Running a Mobile Landscape Business on Battery PowerDeutsch's Truck
“I’ve operated my own landscaping business for five years. During the summer two years ago a client asked if I ever thought about moving my business toward solar power—something I’d never considered … but it piqued my interest.”
The more I thought about running a solar-powered landscaping business, the more I wanted to really do it. I can’t say there aren’t some discouraging obstacles in the way, most notably cost, as battery-powered power tools for landscaping typically run significantly more expensive. The other drawback is the loss of power. Sometimes the horsepower needed to complete a job can only come from gas-powered equipment. But, the more I started considering all the types of jobs my business provided, the more I identified as being possible with tools ran by man power, like shovels, hand trimmers and shears. Sure, it might take a little more effort and a little more time, but if it’s something my clients value, that’s what I want to stand for.
This year, I’ve taken big steps toward this solar vision by purchasing a panel of batteries and a power inverter. I’ve also sold many of my gas-powered tools and moved toward battery-powered options. We also invested in the nicest “man-power” hand tools as well. I’ve shared this vision with my clients and some of them are very encouraging, while some of them don’t seem to care as long as the job gets done correctly. I have received more referrals this year than any year prior, and they all mention how they value a company that’s taking efforts to reduce its “carbon footprint.”
Sure, I haven’t installed both of our trailers with solar panels, voltage regulators and sufficient battery backups, but that will happen in phases. For now, both of our trailers have more battery-powered or electric tools than gas-powered tools, which is a great start. I have battery setups that provide power that is converted through a power inverter. We plug in our electric tools and use heavy-duty extension cords to get the job done. A few of our clients have even volunteered their own home’s electricity while we work on their landscaping, which I didn’t see coming. It’s amazing that a number of our clients will now pay a little more for our services AND let us pull power from their homes while we work. I never saw that as possible. Plus, our savings in gasoline purchases alone has really cut down our overhead.
Moving to solar is a big investment, but I am really excited in the direction my small landscaping business is headed.