by Charles House, founder of AllPropaneMowers.com
Have you been thinking about switching to a more efficient, cost-effective and non-polluting engine fuel-someday? Someday, when technology catches up with our vision, we will then take advantage of that new technology. Well, I am here to tell you: the future has already arrived.
Propane engines and conversions are becoming increasingly popular as gas prices rise and ethanol wreaks havoc with carburetors.
. A less-expensive engine fuel;
. Is easily and cleanly transportable (no spills!);
. Has no evaporative emissions;
. Much cleaner than gas, diesel or electric;
. Longer engine life;
. Less maintenance;
. Doesn’t go stale like gasoline;
. Does not ruin carburetors with ethanol;
. Less temptation and opportunity for theft;
. and more!
These benefits are already being enjoyed by a few in the lawn care and landscape industry, yet there are still so many more out there who have not taken the first steps to using propane and reaping the benefits. It is a bit daunting when first looking at an unfamiliar technology: "I like the concept, but is it really better?" "Will I be wasting my time and money?" "What resources are available if I decide to switch?"
There is huge potential in this growing market.
I was introduced to propane engine technology at the GIE+EXPO in 2007 by Onyx Environmental Solutions. They were exhibiting their line of propane-powered EnviroGard lawn mowers. As I learned more about propane technology, I was more and more impressed with the potential for this low-polluting, money-saving option for the land care industry.
Since then I have met many other innovators of propane engine technologies and caught a glimpse of the future of our industry. I have visited with state agencies, colleges and universities, landscape contractors and homeowners to share the good news about propane. The word was getting out, and the question became: How to efficiently connect potential end users with answers to their questions and the local resources to get started?
Propane engines are proven technology
From OEM propane-powered mowers and hand-held equipment to easy conversion kits and beyond, there has been a very positive response from those who have taken the opportunity to try them. Plenty of power, the ease of fueling and lack of exhaust fumes all contribute to the favorable experience of running propane equipment. We have seen propane technology being used in other sectors beyond the green industry too: generators, ATVs, outboard motors and more. The many applications are only just beginning to be discovered.
Propane has been widely accepted for road fleets for years. Auto, bus and truck engine conversions are available from AJ Automotive Group, CleanFuel USA, Roush Clean Tech and Schwan’s Bi-Phase Technologies, to name just a few.
Resources are available
Where to find affordable propane was an obstacle for people who wanted to convert their equipment and vehicles to propane. The resources are out there, if you know where to look. AmeriGas, Blossman Gas, Ferrellgas and Heritage Propane have taken lead roles in bringing cost-effective propane fuel solutions to their green industry customers, bringing fleet managers and landscapers, large and small, propane fuel options, including installing fueling stations on site and offering nearby refill or delivery services including tank exchange. And, since the green industry uses the most fuel during the propane "off-season," your local supplier should be motivated to provide price incentives.
Answers to the questions
With all of the progress made in the development of propane engine technology, the high price of gas and diesel, and the great strides made in bringing fueling solutions to the green industry, I have to ask you, what’s keeping you from using propane-powered equipment?
Many people who are still unfamiliar with propane-powered engines will ask questions like:
. Is propane going to reduce the performance and engine life of my equipment?
. Isn’t propane a more dangerous fuel than gasoline?
. Where can I buy propane-powered equipment around here?
. How do you refuel your equipment?
. Where can I get propane that isn’t higher in price than gasoline?
. Who else is using propane powered lawn and garden equipment and service vehicles successfully?
. Is there a resource online where I can get my questions answered and make a confident decision on making the change from gas to propane?
As the interest in propane-powered equipment was starting to take root, the resources and expertise were not cohesive or easy to find
I began building the AllPropaneMowers website in 2010 to meet the need for factual, unbiased information, and to develop a cohesive network of green industry professionals, equipment dealers and propane suppliers so that propane can take its rightful place as the clean, green engine fuel of choice for the green industry. AllpropaneMowers.com has all the news and resources in one place:
. Articles that demonstrate the successful use of propane as an engine fuel in green industry equipment and fleet vehicles.
. Propane-powered equipment and engine conversion options currently available, and where to get them.
. New innovations that use propane in green industry fleets.
. Propane safety information.
. Grant programs, tax incentives and other programs both nationally and locally that will assist you in purchasing new equipment or converting your existing fleet.
. State by state listings of equipment shops that carry propane-powered equipment and where to get your existing equipment and vehicles converted to propane.
. Propane companies, equipment dealers and conversion centers in your state that are ready to serve you.
. Your questions answered by our growing panel of experts in the field of propane engine technology.
As www.AllpropaneMowers.com continues to evolve, your contributions are welcomed. Your experience and anecdotes, along with unbiased, factual information and easy to find, supportive resources close to home can help others make an informed decision to switch to propane. If you are a pioneer in the world of propane equipment or a forward-thinking supplier, please join us.