Job to job, season to season, it’s tricky these days to anticipate what you’ll need to succeed on site

You never know. Last fall, residents of nearly half the country – at least the northern tier of states – were told to brace for an unusually brutal winter. Predicted to arrive early and hit with a vengeance, a combination of record cold and crippling snowfalls threatened to bring operations to a standstill for months at a time. Oh, the drama.

As it turns out, many of us are still waiting. Weeks on end of freeze-thaw; daytime temps in the 50s and 60s; rain then sun then rain … and a slight dusting of snow that required no more than a push broom to clear. Shrubs began to bud and bulbs began to sprout.

Finally some snow! But much of it in Seattle, where residents and landscape crews were thrown for a loop. Fun for sledding on cookie sheets and cafeteria trays, but a little iffy for crews ill-equipped to deal with the stuff.

Call it climate change; call it quirky weather. If you’re in the landscape biz, you need to be prepared to deal with just about any situation. Who knows? “Spring” weather may mean something entirely new to all of us. So take a gander at the kinds of tools that will come in handy for you – maybe even year ’round.

Get ready to spend more time grinding stumps and less time adjusting belts.

Courtesy of Bandit Industries Inc.

Self-propelled stump grinder

Let’s hope you don’t have to use this handy contraption only for grinding Fraxinus. Bandit’s new Model 2250XP self-propelled stump grinder features a heavy-duty, hydrostatic motor that powers its 20-inch diameter cutter wheel. No need for a clutch, jackshaft, drive belt … you get the picture. Many of the components that require increased maintenance are no longer necessary, leaving you more time to get the work done.

A 27-horsepower gas engine drives two hydraulic pumps – one for the self-propelled undercarriage and one for the cutter wheel. The hydrostatic motor at the cutter wheel is a heavy-duty, 40CC unit that uses an oversize bearing to manage the side-load and shock loads associated with stump grinding. There’s no clutch to operate, so engaging the cutter wheel is as simple as pushing a lever. Machine-mounted controls are easy to use and positioned to provide good visibility while grinding. At just 1,500 pounds this is one of the lightest four-wheeled stump grinders available, and with large flotation tires the 2250XP can easily traverse delicate lawns without damage. A maximum width of 35 inches means the 2250XP is also extremely maneuverable in close quarters, and its combination of compact size and light weight make for easy transportation by virtually any vehicle.

For more information, visit Bandit Industries Inc. at

One-man digging applications are made easier with a360-rpm operating speed.

Courtesy of ECHO Bear Cat

21-ton log splitter

Ease of operation is a primary feature of the LS21 log splitter from Echo Bear Cat. The new model was designed with best-in-class bed height, giving the user a comfortable operating position, while decreasing physical effort and maximizing efficiency. The LS21 can be used in the horizontal or vertical positions; the new, wider end plate increases stability when operating the LS21 in the vertical position.

The LS21 model offers a range of options and kits to design a custom machine: The Log Splitter Cradle Kit stabilizes larger logs when placed on the bed, increasing safety and productivity. The Quick Split Kit allows the operator to set the retracking distance of the wedge, helping to save time and enhance productivity. Other kits available for the LS21 model include: Cylinder Brace Kit, Road Towable Kit, 4 Way Wedge Kit and Stripper Plate Kit.

The new model also features the Subaru 190cc OHC Vertical Engine with cast iron cylinder liner, increasing the life of the engine and machine itself, while cutting back on maintenance and repairs. The LS21 comes equipped with an improved hydraulic system fill, which keeps the machine components running cool during multiple hours of operation. Storing the LS21 is easy and compact with the fold up trailer tongue.

For more information, visit ECHO Bear Cat at

One-man digging applications are made easier with a 360-RPM operating speed.

Courtesy of Little Beaver

Mechanical earth drill

Safety and productivity are the goals of Little Beaver’s line of MDL mechanical earth drills designed for one-man hole digging applications. Featuring a 360-RPM operating speed, the drills produce clean holes quickly, while the compact design allows access to areas unreachable by skid steer-mounted augers.

Four models are available in the line, each featuring a powerful overhead valve gas engine. The MDL-5B and MDL-5H are available with a Briggs & Stratton or Honda 5.5-horsepower engine, and are mounted on 8-inch semi-pneumatic tires. Offering the choice of an 8-horsepower Briggs & Stratton or Honda engine, the MDL-8B and MDL-8H come mounted on 10-inch pneumatic tires. The entire unit offers a smaller footprint for easy access in any area, and can be used on lawns, golf course greens and other delicate surfaces without causing damage.

The MDL drills feature a steel torque tube, allowing operators the ability to use large diameter augers without fear of dangerous kickback. In addition to increasing operator safety, the torque tube provides easier drilling, reducing operator effort and fatigue.

A universal auger is included and offers the ability to easily change out tips depending on surface type. Included standard is a hard-faced tip, suitable for typical lawn and garden dirt, and sandy loam-type soils. A heavy-duty rock tip is optional, and works well in rocky soils. For the toughest surfaces, including hard clay, asphalt and frozen ground, the optional carbide-blade tip is ideal. Easily changeable, snap-on augers are offered in 36- and 42-inch lengths, with diameters ranging from 1.5- to 16-inch. To reach further digging depths, snap-on auger extensions are also available, in both full-flighted and tube configurations.

For more information, visit Little Beaver at

Zero-turn options offerground-breaking technology.

Courtesy of Cub Cadet

Zero-turn riders

New from Cub Cadet, the TANK SZ (which denotes Steering wheel Zero turn) delivers incredible maneuverability, turf protection and remarkable traction – even on steep inclines – due to Cub Cadet’s exclusive 4-wheel steering technology (patented as Synchro Steer Technology®). The TANK LZ (which denotes Lap-bar Zero turn) features the industry’s most intelligent and responsive lap bar system – the only lap bar system that allows for a full range of adjustability and rider egress regardless of position.

The all-new TANK LZ and TANK SZ zero-turn riders both boast a best-in-class advanced cutting system for perfect results: next generation, sloped-nose deck design system includes re-optimized and reinforced pulley, belt and drive system, smooth arc overlapping blades, and a high-velocity airflow dispersion design. Cub Cadet’s Extreme Duty Rail Frame, made of 3/8-inch steel, is a full-length, beam rail system that delivers unsurpassed strength, stability and precision.

A new generation, 14cc TorquePack drive system delivers Cub Cadet’s professional quality cut at high speeds, steep inclines and in thick, wet grass. EVC (elasticity vibration control) seating system, intuitive controls, power steering, tool-free adjustability of lap bar controls and tilt capability on steering wheel column promise remarkable all-day comfort.

For more information, visit