Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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50 LC DBM A L T E R N A T I V E Propane Bonus The Propane Education and Research Council's Propane Mower Incentive Program will provide $1,000 for a qualifying new mower purchase, and $500 for a qualifying mower con- version in return for participant-supplied feedback and performance data for one mowing season to help the council document the cost savings and benefts that propane-fueled mowers can deliver. Converting Potential Customers Electricity Expands POWER from Batteries Emission Free and Award Winning Yet to Comeā€¦ Price Leveling Expected e n e r g y Blossman Services Inc., which provides propane fuel for engines used in commercial mowers, is designing and manufacturing an engine-spe- cifc conversion kit that will meet EPA certifcations stan- dards. Available for purchase in the spring of 2014 through all Blossman Propane Gas branches in the U.S. as well as online, the kits will not void the warranty on new mowers, according to Blossman, which is building the kits in-house. The most recent GIE show saw an increase of battery/electric manu- facturers (a list is available at and a broader range of their products in this category, including some frst-time UTV exhibitors according to Kris Kiser, presi- dent of the OPEI, who acknowledged that it is a growing segment in the industry. In response OPEI formed an Electric Products Committee to develop standards for electric equipment including electric robotic mowers. Cub Cadet's RZT-S ZERO, the only fully electric zero-turn riding mower that is controlled by a steering wheel and patented four-wheel steering technol- ogy, received honors at CES in the Eco Design and Sustainable Technologies category of its annual Innovations Design and Engineering Awards, and was presented the Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics. A recent Internet search by LC/DBM Magazine turned up a number of DIY solar- powered mowers and a commercially produced one, Husqvarna's Automower. In truth, they were all powered by batteries that were charged with solar cells, and none seemed ft for commercial use but for the green industry, adopting this technology when it is viable is surely in its future. In spite of the jump in propane prices due to the high de- mand this winter, by the time seasonal landscaping begins, prices should return to normal due to the drop in demand that historically takes place in the summer. This is accord- ing to Dave Wood, a partner at Tech Services Incorporated, the worldwide rights holder for EnviroGard EPA-certifed propane conversion kits. Battery-powered outdoor equipment is typically underpowered when compared to gas-powered equipment but a recent test of Core Outdoor Power's CGT400 trimmer by the Farm Industry News found that the head speed offers 7,000 RPM and 5,000 RPM torque: 25 percent more torque than a 25cc two-cycle gas engine. Proprietary technology replaces traditional wire-wound motors with a multi-layered, printed cir- cuit board, which works with magnets to create the powerful rotational forces. 050-051.indd 50 3/3/14 11:16 AM

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