Change is always difficult. Walking away from something you’ve known for pretty much your whole life can move from difficult into the realms of challenging and even confronting.
That’s how it feels to most experienced landscapers considering making the change from internal combustion motors to electric. The idea of hearing protection, carrying fuel, filters, spare plugs and tools – and hoping the thing will start after the tank was run dry at full revs – are all second nature to a lot of very experienced professionals.
And while there are undoubted environmental benefits in going electric, surely a Euro-5 compliant small-bore fourstroke can’t be doing much damage, can it?
There’s a lot more to joining the fastgrowing throng of electric converts than looking after the environment. There’s very real short-term rewards for owners and operators as well.
In all the justifiable excitement at being able to work with zero emissions, the safety advantages of electric OEP, especially zeroturn mowers which are generally intended to cover large areas and run for extended periods are considerable. Probably the most obvious is low noise levels.
EcoTeq’s Mean Green zero-turn mowers are a great example, with the entire range running at less than 80dB. That means:
* The risk of hearing loss for the operator is minimised, as is disturbance in noisesensitive environments – like working near schools, elderly care centres and nearby neighbours
* There’s no need for hearing protection to meet WHS legislation requirements, although EcoTeq does still recommend hearing protection as a safety measure. That’s just sensible for any prolonged exposure to low-level noise, and
* There’s no noise produced by the engine. The only sound is the soothing swish of blades cutting grass (and a job being done).
Low-voltage battery systems
Another great characteristic of a modern, purpose-built zero turn like those in EcoTeq’s Mean Green range is the use of high-tech battery technology. Risks associated with maintaining electric equipment are vastly reduced thanks to low-voltage systems, and that helps to contribute to the simplicity of the whole unit. There’s no specialist training or qualifications required for techs working a Mean Green zero turn (as is currently required to service electric cars, for example).
No oil spills
Being designed and built from the groundup as an electric zero-turn mower means there are no hydraulics, no fossil fuel and no oil required to run and maintain Mean Green mowers. There’s no patches on the shed floor or puddles in the trailer, and the risk of pedestrians slipping on sidewalk fluid spills is eliminated. There’s also no risk of petrochemicals seeping into vulnerable waterways or customers gardens.
Even the very newest internal combustion engine, compliant with the most rigorous environmental standards, will still have exhaust gasses. There’s no other possible way for an engine burning fossil fuels to work. But there are no fumes or exhaust gasses produced by a Mean Green zero turn, no matter how hard it works, or for how long. That’s good for the world we live in, for sure, but it’s also good news for the operator.
No fumes means the risk of respiratory irritation from extended exposure is eliminated, comfort is maximised, and even the most environmentally conscious passerby will smile approvingly and offer a greeting.
And because there’s very little sound from a Mean Green zero turn, the operator can offer a cheery reply and continue on completing another job with a minimum of interruptions.
Going electric is a big step, for sure, but it’s a step into a cleaner, more comfortable and far more efficient future.
Learn more at ecoteq.com.au.
Good news for the operator
One of the key features driving TW Horticultural Services’ interest in EcoTeq’s electric zero-turn mowers was low vibration. An operator on the team suffers referred elbow pain.
“Knowing about the constant impact from vibrations, it was one of the things I was interested in checking when I test drove the Rival,” said coowner, Brenton Waite. “The reduction in pain management of his elbow since using the Rival has been quite noticeable. We’re all really impressed with the machine.”