Paul Huettl

Paul Huettl grew up in his father’s Allis-Chalmers dealership setting up lawn and garden equipment. After receiving an agricultural engineering degree and working several Fortune 500 jobs, Huettl made a change. “I decided to do something fun – selling the best lawn and garden equipment available!” he says. His best advice? Buy better equipment, treat it well and it’ll last a lifetime!

The growing season is upon us!

Paul Huettl, owner of Performance Equipment in Bismarck, provides tips and insight to help homeowners answer some common questions about lawn and garden equipment and maintenance.

What checklist should homeowners follow to prepare their lawn and garden equipment for the growing season?
The best place to start is your machine’s operator’s manual. Every machine is different, so you should tend to the items and service intervals recommended by the manufacturer. In general, the engine lube oil and filter should be changed at least once per year, preferably prior to storage. Don’t forget the air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs and grease points. Pay attention to recommended service intervals for the hydrostatic transmissions or transaxles, and any gear boxes.

What lawn and garden items should I invest in? And where can I save money?
It’s not just about saving money – saving time and hassle is also a big consideration. The wise will tell you that the “better buys” always cost more money, and this is measured in “value.”

The higher voltage, 82-volt electric rechargeable hand tools can get work done. They are definitely worth the extra cost of entry! You will save a lot of time ditching the service items and mixing gas compared to the two-stroke tools. Vented batteries and fan-cooled charging dramatically reduces charging times.

Cutting the cord was an obvious move if you think back to the corded walk mowers and hedge trimmers, and cutting the cord on the shop vac was way overdue.  Rechargeable hand tools save you time and hassle.

I am interested in going electric. What equipment is available?
The available options for electric rechargeable tools and equipment are growing by the day, with everything from screw guns, chainsaws and shop vac to walk mowers, riding mowers and even grounds maintenance vehicles and UTVs.
The best value in electric shop hand tools and smaller, lighter yard carry tools is the dual-voltage 24-volt/48-volt from Greenworks Commercial. If you really want to get things done, the 82-volt yard tools are productive, from SnapperXD or Greenworks Commercial. The riding mowers, stand-on mowers and groundskeeping vehicles are quite handy and convenient. The advantages are more obvious for the homeowners, as run times can easily accommodate most yards. The use in commercial applications is perhaps limited due to requirements for longer run times.

How do electric models compare to their gas counterparts?
The big advantage in conventional gas or diesel power is the patented chassis suspension available in Ferris and Simplicity zero-turn mowers. The suspension makes long days short, allowing you to mow faster and be productive. The advantage for the electric rechargeable mowers from Greenworks Commercial is convenience, and perhaps cost. The old saying, “Quiet neighbors are good neighbors,” is so true with rechargeable mowers.