Propane proving popular with pros, PERC survey says
|By edited by Mary Elizabeth Williams-Villano|
New survey data reveals that nearly all landscape contractors who purchase or convert at least one mower to propane continue to purchase propane-powered equipment.
If you like your propane-powered mower, you’re not alone. A recent survey by the Propane Education & Research Council, Washington, D.C., reveals that over 85 percent of landscape contractors who have propane-powered commercial lawn mowers in their fleets are likely to continue adding propane-fueled equipment to their businesses.
Of these contractors, nearly all who were surveyed say they started their transition to propane by installing a conversion kit on a piece of existing equipment. That’s a quick and inexpensive path for contractors to reduce fuel costs and downtime on nearly any brand of commercial lawn mower, according to PERC.
“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,” says Jeremy Wishart, PERC’s 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 these surveys, PERC hopes to gain a better understanding of the existing perceptions about propane-powered commercial equipment among landscapers and how it affects their purchasing habits.
Most of the surveyed contractors who use propane-fueled equipment responded that they’ve used it for at least three years. In that time, they’ve observed that their propane-powered mowers have performed as well or even better than their gasoline-fueled counterparts.
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 that they hold a “neutral” or “favorable” opinion about the fuel. In contrast, just 14 percent of all the respondents indicated that they feel “unfavorable” toward propane, a drop of more than 60 percent compared to the 2016 survey.
Additionally, propane-fueled mowers received far fewer “unfavorable” responses than new electric mowers did. While fewer than 14 percent of the respondents say they feel “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” toward propane, 62 percent say they feel “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” toward electric commercial mowers.
The survey also showed that awareness of PERC’s Propane Mower Incentive Program remains low among landscape contractors not already using propane-powered equipment. The program offers contractors up to $1,000 for each new qualified purchase of a propane-fueled mower and $500 for each new qualified propane conversion kit. Knowledge of the incentive increased the likelihood of purchasing propane-fueled mowers for 57 percent of the contractors surveyed.
More information on the incentive program can be found at Propane.com/Landscape-Golf-and-Turf-Incentives. Contractors can learn more about how propane can be incorporated into landscaping and lawn care businesses and find other PERC tools at Propane.com/Landscape.