As I’m looking out the window of my office, I’m appreciating an early summer day (and a break in the constant “April Showers” that somehow made it to May). Our main offices are located on the border of a Kansas City neighborhood, and a telltale sign of summer around here is the vast sea of large green leaves populating each tree as far as the eye can see… from my side of the building at least. Here at SLS, we appreciate the care that goes into keeping each of those trees in tip top shape. Trust me, we wouldn’t be reading arborist blogs in our spare time if we didn’t (check out for some good tips!)

Girl Admiring Trees

We also know that professional arborists require an assortment of gear to successfully complete their job – sometimes their safety depends on it ( If you’re reading this far, you’re probably a professional arborist yourself, and you may be thinking about a few pieces of equipment in your arsenal that could use an upgrade, or maybe you’re ready to pick up some saws and pruners that you’ve been lacking. We certainly know that there are places out there that you can find a good selection of WHAT you need (like but we know acquiring your new equipment can be a pretty expensive ordeal. But you want to keep your business growing! Don’t let outdated equipment or a lack of equipment in general be what holds you back from success in your industry. An under-utilized tool in your industry is a GOOD lending partner, one that can help you turn that daunting price tag into manageable monthly payments that make your equipment feel like it’s paying for itself – and we’re here to show you exactly what that does and doesn’t look like.

Bank Logo

Your local bank is usually a good choice, however, given that they may not be familiar with arborist equipment, this may not be the path of least resistance. So ~ as you begin your search (under most normal circumstances) you should do the following things to determine if you are working with a quality equipment leasing / financing professional – see below:

Upfront Monies: If they ask for money upfront ~ you’re up the wrong money tree! Once you are APPROVED & receive documentation, then & only then should you send the lender any needed down payment or advance payment along with your signing of a credit-approved final contract.

Money Tree

Furthermore, check for the following ~

Reputation: That the commercial lender has a great reputation. But, how do you know? Easy enough ~ Google the company name and the city and state. You are just looking for complaints. Be careful if you see many (more than a couple) of these! If so, choose another.

Longevity: Has this company been around for 10 or 20 years or more? A seasoned organization, with no complaints is often a great way to go.

The Contract: Review the contract and verify that these are the final terms & that you are indeed credit approved. Verify too that they are ready to fund once you send in the final contract. If this is not the case … you’re better off with someone else.

Business Can Be Fun!

Once you find a credible lender it is time for underwriting.

Get a financing or equipment leasing quote and complete a credit application.

Many well-established lenders offer an online application ~ like this:

Online Application: Click Here

Terms and Payments for arborist equipment can vary based on the amount of money involved and your overall credit profile.

Also ~ whether the equipment is new or used can sometimes impact the terms available for borrowers.

Many National Commercial Lenders offer A, B and C Options and thus the differences. Financing terms are typically from 2 – 5 years. Here are some factors that aid them in underwriting a company’s credit application:

Time in business: The newer the company the greater the monthly payment.

Personal Credit Score: The lower the credit score the greater the monthly payment ~ all things being equal.

Approved Handwriting

Many other factors help a lender to analyze the risk associated with an arborist professional applicant.

Usually the 5 C’s of Credit come into play when a lender analyzes an applicant.

Character / Credit: Personal and business credit scores and the like help the lender understand this C as it relates to an applicant.

Capacity: Show me the money! Capacity to pay is all about cash flow. Many arborist equipment lenders ask for a copy of 3 recent bank statements. These are easy to obtain & forward thanks to online banking. This shows how much you are making & spending in each of the months presented.

Collateral: What is the equipment worth now and what will it be worth in the future. This helps to show a creditor the value of the collateral.

Conditions: What are the conditions of the industry and the economy as a whole?

Capital: How much money or wealth do you have in your company?

Sound complicated? It doesn’t have to be! We have over 30 years of experience at SLS Financial Services helping people just like you finance new and used equipment so that you can focus on growing your business. If you’re ready to add the benefits of new equipment to your ever-growing business, we’re ready to help you make the process… Uncomplicated! We aren’t your typical commercial lender. We look at the person behind the application. If you have any questions about our process feel free to reach out to us at 816-587-3400 or you can find a link to our application below.


Today, credit scoring systems can make credit decisions almost instantly. However, business is still about people. More than ever, business-owners seek (a) commercial lending partner to learn about their unique needs and be solution-providers.

Speed and technology are important, but do they come at the expense of leaving people, their story, and opportunities behind?

At SLS, we’ve never lost focus on the business-owner behind the application. A big part of our success is based on customer satisfaction ~ plain & simple, because we believe in leveraging technology and combining it with our expertise for only one purpose…to help people.

Call Doug for more information ~ 816.863.3070

President of SLS Financial, an accountant, former Board Member of one of the safest banks in America, and owner of multiple businesses.

For more than 30 years he has assisted buyers and sellers of equipment with competitive finance and commercial lending programs.

Contact Doug:



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