CORE Outdoor Power, headquartered and manufactured in Polson, Mont., introduced its GasLess CGT400 line trimmer into the outdoor power equipment market in the spring of 2012. By the time the GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., rolled around the following October, CORE had added a CB420 hand-held blower and the CHT410 hedge trimmer to its product lineup.
The company now also offers its Power Lok system, which features the same three work tools but as attachments. They're designed to fit a Power Lok shaft so that you can buy one backend power cell and charger and quickly attach in any one of the three tools to the powered shaft. These units also feature the Montana-based company's GasLess technology.
Gasless? Yes. Rechargeable lithium power cells power these units, which employ a patented, unique-to-the-industry motor technology, which took more than a decade to perfect, claims Lincoln Jore, company founder. None of the CORE (Conductor Rotary Engine Energy) tools requires gasoline to operate. But, it's not the power cells that separate these units from other electric-driven tools; it's the motor technology. There's nothing else like it in the OPE market, claims Jore.
The technology uses copper-etched conductors embedded into a multi-layer circuit board stator that, when coupled with permanent magnets, produces high torque at extremely high efficiencies. But you don't have to be an engineer to appreciate the power, practically noiseless operation and lack of emissions produced by the technology.
CORE's Power Lok drive unit can be used to operate three different gasless attachments - a blower, a hedge trimmer and a Power Lok string trimmer.
Images courtesy CORE Outdoor Power
It was just these features (no emissions and lack of noise during operation) that attracted John DeFilippi to try these products in his Boulder, Colo., company, ecoLogical Lawn & Tree Care. He says they deliver more power and longer run times than other cordless, electric equipment that he has tried. "And I've tried them all," he says. The units' performance convinced him to buy and use the dedicated line trimmers, shrub trimmers and blowers, and also three Power Lok systems.
The properties that DeFilippi's company services average about 2,500 square feet of turfgrass, but some have 5,000 square feet of lawn or more. To cut down on his employees running back and forth to a company van for a charged power cell, each employee carries a Quak Power Pak on his back. This allows them to pop on a charged power cell to their work tool within seconds and keep working. The Quad Power Pak charges up to four power cells at once using a 12-volt power outlet (vehicle) or using a wall outlet.
"The construction of these products is getting very close to commercial-grade," DeFillipi says of the CORE units. "And I appreciate that they're made in America."
Jore says one of the biggest challenges to introducing these CORE products to the commercial landscape market is the uniqueness of the motor technology. It's new to commercial users.
"There's an embedded legacy within the industry to using gas-powered products," says Jore. "We realize that educating the industry is going to take time. But as more and more people get a better at understanding of their operational costs and of the advantages that this technology brings to them, they'll appreciate the savings that these products provide. They will incorporate them into their services."
Because of this unique motor technology Jore says that the equipment delivers the same amount of power as a gas-powered motor that's several times larger and heavier, too. The CGT400 line trimmer with power cell weighs 11 pounds, the CHT 410 Hedge Trimmer 12 pounds and the CB 420 Blower with dual controls 11 pounds. Jore says the units are competitively priced with gas-powered equipment, but offer end users substantial savings on operation and maintenance costs. He says a typical commercial user will spend $500 to $600 a year on gas for one trimmer while the cost of the electricity to charge a power cell is miniscule by comparison.
"It's also clean, and it doesn't make anyone angry in the morning when you walk by a window because it usually doesn't make any noise," he says, adding that his company will be introducing a "GasLess" walk-behind mower yet in 2013.
The CORE products are available through a national network of about 1,600 dealers, he says.