‘Tis The Season To Blow Leaves

December 1, 2017
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Cool crisp autumn days lead to gorgeous fall foliage, but eventually those leaves will drop as winter approaches. Know the leaf blower rules in your town.

By Jennifer Driscoll |

With falling autumn leaves also comes the roar of leaf blowers. Despised by many with sensitive ears, leaf blowers have become regulated and even banned in various towns. But why do they make so much noise?

Denis Mitchell, a diesel mechanics teacher at the Monmouth County Vocational School District, said a combination of factors is to blame for the noise leaf blowers produce. Most leaf blowers use 2-stroke engines which have to run at very high revolutions per minute (rpms) in order to reach combustion. This fast rotation makes the engines very loud. Because they are air-cooled, the engines have very thin walls, meaning they cannot easily absorb this sound.

Leaf blowers work using a motor that powers a high speed fan. As the blades turn, the fan pulls in outside air from side vents and spins it, forcing it through the opening at the front of the blower. The force created by rotating the air causes it to come out of the tube at extremely high speeds. Depending on the type of blower, the air speed can range from 50–250 mph.

Whether the leaf blower is powered using electricity or gasoline also affects the amount of noise produced. The wind speed of gasoline blowers is much higher, exceeding 150 mph, while the speed of electric blowers generally ranges from 50–100 mph. Because of this, gasoline powered blowers are much more powerful, but also produce much more noise.

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And finally, the high rates of speed of the motors also means a leaf blower’s exhaust system adds to the noise.

Whether you find them indispensable or wish everyone just used a rake, it can be helpful to know the leaf blower regulations in your area. Here are the regulations for the Two River area towns:

Atlantic Highlands

Currently there are no regulations on leaf blower use.

Colts Neck

Currently there are no regulations on leaf blower use.

Fair Haven

Leaf blowers can be used from 8 a.m. to sunset on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to sunset on weekends.

Highlands

Leaf blowers can be used from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends and legal holidays. They must be used with a muffler if the manufacturer provides one.

Holmdel

Leaf blowers can be operated from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Landscapers are permitted to use them from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and federal holidays.

Little Silver

Leaf blowers can be operated from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Landscapers can use them from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

Middletown

Leaf blowers can be operated from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and federal holidays. Equipment with internal combustion engines must be used with a muffler.

Monmouth Beach

Leaf blowers can be operated from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but must be used with a muffler.

Oceanport

Leaf blowers can be used from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Landscapers are permitted to use them from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

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Red Bank

Leaf blowers can be operated from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, including Saturdays.

Rumson

Currently there are no regulations on leaf blower use.

Sea Bright

Leaf blowers can be used from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Shrewsbury

Leaf blowers can be used from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.


This article was first published in the Nov. 30-Dec. 7, 2017 print edition of the Two River Times.

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