Better Bench System
Val-Co Environmental & Greenhouse Systems, Bird-In-Hand,Pa., kept durability in mind when manufacturing the Better Bench System. TheBetter Bench, greenhouse/garden center bench is cost effective and has a highweight to square foot ratio, yet it is portable, easy to assemble andattractive in its surroundings.
Putting your money in a product that would best fit yourbusiness needs is essential, so we talked to some of the bench owners and askedthem to evaluate their experience with the Better Bench System.
The Better Bench System is designed for maximum loading,supporting over 40 lbs. per sq.ft., according to the manufacturer. It featuresa black bench top, which is molded in plastic and prevents light reflectionback onto the plant. The ventilation slots on the benches’ tops areengineered to allow for maximum air circulation and water drainage around theplants, essential for disease prevention. The bench framing is manufacturedfrom 12-gauge galvanized steel and bolts together very quickly and easily. TheBetter Bench is available in three heights (24, 30 and 40 inches) and twowidths (48 and 72 inches). A bolt-together design allows for any length benchand provides portability. The benches are designed to be either permanentlyinstalled or freestanding.
Doug Walters, president of W.W. Greenhouse, Hudsonville,Mich., said that so far the benches have performed very well. Walters purchased100 benches. “The bench assembly was very simple. It only took about 20minutes to put a bench together; with other benches, it has taken us twice thattime.”
Walters uses the benches mainly outdoors. “We are agarden center, so we put anything on top of the benches that we have todisplay,” he said. “In terms of durability, granted we only hadthem for one season, they have held up very nicely — they are not goingto rot or rust.” According to Walters, although other products are madeof fiberglass — they are not as durable and do not have the strength thatthe Better Bench does.
Sue Andersen, owner of Mason Hallow Nursery, Mason, N.H., isalso impressed with the benches’ durability. Andersen purchased 10 BetterBenches for outdoor use as well. “What makes this product different fromothers currently available on the market is that it is very strong,”Andersen said. “The benches can withstand all kinds of weatherconditions. We use them outside, and they are probably going to be out therethroughout the winter months.”
The bench is also designed with removable tops, which makecleaning, as well as relocation of the bench to another area, easy and quick.For storage, they can easily be stacked as well.
Jose Ramos Jr., manager of El Sembrador Nursery, Inc., SanDiego, Calif., said he replaced racks with eight benches in the nursery retailsection. Ramos was really happy with the purchase because the benches were verydurable and easy to move. According to him, moving the benches around does notrequire disassembly. “We’ve only had to split them, because we havelong benches — probably about 40 or 50 feet long — so we just splitthem apart in the middle and move them from place to place.”
In addition to the removable tops, Walters said he was veryhappy with the bench’s angled legs. “I like that their legs aredesigned so you can drag the garden hoses around them and they won’tpinch or cut.”
“I am glad we purchased this product,” Andersensaid. “We could have gotten something else at a lesser price but probablywould have to replace it within a year or two.” And Walters added:”Overall, I think it’s the strength of the bench and [the fact]that it doesn’t rot or rust or deteriorate that I like best.”