Employees loved the equipment's quiet operation, ease of use and its power, but had concerns with battery life in all-day applications.
Photos courtesy Magnolia Landscape LLC.
Recently we were given the opportunity to test equipment from CORE Gasless Technology Outdoor Power. The package we tested included a PowerLok drive unit with a blower, hedge trimmer and trimmer attachment.
There are a lot of brands selling the same type of equipment, but CORE Outdoor Power Equipment is unique in that it is a gasless unit. The equipment is powered by a battery and technology developed by a father and son duo. The concept is fantastic, but we were interested in seeing if this concept could actually perform in the field.
With the power unit fully charged, we headed to a client's house to work on a shrub-trimming job. We snapped in the hedge trimmer attachment and went to work. The PowerLok unit was great to use. The first thing our employees noticed is how much quieter the hedge trimmers are than the normal commercial-grade gas hedge trimmers that we use. The company describes this unit as "whisper-quiet" and we concur. This equipment is so quiet that we did not feel the need to wear hearing protection while using it. The CORE unit delivered just as much power as our commercial-grade gas fueled hedge trimmers that we typically use and the power did not waver as we continued using the equipment.
We easily switched the attachment to the blower for cleaning up of the site. The blower does not provide as much power or efficiency as the backpack blowers that we typically use, but this is to be expected with the difference in engine sizes. The blower does what it is designed to do, but for professional contractors there is probably not enough power in this hand-held blower. For us, this attachment would probably not be one that we would purchase.
The attachments effortlessly switch out of the PowerLok drive unit. This feature works more easily than what we are used to using. In our field, simplicity is important. We have had employees break equipment in the past by not inserting and removing attachments correctly. With this system it is very easy to switch the equipment in and out and employees should be able to do with ease.
Another nice feature of the CORE Outdoor Power equipment is the simple start system. Once you have connected your attachment, the equipment starts with the pull of a trigger. Compared to equipment that starts with switching it on, pressing the primer bulb, turning the choke on, pulling the pull start, and turning the choke off, this start system was notable.
Myself and our foremen have spent a good amount of time training and retraining employees on this multi-step process to start a string trimmer or hedge trimmer, there are many employees who struggle with this when they begin. The ease and simplicity of starting the equipment by simply pulling a trigger was so gratifying.
When you are running a lawn care company and are starting and stopping a string trimmer dozens of times a day, this time-saving start can add up leading to a more efficient crew. The trimmer is also lighter than the typical commercial-grade trimmer we use with our mowing crews. These guys are using a trimmer for up to eight hours a day so a lighter piece of equipment that produces the same amount of power went over well with these guys.
At Magnolia Landscape, we are always looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and it is great that the Core equipment produces no emissions and requires no gasoline to fuel. You can save money by not buying gas to power the equipment. A major issue that we have had with our equipment over the past few years is that the ethanol that is being added to gasoline clogs our carburetors and can cause costly damage. The gasless technology allows you to avoid all of these problems.
Our biggest issue with the CORE equipment is the amount of time that the battery lasts. We were able to use the hedge trimmers for about 70 minutes and a similar time frame for the string trimmer. For a homeowner this is a perfect amount of time, for a commercial landscaper, such as ourselves, using the equipment all day it is not nearly enough. CORE does sell units that charge up to four batteries at a time, so if you purchased multiple batteries it would be possible to just switch out the battery. We do wonder how long the battery itself lasts as well.
Overall we loved the equipment. It definitely offers the power of professional-grade equipment, with many benefits, such as the release of no emissions and its quiet hum. It would be ideal if the battery lasted longer since professionals are typically using the equipment all day. This is a company and a product to consider as a professional; they are definitely on our watch list as we hope that they will further improve their battery life.
Think that you've got what it takes to put some new gear through its paces? Are you willing to share in an article like this one about what you learned about the equipment and how it fit into your program? Contact Editor Amy Hill at ahill@MooseRiverMedia.com to get your name on our list of Turf magazine Field Test experts!