Local Company Switches to Propane

The anticipated rainfall over the weekend will definitely help our yards to grow. That means we will be using our lawn mowers later next week.

Many of us are using gasoline-powered lawn mowers, but Magnolia Green and Landscape Architects has switched from gas-powered riding mowers to ones that run on propane.

With energy costs continuing to go up, alternative fuel sources like propane are a major draw. Many of us probably have propane for our grills, and industries are looking more and more into propane. Not only is propane cheaper than gasoline, but it's also cleaner.

"Just the cost of the propane. The fact that it's 50 percent less emissions over a gasoline powered engine. We really didn't experience any power loss or anything like that, so it just seemed to be a real good decision," said Robby Pickett, owner of Magnolia Green.

Propane engines also have fewer maintenance concerns with other parts of the engine. That also means savings in routine care and also more time working.

"It's also good for maintenance on the mowers, too," Pickett said. "You know, when you get a lot of hours on these mowers, you're constantly taking them in for oil changes and different things involved with the engine. With these, you can go a very long period of time, a lot longer than you can with a gas or diesel engine, and not have as much maintenance. Very little wear on the engines."

The lawn care industry is not the only one starting to use alternative fuels. If you live in a newer constructed house, you probably have propane as a heating source.

"Gas logs is the number one thing now in new construction of homes. Just about everybody's putting in gas logs," said Jeff Smith of McDonald & Hill.

Pickett wants to eventually replace all of his equipment to run on propane. Pickett sees the advantages that using propane brings.

Propane is significantly lower in price right now than either regular gasoline or diesel fuel. You can get propane for about $2.69 per gallon in Meridian right now. That's fifty cents lower than gas which averages $3.22 a gallon. Diesel is $3.60 a gallon on average.

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