Sole trader Tony Kelly started his business Ginger Landscaping two years ago and has put in the hard work; manually digging holes and carrying materials for domestic and commercial jobs. In early 2020, he decided to invest in a mini skid steer loader – a one-stop-shop that has since saved him time on projects, increased site efficiency without having to hire more staff, and even helped to remove his aches and pains at the end of a work day.
After working with major landscaping companies for 15 years, Tony started his own business Ginger Landscaping in Brisbane. Tony – the Ginger Landscaper himself – does most projects on his own, with the help of subcontractors for concrete and other works when required.
Working on both private homes and commercial premises, his services include the supply and installation of fencing, turf and retaining walls, as well as domestic earthworks, garden design, and outdoor living works.
With a large amount of fencing work and materials needed on site, he decided to invest in a piece of equipment that would speed up the process. One big consideration was site conditions as Queensland’s stormy and wet weather creates muddy sites that can bog down some equipment.
“For me it had to be a track machine over tyres, it needed a control system with joysticks rather than traditional controls, and I wanted something built in the US,” Tony said.
“I shortlisted down to four machines but went with the Vermeer S450TX Mini Skid Steer Loader because the company and the salesperson were by far the best to deal with.”
Multi-use for large projects
Purchasing a machine is a huge commitment for a small business and not something that Tony rushed into.
“It’s my first Vermeer purchase and I spent about nine months chatting with the sales person. He was happy to answer any of my questions and let me think about it – he didn’t force a sale,” Tony said.
After making sure the S450TX Mini Skid Steer Loader was the right choice, Tony purchased it and put it straight to work on a large project that involved installing a 350m perimeter fence for a townhouse complex.
“On this project, there was a big rainstorm and the delivery trucks couldn’t get through to the back of the site, they could only deliver to the front, and the site was about 160m in length.
“I used the pallet forks to carry everything so I didn’t have to do it by hand and used it to drill all the holes for the project – it was a lifesaver.
“Even through the mud, the S450TX still ran and had great flotation over the tracks. I can drill fence holes in a fraction of the time it takes to dig them, and have since purchased a concrete mixing bowl that I can put on the machine. It’s been fantastic and has streamlined everything.”
Support invaluable for small businesses
Vermeer’s S450TX Mini Skid Steer Loader features a 226.8kg SAE-rated operating capacity and a tipping capacity of 648.6kg. Its Kubota diesel and Kohler EFI petrol engines and four-pump hydraulic system provide the performance needed for all attachments, and it has a single joystick ground drive control for smooth range of motion.
It has both a wide track (22.9cm) for increased flotation and a narrow track (17.8cm) available for easy access to traditional gate entrances. There are also a variety of attachments that can be purchased depending on the needs of the company.
“It has allowed me to get one and a half times more work done without employing someone else,” Tony said.
“When I get home I’m no longer aching or in pain from working that day, and I look more professional as a business pulling up to the site with the S450TX loaded up on the trailer.”
Tony said that one of the main reasons he chose the S450TX was because of the before and after sales support from Vermeer.
“When it was delivered in their trailer, they let me use the trailer for a short time while mine was being fabricated, and when I had an issue with an auger drive, I called them up and straight away they said they’ll have a fitter come around when I get home to fix it.
“Purchasing it was a big scary decision, but it’s been one of the best things I’ve done for my business,” Tony said.