While many construction sites slow down their activities over winter, other industries ramp up their activities. Landscape gardening is one area that is not thought of as a user of heavy equipment, yet in many cases, heavy equipment is the only machinery suited to a job. Frozen ground is no fun to dig in by hand, yet excavators and backhoes can often work with little effort.
So what sort of jobs would heavy equipment be used in landscape gardening. One of the more frequent tasks is the movement of whole trees. Winter, or the dormant season, is the best time to move a tree. Excavators and backhoes are perfectly designed for this type of work, including cutting through excess root systems. Mobile cranes are often used to lift the tree, root ball and all, into a truck ready for transport.
Before trees are transplanted, an excavator or backhoe will dig a large hole. A mobile crane is then used to lower the root ball into the hole, and to hold the tree upright while the soil is then back-filled into the hole. Backhoes are a handy tool for this job – the shovel can dig the hole while the loader can be used as a bulldozer to push the soil. In some cases, one of those nimble little skid-steer loaders is used to back-fill and compress the soil.
Whether you’re operating a mobile crane, excavator, backhoe or skid-steer loader, precision and caution is most important. For a large tree to be transplanted successfully, the tree needs to be moved quickly and with as little damage as possible. The skill of landscape gardeners and heavy equipment operators manage this on an almost daily basis – and those trees, some of them giants, survive the experience. If you’re interested in landscape gardening and heavy equipment operations, the two do go hand-in-hand – moving trees is just one of many jobs. For landscape gardeners, undertaking heavy equipment training could be what you need to further progress in the industry.