My name is Scott Holmes and I’m one of the owners of ABI Attachments. I’m here today with my partner, founder of ABI Attachments and the inventor of many of our unique ground preparation attachments, Kevin Keigley, and ABI. We understand that there’s a lot of market confusion, maybe even market apathy when it comes to attachments. There’s so many companies, so many ground prep attachments. The question is, which ones do you buy and why do you buy them?
At ABI, we know that innovation can make the difference between profit and loss when it comes to your bottom line. And that’s why we put so much time and energy into the innovation of our attachments. And one of the reasons we know that we can make a difference in your business is because Kevin is one of the largest seeding contractors in the Midwest. So as you’re looking at our attachments, you have to ask yourself the question, “so what, how does this apply to me?”.
Today, we’re gonna be focusing on a very unique piece of equipment from ABI Attachments called the ABI Force. So, Kevin, the question is for the contractor on the market looking for a ground prep tool to make a difference, not just a tool, but one that makes a difference in his business; Why the ABI Force? So what? What does that do for them?
The ABI Force will replace three or four men.
How actually does that happen?
Well, on an ideal jobs, if you had five acres and you’re just everything was wide open, you wouldn’t need the Force. You have equipment and they can do all the work.
Tractor, Bobcat, things like that.
But that’s not reality. Reality is there are edges, there are tree lawns, there are trees to maneuver around. And there’s some areas that just the tractor or the Bobcat can’t get into it. They’re just too tight. With the Force, with the zero-turn and the multiple speeds, you can go just to creep them along. You can get into the tightest area and do all the heavy loosening up and leveling without having to use just a shell. And the biggest thing, too, is the men will be fresh for the next day, because when they’re doing all that manual labor and hard work, they’re exhausted by the end of the day. So they’re also deflated when they walk up to a big job and they see all these tight areas with these labor intensive. Their energy level goes right down. But when they have the Force on the trailer, they know right away that they can make this job go easily. In fact, I’ve even had situations where my men have showed up at a job. They didn’t have the Force and said, we can’t do this job because we don’t have the Force.
So you do, what, three to five installations a day?
And with the three to five installations, how many times do you use the Force?
Probably one or two times. It’s not going to be used on every job. But when you do need it, it is the most valuable tool you can have.
Yeah, absolutely. So, Kevin, tell me a little bit about the ABI Force and exactly how it works. I realize it’s on a platform of zero-turn. So it’s kind of like the commercial mowers. So if anybody uses a commercial mower, getting used to this would be piece of cake. So it zero-turn tell me more about it. What else we got?
It has an 18 horse power Vangard commercial engine. To give you an example, the basic Gater John Deere Gater that’s used only has 10 horsepower. This is almost double the horsepower of a gator.
Do you struggle at all? I mean, I’m I’m looking at big scarifiers and ripping the ground. You ever struggle getting it to get through the ground?
Well, we have a unique design. A patent pending design where we have coil action springs. So those springs you can put just the amount of pressure, a little bit of tension or a lot of tension. And as it rides across the ground, if it hits an immovable, hardened area, it’ll just go go through it, scratch it a little bit, and then on multiple passes, it’ll eventually get through it bust it up.
So therefore, there’s no struggle with the 18 horsepower. It’s plenty of power.
Yes, plenty power. And the harder the surface is, all that means is you’re going to take a few more passes. But eventually it’ll get down into it and we can rope the soil down four to six inches deep. You’ll be very surprised by it.
And you’re doing this in tight areas. So that beats the heck out of a shovel.
All I have to tell you is tree lines. Every seeder installer in the country will know what I’m talking about when his tree lawn. Tree lawn is for three to four feet wide and all the grading tools, all the tractors and Bobcats are typically seven, eight feet wide. So, how do you do the tree lawn? Well, you gonna put extra dirt in there? You’re going to chop it out by hand? If there’s vegetation, you’ve got to take a hand, rototiller. It’s just almost a job in itself, trying to deal with the tree lawns. We bring the Force in there. We go up. We turn it around its own space. And by the way, as we go across the sidewalks, we’re not marring the sidewalks. No skidding on it. We just easily go across it. We turn it around in its own space. Go the other direction. And same thing is applied. When we put the seed down. We can we can have the same efficiency as driving over the area, putting the seed down, dragging a cultipacker and pressing it in.
I noticed that today when you were doing a job, you go back and forth across the sidewalk. And there were no chips. The footprint weight of this is very, very light compared to a skidsteer.
It’s no different than somebody operating a mower across the sidewalk. That’s the same footprint.
And that’s a good “so what?” answer to the contractors. You’re not going to have the repairs to your sidewalks and your curbs.
And I will say this, I think. If you see the homeowners or the business owners and they see that you have equipment in these tight areas and you’re operating with utmost efficiency and they see how you’re just slowing it down and creeping along the edges, they have an ease about that as opposed to taking a big old Bobcat or tractor and you’re trying to wedge it into an area and grade it out.
So we’ve got a zero-turn platform. We’ve got a powerful Vangard 18 horsepower engine. You talked about a spring coil action. What’s the purpose in having spring coil on your underbelly mid-mount type attachments?
Well, first of all, the mid-mount, anytime you’re doing any grading, when you have a mid-mount attachment, grading attachment, that means you have a front tire back tire. And so that every time you go over it, you’re out, you’re doing leveling, more and more because you have basically two points, the front tires and back tires. And this is grading in the middle as opposed to something behind you where the front tires would go down your back grading tool is going up in the air, and conversely, the other way around.
Tell me more about the purpose behind having spring action and the forced power down on that. What’s that do for the contractor out in the field?
Well, the spring action allows you to put varying amount of pressure into the ground. So if you want just a little bit of pressure, obviously you compact the springs a little bit. Then you can push him all the way down and almost to the point where they’re rigid, where they’re just driving them in the ground.
The reason we have the coil action is because we feel that if it was a rigid and solid and you went along and you hit an immovable object, it would stop it right in it’s tracks, and possibly could be some breakage. So that’s why we have coil action that it would just kind of each time, if you have a hard surface, then each time it will get into the ground, maybe a half inch, maybe a little an inch at a time. But eventually, I guarantee you, eventually you’ll get four to six inches of loose soil before you’re done.
Which that, compared to the power rakes on the market, compared to, you know, the rototillers on the market. This that is good seedbed prep.
Well, there are some rotary tools out there that only go penetrate the ground a half inch to an inch. And we want to reduce the compaction. We want to get good drainage and allow for a good root growth. So we want to get down in the ground and get the air into the soil.
Right, right. Right. So you want to get the depth of penetration of the scarifiers, the rippers.
But the other point about the midpoint tool is that whenever you have a grading tool and you have it located in between your front and back tires, you have a plane. OK, the front and back tires are creating this plane. So the when you have the grading in between it, it just makes for an absolutely perfect, smooth surf.
Kind of like the motor graders I’ve seen on job sites where they’re moving a lot of dirt. They’ve got the blade in the middle and the tires on the outside and therefore they’re getting a nice and level area.
Each time you’re passing over it, it’s if the if you’re coming to a high spot between your front back tires, it’s going to knock it out.
So, Kevin, I know that you invented a lot of the attachments for the mid-mount that we’ve been talking about. Tell me more about how that works. I see there’s hydraulic controls. How does this mid-mount section work and how does it function on the job site?
Well, you’re going to notice right away there’s a lot of similarities with the contact points of our TR3 rake, which has been around for 15, 20 years. OK. This is nothing new. We just found a way to put our already proven grading attachments on the Force. Also on the attachment is hydraulic controls that allow you to lift the attachment up and down and also control the tilt.
OK. So what’s that mean out in the job site?
OK. When I first get to the job site, I want pretty much all scarifying. SoI tilt it back so the scarifiers are almost straight up and down. And then I could just easily bury them into the ground till I get my desired depth. Then I can simply change the tilt. And now I get the combing action. And as I’m going forward and doing the coming action, it’s collecting some of this soil and it’s busting it up, causing it, forcing the dirt to go through the tines, the combs. And that just breaks it up. And you’ll suddenly see in a few amount of passes, all the dirt clogs break up and disintegrate.
So it kind of replaces the traditional pulverizer. Traditional cultipacker if you’re trying to break clods up with that. So you’re ripping and you’re raking and combing with the same attachment under the mid-mount is what you’re doing. All based on the angle between the hydraulics.
And here’s another feature about it, is that you can change the angle to completely angle down as much as it’ll go and then go backwards and actually rake and draw soil into a low area. But also combing the rocks that are on the surface to a one location to, for you can pick them up, pick up your spoils.
Versus another hand operator out there with a rake and a shovel. Getting the rocks off. Filling in the low spots. Doing it manually. You’re doing it mechanically. Which to me seems to be at a lower cost overall, when you put a year’s worth of work on the table.
Keep in mind, if you if you have an area that can be done with a tractor or Bobcat, that would be a far superior way to do things. But if you have small lots, if you have a backyard that you can’t get a tractor into or back of a Bobcat into, then I highly recommend the Force because the Force can go in there and easily get through side yards, get into those low spot areas.
It sounds like what you’re telling me is that the jobs that nobody else wants,, and the jobs that are too difficult to do, that you can’t bid well enough to make any money on. This is where you want the tool.
You know, it’s been funny as we’ve introduced the tool and had it on job sites, we draw a crowd. I look around and as we’re maneuvering it, people are in awe. They see us get in the tightest area to move up and turn around, come back and they look back down and and and the area’s done.
You know, I had a contractor once told me that he thought that the Force would eventually become what the skidsteer used to be. When the skidsteer was introduced to the landscape, market, it completely changed you know, those tight, small areas. Now, we’ve taken an even smaller to the areas where we’re removing the handwork with another another piece of equipment that can do the work. And, you know, you’ve always taught me and I know we tell our representatives at ABI Attachments that equipment’s a lot cheaper than labor. You don’t make the profit off of employees, you make it off of process and equipment and efficiency.
That’s right. Efficiency.
And that’s what the Force does. So, Kevin, we’ve talked a lot about the ground preparation part of the Force, of the loosening, the leveling, the raking. But the Force is more than just a ground prep tool. It’s also a seeding tool. I know you guys use this daily to seed around tight areas. What are some of the available pieces that come with the Force?
We also have a hydraulically controlled seed hopper. The seed hopper can be controlled from the operating position. You can control the rate of speed of the of the fan for the hopper so that it can fan out to a wide area or a narrow area. There’s also a deflector that can be switched down to keep the seed from going into the landscape beds, so you can control the seed, apply it over the area, and then another feature that we have is a cultipacker that can be pulled behind the Force as you’re putting the seed down. So first of all, we’ve got to loosen soil. Then we apply the seed over it with our seed hopper, and then we pull the cultipacker behind the Force, pressing the seed in. Very important to press the seed in.
So you’re able to come to a job site with one man, one tool, and you can loosen, level, rake, prepare, grade, seed, drill, and pretty much finish the job.
We send the guys out all the time and they can do it like a septic repair where somebody has three to five thousand square feet their backyard. This tool can go in there and loosen it, level it, pull the rocks off and seed it. All of that in about two or three hours. But you also use it on big jobs, too. Yes, on our trailers. If you have five feet of trailer space, you can take the Force on it, because you can run them up the ramps. You can turn them with a zero-turn, put them sideways. And if you don’t need them, it’s still on the trailer. If you need them, you’ll be able to finish the job efficiently.
So we have a ground preparation seedbed prep tool. We have a seeding tool that from start to finish will put the seed in the ground. But the Force also has some other available pieces that come with it, not shown here in this example as our our backdrop. But there is a aerator, and I think the hopper can also do fertilizer. So even after the lawn comes up, you can maintain. So you can take this mid-mount piece that we’re that we’re loosening and raking the soil with, put in the plug aerator, and you can use it as a after the seed comes up tool as well.
Ten minute swap out. That’s about it.
Wow. So what we’re talking about here. The “so what?” to the contractor. The reason they need to be interested in purchasing this from ABI Attachments is not just for one thing, it’s not for two things. It’s not for three things. It is a multi-function, highly efficient tool that will make them money in ground preparation, seeding, aeration, fertilization. It’s always nice to spend your money once and get three or four things out of it.
Well, and it’s continuing to grow. We’re adding more and more features to it. We haven’t even talked about baseball, but this tool, also with just another attachment you can add to your existing chassis, you can go out and groom a Major League Baseball diamond. In fact, we sold it to the San Francisco Giants and they’re operating one now.
Cincinnati Reds. The Mets have used it. All with this piece of equipment. You know, it it is tested. It is proven. The attachments you’ve invented are not new. They’re things that contractors have been using for 15 to 20 years. All we’ve done and all you’ve done is put it onto a chassis that allows you get into tight areas, allows you to eliminate a lot of labor, cut your time down, become more efficient, make more money in your job. So what I’ve heard today in talking with. Kevin and looking through the Force on a job site is that this piece of equipment will give you more confidence in making bids on tougher jobs, beating out your competition for bids on jobs, make you more money, which really is the bottom line. It really answers the “so what?”.
To find out more information about the ABI Force. We really want you to call in and talk to one of our product specialists, I promise you they’re no pressure sales people who really have your best interests at heart. They want to know if this product will actually fit into your business model. And if it does, we have financing, commercial financing. Equipment, when it’s the right piece of equipment, will make you money. And we guarantee you the ABI Force is one of those pieces of equipment. But we want you to give it a shot. We want you to put it into your arsenal. We know that that’s what the ABI Force will do for you.