Customers are impressed with the usefulness of a power rake — and a quick cleanup after an installation means starting the next job faster

The favorite tool of the folks running Denby Environmental Services in Beachville, Ontario, has nothing to do with digging holes or building a drainfield. It’s the company’s Land Pride power rake/tiller Model 1050.

Attached on the back of the company’s Kubota 3940 tractor, it makes short work of creating a good seedbed for site restoration after an onsite system installation is complete.

“It has been a back saver,” says Tim Knoop, son of co-owners Gerry and Amy Knoop. “We were hand-raking everything before we made the purchase.”

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“Pretty hard on your back when you are trying to final grade a large area,” adds Adam Knoop, another of the couple’s sons. “For sure all of the employees are thankful for this tool.”

The rake does much more than save back pain.

“It leaves homeowners happy,” says Gerry. “The problem for all installers is that the quality of our work is buried. Customers never see it, and in the process you destroy their yards. But the power rake leaves a nice-looking surface behind.”

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For a few years, Denby rented power rakes when the size of the job warranted it. And it was the customers’ reactions that made the Knoops see the usefulness of the tool. “At the end of almost every job the homeowner would say, ‘Oh my goodness, that thing is amazing,’” Adam says.

Gerry sees another benefit from investing in the rake: It improves utilization of the company’s other assets. Everyone invests a lot of money in tools, he says, yet taking time to hand-rake the soil above an installation leaves all those other assets sitting idle instead of earning more revenue. Having the power rake means a crew finishes a job faster and can quickly put the other expensive machines into service on another project.

Read more about Denby Environmental in the January issue of Onsite Installer.

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