lawn-manufacturersThey say the grass is always greener on the other side. For lawn care equipment manufacturers who have yet to claim the R&D tax credit, that old saying could not be truer. Many small to mid-size equipment manufacturers – including developers and producers of commercial and residential lawn care equipment like mowers, aerators, sprayers, and seeders – don’t realize their efforts qualify them for a generous tax credit. However, the design and development of such equipment, as well as improvements to existing models and machinery, entitles such companies to the R&D tax credit.

Like many other manufacturers, the makers of small equipment face uncertainty in determining the appropriate material, part design, and assembly of products marketed for sale. In the case of lawn care manufacturers, the unique function of such equipment – combining horticultural functions with traditional motorized components – creates further need and opportunity for research and development. Considerations particular to such manufactured equipment include blade configuration and function for mowers, fertilizer capacity and dispensing capability of sprayers and aerators, fuel economy, and mobility within constrained landscaped spaces. For example, a lawn care manufacturer seeking to increase the capacity of a commercial sprayer must not only evaluate its design to ensure the part’s chassis and structure can support the additional weight, but that the part’s motoring capabilities can power the heavier equipment. Throughout this process, the company need also keep in mind the ability of the equipment to move in and around lawn environments and ensure distribution of the fertilizer material.

The design and manufacture of lawn care equipment is ripe for qualification for the R&D tax credit, thanks in large part to the unique development considerations necessitated by pairing motor functions with lawn care and maintenance like cutting, spraying, and spreading. For companies claiming the credit, keeping lawns green can also keep some green in the pockets of lawn care and small equipment manufacturing firms.

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