Speed Up Landscaping Jobs with the Right Machines and Couplers

by Visitor GregWorley on ‎04-06-2016 02:30 PM - last edited on ‎05-19-2016 11:05 AM by Contributor idigcat


CATBC56261-april-blog-image.jpgFrom clearing land, to digging irrigation trenches, to drilling planting holes, to sculpting golf courses, mini excavators are utilized for a variety of jobs across the landscaping industry. While some companies focus on a specialty niche, others perform a large range of landscaping projects. Evaluating how often you have to change out attachments and researching coupler options can play a significant role in helping companies increase efficiency on the job site. 

 

Coupler Options and Assessing Your Needs

In the past, changing out machine attachments was a time-consuming, manual task that involved an element of risk, as the operator had get out of the machine and use hammers to slot pins on and off the attachment. Now, with advancements in coupler technology and options, operators can spend more time on the tasks at hand and less time changing out attachments.

 

  • Manual couplers require the operator to exit the machine to switch out attachments; however, when compared to a “pin-on” arrangement, they reduce the amount of labor involved and can save approximately 30 minutes for each attachment change. Manual couplers are a good option for companies that typically change attachments three to four times a week. This could reduce up to two hours of downtime per week.
  • Hydraulic couplers allow operators to change out attachments using controls from within the cab and in a shorter amount of time than with manual couplers. Hydraulic couplers are an ideal option for companies that must change out attachments several times throughout the day in order to complete the work. For example, if an operator is changing out attachments three times a day, a hydraulic coupler can reduce the amount of time spent on this process by close to a half hour when compared to machines with manual couplers. Hydraulic couplers can also help reduce operator fatigue.
  • Tilt couplers allow 180 degree rotation and give operators the ability to get in places they usually couldn’t with a normal coupler or pin-on arrangement. These are an ideal and almost essential solution for companies that regularly perform sculpting and shaping jobs, such as golf course landscaping. Tilt couplers are used in a lot of high-end landscaping work, especially when it involves creating shapes or working on hills. Without a tilt coupler, grading work would take more time.

 

Taking the time to evaluate how often you are changing out attachments throughout the work week/workday and considering which coupler option best suits your needs can be the key to increasing efficiency this season and being able to expand your workload capacity.

 

To learn more about the latest advancements in machine, coupler and attachment technology for the landscaping industry, visit Cat® Landscaping. For additional information, contact your local Cat® dealer or visit us online.

 

We’d like to hear about what you are doing to increase efficiency and get the jobs done during the busy landscaping season.  

  • Do you rent, lease or own a mini excavator? If so, what tasks do you use it for?
  • Which couplers do you most commonly use for landscaping jobs?
  • Have you ever owned or operated a mini excavator with a pin-on arrangement? What advantages or disadvantages did you notice?
  • Have you ever owned or operated a mini excavator with a manual coupler? Advantages and/or disadvantages?
  • Have you ever owned or operated a mini excavator with a hydraulic coupler? Advantages and/or disadvantages?
  • Have you ever owned or operated a mini excavator with a tilt coupler? Advantages and/or disadvantages?

How much time are you saving with your coupler system(s)?

Comments
by Ryan Hutchinson
on ‎05-03-2016 08:10 PM
Company owns mini ex and skid loaders. I change couplers multiple times a day (bucket & forks) manually. I have to agree it takes way to much time to exit the machine and manually switch the attachments over. I have used hydrolyic couplers before and have to say it cuts the time down tremendously to switch over attachments. Manual couplers tend to jam a lot as well. Hydrolyic couplers need more maintenance. I would choose hydrolyic over manual every time if I could. Definetely saves time!
by Visitor GregWorley
on ‎05-04-2016 04:02 PM

Hi Ryan - Thanks so much for reading the blog and sharing your personal experience and insight. I'm glad to hear hydraulic couplers are helping you get the job done quickly!

-Greg Worley

About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am a Pre-Field Agriculture/Product Application Representative for Caterpillar. I recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
  • I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
  • I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.
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