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“Lawnmower Man”

The drawback of being a pioneer is that you often have to solve problems by yourself, with no examples to follow.

Owner Kelly Giard of Clean Air Lawn Care faces this situation. Replacing a hard-to-find part can sideline one of his electric riding mowers for awhile.

“We haven’t been as reliable as I’d like because there’s nobody local who’s expert in repairing the machine,” says Giard, who began operations in Fort Collins this spring, and plans to expand to Boulder and Denver in spring 2007. “There’s a learning curve we’re doing with repair and parts. Outside of that, they [customers] love it. There’s no pollution in their yard and they’re very quiet, which is a huge thing for the customer.”

All of the company’s equipment runs on batteries, powered through the Fort Collins Utilities Wind Power Program. Clean Air Lawn Care owns two electric riding mowers plus push mowers, trimmers and blowers.

The riding mowers come from Ontario, Canada, thus making them difficult to service. So Giard is trying to train some of his crew to fix the machines.

He plans to franchise nationally in 2008.

If the quiet doesn’t interest you, consider this: Giard says that gas-powered lawn mowers consume 580 millions of gasoline annually, and that 25 percent to 35 percent of this fuel escapes unburned

by Bruce Goldbert, Denver Business Journal
Original Story: Mixed Nuts  
Source: Denver Business Journal, Sunday, September 3, 2006

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