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Landscape Contractors Are Using This Alternative to Skid Steers

Articles - May 22

Landscape Contractors Are Using This Alternative to Skid Steers

Jennifer Stiansen
Director of Marketing
JLG Industries

It’s no secret that skid steers and compact track loaders are widely used among landscaping professionals. These versatile machines have been around for more than 50 years, making light work of landscape and hardscape jobs, like digging, loading, transporting materials and more. 

Occasionally, though, landscapers’ needs vary, and they may seek an alternative to skid steers or track loaders for the task at hand.

Skid Steer Alternative at a Glance
“Skid steers are very good at what they do, but they can’t reach up very high or very far and they are very disturbing to the ground,” says John Boehme III, Senior Product Manager for JLG. “If you need more lift height, more forward reach, less weight and less ground disturbance, you may want to consider an ultra-compact telehandler as an alternative.” 

The JLG® 3013 SkyTrak® telehandler is a solid option. This machine has a lift capacity of 2,700 lb, a lift height of 13 ft 1 in, and a reach of 7 ft 1 in, offering the ability to reach into truck beds, onto trailers or over obstacles. At 6 ft 7 in high, 8 ft 9 in long and 4 ft 7 in wide, it’s compact. And thanks to the fact that it has rear-wheel steering and you can select turf tires as an option, it’s maneuverable and creates less ground disturbance than other types of construction equipment. 

Let’s take a look at a couple use cases for 3013 the in landscaping. 

At the shop
Loading and unloading materials at your facility is one area where a small telehandler can deliver. 

First, a contractor who receives palletized materials at his or her shop can benefit from this machine’s reach and lift capacity. For example, when loading items off or onto a semitrailer, there’s no need for a pallet jack to move materials around on the trailer. This machine’s reach allows you to cut out the extra labor and equipment. 

Likewise, moving large items like boulders around at your facility is an easy task for an ultra-compact telehandler like the 3013. It can easily reach up and into a dump truck, for example; whereas a skid steer would only have the ability to set a boulder or large load onto the edge of the truck bed. Then you’d have to use the equipment to push it further into the vehicle, scratching up the bed. 

Transporting bulk materials like mulch from your storage area into a dump truck is a breeze with the 3013. 

“Materials are expensive, you don’t want to waste them,” Boehme says. “With 13 ft (of reach), you can see what you’re dumping and where you’re dumping it.” 

Adding to the telehandler’s versatility is the fact that it has a universal skid steer coupler. “The machine you’ve rented or purchased can be equipped with the attachments you already own,” he says. “There’s no need to go out and get another bucket.” 

On the job
Because the 3013 is lightweight, getting it to the job site is an easy task. Landscapers can transport it to and from the rental facility or the shop with a standard truck and trailer, adding to the convenience of running an ultra-compact telehandler. 

Once you are working on the job site, you can use an ultra-compact telehandler like the 3013 to increase productivity and reduce labor, similar to how you would use a skid steer or track loader. 

“Say you want to move saplings — you can put five of those in the bucket and move them all at one time,” Boehme says. 

This machine, in particular, shines in tight urban environments where you may only have access to one side of the truck. 

“You’re able to lift high enough or extend far enough from one side into the truck to load and unload in congested downtown areas with less traffic disruption,” he says. 

Finally, the 3013 is a great machine for cleanup at the end of the job. Hook up a bucket attachment and circle the property. While one operator drives, another crew member can toss in any trash and debris that needs to be hauled away from the site. It’s much faster than having team members clean up by hand or with wheel barrows, which ultimately improves profitability.  

For more information about the JLG 3013 telehandler, click here.

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