Battery-Operated Lawn Tools: Is electric lawn care equipment worth it. Tools for lawn care
Battery-Operated Lawn Tools: Is electric lawn care equipment worth it?
Once upon a time, the only electric lawn equipment we had access to, was plugged into a wall.
Which was not only inconvenient but also dangerous.
Nowadays, battery-powered lawn care tools are available for everything from lawnmowers, to chainsaws and leaf blowers.
But is battery-powered equipment worth investing in? Or is it a gimmick?
Below you will find everything you need to know about lawn care with battery-powered tools.
What do lawn care pros say about battery-powered equipment?
We wanted to know what lawn care pros thought about battery-powered equipment in commercial applications.
And what we found is the overwhelming majority of lawn care professionals (64.5%) said that battery-powered lawn care equipment had some practical commercial applications.
The most commonly cited tool used by lawn care pros is battery-powered hedge trimmers. Battery-powered leaf blowers and weed-eaters were also cited as a good way to quickly and quietly finish a small job.
But the overwhelming consensus is that nothing beats gas-powered equipment overall.
While 34.5% said they can not stand using battery-powered equipment when it comes to their lawn care business.
Only 1% of the lawn care pros we polled said they “love” battery-powered equipment.
Battery-Powered Equipment: Professional vs. Homeowner
Here’s the deal, battery-powered equipment has come a long way and is more than suitable for most homeowners.
Whether you are talking about a battery-powered leaf blower, chainsaw, or lawn mower. Battery-powered equipment is truly up to par as compared to gas equipment for the average homeowner.
However, there are certain limitations that battery-powered equipment is subject to that limit its value in most commercial applications, as well as for “professional homeowners”.
Pros and Cons of Battery-powered Equipment
Here’s the deal, whatever your preconceived notions about electric power are, there are pros and cons to using battery-powered equipment. And to know whether or not battery-powered equipment is worthwhile, we need to look into the pros and cons of using them.
Benefits of Battery-powered Equipment:
There are so many positives to owning and operating a battery-powered lawn mower or weed whacker.
- Less mess (no spilled gasoline or oil to manage),
- Near silent operation,
- No smells,
- Great for small residential neighborhoods.
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Think about it, despite the severe limitations of battery-powered lawn care equipment. In certain applications, such as small residential neighborhoods. Battery-powered lawn equipment can be less disruptive to the neighborhood.
Which can make your neighbors happy if you are a homeowner, or give you an edge on the competition if you use the quiet nature of battery-powered equipment as a selling point. And you won’t have to worry about whether you will need to use a fuel stabilizer or not.
Cons of Battery Powered Equipment.
Now for the limitations. Here’s the deal, no matter what improvements are made to battery-powered equipment, there will be limitations.
The cons of battery-powered equipment include:
The biggest downside to battery-operated equipment is the limitations on the run time of the equipment. Gas-powered engines can theoretically run indefinitely as long as fuel is available.
But a battery-powered machine requires access to a power outlet, and unless you have extra batteries while the one charges. You are going to have downtime.
Which for the average homeowner, isn’t really a problem. But if you are operating a commercial lawn care company, or are regularly doing yardwork. It may be a limitation you don’t want to deal with.
Who is battery-powered lawn care equipment for?
Look, it’s not really about whether battery-powered equipment it’s not really about whether it’s worth it or not. Its about who is it for?
Who are battery-powered lawn mowers for?
In short, battery-powered lawn mowers are for the average homeowner who lives on a ½ acre or less of land. While some more expensive models like the RYOBI 38 Inch can cut up to 2 acres on one charge.
But battery-powered lawn mowers won’t really serve in most commercial applications, though there are commercial battery-operated mowers nowadays.
Who is other battery-powered lawn equipment for?
Other battery-powered equipment on the other hand can serve a wider range of people. For example, battery-powered leaf blowers can be great for almost anyone, even lawn care professionals. However, when it comes to fall leaf clean-up, battery-powered equipment may not always be practical in commercial applications.
Hedge trimmers and weed whackers that are powered by batteries can be great even in commercial applications. Assuming the property you are working on has been maintained regularly.
On the other hand, for example, if you need to clear brush on a half-acre, a battery-powered weed whacker or lawn mower may not “make the cut”. Commercial companies may find it useful to market their company on as an all-electric lawn care company in densely populated neighborhoods.
Battery Powered Lawn Care Equipment At the End of the Day
At the end of the day, battery-powered lawn care equipment is great for regular maintenance on most properties. And it is improving constantly. In fact, many argue that battery technology is the next step in the evolution of the lawn mower.
However, when things get overgrown or are not managed regularly, battery-powered equipment may not be up to the task.
That being said, battery-powered equipment has come a long way. And it truly serves a wide range of purposes. Best of all you will have less to do when it comes time to winterize your lawn care equipment.
HUGE WEED cut electric push mower
Hi, I’m Gene Caballero and I’m the co-founder of GreenPal. At GreenPal, we’re helping hundreds of thousands of Americans solve one of the trickiest problems: a reliable, fast, and affordable way to get lawncare taken care of. On behalf of GreenPal, I’ve been featured in the Indianapolis Star. the Sacramento Bee. Entrepreneur. Inc.com. and dozens more. Please feel free to say hi on or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Here’s the Equipment Needed to Start a Lawn Care Business
Every small business owner has tools of the trade. For example, a landscape contractor needs tools such as a measuring tape, hammers and a backhoe. As a new lawn care business owner, you may be wondering about the equipment needed to start a lawn care business, and what’s really involved from a cost perspective. We’ve got your list and some tips for getting started with the right equipment to keep your new business going strong.
Why You Really Can’t Go the Cheap Route
When you’re first starting out, you need to “spend money to make money,” and that includes everything from your uniforms, trucks, and office staff. You lawn service equipment needs to be sturdy, clean and able to work in all kinds of weather conditions.
Plus, you want to have a professional appearance. So, your equipment needs to look professional too.
You don’t want to have mowers that are chugging out thick, black smoke, and you don’t want your spreaders to break down in the middle of a fertilizer treatment.
You also need the right equipment to get the job done. You’ll need heavy-duty tools that can handle a quarter of an acre all the way up to a few acres of lawn grass.
Sometimes, it seems more economical to buy on the cheap or buy smaller equipment.
But before you know it, your business grows with a few large residential properties, and you don’t have the right equipment to get the job done.
Now, what do you do? Think quality from the get-go, and you’ll avoid having to replace worn-out tools that just weren’t made to last, especially for commercial projects.
Types of Equipment Needed to Start a Lawn Care Business
It’s understandable that as a newcomer to lawn care, you likely want to take some shortcuts until you get more customers under your belt. Yet, as you grow, you’re going to need to invest in some heavy-duty equipment to get all of your clients’ lawns cleaned up promptly. According to Lawn and Landscape, a typical landscape company will have 8-14% of sales going towards their equipment costs each year. When starting out, it’s wise to budget between 30-50k for start-up costs.
Here’s the list of those six pieces of equipment you must have when you’re starting your lawn business:
- Heavy-duty trucks: You’re going to need a truck or two that to haul a trailer carrying lawn mowers and lawn service equipment and tools. Estimated cost: 10,000-50,000.
- Trailer: You need a sturdy trailer that’s easy to load with mowers, blowers and spreaders. Estimated cost: 1,500 for a new steel trailer.
- Storage facility: Unless you have a large garage or another out-building on your property, you’ll need to lease space at a storage facility to keep all of your equipment in between jobs. Estimated cost: 50-200/month.
- Uniforms: You don’t need to go crazy, but you should have at least have T-shirts designed with your company’s name, logo, and phone number (for folks to call you for an estimate when they see your crews around town), pants and work boots. Uniforms communicate trust and professionalism. Estimated cost: 12-30 per employee depending on style, fabric, etc.
- Safety equipment: OSHA requires that you and your workers wear eye and ear protection when working out in the field. You and your technicians should also wear pants and sturdy boots to protect your bodies from sharp blades and flying debris. Another safety must is hearing protection. Estimated cost: Earmuff-style hearing protection can cost around 25/pair, safety goggles can be as low as 10/pair.
- The Must-have, no compromising, tools of the trade: Lawn mowers with attachments, such as mulchers and side catchers. Depending on the properties you take care of, you may need a walk-behind mower as well as a riding mower for larger properties. Estimated cost: There is a huge range in the cost of landscaping equipment, depending on brand, size, etc. A push mower can be as low as 100, while a new riding mower can get up into the several thousands. Here’s an excellent breakdown on costs for lawn care tools from HowtoStartanLLC.com:
- Riding Mower: 1,000-5,000
- Push Mower: 200-1,000
- Trimmer: 50-300
- Edger: 80-350
- Leaf Blower: 100-500
- Lawn Bags: 5-20
- Lawn Spreader: 200-500
- Lawn Sprayer: 50-200
- Assorted additional tools (like trimmers, garden hoses, spades, etc.): 10-50 each
Choose Spyker Spreaders For Your Lawn Business
Spreaders help the lawn care professional fertilize as well as add weed and insect controls. Thanks to features like ACCUWAY and the Spyker Dial, a Spyker spreader actually helps you save money by not wasting product. This gives your clients a better ROI on your lawn services because of the even spreading of materials for beautiful lawn.
Plus, if you want to have a snow/ice removal business over the winter, our newest addition, the new Ergo-Pro Ice Melt Spreader, can cut through rock salt and ice melt and stands up to the harshest outdoor conditions.
Most importantly of all– Spyker spreaders are the type of quality that lasts. Unlike other disposable spreaders that barely make it through a season, Spyker uses better materials, construction, and design to ensure durability over time.
If you’re ready to check out a Spyker spreader for your lawn care business, you can find our products at your nearest Spyker dealer.
Is Battery-Powered Equipment Right for Your Commercial Lawn Care Business?
The world is quickly modifying the way we do business, including lawn care and landscaping. With global climate change and emissions standards under intense scrutiny, many cities and countries are changing laws to reflect a greener workspace.
One way lawn care companies are evolving to fit this new eco-friendly world is by swapping gas-powered for battery-powered lawn care equipment. There are a variety of battery-operated tools to choose from, including:
At Arborgold, we develop specialized software for field-based businesses like lawn care and landscaping companies. We know the work that goes into streamlining your business. Making a big move from gas to battery requires extra help.
Here, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of battery-powered lawn care equipment and important factors to consider as you make your decision.
Why Try Battery Powered Equipment?
Battery-powered lawn care equipment is a beneficial step for companies across North America and maybe the globe. Here are some reasons to consider the switch:
The biggest reason to try battery-powered equipment is because eventually, it might be mandatory. Already, California has begun the transition by passing a law banning the sale of equipment causing SORE (small off-road engine) emissions by 2024. New York quickly followed suit. promising to ban equipment, off-road vehicles, and co
While initial costs are substantial, ongoing maintenance and charging costs are less compared to gas-powered mowers.
Commercial ride-on gas mowers, for example, uses roughly two and a half gallons of gasoline an hour. Multiply that by the current cost of gas and then again by the number of hours you mow on a standard day. For example, let’s say the cost of gas is about 3.8/gallon, that makes an hour of mowing 9.5. For an eight-hour day, you’re looking at about 76 in gas.
In comparison, a battery-powered mower uses rechargeable batteries. The cost of electric
ity to recharge a battery is a little tougher. First, find out how much you spend per hour of charging with the equation:
- kWh x hours charged/1000 = cost to charge per hour
- Now determine how much your electricity costs with the equation:
- Total power bill – taxes/total power use = cost of power
- Finally, multiply the answers from each equation together:
- Cost of power x cost to charge per hour = cost of electricity used to charge mower battery
You can use the electricity equation to determine the cost of electricity for all battery-operated tools.
Anyone who’s ever mowed a lawn, used a chainsaw, or trimmed weeds with an edger, knows how loud gas-powered equipment gets. They pose time constraints on when you can start and stop work for the day.
Battery-powered units produce much less noise and vibration. Not only do you get a quieter workspace, but a more comfortable one.
Companies Producing Top Performing Battery-Operated Equipment
Choosing a new type of commercial lawn care equipment often falls to the manufacturer. If you’re going to make a switch in something as big as equipment type, you should do it with a company you trust.
There are plenty of online ratings and reviews to determine the best performing battery-operated equipment brands for yourself. At Arborgold, we tend to recommend the tried and tested companies producing high-performance equipment. Here are some of the top contenders in the field:
Greenworks commercial produces some of the top battery-powered equipment in lawn care, including the powerful 82V 42” Crossover Zero Turn Mower. They also make a variety of other battery-powered lawn care equipment, including:
- Power tools
- Leaf blowers
- Hedge trimmers
- Spring trimmers
- Utility vehicles
- Snow throwers
Mean Green electric mowers and equipment produces some of the top electric mowers in North America. Their top battery-powered machines are the:
The most efficient mower, the Evo, provides operational savings of 12 to 15 an hour compared to gas mowers.
Gravely has ride-on, stand-on, and walk-behind mower options. They also call say they are “the first all-day electric commercial zero-turn” mower. Their battery-powered mowers have swappable lithium-ion batteries to ensure lawncare crews continuously mow throughout shifts.
Next-Gen Battery-Powered Equipment Projection
According to Fortune Business Insights, North America is likely to have the largest share of battery-powered equipment in the future. With our governments updating laws to minimize carbon emissions, North American lawn care companies are leaders in the lithium-ion future of mowing.
This isn’t bad news for North Americans, as the 2028 value projections show a potential value of 40.86 billion for outdoor power equipment.
Things to Consider when Choosing Batter- Powered Lawn Care Equipment
Making the change from gas to battery is a big decision. There are so many factors to consider, including:
Battery Life for Full Day Use
There are two ways to extend battery power for a full day—swap batteries out or buy a long-lasting battery-operated lawn care tool.
The most common of these two scenarios is the former. Most battery-powered equipment won’t last an entire day on one charge, although the Mean Green Evo has 8-hours of continuous mow time.
The key to success is bringing multiple battery packs with you during the day. The number depends entirely on the type of equipment and how long the battery runs on each charge. This varies, but you can normally find the information in your user guide.
Cost vs. Long-term Battery
Long-term battery life is something you’ll pay for. A big decision as you choose the right battery powdered lawn care equipment for your company is to pay more for longer use or pay less but use more batteries.
The cost-to-value ratio is something you can work out mathematically. If your business does large quantities of work every week, it’s probably worth it to pay the extra for the long battery life. This can be a substantial leap in price from four to five-digit price tags.
Warranty varies between brands and products. A good example of this is the Gravely mowers. Many of their mowers fluctuate in warranties of 2 to 5 years. Their electric mower has the following coverage:
Compared to gas mowers, this is a sizable warranty agreement. While the battery warranty phases out before the mower, it’s much cheaper to purchase a battery than replace an electric mower.
Ongoing Maintenance Needs
Ongoing maintenance needs for battery-powered machines are less than that of gas units. There are generally fewer moving parts to worry about in an electric mower. That combined with fewer fluids to factor into maintenance, it’s a less cumbersome job to upkeep battery-powered tools.
Rebates for No-Emission Equipment
governments are incentivizing the change from gas to battery with rebate programs. The restrictions and amounts for these rebates are based on your location. Government rebates can be enhanced with brand rebates. Some lawn mower dealers are adding their own rebate incentives to the pot as well. Ask about rebates when you chat with your dealer.
Contact Arborgold to Learn
Arborgold designs software for field-based businesses like yours. Our customized approach to business management targets every facet of your business, from productivity to invoicing to customer engagement.
Discover more ways to reduce costs and improve margins with business management software from Arborgold.
Switching from Gas to Battery-Powered Lawn Care Equipment
As our culture continues to look for ways to turn away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy, outdoor power equipment is squarely in the crosshairs for many individuals and organizations. Switching from gas to battery-powered lawn care equipment is one thing for homeowners, but presents more challenges for Pros.
We got on the horn with the team at Greenworks to see how they address some of those concerns as they continue developing their commercial line of battery OPE.
Switching from Gas to Battery-Powered Lawn Care Equipment
Overcoming the Hurdles
We started with a conversation about the most common objections to switching from gas to battery-powered lawn care equipment.
It’s really the educational process of understanding the run time and power of battery products. We see it frequently when we put high-performance cordless products in the hands of someone for the first time. It’s clear that today’s battery equipment is far beyond what we had even a few years ago.
If you’re curious, Greenworks Commercial’s dealer network has literature that helps compare run time and understand what Smart lithium-powered products allow you to do on your job sites.
They’re also in the process of designing and developing apps. These help you understand the condition, charge status, and location of your battery tools. That’s one area that helps with productivity and efficiency that gas can’t offer.
Some lawn care equipment is more powerful than others. That’s obvious just looking at the engine sizes on what you’re currently using. It’s no surprise that tools such as battery hedge trimmers and string trimmers were some of the first legitimate commercial options. Is everything on your trailer ready for a battery power source, though?
The Greenworks team believes the entire residential OPE segment has already jumped into the commercial segment of the business. High-voltage platforms such as their 82V commercial line have given professional landscapers the power and run time to fully replace all of their gas-powered products.
When we think of the tougher tools to make the leap from residential to commercial battery power, we immediately go to zero turn mowers and the blowers. That’s one of the areas the Greenworks team is considering as well.
Their 82V Lithium Z stand-on and ride-on mowers along with their UTV are examples of the ability to develop products for commercial crews. They typically want to mow with battery-powered products. However, there are still some segments, such as pavement blowers, that require massive battery capacity. Those products are slated for the future.
Visualizing the Loadout
What does a commercial trailer look like when you’re switching from gas to battery-powered lawn care equipment? It’s not that much different in the tools you carry. It’s really just a different power source.
Looking at the Greenworks Commercial line, they can replace every tool the landscaper has on their trailer with battery products. You’d have a stand-on or ride-on zero turn mower, trimmer, backpack and handheld blowers, edger, and walk-behind mowers.
It’s really a matter of carrying the right number of batteries. You need everything you plan to use on the job throughout the day. This works the same as carrying cans of gas today.
On-the-go charging might be an option. However, you have to include the time needed to cool a hot battery. You should also factor in recharge time and the potential of not having a charged battery to complete your work. There are some solar truck options that help with this. However, the best situation currently is to leave the shop with the correct number of batteries to complete your entire day.
One of the challenges of switching from gas to battery-powered lawn care equipment is the upfront cost. Battery OPE typically has a premium price over its gas counterparts.
It’s true that the initial cost of battery products is greater than gas. You’re essentially buying all of your “gas” up-front in the form of your batteries. Over the lifetime of the equipment, manufacturers such as Greenworks are confident you’ll see the cost of battery equipment wind up less than gas models.
When you consider how all that adds up, take your upfront costs, fuel costs, and maintenance costs over the life of each product. If you’d rather not do the math yourself, Greenworks’ dealers have literature that can help you see the long-term ROI on their commercial products.
We asked the team about areas of the country that are seeing higher adoption rates for battery-powered lawn equipment. It’s impressive to see how widespread it is for commercial crews.
According to their data, Greenworks is now seeing that the battery transition is occurring all around the country. There are now more than 500 towns and cities that have some form of ban or reduction in the use of gasoline outdoor products.
The state of California is considering an outright ban of all two-stroke and four-stroke outdoor power. Recently, the state of Illinois started considering a ban on all gas blowers and they have passed legislation eliminating small gas engines in 2024. You can expect this momentum to continue and even accelerate in the future.
As far as areas that are slow to adopt, town, municipal, collegiate and corporate properties are driving the change and there aren’t many areas that are unaffected.
No matter who we talk to, the message we’re consistently receiving is that battery-powered OPE is well on its way to replacing gas. It’s exciting to see new products come to market that can legitimately replace the gas-powered equipment we’re already using.
It’s an easier switch for homeowners who don’t need the same power and run time as commercial crews. The gap is closing and even though the products aren’t as widespread, there really do seem to be options for Pros that want to ditch gas.
There’s some anxiety, of course. Any change of this magnitude is going to be easier for some than others. At the end of the day, it’s your call. Give battery-powered commercial equipment a shot and find out for yourself.
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