About St John’s Garden Centre
St John’s Garden Centre in Devon is a huge store in Barnstaple, open to the public for all their gardening needs. The centre is also home to a dedicated landscaping team who for 25 years have worked on garden design, ground works and plant suppliers for commercial and domestic garden projects.
Mark Toon has worked in the landscape department for almost 30 years and has depended on petrol tools for installations and maintenance jobs. For many years, he and the Centre were pleased with the petrol-powered solutions they used for jobs.
Three years ago, Mark noticed the decreasing reputation of petrol power and huge developments in cordless battery power being documented at his local dealership, so he had to see for himself what it could do for St John’s.
Discovery Battery Powered Garden Tools
Mark first looked at the numbers to see how much the business could save on battery-powered equipment when compared to the cost of new petrol tools. He calculated the predicted life of a battery compared to the amount of fuel that would typically be used over the same period and found a potential saving of around 75%.
Mark also tested out various commercial machinery and open day demonstrations, before deciding on EGO to add to his inventory. The new battery power garden tools added were a mixture of 52cm self-propelled mowers, hedge trimmers, line trimmers and multi-tools. However, introducing battery garden tools was part of a gradual process.
Mark commented, “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 team were sceptical of battery power in terms of being able to deliver the power and run time of petrol. Like many in the industry, many of them come from a background that believes that if it’s not screamingly loud then it has no power.”
The landscaping team at St John’s quickly realised this wasn’t the case.
EGO Tools Match the Power of Petrol
After working with tools, the St John’s team found that the EGO batteries deliver the same level of performance as their petrol-powered counterparts.
“EGO tools are definitely worth the money and are on par with decent petrol tools. The little things too, such as blade protectors being included with the hedge trimmer is great. With petrol tools like Stihl, we would have to pay for these add-ons. Outside of the obvious, I think reducing our downtime is the biggest difference for us. There is also very little maintenance involved.”
A Cleaner, Quieter and Safer Workforce
“We are often asked by passers-by, ‘Wow, what is that? What would you recommend?’ — the answer to which is battery every time.”
The switch to cordless gardening tools was also motivated by the press coverage that highlighted the dangers of petrol equipment. Not only had the switch to battery-powered technology help meet risk assessment criteria, but the removal of fumes had numerous health benefits on the St John’s team.
Mark said, “I can definitely report that the guys are saying how much better it is in comparison to using petrol. When they have to use petrol now, they comment on how they would rather be using battery instead.”
The landscaping team are also benefitting from reduced noise and vibration while using the tools which is helping the team’s health and job efficiency.
“We do have to consider HAV (hand-arm vibration) and noise, but we still operate with the same PPE as we would for petrol, but the equipment is lighter and less demanding on the arms, and noise levels are dramatically lower.”
“We don’t have to plan jobs around the noise of our power tools any longer either. If we’re working at a school, for example, we may have previously been asked not to operate equipment in certain areas due to exams or teaching but now we don’t have to think about things like that.”
Turning Away From Petrol
To summarise their experience with EGO Power+, Mark said, “Anybody who works in the landscaping industry would be crazy not to look at battery power seriously. For me, it’s a no brainer and for some kit, there’s quite frankly no need to be using petrol at all now.”
Browse EGO Power+ products online that could help your business to switch to battery power. You can also discover our Professional and Professional X range, which come with three year warranty, download the latest catalogue or find your nearest dealer online today.