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Metro Lawns, Propane, Zipper = successful commercial rig?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BBC.lawn.services, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. BBC.lawn.services

    BBC.lawn.services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Hey all!
    I've been researching propane quite a bit lately. I'm considering using something like a 74" front mount mower with propane for my commercial ZTR.

    In past thread(s) I've been weighing options for services my larger properties (5-18 acres) People recommended getting a large ZTR instead of a wide area mower.

    The two options I've come down too are...
    getting a used gas ZTR
    pros -
    cheaper initial cost
    cons -
    no warranty
    less efficient/cost effective as propane
    less engine life

    getting a new propane mower
    pros -
    Well its propane! Awesome stuff!
    longer engine life
    less maintenance
    more efficient and environmentally friendly than gas
    cheaper fuel cost
    expensive price!

    for a little extra info - the commercial side of my business is looking to gross between $20,000 - $30,000 if all goes well. So after expenses I'm looking to have between $6,000 and $8,000 it invest (pay off) on equipement for this season.

    I'm looking on any and all opinions about Zipper mowers (both front and mid mount)
    info on Propane mowers
    info on Metro Lawn (propane provider/delivery service.

    Looking forward to discussing this issue with you fellow lawn care professionals!
  2. Magnolia Green

    Magnolia Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Not sure if you ever made a decision, but I'm looking at propane powered ZTRs as well. I have been looking at Bob-Cat. If I purchase 2, as I would like to do, then I would save $2k per mower plus I can get $2,500 back from the gov't as a tax incentive.

    My biggest worries are that my guys will screw up (freeze their hands, not pay attention to the tank and run out of propane before the truck is loaded or accidentally disconnect a hose or cause a leak inside the box truck). Very big worries.

    My biggest reasons for wanting to use propane is it's cleaner, cheaper, and I think it would be a great marketing tool for larger commercial jobs.

    I'll let you know if I get the Bob Cats.
  3. BBC.lawn.services

    BBC.lawn.services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Hey bro! Thanks for saving the thread from being one of...THOSE threads. (zero replies) :dancing:

    I decided just to get a used gas ztr this year. In a season or two assuming all goes well... I plan on re-looking into propane. I just didn't have the money in the bank this year being that it pretty much my first full year to invest in propane.

    I can give you some contact info on Metro Lawns (propane provider) if your interested. I had to go through the whole system to find someone who can answer my questions so it might save you some time!

    They have a nice deal going on with Zipper right now. At least looking at the specs, these mowers are monsters!
  4. Magnolia Green

    Magnolia Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I've been checking them out. Very imformative. Just not sure about Zipper. No dealer in my area leaves me to be concerned about warranty and service. Price is good compared to others though.
    I hope going propane is a good choice for us.
  5. BBC.lawn.services

    BBC.lawn.services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Oh, ya true. Zipper is quite small company. Only dealer I know of it is in Wichita, KS.

    Let us know how it goes if you decided to go that route!
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,451

    So far we haven't saved any money with propance and we are running 3 units. Prices go up and down and it is $3.25 last week so that makes it more expensive than gas. We have a one pound tank so if we run out to load. If you don't get the connection tight(it does not get cold) the valve in the tank will close and shut off propane.
  7. Magnolia Green

    Magnolia Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for letting us know your experience...very much appreciated and good idea w/ the 1lb tank.
    I know I can lock in my price at about $2.25/gallon w/ my local distributor, but only between April and October. Not sure what my winter rate would be, but we wouldn't use them in the winter a great deal anyway.
    If you could do it over again, would you still go w/ propane? Have you had any other issues with your guys filling tanks or causing any potential safety issues?
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,451

    At this point on hold for any more installations. They seems to have more hp with propane and with a full tank on the rear mount they ride real nice. What I would really like is the Turf Tiger Scag that runs on gas and propane then I could run longer. The Turf Tiger I got only runs 5.5 hrs on one tank. We still keep thinking that long term we will HAVE to run propane or limit cutting hours. We got pollution standards in city that are not being met.
    Biggest problem is getting the tanks filled. Our dealer does not offer home delivery yet. There are companies in Austin that will come and bring you filled tanks on a regular schedule.

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