California wants you to be all electric... This is going to be interesting.

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
It's not that "anything", it's that a certain type of person has an orgasm at the thought of forcing people to do things the way THEY think things should be.

That is wrong on so many levels.
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
@Tn Turf

Well that is not quite a fair assesment. Our electric/battery Husqvarna line trimmers and edgers and chainsaws and hedge trimmers are quite a bit more efficient and productive than their gas counterparts.

Almost zero maintenence. No sparkplugs. No engine. No air filters. No carbs. No spark arrestors etc. No gas. No oil. No gas cans. No extra time at gas stations. No time and labor spent fiddling and doing anything the gas machines use up. That amount of time and labor and maintenence itself has payed for the battery electric products themselves very quickly.

We already have the energy infrastrucrue in place for battery needs. We also use the battery backpack the majority of the time. It drops the weight of the tool significantly in the hands. Have never once run out of juice using the battery backpacks.

We have seen maybe a +-5% reduction in battery performance overall on the products in 3 years. And this is heavy usage. We also know the technology. We understand how to keep the batteries conditioned and upto optimum use. Never kill a battery and never fully charge.(90%) It pays to have the extra devices that keep an eye on charging and the cells themselves.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
It's not the electric that sucks per se. It's the capacity to power the electric. The big machines that you mentioned are diesel powered electric. I am a huge fan of hybrid technology. It is a fantastic middle ground to going green and using the benefits of both.

It is an entire different thing to have stored power that can run for periods of time with good power. That's the whole problem that these manufacturers are facing. How can they make a lightweight power source that will hold up to extended use?

Right now it ain't there. Everybody's trying to do it. They all feel the pressure and see the next step, but based on what I see, it is not feeseble at this juncture.
It’s getting very close for general purpose small tools. Mowers will be different, but now 3-4 commercial manufacturers have jumped in. Give them time.

small equipment is pretty darn close. And they are within 10% of equivalent fuel tank run times and weight. It will take a direct need for these companies to develop a more commercial version. Right now they are all geared to homeowners needs. But then again, does it even matter at that point. You don’t buy a “commercial” Dewalt drill. Pretty sure homeowners and contractors are using the same.

power storage isn’t a huge issue, just buy more batteries. A larger issue is charging. It’s harder than most people would think of your doing anything on a grand scale. I have about 60 batteries and wall full of chargers. Dedicated power outlets. Keeping crews from robbing each other is an issue. Leaving a battery on a job site is an issue since they are $150 each, way more than a gas can left behind. Rain and power outages during overnight charging periods requires thought and planning.

it’s not a simple problem, and I guess that’s my point. It will take a major forced shift because us landscapers are stubborn and most don’t want to change anything.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
I can't imagine what guys are going to charge $$ for mowing with all electric equipment, since costs of equipment is more expensive and productivity goes down.
Hard to say. On one hand, you maybe able to justify it and capitalize on it. Smaller guys will have problems affording it. They will keep using older equipment which will have issues. As electric becomes more main stream and people work from the home, the noise differences will show them selfs.

that said , I do not think it will be any slower under normal conditions. Costs very hard to say, I think long term they maybe cheaper. The units will have almost zero maintenance and repairs. They will likely last much longer and can have costs spread over a longer time frame. Then you subtract fuel usesge. $2000-$2500 per year saved in fuel on each machine. Maybe $500 in saved oil/filters/maintenance. It’s not as expensive as one would think over a 4-5 year period.
 

Dawson

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Valrico, FL
@Tn Turf

Well that is not quite a fair assesment. Our electric/battery Husqvarna line trimmers and edgers and chainsaws and hedge trimmers are quite a bit more efficient and productive than their gas counterparts.

Almost zero maintenence. No sparkplugs. No engine. No air filters. No carbs. No spark arrestors etc. No gas. No oil. No gas cans. No extra time at gas stations. No time and labor spent fiddling and doing anything the gas machines use up. That amount of time and labor and maintenence itself has payed for the battery electric products themselves very quickly.

We already have the energy infrastrucrue in place for battery needs. We also use the battery backpack the majority of the time. It drops the weight of the tool significantly in the hands. Have never once run out of juice using the battery backpacks.

We have seen maybe a +-5% reduction in battery performance overall on the products in 3 years. And this is heavy usage. We also know the technology. We understand how to keep the batteries conditioned and upto optimum use. Never kill a battery and never fully charge.(90%) It pays to have the extra devices that keep an eye on charging and the cells themselves.

That's pretty impressive to only see a 5% reduction in capacity if that's on a daily charged and used battery pack for 3 years.

What's the most powerful blower you can connect to that backpack battery? I'm used to 1000cfm 200mph hour machines that I can get work done fast with and wouldn't be interested in anything much below those specs.

Are you running large electric mowers ( 60" ztr) as well? The ones I have seen specs for wouldn't make it through my typical day without a battery swap and those batteries are prohibitively expensive in my world.

An electric string trimmer and edger would work in my business most days with a battery swap or two as long as I can run guardless with 10 inches of string on each side.

Electric chainsaws and hedge trimmers are doable as well although I haven't seen many hedge trimmers with commercial grade and size blades on them.


Again, I like electric, but I have requirements that would have to be met for me to invest in it.
 

Tn Turf

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Spring Hill, TN
We can weedeat and edge a .25 acre property in about 6 minutes flat (safety shields off running about 12" to 15" of string). We do that 45 times per day. I wonder how many batteries that would require to replicate that efficiency?

How many batteries would it take to mow 45 properties in a day? And how many times can you charge a battery before it loses it's efficiency?

And do you charge batteries out in the field using a gas generator -? Lol

And how to you properly recycle junk batteries so it leaves no footprint on mother earth?
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
That's pretty impressive to only see a 5% reduction in capacity if that's on a daily charged and used battery pack for 3 years.

What's the most powerful blower you can connect to that backpack battery? I'm used to 1000cfm 200mph hour machines that I can get work done fast with and wouldn't be interested in anything much below those specs.

Are you running large electric mowers ( 60" ztr) as well? The ones I have seen specs for wouldn't make it through my typical day without a battery swap and those batteries are prohibitively expensive in my world.

An electric string trimmer and edger would work in my business most days with a battery swap or two as long as I can run guardless with 10 inches of string on each side.

Electric chainsaws and hedge trimmers are doable as well although I haven't seen many hedge trimmers with commercial grade and size blades on them.


Again, I like electric, but I have requirements that would have to be met for me to invest in it.
I can’t say for his line up. To the best of my knowledge no manufacturers have come up with a blower that meets a present day back pack blower. 2 more years and they will start getting closer, I know of a few in the works presently.

you have to keep something in mind. Today’s back packs are 30-40% more powerful than they where just 10 years ago. So a better comparison is against those. We all managed to do our jobs just fine back then.

that said, many blowers are just fine for grass, and basic bush trimming. Your not going to do well with property clean ups, but maybe if landscapers were smart and used the appropriate sized machines during non-peak times of the year, all theses blower bands would not have stated popping up. Out of a 30 week year, only 10 weeks really need a heavy blower and I bet that could get trimmed down to 8 weeks.

mowers, have just started. It’s going to be 5 years before there is anything decent with the run times.

ego is very close on hedge trimmers to a commercial grade blade. As stated, until a large commercial demand is shown, they will continue to design homeowner style/priced units.

affordable is going to be a problem. But then again like I said in my previous post, I’m ok if my competitors can’t stay in business. I’m a real business not a fly by night. Landscaping has the lowest barrier to entry of any contractor. Try doing excavation and buying a loader, dozer, and excavator. The more expensive it is to get into, the less competition you will face.

The same goes for the technical details like charging. Those companies that are not prepared, will have problems and fall behind and loose customers….. I’ll take every customer they loose because we are already learning what we need to know.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Bronze Member
We can weedeat and edge a .25 acre property in about 6 minutes flat. We do that 45 times per day. I wonder how many batteries that would require to replicate that efficiency?

How many batteries would it take to mow 45 properties in a day? And how many times can you charge a battery before it loses it's efficiency?

And do you charge batteries out in the field using a gas generator -? Lol

And how to you properly recycle junk batteries so it leaves no footprint on mother earth?

yes it can. And we don’t need to waste time pull starting, letting it warm up on a cold day, changing air filters or storing for winter. No mixing fuel or buying oil at the store. You save time in other areas.

servicing 30 properties per day, we use around 1500watt/hours. Size of your battery pack will determine how many you need.

charging is overnight. We buy enough tools with batteries that it’s not a problem. There are other “modes” of doing it as well, using less batteries and power inverters. We are still playing with different options.

one thing to keep in mind. This proposed mandate goes into effect in 2024? So you still have 3 years for things to improve. That’s a ton of time. Stuff today is twice as good as it was 3 years ago.
 

Tn Turf

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Spring Hill, TN
you have to keep something in mind. Today’s back packs are 30-40% more powerful than they where just 10 years ago. So a better comparison is against those. We all managed to do our jobs just fine back then.

We did manage. One [biggest for LCOs] benefit was instead of raising prices, guys improved efficiency to offset inflation.

In 2 years electric blowers will be better, but gas will be still be improving as well.
 

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