Switching to Natural Gas

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by steve4611, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. steve4611

    steve4611 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    In recent weeks, I have been seriously contemplating a conversion of my truck and my big mower to natural gas. In my first season back in the lawn business, I now fully understand how my profit margins are affected by the fluctuation in gas prices and started looking for alternatives.

    Natural gas seems to be a viable solution.

    Pros: About half the price if you are buying gas @ $3.30 and the price doesn't fluctuate as much as gasoline. I can still keep my existing gas tank and use it if I cannot reach a station near to me. Natural gas runs keeps engines cleaner increasing the longevity and bypassing certain fuel problems that can occur. 100% of my money will stay in our national economy. I can also receive a nice, hefty tax credit for switching. I could also use this as an advertising ploy to possibly increase sales for the greenies. From the information that I have picked up, it's just as safe as using gasoline.

    Cons: $3500 to convert my V-8, and about $800 for a 27hp Kawasaki. There are only three gas stations in the Indy area that I could fill up. There is also an inevitable learning curve by switching and some unknown problems that might arise.

    What do you guys think? Am I in over my head? Can you think of something that I haven't?

    Any input is greatly appreciated.
  2. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    Probably will when i get new vehicles. We are in the middle of.the haynesville shale here and almost every station is putting in a nat has filling station
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  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I've started the conversion. I have a couple CNG stations 20 mimutes away heading towards each of my service areas, thankfully one is within minutes of a supply house I go to every few days during the season. Look into tax credits for doing the conversion. If you have NG at your house/shop then you can also get a compressor to fill right on site. You can get these installed at a pretty reasonable price after tax credits, check with city, state, fed. The only problem with these small compressors are that they take hours to fill the tank.
  4. steve4611

    steve4611 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Yeah, it was my understanding that the gas stations all have rapid fill and the "garage" version is a slow fill. I don't have that option to fill at home because we just have electric. The average size tank can run 250 miles, so I would just have to fill up weekly.

    For those interested, you can find where a station is near you here

    Are you planning on doing the conversion yourself? I am somewhat mechanically inclined, but I know I would run into problems, and in the end, there is a good chance something would be installed incorrectly. However, I would have a lot more knowledge of the inner workings of the technology if I did it myself.
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I'm in the same boat with no NG available at my shop or house so I have to use the fill stations. That sight is better than many others i have seen. They atleast tell you if the ftation is open to the public or not. It would be nice here if the state would set up a system where the public could use their stations to, it would double the amount of locations available
  6. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,713

    I really like the idea of using cng on stuff. Its beyond shameful that our country has such a crappy cng infrastructure.

    In S. America you can purchase a CNG conversion kits for 1500- 2000$ whereas in the us kits cost around 10k.

    CNG is a great fuel, its clean, its "cheap" and most of it comes from the good ole USA.
  7. bscill

    bscill LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 94

    My wife works for the gas company in our town and her boss asked me if I would switch truck and mowers over if he could get everything. I told him it sounded great, so looks like I will be switching when we get something in our area.
  8. themadcutter

    themadcutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from florida
    Messages: 914

    I was just talking to someone about nat and prop gas equipment.

    I was told it burns much hotter and can cause seal problems on mowers

    and that you get much less mileage per tank (as it were because its not a direct comparison)

    you loose abut 20% hp also
  9. Bloggermano

    Bloggermano LawnSite Member
    from CHICAGO
    Messages: 2

    I hear nat gas is expected to have a large supply glut this summer (bc of mild winter and huge shale field expansion recently). So...low prices could be here for a while...at least in the short term..
  10. designman

    designman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    anyone know of a site that discusses the conversion process for a dodge hemi?

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