For landscape professionals, green is the most important color. Not only do you want to keep your lawns green, but you want to keep some green in your pocket, as well. Propane can be the solution, as propane-powered mowers are cleaner and more efficient than traditional gas – or diesel-powered engines. Even if you can’t invest in new equipment, you can still reap the benefits of propane power, as lawnmowers can easily be converted to run on propane.
The Conversion Process
All it takes is a propane conversion kit and minor fabrication to accommodate the fuel cylinder. Kits must be EPA and CARB certified, and they are available through manufacturers such as Propane Power Systems, LLC, Lehr EnviroGard, and Alliance Small Engines. These manufacturers offer kits for several different lawn mower and motor brands, including Gravely, John Deere, Kawasaki, Honda, Briggs and Stratton and others. In addition, these companies offer training and certification for installing conversion kits, so it can be done properly and safely. They provide propane engines to original equipment manufacturers and conversion kits to certified dealers. OEM dealers can install the conversion kits, and you can get back to work.
Propane conversion kits carry a manufacturer’s warranty and have been developed to meet strict EPA standards. They are also tested for performance so they will operate as well or better than a gasoline engine. Propane engines do not lose any power, so you will see the same results with less cost.
Converting to propane helps mowers run cleaner and more efficiently while saving on fuel and maintenance costs. Propane is typically 30-40% cheaper than gasoline, which can add up to thousands of dollars in savings over the growing season. Propane will also help lower emissions, helping your company to be more environmentally friendly and leaving a greener carbon footprint. Plus, refueling a propane engine is as easy as replacing a fuel cylinder, so there is a much lower risk of theft or spillage.
Refueling System Options
Propane dealers can make it easy to switch by offering flexible options for refueling fleets of all sizes.
For small and medium fleets, a cylinder exchange program is recommended. Small to medium-sized fleets are typically defined as five to ten mowers. The cylinders will be delivered directly to you, so you no longer have to interrupt your business day to make a trip to refuel. You have the option to purchase or lease your cylinders, so you can take advantage of whatever works best for you and your business.
For large fleets, the Propane Education and Research Council recommends installing on-site refueling infrastructure. Large fleets are defined as ten or more mowers. A typical setup includes one or more large tanks and a no-spill dispenser. Cylinders are refilled by trained employees as a safety measure. As with the cylinders, talk with your supplier about the option to purchase or lease the infrastructure.
If you choose to lease refueling infrastructure, your price per gallon will likely include a cost for the equipment at your station. This price will be determined through an agreement between you and your provider. Additionally, you may be responsible for electrical work, concrete pads, and crash protection bollards. If you choose to purchase the tank and dispenser infrastructure, prices typically range between $5,000-$15,000. This cost will vary depending on the size of your fleet and your needs. In addition, you may be responsible for site preparation and maintenance costs.
In order to determine which program will work best for you, contact your local propane provider to go over your options. Propane providers are ready to work with you to find the best solution for your business.