As promised, here is my analysis of the ROI or BS, Case 1.

First, and to put it rather bluntly, virtually everything they listed is subject to interpretation and variation. While there are some variables that appear very reasonable, nearly all of them could be altered positively or negatively. Let’s look at the each variable individually.

 

 1. Current gasoline price – The price of gasoline can obviously sway dramatically, but so does propane. Since propane is derived from the refinement of crude oil, it’s pricing is somewhat tied to the fluctuations in gasoline. Additionally, there is a fifty cents-per-gallon rebate from the Federal Government when you purchase propane. However, with the amount of deficit spending going on in Washington right now, no one can assure you that it will be there five years from now.

 2. Hours mowing per day – The number of hours mowed per day is also subject to variation.  Given the working environment of the public sector, I believe you would be hard pressed to find any employee mowing seven hours per day. The time taken each day to prepare the equipment, move it to the site, time for breaks/lunch, moving the equipment back, and any other administrative requirements would not leave much room for a seven hours of actual productivity.

 3. Days per week – Depending on the size of the area that the lawnmowers must cut, it is highly unlikely that they would be used each and every day. Maintenance requirements and staff absences would also cut into that five day a week schedule.

 4. Weeks per year – Obviously, fleets located in various parts of the country experience different growing seasons. It would be highly unlikely that all agencies have the same grass cutting season.

 5. Gallons per hour – The gallons per hour depends on the size of the engine, lawnmower, and RPM (percent of throttle) used during cutting.

 6. Theft & spillage – I don’t know where they go that info from, but it is highly questionable. Theft and spillage of fuel can occur at any time and by many methods. You don’t have to put fuel into a portable gas can in order for it to be siphoned or stolen.

 7. Maintenance costs – While propane is a cleaner burning fuel, which causes less carbon buildup on internal engine components, I doubt very seriously that the savings offset is that dramatic. This claim possesses the most suspicion.

 Lastly, I would like thank those individuals who replied to the ROI study. Your comments and insight are greatly appreciated.  

 

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Anonymous Author

Public Fleet Manager

The anonymous public fleet manager is a current working fleet manager who oversees a public fleet in the U.S. He writes about controversial and stimulating topics and expresses candid opinions about some of the challenges and demands of running a fleet operation day-to-day, as well as topics that affect the industry. More than one author can contribute under the "anonymous" name, leading to a diversity of voices and opinions.

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The anonymous public fleet manager is a current working fleet manager who oversees a public fleet in the U.S. He writes about controversial and stimulating topics and expresses candid opinions about some of the challenges and demands of running a fleet operation day-to-day, as well as topics that affect the industry. More than one author can contribute under the "anonymous" name, leading to a diversity of voices and opinions.

View Bio
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