When the town of Maplewood, New Jersey, recently instituted a summertime ban on landscape workers’ use of blowers, residents speaking in favor of the ban at a town meeting cited emissions from the gasoline-powered machines almost as frequently as noise.
What’s more, the New Jersey community is far from the only city to enact, or at least entertain, restrictions on blowers.
That trend may bolster equipment sales by companies such as Stihl and Husqvarna, which are leading the way in battery technology.
And while many of those products target retail customers, Stihl is going after professional landscapers with its 36-volt, 1148 watt-hour AR 3000 backpack battery.
The AR 3000 is interchangeable with all handheld tools in the Stihl battery line and boasts 25 percent more capacity than the equipment maker’s AR 900. Depending on the tool being used and how it’s being used, the AR 3000 runs up to 13 hours on a full charge.
In the process, of course, the battery-powered machines emit no fumes and significantly less noise than their gas-powered counterparts.
Stihl’s product manager, Brian Manke, is quick to point out that battery-powered equipment eliminates fuel and oil costs and “can be used in environmentally or noise-sensitive areas like school grounds, business districts or hospitals.”
The AR 3000 produces both audible and visual recharge alerts, and Stihl touts the comfort of the backpack’s design, which distributes its weight evenly.
Recharging the AR 3000 to 100 percent capacity takes 160 minutes when used with Stihl’s AL 500 high-speed charger.