The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and Stoltzfus Farm Service Inc. hosted a Propane Mower Demo Day Event at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., March 19. Thirty-five professional landscape professionals attended the demonstration to learn about propane’s benefits and try out the latest propane-powered commercial mowers.
“We were excited to be a part of such a successful event, and we’re eager to reap the rewards of the seeds we’re sowing now in the landscape industry,” says Dave Steinhauer of Stoltzfus. “Propane used to be thought of as futuristic in this industry, and we feel like we’re a part of making it a reality and giving contractors accurate, compelling information about propane’s benefits. We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback and expect that to materialize into propane-equipment sales.”
The event opened with educational sessions and a Q&A with industry experts followed by lunch and an afternoon of testing equipment. Speakers included Jeremy Wishart, senior programs manager for PERC; Garry Busboom, chief development engineer for Exmark Manufacturing; Brandon Fredricks, associate channel manager for Kohler Engines Group; and Chris Cafarella, sales and marketing manager for Boulden Brothers Propane.
“PERC’s first demo day event was valuable for both the dealership and contractors, and we hope it will be a model for similar events in the future,” says Wishart. “With more than 17 OEMs offering propane-powered mowers or EPA-certified conversion kits, both brand-loyal contractors and OPE dealers can benefit from propane’s advantages.”
Stoltzfus Farm Service Inc. of Cochranville, Pa., was the 2013 GIE+EXPO winner of PERC’s demo day event. Equipment dealers who visited PERC’s booth had the opportunity to sign up to win the dealer demo day, and Stoltzfus was selected from dozens of dealerships that entered the drawing. The family-owned dealership provides equipment sales and service to customers in Chester and Delaware County, Pa., Cecil County, Md., and New Castle County, Del.
“We recently began selling propane mowers, so before the event we were still learning and establishing ourselves in the area,” Steinhauer says. “In the few weeks since the event we’ve become the local expert on propane and we’ve seen a lot of interest and received many calls from local contractors and municipalities who want more information or are interested in testing the demo unit for a few days.”
Dealers interested in learning more about propane and about how to add propane models to their current lineup can download PERC’s free Mower Dealer Toolkit from propanemarc.com/mowerdealer. Dealers can also browse a variety of other free materials created by PERC, including safety and how-to video tutorials, informational brochures, promotional materials and case studies.
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a check-off program established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. The only energy council of its kind, PERC leads safety and training efforts among propane retailers and consumers and drives technology development to expand adoption of propane as a clean, domestic, and affordable energy source. PERC programs benefit a variety of industries including fleet vehicle management, landscaping, residential and commercial building, agriculture, and material handling. For more information, visit propanecouncil.org