EarthWorks reduces costs with propane

May 7, 2013 -  By

EarthWorks Inc. said using propane autogas to run its lawn equipment has allowed it to reduce its annual maintenance costs by 30 to 35 percent and save $41,600 in annual fuel costs.EarthWorks

The Dallas-based full-service commercial landscaping company turned to the alternative fuel because of the high price of gasoline and the increased maintenance and internal engine issues it experienced since the mandatory addition of ethanol to gasoline. Now it has virtually no carbon build-up on valves, reduced carburetor maintenance and extended oil life, according to EarthWorks President Chris Lee, even though it uses 40,000 gallons of propane per year and mows 31.5 million square feet of turf during the growing season.

“We have been thrilled with converting our lawn equipment fleet to propane autogas,” he said. “The biggest benefit isn’t even the more affordable fuel; it’s that our maintenance and repair costs have decreased dramatically. Propane is so much cleaner and so much easier on our machines that I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it myself.”

Propane autogas reduces harmful emissions and contributes to cleaner air, according to the Propane Council of Texas. Propane-powered mowers are even allowed to operate on Ozone Action Days or Air Quality Action Days without being in violation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Last year, EarthWorks was able to continue working during 36 Air Quality Action Days.

In addition, the EPA estimates more than 17 million gallons of traditional fuel are spilled each year while refueling lawn equipment. The closed loop refueling system for propane-powered mowers results in no spilled fuel and fewer instances of pilferage, however.

The company also saved $15,000 in incentives through a state and national program administered by the Propane Council available to landscapers switching to propane autogas.

LM Staff

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