Web Extra: How to get the most from battery-powered equipment

December 12, 2016 -  By

For contractors considering battery-powered equipment, here are some tips from Zack Kline, owner of A.I.R. in Rockville, Md., for how to successfully use it out in the field:

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Learn how long batteries last in each piece of equipment so crews will be near a charging station or charged battery to quickly swap them out.
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Ask whether a smaller battery could finish the job. Or, would a larger battery save you time from having to get new ones throughout the day? Look for ways to improve the process and make the most of the batteries.
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Store the batteries in a climate-controlled environment during hot or cold weather. They won’t function as well if they are exposed to extreme conditions.
  • Ensure you have an on-board charging system or place to plug in chargers on-site. You can’t just run to a gas station to get new ones if you run out.

Determining how many batteries you’ll need—and how that compares to the amount of gas you used—is a learning process and takes some trial and error.

Some landscapers calculate how many properties they could complete on a battery and compare it with how many times they would have filled up their equipment with gas during that same time. All of the sources said they thought they would need more batteries than they actually did.

For contractors worried about running out of batteries during the day or ones who have a large crew, Taylor suggests getting a six-pack charging station. “It’s like your fuel for the day,” he says. “I’ve never run out of batteries with that, and it really streamlined the process.”

To learn more about the battery debate from Kline, check out his story from the December issue.

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