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Propane-Powered Riding Mower
With soaring gas prices, timing for a propane-powered lawn mower is perfect, says Jeremy Hahne, director of marketing with ONYX Environmental Solutions.
  The company patented the technology a few years ago and introduced mowers for lawn care professionals in 2005. ONYX has been doing propane conversions for 15 years on all kinds of equipment.
  "Propane not only lowers fuel costs and emissions, but also lowers maintenance costs because it burns cleaner and there is less engine buildup," Hahne says. Oil doesn't need to be changed as often.
  "What we did is add our system to Encore commercial mowers," Hahne says. "They're built like a tank."
  ONYX's propane-powered mowers put out 60 percent less emissions and 80 percent less toxic emissions.
  Fuel costs are also reduced. On average, propane costs 30 percent less than gas or diesel. The mowers have two 33-lb. tanks, enough to run the mowers for 14 to 15 hours. In a year, the fuel savings offset the cost of the mowers, which are about 10 percent higher than conventional mowers, Hahne says.
  The city of Austin, Texas, purchased some of the first mowers to use on city property and have not had any problems, Hahne notes. Other states are also beginning to enforce regulations that require using equipment that puts out fewer emissions, especially on government property.
  "We are seeing a spiked interest this year," Hahne says, as more people hear about the propane option. "Landscapers are switching over their fleets."
  The company plans to introduce a homeowner product line in 2008.
  Commercial EnviroGard mowers start at $4,300 for a 36-in. walk behind model with a 15 hp Kawasaki engine, and top out at $13,500 for a 61-in. zero turn model with a 31 hp Briggs & Stratton engine. Engines have a 3-yr. warranty on parts, and the mower deck has a 10-yr. warranty.
  The company is also seeking established dealers throughout the U.S., Hahne says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, EnviroGard, ONYX Environmental Solutions, 1712 Williams Rd. Ext, Monroe, North Carolina 28110 (ph 800 858-3533; jeremyhahne@onyxsolutions.com; www.onyxsolutions.com).

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2007 - Volume #31, Issue #3