What a difference 10 years makes.
Jim Coker, who has been pioneering propane-powered mowers, said the popularity of propane-powered commercial lawnmowers is growing. Companies like Ariens Big Dog, Ferris, Exmark, Dixie Chopper, Gravely, Husqvarna, Hustler, Kubota, SCAG, Snapper Pro and Toro are among those offering propane-powered mowers. To go from zero to that many is very exciting,” Coker said.
Propane is the third most commonly-used fuel in the world. Converting to propane is a wise move on a national security perspective. “Most of our oil comes from overseas from people who don’t care for us,” he said. “We use 23 percent of the world’s oil, and we’re only 3 percent of the world’s population.”
Propane forklifts have been out for over 75 years with their low-polluting emissions to run indoors. Propane has 70 percent less carbon in the fuel compared to gasoline which reduces our carbon footprint. The reliability of propane forklifts are unparalleled compared to gasoline models.
The more widespread availability of propane-powered lawn mowers is one reason they are becoming more commonplace in a landscape contractor’s mowing fleet. The two biggest reasons, though, are the environmental benefits and potential cost savings, especially for large lawn mowing operations.
A recent success story is the Forest Preserves of Cook County which took advantage of a cleaner, greener, less-expensive fuel. This past July, as part of an ongoing effort to make its operations as green and economical as possible, the Forest Preserves of Cook County converted 16 new Gravely gasoline-fueled large riding lawn mowers to propane power using the Metro Lawn Kits and Program in conjunction with Halloran Equipment.
Coker says interest has grown primarily because municipals and landscape companies are realizing that propane-fueled mowers can reduce their operating costs. Those benefits include lower overall cost to operate, reduced maintenance due to stale fuel (gas), and potentially longer engine life.
When calculating total operating costs, landscape contractors are finding cost-savings in several additional ways:
- Virtually eliminating fuel spillage
- Virtually eliminating fuel leakage
- Virtually eliminating fuel theft
Coker, who is director of Metro Lawn Propane Conversions which is part of AmeriGas, the Nation’s Largest Propane Company, says, “I believe we have the total package to help anyone convert to propane.”
- EPA/CARB Certified Conversion Kits approved by Kawasaki
- Safety & Technical Training on Conversions at your Location
- Propane Infrastructure & Commercial Fuel Pricing
Coker says he is proud of what has been accomplished, but he says there is still much to do for he would like to see propane as the preferred fuel for commercial mowers.