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Determining Grounds Crew Needs
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Understanding Handheld Grounds EquipmentPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Performing Proper Maintenance on Handheld Tools
In determining grounds crew needs related to handheld equipment, managers need to figure out the amount of work for any particular piece of equipment.
After determining the types of handheld equipment needed to cover all jobs, managers need to determine the number of pieces of equipment required, as well as the amount of time each tool will have to run.
Consider the task of trimming shrubs. Managers know workers need shrub trimmers, but how many? If workers need edgers, how long does the unit have to run, and how quickly must the work be done? If trimming requires eight hours but crews need to finish the task in four hours, a manager needs to ensure workers have enough equipment to complete the work in the desired time.
Another factor in the decision is that some manufacturers offer interchangeable attachments for handheld equipment. For example, a string trimmer might have a split shaft so the operator can remove the string trimmer head and install a shrub-trimming head. Now the worker can do all the string trimming around the property, then change the attachment to prune bushes. It is fairly common for string trimmers to also come with edger and blower attachments.
Managers also must pay close attention to battery considerations in making purchasing decisions. For example, they need to make sure operators will have fully charged batteries. Operators generally can charge a battery in the same amount of time that the battery holds a charge. So if it runs out of power in 45 minutes, it usually takes about 45 minutes to charge it.
This means if the user needs to run handheld equipment longer than one battery will allow, he or she will need a second battery ready to swap out. Manufacturers make equipment with interchangeable batteries, so if all handheld equipment in a department meets the same battery specifications, the department will not need as many extra batteries.