I was thinking a couple days ago while i was mowing some yards of my own that i do. I was thinking about if it would save any money to have employees buy their own equipment. Not on their own but through you. You lay out what models are available and what attachments or what not and they gradually pay for them over time. They are more then welcome to take the trimmers home or they can keep them at the shop. If they need maintenance the company's maintenance personel would do what needs to be done and if the breakage was due to negligence they would pay for the parts.
By laying out what models you want them to lose you can limit them to equipment that is good quality and wont break all the time. You could have say three different size of Redmax trimmers. All good trimmers in my book but this way the employee can decide how much he wants to spend. If he can only afford the smaller model he can purchase that one and when he's ready to step up he gives the trimmer back to the company and the company sells it or buys it from him then uses its worth to lower the cost of the new trimmer.
Just a thought I had. I know there's some kinks in it though. thoughts?