Battle Grade Electric was established in the spring of 2009 after the Northeast ice storm of 2008. Like many others, I had an off the shelf generator I thought would be suitable for emergency backup. Once the power went out, I went outside to start my generator and restore power to my home. After fighting with the generator for over an hour I was finally able to get it to start. It ran rough with a severely fluctuating idle and I was concerned it wouldn't stay running. When I woke up in the morning, the power was out. The generator had stalled sometime in the early morning. After cleaning the carburetor, I was able to get it running once again but it will wasn't running smooth and would backfire every 15-20 seconds. It wasn't an ideal situation but it was what I had and we had to make do. Just because my power was out didn't mean I didn't have to keep my house warm, eat, shower and go to work. The world kept turning whether I was prepared for it or not.
After seven days my power finally came back on. During that time I had to get up in the middle of the night to fuel my generator and wait in multiple lines at the few stations that had both electricity and gas to keep it running. In addition, the concern about what I was going to do if it failed completely was very stressful. The power was out all over the state and we were at the end of a circuit in a small off the beaten path neighborhood. We were going to be the last ones on the list to have our power restored.
Knowing my generator was not a commercial unit designed to run 24x7, I did what I had to do. After the power was restored and emergency improvisions were cleaned up I found my generator was leaking oil. It turns out after 168 hours of continuous operation, the engine had failed completely and was beyond repair. It was at that point I decided this would never happen to us again. The next time disaster struck, we would have a dependable source of electricity and an ample fuel supply. And so the search began.
I knew I wanted something diesel. Gasoline now contains ethanol which is organic and molds and varnishes inside carburetors. I wasn't going to be rebuilding carburetors in the dark again. I also knew I wanted something that was low-speed designed to run 24x7. I don't like buying things twice and my next purchase needed to be my last. After searching the internet endlessly and coming up with nothing but cheap Chinese made diesel generators, I started thinking about where I would find a suitable generator and work backwards. One thing lead to another and before I knew it I was attending a US government surplus action rolling the dice on a surplus generator.
After getting my new purchase home I spent countless hours collecting information, inspecting and learning about how this machine operates. I've been a mechanic for over fifteen years and I knew before I tried to start it, I better know more about it. I spend a couple weekends going through things, checking things over, researching, etc. After getting new filters, oil, cleaning the fuel tank and buying new batteries, I was ready to turn it over. Unfortunately, it wasn't. When I bid on this, I didn't know what I was looking at or what I was buying. I was given no information and had to basically bid blind. It turns out, it had a bad starter, fuel pump and glow plug relay. I spent a lot of money on this generator and had to travel almost 1000 miles to buy it. I wasn't giving up and I wasn't going to throw in the towel.
After a few weeks of diagnosing these problems, locating parts and repairing it, I was finally able to get it started. Once I had it running I discovered it had a couple of bad gauges and a bad dash light. I tracked down sources for the gauges and replaced the bad bulb. I now had a perfect generator that purred like a kitten. This was fantastic. I would never again have to worry about losing power. I had a rock solid diesel generator that, in the end, I paid what I felt was a fair price. Problem solved.
It was at this point the entrepreneur in me realized there could be a real market for surplus generators. I started attending more auctions, learning more about the units and becoming more proficient in repairing them. After nearly a year in business, we have customers all over New England, are launching a new web site and have a large inventory to choose from.
Currently we run this business out of our home in Raymond, NH. Overhead is low and prices are competitive. I work full time and sell these generators in the evenings and on the weekends. We're happy with this arrangement and so are our customers. If I did this full time and had real overhead like rent, employees and insurance I couldn't possibly be competitive. Being the very small business that we are, relationships with our customers are stronger and more personal. That's the way we like it and that's the way we plan to keep it.
If your in the market for a new generator, give us a call anytime.
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