Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History
© Can Stock Photo / michaeljung

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

After almost five decades in the battery industry, I have witnessed many changes. Some are good, some are bad. So, one of the bright spots in the battery industry has been the growth in the lawnmower market.

It was not that long ago, and it is well in my memory, that lawnmowers were small machines that had to be pushed along by the owner. This was hard work that would mainly be carried out by the keenest of gardeners.

I remember clearly walking through my local park and seeing the park gardener sitting on his petrol-driven mower, cutting the park’s many grass areas. A mechanical mower like this would cost a fortune in those days and was only affordable by the local council and sports grounds.

Consequently, as time went by

So, gardening became more popular. Thanks to the growth of TV ownership. This led to programmes such as Percy Thrower and other TV gardening personalities showing us how gardening should be done. Especially looking after your lawns.

Hence the growth of products associated with gardening. One of them is the advancement of the humble push-on lawnmower. At the same time as the gardening evolution, large DIY stores began to open all over the UK.

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History
896 Numax Murray lawnmower batteries

These stores also had an influence on modern and new garden tools.

As far as I can remember, rotary mowers became popular, first made by the Victa Company starting in 1952. These mowers were popular because they were lighter and easier to use than the mowers that came before.

A real mixture of technologies soon came onto the scene. Including many different types of patrol engine mowers, in many different sizes depending on the size of the lawn, of course. Another addition to the mix were the corded electric mowers.

Because of the trailing power cord, the range of corded electric mowers is restricted, which may prevent their use on lawns that are more than 100 to 150 feet away from the nearest available power outlet.

When using one of these mowers, Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

Of course, there is also the potential risk of inadvertently mowing over the power cable. This happened to my brother-in-law when cutting a lawn in France. Somehow Richard managed to ride over the cable, cutting it in half and causing a huge bang.

Of course, this caused the mower to stop working and blow out all the fuses in the French house. It is now possible that the risk of shock can be reduced by installing a residual-current device (RCD) on the outlet.

Hover mowers were also in the mix of different lawn-mowing machines.

Hover mowers are a type of powered rotary push lawn mower that uses a turbine above the spinning blades to drive air downward.

Of course, thereby creating an air cushion that lifts the mower off the ground and keeps it hovering above the grass. After that, the operator will have an easier time moving the mower around as it travels over the grass.

Hover mowers typically have bodies made of plastic and are powered by electric motors. In order to achieve the air cushion, the mowers must be as light as possible.

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History
© Can Stock Photo / noonie

The most significant disadvantage, Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

Thus, on the other hand, is that it is difficult to use in rough terrain or on the edges of lawns because the lifting air cushion is compromised by the large gaps that exist between the chassis and the ground.

I also often found that objects, such as small stones, could be flicked from the hover mowers as you went along with your cutting. It could be very painful if you were wearing shorts and hit by a stone at speed.

Bringing us more up-to-date the battery operated mower is becoming the most popular choice. Mowers that are cordless and electric get their power from a variable number (typically one to four) of rechargeable batteries that are 12 volts each.

In most cases, more batteries equal a longer run time and/or increased output power. Batteries can either be located on the exterior or within the interior of the lawn mower. If the dead batteries can be removed and replaced with charged ones, then the device can be taken outside.

 Cordless mowers have the manoeuvrability

of a petrol-powered mower as well as the environmental friendliness of a corded electric mower. However, cordless mowers are more expensive and come in fewer models (especially self-propelling models) than either petrol-powered or corded electric mowers.

Battery development has certainly seen a rise in the development of clean, environmentally friendly lawnmowers. Not only do batteries drive some mowers, but they are also used as starter batteries for the many types of petrol driven machines on the market.

Including the huge selection of ride-on mowers now available to gardeners. I happen to own a petrol driven mower and a ride-on mower. Both of which use sealed Lucas VRLA batteries that are maintenance-free.

Many of the battery-driven mowers, Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

Consequently, use lithium-based battery technologies to drive the machines. This is mainly because lithium batteries are a lot lighter than their lead-acid counterparts and are also made in higher voltages. Many machines run on 24-volt batteries.

However, it is important to make sure you charge the batteries regularly. Thus avoiding disappointment when it comes to cutting the grass and the battery is dead.

Scythes and Sickles Mark the Beginning of Agriculture

People used hand tools such as scythes and sickles to cut grass before the invention of mechanical lawnmowers in the 19th century. This procedure required a lot of manual labour and a significant amount of time.

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

1830: Year of the First Mechanical Mower

In the year 1830, an English engineer by the name of Edwin Beard Budding came up with the idea for the first mechanical lawnmower.

 His idea was to construct a cylinder out of blades that would spin against a cutting bar as it moved along the grass, chopping off the tops of the blades of grass as it went. The primary target audience for this was outdoor gardens and sports fields.

 The mower that was developed by Budding was one that had to be pushed by a person in order to move and function.

Mowers Pulled Behind Horses: Late 1800s, Lawnmower Batteries a Brief History

The use of horse-drawn mowers became more widespread as the size of estates and public parks increased. These were essentially larger versions of the first mechanical mowers. However, horses pulled them rather than people.

Early in the 20th Century: Lawnmowers Powered by Petrol

The development of the internal combustion engine had an impact on a variety of technological fields, including lawnmowers. At the beginning of the 20th century, petrol-powered mowers became widely available and quickly gained popularity.

These mowers were especially helpful for maintaining larger lawns. In addition to being much quicker, they were much simpler to operate than manual mowers.

Midway through the 20th century: electric mowers

Around the middle of the 20th century, electric mowers first began to see widespread use. Although these mowers were less noisy and produced less pollution than their gas-powered counterparts, the length of the electrical cord that was attached to them was quite short.

The late 20th century was the era of riding mowers.

Riding mowers came to be widely used for cutting very large lawns, such as those found in country clubs and estates. These made it possible for the operator to sit on the machine while mowing, which significantly reduced the amount of physical effort required to mow large areas.

Bagging and mulching: the latter part of the 20th century

Modern mowers come with a variety of additional features, such as mulching and bagging capabilities. While bagging options made it simple to collect and dispose of grass clippings, mulching blades chopped the grass into very fine clippings that could be left on the lawn to act as a natural fertiliser.

Early in the 21st Century: Robotic Lawnmowers. Lawnmower Batteries: a Brief History

The 21st century witnessed the development of the first fully autonomous lawnmowers. These machines can cut the grass without human intervention by utilising sensors to avoid obstacles and keep themselves contained within the boundaries that have been set.

Early in the 21st Century: Cordless, Battery-Powered Lawnmowers

As the technology behind batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries, has advanced, mowers that are powered by batteries have become a more viable option. They provide the mobility of petrol-powered mowers while emitting fewer pollutants and are quieter than their counterparts.

The Most Recent Developments in Intelligent Technology

Some lawnmowers on the market today come equipped with smart technology features that make it possible for the user to operate the device using smartphone apps.

They may also include more advanced navigation and safety features, which would make maintaining a lawn significantly less difficult than it has ever been. I must confess this is beyond my personal knowledge and so prefer the petrol engines with a starter battery fitted.

Most of this post was written by Eric Roberts but some of this post was created with the use of Ai technology

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