PROPANE DELIVERS DRASTIC COST SAVINGS FOR MISSOURI LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
A PROPANE CASE STUDY
COST SAVINGS FROM PROPANE BUILDS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE, NEW BUSINESS FOR MASTER TRIMMERS
aster Trimmers, a 10-year-old lawn and landscaping business in Marshfield, Mo., converted two of its commercial mowers to propane in March, a few months before the business’ summertime peak. Dustin Leighty, the company’s founder and president, was optimistic that propane would prove cost effective in the long term but was quickly impressed by the immediate savings he saw.
“Right now we are on track by the end of the year—if everything stays the way it is and we stop mowing the same time we stopped last year—to save $10,000 on fuel,” Leighty said. “I converted two mowers to try propane, and in less than 30 days, I called to get nine more kits.”
considered switching his fleet of 15 commercial mowers to propane last year, Leighty grappled with many of the same misconceptions first-time propane users in the landscape industry often have.
“We were worried about a lack of power and how efficient they were really going to be,” Leighty said. “Is it going to run as OVERCOMING MISCONCEPTIONS efficiently as gasoline, and am I going to A veteran of the landscaping business, get my investment back?” Leighty started mowing lawns when Taking advantage of the Missouri Propane he was 12 years old. He started Master Education & Research Council’s Lawn Trimmers ten years ago. When he first Equipment Assistance Fund (LEAF),
Master Trimmers Marshfiled, Mo. CHALLENGE & SOLUTION
Grow new business opportunities through competitive pricing and reduced overhead expenses by converting 15 Exmark commercial models to propane. RESULT
Master Trimmers saved nearly $10,000 in fuel costs and reduced maintenance during its first season with propane. And the business has used savings in overhead to reduce costs for clients and attract new business.
CASE STU DY MASTER TRI MMER S MISSOU RI
BUILDING NEW BUSINESS Propane has also had an immediate impact on customer acquisition. The tanks, and how they’re mounted on the machines, provide a platform for staff and Leighty to talk to customers about the green benefits and cost savings of propane. “We have picked up a few extra customers because propane is environmentally friendly,” Leighty says. “It’s an attentiongetter when you’ve got a shiny silver tank on the side of your mower. I get asked about it several times a week.”
“Even if I didn’t save any money on fuel, the time saved alone with on-site refueling would be worth it.” — Dustin Leighty Founder & President, Master Trimmers
Master Trimmers received $1,000 toward each of its ten conversion kits, reducing the up-front costs of converting. Leighty has been so impressed by propane’s ease, cost savings, and environmental benefits, that even without the LEAF incentive he believes Master Trimmers would have made the switch. “The cost and time savings have had the most impact,” Leighty said. “Even if I didn’t save any money on fuel, the time saved alone with on-site refueling would be worth it.”
LESS MAINTENANCE, MORE EFFICIENCY Ease and mechanical efficiency with propane-fueled equipment are among the
most impressive improvements Leighty has seen over gasoline, with Master Trimmers reporting substantial savings on routine oil changes alone. Master Trimmers plans to have a bulk tank and pump installed next year, which will allow staff to fill propane cylinders on site. The company has already benefitted from the portability of propane, outfitting vehicles with racks to maximize time spent on the job. “Refueling with propane is very simple,” Leighty said “We’ve built racks on our trailers and trucks, and each crew takes two extra tanks with them per day. If they run out of fuel, they simply hook the new tanks back up to the mower. It takes seconds.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To learn more about propane-fueled lawn care equipment and the Propane Education & Research Council, visit poweredbypropane.org. Propane Education & Research Council / 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1075 / Washington, DC 20036 P 202-452-8975 / F 202-452-9054 / propanecouncil.org
Because of Master Trimmers’ reduction in overhead expenses, Leighty has even begun to reduce rates for certain clientele, and it’s given him a competitive advantage in the bidding process for larger jobs. “It’s definitely a benefit when I bid on a job. There aren’t too many other companies in our area that use propane, so we can reduce prices and put together a more attractive bid,” Leighty said.
$I0,000 IN FUEL COSTS
The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source.
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