Battery-powered Equipment

battery powered zero turn mowers

Battery powered zero turn mowers getting charged


Groundskeeper II Logan Bender operating a Battery Powered Zero Turn Mower on the Grove

battery powered hand equipment

Battery powered hand equipment

Custodial and Grounds Services purchases battery powered equipment to reduce carbon footprint

CGS recently purchased an array of battery powered lawn and landscape equipment to replace its existing fossil fuel based equipment including: zero-turn mowers, push mowers, string trimmers, sidewalk edgers, blowers, hedge trimmers and chainsaws. The cost of the initiative is around $492,000 with an estimated payback in maintenance and fuel savings in six to eight years. More than 80% of all routine landscaping activities on campus will be performed by battery-powered equipment.

The move comes after years of investigating options for transitioning some or all of the landscaping equipment to battery-powered equipment. The department’s research led to contacting several vendors, which brought their products to campus to allow front line staff to test various types of battery powered equipment. Ultimately, Greenworks Commercial brand was chosen for all of the hand held equipment and Mean Green was chosen for replacing the zero turn mowers. Greenworks and Mean Green were both found to perform well, were ergonomically friendly and required zero maintenance. All Greenworks branded equipment also use the same size battery and charger which makes the training and logistics for performing all of our work much simpler.

Advantages to battery powered equipment include nearly eliminating all maintenance and downtime, which previously included daily greasing, oil changes, belt changes, rebuilding of carburetors and spindles as well as routine wear and tear on gas and diesel engines. The equipment is much quieter to operate which is better for the operator as well as the campus community. The operators have noted that not having to transport fuel to fill up hand equipment in the field has been a bonus.

UM Landscape and Grounds Manager Rob Doletzky states “We have been monitoring the market and have been pleasantly surprised to see how far technology has come regarding battery-powered equipment, the lighter weight and longevity of battery life, improvements in equipment quality as well as near elimination of maintenance resulting in minimal downtime make battery operated equipment a viable, sustainable option compared to traditional gas or diesel-powered equipment.”

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