How California’s Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment Ban Affects Landscaping Businesses?
On July 1st 2022, California will enact a ban on gas-powered lawn equipment. The California gas powered lawn equipment ban includes lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and snow blowers. As per the new rules, all the above equipment must be zero-emission by 2024.
California is the first to implement a state-wide ban but banning gas-powered lawn equipment is gaining traction in communities across the country.
Here’s a run-down of everything you need to know about how the ban affects your business.
Why California Is Banning Gas Powered Lawn Equipment
For starters, keep in mind that leaf blowers are the poster child of this ban. For most people and communities, waking up to the heavy metal symphony of leaf blowers can be quite unpleasant. Worse yet, with more people working from home, tuning out the noise while you’re on a conference call is surely more desirable now.
Gas-powered leaf blowers create noise measured between 65 to 80 decibels. A person within 50 feet of that sound is prone to permanent hearing damage after two hours of exposure.
However, California isn’t banning gas-powered lawn equipment just because of the noise. According to the California Air Resources Board, using gas-powered lawn equipment for an hour causes the same level of pollution as driving between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The engines of gas-powered equipment leak known carcinogens and smog-forming chemicals. As a result, they can cause damage to not only the environment but also the landscaper using the equipment.
As of right now, this ban falls under Assembly Bill 1346. The bill goes into effect on July 1st, 2022. This gives the State Air Resources Board of California until 2024 to eliminate gas-powered lawn care equipment. The state can do this by creating incentives for consumers to convert their equipment over to zero-emission alternatives.
Other States that Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers & Lawn Equipment
California is leading the pack with a state-wide gas-powered leaf blower ban. Are there other states or cities that ban gas-powered leaf blowers or lawn equipment? Various cities in Colorado do, but that’s about it for now.
New York and Illinois are considering similar state-wide bans. Then we have cities in Texas and New Jersey exploring their options as well.
Florida and Texas are in the big leagues of the landscaping world. Currently, there are restrictions on noise emissions and times of day when users can power this type of equipment. New York has multiple municipalities with seasonal restrictions on gas-powered equipment. Long story short, none of the major states have communities that completely ban gas-powered leaf blowers and equipment yet.
Business Implications of California’s Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment Ban
So what does California’s gas-powered equipment ban mean for your landscaping business? It means don’t wait to make the transition!
For starters, zero-emission lawn care equipment is set to grow into a $14 Billion industry within the next 2 years. Get the goods now when the availability is high, and the demand is still low.
Next, ready yourself to train your crew. Your team is used to the equipment they currently have on hand. Expect a grace period for them to become accustomed to the new equipment and comfortable enough to work quickly.
Also, consider the operational impact on your business. As it stands, battery alternatives for leaf blowers require multiple recharges during the day. To put it simply, non-gas-powered lawn mowers can be slower. Your team may need more time to get the same job done while the technology is still new.
Zero-emission options also come with procedural changes. How will you handle dead batteries? Equipment that needs to be plugged in to run, etc.?
Calculate what the impact will be on your productivity and your bottom line.
Steps to Consider Before You Switch from Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment
Migrate to Electric Equipment
Whether you prefer it or not, gas-powered equipment is going away. When you hit the deadline, you’ll be competing against everyone else for whatever zero-emission options are available. Gas prices are soaring too. Now’s a great time to migrate to electric equipment and have a leg up on the competition.
Buy or Rent?
Do the spaces you cater to have plugs you can use? Can your crew reasonably carry multiple backup batteries on hand? Test it out. As you shop for the perfect fit, consider whether you want to rent before buying to test out your options.
Adjust your Processes to Save Time Elsewhere
Your team is losing precious hours of training for the equipment switch. Adjust time spent on other tasks – GoMaterials can help you cut down time spent sourcing plants and trees!
Set up a Training Plan
Use your resources wisely. Set up a training plan for your team to learn to use the new equipment in a way that’s suitable for everyone.
Top Green Alternatives to Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment
Leaf Collectors/Leaf Sweepers
They’re essentially lawnmowers that scoop up leaves! Nothing is greener than push-powered while still being faster than raking.
Battery-Powered Lawn Equipment
Whether you’re looking for a lawnmower, gas blower, chain saw, or snow blower, there’s a battery-powered option out there.
Make sure the battery is full to optimize the item’s use. Another tip is to keep spare charged batteries on hand to rotate throughout the day. This keeps you from having to stop and recharge. It also extends the life of the batteries you’re using.
Electrical Lawn Equipment
These pieces are typically lighter than their gas-powered counterparts. If you work in smaller spaces, they guarantee a constant, reliable power supply.
Check out this great list published by Dengarden for other alternatives.
With the world becoming increasingly focused on sustainability, a rollback on the gas-powered ban seems unlikely. As we approach the deadlines for the switch, it can be harder to find the right options. In addition, customers will increasingly appreciate the greener, less noisy option your landscaping business provides. Get started on your transition away from gas-powered equipment today!
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