California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) selected Stihl, Inc. (Virginia Beach, VA, U.S.; www.stihl.com) as its partner in a leaf blower exchange initiative that gives Southern California landscapers and gardeners an opportunity to exchange high-emission backpack blowers for the low-emission and low-noise Stihl BR 500. The AQMD says the BR 500 is four times cleaner than the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) most stringent standard for new blowers and 50% quieter than a more common leaf blower (65 dBA as measured per ANSI B175.2). AQMD says 14 tons of smog-forming pollution is reduced by the blower exchange annually.
The high-powered, large displacement 4-Mix engine used on the BR 500 backpack blower is designed to provide smooth, fast acceleration, more power, and increased fuel efficiency, while offering landscape professionals the benefits of 2-stroke and 4-stroke technologies combined.
The blowers are also designed for single-handed operation, with easy-grip throttle controls with off switch and cruise control, sturdy lightweight polymer frames, and built-in top carry handles.