Lawn Magazine Discovers Propane Mowers, Approves

Meet a propane lawn mower: the BobCat Predator-Pro, zero-turning and propane-powered. (image: alternativefuellawncare.com)

“Imagine a lawn mower that cuts grass as well as a gas-powered mower, but costs less to run, requires less maintenance and is better for the environment.” So begins the story from the latest issue of “Lawn & Landscape” magazine. Is this some futuristic, imaginary lawn mower? No. “Its name is propane.”

It’s a well-done piece that looks at the benefits connected with running the tools in your garden shed on LPG: lower operating costs, lower emissions, and a domestically-supplied alt-fuel. Of course, how does a propane mower handle the long grass in your back acres? One skeptical Florida landscaper compared a LPG mower to a gasoline model. “So I told my guys to run the two machines side by side. I couldn’t tell the difference — the cut was great,” he told the magazine.

However, switching to propane for your mower still faces one of the main hurdles for switching to autogas for your vehicle: Up-front costs for the machinery. New buyers should expect to drop about 10-percent more on the cost, according to the story. Though there’s often a quick recoup on the added expense through lower fuel costs and maintenance costs.

On a final note, the landscaping industry is missing a branding opportunity here. Carmakers have come up with the word “autogas” as the preferred term for propane that goes in a car’s gas tank. And the landscaping industry would benefit with a new word, too, since propane still conjures up summer barbecues or home heat for most consumers. Our two cents? Play off the green theme — think grass, and lower greenhouse emissions — and go with something like “GreenGas.”

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