My team has just attended the Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada this past week.
Technology is shifting how landscapers operate in a number of ways. We’ve outlined the top 3 techno trends heading towards your landscape company.
TECHNO TREND #1: Software systems for running the company
- Using AI to do landscape designs
- Using AI to do site measurements before you visit the job site
- Integration of automated measurements to the digital estimating system
- Learning how to use AI to generate proposals
- Convert approved proposals to work orders for crews
- Automated data capture in the field (example: uniforms that include wearing cameras, sensors and GPS that tracks work in process real-time and reports back to the software for job costing)
- Smart irrigation controllers with cloud connections and advanced sensors allow monitoring and adjustments remotely
- Quality control reports tie into the CRM instantly improving opportunities for upgrading sales, closing training gaps and enhancing contract renewals
TECHNO TREND #2: Robotic mowing
- There are a number of tech companies that have produced large mowers that can be roboticized, but trying to actually purchase the equipment today seems extremely difficult – the technology is exclusive to very big companies for beta testing
- There are small robotic mowers that are readily available on the market, but the challenge is the people running your crews will need new training or a different skillset. Further, the tradition of mobilizing people and equipment will change if you adopt robotic mowing systems
- The panel of companies using robotic mowers indicate that there are significant challenges regarding implementation. From adding power sources for charging robots on properties to gaining buy-in from employees and customers, implementing robots is NOT reducing labor costs, but it’s shifting the way we will work.
TECHNO TREND #3: Continued transition from gas to battery powered equipment
- Contractors are being forced to transition to battery equipment because many municipalities are outlawing gas blowers.
- A small number of contractors are proactively switching to battery equipment.
- Every contractor that participated in panel discussions report that charging batteries at a significant scale (ex: dozens of crews) created significant infrastructure challenges for their company. They can’t charge hundreds of batteries overnight at their shop. There are not enough electrical power outlets. Often circuits are overloaded, breakers trip and charging does not happen at all. The crew comes in the next morning and they don’t have enough batteries to run a crew all day.
- Battery-powered equipment tends to cost more than gas equipment because the contractors are purchasing many batteries to sustain power in the field. Then they have to purchase many chargers to try to charge all those batteries overnight.
- The cost to maintain battery equipment and then train new employees is significantly lower when compared to gas equipment.
One thing is certain, there’s a significant effort underway to adopt new technology to make landscape companies work better.
The Lawn and Landscape Technology Conference provided an opportunity for contractors to collaborate on the subject.
Super Lawn Trucks’ introduction of the Solar Lawn Truck (back in 2017) provided an easily affordable charge-on-the-go system for contractors. Based on what we learned, we have significant challenges in getting the word out to contractors about this product.
Most don’t know about our technology or they feel they need to solve their problems on their own. We can’t be sure exactly why so many have had a hard time with the transition to battery equipment.
If you or your company would like to make an easy, tax incentivized switch to battery powered equipment, talk to us.
We know many of these contractors who are adopting new technology are investing large amounts of money and even bigger amounts of human capital in this process. We can help keep the cost down.
As of 2023, we’ve helped dozens of contractors make the switch to battery equipment with affordable charge-on-the-go technology. Learn more here. https://superlawntrucks.com/project/solar-lawn-truck/
Super Lawn Trucks will continue to develop products to help lawn and landscape contractors succeed. We hope to get the chance to help you as well.
Tony Bass, founder
PS – One more note… after sitting through 2.5 days of seminars, we unfortunately did not hear from even one contractor who has taken advantage of federal tax credits for building solar systems and charge-on-the-go systems on their trucks or trailers… and not one presenter talked about federal tax credits for the adoption or installation of solar powered charging systems. That’s proof to me that our industry leaders still have a lot to learn. We all do. I hope you’ll make a promise to yourself to continue to learn at events like this one.