Types of Equipment for Landscapers

Landscaping equipment helps with earthmoving, hauling heavy loads, smoothing surfaces and other crucial tasks. It needs to withstand severe conditions and complete tasks efficiently. Each equipment type suits unique applications, making it important to select the best machine for your job requirements. Researching available pieces beforehand can help your team make the most informed investment possible.

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Choosing the Ideal Equipment for Landscaping

Each landscaping business has different equipment needs. Before committing to landscaping heavy equipment, consider the services your organization provides and the projects you manage. While some machinery options match these requirements, others might impede productivity.

Consider these factors to narrow down available options and find the best landscaping machinery for your team.

Equipment Size

Compare each machine to your typical work environment. Your equipment needs to fit the space comfortably and have ample room to move around while in use. Large machinery restricts workers in small job sites, but tiny equipment pieces can hinder efficiency. Smaller lawns often require more compact tools, like compact track loaders or mini excavators. Massive land areas need heavy-duty pieces like wheel loaders or multi-terrain loaders.

Machine Capacity

Many landscaping jobs require transporting significant quantities of earth and other materials. Consider what earth loads you will move for upcoming projects and select equipment types that can carry these weights most effectively. Heavy-duty options like wheel loaders might be necessary if you need to grade large land plots. If your job site has less material to move, a smaller model may be more efficient.

Land Type

You should also choose landscaping machinery based on terrain. Landscapers must preserve the surrounding area while completing their responsibilities. Machines are available with wheels or tracks, and your choice directly impacts the ground.

Tracks evenly distribute your equipment’s weight, minimizing pressure on the surface. They also offer traction for wet or unstable conditions. Wheeled equipment is better for rough terrains like rocks or bumpy dirt. The wheels can leave large imprints on the earth, which might not suit your intentions.

Equipment Types by Landscaping Application

Select heavy landscaping equipment built for the tasks you accomplish most often. The landscaping industry uses many approaches to repurpose or redesign land, and these applications require specific types of machinery. Some equipment can suit multiple applications, while others work best for a single task.

Consider these common landscaping applications and the tools that work best for them.

Digging and Excavation

If your job site requires digging, you need heavy-duty machines to remove the earth and move it away from the hole. Digging tools have buckets that carry the dirt, and the bucket size should match your average job site’s needs. For example, larger areas might need excavators to create massive holes and move significant amounts of dirt.

Digging often requires equipment like:

  • Compact track loaders and skid steer loaders
  • Excavators
  • Wheel loaders
  • Backhoe loaders

Loading and Handling Materials

Loading equipment lifts earth and other materials and places them in nearby trucks. Workers use them to clear surfaces, making transporting unneeded materials from the site easy. You can find loaders in a variety of bucket sizes and weight capacities.

These machine types are crucial for loading and handling materials:

  • Wheel loaders
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Multi-terrain loaders

Grading Land

Land grading levels ground by moving dirt from higher elevations into lower areas. Landscapers can work on a flat surface and create more stable bases. Grading machines use blades to transport dirt, and you can choose different blade sizes to match the amount you need to move.

Equipment for grading land includes:

  • Compact track loaders and skid steers
  • Multi-terrain loaders
  • Backhoe loaders

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Types of Heavy Equipment Used in Landscaping

Various landscaping machines can transport materials, move earth, dig into surfaces, grade land and complete many other tasks. Learning more about these machines can help your business find the closest match for your applications.

These are examples of commonly used landscape machines:

Backhoe Loaders

Backhoe loaders feature a two-sided design that allows them to complete twice the amount of work. These machines have a bucket on one end for digging materials, while the other side has a loader for moving the dirt.

This equipment type is especially useful for large jobs. Backhoe loaders can move massive volumes of the earth and make digging simple.

These machines are also highly versatile. Backhoe loaders are frequently used for a variety of landscaping tasks, including:

  • Digging
  • Trenching
  • Backfilling
  • General material handling

Landscapers can find many uses for their backhoe loaders, making them a cost-effective and worthwhile investment.

Wheel Loaders

Wheel loaders are efficient and reliable machines used for several applications on landscaping sites. Their main feature is their load-carrying capacity, which can move massive volumes of earth and other materials. Wheel loaders are available in many sizes, making them useful for many job types. For instance, compact wheel loaders can maneuver in cramped and tight spaces. They also have quiet operating features, making them ideal for projects in residential neighborhoods or calm environments.

You can also select large wheel loaders to move bigger masses. No matter the size you choose, wheel loaders provide optimal efficiency for transporting materials from one area to another.

Compact Track Loaders

Compact track loaders can dig dirt, carry land, grade surfaces and more. Instead of tires, this equipment type features tracks on the undercarriage. Rubber track loaders provide traction for soft or uneven areas, allowing machines to move safely. The tracks also let equipment work without damaging terrain, even during adverse weather. This trait helps your job site stay on track for deadlines and reduce downtime during rainy conditions. In addition, track loaders assist with smooth grading performance.

This equipment’s size is beneficial for smaller job sites or load capacities. Many model types are available, each able to move and carry different quantities of earth.


Dozers are heavy-duty machines that push gravel, soil, sand and other earth-based materials. They’re useful for job sites that require clearing or grading. Like compact track loaders, dozers use tracks instead of wheels. This design spreads the machine’s weight evenly, placing less pressure on the ground. Operators can protect the job site while moving large volumes of earth or materials efficiently.

Dozer models are suitable for anything from substantial commercial projects to small residential sites. Your team can find the best fit for your job site requirements.


Excavators are most often used for digging. Full-sized options can dig large trenches and holes, while mini models navigate more contained areas with ease. These machines are available with tracks or tires, allowing you to select the type that closely matches your needs.

These devices can also turn 360 degrees, creating optimal maneuvering capabilities.

Attachments for Landscaping Equipment

You can select attachments to expand your heavy landscaping equipment’s capabilities. These extra tools help you complete specialized tasks and let you accept more jobs.

Consider these examples of landscaping machinery attachments:

  • Augers: Augers drill holes into the ground, making it easier for landscapers to access underground areas.
  • Backhoes: You can attach backhoes to other equipment types to improve efficiency. They can complete tasks like trenching while the base machine works simultaneously.
  • Blades: Blades assist with leveling surfaces and moving dirt or other materials. They are available in different widths to meet various capacity needs.
  • Buckets: Buckets scoop and load materials while operators dig. They make it simpler to manage large volumes of earth.
  • Hammers: Hammers break hard materials into smaller pieces, allowing workers to transport them faster.
  • Mulchers: Mulchers cut through vegetation and let workers access clear surfaces. Landscapers often need mulchers when working in overgrown areas.
  • Rakes: Rakes clear land and pile materials for simple removal.
  • Shears: Shears cut and remove branches from work sites.
  • Tillers: Landscape tillers break up soil and blend it for a smoother surface.
  • Wheel saws: Wheel saws make precise cuts through a variety of materials, which is useful for many landscaping sites.

Consider whether these functions suit your job site. If they do, it might be worthwhile to invest in landscape attachments, too.

Contact H.O. Penn Today for Landscape Machinery

H.O. Penn has provided high-quality equipment and service solutions since 1923. We carry a wide range of landscaping equipment to meet your budget and project needs. Choose from new, used or rebuilt pieces of machinery to gain the most benefits for your fleet.

Contact our team today to learn more about our inventory and how we can help you improve your operations.

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