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GravelyGuy
01-04-2011, 08:49 PM
I just ordered a propane heater for my JD Gator and it got me thinking.

How safe do you feel sitting in between two tanks of propane on a mower?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFPedGsqtrs

GravelyGuy
01-04-2011, 08:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW_K3cnXxW4&feature=related

I know those are incendiary rounds, but still the tanks are awfully exposed on those mowers and anything could cause a spark.

lifetree
01-04-2011, 10:03 PM
That was an awesome "experiment" with the propane tank, however, an operator is sitting between regular gasoline tanks also with the same type of concern / exposure to being burned if something untoward happens !!

mowandblow1980
01-04-2011, 11:34 PM
Is it different then people that operate forklifts? I used to run a forklift and one time another operator backed right into something and punctured the tank. No explosion though. Cool video anyway. I agree with Lifetree dont think its anymore dangerous then the gas tanks.

dbear
01-05-2011, 09:28 AM
Myhtbusters tested this and found without the introduction of an external spark at the same time, the tanks will not explode when merely punctured.
Mythbusters Propane Tank (http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/33060-mythbusters-exploding-propane-tank-video.htm)

davidcalhoun
01-05-2011, 09:58 AM
They are safe and clean. Proven for years and years in other settings.

Just for fun (in thought only), would you rather grill with a gasoline tank under your hot grill?

GravelyGuy
01-05-2011, 11:54 AM
They are safe and clean. Proven for years and years in other settings.

Just for fun (in thought only), would you rather grill with a gasoline tank under your hot grill?

Ha, good way to think about it.

Myhtbusters tested this and found without the introduction of an external spark at the same time, the tanks will not explode when merely punctured.
Mythbusters Propane Tank

What if you slide down a hill (very common with ZTRS, especially if they have huge cylinders mounted up high raising the center of gravity) and there is a brick wall at the bottom? Smash, spark, BOOM.

mowerbrad
01-05-2011, 02:04 PM
5 gallon gas can + a spark via det cord = bigger BOOM!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C72bv2YhZ6A

And most commercial ztr's carry 10+/- gallons on board. Yet we still feel "safe". When you think about it, these things are death traps just waiting for the one right spark to set them off.

Or this one works too... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C72bv2YhZ6A

MarcSmith
01-05-2011, 02:11 PM
actually the tanks are usually aluminum. so no spark...

and I'd venture to say it woudl take a lot to puncture a propane tank...

a cut hose would be my first fear. but thats no more fearful than gasoline....

the big fear with propane is that we can't see it and its under pressure.....Gasoline is more explosive than propane...

how many RV's have you seen driving down the road bursting into flames...

GravelyGuy
01-05-2011, 02:13 PM
5 gallon gas can + a spark via det cord = bigger BOOM!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C72bv2YhZ6A

And most commercial ztr's carry 10+/- gallons on board. Yet we still feel "safe". When you think about it, these things are death traps just waiting for the one right spark to set them off.

Or this one works too... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C72bv2YhZ6A

That guy in the background "yeeeaaahhh firrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre":laugh:

dbear
01-05-2011, 02:21 PM
What if you slide down a hill (very common with ZTRS, especially if they have huge cylinders mounted up high raising the center of gravity) and there is a brick wall at the bottom? Smash, spark, BOOM.
What if while the neighbor is calibrating the laser sight on his hunting rifle a bird craps in his eye causing him to jerk the weapon up resulting in the laser blinding the cockpit crew of a passing airline which then crashes into you while on your propane ZTR? Smash, spark, BOOM!

Just as possible as your “what if” and almost as probable. Seems to me that higher COG would make it more likely to rollover, not slide.

Also seems to me there are other much more probable things to worry about than these low probability, multiple failure, highly unlikely scenarios.

GravelyGuy
01-05-2011, 02:33 PM
What if while the neighbor is calibrating the laser sight on his hunting rifle a bird craps in his eye causing him to jerk the weapon up resulting in the laser blinding the cockpit crew of a passing airline which then crashes into you while on your propane ZTR? Smash, spark, BOOM!

Just as possible as your “what if” and almost as probable. Seems to me that higher COG would make it more likely to rollover, not slide.

Also seems to me there are other much more probable things to worry about than these low probability, multiple failure, highly unlikely scenarios.

You think it's unlikely to slide down a hill on a ZTR?

At least if gasoline starts to spill out I can see it and I know when it getting close to a heat source. I know it's the vapor that ignites, but still.

dbear
01-05-2011, 02:53 PM
You think it's unlikely to slide down a hill on a ZTR?

At least if gasoline starts to spill out I can see it and I know when it getting close to a heat source. I know it's the vapor that ignites, but still.
No, I'm saying that the impact being great enough to puncture one or both tanks, and the spark occurring at just the right time and in close enough proximity to ignite the gas are, at best, highly unlikely, especially given average ZTR mowing speeds. It takes a pretty good hit and in just the right way to cause a breach in a propane tank. Hence, it's highly improbable to the point of being almost unrealistic.

I'm also saying that generally, a higher COG increases the possibility of a rollover. If you're seeing gas spilling out of your tanks, you're on too steep of an incline, and/or your tank caps are loose. Time to rethink how you operate your machine.

MOturkey
01-05-2011, 03:32 PM
Years ago, I was driving a milk route in a gasoline powered truck, which had 55 gallon saddle tanks. About 4:00 AM I was driving about 60 mph down what used to be Route 66 on my way to my first stop when the straps holding the tank on the drivers side gave way, causing the tank to drop to the pavement and be dragged. Looked like one of those scenes you see in the movies with all the sparks. The tank was punctured, and gasolne went everywhere, but it never ignited. Now, I'm sure it is possible in certain conditions, it could have, but I'm just using this as an example of how rarely gas tanks actually catch on fire or explode.

davidcalhoun
01-05-2011, 05:01 PM
It's called LIQUID propane. And YES, you can smell it when it leaks.

GravelyGuy
01-05-2011, 06:08 PM
No, I'm saying that the impact being great enough to puncture one or both tanks, and the spark occurring at just the right time and in close enough proximity to ignite the gas are, at best, highly unlikely, especially given average ZTR mowing speeds. It takes a pretty good hit and in just the right way to cause a breach in a propane tank. Hence, it's highly improbable to the point of being almost unrealistic.

I'm also saying that generally, a higher COG increases the possibility of a rollover. If you're seeing gas spilling out of your tanks, you're on too steep of an incline, and/or your tank caps are loose. Time to rethink how you operate your machine.

Fair enough, but I will be steering clear of propane mowers for now.

dbear
01-05-2011, 07:00 PM
Fair enough, but I will be steering clear of propane mowers for now.
Fair enough.:drinkup:

MarcSmith
01-05-2011, 07:41 PM
the "perceived" dangers aside. why would you want to power your mower with a source that is less efficient, 75-80% less power, and with a fuel that is not available on every street corner, and the containers to carry for spares are very very expensive...

yes I know the reason.. it was a rhetorical question. Propane is not a foreign source of fossil fuel..and its clean burning....

dtc0207
01-05-2011, 08:18 PM
the "perceived" dangers aside. why would you want to power your mower with a source that is less efficient, 75-80% less power, and with a fuel that is not available on every street corner, and the containers to carry for spares are very very expensive...

yes I know the reason.. it was a rhetorical question. Propane is not a foreign source of fossil fuel..and its clean burning....

You might want to go recheck you 75-80 figure if you buy a true conversion kit the engine will preform the same on the mowers we have converted we noticed an increase in power and still getting 1 hr per gallon on 27 up kohl and about 40 min per gallon on 34 up Kawasaki, nice thing is on the Kawasaki we can run at half throttle and since propane burns clean no fear of carbon build up in head. Gas price 3.06 propane 2.25 you do the math on savings also half the oil changes
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mowerbrad
01-05-2011, 08:27 PM
You might want to go recheck you 75-80 figure if you buy a true conversion kit the engine will preform the same on the mowers we have converted we noticed an increase in power and still getting 1 hr per gallon on 27 up kohl and about 40 min per gallon on 34 up Kawasaki, nice thing is on the Kawasaki we can run at half throttle and since propane burns clean no fear of carbon build up in head. Gas price 3.06 propane 2.25 you do the math on savings also half the oil changes
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But I think another big issue with propane as the fuel is its availability. In my area I can only think of two places that have propane. And they are on one side of town about 3 miles from each other, so it'd be great if I just worked in that area of town. They also aren't open but during normal business hours and only until noon on Saturday. So at the end of the day if I'd need to fill up or if I would need to fill up on the weekend, I would be pretty much screwed.

I can fill up at gas stations at 6 in the morning or at 9 at night any day of the week.

dtc0207
01-05-2011, 08:30 PM
But I think another big issue with propane as the fuel is its availability. In my area I can only think of two places that have propane. And they are on one side of town about 3 miles from each other, so it'd be great if I just worked in that area of town. They also aren't open but during normal business hours and only until noon on Saturday. So at the end of the day if I'd need to fill up or if I would need to fill up on the weekend, I would be pretty much screwed.

I can fill up at gas stations at 6 in the morning or at 9 at night any day of the week.

If you can get set up with the right company I'm giving my contractor anywhere between 6 to 18 and cage so they can store at home it depends on their needs so they can come see me once a week or two and the bottles are being lent out for free the 1500 conversion cost free so they can save money this year
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GravelyGuy
01-05-2011, 08:54 PM
Little propane power. This is more my speed:laugh:


http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200418170_200418170

mowerbrad
01-05-2011, 09:02 PM
Might as well get yourself your own propane F150... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YluwUcf3jBg

ed2hess
01-05-2011, 10:59 PM
We got two propane equipped units this winter and the locked price is $1.99 per gallon. The tanks run about $400 and the dealer has propane. We are going to get a supply tank at our shop to refill our tanks. They think the price of propane will hold its price, guess we'll see. We will convert our diesel trucks to propane if gas does go out of wack.

tmf lawn care
01-06-2011, 02:28 AM
First propane is heaver then air it will go down to the ground. I should know that because I'm a vol. firefighter. It safer then gas in it liquid form. It would take a spark to get it going. that my two sends