Monthly Archives: May 2009

Easun Mowers will not have Sunlawn Brand Name Afterall

ADDENDUM TO PRIOR POST: Sunlawn Reel Mower Brand Taken over by Easun

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Easun Ideal reel lawn mower

Recently we reported that the Easun company filled the void left by Sunlawn’s closing, buying their designs and mower manufacturing setup. When Sunlawn closed its operations in May 2009, we were all very surprised, but also very relieved to have Easun keep these fine reel mowers in production for this 2009 season.

Originally, the mowers were going to keep the Sunlawn brand names and prepend Easun to them. Today we learned that the mowers will be completely renamed under the Easun brand as Easun prepares their marketing campaigns. We are about to head over to the site and change all the Branding on these mowers, but if you are in the middle of deciding/comparing/researching mowers we thought you’d want to know what’s up. See New Easun NaturCut Reel Mowers

Best…
David Temple
Peoplepoweredmachines.com

Sunlawn Easun shipment delayed one week by port office

Sunlawn Easun Reel Mowers are Coming!

Sunlawn Easun Reel Mowers are Coming!

First Shipment delayed at the port: We just received word that the first shipment of all Sunlawn Easun Classic and Ideal reel mowers will be delayed one week. Our warehouse is ready to ship them asap the day they arrive! We are now projecting shipping in late May.

Thanks for your understanding.

Enjoy your garden….
David Temple
Peoplepoweredmachines.com

Better Assembly Instructions for Brill Razorcut Mowers

Brill Razorcut Reel Mower Handle Assembly

Brill Razorcut Reel Mower Handle Assembly

Brill Reel Mower Line:
The Brill Reel mower line includes the  Razorcut 33, Razorcut 38, and Accu Razorcut . These mowers all have the same handle and handle assembly instructions…which we admit….are really easy but a bit vague in the manual. This mis-assembly has came to our attention this year when we   noticed our customers calling to discuss the lawn cut problems or the feel of the mower, it was usually this “mis”-assembly problem. It took us a while to figure it out, and here’s some pro-active info to help you off to a great reel mowing start!

Brill Reel Razorcut Mower Handle Assembly

Brill Reel Razorcut Mower Handle Assembly

5 Minute Assembly- But Easy Bolt Confusion:
About 90% of Brill owners find this assembly quite straight forward. However, we regularly have people who attach the handles to the wrong bolt…they are attaching it to the orange height adjustment knob. These knobs are red/orange and are shown in the picture. Attaching the handles to the adjustment knobs will eventually ruin your mower…but more importantly, you won’t get an easy or great mow and think it is the mower’s fault.

The Correct Bolt Is….
The user manaul directions show ( in an Ikea kind of way 😉 ) that you need to place the lower handle pieces over the bolts inside the reel blade housing. These bolts are NOT THE FIRST BOLTS YOU SEE. These bolts are found a bit more inside and close to the reel blades. So look a bit beyond that first set of bolts and that’s the one!

Surprising Water Footprints: 630 Gallons of Water to Make 1 Hamburger

WSj interactive on Waterfootprints

WSj interactive on Waterfootprints

We are researching rain barrels and rain gardens this month in order to expand our line for summer. In that process I keep coming across water footprint sites and info. So while we usually look downstream, this post is about looking upstream at what it takes to produce things. Recently I posted about the Story of Stuff video which is a painless 20 minute look at the garbage produced upstream from your purchases. This is the water side of that.

First, why do we care ::

Picture 9With water use increasing six-fold in the past century-more than twice the rate of Earth’s population growth-our demand for water is fast outstripping what the planet can replenish.

  • Two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to face water scarcity by 2025, according to the United Nations.
  • In the U.S., water managers in 36 states anticipate shortages by 2013, a General Accounting Office report shows.
  • The FAO has warned that within the next 20 years, two thirds of the earth’s population could face serious water shortages.
  • one flush of a toilet in the developed world, says the United Nations (PDF), uses as much water as the average person in the developing world allocates for an entire day’s cooking, washing, cleaning, and drinking.
  • see water footprint for your food items here

Here are some water footprint calculators::

And here are some tips and things you can do::

  • h2o conserve tips
  • stop using that sink garbage disposal unit, establish a compost pile or worm farm (besides, it is bad for the water to put more organic waste into them to go into our rivers and oceans and increase the nitrogen)
  • Shorter showers with less pressure (this one is very hard for me and my bad back!)
  • Install a water saving shower head – under $10
  • Ensuring taps, water pipes and hose connections don’t drip
  • Checking toilets for leaks. Use a few drops of food coloring in the cistern, wait for a while and check the bowl for signs of color – be sure to flush afterwards prevent staining.
  • Buy clothing with fibers that aren’t so water intensive
  • Installing rainwater tanks
  • Using greywater from sinks  and washing machines (saved in rainbarrels) to water the garden
  • install a rain barrel
  • Using low water car washes
  • Installing tap aerators
  • Turning off the tap while brushing our teeth
  • Turning off the tap while shaving
  • Washing veggies in a sink partially filled with water instead of under a running tap
  • Setting washing machines at the lowest possible water level for the load
  • Watering gardens just after sunrise or just after sunset to reduce evaporation
  • Mulching gardens to reduce watering requirements
  • Installing drip irrigation systems
  • Cutting grass a little longer during summer
  • Reducing the temperature of water heaters which lessens the amount of mixing needed to be done in order to achieve a temperature that won’t scald your skin
  • Insulate water pipes
  • Installing low-water-use flush toilets or displacement devices in the tanks
  • Fill a dishwasher completely before running it
  • Use drought tolerant plants in your garden and drought resistant grass for lawn

Stay tuned for our new rainbarrel and rain garden sections coming next month. In the meantime, really give thanks for that morning cup of coffee tomorrow….

Picture 10

Sunlawn Reel Mower Brand Taken over by Easun

UPDATE TO POST: New 2009 Sunlawn Easun Mowers Added to our reel mower comparison chart.
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Sunlawn Easun Ideal Reel Mower

Sunlawn Easun Ideal Reel Mower

Sunlawn Brand is Taken Over by Easun:
Last month it became official. After months of struggle, the owners of Sunlawn, hit by the same credit crunch as many this year, had to fold their company. A shame since this was the year they had new and improved models of the mowers already designed and manufacturing started. The former owners of Sunlawn were visionary in that they were the original importers of the Brill Reel Mower and then developed the Sunlawn model in response to the U.S. market needs. They were even going to move manufacturing to the US this year before the economic troubles began. Fortunately for us, the Easun company was able to step in and purchase the Sunlawn brand, the great designed mowers and finish their production. The design changes in these new 2009 models include larger wheels, extra back wheels, and higher cutting heights.

Sunlawn Easun Classic Push Reel Mower

Sunlawn Easun Classic Push Reel Mower

Sunlawn Easun Mowers in stock in 4 days :
The top-of-the line Sunlawn Easun Classic reel mower and the more economical Sunlawn Easun Ideal reel mower will be produced under the Easun label, but keep the Sunlawn branding for consumer recognition.  We expect the Easun mowers at our warehouse May 15

Why Reel Mowers are Still Best for the Environment

Most U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal.

Most U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal.

Our family business sells both electric and reel mowers, and starting 2009,  solar powered mowers. We started over 12 years with a simple mission to retire as many polluting, noisy, gas powered mowers as we could. Originally we offered only one very perfect reel mower: the Brill Reel Mower.  And to this day, 55,000 mowers later, with countless customer feedback on all the mowers, we still believe manual push reel mowers are the solution for smaller lawns most of the time.

GENERATING ELECTRICITY IMPACTS THE ENVIRONMENT::
Why? Because generating electricity impacts the environment by producing green house gases. In 2004, 40% of the US total emissions of greenhouse gases was from electricity generation (pdf). Most of our electric power still comes from the traditional burning of fossil fuels, with the largest amount coming from the dirtiest source, coal.

THERE IS A MIDDLE GROUND::
So the compromise between the pure manual push reel mower and electric mower is the electric reel mower : Brill Accu. We love this mower because when we get back from vacation and the lawn is overgrown, cutting is easy using the cordless electric feature. And the rest of the year we can simply push this mower with out the electricity on. So it’s like 2 mowers in one. This also means when you run out of battery (because high grass is harder to cut and uses the battery up quicker), you can finish the job by just pushing.

So when choosing a mower, do consider that electric mowers are not without environmental cost…only reel mowers can claim that!

UPDATE TO THE MIDDLE GROUND- SOLAR POWER IS HERE! :
As of April 2009, there is a new solar powered mower that is a great choice. It is powerful, a rotary so a heavier and needs blade maintenance, but still a environmentally sound option for those whose yards are not candidates for reel mowers.

RELATED LINKS:
Chart to compare all the reel mowers out there.
Great site for more on the costs of electricity.


Story of America’s Stuff: Must watch Video

Picture 47
My teenager brought home this link for us to watch last night. I am passing it on and hope you will do the same…especially to our next generation.”The Story of Stuff” with Annie Leonard makes stats and statistics about consumption palatable to young people (and old people, for that matter).

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

The Story of Stuff brings these facts to life in easy drawings and video::

  • Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage a day.14 That is twice what we each made thirty years ago.
  • For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb.
  • In the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s natural resources base have been consumed.
  • In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left.
  • Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable.
  • The U.S.has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources4 and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
  • In the U.S., we spend 3–4 times as many hours shopping as our counterparts in Europe do.

So far, six million people have viewed the film at its site, storyofstuff.com, and millions more have seen it on YouTube. More than 7,000 schools, churches and others have ordered a DVD version, and hundreds of teachers have written Ms. Leonard to say they have assigned students to view it on the Web.

Remington Cordless Electric Mower Replaced by Epic Electric Model with Solar Option

So What Happened to Cordless Remington Electric Mowers?
Last year we were pleased to sell an electric mower made by Remington. This winter Remington Mowers (after announcing 2 great new models) surprised us all by filing for bankruptcy and went out of business. We were told that the employees tried to purchase the company but they were unsuccessful in their bid. Isn’t that a shame.

epic solar mower specs

epic solar mower specs

Epic Electric Mower Can even be Solar Mower :
With that knowledge (and lots of customers to whom a reel type mower is not an option), we began a search for another powerful cordless electric rotary to round out our electric mower line. Features we looked for were those like a high-end gas model: mulching, push-button start, self-propelled rear wheel drive. After testing the new models out there, we chose the Cordless Electric Epic 21″rotary mower which utilizes a brushless system. The Epic mower is manufactured by Linamar and under the Solaris, Epic and Utopia brand names. Our customers are uniformly very happy with the Epic. They like the powerful features that are usually just on gas-powered models,  and the ability to go completely off the grid and add a solar charging station.

epic solar + electric mower

New 2009 Sunlawn Easun Reel Mower: First test mow results are great.

UPDATE TO POST : Sunlawn Mower Reel Mower Brand Taken over by Easun

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Sunlawn 2009 Ideal Mower

Sunlawn 2009 Ideal Mower

New 2009 Sunlawn Easun Ideal Reel Lawnmower:
We have been waiting for this shipment of the new and improved Sunlawn Eason reel mower for months now. We received ours last week and I just ran some test mows with this 2009 model. We happy to report it worked very well and we are excited to endorse this new reel mower as the reel that fits the mid-priced market.

Bigger wheels for more power, Higher cutting heights added:
The mower took about 5 minutes to assemble…not much difference there. What really impresses me are the new bigger ten inch rubber wheels. They feel to me like they power the mower better.  The ability to cut from 0.6″ to 3″ offers a wide range…and among the highest cutting heights in reel mowers out there. I mowed about 6000 square feet in about 30 minutes…and then went right to Sunlawn to confirm enough to stock our summer season! So if you are in the mid-range reel mower price point, this is the mower we recommend.

Redesigned and re-engineered, the Sunlawn Ideal 40 reel mower has 10″ rubber wheels and cuts from .5″ to 3″.

Quick stats on the Hudson Star Greensmowers

Two Models: The Classic Cut weighs 82 lbs. The Signature weighs 103 lbs.

Cutting Range: The cutting range for both units is 1/8″ to 3/4″. This allows for not only close golf course quality cuts, but allows trimming of fringe areas and tees as well.

Changing Heights: It is very easy to change cutting heights. The full cutting height range is accessed by simply turning a single hand knob. There are no bolts or nuts to loosen or tighten. There is no adjustment from side to side.

Reel Blades: Both units are manufactured with an 11 blade reel. The reel is balanced and backlapped at the factory and gives approximately 4 cuts per inch.

Easy to Push: Properly maintained, the Classic Cut is easy to push and can be used by women and even fairly young children. Conditions such as dull blades or excessively wet or tall grass will increase the force necessary and will effect the quality of cut.

Sharpening: Normally very infrequent sharpening is required. Conditions such as frequency of mowing cycles, condition of top soil, and frequency of top dressing can affect the condition of the blade. Both units come with a backlapping kit allowing the user to sharpen the cutting blades easily.

Catch Clippings: Yes the mowers catch clippings! Clippings are collected in our unique molded catch can. The can “clips” on the front of the mower allowing quick and easy dumping and reattachment.

Moving But Not Mowing: Both mowers are manufactured with a unique multi-position handle assembly which allows the unit to be transformed into a transportation mode. Not only does it protect the cutting area of the mower, but it allows the unit to be used as a “smoothing” roller for the green.

Maintenance: Under normal conditions little maintenance is required. All materials are powder-coated or manufactured from corrosion-resistant materials. All bearings are sealed and the drive-train is enclosed requiring no lubrication.

Shipping: Normal shipping time is within 48 hours.

Manual: The mowers come with a complete and detailed owners manual including identification of all replacement parts

Cleaning: The mowers should be cleaned after mowing. Normally light spraying with a water hose and lightly coating with something similar to WD-40 or a silicone spray is sufficient.

The Signature: The Signature Series is fully powered. Not only is the reel powered, but motion is powered also.

When Fully Charged: The Signature Series, when fully charged, will cut approximately 50-60 minutes before it will need to be recharged depending on the conditions of the green.

Charge Time: It takes 3-4 hours to recharge the unit. The charger will shut off automatically when fully charged.

Assembly: A little assembly is required when the unit is received. Simply bolt the handle in place. The mower is ready for the green.

Mowing Time: Depending on the size and condition of the green, normal mowing time for most “home” greens would be approximately 10-20 minutes.

Hudson Star Signature Hudson Star