Battery vs Gasoline: Are You Ready to Ditch Fuel?

Are you tired of lugging big, heavy hand held equipment around your yard? Have trouble getting your tools started? Hate all the noise and fumes? You might be surprised to know that there are battery powered options available for all of your hand-held equipment needs that offer comparable power and less bulk than their gasoline powered counterparts. Echo and Husqvarna offer some surprisingly powerful options for homeowners and commercial landscapers alike.

While you probably know that battery powered equipment has been around for quite a few years now, you may not know how far the equipment has matured in that time. Batteries weren’t lasting, power was lacking, and the tools frankly, just couldn’t cut it. This new generation of battery powered equipment is truly worthy of a second or even third look. The biggest benefits by far are battery life, power of equipment, ease of use/upkeep, and the equipment is environmentally and wallet friendly.

Husqvarna Battery Pack Options and Charger

Battery Life: It simply depends on how much you are cutting and what kinds of materials you are cutting through. The average homeowner should be able to trim grass, bushes, and weeds around their homes on a single charge. If you are cutting down thick brush or weeds, it may take a little longer and you may need to stop for a charge. There are also different battery voltage types to consider which will give you more run time per charge. Average charge time per battery is about 45 minutes and there are different charger options to consider that will cut that charge time down by half. It is also worthy of note that batteries are interchangeable between manufacturer’s equipment pieces – meaning one battery can be used to power your trimmer, mower, chainsaw, etc. What cannot happen is using a Husqvarna battery on an Echo piece of equipment and vice versa.

Power of Equipment: The power of battery equipment has come a long way since they were first introduced. It’s pretty difficult anymore to tell the difference between the power of battery and gas powered equipment, at least for homeowners. If you have a lot of thick brush or own a lot of property, gas powered is likely still your best bet, but the average homeowner won’t be able to tell the difference in quality and power. For example, leaf blower power is measured in CFM-Cubic Feet per Minute. What this measurement tells you is how much volume of air can be moved by the blower in a minute of time. The larger the number, the more debris that can be moved. Battery powered handheld blowers from Husqvarna can reach up to 530 CFM and Echo’s model is comparable at 550 CFM; their gas powered counterparts are running between 391-453 CFM.

Husqvarna Cordless Leaf Blower

Ease of Use/Upkeep: This is the category where gas powered equipment just cannot compete. There are no pull cords, no fuel mixing, no seasonal maintenance requirements, and the equipment is less bulky and lighter which means you aren’t fatigued when operating it. There are also just as many battery options as gas options for each piece of equipment. Blowers, trimmers, chainsaws, hedge clippers, and mowers are all available in battery powered equipment. There are also fewer parts to break, no carburetors to get dirty, and less frustration with no pull string starters.

Echo Cordless Hedge Trimmer

Environmentally and Wallet Friendly: Lastly, if you are tired of the fumes and noise, and tired of dealing with oil and gas, you’ll be happy to know that the battery powered pieces are very environmentally friendly. You won’t have to worry about your carbon footprint with battery powered equipment. Plus, you can now do your landscaping clean up without worrying about disturbing the neighbors too. Another advantage is the money you will save in fuel and gas expenses. The up front costs are higher with battery equipment, but without seasonal services, gas, oil, parts, etc, it’s easy to see that your wallet won’t be lighter for long.

Here at Premier Outdoor, we have several Echo and Husqvarna battery powered pieces in stock. We are here to help you with all your sales, parts, or service needs. Feel free to stop at the shop at 301 Westview Drive in Franklin or call at 317-738-0618. As always, until next time-enjoy the mow.

Hand Held, Back Pack, and Walk-Behind: Choosing the Best Solution for Leaf Clutter

It’s that time of year again folks-crisp fall weather, bon fires, football, and pumpkin spice everything. These things also mean that it’s leaf clutter season too. If you lose your lawn to leaves every year, then this is your lucky day. Whether you are team pumpkin spice or not, we can all agree that leaves on your lawn all winter is a really bad idea, but fear not-there are plenty of leaf-clearing solutions that will have you seeing your grass again in no time!

First of all, why do you need to remove leaves in the first place? They are all natural, right? Well, yes, they are, but a dense layer of leaf clutter can cause some preventable lawn issues. First of all, lawns like to breathe just like you do. If all those leaves are piled thickly on top, then the sunlight, nutrients, and air can’t get down to the grass. Not only that, but lots of leaves come spring also means that any new shoots have to compete with the leaves for space and sunlight. Thick leaves can also invite pests and diseases in addition to making it challenging for cool-season grasses such as Kentucky Blue Grass to thrive. These grasses especially do a lot of extra growing and root fortification during the cooler fall weather. If there are lots of leaves around, the grass has to compete and that means your spring lawn won’t look as nice as it should.

Ok, so now you know why the leaves need to go, but how do you do it? Here’s a few ways this fall job can be tackled: hand held, back pack, lawn vacs, or walk-behind blowers.

Hand Held Equipment

Echo PB2520

Hand held equipment pieces are great for areas of 1/2 an acre or less and are perfect for blowing leaves and small debris particles off of driveways, sidewalks, and out of landscaping. Two models that are great for this kind of work are the Echo PB2520 or Husqvarna 125B. If you want the option to either blow the leaves off of your property or vacuum them up to deposit in a place of your choosing, there is also an Echo ES250 that will do just that. It offers you the flexibility of blowing the leaves out of your shrubs or vacuuming them up in an attached bag and it is one of the only models that do so. Typical price point of quality hand held blowers are between $149-$199, with the combination hand held blower/vacuum being in the low to mid $200s.

Back Pack Blowers

Husqvarna 580BTS

These leaf blowers are great for areas of 1/2 acre-1 acre. They will give you more air flow and power than their hand held counterparts. They can also move larger particles such as sticks and acorns. Models to consider here are the Echo PB8010 or the Husqvarna 580BTS. These models significantly increase the air flow and speed to help move leaves but at an added price and weight of the equipment. Pay attention to the backpack straps used as this plays heavily into the comfort of the equipment during extended use. Typical price points of backpack blowers range between $299-$599.

Lawn Vacuums

Billy Goat KV610

These vacs are pretty heavy duty and most likely will be utilized on a commercial basis for parking lot, golf course, or park clearing, but come in real handy on larger homeowner lots as well. They are simple to use and also have an impeller system that mulches and chops up any debris or small particles. A model to look at here would be the Billy Goat KV610 or the SCAG Giant Vac Lawn Vacuum. Self propelled options are a must if you have thick lawns. Add on attachments for some models include hose kits to get the leaves from your mulch areas and bushes. Many people will mow their leaves into rows, then vacuum up the leaves with a lawn vac. Typical prices range between $799-$1599 for a quality leaf vac.

Walk-Behind Blowers

SCAG Giant Vac Blowers

Last, but not least, we have the walk-behind blowers. These blowers are definitely for large yard or commercial use and would also be used for clearing large parking spaces. The models to investigate here would be the SCAG Giant Vacs. They are sized depending on how much airflow and power you need with a price to match. The larger walk behind blowers have enough airflow to match 3-4 larger backpacks running at once! If you are moving a lot of leaves and debris, blowing snow off sidewalks, or clearing parking lots for resurfacing/remarking…this is the application for you. Prices can range between $649 – $1749. These are more expensive, but the amount of production one person can achieve is similar to 3 people running backpack blowers.

Thanks for reading along and feel free to contact us at Premier Outdoor Power Equipment with any questions you might have. We’re here for all your service, sales, and part needs. Feel free to stop by the shop at 301 Westview Drive in Franklin or call us at 317-738-0618. As always, until next time-enjoy the mow!

Featured image courtesy of Little Wonder

To Aerate or Not to Aerate-That is the Question

So, what is aeration, why is it beneficial for lawns, and how do you actually do it? Aeration is simply the mechanical process of placing a series of small holes into your lawn. It can be accomplished with two different machines-a hollow or solid tine aerator. A solid tine aerator will only put holes in your lawn while a hollow tine aerator will also remove small plugs of dirt and thatch from your lawn. Both can help your lawn, but if you have more clay in your soil, a hollow tine aerator will help break up the soil a little better.

So, why is aeration a good idea? Aerating has a number of benefits for your lawn-it allows extra light, air and moisture to penetrate deeper into the roots, it also help make your grass more drought tolerant, less stressed, and better able to absorb water. An added bonus is that if you have stronger root systems, your grass will be better able to choke out weeds as well. Another benefit of aeration is the alleviation of soil compaction. That simply means that grass roots will grow better if the soil around them is more loose. When the soil is hard or mostly clay, the roots have a difficult time spreading out and growing. No one likes to be crowded, not even your grass. All that pushing, shoving, and competing for light, air, and water, also opens your lawn up to pests and weeds. Give it a little breathing room and aerate roughly once a year. if you use a hollow tine aerator, the plugs will remain on the surface for a few weeks, but will break down naturally. if it drives you crazy to look at the plugs, a vigorous raking will help break them down faster. You don’t have to aerate your lawn, but if you notice a lot of puddling after a good rain, or that your grass wilts quickly between waterings you may want to consider aerating it.

The best times of year to aerate your lawn are spring and fall and there are three popular machines to use with their own pros and cons. These three machines are Pull-Behinds, Walk-Behinds, and Stand-Ons.

Pull-Behinds: A pull-behind is just that, you need a tractor or mower to pull it. You will also need water or cinderblocks to help weigh it down so that it actually digs into the soil instead of riding along the top. They usually run from 36-72″ wide so, they can be difficult to maneuver in some tight spaces.

Walk-Behind: As the name implies, you need to walk behind this aerator. It will most likely use a water tank as a weight to also help it dig into the soil better. It is easy to use and it’s also readily available for sale or rent. The biggest con is that while this machine is self-propelled, there is also a certain amount of operator effort required. It usually runs 24-36″ across.

Stand-On: You actually get to ride on the stand-on aerators, but with that convenience comes an increase in price as well. Other nice features of a stand-on are that it doesn’t require any weight or operator effort. The tine depth is also electronically controlled. It’s easy to use, fast, and can cover more ground when compared to its pull or walk-behind counterparts. It has an average width of 24-36″ as well.

Here at Premier Outdoor, we have several aerators in stock and even some for rent. We are here to help you with all your sales, parts, or service needs. Feel free to stop at the shop at 301 Westview Drive in Franklin or call at 317-738-0618. As always, until next time-enjoy the mow.

You’ve Got A Friend in Me: Why You Need a Husqvarna Automower

It’s 9AM Saturday morning and it’s miserably hot outside. The kids have to be at three different locations for three different activities in the next hour. There’s a party you want to take the family to later as well, but you just remembered that you, lucky person, have to mow the lawn today before the local critters start crying for amnesty and the mower oil boils over. Unfortunately for you, you also realize that in order to complete your to do list, you will be mowing during that Death Valley feeling time of day. But-what if I told you that there is another way? You can make it to all the kids’ activities, head to that party, mow the lawn, and still have time to grab a beer later and not even break a sweat? The solution to saving yourself from the lawn-mowing doldrums is a sweet little machine from Husqvarna-the Automower. It may not completely change your life, but it will definitely revolutionize the way you mow.

First of all, I want you all to know that I do not work for Husqvarna. I am a homeowner who happens to be married to the local ‘mower shop guy.’ So, while this isn’t exactly a plug for Husqvarna, it IS a shameless plug for a really cool product that actually works. That being said, the mower shop guy sold our push mower and brought this little robot thing home. He told me to trust him; he was going to hook it up and all would be well. It would mow everything and we wouldn’t have to think about it. Sure, I thought. And how many times am I going to have to tear it away from miscellaneous kids’ toys, save it from wandering off, protect it from being stolen, or worse yet, refrain from destroying it if it hurt one of the kids? I was the biggest skeptic when it came to this machine. Still interested? Read on and I’ll let you know what it was really like to live with the Automower.

By far the coolest thing about this little handy machine is the amount of time it can save you! Just like the grocery stores and Amazon allow you to get things done with the touch of a button, this mower is no exception. Automower allows you to collect on time-that one commodity we just don’t ever have enough of anymore. You can set it up on your phone and mow in your jammies while binge-watching your favorite show. This mower gives you the freedom to mow when you want-it’s a set it and forget it kind of solution. Don’t want to mow when the kids are playing? No problem-it can mow at night and won’t disturb the neighbors. Gotta have the grass mowed before that party while you’re at the little league game? No problem-it can mow while you’re cheering on your little one. Don’t like to mow in the heat? No problem-set it to mow when you want from the comfort of your AC.

Not only will Automower save you time, but it is incredibly efficient and convenient. Once you set it up, which requires the installation of an invisible fence and a docking station, you are good to go. You can program the mower to mow when you want so that it mows when it is most convenient for you. The mower knows where it can and cannot go and will mow until the job is completed. Once the Automower has had time to get to the entire yard, you will never have an unkempt looking yard ever again. It will keep your yard maintained and beautiful from there on out.

So it saves time, it’s efficient, but is it safe? This was my biggest concern when we installed ours. We have 3 young kids and a dog and I was just waiting for that next ER visit. However, Automower is really safe! My kids could be playing outside next to it. It would bump into them sometimes and then just wander off. It would run over tennis balls, bats, miscellaneous sandbox toys, rackets, etc. Nothing was destroyed! I was finally more concerned with Automower’s safety in a yard with two young boys instead of the other way around. Bottom line is-I didn’t have to worry about it and neither did the kids. Best part-my lawn was mowed and I didn’t have to think about it.

Automower is also pretty smart. This little machine learns where your grass grows the thickest and intuitively knows it needs to spend more time mowing in those areas. Certain models come with GPS so it learns how much of your lawn there is to mow and which places it has ignored lately so that everything always looks well-maintained. The mower knows when it needs to charge and it will meander back to the dock as needed. You don’t have to worry about it wandering off either due to the guide wire that you place during installation. It won’t cross it and the kids won’t trip over it. It’s a win-win. Furthermore, someone stealing your Automower is also not an issue. It has a deafening alarm that sounds if the mower is lifted and each mower has a unique pin code. Couple that with the feature to be able to track your Automower via GPS on your phone and it won’t be hard to find it if it happens to wander off your property.

Automower is also great in various terrain types, weather, and doesn’t require much maintenance. Automower is perfect for lawns that are around one acre or less. If it’s hilly or flat, it can handle it-and it won’t scalp your hills either. It can also run during inclement weather as it cuts such a small portion of the grass off at a time that it won’t get bogged down. As far as maintenance goes, Automower is a pretty easy keep. Just change the cutting blade out every month to six weeks and clean out the underside and it’ll stay happy and healthy.

Now, for the bad news-how much does it cost? Automower ranges from $1,599.95-$3,699.95 plus installation depending on the options you are looking for. I know that seems daunting, but that price tag buys you a lot of freedom, not to mention the ability to never mow your lawn ever again. Plus, think of the service and upkeep money you save-no gas, no oil, and no seasonal services; all that for the price of an average residential zero turn mower.

If you’re still not convinced, but want to come check it out, we have one on demo at the shop and you can come and pay it a visit. It’s not much for conversation, but this unit is seriously my best summer friend. I love that mowing the lawn is just one less thing for me to have to worry about. It’s quiet, efficient, beyond convenient, and when it’s hotter than Hades outside, it just doesn’t matter anymore. Now, it’s time for that beer. Until next time, enjoy the mow!

Feel free to visit our website at Premier Outdoor Power Equipment , stop in and see us at 301 Westview Drive in Franklin, or just give us a call at 317-738-0618. We’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.

A Well-Maintained Mower is a an Efficient Mower

This may seem like a pretty common-sense notion, but what actually constitutes ‘well-maintained’ and what kinds of maintenance tasks should you be considering? Check out these tips to keep your mower at the top of its game and you out of the repair shop:

Sharpen Blades: Consider sharpening your blades after about 20-30 hours of mowing. Not sure if you have dull blades? Check out your cut grass. Grass tips should be cleanly cut, not jagged. If tips look jagged or torn, it’s time to sharpen your blades!

Lube all Grease Points: Remember the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz? Yeah, we do too. Grinding joints aka, grinding bearings, don’t have any place on your mower either. Keep it running smoothly by keeping friction off the table and back with the Tin Man where it belongs!

Scrape Deck: Yep, the deck needs some TLC sometimes too. All those clippings like to hang out and get comfy under your deck making your engine work harder and hotter. Keep things cool by scraping your deck. Your engine will thank you and the cut quality will improve.

Check Air Pressure in Tires: Tires do more than just keep you moving. Did you know that your tires also keep your mower moving on an even keel? Want that nice clean even cut in your yard? Make sure your tires are all filled to manufacturer’s specs.

Replace Air/Fuel Filters: Depending on the season you’ve had-dry and dusty or wet and rainy, you may need to replace your fuel filter. Keep your engine from running roughly and save your carb from harmful deposits by simply replacing a fairly inexpensive fuel filter. Likewise, check your air filter, if it looks dirty, replace it! These small measures now will save you time and money in the long run.

Change the Oil: A general rule of thumb for oil changes is once a year or around 100 hours. Check your product’s manual to be sure. Otherwise look at your oil. If it’s a nice clear or caramel color, you’re likely good to go. If it’s black and tar-like make an appointment for a service soon!

Thanks for reading along and feel free to contact us at Premier Outdoor Power Equipment with any questions you might have. We’re here for all your service, sales, and part needs. Until next time, enjoy the mow!

Perks of Buying a Used Mower

Picture this: It is the middle of the summer mowing season, and your lawn mower bites the dust leaving for the big yard in the sky.  Obviously you cannot leave your lawn half mowed for the remainder of the season, but you aren’t entirely sure you want to buy a brand new mower.

A new mower could run easily into the thousands of dollars, so you begin to research used mowers.  You finally ask yourself if buying a used mower is a realistic alternative to purchasing an entirely new mower.  The answer to that question is, “It depends.”

Used mowers don’t just save the day when your old outfit kicks the bucket; they can serve all of your mowing needs.  Today we are going to discuss the most important things to keep in mind when purchasing a used mower.

  1. Price

The amount of money you are willing to spend might answer your question even before you start looking.  A new commercial riding mower will typically start at about $5000 and work its way up from there rather rapidly.  The rule of thumb is that you can typically get a used mower for anywhere between 50 and 70 percent of the original retail value.  This can quickly bring a great mower back into your price range.

  1. Engine and Age of Mower

It is highly recommended to purchase a mower with a relatively common engine such as Briggs and Stratton, Kawasaki, or Kohler.  Going with a name brand like this, even if it is a few years old, allows for much easier maintenance because they still make parts for these common brands.  Even if there are quite a few hours on the engine you are considering, do not let this discourage you because these engines have considerable longevity.

  1. Maintenance

This is probably the most important inquiry that needs to be made.  Ask the seller about the maintenance and repairs that have been done to the mower throughout its lifetime.  This will be the best gauge of the quality and remaining life of your new mower.  When asking about the maintenance, check the belts, tires, blades and filters.  These will indicate the amount of upcoming maintenance that will need to be done.  Here at Premier Outdoor we fully service all of our mowers before they leave the lot, which can put a buyer at ease.

  1. Take it for a test drive

Taking the potential mower for a test drive will also help you decide which mower is the best one for you.  Pay attention to how quickly the mower starts as well as how it idles when just running.  Consider as well how the blades cut the grass to make sure they are running smooth, additionally listen for any strange sounds that might indicate worn bearings.

Pre-owned mowers are a great option for most residential needs.  Depending on the particular circumstances it might even meet the needs of a smaller commercial outfit.  These questions are a great place to start when trying to determine which option is the best for you!  If you are unsure of where to go to buy a great used mower; have no fear!!  Here at Premier Outdoor Power Equipment we have a number of pre-owned machines that could easily meet your needs.  Visit our website for a look at our full line of pre-owned mowers.  Feel free to call us for a quote.

 

Futuristic Lawn Care Even the Jetsons Would Love: The Automower

Take a moment to remember back to a time when Saturday mornings were a much simpler time that consisted of watching cartoons and eating pancakes for breakfast.  Remember all of the crazy futuristic gadgets the Jetsons used to use on their show.  Whether it be a flying car, or a robot house keeper, the Jetsons had it all.  Take it a step further and imagine the ease with which they mowed their lawns.  Certainly they must have had an automatic lawn mower that required no human supervision to take care of the grass.  Well it only took until 2017, but we can say with confidence, the Automower revolution is upon us.  Here at Premier Outdoor Power Equipment we refuse to be behind the times!  If you have questions, or are interested in an Automower for your own lawn, visit our website, or give us a call!

I’m sure some of you are laughing at me right now, but follow me for just a second.  Most average Americans mow their lawns between 25 and 30 times a year.  Imagine what could be done with the time saved by no longer having to mow our lawns.  Now don’t get me wrong I understand that many people enjoy and take pride in their lawn’s appearance; however, for many others they would love to take that time and put it toward something else.  This is where Husqvarna’s Automower comes in handy!  You set it up one time and you’re done.

H360-0057

The Automower has the ability to return those hours to customers’ lives.  This mower provides a great cut, efficient lawn care and product maintenance, as well as the beauty of unsupervised mowing.  Automower gets to know the lay of your land to provide your lawn a constantly fresh cut look.

Installation requires putting in a guide wire fence similar to those for pets; however, this one does not have to be buried underground.  Once this is in, put the charging doc in place, set up the desired mowing schedule and you are ready to retire from the mowing game.  This little machine can handle medium grade slopes, cope with mud, and even run successfully in the rain, all the while running on GPS.  This smart device knows where the docking station is and when it’s time to charge.

Gone are the days of old where you worried about your grass getting too high due to an extended rainy period.  With the Automower, rain is no longer an obstacle to a beautifully kept yard.  Yet another added benefit is the connect-ability features.  There is an app that can help you keep track of the mower, as well as giving you the option to input settings from a remote location.  This would be great while on vacation.  If you forgot to have the mower set up to mow while you were gone, all you would need to do is get on the app and tell the Automower to get started.

H320-0437

A relatively reasonably priced machine that would be a great addition to a family’s lawn care plan.  Giving you time back to do any number of things.  I know when I first heard about it, I was expecting some extraterrestrial looking gadget, but this machine really delivers on its promises.  It brings the worlds of technology and landscaping together in a beautifully engineered product that wold be a fantastic addition to any home lawn care regimen!