Many communities consider noise pollution as much of a problem as trash piling up on the sidewalk. Usually loud noises are just annoying, but being around very loud noises for extended periods of time can damage hearing. And loud noises at night throw-off sleep patterns, which can affect health. That's why neighborhoods often have noise ordinances controlling how much noise residents can make and detailing noise-restricted hours.

Unfortunately, lawn equipment is typically pretty noisy. So how can you handle lawn care in noise-restricted neighborhoods without upsetting neighbors or paying a fine?

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Check Restrictions

The exact restrictions in place depend on the city. Some neighborhoods have no restrictions. Others like the city of Keller, TX have a 24/7 standard for “reasonable” noise, plus further restrictions at night. And some cities set a specific limit on decibel level. For example, Fort Worth's maximum decibel level from 7 am to 10 pm is 70 dBA in residential areas and 80 dBA in commercial and mixed-use areas. At night, the limits go down to 60 dBA in residential areas and 70 dBA for commercial. Some cities also ask you not to run lawn equipment for more than two hours at a time even during the day.

Plan Your Day

Even when you know the legal limits of when you can use lawn equipment, it still might not be a good idea to go out at 7 am and start cutting your grass every Sunday morning if you know your neighbor likes to sleep in late. Your neighbors will appreciate it if you use common sense and courtesy when operating noisy lawn equipment.

If you're a professional landscaper, though, you might have a few dozen properties to mow each day. You don't always have the luxury of waiting to mow in the late morning or afternoon. But you might be able to schedule things so that your customers and their neighbors who aren't early risers aren't disturbed. Talk with your clients about this when you're setting up a time for their lawn service.

Use Quiet Equipment

Power equipment lets you work much faster than hand-powered tools. Leaf blowers are faster and easier than using a rake and hedge trimmers are much more efficient than hedge shears. But they're also much noisier. A compromise between the speed of power tools and the lower noise levels of hand-powered tools is found in battery power. While they won't work for every situation, modern battery-powered equipment offers hedge trimmers, leave blowers, trimmers, edgers, and even chainsaws and lawnmowers.

You can pick up reliable battery-powered equipment made by Stihl or Echo here at Richardson Saw & Lawnmower. And if you need to replace any of your existing equipment with a gasoline-powered model, we can also help you find lawn care equipment that'll be the best fit for your exact needs.