The Tools You Need for Fall Yard Clean Up
The weather is changing, football season has begun, and all of the sudden you notice — your yard needs some attention. Fall has a way of highlighting the flaws in landscaping that may have gone unnoticed during the summer months.
Raking leaves is definitely on your list, but what about those larger projects like removing dead trees or cutting firewood? Depending on how big the project is, you might need more than the axe and chainsaw in your garage.
That’s where rental comes in. Renting tools is a great alternative to purchasing, especially when you wouldn’t use the tool enough to justify retail cost.
If you’re chopping any amount of wood into firewood, consider renting a log splitter. Sure, swinging an axe is a great workout, but over time, that repetitive motion can take a toll on your back and shoulders. As a gift to your older self, call up your local rental store to check what kind of log splitters they have on hand. An alternative tool can quickly turn a daunting task into a doable one.
There are a variety of log splitter types, such as vertical and horizontal splitters, gas, electric, and manual-hydraulic splitters, and three point and skid steer splitters. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. If the store you’re renting from has multiple types, ask them to help determine which is best for your specific project.
If you don’t have the need for firewood, rent a wood chipper to cut tree trunks into chips, instead. Chips are much easier to haul and remove than large tree trunks, making transportation easy, but you can also use them as mulch for gardens or walkways.
Wood chippers are available in many different sizes and types, but they all work the same way. Wood is fed into the machine through a chute, sharp blades break down the wood into 1-3-inch pieces, and the chips are shot out the side of the machine or routed into an attached bag. Drum chippers can handle larger branches and fibrous materials, disk chippers are great for small branches, and screw chippers create uniform chips. Do your research or consult a rental store professional to determine exactly what you need.
Combination wood chippers/shredders are also an option. They are much smaller in size than a wood chipper — and are great for residential use. They can handle branches up to three inches in diameter and give you the option to either chip or shred the wood.
Brush cutters are a versatile tool that help clear grass and weeds over 6” tall. They are also able to cut down small hedges and tree trunks. A brush cutter can either resemble a push lawn mower or riding lawn mower. Both versions use a metal blade and are able to conquer both thicker and taller sections of brush than a traditional string trimmer or lawn mower.
Brush cutter rentals can include different blade attachments that correspond to different materials, allowing you to work more efficiently. For grass and weeds, blades should have 8 teeth or less, for thick weeds and brush, use a blade with 9-40 teeth, and for small trees and saplings, choose a blade with more than 40 teeth.
When operating the brush cutter, it’s important to wear a hard hat, hearing protection and eye protection. It’s also a good idea to protect other parts of your body with long pants, boots, and gloves. Safety is extremely important due to the power behind the machine and the amount of debris that it kicks around.