FACILITIES and grounds maintenance company RFT Services has switched its entire arborist machinery fleet to Stihl cordless tools.

RFT Services is part of the Flagship Group and provides services to over 31,000 homes and 800 communal garden areas across the east of England.

The responsibility of overseeing the 27-strong groundscare and arborist team is led by operations manager Glen Ray. With the team having used Stihl petrol machines for a number of years, and after a trial period with local dealer GDC Ltd, Glen decided to switch to a machinery fleet made up entirely of Stihl cordless tools.

Glen said: “Although petrol and diesel engine-powered equipment is and will continue to be very popular, I was intrigued by the advancement in battery technology and the benefits this could bring to my maintenance team, especially from a noise-sensitive operation point of view.

READ MORE: Stihl launches service kits for petrol tools

“Previously, one of the difficulties we had as a team was that we only had certain time frames in which to carry out regular grounds maintenance tasks due to the noise level of petrol tools during operation. When operating landscaping and arborist machinery in residential areas, it’s important to conduct this work when it will cause minimum disruption. Add to this that petrol machines are generally more expensive to run and maintain, I was very intrigued by battery technology.

Forestry Journal:

“After speaking to GDC, the team trialled a number of cordless tools, including the Stihl FSA 130R brushcutter, BGA 100 blower, HLA 85 long reach hedge trimmer, HTA 85 pole saw, HLA 65 hedge trimmer, AR 3000 battery and fast charger, and the general consensus was that they were very impressed with not only how quiet the tools were during operation, so much so that they didn’t need to wear ear protection, but also their performance, which was on par with petrol equivalents.

“In addition to performance, the battery tools also bring environmental benefits, which is a big plus. The team doesn’t need to store costly fuel on site and all we have to do is simply replace the battery if it runs out which is very rare, helping to keep machine downtime to a minimum.”

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