When it comes to doing tree work, the Avant 745 Articulated Loader, with all its attachments, is one of the heavy weights in our industry.

Everyone knows by now how awesome an articulated loader can be for tree work. It almost goes without saying: boosting crew morale, saving your back, speeding up the jobs, not tearing up the grass like a skid steer or excavator might and, I am sure, there are more positives, but that’s just a few. The benefit of having a machine that can glide in and out of tight residential properties or quickly track across manicured acreage doing all the lifting with minimal or no damage to the property is enormous. It gives you the ability of turning a traditional two or three day job into a one day event.

Due to their articulation, these mini loaders can take a bit to get used to, when it comes to manoeuvring, but once you get the hang of it, they become a very valuable part of the crew.

The Avant 745 was one of the first articulated mini loaders I started to see around about 10 years ago and they are becoming more and more popular.

While there are a few different brands on the market, there is a very good reason for the popularity of Avant. The quality of this machine is second to none. It’s very fast with speeds of up to 30km per hour, has easy to understand controls and a reliable 49hp Kubota engine. There is also over 150 attachments for Avant mini loaders.

This 745 model in particular can lift approximately 1.5 tonnes up to 3m in the air (that I personally can vouch for), which makes it good for loading logs or mulch into the back of most tree trucks.

The attachments on these loaders are so quick and easy to change. My favourite attachment was the rotator grab. This would make feeding the chipper very easy, while you’re getting used to the articulation. Being in the wrong position wouldn’t be a problem as you can swing the load any direction as you advance.

I’ve used rotator grabs a fair bit on excavators and they can be unreal when access isn’t great, as you can feed the chipper from most positions. The rotator grab would also be handy for sneaking up the sides of houses, as you can turn the load as you’re moving and not having to put it down.

The grinder attachment was a little hard to get used to and could bog the machine down. However, it’s a handy option given the fact it is not too expensive to own and gives an option for a few extra dollars on a site you are already on.

This machine has a heap of power and traction for its size. The amount of attachments available can make an Avant turn into many other useful machines, but when it comes to doing tree work… pound for pound, this machine is one of the heavy weights in our industry.

Avant is family run in Sydney and boasts great customer service, from what I’ve heard from those I know who own one.

Owning a machine like this is certainly on my to-do list and is the sort of tool on the crew that can help you make more on the job! A must have if you can afford it. That said, guys I’m not sure what else to say other than I wish I owned one myself.

For more information visit www.avantequipment.com

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