The clearance of leaf fall and general maintenance is no longer a problem to Oliver Deeming, Grounds Maintenance Manager at the University of East Anglia (UEA), one of the world's leading universities, thanks to the purchase of two Pellenc Airion battery-powered blowers and a Helion hedgecutter.
Located in 362 acres of rolling parkland but just two miles from the cathedral city of Norwich, the university has hundreds of trees with oak and birch the principal offenders in terms of leaf shedding.
For weeks on end Oliver and his team have the daily task of seeing that the mixed range of environments including housing blocks, classrooms, gardens, sports pitches, meadows and ancient woodlands which surrounds the university are safe from fallen hazards and always look in tip-top order.
Oliver's dilemma had always been keeping a balance between maintaining the universities grounds and minimising disruptive noise. Previously, his petrol-engine leaf blowers and hedgecutters needed air defenders for the operative, so the lecturers did not welcome maintenance work throughout academic hours albeit necessary. Eighteen months ago he was introduced to Pellenc Lithium-ion battery-powered equipment by his local machinery dealer Felthorpe Mowers of Norwich and since then he hasn't looked back.
"At first and because of past experience with electric equipment, I was a little sceptical about whether such quiet machines would actually have the power to do the job we wanted them to do," said Oliver. "I didn't want us to go back to hand equipment, so we took the Pellenc equipment on a two-day trial. I don't mind admitting that I have been proved wrong. In fact, I would actually say it's even more powerful than a conventional petrol blower of the same size.
"We use the blower for a full day's work around the buildings with the added bonus of low vibration and low noise. They are also easy to carry, and having a multi-purpose power source in the battery back-pack is a real asset, allowing us to switch tools such as the hedgecutter from job to job.
The University has long been a leader in the field of environmental research and training and is committed to replicating this success in how they care for their campus and its surrounding environment.
"I wanted the university to be a leader in low carbon, low noise, low impact machinery and Pellenc has certainly helped me achieve this. I will be looking to replace all our petrol equipment with Pellenc battery-powered equipment where possible.
"People need to get over pre-conceived ideas that they have about past electric equipment and need to test this equipment for themselves - it's brilliant."
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