Advanced Search

The Green Industry's Resource Center

Old 03-04-2014, 09:33 PM
AWilsonCreativeServices AWilsonCreativeServices is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Posts: 149
A Very Tempting Propane Offer- Too Good?

Hey Y'all-

I was at an industry expo today and wandered over to talk to the propane guys. They told me they will do the following FREE if I buy 500 or more gal from them a year:

1. Will convert all my mowers and other 4 stroke equipment (my mini-skid) at no cost to me (and will convert back if I'm unhappy at any time.)
2. Install a 200 gal tank at my shop so I can fill up whenever I need
3. Set the price of propane at $1 less than whatever regular octane gas is selling for.
4. Give me one tank for each machine (obviously), and an extra one per unit too.

When I asked, as everyone has, why they're incentivising it so much, they said that the propane used for heating's seasonal sales are opposite of what my operating season would be, and they want to expand their sales. The propane cost would go up in the winter, but he said that since I wouldn't be using much then its not a big deal, and if I wanted I could get my tank refilled before it gets cold if I was worried. Also, all the added benefit to be thought of:

1) Being much more environmentally friendly (which I am interested in and may help decide contracts or be a marketing point)
2) Having engines that run more cleanly=longer life of engine, maintenance, etc
3) You can leave a propane engine overwinter and fire it up in the spring& be ready to go, where as gas+ethanol+sitting= problems
4) Propane doesn't go bad in a short period like gas sitting in a tank would

They have a few larger area city municipalities doing it, and are currently demoing with 2 large state universities, one of which is in my hometown and is my alma mater.

I invite your opinions and insight (I have read through some threads on this, and it seems like there's a lot more interest than experience at this point, which makes sense). If you have actually converted, please tell me how this prospective deal compares to what you're getting.
Big "A" Wilson
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 09:37 PM
AWilsonCreativeServices AWilsonCreativeServices is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Posts: 149
P.S.- He said here in Alabama, I need no special permitting or markers or anything if I carry less than 1,000 gal. Rupturing tanks are not an issue, as they said you have to shoot a .357 through it at close range to penetrate the tank, and I wouldn't be worried about running out bec I'd have multiple extra tanks.

I know some of the potential downsides are the 'unknown' factor, but they covered most of my other worries.
Big "A" Wilson
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 04:20 PM
djagusch djagusch is online now
LawnSite Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 3,982
If they are selling it a $1 under the cost of gas that is where they are making the money. You will use more per hr than gas (about 20% more). During the summer propane can be bought anyday under $2/gal normally $1.69 to $1.89. If gas is $4/gal they are making a extra $1.10 at least per gallon over their normal mark up. Also at that point you are basically breaking even if you account for the additional consumption.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 04:31 PM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 11,936
So you are locked into buying inflated propane from him forever. The conversion cost isn't that great. Have you looked into that side of it?
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2014, 05:59 PM
mrlpg's Avatar
mrlpg mrlpg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: US
Posts: 17
Nothing is free. I disagree with DJ with the 20% more usage, but do agree that setting your price $1 below any grade is suspect. They are building in all of that cost into your price and will potentially lock you in for a long period of time. Not all companies operate the same way.. I will say that there are plenty of upsides to converting over to propane that you did hear, so you should feel good about your decision.
Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 12:56 AM
AWilsonCreativeServices AWilsonCreativeServices is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Posts: 149

I appreciate the input from everyone. I am still interested in the conversion, but am going to price out what it'd cost for me to do the convert, get a used tank, and get a contract with a local supplier for the summertime. I'll let you know what I find out by the end of the month.

Thanks again,

Big "A" Wilson
Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2014, 02:20 AM
newz7151 newz7151 is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tejas
Posts: 2,469
Well let's see.. here's a question I have:

Is there anywhere in the deal that they tell you the propane from that 200gal tank can ONLY be used in the tanks for the mowers and other equipment?

Propane for a bottle refill right now is running about $3.89 here in the central Texas area, 87 octane gas at Wal-Mart is/was $3.22 gallon today. Now, which gas pricing are they using in your area, a daily reported average cost or a national average?

I've heard reports of propane up north going for $7.00/gallon or more right now with the winter we're having. If you aren't limited to using it JUST in your mowers and all of the other questions I raised work out, then I would say go for it. I'd also look into converting anything else you can to propane also.. say a small vehicle or two?
Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2014, 03:01 PM
Torquin Torquin is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Powhatan, Va
Posts: 15
So, how are you coming with your evaluation? While I am not a pro, with business funds on the line, I am curious about the feasibility, financially, about this conversion.
I was looking at and saw that Propane has 73% of the energy that gasoline does, and like others said, I wonder if you will end up a wash in fuel spending.

Reply With Quote

conversion , fuel , maintenance , mowers , propane

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Layout Style:

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Grand View Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:01 PM.

Page generated in 0.06597 seconds with 10 queries