Austin landscaper cuts fuel costs by more than half with propane mowers
AUSTIN — Benchmark Landscapes has cut its fuel costs by 58 percent operating 46 lawn mowers on clean propane autogas. A commercial landscape maintenance and design company serving Central Texas, Benchmark first switched to affordable, American made autogas five years ago and hasn’t looked back.
“We have been very pleased with our decision to convert our fleet to propane autogas,” says Clayton Oldham, a Benchmark Landscapes Branch Manager. “Operating clean propane mowers has enabled us to stay on the forefront of our industry in Central Texas by doing our part to protect the environment—all while saving money.”
Propane autogas is an ideal fuel for both lawn equipment and vehicle fleets because it’s cleaner and more cost effective than gasoline, without sacrificing performance or ease of use. In 2012, Benchmark paid an average of $1.45 per gallon for propane versus $3.45 for gasoline. Benchmark Landscapes reported saving over $72,000 in the course of the year on fuel with propane. The landscaping fleet uses 36,000 gallons of propane annually, mowing for 38,640 hours over 18,480 acres per year. Benchmark has its own on-site propane autogas station for convenient refueling.
The company also saves money on maintenance costs, since autogas is cleaner burning, and the mowers produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions. More than 17 million gallons of traditional fuel are spilled each year from refueling lawn equipment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); but, because propane mowers have a closed loop refueling system, propane fueling is spill-free.
“Propane-powered mowers are so clean, Texas landscapers and maintenance crews are even allowed to operate their equipment on Ozone Action or Air Quality Action Days without being in violation of EPA regulations,” says Jackie Mason, Educational & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas. “With our Fueling Texas campaign, we’re spreading the word about this clean, economical, and widely available fuel to help more lawn and landscape fleets save on fuel costs and contribute to clean air.”
Propane autogas is the most widely used alternative fuel in the world, and 98 percent of the U.S. autogas supply is made in America. The world’s largest propane storage is located in Texas, and there are more than 700 propane autogas marketers across the state, many of which offer on-site cylinder exchange programs.
Benchmark Landscapes joins many other Texas lawn equipment fleets making the switch to propane autogas, including other landscapers, school districts, college campuses and city park departments. Benchmark serves the Austin and San Antonio area, covering landscaping needs from irrigation and maintenance to new construction, hardscapes, outdoor lighting and tree care for all sizes of commercial properties.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. The program is funded with check-off funds from the propane industry and goes to fund several safety programs, as well as the commercialization of new propane technology. Visit www.procot.org for more information.