VALDOSTA — Ray Hedgecock of Powerhouse Outdoor Equipment has seen the future, and it is battery powered.
“The only push-mowers we sell are battery powered, not gas,” he said. “They’re convenient, reliable, always start and are virtually maintenance-free.”
Powerhouse, at 2112 Bemiss Road, has seen more and more demand for battery-powered products, Hedgecock said.
“Gas machines cost almost as much to repair as to replace,” he said. “We don’t want to sell them. ... It probably won’t be long before most products under $300 in our industry are on batteries.
“Like anything else, you have brand-name, high-quality batteries, you have cheap batteries, but they’re all better than gas,” Hedgecock said.
The Powerhouse company was formed in 1993 by Hedgecock and his brother, Russ, who operates the firm’s store in Tifton.
Ray Hedgecock has been in the business of outdoor equipment for most of his life. When he was around 11 or 12, he worked at his father’s friend’s shop that sold outdoor equipment, he said.
Aside from Valdosta and Tifton, Powerhouse has a location in Warner Robins. The Valdosta store has 12 full-time employees, Hedgecock said.
He said the company plans to add a fourth location by the end of the year, also located near Warner Robins.
Powerhouse in Valdosta stocks riding mowers and similar equipment from Gravely, Stihl, Grasshopper and the newly added Cub Cadet line, he said. The three Powerhouse locations together form the largest Gravely dealer in the world, Hedgecock said.
Aside from mowers, the store carries weed-eaters, leaf blowers, chainsaws and all-terrain vehicles.
The company is also a dealer for Generac home generators, designed to provide standby power at all times.
“It’s been a real good addition for us,” he said.
During the 2017 hurricane season, portable generators were in high demand.
Powerhouse only services the product lines it sells, Hedgecock said, in order to offer superior service to its customers.
Future plans for the store include increased emphasis on utility vehicles used for farming and hunting.
“Definitely a growth industry,” Hedgecock said.