ACM News

Propane vs. Gas Mowers: What’s Your Commercial Landscaper Using?

Posted on June 23, 2015

Is your commercial landscaper investing in clean, efficient equipment that will tread lightly on your Chicago property? Gasoline is no longer the sole choice for fueling lawn mowers, and alternatives like propane can burn up to 35 percent cleaner than gas while reducing carbon emissions by 50 to 70 percent. With weekly landscape maintenance on your grounds, how your landscape provider fuels mowers really does make a difference. Are the mowers cutting your commercial property’s turf supporting your sustainability goals?

Meanwhile, gasoline-powered mowers are arguably the industry standard, and these mowers tend to provide more power than their propane counterparts (though companies may choose to simply run a higher horsepower engine to compensate).

With cleaner-burning fuels available today, your professional landscaper has more choices than ever before when purchasing mowers.

So what does this mean for you, the Chicago property owner? Why should you find out what type of mowers your commercial landscaper is running? The fact is, their equipment impacts productivity, air quality and your sustainability initiatives. Now is the time to ask your landscaper this question: What type of fuel do your mowers use?

Let’s explore the pros and cons of propane vs. gas mowers and why your commercial landscaper’s decision matters to your Chicago property.

Pro Propane: Supporting Your Sustainability Goals

Progressive commercial landscapers are moving toward propane-fueled mowers because they burn cleaner than gas, they’re quieter, the fuel system is contained preventing chemical leaks and spills, and the domestic fossil fuel lessens our reliance on foreign oil. There are social and environmental reasons for choosing propane mowers, and landscapers also recognize that the cleaner-burning fuel runs longer than gas and causes less damage to equipment over time, so they get more life out of their equipment.

Propane Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Propane is better for soil, water and air. We mentioned that the self-contained propane tanks prevent leakage that can occur with gasoline mowers. When a propane tank is empty, a crewmember simply detaches the tank and puts on a spare—no mess, no risk of contamination on your Chicagoland property. Propane mowers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 70 percent, meaning a cleaner carbon footprint and less carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter. At the end of the day, propane is easily a more environmentally responsible choice than gasoline because of its reduced impact on the environment.

Propane Supports Your Sustainability Initiatives

The reason why many commercial property owners specify propane mowers in their landscape maintenance bids is because the cleaner-burning fuel supports their sustainability goals. Sustainability doesn’t stop at their front doors. Efforts to make responsible decisions extend beyond their own organizations and include the vendors they choose to service their grounds. A desire to improve the environment and give back to the community drives their business decisions, including who cuts their lawn and what equipment the commercial landscapers they hire use on their Chicago properties.

Propane Mowers Give a ‘Quiet’ Cut

Because mowing happens during the day while those who live, work and play on your property are going about their business, you want to avoid extra noise pollution and disturbance. Propane mowers run quieter than their gasoline counterparts, which is appealing to homeowners associations and retail businesses. And those working in office buildings (along with their customers) appreciate the reduced distraction from a landscape crew operating propane mowers.

Go Gasoline: Why Landscapers Choose The Old Standard

Gasoline mowers are the status quo in the landscaping industry because they are convenient and accessible. By using standard unleaded fuel, landscapers can fuel up at service stations, and because this type of mower originally dominated the market, there are plenty of options in terms of mower brand, horsepower and features. (This is shifting as mower manufacturers now offer propane-powered models to give landscapers choice.)

Gas Offers A Lower Upfront Mower Cost

Gasoline mowers have the lowest upfront cost, which is a big consideration for many landscaping firms. It’s the easy choice. Propane mowers cost more at purchase, and there is a cost to converting a gasoline mower to propane. That said, operating cost is lower because propane costs less. Meanwhile, gas-powered equipment is higher maintenance than propane and could result in replacement sooner. Find out how often the landscaper replaces mowers, and ask why the company chooses gas over other options. Get their story.


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