Must-have attachments for the new landscape contractor

A compact track loader uses a bucket to move gravel

For the new landscape contractor, setting up your fleet with the right attachments can help build the road to success.

Whether you’re building new patios, fences or redesigning an entire property, the right work tools can improve productivity and reduce the labour required to complete the job. 

Jonathan Gardner, Product Manager for Construction Equipment and Attachments at Kubota Canada, explained what considerations a new mini-excavator or compact loader owner should make when looking to outfit their machine with work tools. 

Before equipping your new machines with various attachments, Gardner recommends first understanding your clientele and what type of projects they require. 

“Attachments definitely make your life easier, but if you’re new to the business, I would crawl before I start walking before I start running,” Gardner said.  

To start out, Gardner recommends purchasing buckets and pallet forks as priority.  While a bucket may be an obvious first purchase, the size and type require consideration for mini excavators and compact loaders.  

“Buckets with a cutting edge for landscaping are the most popular. But a lot of landscapers will run a cutting edge and then a bucket with teeth if they’re doing a lot of digging,” he said.

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Size is also important. With a compact loader, the biggest option may carry the most material, but it may not work when trying to navigate backyard entrances. 

“Width is very important. Get a bucket that’s the width of your machine,” he suggests. “And if you need a bigger bucket because you’re bringing material from the road or something like that, you can get the biggest one that the machine will handle. But don’t always stick to just one bucket.”

Selecting the right tool size can improve transportation. If two buckets are required, making sure one fits inside the other can save valuable space on a trailer. 

Pallet forks 

When buying pallet forks, it’s important to make sure the tool is rated to handle the required weight. 

“There’s all kinds of pallet forks out there. If you have to lift pallets of bricks that are rated for 3,500 pounds and you buy pallet forks rated at 2,500 pounds, it’s not going to work for you,” Gardner said. 

While buckets and pallet forks are a good starting point, there are numerous other attachments that can expand a landscaper’s capability. 

“Once you get more experience and know what your client base is looking for, you can continue to add attachments throughout the year or the next year,” Gardner said.


An auger or posthole digger can be a handy attachment for contractors that build fences or decks. The tool will also fit onto an excavator or compact loader. 

“Most of the time, you can get away with one auger, you just need a hitch. Then you can switch the auger from machine to machine, so you don’t have to buy two augers,” Gardner said. 

 Plate compactor

A plate compactor is another useful attachment for contractors when building stone or concrete patios. The compactor can be used on a mini excavator for compacting the base before installing the surface material. 

“You can buy or rent those handheld ones, but you’re still doing it manually. If you already have the mini excavator in your fleet, you can run a plate compactor to compact the material down so you get a good base to lay your stone or cement,” Gardner said. 

Stump grinder

In older neighbourhoods, established trees may have fallen, or need to be removed to make way for the design of the landscape project. After the tree is removed, a stump grinder takes care of the remnants making way for the new landscape. 

“A stump grinder seems to be a big attachment that’s overlooked,” Gardner said. “It might not be something you’re using all the time, but it definitely makes your life a lot easier.” 

He added the stump grinder is one attachment that may not be available at rental houses. 

When a tree does fall on a property, the stump grinder also opens a side of the business the contractor may not have considered. 

With more than 50 types of attachments available for compact equipment, Gardner stresses the need to investigate options before adding new tools. 

“Do your research and know what you’re trying to achieve,” he said. “I guarantee you there’ll be something out there that will make your life easier.”