Redmax --4 Stroke Equipment - Any Experience

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ITL, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. ITL

    ITL LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Posts: 188

    Redmax used to offer 4 stroke engines on some of there equipment a few years back (IIRC before they introduced the Stratocharged 2 cycles to meet emissions). I am told they no longer make the 4 cycles). Does anyone have them? How do they compare to the 2 cycle Strotocharged engines? Any idea as to why they discontinued them? Possibly the Stratocharged met the emissions requirement for less money. I like my 2 cycle Stratocharged Redmax equipment but would consider a 4 stroke if it was comparable in terms of weight/power/fuel consumption and offered reduced noise. The 4-mix Stihls seem to be quiet but if I transition to 4 cycle hand held equipment I would like to avoid the cost and time to mix oil/gas. Any information?

    Thanks
    Wayne
     
  2. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    OK, I don't quite get this, but I'll take a stab at it anyway. Why would want to go to a separate oil & gas 4 mix vs something like the Stihl 4Mix or Shindaiwa C4 that is basically the same as any 2cycle where you mix the oil and gas together? What is so hard about putting the proper amount of oil into the proper amount of gas? I've never been tempted to look into a trimmer that has separate oil and gas tanks.
     
  3. CuttinUP

    CuttinUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    I never heard of them making 4-stroke, only the strato-charged and I think that they have scrapped that now at least on their trimmers. Shindaiwa buys their engines from Redmax so I would think that the C4 stuff is the same as the Strato-Charged but could be wrong.
     
  4. ITL

    ITL LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Posts: 188

    Rob my thought why I would see benefit to not having to use oil/gas mix for the handheld and backpack equipment. I agree it is not hard mixing the correct fuel/oil ratio and we have never had a problem forgetting the oil as policy is oil in before fuel gets pumped and when filling equipment verify the oil tint is is fuel mix. We fill the mowers direct at fuel station and only carry one fuel can on trailer for mixed fuel small.

    Money savings as follows:

    We mix 50:1 gas/oil 2.5 gallon at a time. The pre-measured containers by the case of 48 bottles at $1.38 incl tax. This works out to to around $0.55increased cost per gallon for the 2 cycle fuel mix versus straight gas. We use around 150 gallons of mixed fuel for line trimming, stick edging, and handheld/backpack blowers including leaf season. That is $82.50 gross savings for the oil used to mix with the fuel. I need to disount that savings for the cost crancase oil to change. I would estimated the oil change on 4 cycle separate crankcase lube for the my handheld and backpack equipment at once per season, so 2 quarts of Mobil 1 10W-30 at $12.80 (total including tax) would cover the year. Thus net savings 82.50 - 12.80 = $69.70 in my pocket after year one. No big savings but the small items add up. Not large enough savings to change over equipment untill the scheduled changeover. The time I spend mixing oil/gas to changine the crancase lube oil once per season I consider about even.

    Just my thoughts.

    Wayne
     
  5. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    Well, I can see the point in saving $$, but have you even considered what brand of machines you are going to go with?

    The thing(s) that keep me away from equipment like that are #1 Dealers and their support I have no idea who around here sells or services 4cycle trimmer's and BP's. #2 would be the weight of the equipment (yeah I know some of the stihl's are heavy too). Finally (at least around here) you just don't see them.

    The big players in my area are Red Max, Stihl (seeing more and more),Shindaiwa and finally Echo. Thats for trimmers, edgers and blowers.
     
  6. greenred

    greenred LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Posts: 916


    Have calculated the possible extra initial cost buying 4 stroke powered equipment may cost you? You may not see the 69.70 for a while?
     
  7. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    Wayne, This is another good point. How much is your planned conversion going to cost you? are you going to do it piece by piece or all at once?
     
  8. ITL

    ITL LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Posts: 188

    I would keep my current equipment until replacement or if I need additional equipment like now would be the time to make the first step toward a transition. I am currently looking to add a reciprocator to my hand held equipment. I went to look at the Sthil line and started a 4-mix it was quiet, light, and nice torque but Sthil does not offer a Reciprocator. Thus back to the Redmax question of 2 cycle or 4 cycle (non-oil mix). The dealer has the stratocharged 2 cycle available and said possible one of the older 4 cycle powered units available. All my other handheld/backpacks are 2 cycle stratocharged Redmax which work great but are not low noise. I am thinking a 4 cycle would be good to add to reduce my noise level in early and late finish residentials. So either way I will be using oil/gas mix equipment for a few more years. I looked at the Honda 4 cycle (non-oil mix) at the expo last year. Quiet but to heavy for me to consider for commercial use. Additionally the Honda stick edger was only availabe in a curved shaft - not my choice.

    To my knowledge there is no good options currently available for commercial user to move to 4 cycle non-oil mix handheld/backpack equipment. Redmax offered them in the past but no-longer produce them. I was wondering why they discontinued them. If comparable equipment was availabe without using oil/mix we could save the dollars we use for oil mix. In the future they might be available, likely emission requirements will drive the change.

    Thanks
    Wayne
     

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