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SavEcoMowing
02-08-2012, 02:36 PM
Hi,

I am starting an eco-friendly lawn care service in Savannah, GA. We use battery powered equipment powered by a solar panel on the roof of the truck. I am interested in any opinions or advice anyone might have.

willshome
02-08-2012, 06:14 PM
whats the run time can you run the mower all day? how big is the mower? got pics? Are you running biodiesels in your truck? do you cost more?

CHEESE2009
02-08-2012, 11:12 PM
This post comes up once a year, I wish I could find the older ones for a reference.

Basically, it's not worth it, and never will be.

Gas is good for mother nature, she's a bad girl. ;)


I can also guarantee that the client(s) will care more about every other aspect of your operation before they consider how eco-friendly you are. I believe it will actually work against you, and you will eventually have to start using gas powered equipment which destroys your brand.

We've been debating this long and hard, and it has come down to:
Battery operated equipment is worse for the environment.

Hedgemaster
02-09-2012, 12:05 AM
Unless you have a super-concentrated cluster of wealthy tree huggers to support you, I just don't see how it can be efficient/profitable.

I'm guessing you could only cut well maintained properties, as overgrowth would likely pose a problem for "electric" equipment.

dpld
02-09-2012, 08:31 AM
it seems as if it would be a niche business and the major problem i would see is being able to keep up with high production.

what kind of mowers are you useing and what size?

most of the electric mowers i have seen are meant to cut the lawn everytime it grows a 1/2" to 1" and what do you do when you got to hack off 3 or 4 inches?

i know it is the big thing to do, " be a green company " everywhere you turn people are pushing the widget the world watcher crap and all it ends up being is a sales pitch.

there are plenty of things one can do to be a good steward of their planet but a battery operated lawn care is not one of them.

the batteries are far more toxic then the exaust from a lawnmower is and when you are plugged into the grid to charge them, somewhere at the end of the line there is a huge coal plant burning to produce that energy or a trash incinerator.

electric cars and mowers and such are just a way to hambone you into thinking you are helping the planet when in fact all you are doing is pushing the pollution down the line for someone else to deal with.
it is the out of sight out of mind method.

there are other ways to be a eco freindly business that will have a far greater impact like organic tratments to the lawns.

battery powered equipment is fine if you are a homeowner and have 1 lawn to cut but to do it commercially i have yet to find a machine that would even come close to handling it.
when i did homeowners i was cutting 20+ lawns a day and now that i do only commercial we cut 25 acres a day and during the busy heavy growing season we could be working until dark.
what would the solar panels do for you when it was getting dark and you needed a charge.

when it comes to commercial equipment the only viable machine i have ever seen was either gas, diesel or propane.
i have seen electric mowers, but like i said they were toys for homeowners and considering we can not build a electric car that replaces a conventional engine yet i doubt there is any means to build a commercial mower that runs on electricity to completely replace a gas engine driven mower.

stck2mlon
02-09-2012, 09:13 AM
I, for one, at least applaud the effort. I do like the 0 noise factor for the mowers though!

dpld
02-09-2012, 10:30 AM
I, for one, at least applaud the effort. I do like the 0 noise factor for the mowers though!

i am not knocking it, in a perfect world it would be great.

it just is not viable at a commercial level, the competion is too great.
how can you compete with a guy that is gonna do it quicker and cheaper?

the equipment would all add up to the same and you need extra items as well like solar panels which are not cheap.
what about parts when things break?
ther are not many electric lawnmower repair shops out there.

what do you do on a overcast day when the sun is not as strong?

run a generator? does that not use gas?
what about the truck that transports the equipment?

it is kind of hypocritical in a sense for lack of a better word to say you are eco freindly lawn care when the truck you are driving up is emmitting emissions.
not to mention what kind of blowers will be used and string trimmers?
gas or electric?

there is a market for these services but it is a small market.
some people are so insensed in saving the planet that they would not mind the added cost, but as i said the market is small.

willshome
02-09-2012, 10:47 AM
If you want to be GREEN i would run diesel mowers & trucks. Make your biodiesel from waste cooking veg. oil. Very green and cheap. the trimmer could be battery powered and charge it off the truck well driving. the blower i think needs tobe gas

SavEcoMowing
02-10-2012, 01:58 PM
Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it.

I agree that battery powered mowers cannot handle all jobs. I live in a city where there are lots of smaller residential properties, so I'm starting off doing those with an electric, which does a better job than you might think, and eventually get a bio-diesel or electric zero turn for larger jobs.

The solar panel set up was not as expensive as people are imagining, certainly cheaper than a zero turn. It did require that I figure out on my own what components etc. to get. I have a battery bank that I plug the chargers into, so if it is cloudy or getting dark I can still charge batteries. This would not work for larger battery powered equipment. I have a 390 watt panel, but you can only get so much out of it.

Some people are claiming that battery powered equipment actually pollutes more. I have not seen any information that claims this, but would be interested in looking at that if anyone has any info to volunteer.

Also someone mentioned that if you plug a battery into the wall, somewhere there is a power plant creating emissions. This is true, but the reason they are still eco friendly is because the small gas engines on mowers and trimmers etc. really do pollute a lot. Even a coal power plant creates much less emissions.

I have a small Toyota Tacoma, which gets better gas mileage than a van or larger truck towing a trailer.

I don't agree that it is hypocritical to call something eco friendly if it greatly reduces emissions, but is not quite zero emissions.

Also, Savannah Eco Mowing is not the only company in the country to do this, there are already many companies around the country that provide similar services.

Someone mentioned that it would be better to offer organic lawn treatments, and I am doing that as well, and would recommend that others do too.

I will let you all know how it goes. Thanks!

willshome
02-10-2012, 02:40 PM
I am sorry but a lot of what you are saying is wrong
Coal is never "clean" just look up MERCURY FROM COAL there is good reason why they spend so much to say it clean

Mining for the metals in batteries is very dirty. just look up " is the prius bad for the environment" BTW my mother has a prius and I love it

If you want to be CLEAN run older tools & trucks. Making this stuff is the dirtiest part of it. Keep it tuned up and not leaking oil

organic lawn treatments are good just make sure how they are made is not with oil some are