lpm (gpm)30 (113) 30 (113) Hydraulic Pressure – High Flow XPS, kPa (psi)4061 (28000)4061 (28000) Hydraulic Flow – High Flow XPS, lpm (gpm)30 (113) 34 (129)

Property maintenance

GREENWORKS® selfpropelled lawnmowers

Turn heads and make the competition jealous with performance, intelligence and innovative independence that they’ll wish they had. Here’s a couple of great GREENWORKS® mowers that’ll do that and more.

GREENWORKS 25" selfpropelled lawnmower

The muscle of this mower flexes with its heavy duty 25" heavy-duty steel deck and with more intelligent power than any of its 160cc comparable petrol competitors. The 25" cut delivers superior cut quality with premium blade speed, ranging between 4000rpm and 4500rpm.

This mower features dual, counterrotating mulching blades for the best quality cut, providing a 30 per cent better cut quality, and the large 25" deck gives the user a 20 per cent quicker cut time. Runtime is a sure thing, up to 90 minutes on a single charge, with the dual battery ports and the powerfully tough commercial grade motor allowing e ortless manoeuverability, giving increased traction up hills and slopes, and cutting through the thickest challenges with ease. It also provides a higher lift for the best cut in any condition.

The single-lever height adjustment quickly raises or lowers the deck for di erent grass conditions, with seven positions for precise mowing, and the handle adjusts for the user’s height and folds down for easy storage.

Designed to be quiet, at only 79dB, mow your lawns when the petrol guys can’t. Also, forget the petrol can, oil, sparkplug, fuel filter, and air filter and enjoy fume- and emission-free mowing. Features include:

• 160cc petrol-powered equivalent

• 25" commercial-grade 14-gauge steel deck

• Mow up to 1.5 acres on a single charge

• Commercial-grade brushless motor

• Two-in-1 cutting system

• Seven-position height-adjustment system

• Dual port system provides more power and doubles runtime.

• Rec retail: $1349 (skin only).

Superior cut quality with premium blade speed, ranging between 4000rpm and 4500rpm. Images: Jakmax. Dual, counter-rotating mulching blades provide 30 per cent better cut quality.

The GREENWORKS® 82V 30” selfpropelled lawnmower is equipped with two independently controlled hub wheel motors and twin dual brushless cutting motors.

GREENWORKS 30" self-propelled lawnmower

Featuring some of the best modern technological advances in outdoor power equipment, the GREENWORKS® 82V 30" self-propelled lawnmower is equipped with two independently controlled hub wheel motors and twin dual brushless cutting motors delivering more power than 200cc petrol mowers. The ETS (Easy Turn System) drive system automatically adjusts the power to compensate for sloped conditions and e ortless control.

Constant power and torque is directed to the hub motors, providing faster cutting speeds and more torque than petrol units. It is also the first push lawnmower to have a reverse function to easily power out of tight areas.

Petrol units lack the technology to adapt to grass conditions on the fly and are limited to only 3600rpm on average, leading to uncut grass, clumping and ine icient bag collection. With independent brushless motors, GREENWORKS® mowers achieve higher blade-tip speeds and automatically increase power to maintain consistency throughout the cut. Our intelligent mowers never bog down, even in the tallest, thickest and wettest grass.

Designed for the commercial landscaper, the 82V 30" lawnmower boasts an extralarge grass bag that carries 12 per cent more clippings than comparable units, and has independently controlled wheels for optimised traction. It also includes a smart LCD screen that provides the status of the lawnmower (battery status, speed control, blade speed and error codes), and a tri-port powerhead that holds three batteries for continuous runtime.

• 224cc petrol-powered equivalent

Mow up to two acres on a single charge.

• 30" commercial-grade 12-gauge steel deck

• Mow up to two acres on a single charge

• Tri-port powerhead holds up to three batteries to deliver superior runtime

• Independently controlled wheel motors for optimised traction and manoeuverability

• High-visibility LED light for navigating in low-light conditions

• Dual sealed motors provide up to 16,000ft/ min blade-tip speed for best cutting performance

• $2999 (skin only). 37

RC Mowers, designed and manufactured in the USA, is redefining the business of mowing by creating robotic mowers that solve the industry’s biggest challenges while improving opportunities for profitability and growth.

RC Mowers Autonomous Mowing Robots

Autonomous Mowing Robots (AMRs) are a labour-saving and labourenhancing business solution now available in Australia.

RC Mowers (RCM) Autonomous Mowing Robots deal with the major challenges in the landscaping and propertymaintenance industries, including labour availability and mowing profitability. RC Mowers Autonomous Mowing Robots allow landscaping companies to reduce their mowing labour needs by up to two-thirds –one operator can do the work of three – and generate profit from what is traditionally a break-even or loss-leader service.

With RC Mowers Autonomous Mowing Robots, the productivity of a single operator is increased by 300 per cent. Another way of looking at it would be to say a single operator can generate the same revenue as a crew of three.

RC Mowers, designed and manufactured in the USA, is redefining the business of

mowing by creating robotic mowers that solve the industry’s biggest challenges while improving opportunities for profitability and growth.

The mowers will not operate autonomously with seat occupied.

Jobs are safe

Autonomous mowing isn’t about replacing humans. Autonomy makes the job better for the employees businesses rely on.

Property maintenance
Images: RC Mowers

Adding AMRs creates enhanced value, empowerment, and pride for those who use them, creating a mowing service that’s more e icient, more profitable, and more successful is good for everyone.


The RCM Robotics team is led by experts who developed the US Military weapons guidance system, US Department of Defense autonomous vehicles, and leading experts in aviation safety.

The RC Mowers’ LiDAR detection system monitors a full 360 degrees around the machine to detect objects both moving and stationary, and the Safety Interlock System monitors the interaction of various features to ensure all-encompassing safety, and the Wireless E-Stop is a handheld unit that instantly shuts down all AMRs with a single button push.

While the AMRs are highly sophisticated machines with an extreme level of builtin safety functions, they should never be deployed without human supervision. The operator is always nearby with the ability to instantly shut down every machine.

Ultimately, safety resides in the hands of a well-schooled and capable operator.

How it works

1. Operator mows the perimeter plan for each AMR.

2. Operator mows keep-out areas with AMR such as landscaping and water features.

3. Operator enables autonomous mode on each AMR. The mowers go to work.

4. As AMRs work, operator completes detailed handwork.

5. Upon completion of plan, the AMRs return to their starting point for loading.

6. On the next visit to this location, the AMRs run the same program instantly, skipping steps 1 and 2.

Available in Australia

Available exclusivelyt through Colbrook Industries, Autonomous Mowing Robots by RC Mowers will change the way you think about and conduct your landscaping and property-maintenance business.

Self-driving mowers are no longer the realm of sci-fi or secret laboratories. RC Mowers autonomous machines are in the field now, making a substantial di erence for forward-thinking companies.

To learn more about RC Mowers, LamTrac, Skid Lifts and more, head over to the Colbrook Industries website:

Emergency-Stop is both machine-mounted and a single belt-clipped device which controls up to three machines at once. 39
The RCM Robotics team is led by experts who developed the US Military weapons guidance system, US Department of Defense autonomous vehicles, and leading experts in aviation safety.

Property maintenance

Hustler FasTrak 48"

In the world of commercial landscaping, e iciency and reliability are not just desired; they are required. The Hustler Fastrak 48" zero-turn mower is a machine that promises to deliver on both fronts, with features that cater to the needs of professionals who demand performance and durability.

The Hustler Fastrak 48" is designed with commercial applications in mind. Its compact size allows for easy maneuverability in tight spaces, while the zero-turn capability ensures no area is left unattended. This mower is not just about maintaining lawns; it’s about enhancing productivity. With the ability to cover more ground in less time, landscapers can take on more jobs and increase their profitability. The 48" fabricatedsteel cutting deck is robust enough to handle varied terrains and consistent enough to deliver a clean cut every time, which is crucial for maintaining the professional appearance of commercial properties.

Built to work

At the heart of the Hustler Fastrak 48" lies the 22HP V-twin Kawasaki engine.

Known for its reliability and power, this engine provides the muscle needed to tackle long hours of work without faltering. The Kawasaki engine’s reputation for easy maintenance also means less downtime and more time spent on the job. It’s an engine built for those who can’t a ord to take a day o .

The 48" fabricated-steel cutting deck is not just about size; it’s about the quality of the build. Fabricated from tough steel with reinforced edges, it’s designed to withstand the rigors of daily commercial use. The deck’s design also plays a pivotal role in the


mower’s cutting e iciency, ensuring grass is cut evenly and dispersed properly, leaving behind a manicured lawn that stands as a testament to the landscaper’s skill.


Understanding the demands of commercial use, Hustler backs the Fastrak 48" with a 750-hour commercial warranty. This warranty is a statement of confidence in the product’s quality and durability. It assures professionals their investment is protected and that Hustler stands behind its machinery. This level of assurance is invaluable for businesses that rely on their equipment to be operational day in and day out.

Adding to the robust features of the Hustler Fastrak 48" zero-turn mower, the inclusion of a standard roll-over protection bar (ROPS) is a testament to the brand’s commitment to safety. This feature is crucial for protecting the operator in the event of accidental rollovers, which, while rare, can be a risk when working on uneven terrain. The ROPS is designed to withstand the weight of the mower, ensuring the space around the operator remains intact and the risk of injury is minimised.

Reliable and e icient

The mower is equipped with dual Hydro-

Gear ZT-3200 transmissions, known for their durability and ability to deliver smooth, responsive control. These commercial-grade transmissions are built to handle heavy loads and tough conditions, ensuring the Fastrak 48" can perform consistently at its best. With features like shock valves for added system protection and extended life, cut steel gears for longevity, and a charge pump for enhanced performance, these transmissions are engineered to keep the mower running e iciently and reliably.

Quality and performance

The Hustler Fastrak 48" zero-turn mower is more than just a piece of equipment; it’s a partner in the landscaping business. It’s built for those who demand excellence and engineered for those who need reliability. With its powerful Kawasaki engine, durable cutting deck, and robust warranty, the Fastrak 48" is ready to take on the challenges of commercial landscaping and emerge victorious. For professionals looking to elevate their business, the Hustler Fastrak 48" is a worthy contender that promises to deliver quality, performance, and peace of mind.

To see more on the FastTrak 48" and the entire FasTrak range, log on to

The Kawasaki engine’s reputation for easy maintenance means less downtime and more time spent on the job. Images: Hustler The Hustler Fastrak 48" is designed with applications in mind.

Property maintenance

Be blown away by Honda’s blower range

High performing and e icient, with the choice between petrol or battery power.

Contractors know the importance of having a high-performing leaf blower in their fleet and Honda is the ideal choice if you want contractor quality and e iciency with the option of both petrol and battery, without a compromise on performance.

HHB25 Blower

Honda’s HHB25 is the World’s first fourstroke blower and still blows strong as a contractor favourite.

With its 25cc four-stroke engine, the HHB25 Blower boasts a wind velocity of 252kph and is environmentally friendly with whisper quiet operation, and low emissions and fuel consumption. Running on regular unleaded fuel means it runs much quieter than its competitors, and it will always start first time, every time, with Honda’s famous one-pull easy start system.

The rubberised hand grip gives added comfort in the form of a vibration-isolating handle so you can work longer with less fatigue. Plus, the 360-degree operation means you can blow through those hard-toreach areas, on any awkward angle, to get to those stubborn wet leaves without making a fuss. The unique anti-suction fan cover o ers improved safety and performance, making the HHB25 the blower that has everything you need and more.

Your choice

If you have already entered the Honda Battery System, or are ready to invest in the best, Honda o ers two battery blowers to

choose from dependent on your required use.

The HHB36BXB is Honda’s newest blower, joining the Domestic Battery Range that has been designed with residential users in mind. It is powerful and lightweight, with 210kph maximum wind speed, has variable speed control and a round nozzle providing advanced air-flow speed for all applications.

Boasting 36V battery power compatible with 2Ah, 4Ah and 6Ah Honda batteries, there is a battery and charger option available that is suited just for you.

With its 25cc four-stroke engine, the HHB25 Blower boasts a wind velocity of 252kph and is environmentally friendly with whisper-quiet operation, and low emissions and fuel consumption. Images: Honda Compatible with 2Ah, 4Ah and 6Ah Honda batteries.

Honda’s HHB36AXB Commercial Battery Blower is ideal for both residential and commercial users and o ers robust performance that can blow through dry, wet, or heavy debris with its powerful and superior air volume.

With 36V battery power and brushless motor, this commercial battery blower features a multi-purpose dual nozzle for advanced versatility across all applications, plus a weight-assisting belt for comfortable and controlled handling.

With contractor quality that is suited for both professional users and the serious gardener, the Honda HHB36AXB delivers uncompromised performance and durability.

Buy once

When investing in a Honda Blower, you know you will only ever have to buy once. Whether you invest in petrol or battery to suit your business needs, a Honda Blower is guaranteed to provide exceptional power with user comfort, no matter the job at hand. Visit your local Honda dealer to purchase today, or find out more at


solo by AL-KO range of chainsaws

Cut your way through thick and thin.

The 6436 Petrol Chainsaw is a lightweight, easy-touse compact saw ideal for lopping branches, pruning small trees, or cutting up firewood. Image: Masport

Every solo by AL-KO garden-care and forestry-technology product is designed with the highest precision and using the latest technology, delivering the right performance for the home, while proving powerful enough for the serious user. From compact saws for household use to high-performance professional saws, the chainsaw range from solo by AL-KO has it all. All saws have the same high, uncompromising quality, safety, and user-friendly features. The powerful two-stroke engines combined with chain and bar combinations appropriate for the respective model always ensure e ective and clean cutting results.

The perfect all-rounder for home and garden use Chop o branches, prune small trees or cut up firewood, all of this is no problem for the 6436 Petrol Chainsaw, a lightweight, easy-to-use, compact saw. With a displacement of 35.2cc and output of 1.45kW, it can tackle any job around the home and garden. The genuine Oregon bar and chain (35cm/3/8” spec) guarantee great cutting performance and a long service life.

More power for the serious user

The solo by AL-KO 6656 petrol chainsaw is fast, powerful, and extremely robust; the top model among the solo by AL-KO professional saws will win you over with a 55.5cm3 displacement and 2.4kW of power. It has a weight-to-power ratio of only 2.3kg/kW, and is maintenance friendly, featuring a three-part forged crankshaft and a 20" (50cm) bar with ⅜" chain sure to impress, providing a long service life.

These solo products come with a four-year warranty. For more information, contact your local Masport Territory Manager by calling 1300 366 225, or to view the full range visit 43
Property maintenance
CHAINSAWS built to last

Property maintenance

An innovative battery technology at the heart of the Kress 8-minute CyberPack™ allows for unprecedented power and a full charge in merely eight minutes, while ensuring unmatched longevity backed by an eight-year or 3000-cycle* limited warranty. Images: Kress

Kress unveils next-gen solution for sustainable commercial landscaping

Raising the bar for sustainability, productivity, and profitability.

City leaders and citizens agree climate change and pollution are critical challenges.

Among other measures to mitigate air and noise emissions, policymakers are progressively phasing out petrol-powered outdoor equipment that, according to leading environmental agencies, is a key contributor to toxic and carcinogenic exhaust, alongside fine particulate matter.

“The transition is picking up speed, pushed by the demand from municipalities, commercial facilities and high-end residential neighbourhoods.” said Joe Oosthuizen, Country Manager, Kress Australia.

Yet, in the absence of regulatory mandates or customer demands, it has been di icult for professional landscapers to adopt eco-conscious practices. Current battery-powered equipment often lacks the necessary power for the tasks of commercial landscaping, which can significantly impact productivity.

To maintain continuous operation, crews must stockpile a significant number of charged batteries. Moreover, the limited lifespan of conventional batteries positions them as a costlier alternative to traditional petrol-powered options.

Kress technology resets the standard on sustainable landscaping

A groundbreaking battery technology is at the heart of the 8-minute CyberPack™ innovation, which leverages proprietary chemistry to deliver high-current flow without the typical heat build-up that accelerates battery degradation. This breakthrough allows for unprecedented power and a full charge in merely eight minutes while ensuring unmatched longevity, backed by an eight-year or 3000-cycle* limited warranty.

To ensure continuous operation throughout the day, the Kress CyberSystem™ features a

unique selection of portable DC-DC chargers, enabling ultra-fast, battery charging on-thego, even when kilometres away from the nearest AC power source.

The new paradigm of power

Two- and four-stroke engines reach their maximum torque and power at high RPMs when they hit a sweet spot in their performance curve.

In contrast, as we know from EVs, electric motors maintain peak performance over a broad range of RPMs. Yet, conventional lowvoltage batteries, like those used for OPE, could only deliver high power by pushing the

Maximum torque delivered instantly.


current to levels that would degrade or even damage cells.

“The era of batteries chasing the power of petrol engines is over,” said Lachlan McDonald, General Manager-Commercial Channels, Kress Australia. “Now, it’s their turn to try and catch up with Kress.”

Kress’ 4Ah 8-minute CyberPack™ on-board battery delivers the power equivalent of a 55cc two-stroke engine, but with maximum torque delivered instantly at the pull of the trigger. This means instant power access without the wait, transforming operators’ work experience with newfound e iciency and productivity.

Catalysing the shift through business model innovation

Kress is committed to advancing the expansion of green landscaping by o ering a unique business model designed to support landscape maintenance companies. This model revolutionises the traditional approach to fleet renewal by eliminating upfront costs, thus preserving working capital. The simple yet e ective formula relies on manageable monthly instalments, comfortably balanced by the savings from reduced fuel and maintenance expenses. The result? Enhanced profitability through pure profit, making the green transition not only feasible but financially advantageous.

Enhancing the environment and workers’ health

The transition to zero-emission landscaping not only helps cities achieve their decarbonisation targets but also elevates the overall health and quality of life for its residents. Landscapers, who face the most significant risk associated with emissions from petrol-powered equipment, can experience immediate health benefits. Switching to Kress battery-powered solutions eliminates exposure to toxic exhaust fumes and significantly reduces the consequences of noise and vibration.

The revolution is underway

Transitions can only happen when a viable solution is available.

Kress transcends conventional battery limitations, blending advanced technology with an innovative business model to o er the only eco-friendly solution that promises significant long-term cost savings over fossil fuels.

Kress Commercial products are now available at select top-tier commercial dealerships throughout Australia. 45
*5 + 3 Years^ or 2000 + 1000 charging cycles (whichever comes first) ^The additional warranty period applies only if customer registers their Kress products at within 30 days of purchase.
Transcending conventional battery limitations. Instant power access without the wait, transforming operators’ work experience with newfound e iciency and productivity.

Ploughman Excavations prides itself on kepping its Bobcat fleet in first-class order at all times. Image: Ploughman Excavations

Ploughman Excavations and Bobcat

Ross Ploughman of Ploughman Excavations was sold on Bobcat equipment long before the current o er of 0% finance on the E20 and E17 mini excavators came up.

Ploughman Excavations is based in Blackburn, near Melbourne in Victoria, and the company focusses on the construction, civil and landscaping sectors, backed by a diverse, impeccably maintained and state-of-the-art equipment fleet.

A big part of that equipment fleet are four Bobcat machines: an E55z excavator, MT100 mini track loader, an S550 skid-steer loader, and an E20 mini excavator.

A loyal customer Ploughman Excavations and Bobcat have some history.

“We’ve been using Bobcat for 36 years,” smiled the well-spoken and incredibly courteous Ross Ploughman. “I’ve had one or two.”

Ploughman Excavations prides itself on never saying no to a job involving earthworks and machinery, and its equipment is kept in first-class order at all times.

Ross Ploughman has been using Bobcat equipment for over 30 years. Image: Ploughman Excavations

“We take a lot of pride in our machinery,” explained Ross. “Our machines are absolutely immaculate and we keep them that way throughout their life.

“From a marketing point of view they really stand out as well. My son runs the Ploughman Excavations Instagram page and the machines always come up looking fantastic.”

Ross explained Ploughman Excavations would take on any project that needed the use of machinery, in either overall completion or as a contribution to a project for somebody else, and we asked how the Bobcats contributed to that aim.

“All Bobcat products are very, very intelligently designed,” he mused, “and I think the E20z is an outstanding machine in its class.

“Most guys, because of the restraints of carrying small excavators around on trailers, normally go for a 1.5-tonne to 1.7-tonne machine. Once it’s contracted hydraulically, the E20 will configure itself down to the same width as a 1.5-tonne machine, and the pure grunt and the reach of the E20 is just phenomenal. It just leaves everything else for dead.

“And it’s such a comfortable machine to sit on as well.”

The human touch

The machinery is only part of the Bobcat equation, as Ross pointed out.

Bobcat E20z

Operating Weight 1930kg

Horsepower 14.7hp

Bucket digging force20,835N

Tail swing typeZero

Reach 4134mm

Height 2297mm

Length 3688mm

Width 980mm

“Anybody can sell you a machine of any description or of any colour or brand, but the true testimony of what you’ve bought is actually the aftersales service and support you receive,” he confided. “Clark Equipment Dandenong, the dealership we work with, genuinely go to an enormous amount of trouble to look after us.

“We’re a family business, and building relationships is a very high priority for us. The guys at Bobcat are people of the utmost

for tight-access areas.

integrity in the way they deal with us. They’re extremely fussy because they know we’re extremely fussy, and I can say with hand on heart we’re very much one big happy family. “I couldn’t do without them.”

To see more on the E20z, the Bobcat range, or to check the specifics on the 0% finance deal on the E17 and E20 mini excavators, have a chat to your nearest Bobcat dealer or log on to

Ploughman Excavations focusses on the construction, civil and landscaping sectors. An E20 mini excavator is one of four Bobcat machines in the fleet. Image: Ploughman Excavations 47
Ideal Image: Bobcat

The ECR25’s ability to operate silently makes it ideal for work in noise-sensitive areas such as residential neighbourhoods and commercial districts. Images: CJD Equipment

Volvo ECR25: the first in a new range of electric compact excavators

As urbanisation accelerates, so does the need for machinery that can access challenging areas, operate with minimal disruption, and uphold stringent environmental standards. Enter the Volvo ECR25 electric excavator, a groundbreaking addition to Volvo CE’s lineup that promises to revolutionise landscaping.

With an operating weight ranging from 2680kg to 2780kg and a compact design, the Volvo ECR25 electric excavator is ideally suited for various applications, from utilities and basement groundworks to demolition. Its reduced-swing configuration enables it to fit into tight areas, making it particularly valuable for tasks in densely populated urban environments where space is limited. Moreover, the electric power source of the ECR25 offers significant advantages, especially in indoor or underground settings where traditional diesel-powered machines may not be viable due to emissions and ventilation concerns. This makes the ECR25 a

versatile and environmentally friendly solution for a wide range of projects.

The ECR25 boasts quick reactions and high torque, providing operators with precise digging capabilities. This electric powerhouse offers unparalleled accuracy and efficiency in excavation tasks compared to traditional diesel engines.

The ECR25 electric battery

The Volvo ECR25 electric excavator, featuring state-of-the-art battery technology, boasts many impressive features. Powered by a 48V lithium-ion battery, the ECR25 electric offers reduced maintenance, minimising downtime

and increasing efficiency on the job site.

With two to four hours of runtime, depending on the application, this excavator ensures sustained productivity throughout the workday and is designed to deliver up to 2000 complete charge cycles; the battery ensures long-term reliability and performance, making it a standout choice for sustainable construction projects.

The anti-theft fixed battery also provides security and peace of mind, safeguarding the investment in this cutting-edge equipment. Adding to its appeal is the intelligent digital interface. Equipped with a state-of-the-art display, the machine provides operators

Mini excavators

with comprehensive information at their fingertips. From charge levels to instant power feedback, the intuitive interface ensures seamless operation and enhanced productivity on the job site.

Charging solutions for the Volvo ECR25

The Volvo ECR25 electric excavator o ers convenience and e iciency. With its standard Electric Vehicle charging protocol, operators can access multiple charging options, enabling the excavator to reach up to 80 per cent charge in less than one hour. Moreover, the Electric Machines Management Application allows users to monitor charging status, battery level, and location, ensuring optimal utilisation and maintenance of the machine.

All Volvo CE’s zero-emission machines in Australia have charging solutions, allowing quick and o -board solutions to allow a complete charge in around one hour, enabling operators to plan their activities e ectively. Customers can collaborate with CJD Equipment to calculate the expected operating time and provide the optimum charging solution tailored to their needs.

Inside the ECR25 Electric

The ECR25 Electric is designed with operator comfort and safety in mind. Volvo has incorporated industry-leading ergonomics, accessibility, and visibility into the cab, providing operators with a comfortable and intuitive working environment. Reducing noise, vibration, and heat levels enhances productivity and reduces operator fatigue, while the absence of exhaust emissions creates a cleaner and healthier workspace.

The ECR25’s ability to operate silently makes it ideal for work in noise-sensitive areas such as residential neighbourhoods and commercial districts. At the operator’s position, the low sound pressure level of 74dB ensures minimal disturbance to nearby residences, allowing landscaping projects to proceed smoothly even during night hours. Additionally, eliminating fuel handling sets the ECR25 apart from its diesel counterpart. By simply connecting to the power grid, operators can enjoy a clean and safe working environment without the hassle of fuel management. The absence of hot exhaust fumes enables operators to work near delicate surroundings such as hedges and trees without the risk of damage or pollution.

Along with the support from CJD Equipment, there’s also an abundance of available resources online to support new owners and operators. From detailed instructions on charging, starting, and

Reducing noise, vibration, and heat levels enhances productivity and reduces operator fatigue, while the absence of exhaust emissions creates a cleaner and healthier workspace.

CJD Equipment and Volvo CE have been supplying premium construction equipment tailored to Australia’s diverse industries for many years.

parking the machine to access to the operator’s manual and marketing materials, these resources ensure comprehensive support for operators.

Zero-emission equipment sets the standard

Investing in zero-emission construction equipment demonstrates a company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and positions it as a leader in the industry. As more customers in Australia and worldwide prioritise sustainability, Volvo CE’s zero-emission machines are poised to drive the transformation towards a more sustainable and e icient landscaping sector.

CJD Equipment and Volvo CE have been supplying premium construction equipment tailored to Australia’s diverse industries for many years. Their collaboration over 30 years has ensured the delivery of high productivity, fuel e iciency, and safety solutions, enabling machines to operate at peak performance.

CJD Equipment boasts an extensive national support network, guaranteeing comprehensive assistance regardless of location or time.

For further details, please get in touch with your local CJD branch on 1300 139 804. or visit 49

Brandt’s comprehensive CCE o ering is backed by after-sales support and service and is a drawcard for customers. Images: Brandt

Laying the groundwork for success

Brandt’s compact construction equipment range means business.

When Rhys Mundy bought his first small excavator, he had no idea it would be the first step on the road to a new career. Until last year, Rhys had spent his entire working life on the land – managing large family farms and corporate farms around the Ballarat area.

Today he owns and runs RAM Groundworks, a newly launched company specialising in excavation, landscaping, concreting and earthworks. To cope with demand for his services, Rhys has also expanded his range of compact construction equipment beyond the initial 1.8-tonne compact excavator.

Good equipment and full service

Rhys has been a regular customer at Brandt’s showroom in Ballarat and now owns a 317G compact track loader and a 3.6-tonne compact excavator with a number of attachments, including a tilt bucket and tilt hitch – all manufactured by John Deere.

“The John Deere brand drew me to Brandt, said Rhys. “Working on farms and dealing with agricultural gear for years, I’ve always had good experiences with John Deere. I felt if the brand could do a good job with tractors,

Brandt o ers customers expert equipment advice available as and when they need it.

then it would probably do a good job with its civil machinery.

“Dealing with Brandt has also been a great help because the sta there have been able to deliver the equipment I want quickly. The service is prompt and thorough and the finance options are better than anywhere else I’ve seen.”

Reliable and versatile

Brandt has a range of John Deere compact construction equipment. The 1.8-tonne and 3.6-tonne excavators feature a zero-tailswing design and retractable undercarriage, and are fast and easy to manoeuvre.

The powerful and reliable compact skidsteer range is available in 60hp up to 118hp,

Mini excavators

and the compact track loaders with their low centre of gravity have proven to be agile and stable on slopes, and range from 60hp to 118hp. A selection of attachments is also available to boost equipment versatility, from buckets to forestry heads and brooms.

Theo Zaxos, Compact Construction Equipment Sales Consultant for Brandt in Ballarat, said the range is popular with a wide variety of tradespeople — from plumbers and carpenters to builders and landscapers. Road crews and the agricultural sector have also bought the compact models.

“Plumbers choose the excavators for digging trenches and laying pipes, and civil contractors find the compact equipment useful for site clearing and many other tasks.

“The entire compact construction equipment range is reliable, very versatile and can take on a lot of jobs without any problems,” said Theo.

“A lot of tradespeople, like Rhys, are buying these machines because they want the convenience of having the right equipment available whenever they need it.”

Better work. Better life Brandt o ers a comprehensive after-sales service that is also a drawcard for customers like Rhys who need to know they will have expert equipment advice available as and when they need it.

“There is a healthy market demand for John Deere compact construction equipment,” explained Theo.

For Rhys, business is brisk and his compact construction equipment is being kept busy all around the Ballarat area.

“We’re doing small excavation work, landscaping, concreting and big waterwork pipes on farms. We’re trenching in a few kilometres of piping at the moment to run a water system from tanks to troughs on a farm. In town we are doing some landscaping work for businesses and residential homes and we’re doing earthworks for electrical contractors and running cables,” said Rhys.

“Theo mentioned there will be an 8.5-tonne excavator available in the next 12 to 18 months and, in the future, I can see my business will need a machine of that size for bigger commercial concreting jobs and drainage works.

“Giving up farming to start a business of my own has been a big step, but I made that decision because I wanted to create a better lifestyle for my family and to have more time with my kids. I work big days but, in the evening, I can spend time with my family and I’m loving that.”

Visit for more details on the John Deere compact construction range.

Rhys Mundy (right) owns RAM Groundworks and runs a John Deere 317G compact track loader and a 3.6-tonne compact excavator with a number of attachments, all purchased from Brandt. 51

Mini excavators

Ease of maintenance is a top priority; a generously sized rear engine cover provides convenient access.

Images: Hitachi CM

ZAXIS-7 compact excavators

Hitachi Construction Machinery unveils new ZAXIS-7 compact excavators; ZX75US-7 and ZX85USB-7 to the Australian market.

Hitachi Construction Machinery (Australia) Pty Ltd (HCA) has unveiled two new ZAXIS-7 compact excavators designed to enhance productivity in contemporary urban construction sites.

The ZX75US-7 boasts an ultra-short tail swing radius, enabling easy access to tight spaces, while the ZX85USB-7, equipped with a swing boom, e iciently excavates near walls and guard rails.

The power for these machines is derived from the reliable Yanmar diesel engines equipped with proven turbocharging technology. This environmentally friendly engine meets EPA final Tier 4/EU Stage V emissions standards, with diesel particulate filter, EGR and common rail to help further reduce emissions. The machines also feature a versatile power/

economy work mode that adapts the machine’s performance to the specific task at hand. In power mode, the engine operates at higher speeds to deliver additional horsepower when necessary, whereas the economy mode optimises fuel e iciency by reducing engine speed during regular operations. Furthermore, both machines are equipped with a built-in auto-idle system, which automatically reduces the engine to an idling speed if all control levers remain in a neutral position for more than four seconds. Once the levers are reactivated, the engine quickly returns to the previously chosen speed.

This feature not only helps in reducing noise and exhaust emissions but also plays a pivotal role in energy conservation and cost savings for operations.


Two new ZAXIS-7 compact excavators from Hitachi are designed to enhance

RENAULT MASTER cargo carrying powerhouse

for a limited time, national fleet pricing is available for ABN holders1 with up to 17m3 of cargo volume and a choice of configurations, there is a Master Van for any landscaping business. available now. OVERSEAS MODEL SHOWN 1Offer is available at participating Renault dealers on in stock new and demonstrator Renault Master Van vehicles only (“Eligible Vehicles”), purchased and delivered between 01/03/2024 and 30/06/2024. While stock lasts. During the offer period, all valid ABN holders will be eligible to access the National Fleet pricing (being the preferential pricing offered to Renault Australia’s fleet, government and rental buyers) for Eligible Vehicles, regardless of whether the National Fleet qualifying criteria is met. Not available with other offers. Renault may vary, extend or withdraw this offer.

Mini excavators

The latest Series 7 versions of the SK28SR, SK30SR and SK35SR cater for operating weight requirements from three to four tonnes. Images: Kobelco

Small in size, big on impact


the new Series 7 Kobelco mini excavator range.

Kobelco Construction Machinery

Australia is pleased to announce the arrival of the Series 7 mini excavator range. The new Kobelco SK28SR-7, SK30SR-7 and SK35SR-7 replace its dash 6 predecessors and o er increased engine performance, improved operability, an updated cabin interior and easier maintenance.

Small size. Big ROI

Despite their small size, mini excavators play an important role on any jobsite. Their small working footprint enables better access to restricted spaces such as residential gardens and inside buildings, while they can also provide key support to larger construction projects. With this in mind, Kobelco continually reviews and improves its mini-excavator range in order to meet the increasing demands of its operators.

The new Kobelco SK28SR-7, SK30SR-7 and SK35SR-7 mini excavators deliver

superior performance thanks to their increased engine output (from 18kW to 19kW), while their larger bucket cylinders (from 65mm to 70mm) also result in a 16 per cent increase in bucket digging force from 27.8kN to 32.2kN (SK35SR-7). In addition, the boom cylinder bore has been increased from 80mm to 85mm for improved lifting capacity (SK35SR-7), while increased travel performance and an upgraded hydraulic system deliver faster combined operation. Fuel consumption has also been reduced by 25 per cent using the new ECO-mode.


The latest Series 7 versions of the SK28SR, SK30SR and SK35SR cater for operating weight requirements from three to four tonnes, with base machine weights ranging from 2930kg to 3890kg. The zero-tailswing design makes them both ideal for operating in limited space, and a versatile machine

for a variety of applications. The machines’ quick-hitch piping has also been extended by 200mm, with standard tilt lines on SK30SR-7 and SK35SR-7 models adding to the versatility of the machine by allowing easy installation of tilt hitches and multi-function hydraulic attachments.

Comfort and safety

Operator comfort and safety was key to the development of the new Series 7 minis. The new machines follow Kobelco’s Performance x Design concept, which includes a newly designed cabin interior, to make long operating hours more comfortable. A standard 12V port and AUX jack is provided, while the standard Bluetooth integrated stereo system allows the operator to stream audio. AM/FM radio and handsfree telephone functionality also come as standard, while the wider wrist rests and ergonomic levers reduce operator fatigue.


The standard colour display provides important information, including operating history, maintenance cycle, and fuel and water temperature gauges.

A standard 12V port and AUX jack is provided, while the standard Bluetooth integrated stereo system allows the operator to stream audio. AM/FM radio and hands-free telephone functionality.

The Grammer mechanical suspension and reclining seat on cabin models, coupled with powerful air conditioning, have also been designed to make the operator feel like they are controlling a much larger machine.

The standard colour display provides important information, including operating history, maintenance cycle, and fuel and water temperature gauges. Hydraulic Flow Adjustment (HFA) comes as standard in all proportional hand control models, and the hydraulic oil-flow to the attachments can be adjusted via the same colour display. To reduce downtime for maintenance, the travel levers are now removable, which improves accessibility to the main control valve.


To improve visibility on the jobsite, new Series 7 minis have been equipped with two bright LED work lights. Additional working lights can also be installed to the back of the cabin if required. LED backlighting on switches and dials is also standard to improve visibility.

Kobelco’s short-radius excavators also benefit from a proprietary Integrated Noise and Dust Reduction System (iNDr) which provides ultra-low onsite noise operation, ideal for urban worksites, and removes dust from the air intake. It also enhances serviceability by allowing easy access to the air filter, which can be quickly removed and cleaned without the use of tools, for easy visual inspection and cleaning.

Driven by customer feedback

Commenting on the introduction of the new Kobelco Series-7 mini models, Kobelco Australia’s General Manager of Product and Distribution, Mark Johnson, said: “We’re always taking on board our customer’s feedback to understand what they need from their mini excavators and how they perform on jobsites. As well as o ering enhanced performance, increased bucket digging force and improved lifting capabilities, the introduction of the new SK28, SK30 and SK35SR-7 range demonstrates how we are developing our mini-excavator technology to better suit the needs of our operators and more demanding jobsite conditions.”

The new Kobelco SK28SR-7, SK30SR-7 and SK35SR-7 are available with a canopy or an air-conditioned cabin and are available now around Australia.

To locate your local authorised Kobelco dealer or to learn more about Kobelco excavators, please visit 55
The Grammer mechanical suspension and reclining seat on cabin models, coupled with powerful air conditioning, have also been designed to make the operator feel like they are controlling a much larger machine.

LiuGong 9017F ZTS mini excavator

LiuGong is Australia’s No. 1 wheel-loader brand and rates in the top five machinery manufacturers globally for units sold. Landscape Contractor magazine was very keen to get hands-on with a 9017F ZTS to see what made the brand so popular.

Mini excavators are a major boon to landscapers. Their ability to work in very confined spaces and move comparatively huge amounts of earth and debris with precision is invaluable.

As the Landscape Contractor magazine sheltered from the intermittent rain at the test site, itching to get the LiuGong 9017F ZTS into action, the machine’s buoyancy looked like it might be a consideration.

But test driver Mat Wandmaker from Blue Ridge Property Maintenance is made of stern stu .

And so, as it turned out, is the Liugong 9017F ZTS.

Test drive
The LiuGong 9017F ZTS mini excavator is clearly a capable and well-built machine which would be an asset on any landscaping or construction site. Images: Prime Creative Media
A fuel-e icient, low-noise and low-emission Stage V certified Yanmar 3TNV80F-SNLY engine powers the zero-tail-swing unit.

The machine LiuGong’s 9017F has an operating weight of 1.75 tonnes. A fuel-e icient, low-noise and low-emission Stage V certified Yanmar 3TNV80F-SNLY powers the zero-tail-swing unit and gives 86L/min system management flow and high breakout force.

Hydraulics are matched with the engine for e iciency, and Automatic Idle Control means reductions in fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent can be expected compared with the industry average.

High-pressure quick-coupler lines are standard, as are the two-speed auto-shift travel, 300mm rubber tracks and hitch piping.

Load-sensing hydraulics equipped with pressure-compensated valves deliver smooth operation, and the Electro Proportional Joystick gives precise and sensitive control of all attachments. Operators can control and monitor oil flow to the auxiliary lines using an in-cab control unit, and the 9017F ZTS features a smart lock button on the joystick that allows the operator to lock the flow.

With the upper frame and counterweight sitting within the width of the tracks, the 9017F ZTS can access and work in the tightest of areas. The o set boom swing

control allows the 9017F ZTS to dig right alongside the tracks, and at the touch of a button, track-wheel control enables the boom to swing 74 degrees to the left and 54.5 degrees to the right.

And at the end of the day, easy access to air filter, oil filter, fuel prefilter, dipstick, hydraulic tank and oil-fill cap via fully opening side covers save a great deal of time on maintenance.

The drive

Mat Wandmaker’s thoughts on the LiuGong after a muddy testing session were fairly unequivocal.

“I love driving excavators,” admitted the Victorian, “but driving this one was particularly pleasurable. It’s really nimble, and the zero tail swing is handy for landscapers because it’ll get into tight little spots.

No issue whatsoever with the

Operating weight 1750kg

Rated power 5.2kW (20.4hp /20.7ps)


Bucket capacity0.08m3

Arm digging force12kN

Bucket digging force4160mm

Shipping width1550mm

Shipping height2450mm

Track shoe width (STD) 300mm

Engine Yanmar 3TNV80FSNLY

Emission Stage V/Tier 4f

Hydraulic system maximum flow 86 L/min 57
The upper frame and counterweight sitting within the width of the tracks mean the 9017F ZTS is super compact. digging power. LiuGong 9017F ZTS mini excavator
Hydraulic system primary

Test drive

Plenty of power for a machine of this size, and no play in the controls.

“The digging component was good. There was no issue whatsoever with the digging power. It wasn’t super-hard compacted clay, but I don’t think it would’ve been an issue if it had been, and there was no play in the controls, which was awesome. “Everything was nice and smooth.”

And the ergos?

“Everything was in the right spot,” Mat recalled.

“I’m a taller guy, and I fitted in the cab quite nicely. I stayed quite dry during the rain, too, and the LCD display in the cabin is quite intuitive. I really liked it. I had a quick flick through and it was easy to bring up the service history, turn lights on and o that kind of thing.

“I normally wear earmu s when I’m operating machinery like this, but I didn’t need to on the LiuGong. It was nice and quiet. And the visibility?

“Forward visibility is perfect!” beamed Mat. “There’s no obstructions there. It could possibly use a little mirror just so the operator could check behind if needed, but overall, visibility was fine.”

Limited-time o er

The LiuGong 9017F ZTS mini excavator is clearly a capable and well-built machine which would be an asset on any landscaping or construction site.

But the cream on top of the very sweet deal is a limited-time o er of ownership from as little as $23 dollars per day. Finance T&Cs apply of course, and you can find out more about the o er, the 9017F ZTS, and the entire LiuGong range at

Landscape Contractor’s test driver, Mat Wandmaker, gave the LiuGong the thumbs up.
Contact your nearest branch today 1300 788 757 BRISBANE - SYDNEY - MELBOURNE ADELAIDE - PERTH DITCH WITCH STAND-ON SKID STEERS Designed for demanding jobsites and built to outperform, a Ditch Witch stand-on skid steer will deliver unbeatable performance time and time again. NEED IT MOST. MUSCLE WHERE YOU 4.99% FINANCE p.a * PURCHASE YOUR NEW SK600 OR SK800 WITH * Terms and conditions apply, 4.99% finance offer is based on a chattel mortgage with a 36-month term, no balloon, 10% upfront cash deposit. Available on selected Ditch Witch models - SK600 and SK800. Credit provided by MKP Finance Pty Ltd ABN 56 611 706 784 to approved ABN holders only (GST registered). Finance applications must be received, approved, settled and equipment delivered prior to 30/06/2024. Ditch Witch CEA and, or MKP Finance Pty Ltd reserves the right to change, extend or withdraw this offer at any time. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Offer valid while stock lasts. Other interest rates may apply if additional accessories are fitted.

The Cub Cadet ZTXS4 48" zero-turn mower is a top-tier choice for those seeking a powerful, durable, and comfortable lawn-maintenance solution.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTXS4 48"

A robust and versatile zero-turn mower designed for those who demand e iciency, durability, and comfort in lawn maintenance.

The ZTXS4 48" is powered by a 23HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine, renowned for its reliability and power, ensuring the mower operates smoothly, even under challenging conditions.

The mower’s Synchro-Steer™ technology provides unparalleled control, with fourwheel steering, enabling sharp turns and manoeuvrability traditional mowers just can’t match. This feature is particularly beneficial for navigating around obstacles and tight spaces, making it an excellent choice for properties with intricate landscaping.


The mower’s capability is further enhanced by its ability to handle steep inclines of up to 20 degrees, making it suitable for varied terrains. Its Hydro Gear ZT-3100 transmission is built for heavy-duty use, ensuring the mower can tackle large areas of up to 12 acres e iciently, and the electric PTO blade engagement allows for easy operation. The

Durability is at the core of the ZTXS4 48", with a 10-gauge fabricated-steel cutting deck.

mower’s reverse mowing capability adds to its versatility.


Durability is at the core of the ZTXS4 48", with a 10-gauge fabricated-steel cutting deck that provides strength and longevity.

The deck’s design ensures consistent cut quality, essential for maintaining a pristine lawn, and the triple guard corrosion defence system with e-coat o ers automotive-grade corrosion resistance, ensuring the mower will withstand the elements over time.

Safety is also a key aspect of the mower’s

Test drive
Images: Prime Creative Media

The first Zero Emissions electric excavator in Australia

The Volvo ECR25 Electric revolutionises compact excavators. This electric powerhouse combines proven design with battery electric capability. Ideal for confined spaces, its emission-free operation eliminates the need for exhaust extraction.

Matching diesel performance, it recharges in lunch breaks, enabling four hours of uninterrupted operation without refueling interruptions.



Zero exhaust emissions from use

Significantly lower noise levels

Flexibile charging solutions

Premium warranty coverage

Big Enough to Trust, Small Enough to Care


Test drive

The mower’s SynchroSteer™ technology provides unparalleled control, with fourwheel steering, enabling sharp turns and manoeuvrability.

construction. The tubular-steel rollover protection system o ers peace of mind, especially when working on hilly terrain, while anti-scalp wheels prevent damage to the lawn, ensuring a smooth and even cut across various types of grass.


Comfort is paramount when spending significant time on lawn care, and the ZTXS4 48" delivers with a premium high-back seat with armrests. This seating ensures the operator can work for extended periods without discomfort, and the intuitive steering wheel and foot-assisted deck-height adjustment make the mower easy to operate, reducing fatigue and increasing productivity. Ergonomic controls are designed for ease of use, with a handy cup holder and easy-access maintenance points that make upkeep straightforward.

The mower’s design considers the operator’s experience, ensuring every aspect of use is as comfortable and e icient as possible.

Powered by a 23HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine, renowned for its reliability and power.

Test drive

The tubular-steel rollover protection system o ers peace of mind, especially when working on hilly terrain.

The wrap up

The Cub Cadet ZTXS4 48" zero-turn mower is a top-tier choice for those seeking a powerful, durable, and comfortable lawn-maintenance solution. Its advanced steering technology, robust construction, and thoughtful comfort features make it a standout product in its category, capable of handling the demands of large and complex properties with ease.

Test driver Mat Wandmaker from Blue Ridge Property Maintenance summed things up pretty well when eased o the ultra-comfy seat after grooming a fairly large lawn and putting the Cub Cadet through its paces for the video.

The Cub Cadet operates smoothly, even under challenging conditions.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZTXS4 48"

Country of manufacture United States

Block size Up to 12 acres

Engine23HP Kawasaki FR691V

TransmissionHydro Gear ZT-3100

Cutting width48 inches

Cutting deck construction Fabricated steel

Cutting deck thickness 10 gauge

Cutting-height adjustment 16 position

Maximum cutting height Yanmar 3TNV80F-SNLY

Minimum cutting height 25mm

Deck wash No

Anti-scalp wheels Yes

Cruise control No

Blade engagement Electric PTO

Blade(s) Three

Seat Premium high seat with armrest

Starting Key

Tow hitch Yes

Reverse mowing Yes

“Wet or dry, whatever conditions we got, it handles fantastically.

“The adjustable steering wheel means we can actually make it user-friendly for tall or short people, and the height adjuster on the side means deck height can be adjusted with a simple turn of the dial.

“Overall,” beamed Mat, “I love this Cub Cadet machine,”.

Whether you’re a professional landscaper or a homeowner with a passion for lawncare, the ZTXS4 48" is engineered to exceed expectations and deliver exceptional results.

Learn more of the ZTXS4 48" and the entire Cub Cadet range at

Engine warrantyThree-year domestic/ two-year commercial

Unit warrantyThree-year domestic/ two-year commercial

Specifications subject to change without notice and without incurring obligation. Actual products o ered for sale may vary in design, features, attachments, and non-functional appearance

catcherOptional extra
Operator Presence Control Front tyres 13" x 6.5" Rear tyres22"x 12” Fuel tank 20.8 litres Roll Over protection Yes Maximum drive speed 12.9kph Maximum reverse speed 5.6 kph Maximum slope capability 20 degrees
Mulch plugOptional

Clean up

this autumn with Honda blowers



Case study

A1 Rubber and Barefoot Projects

A1 Rubber was already a favourite supplier of Barefoot Projects in Victoria. A1 Rubber’s new Victorian warehouse has made things even better for the Braeside-based company.

B arefoot Projects, a design consultancy based in Braeside, Victoria, is a leader in landscape construction and prides itself on excellent service and quality work.

Australian owned and operated since 2008, the company specialises in works ranging from childcare facilities, government and private educational institutions, sporting facilities and through to aged-care and sporting arenas.

From concept to completion, the Barefoot Projects team designs, estimates and builds, creating visionary landscapes and enduring spaces.

We couldn’t help but notice a tendency to a playful and colourful look to a lot of Barefoot Projects’ work, and there seems to be a distinct joy in creating play areas.

“I like to tell people we make happy places

for little people,” grinned Louise Bartlett, the company’s irrepressibly cheerful Project Coordinator. “The majority of what we do within the umbrella of landscape construction is child-care areas.”

It seemed to us Louise and the rest of Barefoot Projects were very happy about that situation

Great service

Naturally, wherever children are involved, soft-landing surfaces are vital. Bright colours and being able to provide imaginative and mentally stimulating structures is important as well, and that’s where Barefoot Projects found an excellent supplier and supporter in A1 Rubber, especially now there’s a Victorian headquarters.

“We’ve been dealing with A1 Rubber for

probably 12 to 18 months all up,” Louise recounted, “and more recently we’ve been dealing with Toni De Clase at the new Melbourne depot.

“The experience has been really good.

“We were outsourcing all our rubber needs to suppliers who were finding their own material, but over the last 18 months or so we’ve started working with a subcontractor who deals primarily with us. As a result, it’s so much easier for us to buy the rubber materials, and we’ve been very happy with the service we’ve received from A1 Rubber.”


With A1 Rubber based in Queensland, the Victorian warehouse has been a real step up in convenience for Barefoot Projects.

“We used to order everything through

The majority of Barefoot Projects’ work within the umbrella of landscape construction is child-care areas. Images: Barefoot Projects
We use the whole range of


Rubber materials “ “

portal-based ordering systems and it was sent down from Queensland,” explained Louise. “There were obviously transit times and we had to allow for that. For all intents and purposes, the rubber components of our jobs were almost considered a long-leadtime item.

“But since the Melbourne o ice and warehouse opened it’s been an absolute blessing. We can make a call, or we can shoot through an email in the morning, and we can pick up in the afternoon.

“Lately we’ve had quite a few projects on the other side of town, and it’s been a really, really, good run for us. A lot of the guys are only 15 or 20 minutes away from the A1 Rubber depot in Brooklyn, and it’s been so easy to go and get product.

“And there’s now the ability to grab product on the fly,” said Louise, clearly delighted with the e iciency and convenience.

A1 Rubber’s warranty on its binder moves it in front of its competitors, and Barefoot Projects uses Procure.

Great product

Louise is fairly straightforward about which aspect of dealing with A1 Rubber she enjoys most.

“The rubber!” she beamed.

“We mostly use the rubber granules –EPDM – but we use the whole range of A1 Rubber materials, including the rubber mulch, the Carnival range, the Opal range, as well as the CSBR range.

“We’ve recently started using A1 Rubber’s binder as well. We’ve tested it against other industry binders we’ve used, and because A1 warrants its product, it also double-warrants the product if we use A1 Rubber binder. We’re using the Procure, and it’s working out really well.”

When we suggested Barefoot Projects and A1 Rubber was a good fit, Louise quickly replied, “It is! It absolutely is. We’ve got a really cohesive relationship, I think.”

We’re not sure if that was a very subtle pun on being cohesive with binder materials, but it’s clear Barefoot Projects will be sticking with A1 Rubber.

Find out more about A1 Rubber and its products at, and Barefoot Projects at

Barefoot Projects uses the whole range of A1 Rubber products. 67

Sunbrush Australia chooses JCB

Specialists in all matters solar, SunBrush Australia serves a wide variety of customers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Based in Williamtown, just north of Newcastle in New South Wales, SunBrush Australia’s innovation and solutions-focused service is driving remarkable growth in the national solar industry.

An expanding venture of HCB, SunBrush Australia is an industry leader in the supply

of cleaning and operator-maintenance equipment for industrial and commercial solar panels. Utilising innovative combinations of premium machines and specialised attachments, the SunBrush Australia team is able to carry out the technical and challenging task of solar-panel maintenance with unmatched e iciency and quality.

Recently, SunBrush Australia acquired a JCB 48Z-1 mini excavator from local machinery supplier Hunter JCB, which is used in tandem with a SunBrush Rapid panel-cleaning brush attachment, to clean and maintain solar panels owned by one of Australia’s largest energy providers.

Sunbrush Australia acquired a JCB 48-Z1 to use in tandem with a Sunbrush Rapid panel-cleaning brush attachment. Images: Sunbrush Australia

Case study


JCB’s four-tonne 48Z-1 excavator has been developed to exceed even the most exacting demands, and JCB claims it’s one of the strongest and highest performing mini excavators ever built. It’s highly productive, compact, agile, innovative and economical to own, and includes exclusive safety features, is smooth to operate and easy to service.

Logan Haggerston, business owner and Director at SunBrush Australia, commented: “One of the key reasons we chose the JCB mini excavator is its combination of a high hydraulic-flow rate plus a stretch boom function. The JCB is the excavator that allows us to not only run the Rapid attachment hydraulics, but also articulate its angle to perfectly align with the solar panels, giving a precise, fast and e icient clean, even on three- and four-panel solar arrays.

“Not only that, an extra advantage of the JCB 48Z-1 is the fact it can run other attachments and articulate them around as well – we can run mulchers and other attachments to clear growth around the panels, making the JCB extremely versatile,” continued Logan.

Full service

The SunBrush Australia team continues to penetrate the national solar market, pioneering new e iciencies and unique solutions for the ongoing advancement of the industry. SunBrush Australia also has a fleet of three hire tractors and brushes available based on demand, and provides Chemitek cleaning additives to ensure the best clean. Find out more about SunBrush Australia’s wide range of products and solutions at, and there’s more information on the unique JCB 48Z-1 at

The JCB allows not only the Rapid attachment hydraulics, but also articulates its angle for alignment with the solar panels being cleaned.

Ergonomic controls and nine-inch customisable colour monitor.

JCB 48 Z-1 features

• True zero tailswing configuration for ultimate manoeuvrability

• Premium componentry (Bosch-Rexroth, Nachi, Bridgestone, Berco) and great structural strength for long service life

• Bushed kingpost for lower whole-of-life costs

• Perfect dig end geometry for ultimate lifting performance

• JCB double locking Quick Hitch

• Economical Perkins engine as standard

• New larger cab area, ergonomic controls and nine-inch customisable colour monitor

• Patented and innovative hydraulic system for maximum e iciency

• Dual Circuit Auxiliaries with in-cab changeover and flow adjustment 69
A high hydaulic flow rate plus a stretch boom function.

Case study

Supergroups and Cingo

Supergroups is Victoria’s leading mini-excavator dealer, o ering factory-trained technicians and five-star service. When the company saw a need for carriers, it chose Merlo’s Cingo range.

Cingo multifunction tracked carriers o er exceptional versatility, and excel at moving material into, out of, and through confined spaces.

They’re an ideal machine for the construction and landscaping industries.

Supported by continuous research and decades of ingenious design by the Merlo Group, these machines represent a collaboration of technology, safety, versatility and manoeuvrability. Extraordinarily compact, the Cingo makes light of accessrelated issues of bigger machines, and along with their quality build, it’s made them an ideal addition to the Supergroups catalogue.

An excellent fit

James Tibos, General Manager at Supergroups in Hallam. Victoria, is looking forward to o ering the Cingo equipment to the dealers’ customers.

“We see the Cingo lineup as a perfect complement to our range of mini excavators,” he said. “We o er zero to eight-tonne excavators, and we have a really, really good relationship with large civil and hire companies. We believe there’s opportunities for Cingo in the hire and landscaping markets.”

Conscious of Supergroups’ standing as the leader in its area of operation, James sees Cingo as an excellent fit.

“We’re the market leader for mini excavators in Victoria and we’re conscious of aligning our name and our reputation with quality brands,” he pointed out. “Merlo has a worldwide reputation for reliability. That’s what we build our branding on, too.

“It’s the reliability that keeps getting our excavator business, and that’s what we want to align ourselves with, so we’re careful and we’re conscious of what other brands we do take on.

“I think Cingo is going to be a good o ering for our regular business,” he said with obvious sincerity.


As James pointed out, Supergroups has the machinery landscapers need to work in areas where room and access is tight, and the Cingo carriers will highlight and support the compact-excavator business.

Cingo multifunction tracked carriers o er exceptional versatility, and excel at moving material into, out of, and through confined spaces. Images: Cingo
We sell a lot of excavators in tightaccess areas, and the Cingo gets the debris and dirt out of those places

“The thing I really like about the Cingos,” he explained, “and the thing I’ll be pushing to the market, is the accessibility – as in the tight access.

“We sell a lot of our excavators in tightaccess areas, and what the Cingo solves is getting the debris and dirt out of those places. You can dig a hole, no problem, but you’ve got to get rid of what you’re digging up. So we like the o ering of the dump loader.

“We can set you up with a Kubota U10 or U17 1.5-tonne excavator, but how can you get rid of all the debris? With Cingo we’ve got an option to deal with that as well.”

A big future

Chris Wilson, National Sales Manager at Merlo Group Australia, is understandably very happy to have Supergroups o ering Cingo product.

“We identified Supergroups as an ideal candidate for our Cingo mini transporters,” he said.

“Kubota is the market leader in mini excavators and the small construction industry, as Supergroups are in the Melbourne territory. We believe it’s a perfect match to marry up the Cingo mini transporters with the Kubota mini excavator range and the skid steers as well.”

And the plans for Cingo?

“We hope our Cingos are sold in conjunction with the Kubota product,” said Chris. “It’s a seamless pairing. They both complement each other in the market, and the Supergroups service, support and reputation in Victoria is second to none, and that’s why we believe it’ll be best suited to support Cingo in the Melbourne market.”

See the Cingo range at 71
The versatility of the Cingo carriers is enhanced by the available range of attachments.
The quick-coupling device is patented and allows incredible, convenient versatility.

The SK1050 accepts many attachments to suit a variety of hardscape, landscape, utility, plumbing and irrigation jobs.

IDitch Witch SK1050

Hardworking and versatile.

deally suited for a variety of demanding jobsites, the Ditch Witch SK1050 mini skid steer improves versatility and productivity by directing more hydraulic power to the attachment. The durable, constructiongrade design eases operator maintenance for improved ROI and outperforms all other working machines in its class.

Designed specifically with the hardworking operator in mind, the best-in-class, springsupported operator platform improves comfort for long hours on the job.

Built for pros

The SK1050 is equipped with a 37hp Stage V Yanmar® diesel engine, which provides exceptional power to all machine functions, and allows operators to tackle any variety of landscape, hardscape and irrigation tasks.

A full 30hp is directed to the attachment for more e icient and productive use of hydraulic attachments such as augers and trenchers, and the machine is capable of 7.6kph ground drive speed, both forward and in reverse, improving job-site cycle times.

The robust design of the lift arms, rollers and undercarriage improves overall machine longevity and ROI, and a high-drive track system includes bolt-on, interchangeable rollers – a Ditch Witch exclusive – for longerlasting performance. A low-maintenance gauge track-tensioning system features a grease cylinder for easy adjustment and track removal, improving track life and reducing downtime.

With no daily maintenance points and no greasepoints, ease of maintenance

An ergonomic operator’s station comes standard with single-lever ground-drive controls and an optional joystick, allowing the operator to control each track independently.

Eye on the industry
Images: Ditch Witch CEA

is improved and total cost of ownership reduced. Easy access to the machine undercarriage helps keep the machine in proper worker order.

Well set up

The SK1050 accepts many attachments to suit a variety of hardscape, landscape, utility, plumbing and irrigation jobs. An advanced attachment-latching system makes for simple, secure connection of the attachments, and a standard hydraulic brake improves operator engagement and disengagement.

It’s also designed with operator comfort

in mind. A best-in-class, 843cm2 springsupported operator platform gives outstanding comfort and the ergonomic operator’s station comes standard with single-lever ground-drive controls and an optional joystick, allowing the operator to control each track independently.

The machine also features a repositioned mu ler now on the side, allowing exhaust to escape without a ecting operator comfort.

See the entire Ditch Witch range and find your nearest dealer at

A high-drive track system includes bolt-on, interchangeable rollers – a Ditch Witch exclusive.

The SK1050 is equipped with a 37hp Stage V Yanmar® diesel engine, which provides exceptional power to all machine functions.

weight (no attachment, fluids full) 1558kg 35% tipping capacity482kg Tipping capacity1377kg Hinge pin height, maximum 2.10m

Wheelbase/track length 1.09m

Track width, maximumcentre 188mm/ side 94mm

Angle of departure 27°

Engine Yanmar® 3TNV88C

Fuel diesel

Gross power rating37hp (27.6kW) Emissions complianceEU Stage IIIA Number of cylinders Three

Displacement 1.64L

Bore 88mm

Stroke 90mm

Rated speed 3000rpm Ground drive speed forward/reverse 7.6kph

Ground pressure (ISO/CD 16754) with 230mm tracks 0.34bar

Hydraulic systemDouble gear pump

Pressure 250bar

Flow rate 52.6L/minute

Fuel tank capacity 40L

Engine oil, with filter4.7L

Hydraulic reservoir capacity 35L

Electrical system12V 73
Ditch Witch SK1050
2.19m Overall
Operating height, maximum standard. bucket
Overall length of machine, standard. bucket
Overall length of loader, no attachment
machine height

Navigating the challenges of electric fleet transition

Transitioning mower fleets from fuel to electric has been growing in popularity among organisations who want to lower their carbon footprint and reach their sustainability goals, or those who contract to them. However, this transition often encounters hurdles that make it more complex.

Strategies for leveraging capital expenditure (CapEx) versus operating expenditure (OpEx) models can be useful, but requires a willingness to challenge the status quo.

Leasing versus buying electric commercial mowers

Traditionally, purchasing commercial mowers has been the norm for many contractors acquiring fleet equipment. However, leasing presents a viable alternative that can support a faster transition.

By shifting from purchasing equipment to leasing agreements, you can mitigate the upfront CapEx burden, opting for a more manageable OpEx model – especially when you have insu icient capital expenditure budgeted to allow for purchasing the new electric fleet equipment you need to fulfill contract obligations.

EcoTeq Sales Manager Braden Light said that while his customers in facility management and landscape contracting

Eye on the industry
EcoTeq o ers Australia’s largest range of electric zero-turn commercial mowers. Image: EcoTeq EcoTeq’s mission is to support like-minded organisations in transitioning their mowing and outdoor-maintenance fleets for a cleaner, safer future –without compromise to performance and productivity. Image: EcoTeq

may find it cheaper to buy an electric mower outright in the long-term, it’s typically easier to hire for shorter-term contracts. Many choose to leverage OpEx budgets through leasing agreements to do so.

Braden reflects on this growing trend where organisations are increasingly using OpEx budgets to bring electric vehicles into their fleets. While the long-term coste ectiveness of outright purchases may seem appealing – especially from a Total Cost of Ownership perspective – bureaucratic processes, paperwork trails and the potential risks associated with contract rollovers not proceeding highlight the advantages of an OpEx model, especially in the short term.

Service and maintenance

It’s well established that electric mowers require far less ongoing maintenance and very little servicing. But even so, it’s important to be clear on your approach.

When leasing a mower, the costs of any maintenance work or repairs can be

channelled through the leasing company. And while some in the industry do this, Braden found many contractors prefer to come directly to EcoTeq for servicing. It avoids any duplication of e ort for no real gain.

“By going direct, within 24-48 hours you can get a solution. It’s much quicker for servicing and maintenance,” said Braden.

Get started with your green fleet transition

O ering Australia’s largest range of electric zero-turn commercial mowers, EcoTeq’s mission is to support like-minded organisations in transitioning their mowing and outdoor-maintenance fleets for a cleaner, safer future – without compromise to performance and productivity.

Request a no-obligation consultation with a product solutions specialist to get started on your green fleet transition. Call EcoTeq on 1800 100 150 or visit

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many more To assist with cash flow, monthly payment plans are available 75
An Aviso Group Partner ABN: 25 050 242 914 | AFSL NO: 2344386 Horticulture & Arboriculture Insurance Specialists Proud
For more information contact our Horticulture Facility Manager Rashmi Soni 03 8544 1610 Public Liability insurance up to $50
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Transitioning mower fleets from fuel to electric has been growing in popularity. Image: Marsupial Landscape management

STIHL connected is smart new technology designed to make your life easier by managing your tools. Images: STIHL

STIHL connected: smart fleet management

Have you heard of STIHL connected yet?

Have you heard of STIHL connected yet?

This smart technology is designed to make your life easier by managing your tools for you. From providing product run times reminding you about upcoming or overdue maintenance, to showing the last location of tools, STIHL connected takes tool and fleet management to another level.

STIHL connected is made up of 3 components – the STIHL Smart Connector (compatible with all tools) & the Smart Connector 2A (designed for use with selected AP system models only) which is fitted to the tool, the STIHL Connected App and the Pro Portal (online dashboard). STIHL’s new AP 500 S battery, which is the most powerful slot battery in the range

which was purpose-designed for use with the MSA 300 C-O, has Bluetooth® technology integrated into the control module, allowing connection to STIHL Connected fleet management system.

STIHL connected is useful even if you aren’t a professional user as you can keep track of when your tools need maintenance or servicing, similar to service warning light in most modern cars. For the private user, STIHL Smart connector and STIHL connected app are all you would need, however for larger fleets the STIHL connected portal is designed specifically for making the management your tools simple and intuitive.

The STIHL smart connector is essentially

a Bluetooth hour meter. When fitted onto a cordless or petrol machine and paired through your STIHL Connected App, it counts the machine’s working time and sends it back to the smartphone app via Bluetooth.

That information then gives you a better insight into the tool’s use and because it’s linked to the STIHL tool database, on many STIHL tools, it gives you the machine’s service schedule and will remind you when servicing is due, instead of having to refer to the schedule in the back of the user manual. This means you can keep on top of your machine maintenance at all times. It can even put you directly in touch with your local dealer to arrange a service, and it’s

Eye on the industry

Eye on the industry

Just stick the connector in a safe place on the tool or machine where it can pick up an electrical signal from the machine while it’s running.

also a fantastic database of your machine information, including serial numbers.

If the STIHL Connected app isn’t open or within Bluetooth range (10m), then the Smart Connector will just continue to count the machine’s run time until the next time the app is opened near it. The more regularly you open the app within 10m of the machine, the more accurate a picture of the machine’s usage can be built up; we recommend opening it daily, typically in the workshop at the end of the day would work well.

Although we’d love every machine to be a STIHL one, you can even use the Smart Connector with other brands or machine types. You just need to stick the connector in a safe place on the machine where it can pick up an electrical signal from the machine when it’s running, such as on the

casing near the spark plug or ignition unit. We’ve even heard of customers using the STIHL Smart Connector on their motorbike to remind them when an oil change is due. View the list of fully supported STIHL products and FAQ’s here.

STIHL connected can give you insights into your tool fleet too. Instead of knowing how many times a tool has been in the field, you get information about exactly how long it was used for. That allows you to service machines after a certain number of hours, rather than just guessing. Prevention is better than the cure. By planning your preventative maintenance you can avoid down time and better schedule your visits to your Local STIHL dealer, potentially saving the business time and money. You can make sure tools are rotated too so they get even usage, rather than a good tool being left at

the back of the workshop.

STIHL Connected relies on a connection to a smartphone, so if a tool was left at a customer’s garden whilst connected to the STIHL app, it will show where the tool was last paired with the app. Or you can use it to check all the tools are nearby after a day’s work.

If you’re looking to purchase or replace tools – you can see which tools are the most used, under-used or not used at all, or which employees tools best looked after based on their hours of use. That information can give you a much better insight to help choose the right new machinery for your business, and manage the lifecycle of your tools much better.

Visit your local STIHL dealer for more information.


Meet the new Kobelco Series 7 mini excavators – SK26SR-7, SK28SR-7, SK30SR-7 and SK35SR-7. Engineered for excellence, the new Series 7 mini excavators feature increased engine output, reduced cycle times, and a massive 15% increase in digging force. Step into the updated spacious cabin and discover a world of comfort and innovation. With intuitive controls and ample storage space, every detail of this ergonomic operator station is crafted to enhance operability.

The new Series 7 Kobelco mini range. Small size, big impact.


MINI RANGE | 1300 562 352

Eye on the industry

Right now Renault Master Van is available to ABN holders at sensational National Fleet pricing. Image: Renault

Renault Master Van

For the landscaper who needs a vehicle that’ll work hard and still look good, Renault Master Van is a clear leader. And right now it’s available to ABN holders at sensational National Fleet pricing.

There’s nothing creates a better first impression on a job site than a crew or company who pulls up in a good-looking work vehicle that’s clearly designed and built with serious professionals in mind.

Renault Master Van not only looks stylish and modern, it backs up that presentation with genuine work and design credentials.

Choose to suit

Available in four lengths, three heights, front- or rear-wheel drive, and with storage that spans between eight and 17 cubic metres and has up to 12 anchorage points in the cargo area, Renault Master Van is available in a configuration to suit any business. Rear doors that can be opened to 270 degrees and a cargo area which will accept a standard pallet mean big loads of turf, blocks or other raw materials can be loaded and unloaded e iciently by forklift, and still leave plenty of room and easy access for tools and equipment.

The cabin is both functional and comfortable, with compartments for the storage of clipboards, plans, paperwork and all the typical paraphernalia which needs to be taken to every job. Travel

time can be a good opportunity for a little relaxation or admin work and the fully integrated seven-inch touchscreen with MediaNav system, compatible with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® smartphone replication mean drive time can be an e ective o ice and communication time as well. As a plus, the workstation integrated into the front centre seat is an ideal set up for a laptop or tablet.

Safety and comfort

Driver comfort in the cabin is excellent, and the safety has been a key consideration, especially for those who may be fatigued after a tough day of physical work.

Dusk-sensing headlights and rainsensing wipers ensure a safe and comfortable drive home, and a suite of other mind-easing features includes:

• Blind-spot monitoring

• Automatic high/low beam headlights

• Hill-start assist

• Active emergency braking system

• Cruise control with speed limiter

• Lane departure warning

• Rear parking sensors, and

• Rear-view camera.

Driver and passenger front airbags and driver-side airbag are standard too, ensuring those in the cabin are well protected in the event of a mishap.

Limited time o er

Renault Master Van, like a good landscaper, embraces a beautiful finish, well-thoughtout design and a high level of endurance which will cope with the rough and tumble of day-to-day use, but will still look sharp and functional.

On top of everything else, Renault Master’s fuel-e icient, powerful, turbocharged diesel engine and large 100L fuel tank mean when there’s people, equipment and material to be moved, Master spends more time on the road and less time at the bowser.

Renault Master is a hard-working and very cost-e ective part of any landscaping business, and right now, business is the winner.

See your local Renault dealer or log on to for details on the sensational o er of National Fleet pricing to ABN holders.


Nothing is new. Except everything.

Our wide range of professional battery machines not only provides the performance you expect, the common system allows you to easily switch battery unit from one machine to another – and stay efficient at all times.

Either you insert a battery for truly cordless work, wear your battery or batteries in our ergonomic hip belt, or use a backpack battery for maximal run time. Meanwhile, these machines give you running costs close to zero and pay for themselves quickly. Visit your Husqvarna dealer, find the machines you need and make an investment that will pay off.

Learn more at


Business & finance

Those who prioritise planning will get through the next few years. Image: Rawpixel/

Maximise your profits with better planning

Anna Turner has some solid-gold tips on the benefits of good planning.

The market’s getting tighter, we can all feel it. So now is the time to double down on planning to maximise profits. I know we are all too busy to put time into planning, but those who prioritise this stu will get through the next few years.

Every cent counts, now more than ever!

Watch the dollars

Set profit goals and plan how to achieve them.

This is a big topic, but as a bare minimum you should set turnover goals for the next couple of years. O that you can set your net profit and gross profit goals for the same time periods and ensure all the jobs you quote meet or exceed that benchmark.

Cashflow planning has been made so much easier with accounting software like Xero and MYOB. Invoice often and chase each invoice the day it is overdue. Plan and track project start and finish dates to help with cashflow. Know who you owe money to and plan payments ahead of time. Try to reduce the overdraft and credit card fees as much as possible. Paying interest sucks!


Job tracking and scheduling goes hand in hand with cashflow planning, but it is so much more.

By tracking your lead funnel, you will know what volume of work you must quote weekly to fill the pipeline down the track. And the funnel will show you how long it takes to

turn a typical lead into a project. For some companies the lead time from quote to boots on the ground is weeks, while with others it is years. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will automatically track this lead time, but you can also do it with a spreadsheet and mental arithmetic. Simply track the date you first quoted each project and compare it to the date you won the job. Over time the lead-time average will become clear.

Project scheduling

Project scheduling helps to plan subbies, sta , jobs and machinery. It helps me to visualise the gaps in the program, showing me clearly what type of work I need to chase and the gaps it needs to fill.

Lately I’ve been using software called Teamgantt to schedule projects and it’s been fantastic. Project scheduling makes work on site more e icient, which increases the profitability of the project. Adjusting the schedule daily takes time, but it helps you plan subbies, machinery, deliveries and sta , so it’s an absolute must for any construction project that runs for more than a week. Last, but not least, you need to set time aside for sta planning. It’s a good idea to set up a spreadsheet to trach the following:

* The career path of each sta member. If you can’t identify a career projection for one of your sta , chances are they won’t be with you in a few years. Everyone needs to feel like they are able to improve their lot in life, so it

is your responsibility as their boss to map out how work will help them achieve their life goals (even if they don’t think they have any). Try to identify skills gaps with each employee and create opportunities for them to upskill. You don’t always have to send them on expensive courses. A less-expensive alternative is to buddy them up with a colleague who can teach them a specific skill.

* How wages are likely to increase over the next 12-24 months. Many of you are pricing projects with a lead time of 12 months or more, so you need to factor those wage increases into your pricing. They say the economy is cooling o a bit (thank goodness), but your good sta will still be expecting a wage increase to stick around (refer to my point above), while at the same time clients are never keen on contract increases. Calculate how much your sta will likely cost you down the track and make sure the quotes you are doing now can accommodate that increase.

Planning will make your business more e icient and in turn create a greater profit margin for you. Make it a priority to set up these planning systems, like cashflow tracking. Once they’re in place maintaining them will be less work and deliver big insights.

Planning is always made better by reviewing. You must also make time to review the outcome to ensure your planning is more e ective over time.

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The Front Garden

Make sure you tune into Landscaping Victoria’s fantastic podcast series which has now recorded over 100 information-packed episodes, with new content released fortnightly.



osted by LV members Chris Weiss and Tyson Owen in their own irreverent style, The Front Garden o ers the latest in landscaping news, trends, and ideas by sharing some stories from people within the industry, and sometimes beyond, to help make your landscaping career a little easier.

You can listen to The Front Garden on Spotify or Apple podcasts.

Make sure you save it to your favourites and receive alerts when new episodes are released. Listen when you’re working onsite, driving to work, or gain a little extra knowledge and insight as you drift o to sleep.

If you have an episode idea or a burning question to ask Chris and Tyson, drop us a line at

Proudly sponsored by Botanix Plant Supply. Check out the podcast website at

Here’s a few recent popular episodes…

Paul Bangay (Ep 96) – Australia’s most well-known landscape designer took us through his career journey and shared some of his learnings

Ritchie Hinton (Ep 93) – we met LV’s new CEO (spoiler alert: he’s not a landscaper, and he’s pretty sporty!)

Scott Leung (Ep 91) – Eckersley Garden Architecture’s guru shared his experiences on navigating client briefs and team management

Association news
LV Chris Weiss Tyson Owen host The Front Garden in their own irreverent style.

Being an accredited member of Landscaping Victoria sets you apart. Why? Because not only do you have the skills and talent expected of a member, but you embrace the industry values of quality, pride and professionalism in your business. Your Membership supports continual work to strengthen and positively in uence the future of our industry.

Become a Landscaping Victoria member and bene t from support, community and promotion: Apply today.

Become a member of Landscaping Victoria.
p | 03 9566 7284 e | Stand strong beside the hundreds of Landscaping Victoria members who bene t from a supportive community that promotes those who strive for, and deliver excellence at every level.

The TLA Landscape Expo trade show is returning for 2024 and the date is set for Tuesday, September 3. Images: TLA

How The Landscape Association is fostering the industry’s next generation

As the leading industry association, the TLA welcomes new and potential landscapers to the industry with support and the sharing of knowledge.

With a bright future and a need for more people to join the industry, The Landscape Association (TLA) has stepped up its campaign to support apprentices and new industry participants.

With experienced professionals across all segments of the industry – designers, landscape contractors and maintenance specialists – TLA members throughout NSW and the ACT are in the perfect position to role model high standards in workmanship, communication, creativity, and business acumen.

TLA CEO Jodie Dean said the organisation believes in educating and mentoring the next generation of landscapers, which is why it is so committed to supporting apprentices.

“TLA members provide a breadth of

experience throughout the industry, across both residential and commercial projects,” she said. “The organisation is also committed to raising and maintaining industry standards and supporting the industry overall through its work with advocacy and representation.”

Free student memberships

As part of this commitment to the future, TLA is now o ering students free membership to the association. This o er is available to all students studying relevant qualifications including, but not limited to, construction, horticulture, design, and architecture – both vocational and tertiary – throughout the duration of their course.

Valued at over $750 per year, TLA membership allows students to meet with

industry leaders, hear about best-practice industry developments and attend training and networking events.

Benefits of the free student membership include:

• Free resources and industry news

• Discounts on TLA member events/training

• Connect with industry leaders for career growth, and

• Access to supplier discounts via the TLA Member Rewards program.

Apprentice of the Year Award

The Apprentice of the Year Award is one of the highlights of the annual TLA Landscape Excellence Awards.

The 2023 winning apprentices, Oliver Olsen of Green Options (Parks & Gardens)

Association news

and Jakub Podworski of Sharp Landscaping (Landscape Construction) have just returned from a four-day study tour, undertaken with TLA’s Jodie Dean, a new prize component added just this year.

The tour prize was generously funded by two long-standing members and past presidents of the association – Robert Stanton from Regal Innovations and Steve Simpson from Simpson Landscapes – and included a visit to the Melbourne’s famous International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) as well as wholesale nurseries and the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.

Jodie said it was rewarding to be part of the education of the two young apprentices, who enjoyed their trip to MIFGS and were inspired by what they saw. She hopes the new prize component will boost future entries.

“It’s a great opportunity to inspire dedicated apprentices and expose them to the work of some of the industry’s biggest names,” said Jodie. “It reflects the commitment of the TLA to our industry’s future.”

Oliver said the trip helped him realise how much people love the industry. “I loved meeting many designers, including Jason Hodges, who shared valuable knowledge and information about his display garden, his choices and design,” he said. “The private events after the show ended each day helped me gain knowledge from some of the best creative designers I’ve seen. Being able to talk with them and see their point of view about things has helped me gain confidence in going about my own garden designs.”

Jakub added that the trip gave him lots of

ideas and inspiration. “It was very interesting to see how things were done in Melbourne as well,” he said.

Access to resources

As TLA members, students can access many resources, including industry updates, networking events and continued training. TLA events are unique, often delivered by industry leaders and provide an opportunity for members to share knowledge and experiences, improving the industry across the board.

Members of the association also have access to a wide range of discounts on products and services for the landscaping industry through access to leading suppliers who sponsor the association and its events. The TLA Member Rewards Program can o er thousands of dollars in commercial discounts annually.

2024 Landscape Expo Trade Show

The Expo is returning for 2024 and the date is set for Tuesday, September 3. The Expo is the only event of its kind in NSW/ ACT, o ering an unrivalled opportunity to network and build relationships across all levels of the industry. It’s an opportunity to educate landscape students as well as industry professionals, and due to this and its success in 2023, the event is returning to the TAFE NSW Ryde Campus. Designed by the TLA’s members, there’s something for everyone across the trade and associated businesses.

Practical and inspiring, TLA will grow its trade event with a plan to eclipse the 50 exhibitors and 850 attendees from

2023. Along with incredible specials and o ers from a range of suppliers, the educational speakers’ program and productdemonstrations o ering will be expanded, a further training opportunity for apprentices and those new to the industry.

Attendees can benefit from:

• Networking: meet and mingle with industry leaders, peers, and potential collaborators. Attendees can build lasting relationships that can further their careers

• Cutting-edge education: gain insights from top experts in landscaping. Discover the latest trends, techniques, and technologies that can help the industry stay ahead in this ever-evolving field

• Inspiring exhibits: explore a wide range of exhibits showcasing innovative products, tools, and solutions. See firsthand what’s shaping the future of landscaping

• Speakers and demonstrations: view product demonstrations to gain practical skills that can make a real impact on landscaping

• Fun and community: be part of a thriving landscape community, share experiences, and celebrate passion with like-minded individuals!

Interested in learning more?

Visit The Landscape Association’s website at to learn more about the association and all the programs o ered to apprentices and those considering a career in the industry.

Follow TLA members and their work via its social media channels: Facebook @ thelandscapeassociation; Instagram @ the_landscape_association. 87
The 2023 winning apprentices, Oliver Olsen (left) of Green Options (Parks & Gardens) and Jakub Podworski of Sharp Landscaping (Landscape Construction) were sponsored to a study tour. The TLA has stepped up its campaign to suppport apprentices and new industry participants.
Find out what’s in it for you Join your industry community and together we will raise the bar in landscaping, and help you build your dream landscaping business. Join your industry association today!

Master Landscapers of SA is spearheading industry growth

Master Landscapers of SA (MLSA) is forging ahead in its mission to elevate the landscaping industry in Adelaide and regional South Australia, despite facing significant challenges posed by a looming skills shortage.

The landscaping industry in Adelaide and regional SA is currently grappling with a severe shortage of skilled workers, impacting its ability to meet the burgeoning demand for landscaping services. This shortage not only impedes the industry’s expansion but could also undermine the quality and professionalism MLSA and its members strive to uphold for their clients.

Moreover, with major government investments in infrastructure projects such as the Torrens to Darlington upgrade on the horizon, the demand for skilled labour in landscaping is expected to skyrocket in the coming decade. Recognising this imminent surge, MLSA is proactively engaging with stakeholders to attract and upskill individuals within the industry.

“The skills shortage in our industry is a multifaceted challenge that a ects various facets of our operations,” remarked MLSA CEO Amanda Grocock, highlighting the breadth of the issue. “From landscape designers to horticulturists, and from construction specialists to maintenance technicians, we’re facing a deficit across all skill levels and job roles.”

Employment opportunites

One of MLSA’s recent initiatives includes lobbying the SA Government to recognise

Certificate III in Landscape Construction as an apprenticeship, a move aimed at incentivising new entrants to join the industry and address the skills gap. Additionally, MLSA is set to participate in the upcoming 2024 Careers & Employment Expo, where it will showcase the diverse opportunities available within the landscaping sector to potential job seekers.

To further facilitate employment opportunities, MLSA has launched a dedicated Jobs Board on its website, serving as a centralised platform for both job seekers and employers seeking sta . The platform is open to everyone and can be accessed at

Community and networking

Amidst its advocacy and industry-exposure e orts, the MLSA remains committed to fostering a sense of community and networking among its members. Regular member events continue to be staged, with the highly anticipated 2024 Awards of Excellence and Gala Dinner providing members with an opportunity to showcase their achievements and celebrate the industry’s successes.

As the MLSA continues to lead the charge in addressing the challenges facing the SA landscaping industry, it invites both existing members and non-members alike to join the cause, supporting the advancement and

2023 Awards winner, Commercial Landscape construction exceeding $1 million: LCS Landscapes for Thornden Park Super Playground.

sustainability of landscaping in Adelaide and regional SA.

For those looking to enter the industry or enhance their professional development, the MLSA stands ready to provide guidance, resources, and a supportive community to help them thrive.

About Master Landscapers of SA

Master Landscapers of South Australia (MLSA) is the peak association representing the Landscaping Industry in Adelaide and regional South Australia. The association builds capacity and capability across the industry, ensuring members deliver the highest quality standards and levels of professionalism for their customers.

The highly coveted MLSA Awards of Excellence recognise the skill, craftsmanship and expertise within the MLSA membership and encourage excellence in the fields of landscape design, construction and maintenance.

For more information, or to contact a licensed landscaper in your area, visit

Association news
From left: South Australian Skills Commissioner, Cameron Baker; MLSA CEO, Amanda Grocock; MLSA President, Clint Adams; and Minister for Education, Training and Skills, The Honourable Blair Boyer MP. Images: MLSA

Perth Garden and Outdoor Living Festival (PGOLF)

May 9-12, 2024, Langley Park Perth.

LIAWA is excited to announce the creation of two Waterwise Show Gardens for the upcoming 2024 Perth Garden and Outdoor Living Festival (PGOLF) at Langley Park, Perth, running from May 9 to 12, 2024. Joshua O’Keefe, Managing Director of The Greenscape Collective and Vice President of LIAWA, will expertly oversee the construction of these show gardens as Project Supervisor, demonstrating his support for LIAWA.

Free to LIAWA members

LIAWA members are encouraged to participate, with free entry provided to all members wishing to support their association at PGOLF. Consider contributing by:

• Providing landscape labour to assist in building the show gardens; LIAWA will remunerate sta . For more details, please contact, and

• LIAWA landscape gardeners and designers will have the opportunity to expand their

client base and find new work by o ering short consultations. Please contact to book.


The build is scheduled to begin on May 1 and conclude on May 8, ahead of the gates opening to the public from 10.00am to 4.00pm, starting May 9, with over 40,000 visitors expected. Two garden design sketches have been created, and LIAWA expresses gratitude to NGIWA Executive O icer Lisa Passmore for her contribution.

This is a unique chance for your business to shine in LIAWA’s enchanting Show Gardens at PGOLF, where the Best in Show accolades await.

To create these stunning Show Gardens, materials have been carefully curated and sourced. LIAWA extends its gratitude to contributors, including Benara Nurseries, Domus Nurseries, Hunter Industries, Miniquip, The Lawn Doctor, Straightcurve

Australia, WG Outdoor Life, StrataGreen, Veolia Organics, Creation Landscape Supplies, Ekodeck, Ellenby Tree Farm, Nutrien, Country Earth and West Coast Hi Fi to name a few.

Truly exceptional

PGOLF promises four days of wonder, featuring landscape show gardens, WA’s most extensive plant market, and an array of outdoor living products that will captivate Perth and Western Australian residents.

This remarkable opportunity o ers an ideal platform for LIAWA member businesses to gain recognition for their contributions through various media channels, including press, radio, television, and on-site promotional materials. To register your interest, please contact Christine Stanton at liawaexec@

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of something truly exceptional!

Association news
LIAWA is creating two Waterwise Show Gardens for the upcoming 2024 PGOLF. Image: Lisa Passmore
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