I've got the perfect project for you Tom! Forget all the long handled
stuff. Long reach manual loppers, long reach hedgetrimmers, pole saws
and weight bearing overhead backpack cradles have all been invented and
I have most of the best of them.
The problem I have is transporting field grown rhododendron transplants
that weigh in at 200kg+ over ornamental lawns and ponds etc. they are
'Instant' plants that customers demand and being shallow rooted,
actually establish better than pot grown Rhodies.
At the moment I use plastic sheeting which I or we drag, but this
inevitably scars the lawn and can pull your shoulders out of joint.
Most of the time machines cannot get to where I need to transport them
or get traction, mini diggers excluded. Failing a carthorse, what I
need is a cheap hovercraft that will take a wide load and transport a
200kg-300kg root balled plant from the tailift of a lorry to the actual
site where it will be hauled into place and planted. Oh and it should
cost no more than a decent backpack leaf blower!
Another device that would be of use is some sort of device or tracked
grab to hold large potted specimen stock such as large palms in
750litre+ pots, whilst you remove the plastic pot and plant the things,
at the moment we use mini diggers, straps and man handling power. I
suspect this one might be a red herring though as with the necessary
weight and complexity of the kit you would need, you might as well use a
backhoe or mini digger...
I am logging this post so as if you patent it I will sue! lol!