When the landscaping arm of St John’s Garden Centre in Devon decided to introduce EGO’s batterypowered outdoor power equipment to its arsenal in 2017, Contract Manager Mark Toon admits his team were sceptical about battery life and run time. Three years on, Mark says other landscaping professionals would be ‘crazy’ not to look at battery power as a serious option to get jobs done.
With the exception of a short break to study for his degree, Mark Toon has worked for St John’s Garden Centre in Devon for almost 30 years. Having worked at the Devon-based business since the age of 14, he has experienced firsthand the use of petrol tools for the business’s landscaping installations and maintenance jobs.
Like anyone making a commercial investment, Mark wanted to calculate the savings the business could make in comparison with new petrol tools. He calculated the predicted life of a battery in comparison to the amount of fuel that would typically be used over the same period — a figure which he found would equate to around £1000 for each £250 battery the business would use — representing a saving of around 75%.
After doing his homework on the best commercial machinery at SALTEX and testing out the kit at Hayes’ open day demonstrations, Mark opted for EGO as the tools to power the business forward in an ever environmentally conscious world. His shed now combines a mixture of 52cm self-propelled mowers, hedge trimmers, line trimmers and multi-tools.
“When we invested in battery technology, we were going to use it as a backup for our petrol equipment but it’s now actually the other way round. The only time we now use petrol equipment is for larger machinery like stone rakes and box rakes,” said Mark.
Among the reasons that quickly became apparent, the most prevalent were the reduced weight of the equipment, the lack of pull start and the fact there is no need to carry or continually replace fuel and oil levels.