With mowing season upon us, City of Knoxville Fleet Services recently added nine propane-powered mowers for the Horticulture division of the Public Service Department to use on 400 acres of parks mowed regularly and an average 1,947 overgrown lots cut by the City annually.
“The use of alternatively fueled machines in the City’s fleet is something we look at more and more for cost reduction, improved services and good environmental stewardship,” said Keith Shields, Director of City Fleet Services. “An added bonus with propane-powered mowers is that we will be using domestic fuel.”
The City sought the advice of the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCleanFuels) on the purchase of the propane mowers. ETCleanFuels advised the use of the mowers because they offer a reduced carbon footprint through decreased carbon dioxide emissions and a closed-loop fuel system, which prevents gas leaks that are often common in the mowing industry.
In case studies of other cities using propane mowers throughout the country, fuel costs have frequently been improved between 20 and 50 per cent.
After testing three propane mowers in 2015, the City purchased the nine Kubota ZP330P-60 mowers for $8,800 each, totaling approximately $79,000, to replace nine gasoline-powered mowers.
“These mowers are a lot more powerful than what the City has had in the past, and that means we will save time and money on manpower,” said Mark Wagner, Horticulture Manager in the City’s Public Service Department.
The mowers, designed to shred and disperse grass clippings as they mow, were delivered this month and are being used by Horticulture crews throughout the City.
“We have very optimistic projections for this new equipment in our fleet and we’re looking forward to reaping the many benefits of our investment,” said Shields.
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