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Eco- Friendly landscaper.
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In the 3 years since I last posted here I have sold all my Lawnboys and have gone green in different way!

I started Eco Cuts, an eco-friendly lawn care service. I pull all my equipment on a 6 foot cargo trailer with a bicycle. All my equipment is lithium ion, except for my Toro SR4 that has only ever run on propane the last 2-3 years! The conversion kit is made by AltFuel LLC.

I have 2 lithium ion mowers, an EGO 56 volt 20 inch, and I just bought an Echo 58 volt 21 inch mower that is the best thing since sliced bread! I also just bought an Echo 58 volt trimmer and I LOVE it! I also have had a Stihl FSA 85 since I started. Other equipment includes 2 Core "Power Lok" (split boom) power heads with a trimmer,hedge trimmer, and 2 blower attachments. I use an EGO 56 volt blower for the most part though.

I'm just wondering if anyone else is into this stuff, as I think it's the future of OPE. Plus I'm looking for forums to talk about this stuff, as well as dispell any myths and half truths about MODERN battery OPE.
 

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Batteries don't have the run time that gas has. How many customers do you have?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Eco- Friendly landscaper.
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The first time I used my Echo 58 volt mower was yesterday when I was cutting overgrown fescue grass (probably 7- 8 inches tall and it was still damp from a previous rain.) down to 3.75 and it goes right through it! In fact the Echo has "adaptive motor technology", which slows the motor down when going over light growth/paved surfaces, and conversely it speeds it up when you get into thicker/taller vegetation! You get 40 minutes of run time from one battery. It can hold 2 and switch over to the other battery when needed.

I'm sure I got the full 40 minutes (though I didn't time it) because I managed to cut the whole 1/4 acre lot save for the last pass and a half in the back yard, and it was all taller than I normally let my yards go.
 

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Eco- Friendly landscaper.
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I have over 30 customers. I cut most every week, or 2 weeks. I also do garden installs and landscape design/installation as well as hedge/shrub/ground level tree trimming. On normal grass days I have a helper pull a smaller bike trailer with another mower on it. 2 push mowers can get a lot more down than you'd think. I stay within a 2 mile radius that includes a very large subdivision that I live in.

My Echo string trimmer gives me over an hour of run time on a 4 ah battery! Plus it shares the same battery as the mower. I always have something charging, so run time, even though far from inadequate, is never an issue. Plus lithium ion batteries don't exhibit any power fade like old Ni-cad stuff. You get full power until it runs out.

My next move will be to set up a larger scale solar set up for charging batteries ahead of time. That way my fuel would come from the sun for close to free after initial investment in equipment batteries, solar panels, and storage batteries.
 

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Eco- Friendly landscaper.
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I bought the Echo because my EGO (I hate how the names sound the same) mower burned up on me. The EGO is not intended for commercial use, but I didn't know about the Echo and it's 2 year commercial warranty when I bought it over the winter. The windings in the motor shorted out, and I'm going to have it re-wound and re-dipped in epoxy. I really don't like how the windings (even though they are coated) are allowed to come in contact with the grass/debris to the point that the motor sucks a bunch of grass up into the inside of the motor/battery housing. My theory is that some debris must have got caught in the windings, got hot and burned, which melted the epoxy and shorted the motor.

If I can fix it, I'll just sell the bare mower for whatever it cost to re wind the motor if it isn't too much. Then just keep the 4 ah battery and rapid charger it came with for my blower!

In a nutshell, don't buy the EGO mower. The EGO blower is good though and it's my favorite battery blower on the market right now. I even prefer it to the Stihl BGA 85.
 

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I personally don't like the battery stuff, but I do want to build a fuel injected hydrogen powered tractor when I get a welder.
 

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Eco- Friendly landscaper.
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The new 58 volt line up from Echo is another step in the evolution of lithium ion OPE. I highly suggest checking it out. I was going to pick up the Core mower and the Core Elite trimmer, but they got bought out by MTD before they ever released the mower. Sucks because they made their tools in USA/Montana.

Stihl's 36 volt lineup is already very long in the tooth and I can only assume they are working on their next Li-on Pro line up.
 

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No really..... I don't think the expression should be OPE it should be GPE gasoline powered equipment.
Battery powered equipment will take more of the market share in the future. No doubt about that.
While the batteries capacity is getting better, my beef currently is the life of the batteries.
EVERYTHING I have ever owned that had a rechargeable battery has always had the battery need to be replaced at least once before the item was ready to be replaced.
I feel this is a slap in the face from manufacturers. They are happy to sell batteries and make money after the sale.
A gasoline engine on a mower has exactly the same power and runs the same amount of time on a tank of fuel.... years later.
That 40 minute run time will be down considerably in a year or so.

You could do the math all different ways estimating battery degradation and estimated fuel costs and kwh to recharge batts when charging at home.
Eventually battery might be cheaper but not as convenient for me.... But my stick is way down in the mud.

I also would not want to work for any of the people you would need to market to.
The green crowd would like the fact that you are getting the job done in a way they can really approve of.
Those type of people generally irritate, annoy, and depending on my mood... sometimes flat tick me off.
 

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The laptop I'm typing this on has a dead lithium ion battery, and only works with the charger plugged in. A replacement battery costs as much as a new laptop. Same thing happened to my old laptop, numerous cell phones, countless drills...
Battery technology has never been that good, it still isn't, and I don't see any great advancements around the corner.

 

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Master Cranker!!!
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I think what you're doing is pretty cool. I actually bought a B&D trimmer with 20 volt lithium setup about a week ago. For what I ask of it, I'm quite pleased. It's for my family to use. No mixing for them, no fixing for them. And for the price, if I get two headache free years of use....I will be happy. It's historically taken new tech years, if not decades, to take hold. The examples are all around us. I'll be watching and jumping on board when I feel it's a good fit.

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you'll continue too........because I ain't too bright with this stuff :hide:
 

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I wish the Dewalt 20v string trimmer was a lot less than $200. I just got a Dewalt brushless motor impact wrench/hammer drill package deal and I love it. My last cordless drill was purchased about 15 years ago. What a difference! Batteries last hours instead of minutes, and charge in minutes instead of hours.
 

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Two guys at work got the batter powered push mowers. They seem to like them. I'm sticking with my Lawn Boy, and loving it!
 

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I applaud your conviction on battery powered equipment. Freedom of choice is what makes (made) our fathers die to secure those rights. I hope we all can appreciate that as society moves the other way steadily ( rant over) ;)

Can you post some pictures of your fleet of equipment? We all like pics !!! I hope you much success in your business...we all start small- just remember where you came from when you are the kingpin of eco friendly lawn care :)
 

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Personally I am not a big fan, as battery technology will put me out of a job (eXmark, Husqvarna, RedMax, Echo, Shindaiwa, Bearcat, Little Wonder, Billy Goat, TruCut, Ryan, Briggs and Stratton, Kawasaki, Kohler dealer/technician) but Husqvarna is coming out with a backpack battery assembly that promises all day run time for professionals on one charge. Looks like the way of the future to me.

Joe
 

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I'm back baby!
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Right there with you Onan18, not much of a market for a 'Battery Repairman'. Still not sure the initial investment in batteries really saves you that much. Not many field fixes when a battery dies, bailing wire and duct tape probably wont help get an electric piece of equipment through a job.
 

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I'm moving that way on some things, but still have gas powered for the bigger jobs! I bought a "Core" battery trimmer a couple years ago, use it mostly at home, still have the Husqvarna straight stick for heavy jobs like tall grass, weeds & brush. Bought a 14" Oregon battery chainsaw last year, mainly to thin my timber of up to 4" Hackberry trees. I can set the Orgon saw down while I Tordon the stumps & not have to pull the rope every time I want to use it again! If I ever need another push mower to replace the old Briggs, it will likely be a battery model.
 

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Eco- Friendly landscaper.
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164 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I'm glad some people can appreciate what I'm doing. I knew most people would not like anything without an internal combustion engine...but hey, I do still have a 2013 Toro SR4 converted to propane!

Black and Decker, Ryobi, Worx, Kobalt, GreenWorx, stuff like that is not worth considering. Ego makes some cool hand tools, but I don't like the mower (I own one). The Ego rapid charger charges the 4ah battery in 30 minutes and it lasts 45 minutes in the mower. Pretty much all decent brand hedge trimmers get the most run time out of the batteries vs the other tools in their respective line ups. Blowers always use up the batteries fastest, even faster than mowers. My Core 3/4 cut 24 inch hedge trimmer lasts 90 minutes on one battery that takes an hour to charge. Also with there is no fade with these batteries.

My Stihl FSA 85 has been using the same AP160 (4ah) battery for going on it's 3rd season now. It was my only trimmer the first year and it was my main one up until I bought the Echo. I have only ever used the rapid (1 hr) charger and it still holds 30-40 minutes of charge. I know I've charged it at least 300 times.

The Echo line up is new this for this year and I have already picked up the trimmer and the mower. The mower is awesome. I suggest checking it out.

You can make good money on a bike and without buying gas all the time. You make a larger margin on a smaller volume due to the low overhead. I just moved last fall and I'm just now really starting to catch on in my neighborhood. I'm really looking forward to making my "solar shed" and getting all my "fuel" that way.

Check out the Eco Cuts Facebook page, there are quite a few pics on there.

https://www.facebook.com/EcoCutsVirginiaBeach
 
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