California Bans Small Off-Road Gas Engines, Including Lawnmowers and Chainsaws

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Pilot-34

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Most of me is in IL but my hearts in Alaska
Sure, but growing up in a logging family, there is no way I could have worked with today's battery tech back then. Large saws for felling, WOT for 45 minutes easy out of each and every hour. Landscaping is one thing. Making raw materials for building homes is another.

I'd like to see a move towards battery powered stuff, yes, despite the waste stream and other issues. But chemical ICE energy is the only viable tech at the moment for many applications. I think there will be broad cutouts for those areas. And it's CA, home of the manicured lawns and eyebrows in the desert.
You might want to rethink that, current technology builds popular rechargeable off-road vehicles capable of wide-open throttle for more than a hour at a time.
 

Pilot-34

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Most of me is in IL but my hearts in Alaska
Hate bubble tea. Waste of good Dargeeling and tapioca belongs in pudding.
I am actually considering buying a battery powered chain saw. Very handy for small work and no more cut cord from a random one handed kickback. :oops:
I have a very small very cheap harbor freight chainsaw I only have one battery for it I would buy more but GuessWhat Harbor freight and quit carrying them.
When I bought it I thought it would be handy to have around for those little one limb projects. we farm and a lot of times I have to cut one limb or maybe just a few to clean something up.
It wasn’t until just recently that I realized I haven’t had my big chainsaw out in five years that means that somehow or another that little electric chainsaw has cut at least three cords of wood every year because that’s about what it takes to heat the house!
Now that is perfect technology, it snuck up and took over without me even noticing.
 

trimtab

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I don't understand why the major airlines haven't already started using electric (or even propane) tugs to get their airplanes to the departure area before starting all engines, just to save jet fuel and run time of the engines.
Small aircraft are owned by the" wealthy", and are useful targets to gain support of the "working class". You and I know that it isn't necessarily true that all GA pilots are wealthy, but that will be the argument to rally the working class to support their favorite politician.

BJC
I'd like to see electrification of all ground ops as well. Noise, etc.

I do understand that batteries can replace a lot of ICE powered equipment, and I'm all for it. But hauling 75 pounds of gear straight up and down a 30% slope through underbrush with feller gear, a couple of lunches (you will starve if you only eat lunch doing the job), and walking up and down trunks while swamping and snagging the skid lines...a lightweight saw and a gallon and a half of fuel mix is the only thing that lets you go 10-12 hours in a day's work. If it could have been done with batteries, I would have been the first in line. No fumes, no notch deficit in my left ear from 120dB several hours a day (double ear protection, but only if you were a sissy about it like me- the rest are half deaf as proof of their superior manliness), no stinking like a oil change pit monkey, and hopefully a reduced fire hazard (fires happen all the time from knuckledraggers with saws). Electrification of the lawn care hordes is fine with me, though.

My only goal then was to get enough to pay engineering school every August in college and throw at complex time for a CPL during high school so I'd never have to run a saw all day again in an age when minimum wage was $3.35 per hour.

For bucking up cords to supplement the heat my home in the winters, it's only about the fact I have gas saws instead of electrics now. The neighbors have electrics and only need mine when we need to drop wood with my 28" blade instead of the little 16" ones. Very rarely.

Imagine electric tugs, controlled by ground controllers or the pilots, moving planes around. But AC packs might not be functional without N1 bleed and de-icing ops might not be functional without N2 bleed at idle. Not sure about this, but wondering.
 

Rhino

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I'm wondering if a ground power unit would be considered off-road........
 

karmarepair

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The engines I am MOST interested in are NOT covered by this legislation. From the analysis by the California State Senate Environmental Committee:

"<existing state law defines> Small off-road engine” (SORE) by: a) Defining SORE to mean any engine that produces a gross horsepower less than 25 horsepower (at or below 19 kilowatts for 2005 and later model year), or is designed (e.g., through fuel feed, valve timing, etc.) to produce less than 25 horsepower (at or below 19 kilowatts for 2005 and later model year), that is not used to propel a licensed on-road motor vehicle, an off‑ road motorcycle, an all-terrain vehicle, a marine vessel, a snowmobile, a model airplane, a model car, or a model boat; b) Stating that SORE uses include, but are not limited to, applications such as lawn mowers, weed trimmers, chain saws, golf carts, specialty vehicles, generators, and pumps; <...>"

source: Bill Analysis

FYI, California commercial airports in Non-Attainment Air Quality Districts (LA, SDO, SF Bay Area, Sacto) use, and have used, Propane or electric for all Ground Support Equipment for at least a decade, although they don't, so far as I've seen, tow all the way to the taxiway.
 

thjakits

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I suppose they cannot implement that ban unless "viable alternatives" are available - I would guess in 2 years time you have atleast 1 chainsaw to replace the top-saws of Husquarna and Stihl...
Same for ATVs, etc.... - if not, they really cannot ban that particular implement...

Same would go for experimental aviation - if you cannot replace the intended engine with a non-ICE alternative, how can they ban it? (Well, I guess they can ban whatever they like but I would think it would be illegal to shut down whole swaths of industries, because there is no alternatives)...

On generators I wonder most!! The purpose of the generator is to produce electric power by means of a ICE engine!!
Unless there is a similar powered battery-pack (never mind they weight and price tag) - how can they ban generators?
Especially in scenarios where generators are emergency implements...

You would need a battery pack that lasts and provides the same power as your generator until you run out of fuel (+what you can legally carry on extra fuel) .....

That is a tough one to replace!!

thjakits
 

Mike von S.

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Hate bubble tea. Waste of good Dargeeling and tapioca belongs in pudding.
I am actually considering buying a battery powered chain saw. Very handy for small work and no more cut cord from a random one handed kickback. :oops:

Battery power has also come to the yard service area in a big way. As mentioned above it is related to training and maintenance allowing an overall increased efficiency for the crews. There is no down time for a flooded 2 stroke, a broken starter rope or a trashed unit because the kid put in fuel from the wrong can. A trained and experienced crew is still faster with gas power.

Unburned HCs? How about that match lite charcoal setting on a pallet out in the sun?

Just to keep it aviation related - I'd much prefer a battery powered nose wheel tug rather than one with a 2-stroke.
Aviation drove me recently to buy a battery powered chainsaw: Dewalt model DCCS620, one of their XR series of power tools that use their 20V, 5amp hour batteries. Not cheap, but I have the batteries and charger for my impact wrench. I own a chestnut orchard, so it will be useful for pruning, but not before I use it this winter carving the wooden prop for my Flitzer Goblin!
I'll be using Dan Helsper's prop carving method. He recommends not filling the chainsaw with bar oil, but judiciously lubricating it by hand with a few drops periodicaly, so it won't see tree use just yet.
 

Dennis DeFrange

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Careful , You guy's are talking about gas Specialists . They've all got there noses close the actual source of gas that helps them make these decisions . (following too close) . They are no more worried about emissions and climate change than the Chinese . It's all about opportunities and connections associated with the switch . We're only stupid to it if if we accept it and polish our bicycles up and keep our heads down . I remember airplanes powered by a rubber band . There's an idea .
 

TFF

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Lots of big gas RC planes in that horsepower range. There are big electric for sure but management of power is pretty big deal. Gas planes can easily fly for a hour on a full tank. Most break it up into 2-3 flights. Electric about 10 minutes. One go around trashes $200 worth of batteries if the pattern is full. A gallon of gas is about three hours of flying for a 40 lb airplane at full throttle most are way pulled back. .
 

trimtab

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Lots of big gas RC planes in that horsepower range. There are big electric for sure but management of power is pretty big deal. Gas planes can easily fly for a hour on a full tank. Most break it up into 2-3 flights. Electric about 10 minutes. One go around trashes $200 worth of batteries if the pattern is full. A gallon of gas is about three hours of flying for a 40 lb airplane at full throttle most are way pulled back. .
This is what I'd be concerned about. But you can buy them in a different state, perhaps, even if the mandate were to be enforced?
 

BBerson

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Model airplanes and mowers bigger than 25hp are exempt, apparently.
Should create sales of 25hp and larger mowers.:)
 

Daleandee

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It wasn’t until just recently that I realized I haven’t had my big chainsaw out in five years that means that somehow or another that little electric chainsaw has cut at least three cords of wood every year because that’s about what it takes to heat the house!
I've got an electric chainsaw that cuts all I need it to cut and just keeps on going. It is electric. I pull my small generator out to where I'm working and run an extension cord to the chainsaw. So I'm kinda helping??? :eek:
 

Daleandee

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Model airplanes and mowers bigger than 25hp are exempt, apparently.
Should create sales of 25hp and larger mowers.:)
Not fair! My Z-turn is 22 HP. Maybe I need to just put a small turbo on it!
 

bmcj

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Small aircraft are owned by the" wealthy", and are useful targets to gain support of the "working class". You and I know that it isn't necessarily true that all GA pilots are wealthy, but that will be the argument to rally the working class to support their favorite politician.


BJC
Won’t they be surprised when the line between ‘wealthy’ and ‘working class’ gets redrawn down to include personal car ownership as part of the wealthy class.
 

bmcj

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The bigger hassle will be proving you are not breaking the law. Even doing everything right.
If I understand it correctly, enforcing the now gas-less leaf blower law is the responsibility of the contracting land-owner. In other words, if they see the gardener using a gas leaf blower, the penalty and fine go to the property owner.

[EDIT: apparently not true… see later posts]
 
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bmcj

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Small aircraft are just a random target in a big world of meaningless random targets to point the finger at. I'd give it 20 years before it sinks in that none of those random targets will make a dent in where things are going, and the things that will actually make a difference will remain sacred until then.
That’s because hitting the small players is not meant to fix the (perceived) problem… it’s just a progressive step in the process of incrementalism.
 
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Marc Zeitlin

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The bigger hassle will be proving you are not breaking the law. Even doing everything right.
Since the law only prohibits the SALE of these engines after 1/1/2024, not the use, all you have to do not to break the law is not sell the engines. Hardly seems onerous, or difficult to figure out if you're breaking the law or not.

If I understand it correctly, enforcing the now gas-less leaf blower law is the responsibility of the contracting land-owner. In other words, if they see the gardener using a gas leaf blower, the penalty and fine go to the property owner.
I have no idea where people are getting their information, but the bill is available to read right here:


There is exactly nothing about USING engines, particularly ones sold prior to 1/1/2024, nor enforcement of their use, in the bill. For Christ's sake, let's not turn this forum into freaking Facebook. It took me 12 seconds on Google to find the text of the bill and another 30 to read it. It's short.
 
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