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Propane Fuels A Greener Lawn Care Crew

A green lawn can have hidden costs–such as the fuel used and greenhouse gas emissions spewed by noisy, inefficient gasoline-powered mowers and other landscaping equipment.

One commercial landscaping firm in Chicago’s western suburbs is taking a step toward reducing that environmental burden by setting up the state’s first all-propane-powered landscape maintenance crew–from mowers to trimmers to a heavy-duty 1-ton pickup truck.

The truck, a Ford F350 equipped with a propane engine, will arrive in the Chicago area Wednesday, Dec. 16, after a propane-powered drive from the factory in Detroit. It will be the first Ford F350 off the assembly line at Rousch Performance in Livonia, Mich., which adapts the trucks for propane.

Eric Hansen, president of Competitive Lawn Service Inc. in Downers Grove, expects that over the coming growing season the crew will replace about 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of gasoline with liquid propane, which burns far more efficiently, reducing emissions by 50 to 60 percent.

Hansen is a member of the Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association, a group of more than 140 Chicago-area contractors, growers, suppliers, landscape designers and architects and other professionals dedicated to finding greener ways to create and care for landscapes. “By banding together we can get more traction on these issues,” Hansen says.

“MELA hopes to showcase and encourage these kinds of methods of chipping away at the unsustainable elements of the landscape industry, and the turfgrass industry in particular,” said MELA president Garth Conrad of Garth Conrad Associates, a design firm in LaPorte, Ind. “We applaud Eric’s move and hope others can learn by it.”

Other MELA members also are experimenting with propane equipment. Christy Webber Landscapes in Chicago uses two 6-foot-wide propane-powered lawnmowers. “My guys like them,” says owner Christy Webber, and she’s driven them herself. Of Hansen’s propane crew, she said, “We support anybody that’s trying to kick our industry up to a greener level.”

Hansen, whose 36-employee firm cares for commercial and residential landscapes, said he joined MELA because he wanted to work with others to reduce the environmental impact of maintaining landscapes in the long term–both by designing them more thoughtfully and by finding ways to care for them with less toxic chemicals and fuel.

One way Hansen hopes to influence others in the industry is by collecting data over the coming season on the performance, costs and emissions of his propane-powered crew compared to his seven other mostly gasoline-powered crews. Real numbers from real work, he hopes, will help convince others in the business to consider alternative fuels.

He’s not sure exactly how his costs will work out in this first season, he says, but experimentation over several years already has revealed unexpected benefits: His crews learned that trimmers and blowers retrofitted to use propane are substantially quieter than gasoline-powered ones and need their oil changed far less often.

The new truck, with Hansen driving, is scheduled to arrive at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the dealer, Al Piemonte Ford Sales, 2500 North Ave., Melrose Park.

Original article: CLICK HERE

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Propane Provides a Competitive Edge

Eric Hansen takes delivery of the first propane-powered Ford F-350 from Jack Roush at the Roush Performance assembly plant

When Eric Hansen set out on his mission to create the first propane-powered lawn care crew in 2008, he couldn’t have imagined the attention his 10-vehicle fleet would eventually attract. Last December, the founder and president of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Competitive Lawn Service Inc., took delivery of the first propane-fueled Ford F-350 from the Roush Performance assembly plant in Livonia, Mich. Auto racing and engineering mogul Jack Roush greeted Hansen at the plant and personally filled the truck’s underbed tank as the cameras rolled.

It was more publicity than the unassuming Hansen was used to, but he didn’t hesitate to lend his name to the movement toward alternative fuel use in commercial fleets. The Roush truck is Competitive’s first propane vehicle, but Hansen’s interest in alternative fuels began back in 2008, when gasoline hit $4.50 per gallon and the company had to find ways to cut costs.

Investing strategies
Hansen started by retrofitting lawn care equipment such as mowers, trimmers and blowers to run on propane. There were a few bumps in the road as the Competitive team learned how to maintain the equipment on the fly. But for every obstacle, the “new” fuel seemed to present an advantage: Propane can’t be spilled, and the cleaner burn produced quieter engines, less maintenance and fewer oil changes. Most importantly, the savings, even on a small scale – “Fifty bucks here and there,” as Hansen recalls – began to add up.

Impressed, he pressed on. After testing all the new-to-market propane-powered equipment he could get his hands on, Hanson started looking into replacing his gas and diesel F-150s, F-250s, F-350s and Super Duty dump truck.

“Ford began producing vapor propane trucks in the late ’90s, but there were two concerns for us,” Hansen says. “One, they were 30 percent less fuel efficient, which we couldn’t quite make up in the per-gallon cost. Two, they were F-150s – not big enough for our needs.”

Competitive’s needs also include full use of the cargo area, as it would be impossible for his slide-in dump/haulaway units to share space with an in-bed fuel tank. Luckily for Hansen, Roush’s F-350 was already in development, and the design included an underbed tank.

“They really worked hard to get it right,” Hansen says. “It’s a 100 percent liquid system, so the propane goes in full liquid direct to the cylinders. There’s no dropoff in performance or hauling power, and its range is about 300‑320 miles. And where the vapor Ford F-150s were 30 percent less efficient, this truck is only 10 percent less efficient. With the reduced cost for fuel, that’s viable.”

[frame_left]http://www.competitivelawn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/saving-with-propane2.jpg[/frame_left]To accommodate the switch, Hansen installed a private, aboveground fill station on company property. The installation cost $10,000, but Competitive now spends only $1.50 to $1.70 on each gallon of propane. Hansen says that was the only option because the retail cost of propane in Downers Grove is more than three dollars per gallon. The company also recoups 50 cents on every gallon that goes into the truck, thanks to a federal tax credit which, unfortunately for Hansen, does not apply to the fuel that powers the equipment.

“That creates a little work for our accountant,” he says. “He’s working on how to split the expenses. I don’t necessarily want to lead the fight to extend the tax credit to lawn equipment, but they did see the need to extend it to forklifts. It’s possible that our equipment also could eventually qualify.”

There are two ways to obtain a single propane-fueled F-350 from Roush. A new truck can be ordered through the Ford dealership or lease management company with Roush’s ship-through code. For an existing truck, Roush can send a conversion kit to a local dealer, where it will be installed with support from the company. To retrofit an entire fleet that operates in multiple locations, Roush works with fleet managers to determine where their “SWAT” teams should be sent to support the conversions.

Reducing Emissions
Even as he enjoys the cost savings, Hansen is equally proud of his company’s shrinking carbon footprint.

“With 60 percent less emissions, we’re also reducing our total annual output of CO2,” he says. “We currently use about 35,000 gallons per year of unleaded gasoline and diesel. In 2009 we were able to use 1,500 gallons of that as propane. For 2010, our goal is to use between 5,000 and 10,000 gallons of propane and cut our usage of unleaded and diesel fuel to 25,000‑30,000 gallons. The heavy initial cost should pay for itself over the course of the next few years.”

The propane-powered F-350 and equipment display a prominent “Green Propane Power” logo. Han-sen believes that branding will help attract environmentally aware clients.

“Larger companies are getting into the green initiatives,” he says. “They’re going to their plant managers and looking for lists of ways to cut emissions. When I meet a prospective client, I’ll say, ‘Every time we service your property, we’re creating 60 percent less carbon output. Does that matter to you?’ For smaller companies, the answer may be ‘Not really.’ For larger companies, it will likely be ‘Yes.'”

Spreading the Word
Hansen’s efforts have already brought in phone calls and e-mails from other business owners across the country. Most of them want to know about the maintenance and tax-credit aspects of switching to propane.

“I tell them we know how to maintain the equipment, but not the trucks – yet,” he says. “As for the tax credits, we know the implications at the state and municipal level, but of course those will vary from place to place.”

The purchase of the propane-fueled pickup earned Competitive a one-time credit of $4,500 from the State of Illinois. Hansen hopes to pick up a few more in 2010 by retrofitting some of his existing fleet trucks. “We’ll do two or three more this year,” he says. “There’s also a federal credit of $5,000, so if we apply for both, the conversion cost is a wash.”

Original article: CLICK HERE

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Lower cost of propane, sustainability resonate for Chicago’s Competitive Lawn Service

Jack Roush of Roush Industries fuels the first-in-the-country Ford F-350 propane conversion truck with undermount tank being delivered to Competitive Lawn Service, Inc., in December 2009.

Working toward having what he believes to be the first entirely propane-fueled commercial lawn maintenance service in the country, Eric Hansen, president of Competitive Lawn Service, Inc., based in Downers Grove, Ill., has begun retrofitting his company’s mower fleet. During the last two years, Hansen has reaped benefits from propane, including reduced costs, maintenance convenience, and the ability to offer customers a more environmentally friendly, sustainable solution.

Hansen has six propane-fueled mowers among a fleet of 30, and one of his 10 trucks is fueled by propane. He plans to have both fleets completely converted to propane within five years; once the conversion is complete, he estimates his business will save about $2,500 each month by using propane. That translates to payback on his investment in new and retrofitted propane products in less than two years.

“Propane costs less than gasoline or diesel fuel, it costs less to maintain propane-fueled equipment, and it’s better for the environment, all without sacrificing performance,” Hansen says. “It just makes sense to use it in every piece of equipment I can.”

Shifting to propane-fueled mowers
As Hansen began to research propane conversion options for his lawn mower fleet, he learned he could convert his existing Kawasaki engines to run on propane for about $1,000 per mower with quick payback because propane costs about 30 percent less than gasoline.

Hansen realized he would need a refueling source, so he worked with United Propane, a Heritage Propane company, to install a fueling station at Competitive Lawn Service, which bought about 1,500 gallons of propane in 2009. Hansen plans to use between 5,000 and 10,000 gallons in 2010 as he adds propane- fueled trucks and more propane-fueled mowers to his fleet. The on-site propane refueling system is more secure, making it easier to track fuel usage, while simultaneously eliminating theft, spillage, and loss.

Another benefit: Hansen’s lawn equipment requires far less maintenance since the switch to propane. Competitive Lawn Service’s mowers typically run 25 to 35 hours per week and required weekly oil changes. With propane, the same mowers run for a month, or about 100 hours, before they require an oil change, saving 6 quarts of oil and an hour of shop time per month per mower.

Hansen also has answered his customers’ call for an environmentally friendly lawn maintenance option. Studies show that propane-fueled lawn mowers produce almost 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a similar mower running on gasoline,1 and significantly reduce other polluting emissions such as ozone and particulate matter. This has given the company a competitive advantage, particularly with commercial customers.

Expanding to propane-fueled trucks
After enjoying success with his new propane-fueled mowers, Hansen considered the trucks that transport those mowers to and from customer sites. He bought a Ford F-350 propane-fueled pickup truck that uses a liquid fuel-injection system. His mowers use vaporized propane. As a result of Ford’s partnership with Roush Performance Products (a division of Roush Industries), the propane-fueled trucks realize no reduction in power and less than a 10 percent reduction in fuel economy, a cost recouped by a 50 percent reduction in fuel cost. These trucks are built to last 300,000 miles, a longer lifespan than gasoline-fueled counterparts, further reducing fleet costs. Also, by deploying propane-fueled trucks to move lawn equipment from job to job, Hansen will eliminate 1,340 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle per year and save an additional $300 to $400 per month in fuel and maintenance costs.

Employee support builds fast
The switch to propane-fueled equipment has required minimal training time for Hansen’s employees. Hansen holds quarterly training sessions on propane fueling. As a result, his employees have become relative experts in propane-fueled lawn equipment.

Shifting to propane has made financial and environmental sense for Competitive Lawn Service. Propane reduces fuel and maintenance costs for both commercial mowers and the fleet of trucks that transport them. Customers’ increased awareness of their carbon footprint has helped to make the fuel a market differentiator. Considering the ease of refueling and minimal employee training, those benefits will continue to compound for Competitive Lawn Service.

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.

1 Energetics Inc., Propane Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Comparative Analysis (Washington, D.C.: Propane Education & Research Council, 2009).

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Lawn Mowers on Propane

When Eric Hansen read about a Dixie Chopper salesman driving a propane-powered lawn mower from Indiana to Sacramento, Calif., it sparked an idea Hansen hadn’t thought of during his nearly two decades in business.

“I thought that was really interesting that they would come up with an engine that would work and run and operate on propane,” says Hansen, president of Competitive Lawn Service in Downers Grove, Ill.
Hansen turned to the Internet with questions about converting his equipment to propane. There was nothing. He called propane wholesalers. They thought he was nuts. “They said, ‘We don’t know what you’re talking about. This is crazy,’” Hansen says.

A similar story has taken place in the last three years as Hansen has navigated the world of propane-fueled equipment through his own experimentation.
He started by installing propane engines into two ride-on mowers. They performed so well he decided to take the idea one step further, and then another and another. Now, he’s retrofitted equipment of all sizes with propane tanks. From Roush, Hansen purchased the first Ford F-350 to run on propane. And Competitive Lawn Service installed a 1,000-gallon propane tank on its property.

“This isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t cheap,” Hansen says. “The reality is that this is beginning to shape the market for what it actually can be. I think over time things are going to change. Manufacturers will hopefully not be so old school and respond to these things.”

While Hansen has made propane work for his company, it has created headaches.
First was meeting compliance issues. What should have been a 30-day process to install the propane tank turned into seven months of waiting to receive permits and to meet codes.

Second, the upfront cost involved: That F-350 cost $43,000. The company received about $9,500 in state and federal money for buying an alternative-fuel vehicle, but Hansen says it can take a year to see the checks.

Third, there’s risk in betting on government reimbursement. Competitive Lawn Service was getting a $.50 per gallon tax credit from the federal government, but in 2010 it stopped extending the credit for lawn equipment use.

“The fun thing is, yes we can do it, and we can make this is a viable opportunity,” Hansen says. “It’s difficult, but we can do it. I think it’s worth it, and I think it will be worth it over time as we drive the prices down.”

Certainly, Hansen has seen benefits: Installing a fill station on site and working with suppliers has dropped Hansen’s price for propane to $1.70 a gallon.

“The benefit is that propane is cheaper annually than gasoline and it always has been,” he says. “The second thing is that the equipment runs cleaner and more efficient, it’s an efficiency benefit and it’s a benefit on the maintenance.”
Instead of changing oil every 25 hours, on propane-run equipment Hansen now does it every 100 hours.

The fuel is in enclosed containers and can’t spill from its tanks onto trailers or customers’ lawns. And propane cuts emissions on his equipment by as much as 60 percent.

Hansen’s residential and government clients haven’t shown much interest in the switch to propane. But he’s made headway with larger companies with established environmental policies of their own.

In 2010, Competitive Lawn Service used 35,000 gallons of fuel, 5,000 of which was propane. Hansen’s goal is to burn about 25,000 gallons of propane in 2011.

The jump will be helped partially because of Manchester Tank’s new one-pound propane cylinders due out in January 2011. The cylinders can be used to fuel smaller equipment like blowers and trimmers.

“We worked for a year and a half screaming to get one-pounders and the market responded,” Hansen says. “Every day gets even better and better because I see more equipment we can retrofit.”

Alternative Fuel Lawn Care goes national by offering self-installed conversion kits
Gasoline to Propane or CNG for commercial mowing units now available
Kits for conversion of a gasoline mower to use propane range in price $250 – $750 dependent upon engine size and model. Conversions help to reduce operating costs through fuel and maintenance savings as well as reducing emissions. A typical commercial mower will save over $1000 annually per unit they convert to propane.

Components vary but a typical conversion kit includes: couplings, fuel lines, lock off solenoid, regulator, filer, wires, protective coverings, tank mounting brackets and other required components for installation. Bi-fuel options are available for those who choose to leave gasoline as an option.

  • Costs average 30 to 40% less per gallon than gasoline
  • Delivered tank exchange services reduce refueling trips
  • Over 88% of propane used domestically produced in the USA
  • Spillage and theft are virtually non-existent
  • Propane is in many ways safer to handle than gasoline
  • Mowers can operate on Ozone Action Days
  • Will not go stale when stored
  • Engine life is extended
  • Will not wash cylinder walls thus oil life extended and routine maintenance costs reduced
  • Companies take a step in becoming environmentally friendly

Original article: CLICK HERE

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That’s Opportunity Knocking

by Eric Hansen –

Eric Hansen could have buried his head in his hands and slashed his business to the bone. Instead, he’s embarked on a bold new strategy that takes his business from Detroit to Norway in search of the most environmentally friendly and efficient equipment he can find.
Twenty-five percent of homes in the United States are worth less than their mortgages. Unemployment is 10 percent. War, deficit, businesses folding, more and more daily bad news.

If you listen to the media this year and formulate a strategy and a vision for moving forward in this economy, you might as well close the doors and sell off the assets: It seems that terrible.

This is how I felt in January of 2009 as we firmed up seasonal commercial and residential contracts for Competitive Lawn Service. We are just a small company in Downers Grove, Illinois, that shows up weekly and cuts, trims, fertilizes, and cleans up properties locally.

At the beginning of the year, this is what I faced:

All of the contracts could be canceled. The clients might not have any money to pay for these services this season. They might cancel all of the additional services and leave the company under water on the revenue side. What was going to happen? How can we prepare for this impending doom? Maybe we hire fewer employees this year, I thought, purchase less equipment that we will need to service these accounts, figure on losing 20 percent or 30 percent of our contracts because that is what our industry is experiencing.

OK, take a deep breath and do not think that way.

I would not want to work for a company with that kind of vision. It’s like walking backwards—off of a cliff. And besides, what about all that has occurred in the last few years? How can we use all of the good news in the economy, the local changes, and the ability that company leaders have to make “stuff” happen?

But where are the bright spots? Are there any? My gosh, they are all around us, and we just need to lift ourselves out of the negative muck and mire and look around. 2009 can be amazing, but it just depends how I take us down this road, I thought.

We already had started without even knowing or concentrating on it.

In 2007 and 2008, our company started playing around with alternative fuels and running lawn equipment on propane. Why?

Well, originally it was less expensive than the rising price of unleaded gasoline and was saving some money for us. Only a few pieces of equipment and maybe 50 bucks here and there, but was it worth the hassle? We had engines that blew up and equipment that we couldn’t get started sometimes. But this was a learning process, the same learning process that any new company would experience with gasoline engines getting started in our industry. We went through that 28 years ago when the company began.

Aha!

We can run with this. Maybe we can create the first commercial crew in the country to run on propane. We would be 60 percent less CO2 emissions for our clients. The equipment is quieter. Propane is less expensive and more efficient to run. So how do we do this?

First we need a place to fill our equipment. We had been refilling containers at our local equipment-rental company. Let’s put a fill station on our site in Downers Grove. The first private fill station for lawn equipment in Illinois. But why is this so groundbreaking? Why is it so hard? Local and state regulations. Hassles, problems, and it took months to get approved.

Next, let’s get more equipment—now we’re talking. But all of the equipment we need doesn’t exist yet. Let’s do research and development for the manufacturers and help them get the equipment that we need for the next season. I think this summer we tested just about every propane piece of equipment coming to market for 2010.

What about the kinds and types of propane tanks that need to be mounted on the equipment for operation? Some work, some don’t, and some just need to be changed. Fiberglass lightweight tanks? Baffled aluminum tanks? What works well and what doesn’t?

What about trucks? They are unveiled at Ford but that is only for half-ton and we need larger 1-ton trucks for our operations. When do the 1-ton trucks come out in propane, and when can we get our hands on the first ones. OK, so we will receive the first Ford F350 from Detroit. Great! Looks like it will be shipped in December. Time for a photo and video opportunity!

What about trimmers and blowers? They are out now but use the Coleman 1-pound canisters, and we cannot refill these for commercial operations. We need a solution. How about a backpack that can carry propane and operate the trimmers? Will this work, and when can we get smaller tanks like 1 and 2 pound? Can they make them in Norway?

We need some kind of tagline on this. “Green Propane Power” (www.greenpropanepower.com) sounds good. Let’s brand this up and get it on all our trucks and trailers as we switch over to propane. As I visited the Green Industry Equipment Expo (www.gie-expo.com) show in Louisville, Kentucky, and saw all of the propane-powered equipment presented, I think that our industry is on to something. The industry is moving forward and changing.

I was fortunate enough for British Airways to give me the ability to fly to Europe on their “face to face” program and begin to make international connections that could open the doors for the technology that our industry needs to move forward in the direction of alternative fuels. I was able to meet literally hundreds of other company leaders who get it and see the doors and the opportunities that exist throughout the world.

I am proud to say that after a year of hard work, Competitive Lawn Service, Inc. will be the first company in the country to have a commercial lawn maintenance crew to operate 100 percent on propane as an alternative fuel, as well as a private propane fill station at our location. And our growing list of commercial and residential clients are listening and applauding. The future looks bright for 2010, and we are ready. Ready to branch out, expand, open new locations, and go where no company has gone before in the direction of alternative fuels, quality service, and a passion for making a difference in this world.

So, here I am in London in November of 2009 blogging about the year that was. How much different would the blog have sounded if I didn’t hear that single knock on the door? I would have listened to fear. I would have listened to all of the bad news in the marketplace, in our economy, in our industry. Instead I listened to a clear knock. Now there are more knocks every day. I am listening. Are you?

The question we all should have is not how we are going to survive, but rather what door we should open and go through—and where it will lead.

Original article posted here: CLICK HERE

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The Quest for Alternatives

Switching to greener fuels often makes financial sense—on top of being better for the environment. So why aren’t more companies saving greenbacks by going green? Education is the key.

Hey, Eric Hansen from Competitive Lawn Service here again talking about alternative fuels.

I had a discussion with a vendor this week, and after explaining to him the financial and environmental benefits that I see in alternative fuel and specifically propane, he only had one question.

“Why isn’t everyone looking at this?”

That’s a great question.

The manufacturers in our industry are lined up with new equipment releases for 2010 that run on propane. The Ford/Roush F Series 100 percent propane-powered trucks are available and ready. Distributers of propane fuel can provide deliveries to most everywhere in the country for our industry. The landscape industry can begin to switch to alternative fuel for trucks and equipment if they choose to do so and if they know how.

This week I will be speaking at the Propane Engine Fuel Summit outside of Washington. This event and “webinar” sponsored by the Propane Education and Research Council will have representation from all areas of alternative fuel for our industry.

The question I believe that everyone is asking in the propane industry, as well as our industry, is Why isn’t everyone looking at this?

I may just have the answer. It starts with the entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur has no blueprint. Each and every forward step that we take is a guess, a test, a new place that no one has been yet. That is the way that it is with anything new. The entrepreneur may invent something new. Much more likely the entrepreneur takes what is out there and assembles it into something new, different, better. After all of these pieces have been assembled and a blueprint is created, it all can seem so simple and easy to replicate.

Running a company that uses alternative fuel changes how a company operates every day. For our company, it is not just the equipment or the trucks or the fill station. There are so many additional items that need to be addressed. Federal, state, and local regulations, employee training, maintenance requirements, vendors, repair parts, ever-changing tax credits, and over-the-road fuel taxes are all part of this journey into the unknown.

Propane as an alternative fuel for our industry needs a blueprint, a correct assembly of all the pieces to switch to 100 percent alternative fuel. This switch needs to be financially and environmentally viable for a company to do. This significantly reduces the risk of change. Without this blueprint, propane becomes a great idea that never takes hold.

This year we will be able to create this blueprint that can make it easy and simple for our industry to move forward with clean-burning propane as alternative fuel. Competitive Lawn Service can show how all of these pieces can be put together and how each company can receive financial benefit as well as a significant environmental benefit by switching to propane.

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Competitive Lawn Service Takes Keys to First ROUSH Under-Bed Propane F-350

LIVONIA, MI – Competitive Lawn Service is on a quest to run their business 100 percent on propane. They already have the mowers, the trimmers, and their other power tools running on this alternative fuel. The key missing element was the truck which hauls all this equipment to the customer. That was remedied today as Eric Hansen accepted the keys from Jack Roush to the first production ROUSH® propane-fueled F-350 with an under-bed tank.

“We’ve been waiting three-quarters of a year for this day and now it has come to fruition,” said Hansen, president of Competitive Lawn Service, Inc. “I’m excited to be here at the factory, I’m excited to meet Jack Roush, and I’m excited that ROUSH® Performance is working on the technology for liquid propane-powered vehicles.” The key handoff took place at the ROUSH® Performance Vehicle Assembly Area in Livonia, Mich., where the trucks are converted to run on propane.

Hansen plans to convert the other trucks in his Downers Grove, Illinois-based fleet to ROUSH® propane F-350s, and says this will result in a considerable savings for his business by using propane, a predominantly domestically-produced fuel.

“A down-and-dirty number would be a savings of around $800 per truck each month,” he explained. “With all the lawn care equipment added in we could be saving $2500 per month per truck. I’m looking forward to proving that out over the next several months.”

One of the reasons Competitive Lawn Service selected the ROUSH® propane F-350 was the availability of an under-bed tank. While ROUSH® offers an in-bed tank option for users who require longer range, Hansen said an under-bed tank was his only choice.

“We had been looking for a propane truck that offered an under-bed tank because in our line of work we need the full eight-foot bed capacity. ROUSH® was the only company we found that offered this option. On top of that, the truck looks great and operates exactly the same as a gasoline-powered F-350,” he said. With the ROUSH® liquid propane injection system, there is no loss of horsepower, torque or towing capacity.

“It was great to meet Eric today and see how excited he is to bring the ROUSH® propane F-350 into his fleet,” said Jack Roush. “I commend him for converting not only his vehicles but all of his power tools to run off of propane. Not only will it help to save his company a lot of money, but he will be doing a lot to help clean up the environment, literally and figuratively.”

As an alternative fuel, propane offers a variety of advantages. It is available “right here, right now” with a national fueling infrastructure already in place. Propane burns cleaner, with up to 20 percent less nitrous oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide and fewer particulate emissions. It is already the third most widely used fuel worldwide, following gasoline and diesel. Propane is 90 percent domestically produced, and as an alternative fuel, the purchase of propane-powered vehicles are eligible for a variety of federal, state, and municipal tax credits or rebates.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the operational savings fleets can achieve by converting to propane as a motor fuel, and a savings calculator is available online at www.SwitchToPropane.com that allows the user to input variables specific to their usage.

Complete details on the ROUSH® propane offerings can be found online at www.ROUSHperformance.com/Propane or by calling 800-59-ROUSH.

Based in Livonia, Mich., “The Art of Performance Engineering” takes place at ROUSH® Performance. To get a look behind the scenes at what goes on at ROUSH® and how the vehicles are designed, manufactured and produced logon to www.ROUSHtv.com. For more information see your local ROUSH® dealer, visit www.ROUSHperformance.com or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH. Follow us on Twitter @_ROUSH_ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roushperformance.