Advances in Landscaping Technology

landscaping technology advancesTechnology has changed just about every aspect of our lives from how we work, how we learn, to how we shop and even socialize. It should then come as little surprise that a similar trend is occurring with advances in landscaping technology. It’s easy to assume that things haven’t changed much in the green industry since the invention of the leaf blower and weed. Sure, mowing equipment has become more compact and much more maneuverable, but a great deal of what makes for a successful commercial landscaping company remains hidden behind the scenes.

Since we kicked things off by discussing exterior landscape maintenance let’s continue on this track and consider the technological advancements that have occurred in this area over the past 20 years. Exterior landscaping – both maintenance and installation – remains a labor-intensive endeavor. Efficiencies gained from the strategic use of technology such as design, planning and management software coupled with state of the art tools and equipment are now applied to how that labor is best deployed. The strategic use of men, machinery and time is the key to a well-run and profitable commercial landscaping business.

Commercial mowing advances

Mowing is the backbone of any exterior landscape maintenance contract. Advances in lawn mowing equipment such as zero-turn technology and light weight mowing tractors have greatly improved grass cutting efficiency. This has resulted in faster turnaround times for property maintenance services. Zero-turn mowers have virtually eliminated the need for multiple hand mowers and such advances have allowed commercial contractors to deploy smaller exterior maintenance crews. This in turn, keeps overhead costs down.

Technology of snow and ice clearing

The flip side of grass cutting season is snow and ice clearing season. We’ve blogged previously about how the Snow and Ice Clearing division at Inside Out Services is structured similarly to a military unit with varying calibers of “artillery” with specialized functions. Our snow and ice clearing machinery runs the gamut from large snow plows and backhoes down through skid steers, snow blowers and ultimately team members equipped with hand shovels. It wasn’t that long ago when commercial snow clearing operations consisted of just a snow plow and a large crew wielding hand shovels.

Landscaping CAD software

Computers running software for both design as well as control functions are now common place in the green industry. Design software otherwise known as “Computer Aided Design” or CAD software is used to create visualizations and detailed diagrams of landscaping designs for both interior and exterior projects. These programs allow for “what if?” scenarios in order for clients to visualize a wide range of possibilities when it comes to selecting materials and layout for a design. The resulting plans are invaluable for cost estimating and installation logistics.

State of the art lawn watering

Another area where computer technology plays a big role is in commercial landscaping irrigation – a vital component of any large exterior landscape maintenance contract. CAD software is used to design the piping and sprinkler head placement. A complex set of calculations is used to determine the optimal layout of pipes and sprinklers. Similarly, software-based control systems are used to turn on and off the sprinklers in a commercial irrigation systems as well as to monitor various metrics of the system to ensure proper operation.  Such control systems are critical for water conservation which not only benefits the environment, but also our clients' bottom line! The irrigation control software also can alert technicians to performance issues and allow them to take preventive measures before things become a problem.

By taking a quick look behind the scenes it becomes clear that there is a lot more to commercial landscaping than sitting on a lawnmower or wielding a leaf blower. The investment in the latest landscaping technology is a key contributor Inside Out Services’ success. We also invest in continuing education for senior team members so they remain at the top of their areas of expertise. Things continue to evolve in the green industry and you can rest assured that we’re keeping stride right along with it!

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