Company: Pristine Green
Industry: Landscape/Lawn Care
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Vehicles: 2011 Ford F-350 truck (1), with plans to add more in fall 2011 (All lawn-care and snow-removal equipment powered by propane)
Fueling: 1,000-gallon tank on-site infrastructure
To create a lawn-care business solely fueled by a domestically produced, clean-burning energy source that would set the company apart from its competition.
By the Numbers:
- 53 percent fuel savings per gallon when compared to gasoline.
- 14,685 pounds of carbon dioxide eliminated from Pristine Green’s carbon footprint each year, based on an estimated 30,000 miles traveled per year.
Pristine Green of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is inspiring people to change the way they think about lawn care by choosing clean-burning, domestically produced propane to fuel their business. Owners Jesse and Hilary Triick, who purchased a ROUSH CleanTech Ford F-350 fueled by propane autogas in April 2010, are finding it a reliable foundation for creating a complete lawn-care service geared toward helping people reduce their carbon footprint — while maintaining a beautiful landscape.
“When we decided to start our business in July of 2009, we knew we needed a niche market because the lawn-care industry is so saturated,” explained Jesse. “I had operated our lawn-care business for about three years before I learned about alternative-fueled equipment. I started looking for a greener fuel to replace gasoline- and diesel-powered equipment, and happened upon the ROUSH CleanTech web site. There I found the closest to original equipment conversion for propane autogas I had ever seen.”
According to the Triicks, Pristine Green is the only propane-powered complete lawn-care and maintenance solution available in Michigan. This distinct title has garnered the attention of customers and peers looking for eco-friendly solutions to the emissions generated through the lawn-care industry.
The ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas powered Ford F-350 features an in-bed fuel tank option that still allows plenty of room for transporting lawn equipment and cargo in the truck’s bed. The truck also boasts a custom wrap to reflect the pride Pristine Green has in choosing American-made exceptional energy for their company’s needs.
Giving the Environment a Break
Jesse says estimates show that up to 10 percent of the pollution in the U.S. is caused by the lawn-care industry. He contributes his switch to propane for cutting his company’s toxic emissions of benzene and toluene by 96 percent. By using propane in both his on-road truck and lawn-care equipment, Jesse offers a double punch of environmental stewardship.
Propane autogas burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, with up to 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, 60 percent less carbon monoxide, up to 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline. Research by the Propane Education & Research Council proves that propane mowers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 50 percent and carbon monoxide by more than 80 percent, when compared to gasoline mowers.
“It [propane] has done amazing things for our business,” said Hilary. “We are able to operate on ozone action days and actually feel good about it. Customers can feel good about our product and service, especially on ozone action days.”
The West Michigan Clean Air Coalition monitors Ozone Action Days in Michigan. Warnings are issued when ground-level ozone, fine particulate matter, or both, are expected to reach or exceed the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” threshold on the air-quality index, when ozone levels are above 75 parts per billion over an eight-hour period, or fine particle levels are above 35 micrograms per cubit meter over a 24-hour period. The chemical components of ozone come from a variety of sources, many of which are man-made.
“By reducing the amounts of chemicals and emissions our power equipment and vehicle release, we can feel good about our efforts to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone,” said Hilary.
Trimming Costs, Growing Capital
Jesse and Hilary dedicated a lot of time toward researching all forms of alternative energy that could be put to work in their industry. They found propane the winner, especially when it came down to performance and cost analysis. “Electric doesn’t provide enough run-time; I can only get about 90 minutes out of an electric mower. And compressed natural gas is entirely cost prohibitive,” said Jesse.
Once the decision to switch to propane autogas for their transportation needs was made, the couple purchased their ROUSH CleanTech truck from a locally owned and operated dealership, Fox Ford.
With fuel prices reaching $4.19 per gallon in the Triicks’ service area, the switch to propane autogas has trimmed fuel costs in half. According to Jesse and Hilary, they are paying only $2.00 per gallon for propane autogas (as of May 2011), and that is before any government tax incentives.
Additionally, because propane is a clean-burning fuel that leaves no carbon deposited in engines, equipment and vehicle maintenance costs are lessened while the life of the engine is increased. “The ROUSH CleanTech service department stands 100 percent behind their product,” Jesse said. “I have no doubt these products are going to last a long time.”
The Triicks installed an on-site 1,000-gallon propane tank with a four-by-four-by-four-foot cabinet and pump and hoses of varying sizes for their different applications. This decision has cut out trips to the gas station and has enabled their crew to carry more fuel.
“We needed an on-site filling station so that we could refuel the truck. A tank exchange program just wouldn’t fit in to what we were doing,” Jesse reported. “Amerigas understood our concept and installed a filling station for me.”
A Pristine Future with Propane
As Jesse and Hilary are quickly discovering, most people don’t think of propane as an alternative fuel when looking to make a change. But, propane is a readily available fuel choice that offers a one-stop solution — not only can it effectively power equipment, but it’s a clean, domestic choice for vehicles.
Jesse urges his industry peers to give propane a chance. “If you can operate a gasoline-powered mower, you can run a propane-powered one. The switch is seamless and the benefits are excellent,” he added. “For some reason propane isn’t in the spotlight, which is something I think is going to change in the near future.”
Jesse and Hilary look forward to witnessing the growth of not only their family business, but the ‘greening up’ of an industry known for creating lush, green landscapes. The Triicks plan to do their part by adding more ROUSH CleanTech vehicles and additional crews to their eco-friendly line-up in the near future.
About ROUSH CleanTech: Based in Livonia, Mich., ROUSH CleanTech offers dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel systems for a variety of light- and medium-duty Ford vans and trucks, and for the Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision. Currently offered through authorized Ford dealerships around the country, the ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system delivers the same factory Ford performance characteristics and serviceability with a 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty. Customers can lower operating costs significantly while reducing vehicle emissions. Complete details on ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas offerings can be found online at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.
(Completed in 2011)