Should your lawn care business ditch the pump and make the switch to battery mowers?

Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to kick off a multi-part series on eco-friendly lawn care practices.

These days, a lot of businesses and individuals alike are paying close attention to their environmental impact. Some go out of their way to hire service providers who do the same. So we’re going to spend a little time weighing the pros and cons of different ways your lawn care business could go green. We’re talking about battery-powered lawn care equipment, hybrid trucks, and more!

Let’s kick things off with a big one: battery-powered lawn mowers.

Between the vapors and the carbon dioxide, there are some downsides to gas-powered vehicles. Lots of folks are looking for alternatives. This is especially true when it comes to cars and trucks (we’ll talk about that soon), but other types of equipment are making the switch too.

A battery-powered lawn mower is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: A lawn mower that runs on a battery, rather than gas. That battery gets charged up via a plug-in charger. Depending on the model, you may also be able to buy extra batteries. This allows you to swap out a spent battery for a fresh one, rather than stop to charge.

The benefits of a battery-powered lawn mower

There are a few key perks of a battery-powered mower. The first, of course, is the environmental benefit. Battery-powered mowers kick out less carbon dioxide, which is good news for the planet. This can be a big plus from a marketing perspective. Studies show that, for over half of consumers, sustainability plays a role in their purchasing decisions. Over a third of people will even pay extra for a more sustainable product or service. If you’re considering a sustainability angle to boost your brand, battery-powered mowers can be a powerful move in that direction.

Battery-powered lawn mowers offer some comfort, too: They’re quieter than gas mowers. The roar of a battery-powered mower is comparable to a washing machine. This can be a big value-add in fancy neighborhoods and a big selling point for sleep-deprived parents with new babies. They’re easier on your crew’s ears, too!

The other benefit of anything battery-powered is the reduced maintenance. Electric versions of motor-powered machinery are almost always easier to take care of. This can save you time and hassle.

The drawbacks of a battery-powered lawn mower

The biggest downside to a battery-powered mower is run time. Some of the nicer ones can go for eight hours on a single charge. Others get about 90 minutes. Needless to say, this can be a real problem if you’ve got a long day of mowing ahead of you. Charging can take a long time. It’s not like you can just haul along a gas tank and top up if your mower runs out of juice! Of course, you can always spring for an extra battery or two and keep those in the truck. But if you have multiple crews, all those extra batteries can get expensive.

You also need to factor in charging. Do you have room at HQ to charge up all those mowers or batteries every night? Don’t forget to factor in the time it takes to get everything on and off the chargers before and after every shift. You can absolutely make it work if you want, but it takes some doing. Think through the logistics before you commit.

Lastly, some battery-powered lawn mowers are less powerful than a standard mower. This isn’t universally true, but on average, the torque ratings are a little lower.

The middle ground.

There’s one area where the clear winner is less clear: Price. Both gas-powered and battery-powered mowers come at a wide range of price points, so you’re flexible there. But there are some nuances.

I’m a fan of saving a few bucks by opting for used lawn care equipment. Since battery-powered mowers are newer technology, you’ll likely have a harder time finding a good used one. But with a battery-powered mower, you don’t have to spend a dime on gas. This can be a real boon when the prices at the pump are sky high! Ultimately, you’ve gotta do your own research (and math) on this one. Just know that you’ve got options.

That’s a wrap on the first installment of our series on eco-friendly options for your lawn care business. Keep your eyes peeled for articles on hybrid and electric trucks, battery-powered trimmers and more. If there’s a specific topic you’d like to see us cover, let me know in the comments! 

Until then, keep clipping!

Dave Tucker

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