Irvington Gas finds nontraditional opportunity in lawn mowers

October 3, 2012 By    

The lawn care company responsible for mowing the residential sections of the U.S. Army base at Fort Knox, Ky., recently incorporated propane-powered mowers into its daily activities. And Irvington Gas Co., a propane retailer based in Irvington, Ky., was at the lawn care company’s side ensuring its transition from gasoline to propane was a smooth one.

Irvington Gas installed a 1,000-gallon propane tank for Mainscape. It also trained the company’s employees to fill its new mowers and cylinders. Now, Irvington Gas makes a trip to Fort Knox each week to deliver 300 to 700 gallons of propane to Mainscape.

“We’ve been using propane mowers on our personal properties for the last five years,” says Kerry Kasey, Irvington Gas president. “So we were already a little familiar with the idea.

“Mainscape is using different mowers than we are, but for propane companies mowers are a great opportunity to create an offseason.”

Kasey and his colleague, Charlie Russ, see opportunities for propane retailers and lawn care companies to partner beyond Irvington Gas and Mainscape. But a problem, Russ says, is at the lawn mower distribution level. Mower dealers need to carry propane mowers to sell them, and only a few are serious about propane right now.

“They’re not going to sell something they’re not comfortable working on,” Russ says. “We went from the manufacturer to the dealer for a mower we bought ourselves. That’s how we bought it.”

Municipalities are among the potential buyers who’ve gotten excited about the prospect of propane mowers, Russ adds, but municipalities and others won’t necessarily do the service work necessary to maintain propane mowers. So it’s on consumers down the supply chain, manufacturers up the chain and the propane retailers who stand to benefit to encourage dealers to familiarize themselves with propane mowers. Irvington Gas is fortunate Mainscape does its own service work.

Mainscape and Fort Knox are also ideal partners because Fort Knox is a federal facility – and federal facilities have a history of investing in alternative fuels.

Another upside Irvington Gas sees with Mainscape is that it is only mowing residential areas of Fort Knox. Commercial areas are still an opportunity, as are other places Mainscape services throughout the country.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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