Landscape Lighting – Transform Your Home’s Exterior Into a Bold Showcase

A few well-placed landscape lights can transform your home’s exterior into a bold showcase. Lighting can also provide safety by illuminating walkways and entrances for safe navigation.

Before installing landscape lighting, sketch your yard and mark the locations of all light fixtures. This will help you estimate the voltage your lights need from a transformer. For more information, click the link https://landscapelightingorlando.net/ provided to proceed.

Uplighting is one of the most popular landscape lighting techniques. It uses a fixture placed on the ground below what you want to light up and shines upward. Popular up-lighting techniques include highlighting, silhouetting, shadowing, and grazing.

Uplighting is perfect for illuminating trees, sculptures, and other landscape features. It also looks great on steps and other pathways. It can even illuminate ponds, water fountains, and other bodies of water.

Adding uplighting to your landscape lighting system can transform it into a magical place you and your guests will love exploring at night. This is especially true for front porches and other outdoor living areas you want to show off to your friends and neighbors.

There are many landscape lighting fixtures, including spotlights and floodlights. Spotlights often highlight plants and other landscape features, as they have a wide range of beam widths and wattages that allow customization.

They are available in various finishes, so you can choose the right one to match your home’s architectural style. You can also use them to add interest to sidewalks and stone walkways, illuminating the boulders or other features that are part of the landscaping.

Landscape lighting is great for illuminating your home’s exterior and walkways. Still, it can also be used to enhance decks, patios, outdoor kitchens, pools, walls, and other structures on the property. It can also be used to create dream-like water scenes or to light up a staircase or handrail to help with safety and navigation.

Lighting is very personal, and deciding how to highlight your property requires knowledge of design, technical know-how, and an eye for what looks best. That’s why it is a good idea to have the work done by a professional who can strike the right balance between style and function. They will also have the skills to properly install and maintain your system to deliver the desired results at a price you can afford.

Lighting up an outdoor element in multiple directions can reduce the harsh shadows from one light shining directly on it. This technique often highlights fountains, trees, and garden sculptures. It can also help bring textures into sharp relief on garden walls and privacy fences. In the case of the latter, placing the lights close to the base of the wall will reveal the structure and the finer details.

Landscape lighting fixtures come in various styles that can be mixed and matched for different effects. For example, wash lights disperse a soft glow that is great for brightening flat facades such as garden walls and privacy fences, while bullet lights project a narrow beam, which is perfect for illuminating smaller items such as tree trunks or garden sculptures. The brightness of each fixture is also important as it will determine the amount of illumination achieved.

The light bulb’s color is also significant as it will affect the mood created by the lighting. For example, warm colors such as reds and yellows create a more intimate and relaxing setting, while blue-tinted bulbs can provide a moonlight effect.

Once you know what kind of lighting you want to achieve, it is recommended that you take a walk around your yard at night. This will give you an idea of what areas could be better lit and the kind of light needed to fill those gaps. It is also a good time to sketch your yard and note any existing light sources you already have in place.

Depending on the size of your yard, it may be possible to do the initial installation yourself using low-voltage landscape lighting kits that can be purchased at home improvement stores or online. These kits include the fixtures, transformer, and wires connecting them. However, it is always best to leave the installation of high-voltage lighting to a professional as they will be familiar with the various fixtures and how to run and connect them for the desired effect properly.

Many homeowners choose to highlight landscape architecture and garden accents with ambient lighting. This creates a soft wash of beautiful and functional light, illuminating areas where movement occurs at night. In addition to providing a welcoming and safe environment, well-lit paths and entrances can deter trespassers and prevent accidents while extending curb appeal and welcoming guests into the yard.

When lighting a structure, it’s important to consider the angle and beam direction. Too much direct light can blind people and overexpose details that may be distracting. A wide-beam light will illuminate the whole object, while a tighter angle produces more of a shadow effect that can be used to highlight sculptures or other decorative features.

For hardscapes, floodlights are a great option for washing walls or other structures with light. These lights are often positioned to shine up a retaining wall or other element and can help make these areas safer and more visually appealing at night. For a softer wash, low-voltage path lighting is an alternative to traditional walkway lights. This lighting style provides a smoother, more subtle wash of light that can still be seen as you walk.

Landscape lighting is also becoming increasingly popular because of its energy efficiency. LED fixtures and low-voltage systems use significantly less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. This reduced consumption helps reduce utility costs and environmental impact. Haven’s system uses a transformer to convert line voltage to 12 volts, eliminating the need for risky electrical wires and protecting children and visitors from accidental shocks.

With the increased popularity of smart home technology, several options exist for lighting your landscape using your smartphone or tablet. These devices allow you to control the lighting with a simple user interface, making them easy to use and highly effective.

Whether you’re looking to add drama to your property, welcome guests safely into your home, or enhance your curb appeal, lighting can transform how you and your family enjoy your outdoor spaces at night. We can recommend the best techniques to highlight your home’s architectural features, gardens/plantings, and prized trees while creating a well-lit walkway or entertainment area. Contact us to discuss your vision, and our experts will guide you through the best choices for your landscape lighting needs.

When lighting up your outdoor landscape, lumens (formerly known as wattage) determine how bright or subtle the lights will look. Understanding lumens is important because it allows you to control how much brightness a light emits, creating the desired effect on your property.

There are some factors to consider when determining the right lumens for your landscape lighting. First, consider the purpose of the lights. For example, pathway lights must be bright enough for visitors to safely traverse the walkways without tripping over obstacles. Landscape lighting that focuses on plants, shrubs, trees, and other ornamental features should be dimmer to maintain the subtle style of your landscaping.

Another factor to consider is the size of the object you are lighting. For example, flagpoles and tall palm trees require a very narrow beam of light to illuminate them properly. In this case, selecting a higher lumen rating can be beneficial to prevent excessive light pollution or glare.

It’s also worth noting that different bulb temperatures directly impact the color and appearance of your landscape lighting. For example, some prefer 2700K for path lighting, which produces a warm and inviting effect. Others may choose 3000K for uplighting shrubs and signs, as it creates a cool, soft glow.

When determining the lumen output needed for your landscape lighting, it’s important to remember that each home and garden is unique. As such, it’s highly recommended that you consult with a professional to ensure you receive the correct landscape lighting for your home and yard. A qualified professional can fine-tune your landscape lighting system to achieve your desired look while maximizing safety, security, and efficiency.

What Is Rubbish Collection?

rubbish collection

People often take Rubbish Removal Perth for granted, but the process behind it is surprisingly expensive. Private garbage trucks are ubiquitous on the streets after dark, but the workers who drive them are rarely seen or heard. They labor in dangerous conditions for low wages.

Curbside collection is a system of collecting rubbish and recycling from residential communities by placing household waste in containers at the curb for pick-up by specialized garbage vehicles. The collection service is usually scheduled for the same day each week. This system was introduced in the latter part of the nineteenth century, as the amount of rubbish produced increased to a level that warranted a centralized garbage management system.

A typical kerbside collection system consists of a red-lidded bin for general refuse, and blue-lidded wheelie bins for recyclables. The bins are usually stacked on the curb and emptied by waste management trucks, which are operated with hydraulic lifts. These vehicles are specially designed to carry large quantities of waste, and they can also carry multiple receptacles at once.

Many cities in the United States have curbside garbage and recycling services. In most cases, residents pay a yearly fee for trash and recycling pickup. This fee is included in the property tax bill. Some companies also offer additional services, including yard waste collection and electronics recycling.

While curbside collection is not the only way to manage municipal waste, it is an effective and economical alternative. In addition to providing a convenient way to dispose of waste, it also saves money on landfill costs and reduces air pollution. In the long run, this system may even help reduce the number of new landfills needed in the future.

In addition to curbside collection, many municipalities offer additional services for waste reduction. For example, New York City’s organics collection program provides residents with a brown bin for food scraps and compostable paper. This program, which is funded by general city revenue, is an innovative approach to solid waste management. However, it is important to understand the limitations of this type of system.

In the past, waste removal in urban areas was difficult and time consuming, and most waste disposal facilities were located far from residential neighborhoods. With the advent of a throwaway society, municipal governments began to pass laws that banned dumping on private property and introduced kerbside collections. Residents placed their rubbish in special receptacles, which were typically metal or plastic. The receptacles were then transported to centralized waste disposal facilities for processing.

Household waste collection

If you are a homeowner with an address in NYC, then you are likely to be serviced by the Department of Sanitation’s solid waste collection and disposal system. The city operates ninety routes across the City to collect trash, recycling, and yard waste from homes. In addition, the Department of Sanitation also provides bulky rubbish collection for larger items such as mattresses and fridges.

It is important to separate your rubbish as much as possible so that it can be recycled and organically disposed of in the right way. Your rubbish collection company may provide you with several wheelie bins, each of which takes a different type of waste. You can also use your local Bring Bank to dispose of certain types of rubbish, such as glass and tin cans.

Some cities charge a flat fee for rubbish collection (typically collected through building water bills) while others have a payment structure that varies based on the amount of rubbish that you generate. This is known as pay-as-you-throw and creates strong financial incentives for residents to reduce their waste production.

Commercial waste collection

Commercial waste collection involves the regular pick-up and disposal of business rubbish. Unlike household waste, business rubbish is often regulated and must be disposed of properly. It is also a requirement of commercial businesses to keep accurate records of their waste. In addition, they must have leak-proof receptacles and securely tied heavy-duty opaque bags. In order to minimize their garbage output, business owners should work with a waste management specialist to create an efficient recycling system and set waste reduction targets. They can help them determine the size of containers needed for their business and help them plan and implement a schedule for their trash and recycling needs.

Commercial rubbish includes paper, cardboard, plastics, and tins. It may also contain metals and food. The waste is collected by a private trash and recycling company and then sent to a landfill or incinerator for treatment. WM is committed to making this process as environmentally friendly as possible. The company’s centralized waste and recycling system allows customers to manage their service online. They can choose their service, pickup frequency, and collection days in just a few minutes. They can also make payments, schedule extra pickups, and change their service levels.

Among the different types of commercial rubbish, there is one that is particularly dangerous: construction waste. This type of rubbish can be quite dangerous and is usually thrown away in a large roll-off container. However, it is important to note that dumping this kind of waste at a household rubbish dump is illegal.

For this reason, it is important for businesses to use an experienced waste management specialist that is familiar with the different types of commercial waste. This will ensure that all of the rubbish is handled correctly and disposed of in accordance with local regulations. In addition, it will help reduce the amount of trash that is deposited at a household waste dump.

The best way to reduce the amount of waste a business produces is to create a green team. This is a group of employees that will be responsible for setting short and long-term waste reduction goals for the business. The team can also work on educating employees about the importance of recycling and other environmental initiatives. This will help to improve the company’s reputation, as well as its bottom line.

Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to conventional waste disposal, which can save material and energy, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and water pollution. The repurposing of waste can also help reduce the consumption of raw materials, which is essential for a sustainable economy.

Recycling also benefits the environment by reducing landfill use, which can contain toxic chemicals that pollute the air and water. In addition, recycling can create jobs in the manufacturing and construction industries. However, the benefits of recycling depend on the quality of the recyclate. A poor-quality recyclate may result in increased costs for consumers and environmental damage.

Many governments have introduced recycling policies to promote a greener society. For example, the city of San Diego has set a goal to recycle 75 percent of its waste. To achieve this goal, the city has a system of bins for different types of trash, and residents are encouraged to sort their waste. Some cities charge a flat fee for garbage collection, while others use a pay-as-you-throw model that varies according to the volume of refuse generated by each household. In the United States, this method of pricing provides financial incentives to reduce waste.

The recycling industry is a booming business and can be very profitable for both companies and individuals. Recycling is an effective way to protect the environment and the planet, but it must be done correctly. In order to ensure the highest quality of recycled products, it is important to follow strict guidelines. These include separating materials by type, using high-quality receptacles, and educating the public about the importance of recycling.

While the idea of recycling can make us feel better about our contribution to averting a global apocalypse, many are beginning to question whether it is really working. From John Oliver to NPR podcasts, the question is being asked in more and more places.

The Importance of Landscaping Maintenance

The Importance of Landscaping Maintenance

Landscaping Harrisburg PA maintenance is a vital part of keeping your property looking great. Some common services include mowing, fertilization, planting, pruning, weeding, and mulching.

Landscaping

Landscaping maintenance helps to keep your property in pristine condition and can prevent safety hazards such as diseased trees falling on the house, stinging plants, or allergens posing a threat to your family.

Your home is your biggest investment, and a beautiful yard is the key to making it look its best. Landscaping maintenance enhances the curb appeal of your property by keeping it looking vibrant all year. A mowed lawn, trimmed shrubs, and flower beds that are always in bloom are some of the easiest ways to add to your home’s curb appeal. A well-maintained driveway and walkways are also important to a property’s overall look. Adding a decorative fence or installing a new front door can make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal.

A clean, manicured exterior isn’t just for homes; it can help improve the curb appeal of commercial properties as well. A messy or neglected landscape sends a negative message to potential customers, employees, or visitors and can be offputting. A well-maintained landscape is more inviting and shows that the owners of a business care about their property.

Many homeowners choose to invest in a custom-designed landscaping plan to really boost their property’s curb appeal. A plan can include elements like a water feature, fountain, or garden that add a pop of color to the backyard. Some landscapers also offer hardscaping services that can improve a property’s curb appeal. These services may include lawn edging, weeding, mulching, mowing, and other tasks that maintain a property’s status quo.

When it comes to commercial properties, a well-maintained lawn is an important first step in improving the curb appeal of a building or complex. Services to consider include mowing, aeration, seeding, pruning, and weed control. A fresh layer of mulch will also help to keep the soil healthy and suppress weed growth.

Other ways to enhance your property’s curb appeal include a well-designed walkway or patio that connects your house to the backyard, a new mailbox and post, a painted front door, or even a decorative flag or swag. A new walkway can lead to a relaxing patio or a garden where you can grow your own vegetables. A well-designed front entryway can create a warm and welcoming first impression and make people feel right at home.

Enhances the value of your property

A landscape that is well maintained and attractive adds to the overall value of a property. This is especially true if the landscaping is done by professionals who have extensive experience in designing gardens, planting trees and shrubs, mowing lawns, fertilizing ground coverings, controlling pests, and other services that keep a property looking its best. In fact, customers claim that they are willing to spend more money on goods and services in a business district with high-quality landscapes, and home buyers will often pay more for a home with a beautiful garden and well-maintained landscaping.

If you are planning to sell your property in the future, it is essential that you maintain the appearance of your landscape. This will not only improve the curb appeal of your property, but it will also increase its marketability. Potential buyers will be more likely to consider buying a home with an attractive yard, and they will be willing to pay more for a home that is well-maintained and has a nice view of the surrounding neighborhood.

Landscaping is one of the few home improvements that can actually add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property. It is important to remember, however, that not all landscaping projects will be a good investment. It is essential to consider the maintenance requirements, return on investment, and other factors before deciding on a landscaping project.

In addition to the more common landscape maintenance services such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, and mowing, Hanson offers other maintenance services such as aeration and dethatching, weed control, and mulching. Pruning involves removing limbs and roots for reasons including plant health, reducing falling branch risks, and removing dead or diseased material. Edging is the process of creating a desired edge in your yard using tools such as spades and edgers to define the space. Mulch is used to protect the soil and enhance the look of the landscaping area.

Keeping your landscape in its best condition helps to enhance the curb appeal of your property, improves the health and safety of your yard, increases the marketability of your property, and can even help you save on heating and cooling costs. When choosing a company to perform your landscaping maintenance, make sure to read online reviews and choose a firm that is experienced and dedicated to offering the highest level of service.

Enhances the health of your property

Having an attractive garden and lawn can do more than just add to your property’s aesthetics. Studies are showing that spending time in an aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment can enhance mental health and well-being. Landscaping maintenance is also an important service to consider if you are considering selling your home in the future, as it can increase the value of your property.

A landscaping company can provide a variety of maintenance services, including mulching, pruning, pest control, irrigation maintenance, and more. These services help to keep your lawn and garden healthy throughout the year and looking their best. They can also save you the time and hassle of having to do these tasks yourself, which can be a huge benefit if you are busy with work or family.

Landscapers can also help with seasonal tasks such as spring and summer plant pruning, weeding, mulch installation, garden cleanup, debris removal, trimming, mowing, fertilization, and more. If you are considering hiring a landscaper for maintenance, make sure to ask them about the seasonally specific services they offer and how often they can perform these services. Every landscape is different, so you will want to find a service that can adapt their maintenance plan to your property.

Besides enhancing the beauty of your garden and lawn, a good landscape company can also improve the air quality around your home. This is because trees, plants, and grass can help filter pollutants out of the air. Filtered air can also contribute to better lung function and lower asthma rates.

If you are interested in using a landscaping maintenance service, be sure to hire one with a good reputation. Look for a business with a lot of positive reviews online and ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. They should also be licensed and insured, as well as have a strong knowledge of local plants and soil conditions.

A great way to find a reliable landscape maintenance company is to ask for a free quote. This will give you an idea of how much the service will cost and what services are included.

Enhances the safety of your property

Taking care of the landscape on your commercial property can be an effective way to deter crime. Not only can the presence of trees and shrubs add depth and texture to the overall look, but they also serve as natural barriers that block off views of buildings and other potential hiding places for criminals. Keeping up with regular maintenance tasks can help create an environment that is safe and attractive for your tenants.

A landscaping company can offer a variety of services to keep your commercial property looking its best. Some of these services may include mowing, fertilizing, mulching, seasonal leaf removal, garden cleanup, pruning and trimming, and weeding. When choosing a landscaping company to handle your maintenance needs, it is important to choose one that has a strong commitment to safety. This is because landscaping can be a dangerous business, and there are many potential hazards.

Hiring a landscape service that is committed to safety can help reduce the risk of injuries and accidents among workers. In addition, it can help prevent the misuse of equipment and minimize exposure to chemicals. This can be especially important when working on landscaping projects that require a lot of trimming and cutting.

The type of services that a landscaping company provides will vary depending on the needs of the client. For example, a residential client will typically need more maintenance than a corporate client. A professional can evaluate the property and determine which types of services will be most beneficial.

Some of the services that a landscaping company may provide in addition to basic maintenance are edging, flower rotations, tree pruning, and bed cleanup. They can also recommend plant species that will perform well in the local climate and soil conditions. These plants will be more likely to thrive, increasing the value of the property.

Landscaping maintenance is an essential part of any commercial property. It can enhance the curb appeal, increase the value of the property, and make it more appealing to prospective tenants. To keep up with your commercial property’s maintenance needs, it is important to work with a reputable landscaping company that offers a wide range of services.

Landscape Design – The Art of Constructing Spaces That Integrate Nature and Culture

Landscape Design – The Art of Constructing Spaces That Integrate Nature and Culture

Landscape Design is the art of designing and constructing spaces and places that integrate and reflect nature and culture. This profession has roots in landscape architecture and garden design but has grown independently.

Landscaping

It can be easy to get confused about what the differences are. The difference between softscape and hardscape is important in landscape design. A well-balanced combination of the two elements will give your yard a stunning effect.

Softscape is usually thought of as flowers, trees, shrubs, and grass. While these may be the most obvious elements, they are not the only ones. A hardscape is a manmade or natural feature in your landscaping. It can include a deck or a driveway. It can also include water features. These features can help keep runoff from flowing into your yard. It can also prevent erosion.

The hard part is that they can be expensive to replace regularly. In some cases, they can impede your property’s aesthetic appeal. To avoid this, it is recommended that you limit your living components. The most practical way to do this is by using mulch. This simple solution can hold moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing. It can also improve the structure of the soil and improve the nutrient-holding capacity of soil.

Landscape aesthetics and ecological value can be interpreted in different cultural and evolutionary contexts. These concepts are important for conservation and biodiversity policies. The relationship between these concepts should be explored within the same ecological processes and ecosystem functioning framework. Using quantitative measures is a possible bridge between landscape aesthetics and biodiversity sciences.

Landscape aesthetics is a growing field. Research has started integrating human perception and biodiversity sciences. This review aims to outline current approaches to these studies, and describe future challenges. Aesthetics in landscape design is “pleasure gained through the observation and enjoyment of scenery.” In other words, it’s the way people experience and relate to nature. However, how we perceive and experience nature varies from person to person, and how we perceive it may shape how we design and manage it.

There are two main approaches to landscape aesthetics. One approach describes a landscape by the psychological interpretation of emotions and aesthetic experiences. The other uses a more traditional view of human perception.

Landscape design is an artistic and technical process that creates and enhances the aesthetic qualities of a landscape. Aesthetic quality is achieved through color, texture, and form. One important component of landscape design is repetition. Many designs repeat patterns and elements, which brings balance to the landscape and adds beauty to the design. These design patterns can be formal or informal.

Aesthetic design results from a balanced combination of plant, hardscape, and other landscaping elements. This is essential to create a visually pleasing, consistent landscape from all angles. In addition to creating a pleasing visual effect, plants also help to provide food for wildlife. They can also control odor and noise. This allows them to provide a comfortable environment for people who use the yard.

Another component of landscape design is the flow of material between elements. This can be a vertical or horizontal line. These lines are often created with hardscape materials such as rocks or wood structures. They can also be diagonal or curved. The direction and width of the lines can determine the strength of interactions.

A landscape architect is a professional who combines knowledge of the natural environment with artistic skills. They create and maintain the built environment. Typically, a landscape architect has a degree in architecture and may practice in a company. However, most employers expect a landscape architect to have a professional license.

To qualify for a landscape architect license, an applicant must be at least 21 years old and must have graduated from a program accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board. This means applicants must have completed at least a three-year undergraduate degree in landscape architecture. Some employers prefer a master’s degree in the field.

After completing an approved program, applicants must pass the Landscape Architect Registration Exam. The fee for the exam is a set amount determined by the Board of Landscape Architects. An initial license application must be submitted to the Board and a fee of $75 must be paid. The license fee is due on the first day of January every year.

What You Need To Learn About Organic Gardening

 

Is there really a secret to successful gardening? People who are unsuccessful at growing fruits and vegetables seem to think so. But the truth of the matter is that anyone can garden organically if they only receive the right information. Use these great gardening tips to go organic and to get that garden you’ve always wanted.

 

Your plants need to grow in a rich soil. You can buy bags of soil but they can be quite expensive. You can also easily create your own: you need to use perlite, vermiculite and peat in equal quantities. You should also add a small quantity of lime and compost if needed.

 

Make mulch spreading easier with the right tools. After laying out the mulch, use a flat-headed rake to efficiently spread the manure around. The tines of the rake help pull the mulch and spread it, while the flat side of the rake evens out the area. Use the rake with a pushing and pulling motion.

 

Integrate low-growing strawberries into your yard’s landscape. Instead of setting aside fruit plants in a separate area, choose strawberries, such as alpine varieties, to use a ground cover that doubles as a fruit garden. These spreading, low-growing plants look attractive and grow well in areas that have a lot of sun.

 

Know the benefits of composting. Composting is one of the best things you can do for your organic garden. Composting improves moisture levels, promotes fertility, and stimulates plant roots. You can start your own composting at home, and reduce your household waste, as well as get free food for your garden.

 

Secrets aren’t really well-kept in the world of organic gardening, so you can’t really call them secrets at all. What you’re looking for is thorough and accurate information like what you’ve just read in the article above. If you can find this, you can become a successful organic gardener. Make sure you use this information.

 

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How to protect your tools and equipment against winter’s worst

How to protect your tools and equipment against winter’s worst

Slightly less than a year ago the residents of one of the hottest states in the country woke up to find their power out, pipes burst and icy havoc everywhere. The big freeze that hit Texas, February 13, 2021 and lasted almost a week, killed more people than the Alamo and racked up billions of dollars in damages.

That should be warning enough to take winter seriously. Whether it’s your tools or equipment you should understand the worst that could happen and prepare for it. Here’s a checklist of the dangers and what you can do to prevent them.

The #1 Rule

No set of rules could possibly cover all the contingencies for different brands and types of equipment, mobile, stationary, rubber-tire, tracked, low and high horsepower, diesel, gas, hybrid or fully electric. So the #1 rule is to check with the equipment dealer or OEM or consult the manual first.

Also don’t do this slapdash or just whenever you get around to it. Use our list here as a starting point but then study your equipment and needs, develop an action plan and then execute—before it’s too late.

Power Tools

The rechargeable batteries used to run saws, drills, flashlights and even some demolition tools should never be left out in cold weather. Below 40 degrees lithium-ion batteries won’t hold a charge and leaving them out in freezing temperatures can permanently reduce run time. Don’t store these in an unheated shop, or your truck toolbox when freezing weather threatens.

If you build a charging station to hold these tools, batteries and chargers, make it portable so you can bring it inside when necessary and always keep the batteries and tools within the temperature range recommended by the manufacturer.

Pneumatic Tools

Air-driven power tools such as DA sanders, nail guns rely on seals, O-rings and lubrication to function properly. When cold temps turn these materials brittle or cause the lubrication to gel, they won’t fire properly and may become permanently damaged. Always store them inside at the temperatures recommended.

If using them outside in freezing weather, follow manufacturer guidelines. If needed you can rotate tools from outside to inside throughout the day to keep them functioning properly. Also, consider using a cold-weather lubricant/pneumatic tool oil.

Compressors

Air compressors will accumulate moisture over repeated exposure to rising and falling temperatures. Make sure you drain the compressor at the end of every day. Use air hoses that remain flexible in the cold and consider using an in-line antifreeze product such as Kilfrost Pneumatic Tool and Antifreeze lubricant to prevent blockages.

Shop Heat

Shops without a dedicated HVAC system will sometimes use gas or propane forced air heaters to warm up the work environment. Be sure you follow all the manufacturer’s instructions on ventilation when using these. And note that these sometimes create a thin film on many surfaces. You won’t be able to see this film and it won’t affect most operations but it may prevent spray paint from adhering to surfaces should you want to paint anything that’s been stored in the shop. Extra degreasing on metal surfaces should alleviate the problem.

Electric space heaters are sometimes used for small spaces, just be aware that these will increase your power bill considerably.

Gas Engines

There is considerable debate among construction and landscaping professionals about how to store gasoline-powered tools for the winter. One camp says to drain the tank, completely, shoot a small squirt of lube oil in the spark plug hole and pull the starter rope a few times to coat the inside of the engine with oil. Others say to fill the tank with gasoline that’s been treated with an additive.

Our advice: do whatever the owner’s manual says to do. If you don’t have the manual most manufacturers post them online.

Equipment Lights

As winter’s shortened days close in, operators and foremen are tempted to keep working into the dusk. Before this happens check all the lights on your machines to make sure they’re in good working order.

Consider adding auxiliary lighting packages—today’s new LED lights can provide amazing illumination while also conserving battery power. And put a towel inside every machine so operators can clear the windshield of any condensation that occurs. 

Diesel Engines

A long time ago contractors would start their diesel engines early, and do something else for five or ten minutes to let the engine warm up before driving off or starting work. And in cold weather, they’d also leave their diesels running for fear of them not starting back up. That’s no longer the case.

Today’s diesels need only a minute or so to warm up and they have sufficient battery power to restart even in the coldest temps. Running a diesel engine at low idle for long periods of time can actually cause carbon accumulation in the engine as the exhaust after-treatment process doesn’t get hot enough to burn it off.  Go ahead and start working within 60 seconds of startup. Your engine and its DPF and/or DOC systems will thank you for it. For extremely cold weather (states bordering Canada), you may need a cold weather starting package that your OEM dealer can provide.

Newer machines and trucks generally run with low viscosity lube oils to improve fuel efficiency. The new 5W-40 and 0W-40 synthetic will perform well down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you are running thicker oils in your older equipment, check with the OEM before switching to low viscosity.

Keep it Clean

While you still have above-freezing temperatures pressure wash your equipment, paying extra attention to tracks and undercarriages. If ice or frozen mud is left on those, it will lock up the whole undercarriage and you will not be able to move the machine until it thaws out. And even if you do get it moving you could be damaging the pins, bushings and rollers unless all the frozen gunk is removed first.

Dirt and frozen crud will also hide leaky seals and components that if left unattended could create maintenance headaches down the line. Salt and other road-de-icing chemicals can also cause rust and corrosion if left on the machine for long.

Move it

Even if you’re parking your machines for the winter, it’s a good idea to periodically start them, move the joysticks, and travel a short distance. This keeps seals and fittings coated with lubrication and prevents ice build-up that might compromise operation when you need the machine.

Pushing fluid through the hydraulic system will keep valves and seals lubricated and in good shape. Also lubricate door hinges and other metal-to-metal parts to keep them swinging freely, ward off moisture and prevent rust.

Tires and Hoses

Repeated cold, thaw cycles can create small, temporary air leaks between the rim and sidewalls of your truck and equipment tires. Over the course of a few days this can lead to a loss of as much as 20 to 40 percent of the air pressure in your tires. Be sure to check your tires after the first hard cold snap and adjust the psi if necessary. Cold weather can also make tires brittle and more prone to damage, so tread lightly in operation.

Rubber hoses are also subject to brittleness and cracking or loosening up from their fittings in cold weather. Be sure to inspect these carefully before operation.

DEF Maintenance

Diesel exhaust fluid is mostly water, and it can freeze at 12-degrees Fahrenheit. Today’s Tier 4 and Tier 4 Final engines either have DEF system pre-heaters or will allow you to run them for a few minutes until the DEF in the lines and reservoir thaw out. But keep an eye on it. If it doesn’t thaw out, the engine could derate. If problems occur, call your dealer’s service department.

If you intend to store your machine in sub-freezing weather, drain the DEF reservoir. Upon restarting in warmer weather flush the DEF system with distilled water. And be sure you keep your bulk storage of DEF somewhere it won’t freeze. Otherwise, you won’t be able to dispense it.

Fuel

Number 2 diesel works fine in the warmer months and it is less expensive, but the hydrocarbons in diesel fuel can begin to gel when it drops below 40 degrees. Number 1 diesel (which you can buy at truck stops or specify from your fuel supplier) has a lower viscosity and is less likely to gel.

At the end of the day in any cold temperatures, it’s wise to top up your fuel tanks to avoid condensation and water. Use cold weather fuel additives when necessary but always make sure to check with the OEM or dealer on what additives to use. There’s a lot of snake oil out there. An engine block heater can alleviate some of these gelling problems by keeping the engine, fuel lines and injectors at a more favorable temperature when the machine is not running.

Lubes, Grease and Fluids

Prolonged cold temperatures may adversely affect engine oil, grease and hydraulic fluid making them less viscous and harder to pump. Check with your OEM dealer about best practices in your area and change these fluids before problems emerge.

If your regular grease gets too cold, it may block the lines and make it impossible to push low-viscosity/low-temp grease into the lines. Conversely, when temperatures start to rise, change back to your normal fluid regimen to prevent low-viscosity fluids from damaging your equipment.

Hydraulic Cylinders

If you intend to store a machine for the winter, spray a protective coating on the chrome to guard against rust. Even faint surface rust creates enough pitting to cause cylinder seals to leak when you start back up.

Battery Care

Heavy equipment and truck batteries do not like cold weather. Check the terminals and connections to make sure they are tight and corrosion free. Coat the battery clamps with dielectric grease to prevent mineral deposits or corrosion.

Left outside, batteries can freeze and take up to 30 hours to thaw. If that is a risk, use a battery blanket to keep your battery above 32 degrees. Have your battery and alternator tested before the cold season begins to make sure both can perform up to spec.

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To stop an equipment thief, think like an equipment thief

To stop an equipment thief, think like an equipment thief

Crime is on the rise everywhere and with so many construction companies powering down in winter, equipment theft is rising accordingly. Pandemic issues such as reduced staffing and unemployment also raise risks.

Equipment thieves strike fast. They bring their own trucks and lowboys and it takes them only minutes to get a dozer, excavator or backhoe onto a trailer and down the road. In many cases, these stolen machines are loaded into a cargo container before the sun comes up (making it all but invisible to law enforcement) and then put on a ship bound for a country where they can never be traced.

But there are a number of steps you can take to keep yourself from becoming a victim of equipment theft. Here’s a checklist of things you should do short term and long-term to protect your iron this winter and all season long.

Short-term precautions

Fully illuminate your shop building and equipment yard at night and eliminate any shadowed spots where thieves might hide. New LED bulbs cast a lot of light and use less electricity than traditional lights.Install security cameras and alarms. There are hundreds of these available today, so your best bet is to hire a security consultant to help you choose a robust and tamper-proof camera system. Some of today’s security cameras can distinguish between a raccoon and a human being, so you won’t be alerted every time the local wildlife comes searching for a free meal. The price of an expert consultation on these systems is well worth the money.Regularly test your alarms and cameras to make sure they are working properly and you’re getting good images in daylight and dark.Harden your perimeter. Fences should be at least eight feet high. Razor wire isn’t pretty, but it stops people from going over the top, and cutting through a fence is noisy and time-consuming. Install tamper-proof bollards at gates, so even if thieves get over the fence, it will be almost impossible for them to drive a truck into the yard or equipment out.

Long-term solutions

Telematics have made a huge difference in equipment security. These “black boxes” can be programmed to send you an alert anytime a machine moves outside of a “geofence” you designate on the software. The better systems are hidden out of sight and difficult to tamper with and can track the equipment as it’s being hauled down the road. Most OEMs now offer their own telematics systems, but there are plenty of aftermarket vendors as well. And theft prevention is just one of the things telematics are used for. They also provide diagnostic data and information about fuel use, DEF levels, driver monitoring, and all sorts of other useful information.Simpler GPS tracking devices can be attached to non-mobile equipment such as generators, compressors, welders, and light towers to give you alerts and position information without the full complement or expense of mobile equipment telematics.If you want to master theft prevention as well as you’ve mastered other aspects of your business, consider downloading and studying the National Equipment Register’s Annual Theft Report. Lots of useful information and good reading for these long winter nights: https://www.ner.net/annual-theft-report/When ordering new equipment consider spec’ing machines that have keypad-only access rather than physical keys. With these, the operator must enter his personal ID or pin number to start the machine. Attempts to tamper or circumvent the system on many will result in an alert. A bonus feature on some systems is that they will store operator preferences tied to the individual ID or pin number.As a company owner or equipment manager, make sure you have photos of all your equipment, serial numbers and complete documentation to share with police in case of a theft.On the jobsite or the yard never leave equipment parked on a trailer. That’s just making it too easy to steal.When you leave a jobsite on a weekend, park all your machines nose to tail so that thieves can’t move one machine without moving the others.

In broad daylight

While most theft occurs at night, our sources in law enforcement say there are enterprising thieves who concoct sophisticated schemes to steal equipment on the jobsite, right under the nose of your foreman.

The scam works like this. The thieves acquire a truck and trailer, slap a fake logo of some repair shop or hauling company on the side of the truck and drive to your jobsite. They ask for the foreman and then present him with a fake work order to take a piece of equipment in for repairs. The work order may even have the logo of a local repair shop or equipment dealer and forged signatures of people from your company.

The unsuspecting foreman assumes it’s all legit and might even help the thieves load the machine onto the trailer. An hour later, that $300,000 machine might be in a cargo container headed for a port or hidden in a barn down some rural road. The truck and trailer will be sold at auction and everybody in your company starts fighting over who screwed up.

This scam works best when the jobsite is being run by an inexperienced foreman. To prevent this from happening, brief all your managers and crew members on how the scam works. Make sure people in the field clear any transfer of equipment with the shop manager or office before they let go of it.

As an extra precaution ask for the truck driver’s license, make sure the photo matches and write down the number. Also get the truck and trailer tag numbers and DOT numbers, which may help, assuming they’re not stolen as well, lead back to the thieves.

Top states for equipment theft

According to National Equipment Register, the top five states for equipment theft are:

#1. Texas

#2 Georgia

#3 Florida

#4 California

#5 Missouri

Top stolen equipment

And the equipment most targeted for theft:

#1 Skid steer

#2 Mower

#3 Tractor, wheeled

 If you really want to get into this subject, take a read through our interviews with an actual equipment thief and law enforcement officers who specialize in this type of crime. Some of the technology discussed here is dated, but the insights gained are well worth your time.

And in case you missed it, take a look at this recent article we did about a guy in jail, whoconned a dealership out of $2.8 million in equipment.

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Numbers that every landscaping company should know

Numbers that every landscaping company should know

Knowing your numbers is an essential part of doing good business. That’s because you need to have a good understanding of how your business is performing in order to make critical decisions. But when it comes to making decisions in real-time, you need to have metrics available at your fingertips. Unfortunately, most companies are not looking at metrics until the end of the month when they’re running reports. At that point, it’s too late to make any changes to jobs already finished. 

Being able to look at daily metrics is the differentiator between landscaping companies taking their business to the next level and those that are remaining stagnant.

Job costing in real-time

One of the most important things that you should be doing is looking at job costing in real-time (for your current jobs) so that you are able to make changes to keep the work profitable. There are five main data points to be tracked in order to do this: Labor, materials, equipment, subcontractor expenses, and overhead. If you are tracking these numbers and looking at daily operations, you’ll be able to provide your team with some direction as to what’s needed in order to achieve your goals.

Ultimately, it comes down to staying on top of how close your estimated costs are to your actual costs so that you can make changes, if needed, to get a job back on track. It doesn’t do you much good to find out a job lost you money after it’s already finished.

Looking at cash flow

An ongoing cash flow analysis is also important for a profitable operation. You should know exactly how much cash is coming into your business as well as how much is going out. Healthy cash flow is essential to a healthy business. And just like job costing, looking regularly at cash flow will allow you to make quick decisions in real-time which can impact your financial success.

Utilizing a daily cash flow report is a better practice than using a checkbook or an online bank balance. The latter two do not take outstanding checks into consideration.

Staying on top of company spending

While this is part of cash flow, it’s important to point out that staying on top of all business expenses, including the “small ones” will make a huge difference in your success. We call this “financial awareness.” The more financial awareness you have, the better. If you aren’t staying on top of expenses, you can start to negatively impact an otherwise profitable business.

Tracking daily spending allows you to analyze whether money is being spent in the best way possible for your company. You’ll also be prepared for tax season, which will help that period go more smoothly. 

The value of visual reporting

When it comes to all of these numbers, you want a quick and easy way to look at them. Reading through a ton of data can be time-consuming. That’s why many successful companies are moving toward visual reporting. This is a process of extrapolating data and putting it into readable formats, such as charts and graphs. This will allow you to make quick decisions based on the information in front of you.

While many landscaping companies still use spreadsheets and print-outs to look at data, upgrading to a landscape business software solution for your company will allow you to be able to look at daily metrics and also use visual reporting tools to make quick decisions. The goal is to be able to have real-time information in front of you at the push of a button.

A tool like Asset can help you to produce daily reports and look at financial data in real-time. With everything at your fingertips, you can make smarter decisions for your business.

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Deere to acquire majority ownership in battery technology company

Deere to acquire majority ownership in battery technology company

Expanding its investment in alternative power, John Deere is set to acquire majority ownership of Kreisel Electric, an Austrian-based developer of immersion-cooled, high-density battery technology.

For Deere, the deal was prompted by growing demand for batteries as a sole- or hybrid-propulsion system for off-highway vehicles. The manufacturer intends to apply the technology to its lineup of turf equipment, compact utility tractors, small tractors, compact construction equipment, and some road building equipment, as it works toward a future with zero emissions propulsion systems.

“Kreisel’s battery technology can be applied across the broad portfolio of Deere products, and Kreisel’s in-market experience will benefit Deere as we ramp up our battery-electric vehicle portfolio. Deere will provide the expertise, global footprint, and funding to enable Kreisel to continue its fast growth in core markets,” said Pierre Guyot, senior vice president, John Deere Power Systems. “This is an opportunity to invest in a company with unique technology that’s designed for the demanding conditions where Deere customers work.”

In addition to its patented battery technology, Kreisel has also developed a complementary charging infrastructure platform (CHIMERO).

Deere has been testing a battery-electric backhoe since early this year and debuted the 310 X-tier E-Power at The Utility Expo. The unit will head into Phase 2 testing next year, with Deere indicating many of the specs will change before it is available for sale. It is unknown at this time if Kreisel’s technology will appear in this machine. 

Kreisel Electric will retain its employees, brand name, and trademark, and continue to operate from its current location in Austria. The company, founded in 2014 by brothers Johann, Markus, and Philipp Kreisel, has approximately 160 full-time employees. 

The transaction requires final regulatory approval in Austria and is expected to close in February 2022. Financial details are not being disclosed.  

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Landscaper donates Christmas lighting service to spread holiday cheer

Landscaper donates Christmas lighting service to spread holiday cheer

For many, Christmas lights are a favorite part of the season. But they can be a lot of work to put up (and remove), so many families end up turning to companies that offer this service professionally. That was the case for one South Carolina family who wanted to get into the Christmas spirit, particularly for their son with autism. What they didn’t know is that a simple call to a local landscaper would turn into an unexpected holiday surprise.

When Aaron Brazell, owner of Omega Landscaping in Lexington, South Carolina took a call for holiday lights from the family, he says his heartstrings were pulled. They were calling for a quote for holiday lights and it came up in conversation how much their autistic child loved them.

“When I gave them the quote, they told me it was more than they thought it would be,” Brazell recalls. “They were going to turn down the service.”

Brazell says he was touched by their story and wanted the family to be able to enjoy some lights for the holidays.

So, he installed them for free.

Spreading holiday joy


Holiday lights bring a lot of joy to a South Carolina family.Aaron Brazell

“Christmas is a time of joy for a lot of people and I realized this was an opportunity for me to give some joy and inspiration to a local family at the holidays,” Brazell says of the decision. “It’s been a very difficult couple of years for everyone and this was an easy way for me to give back.” 

Brazell says that the family’s gratitude made it all worthwhile. In fact, it has inspired him to find ways to do more good in 2022.

“This whole experience has me thinking about other ways that we can help the community in 2022,” he adds. “I think this is small businesses’ time to shine. Yes, we need to make money, but we can also think about what we are capable of doing to help the community around us.” 

Giving back in 2022

As we head into a new year, Brazell says that he would encourage other landscape companies to think about ways they can give back to their local communities. It doesn’t take much to make a difference, he urges.

“Just a little bit of time and effort can go a really long way,” he sums up. “If we all helped someone out, it would make a big impact.” 

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