Editor’s note: The June issue of Superintendent magazine features a special supplement on golf and sustainability. We were fortunate to have several advertisers/sponsors involved in the supplement to make it possible and to help educate superintendents about sustainability. We asked the sponsors to share their philosophies about sustainability as it pertains to their products. It’s clear these companies take sustainability very seriously and are committed to its economic, environmental and social components. While their stories appeared in the June issue, we’re also sharing them in this newsletter. Today, a look at R&R Products.
Most everybody wants to do the right thing when it comes to the environment, says, Jim Coker, director of propane applications for Tucson, Arizona-based R&R Products.
“But it has been beat in our heads that it’s going to cost more to go green,” Coker says.
But going green by changing to propane-fueled equipment wouldn’t cost superintendents a dime more in fuel, Coker states. In fact, it would cost them a lot less.
Coker has told landscape management companies that propane-fueled equipment could reduce their overall fuel bills by $1 a gallon. Some of those landscapers use 100,000 gallons of gas and diesel fuel a year.
“That’s $100,000 a year to their bottom lines,” says Coker, who’s also a board member of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which promotes the safe and efficient use of odorized propane gas.
Coker believes superintendents would be more open to using propane if they knew it cost less, can’t spill on greens, reduces equipment maintenance, and is more environmentally friendly.
“[Superintendents] talk about reducing their carbon footprints,” Coker says. “Propane contains 70 percent less carbon than gasoline and diesel.”
Equipment fueled by propane also requires fewer oil changes and other engine maintenance, Coker adds.
“Less carbon in fuel leads to cleaner engines,” he explains.
Coker says he recently visited Augusta National Golf Club, where he made a presentation on adapting equipment to propane. He wasn’t trying to sell Augusta anything — just trying to get Augusta officials thinking about a more sustainable fuel option.
Coker says Kubota has agreed to work with R&R Products to possibly implement the technology.
“With Kubota stepping up, people will take notice,” he adds.
The golf industry’s top mower manufacturers aren’t interested in the technology, Coker says, but he’s not giving up on them.
“They won’t start a new product line because it takes too long and costs too much,” he says. “They build by volume.”
Coker also likes propane because it’s an American-generated fuel and would require less reliance on foreign oil.
“I think we’re going to change some minds if we can get people looking at this,” Coker sa