The small engine retail sector is getting ready for the biggest overhaul in two-stroke machines in history as the ban on non-compliant small motors looms next year.
Australia has been forced to jump in line with pollution controls in other nations.
While some say this is just another case of government over-regulation, the Outdoor Power Equipment Association (OPEA) says Australia was lagging well behind other nations in engine pollution controls for small machinery.
The major victim of the ban on non-compliant two-stroke motors will be cheap Chinese copies coming onto the market.
There is no ban on machines using two-stroke already in use, with the final deadline for non-compliant imports taking hold on June 30 next year, with wholesalers and dealers given another year to sell off stock.
The OPEA says Australia was 20 years behind other countries on small engine pollution controls. A two stroke lawn mower put out 40 times the emissions of a car, and a brush cutter as much as 10 cars. “Standards were overdue,” the OPEA’s Gary Fooks said.
“Australia in 2018 will adopt international small engine emissions standards, we will accept USA and the equivalent EU standard which covers spark ignition (petrol/ LPG) up to 19kW (25Hp) and boat engines. Diesel is not included. I’d say 52 per cent of what we buy now meets the standard,” he said.
“So what will pass? Handheld machines ( e.g. chainsaws) - you’ll have better quality chainsaws, slashers etc. 2 stroke and 4 stroke, ground supported machines – mowers, pumps, generators - held to a tougher standard, and only 4 strokes will pass.
“Outboards and marine engines - four stroke and Direct Injection 2 stroke.
“Nothing you own now will be restricted and this appears to be the greatest fear people have.
“I don’t think rural and commercial operators will notice much change. Serious users are mostly already buying quality equipment and brands that already pass.”
Mr Fooks said the machines that won’t pass the new Federal laws include “cheap and cheerful Chinese copies” that sometimes put out at 20 times the pollution of compliant machines.
“Rural and commercial operators who buy serious gear probably already have the clean machines. It’s the cheap and cheerful $79 machines sold in the giant city hardware’s that won’t pass muster.”
Victa stopped making two-stroke mowers last year.