We’re all familiar with the scene: A truck pulls up, a few workers unload various gardening tools; tremendous noise ensues, and the neighbors close their windows with an annoyed “Wednesday-again?” facial expression. Repeated all across the land, we have become accustomed not just to the noise but the pollution that small fuel-powered devices cause. Particularly harsh critique has been issued on gas-powered leaf blowers and their disproportionally toxic emissions, e.g., in this recent NY Times article.
Electrical lawn equipment is the apparent alternative, though it comes with challenges. How to keep tools charged and ready for the next job? Super Lawn Trucks has been working on a solution with the help of Go Power! mobile solar technology.
Can battery power tools solve the problem?
We have seen a tremendous shift to battery-powered tools in the past few years. Traditionally, battery capacity was a limiting factor; but with technological leaps, batteries have become much more powerful and affordable. Electric motors can eliminate several issues that are inherent with gas-powered tools; heat, fumes, and noise affecting workers and the general public. And then there is the big one these days: greenhouse gas emissions.
But battery-powered tools are not without challenges. Commercial operators who rely on power tools would often complain about empty batteries. While gasoline could be carried in the truck and replenished as needed, simply refilling battery packs in the truck was impossible, forcing lawn care companies to carry many packs and charging them only at the end of the work day.
Why move away from gas-powered equipment?
Hundreds of municipalities across the continent have banned using gas-powered lawn care equipment, and hundreds more will follow. The concerns with the emissions caused by these tools have led to widespread opposition against their use. Apart from toxic carbon monoxide, small gas-powered equipment is also responsible for a disproportional amount of VOCs and greenhouse gas emissions. On top of that, anti-idling legislation limits the possibility of using a truck alternator for charging equipment.
While bans are one side of the story, financial considerations have also started tipping the equation toward green solutions. High gas prices are partially responsible for the increasing operating costs of gas-powered equipment. While battery-powered tools may have a higher upfront cost, they are more cost-effective in the long run. The price of electricity is typically lower than the cost of gasoline or diesel fuel, resulting in reduced operational expenses. Additionally, battery-powered tools require less maintenance, eliminating the need for regular oil changes and engine tune-ups. Electric motors are easier to upkeep with drastically lower maintenance costs.
Super Lawn Trucks develops an innovative solution
Fascinated with solar technology, Super Lawn Trucks founder & CEO Tony Bass thought, “Why can’t we just power the tools with solar energy by putting panels on the equipment truck?” An idea that turned into the full-fledged product of solar-equipped commercial lawn care vehicles. Super Lawn Trucks with solar cells on the roof allow the operator to harness solar power and feed it into a central battery. From there, the power can be distributed to several charging stations neatly lined up in the truck.
Whenever the truck arrives at a job site, workers grab a fully charged battery pack and insert it into the tool they need to operate. Once they are done, the battery pack is placed back onto the charger. Other battery packs are available with a full charge if a “refill” is needed. The truck is turned into a completely mobile solar charging station.
Go Power! products provide the needed juice
The capability of the Super Lawn Truck to recharge battery-powered landscaping tools throughout their shift is a game changer, and partnering with a state-of-the-art mobile solar provider was essential. Go Power! has a reputation in the industry for its innovative fleet products. With the requirements to size the onboard mobile charging systems, Go Power! developed customized solar solutions for each trailer build, e.g., the powerful 800-watt system, which charges a 600 amp hour onboard battery bank with a 3000W inverter/charger combo unit.
The beauty is that the solar panels charge the batteries whether the truck is driving or parked, allowing a constant resupply of the battery packs using the sun’s power. With the solar system built directly into the trucks, the landscapers can recharge the batteries they use throughout the day without returning to their home base to recharge. Go Power! solar technology has made mobile charging possible and allowed a scalable model for Super Lawn Trucks.
“With the Go Power! solar and inverter system, we can offer onboard mobile charging for the electric landscaping equipment used by our customers. Fewer batteries are needed as they can be recharged throughout the workday, and equipment no longer needs to be continuously removed from the truck.”
About Super Lawn Trucks
Super Lawn Trucks builds highly customized lawn work trucks for lawn and landscaping customers. With the latest industry trend to replace gas-powered lawn equipment, they provide efficient electrical alternatives to their customers. With the Solar Lawn Truck, they give contractors the ability to charge equipment on the go.