A number of options exist for centralized, on-site refueling for both applications, making these mowers and trucks feasible for fleets that service large or multiple areas.

Tax credits for propane refueling infrastructure installation, fuel can aid sports turf managers

As sports turf managers research new additions to their commercial lawn mower and work truck fleets, one of the most important considerations is refueling. Whether a fleet is used to maintain a single field, or many across a wide area, making sure both mowers and trucks can be easily refueled saves time, effort, and cost.

More than 15 models of propane-fueled commercial mowers are available today from industry-leading brands, while over the past 20 months, 10 new vehicle platforms fueled by propane autogas have been introduced to the market. Ease of refueling has accelerated the use of both types of equipment.

A number of options exist for centralized, on-site refueling for both applications, making these mowers and trucks feasible for fleets that service large or multiple areas. Cost-saving measures also are available for the installation of infrastructure, and the fuel itself. These advantages complement the fact that propane-fueled mowers and work trucks fueled by propane autogas provide top-level, sustainable performance, using a fuel that is abundant and readily available via a local propane provider. Nearly 90 percent of propane supplies are produced in the United States, making it a truly domestic fuel source.

On-site refueling options

Fleets adopting propane-fueled mowers and work trucks fueled by propane autogas can refuel via the same centralized, on-site infrastructure, which can be tailored to fit its unique needs. Depending on storage necessity, longevity and available space, managers can choose between several options:

·         Skid-mounted above-ground portable platforms

·         Permanent above-ground stations

·         Underground storage tanks

Skid-mount systems are typically pre-assembled, making installation or relocation quick and inexpensive, and allowing for safe refueling without the permanence of stationary systems. Skid-mount systems are comprised of an above-ground propane tank, dispenser, pump, piping, and control panel mounted on a concrete or steel frame to create a portable unit that can be installed, and then relocated in a matter of days if necessary. They require no permanent changes to the installation site, though above or underground storage tanks are also an option for longer-term use.

Local propane providers can help sports turf managers and landscapers determine the best on-site refueling option for their mower and truck fleets, and facilitate ongoing fuel delivery. That includes mower cylinder exchange programs, which usually include installation of a cage and replacement of empty cylinders with full ones during regularly scheduled deliveries. Propane providers also offer appropriate training to ensure safe refueling practices are always used.

Thousands of refueling stations across the country also make propane autogas readily available for off-site refueling. Fleet managers and drivers can locate stations via the Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Data Center.[1]

Managing costs

There are a number of ways for sports turf managers and landscapers to reduce costs by adopting propane-fueled mowers and trucks fueled by propane autogas. The federal government, along with many states, offer programs to encourage the use of propane as an engine fuel. Currently, a 50-cent-per-gallon alternative-fuel tax credit is available for vehicles fueled by propane autogas. Federal tax credits are also available for 30 percent of the installation cost – up to $30,000 – of alternative refueling structures. Sports turf managers and landscapers should consult their tax advisor regarding claims for credits or refunds, and the IRS website for appropriate dates and forms.

Additionally, the high performance delivered by commercial mowers and work trucks, coupled with propane’s cleaner-burning properties, can decrease the amount of maintenance costs over the life of each equipment type.

Operators can also increase savings as propane-fueled commercial mowers can operate during pollution advisory periods, such as ozone action days, when local regulations ban gasoline mowers to protect air quality.

To learn more about propane-fueled commercial lawn mowers, work trucks fueled by propane autogas, and available refueling options, visit www.poweredbypropane.org.- by Brian Feehan

Vice president, Propane Education & Research Council

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of Public Law 104-248, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source.


[1] Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/.