Why hiring equipment for landscaping is best on The Block
As we head towards “Backyard Week” on Channel 9’s The Block, we take a look back from earlier in the year when the HRIA spoke to the show’s enigmatic landscape designer Dave Franklin for his take on using renting equipment for delivering the best results in landscaping projects.
As someone who knows exactly what goes into completing landscaping week on The Block, Dave Franklin spoke to Hire and Rental Magazine Editor, Allison Leo. We find out the inside scoop on how The Block functions and get an opinion on whether hiring makes working life better on set as well as in all his other landscape projects.
Dave has gained a reputation as one of the must have landscape designers on the show and on the 2019 projects he didn’t disappoint, helping his team take home the win for their front yard garden design.
“The Block is the biggest job you can imagine and yes, it is an absolute beast,” David Franklin, Director, Franklin Landscape and Design said.
“You need everything equipment wise and you need it handy. We are on such a tight schedule during that week on The Block we don’t have time for delays. “To make matters more complicated, there are a lot of people on site and there is not a lot of room to have stuff and equipment lying around.” Kennards Hire supplies The Block with all its rental equipment needs. “Kennards actually have a full hire store on site and they work hard to keep all the equipment going in and out as required. The amount of tools used on site is huge. From what I have seen they usually have someone staffing The Block hire store pretty much full-time during filming,” Dave said.
“They supply everything from chippers to heaters. And it is so easy. They come in and pick everything up so equipment is not lying around unused and getting in the way of the landscape job.”
Franklin Landscape and Design has been established now for over 10 years, although Dave himself has been working in landscape design for 25 years. Franklin Landscape and Design undertake residential and commercial landscape design all over Australia. “We have our own construction company and we do pools as well,” Dave said. “Originally we were doing both the design and construction nationally but it became too difficult trying to manage the logistics of construction nationally so now we design Australia-wide but only do the construction in Victoria. For our designs interstate, we project manage with the contracted companies. Dave said he always used to be a ‘buy your own equipment’ type. “We have our own equipment; we use bobcats and excavators and jack hammers, demo saws, cement mixers; basically construction job equipment. “Plus then we have the landscaping and gardening tools like mowers and hedging tools and more,” he said.
Dave said he likes the older established brands for equipment he buys because he finds them more reliable; brands like Makita and Hitachi and Stihl and Husqvarna and Honda for mowers. “Because we have so many large projects going these days, we have our own little equipment shop we can draw equipment from. And the same goes for the equipment we use every day like excavators and bobcats. “If you’re using equipment every day, then you don’t want to have to go hire it every day. So that’s the equipment we tend to buy; that and the equipment we use every week. Common sense has to come into it.
“But we also tend to hire a lot more these days because if our equipment breaks, we can’t use it. And then we have downtime and that’s not good. “For the equipment we are only going to use once or twice a month on specialist jobs, that’s the stuff we will go hire. “That way we don’t have equipment sitting around gathering dust and I know when we pick up the hired gear, it will be well maintained and clean and most importantly, it will go.” Dave definitely sees the benefits of hire. “Hire equipment is ready to go. I know the equipment will work and I know I can get my job done. Plus it’s easy to replace if there is a problem somewhere along the line. And replacing or repairing the equipment is then not my problem. I like that,” Dave said.
“Hiring is also 100% tax deductible, but for us that’s not even the main consideration. It’s the ease of being able to go down to my local hire shop and get what I need for the job at hand. And there is a choice of small, medium or big in the equipment range. “When I return the equipment, it is not my problem. No storage. No maintenance.”
For us, hiring is better
In terms of where he shops for hire equipment, Dave likes to shop around. “I tend to head for the bigger hire stores – just because they have everything I need in one place. “I love dealing with hire companies. I’ve never had to wait more than one day for equipment and they take care of everything.” The range of hire equipment available these days is also a big plus for Dave.
“All these new tools! Tools I’ve never seen or heard of before and they’re all available for hire. Hire stores have got all the good stuff. When you’re landscaping, you’re crossing over into a lot of different trades. So our equipment range is huge. “It blows my mind how many new tools are coming out these days. Hiring definitely opens your eyes to what equipment is available. “So for us, hiring is better these days. We get the right tools and it’s just more efficient. We do the job and we do the job right and move on.”
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