J. Darryl Syler, the City of Dublin’s Fleet Manager, said the city purchased a $1,100 conversion kit in 2011 and started 2012 with a propane-fueled mower.
“You can get a propane gas kit for a specific type of mower. It’s one of two or three different conversion kits,” Syler explained. “You can get a single or dual tank. Because we mow so much, we opted for a dual tank.”
“In fact, the dual-tank, propane-fueled mower can run for eight to ten hours nonstop, something the other city mowers can’t accomplish. If you’re running gas, you probably have to fill up one time,” said Syler. “Propane is a cheaper fuel than the gasoline used by the other mowers and the city’s cleaner.”
The idea of using propane to fuel vehicles isn’t new. Propane often fuels forklifts and Columbus has been using the fuel for a few vehicles.
“Roush Propane is who we have been talking to and they have propane (fueled) trucks. We have had propane forklifts for years,” Syler explained, noting that propane mowers yield about 70% fewer emissions than gasoline-fueled mowers. “It’s a cleaner-burning fuel and a cooler-burning fuel.”
Dublin’s goal to be green and reduce its carbon footprint helped in the acquisition of the propane-conversion kit. The city unveiled its new, compressed-natural gas fueling station in June, and has 44 city fleet vehicles fueled by the cheaper, cleaner-burning autogas.
“We were given the opportunity in Dublin to green our fleet,” Syler said. “It was easier for us to get on board now. The technology on mowers has been around a few years.”
The City of Dublin added more propane-fueled mowers to its stable over the next few years.
“We purchased a few more conversion kits and that brought us up to four,” Syler said. “We already had the infrastructure in place. It was very cost-effective.”
The propane mowers won’t be too hard to notice.
“It has two cylinders mounted on each side of the driver,” Syler said, “but it’s just as safe as can be.”
Buying new propane vehicles or converting your existing fleets to propane autogas is made easier with the rebates available from the Ohio Propane Gas Association. The OPGA is offering up to $5,000 per entity, $1,000 each for vehicles or mowers.