More than 85 percent of contractors using propane commercial lawn mowers in their fleets are likely to continue adding propane equipment to their businesses, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
Of these contractors, nearly all started their transition to using propane by installing a propane conversion kit on existing equipment, a quick and inexpensive path for contractors to reduce fuel costs and downtime on nearly any brand of commercial lawn mower.
“This latest data is proof positive that contractors who make the initial transition to a propane mower are satisfied with their purchase, and frequently end up purchasing or converting more equipment to propane,” said Jeremy Wishart, PERC director of off-road business development. “The fact that most contractors start out using a propane conversion kit and end up staying with the fuel just shows that the initial investment is often offset by a quick return on investment and leads to long-term use as contractors observe the fuel’s benefits.”
The survey was answered by 374 landscape contractors. Through conducting surveys of contractors, PERC hopes to gain a better understanding existing perceptions and purchase habits toward commercial propane equipment in the landscape market.
Most of the contractors who use propane equipment also responded that they have used it for at least three years, and in that time, observed that their propane mowers have performed as well or even better than gasoline mowers.
A similar survey was conducted by PERC in 2016. In the years since, fewer contractors overall are finding propane unapproachable, with 82 percent of respondents to the recent survey saying they were neutral or favorable toward the fuel. In contrast, the number of contractors responding they were unfavorable toward propane dropped by more than 60 percent compared to the 2016 survey, with just 14 percent of all respondents in the recent survey saying they were unfavorable toward propane.
Additionally, propane mowers received far fewer unfavorable responses than new electric mowers. Where fewer than 14 percent of respondents said they were unfavorable or very unfavorable toward propane, 62 percent of respondents said they were unfavorable or very unfavorable toward electric commercial mowers.
With the data, PERC also identified an opportunity to continue improving contractor experiences with propane: awareness of PERC’s Propane Mower Incentive Program remained low among contractors not using propane equipment. The program offers contractors up to $1,000 for each new, dedicated propane mower purchase or $500 for each new qualified propane conversion kit, making it a great way for contractors to reduce an initial investment and see savings faster. Knowledge of this incentive actually increased the likelihood of purchasing propane mowers for 57 percent of contractors surveyed.