Landscape & Irrigation

L&I17Sep

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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28 September 2017 Landscape and Irrigation www.landscapeirrigation.com EQUIPMENT FOCUS BY JESSICA BEDORE P urchasing a UTV of any caliber is never an easy deci- sion. With so many options and models flooding the market, contractors can often be left wondering how to make the right choice for their business. Given that the average price for a commercial-grade UTV is around $15,000, contractors find themselves doing a lot of research to ensure that they've made the right decision and that they purchase a vehicle with features that will help them with day-to-day work. So, you've just done your research, and are thinking about purchasing a UTV. How can you ensure that you'll get the most out of your investment? What many contractors don't realize is that these multi-functional vehicles can do more than just haul mulch and landscaping tools. If you're in the market for a UTV, you're about to purchase one of the most functional tools available. UTVs can help increase your efficiency and bring more profit to your business — if you know how to maximize the vehicle. While it's a no brainer that a UTV can help with summer land- scaping tasks, what many business owners don't realize is that their vehicle can be used in any season. With a variety of attachments and accessories, UTVs can be used for spring and fall cleanup, as well as for snow removal in the winter. "For landscape contractors with businesses in multi-season states, a UTV purchase could make a lot of sense, as it can help with landscaping duties and snow removal," said Gravely Commercial Product Manager Trae Humphreys. "Most manufacturers also offer a full portfolio of accessories like full cabs and heaters that can help keep the operator comfortable in winter conditions." With both mounted and pull-tight attachments an option for several UTV brands, there's a lot you can do to outfit your UTV, creating the perfect vehicle for your unique work scenario, season after season. "Our company offers what we call a 'landscaping rack' as an option in our UTV portfolio, and that is one of the accessories that we've had really good feedback on because of its ability to turn the land- scape contractor's UTV into a landscaping equipment hauler," said Humphreys. "Often, landscape contractors are working on large sites, and they may find themselves walking back and forth to their truck, probably located pretty far away from their work site, several times per day, to get different pieces of equipment. Having a UTV outfitted specifically to carry items like rakes, leaf blowers, string trimmers and other necessary items allows crews to bring the equipment right to the spot they're working, saving time throughout the day." UTVs could also help bring new business to your company, as the work they're able to complete often can't be duplicated by smaller products or by cars and trucks. Take snow removal for example. A UTV is the "just-right" solution for clearing small parking lots, larger sidewalks or suburban driveways. Landscape contractors may use professional snow throwers or even trucks outfitted with plows to complete these tasks currently. However, by incorporating a UTV into their workflow, this work could get done quicker than it would with a snow thrower, or more cost effectively than with a truck. It could even bring new business opportunities by attracting clients with different property sizes or clearing needs than you were able to accommodate previously. "One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a UTV for your business is to think about the services you offer as a company, and how that vehicle can make you more efficient in those areas, leading to more profit," said Humphries. "For many contractors, incorporating a UTV into their hardscape business, for example, can help them haul materials faster, which, in turn, shortens the job and allows for more work to be scheduled that day." UTVs can also add to your company's overall brand and brand appearance in the field. UTVs are usually available in several colors and can be outfitted with your company's logo or mark, which increases awareness of your brand when crews are out working in the community. "That vehicle then turns into a working advertisement for your business," said Humphreys. There are several ways in which a UTV can impact your business in a positive way. From brand awareness to increased profits to run- ning a more efficient operation, these unique and innovative vehicles could bring countless new opportunities to those who know how to get the most out of their investment. Jessica Bedore is public relations coordinator at Ariens Company. For more information, visit Ariens.com or Gravely.com. PHOTO PROVIDED BY ARIENS COMPANY Getting the Most Out of Your UTV Investment

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