Landscaping Equipment

All about Japanese Hasegawa landscape tripod ladders

By | Landscaping Equipment, Reviews | No Comments

Hasegawa landscape tripod ladders are beautiful! In late September, while strolling through the CanWest Horticultural Show trade floor, I ran into a Hasegawa ladder booth. Then it hit me. Vancouver Sun’s Steve Whysall had written about these ladders and how he dismissed them because of the cost. Now I had them in front me to try out. Great!

My observations

1.These ladders are really light. The ten foot version was easy to move.

2. The steps (rungs) are doubled which reduces the chance of slipping, and increases the chance of mud clearing from your boots

3. The third leg adjusts easily with a spring-loaded pin in 6″ increments and connects to the body with a chain. This works great when working on uneven ground.

4. There are no bolts to tighten; all joints are hand-welded.

5. The ten foot version retails at $435, which is expensive. Steve Whysall was right. I would worry about this ladder going missing off my truck.

6. Designed in Japan, production has now shifted to China. What hasn’t? Allegedly production conforms to Japanese Industrial Standards.

7. The only landscaper I know who has a Hasegawa tripod ladder attached to the side of his trailer is Japanese!

8. Rubber boots are available for the clawed feet ( set of 3 for $50)

Brochure notes

  • no wobble
  • no screws
  • welded by hand
  • extendable back leg
  • extremely light weight
  • platform ladder available
  • Hasegawa has the reputation for making the best quality and safest tripod ladders in use today
  • incredibly safe and easy to use


Vancouver distributor

Steve Osmond 778-988-7303,





beautiful wide base, stable and note the rubber shoes for hard surfaces



no screws! hand-welded



Third leg articulates with a spring-loaded pin in 6″ increments, the pin moved easily



handout photo



Bottom of clawed foot; rubber shoes available for work on hard surfaces



Hasegawa ladder on a trailer owned by a Japanese gardener



If your budget allows, buy this tripod ladder for your tree, garden and landscape work. I will. In the future. Call Steve at 778-988-7303 with questions.


Disclaimer: always use ladders safely! I am in no way associated with Hasegawa ladders or their distribution. The review is based on my observations at CanWest.


A love letter to my Honda mower

By | Company News, Landscape Industry, Landscaping, Landscaping Equipment | No Comments

My trusted friend, season after season….


This Honda mower is incredible! It deserves its own blog post. Every spring it starts without fail. That first puff of exhaust signalling our reunion for yet another season. It always blows me away, considering how little maintenance I perform on it. It must be the combination of shed storage and mild West Coast winters.

When one of my former employers decided to change his entire mower fleet to Lawn boys, I scored this well-used mower for $120. It was well worth it. I use it bi-weekly during the season for side work. It’s a simple machine. It has a choke/speed lever and a pull cord. Dual blade system. No bells or whistles. My trusted friend. Bravo Honda.

Yes, it’s showing its age. The front wheels will have to get replaced; the bag has a slight tear, and one of the pins holding the bag in place tends to come off periodically. The deck below sports blemishes.

I change the air filter, add oil, and stock new pull cords.  Both blades get changed at least once a month. I have two sets. They have seen better days but they will do for now. Sharp blades are critical! Dull blades tear up grass blades. What we want is one clear cut. Always change your blades. Do it carefully by first unplugging your spark plug.

Eventually, I will upgrade to a newer model. I know it. But for now, we work together to satisfy clients and keep my kids fed. It’s a good partnership.

This Honda mower is incredibly reliable. You can not go wrong by purchasing a Honda mower. I would. I might.



The blue number 3 is from my ex-employer’s system; trucks had 3 mowers and we had to keep track


(Disclaimer: I am not sponsored, paid or otherwise compensated by Honda. This blog post is my personal review and opinion.)



01 landscape trucks never die

By | Company News, Landscape Industry, Landscaping, Landscaping Equipment | No Comments

Landscape company owners seem to keep their original 01 trucks around forever. They should be retired but somehow there is always some use for them. I was thinking about this when I showed up for work on a recent Saturday at a company we won’t name. I knew this particular 01 beast was nasty. It couldn’t accelerate, nor climb any hills; and it either didn’t brake or the wheels locked. Shifting to 2 on a steep Burnaby uphill still only got you 35-40 km/h speeds and lots of angry motorists behind you. Luckily they were all obscured in clouds of diesel exhaust.

The boss informed me that he had driven it during the week and it was fine. “Just don’t follow anyone closely, drive slowly and pump the brakes before attempting to brake.” Great. Just what I wanted to hear. The truck needs to get serviced but who has the time during a busy week. Can the company even afford to take it out of circulation?

This just leads to stress. Stress I don’t need. Or want.

One night I had a dream. As I stood in the shop, this same boss handed me the keys to a never-used 2017 truck. I smiled. Then I woke up.

Sadly, I’ve experienced many other 01 trucks over the years. One pick-up truck has wobbly steering and door locks that don’t work. The tail gate no longer opens and it’s just as well. The pins holding the tail gate in place are bent so when it’s down, it slips out. Not fun.

Getting it stolen would be a welcome relief to its owner. But there is lots of nostalgia, too. This was the original 01 beast which started everything. It was there in the first trenches. Now it’s mainly used to shuttle mowers. And for how long?

Sometimes driving a 01 beast is a test. One former employer had a 01 pick-up with a heavy metal box on it. It required very frequent gas station visits. I think I wore out the metal strip on my Petro points card. This beast wouldn’t accelerate. I still remember gunning it at the bottom of the snake hill in Port Moody, afraid the truck would slow down to a crawl. When new employees survived their tests, they were in.

I have given up. Landscape workers must get used to having these original 01 antique trucks around. They will never die.



This beast is a piece of work! A 01 truck all-star.



When landscape machines go missing.

By | Landscape Industry, Landscaping Equipment, Security | No Comments

Worst landscape day ever

So I got my lawn care done on a recent Saturday in Burnaby and it was time to blow. I opened up my truck storage compartment and….only the mower was there. Then it hit me. F***. Only steps from a place of worship, I had been robbed. Really robbed. Two backpack blowers and two line edgers. It easily became my worst day ever as a landscaper. I’m used to delivering value and increasing profits. Losing four machines is the very opposite. I hope my anger wears off soon.

All four (4!) machines were well-used. Soon they will most likely show up at a flea market somewhere. The seller will score enough cash to support some nasty habit he or she shouldn’t have formed in the first place.

What kind of degenerate steals a man’s trade tools? I work six and sometimes seven day weeks when it’s busy. It would never occur me to exchange my weekend landscaping work for theft. I feel sorry for these people.

It happens a lot

This actually happens a lot. Landscapers in the Lower Mainland do what they can to protect their equipment. Still, machines go missing. What do you do? Unless there are clear witnesses, the police can’t do much. A few months ago I got to view a security tape. Two guys in a pick-up truck, one landscaper far away from the truck, and a blower goes missing in broad daylight with cameras on. Easy score.

My friend who runs a successful North Shore operation also had huge problems. He went on local news. His security camera videos are on Facebook. There are many degenerates living among us. Instead of stealing trade tools, they should learn how to use them. Sad, sad slaves to their bad habits.

What about insurance? Considering the depreciation on landscape machines it does not make sense to make a claim. You will end up paying more in premiums next year. That hurts.

Clearly, I will have to review my on-site parking arrangement and keep everything locked and closed between tasks. I wonder how many days it will take for the anger to wear off.

Keep your equipment safe!



Tactics: a new Stihl blower spray painted to look unattractive

Stihl power shears maintenance

By | Landscaping Equipment, Strata Maintenance | No Comments

Mid-season pruning can be extremely taxing on landscape companies. Shrubs and hedges need to be clipped back into shape. Things like walkway and window obstruction need to be addressed. Tree branches can hang too low, touch gutters and building envelopes, which gets insurance companies excited. Some residents don’t want any pruning because of concerns with privacy; some residents want their yards pruned ASAP.

All this on top of regular maintenance work.

Mid-season pruning is also very taxing on equipment. But with some love and attention your machines will run well. Last week I took the time to service my Stihl power shears.

A) blades should be lubricated after every use, especially on rainy days

B) gear cases should be greased periodically, depending on frequency of use

C) blades will require frequent sharpening for nice, clean cuts

D) check all nuts and bolts


Let us examine this Stihl model. It’s more homeowner than commercial which means it is light, it has a smaller gas tank and decent power. Commercial power shears have more power which means they are heavier and their gas tanks are bigger. They also cost more.




Machines usually have grease nipples which require grease guns with grease cartridges. This model sports a black rubber button. Remove it gently.



Look for grease nipples or openings



Carefully pop the black rubber button



Don’t be fooled, there was little grease under this opening



Always use good quality grease

You don’t have to use Stihl grease but make sure it is good grease. The same goes for the blade lubricant.



Lubricate your blades after every use before you pack up and go home. This is a crucial step on rainy days.


Having rusty, dull blades and seized gear cases on your power shears is not fun. Always take some time out of your busy pruning day for equipment maintenance. Your machines will run better and you will be more productive.

Stihl Dream Machine…..

By | Arborist Insights, Education, Landscaping Equipment | No Comments

You know the scenario well. You are blowing a strata site and your worker stops you with a question. So you stop and then take the blower off your back to start it again. Back to your leaf avalanches. Then a strata lady stops you with a pressing landscape emergency. You get the picture. I always wanted a better system where I wouldn’t have to take the unit off my back to restart it. And this year Stihl came out with my dream machine, BR 450 C-EF professional blower!


(Image courtesy of Stihl USA,

​Key features:

  1. Electric on/off switch so you can keep the blower on your back and eliminate idling (and excessive noise) as you go from one area to the next.
  2. The blower tube extends by loosening the orange collar, no need to fit two pieces together like on my Echo blower
  3. The trigger has adjustable cruise so you are not stuck at maximum power on cruise control
  4. The trigger is easily moved along the tube with one lock, no need to tighten anything

I am not sure if this blower is available in the Lower Mainland but it is on my wish list!