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View Full Version : Is gas really that expensive?


justanotherlawnguy
06-11-2007, 01:47 AM
I actually kept track of how much gas my Lazer (60/27) uses. I filled it up a couple of weeks ago and got 75 cuts out of it. Everything from 1/8 acre to an acre and every size in between. Bottom line is that I got 75 cuts out of both tanks of gas.

I filled up 12 gallons @ 3.09/per gallon for $37.08.

$37.08 / 75 yards = $0.49 per yard.

I think gas is like 5% of my gross for the month.

So what is the big deal, what is with the gas surcharges? Do guys just not charge enough to begin with?

Let me have it, I am sure to get everything but the kitchen sink thrown at me for this one, actually I expect that as well.

Let me know your thoughts....

Myk
06-11-2007, 02:16 AM
You have a good point but I like for the customer to pay for the gas that goes in my oil mix for trimmers blowers and truck if you traveled to 75 lawns how much gas are you putting in your truck figure that into. For me I have a budget I pay myself x amount and y amount for everthing else so if gas goes up I don't want to have to pay myself less because of the expense of gas.

Myk
06-11-2007, 02:17 AM
oh yeah how you like your Lazer Z? I love mine 60/27 ultra cut

Grits
06-11-2007, 02:24 AM
I actually kept track of how much gas my Lazer (60/27) uses. I filled it up a couple of weeks ago and got 75 cuts out of it. Everything from 1/8 acre to an acre and every size in between. Bottom line is that I got 75 cuts out of both tanks of gas.

I filled up 12 gallons @ 3.09/per gallon for $37.08.

$37.08 / 75 yards = $0.49 per yard.

I think gas is like 5% of my gross for the month.

So what is the big deal, what is with the gas surcharges? Do guys just not charge enough to begin with?

Let me have it, I am sure to get everything but the kitchen sink thrown at me for this one, actually I expect that as well.

Let me know your thoughts....

It has never been that big of a deal to me. The cost of everything goes up. It is just that the price of gas is posted on huge signs for everyone to see the constant changing of the price, that causes people to talk about it.
It is human nature for people to have to have something to complain about, or so it seems. Gas is the easiest target that everyone has in common.

Richard Martin
06-11-2007, 04:57 AM
Like others have said, it's not the gas in the mowers, it's the total gas bill. Right now since my customer list is a little thin I am having to travel some decent distances to get my work done. This past Friday I filled everything up for the first time in almost a month. The gas for the mowers and trimmers was 4.2% of gross but the fuel for the truck was 8.3% for a total of 12.5% of gross going out to fuel alone. As time goes on and I fill my schedule out the percentage that goes into the truck will drop but the mowers and trimmers will go up. I'd ideally like to see the total go under 10% and probably closer to 8%. We'll see what happens.

dhardin53
06-11-2007, 08:04 AM
Its not the mower alone. Its the big truck pulling a large trailer getting 9 to 12 MPG that you need to figure in to those 75 yards.

bohiaa
06-11-2007, 08:45 AM
Its not the mower alone. Its the big truck pulling a large trailer getting 9 to 12 MPG that you need to figure in to those 75 yards.

:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

KTO Enterprises
06-11-2007, 09:25 AM
Im going to call B. S. on the supposed fuel mileage of his mower. Most larger mowers consume about a gallon per hour. That would mean about 12 hours of cutting time. Ill even be generous and give him 16 hours of cutting time. There is no way you are doing 75 yards worth of cutting in 16 hours time. and if 37.00 is 5% of your gross then you are grossing around 750 on all those yards and 75 yards to gross 750 is 10 dollars per yard.

Sounds like someone talking to hear the BB in their head rattle around.

tacoma200
06-11-2007, 09:52 AM
Like others have said, it's not the gas in the mowers, it's the total gas bill. Right now since my customer list is a little thin I am having to travel some decent distances to get my work done. This past Friday I filled everything up for the first time in almost a month. The gas for the mowers and trimmers was 4.2% of gross but the fuel for the truck was 8.3% for a total of 12.5% of gross going out to fuel alone. As time goes on and I fill my schedule out the percentage that goes into the truck will drop but the mowers and trimmers will go up. I'd ideally like to see the total go under 10% and probably closer to 8%. We'll see what happens.

Yea, the truck fuel is the one that hurts. Especially out in the country.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
06-11-2007, 10:16 AM
Some of the lawns I did, most of them really, when I lived and worked in Southwest Florida, Were small tiny yards that took almost no time at all to mow.

I mowed with a 52 inch toro with a 21 horse watercooled Kawasaki, and it had 12 gallon tanks. It could do a whole weeks worth of work on one fill up, or if it ran out it would finish the week on just a splash more of gas. So it is possible to get good fuel economy out of a lawnmower.



I have about 60-65 lawns per week to mow. My current mower is using both tanks, plus at least one side refilled per week to do them all. It holds around 10 gallons, and it takes another 4 to 5 to finish the week out. So my mower is using roughly 15 gallons of gas to do my lawns each week.

The trimmers and blowers are using only a few gallons per week, maybe 2.5 to 3 gallons tops. In the winter when the blower is seeing alot of work with leaves I might use 5 gallons per week.

The truck is seeing about 260-270 miles per week to do my route. The truck is averaging around 9 mpg.

So to service my lawns it takes about 47.5 gallons of gasoline.

What breaks our hearts is it was only just what, 2 years ago?..... That gas was around a dollar a gallon.... This would mean it would be costing my around 50 bucks in gas for the whole week. That was less than what I charged to mow two lawns, Or about 2/65th's of my gross income.

Now it is around 3 bucks a gallon, or higher.... and this means the same fill up today is 142.50$ YIKES!!!!

Compare $50 to $142.50........ That is why were all stressing. That is almost 3 times the cost. Nothing else we use has gone up at that rate in this short of a time.


I know truck prices go up a little each year, but they certainly haven't tripled in just 2 years time.... Nothing else has either that I can think of that we buy on a regular basis.

Gas prices was always something to complain about or be stressed over, but we all knew it was cheap. When it was only a dollar a gallon it was relatively cheap to drive or use gas to go boating or touring the country in a RV or whatever.

For me, I use at least 300 gallons of gas per month between work and play.... I used to have to budget around 300$ for that gas, Now it is around 1000$ for the same amount of gas. That is a 700$ increase!!!!!!!! 700$ is more than my house payment and car insurance payment combined. 700$ would buy a very fancy boat, or RV, or airplane, or many other nice things............... It is this increase that stresses me out.

I put a 5$ a month surcharge on my bills to help out with the cost of gas. It raises a extra 300$ or so each month. Since it is considered income it is taxed so by the time I can spend that 300$ it is more like 195$.... So my fuel surcharge helps offset the 600$ per month of work fuel costs by say 200$, leaving me with 400$ to pay out of my normal income. So before these gas prices tripled, I would be paying around 200$ a month for work gas, and now with the help of the fuel surcharge I am paying 400$.... Or only double what I was paying 2 years ago, not triple like I would be paying today without the fuel surcharge.

I decided on a 5$ a month surcharge because it was only a 1.25$ a week increase to everyones bill, I figured no one would complain about that small of a increase. Next year I will probably just raise my rates across the board by 10$ per month to cover the added cost of gas and do away with the surcharges.

justanotherlawnguy
06-12-2007, 01:26 AM
f 37.00 is 5% of your gross then you are grossing around 750 on all those yards and 75 yards to gross 750 is 10 dollars per yard.

Nice math, That is not what I said. I said my total gas expense is about 5% of my gross. I said it cost 37.00 to fill up the 60 one time.....

Sounds like someone talking to hear the BB in their head rattle around.
Here you go, here is the breakdown of the yards cut on one tank of gas:
5-14 fill up day 7yards
5-15 1 yards
5-16 3 yards
5-17 9 yards
5-18 5 yards
5-22 4 yards
5-23 7 yards
5-24 7 yards
5-25 2 yards
5-26 3 yards
5-29 5 yards
5-30 6 yards
5-31 8 yards
6-1 5 yards
6-4 7 yards
total is 79 yards, believe it or not. I dont care. I am just posting MY observations to all you whiner gas babies out there that are always complaining about gas prices.

BTW, I love the 60/27. Bought it last year from dealer 45 minutes away to save $1200 bucks. Yes flame me for that as well for not supporting my local dealer that is 5 minutes away.....

Unlike most LCO's on here, grass is not all I do. I dont have to crank out 25 yards a day to make money like alot of guys on here. you know the ones: every other new post about needing more business.

MSS Mow
06-12-2007, 08:13 AM
Nice math, That is not what I said. I said my total gas expense is about 5% of my gross. I said it cost 37.00 to fill up the 60 one time.....


Here you go, here is the breakdown of the yards cut on one tank of gas:
5-14 fill up day 7yards
5-15 1 yards
5-16 3 yards
5-17 9 yards
5-18 5 yards
5-22 4 yards
5-23 7 yards
5-24 7 yards
5-25 2 yards
5-26 3 yards
5-29 5 yards
5-30 6 yards
5-31 8 yards
6-1 5 yards
6-4 7 yards
total is 79 yards, believe it or not. I dont care. I am just posting MY observations to all you whiner gas babies out there that are always complaining about gas prices.

BTW, I love the 60/27. Bought it last year from dealer 45 minutes away to save $1200 bucks. Yes flame me for that as well for not supporting my local dealer that is 5 minutes away.....

Unlike most LCO's on here, grass is not all I do. I dont have to crank out 25 yards a day to make money like alot of guys on here. you know the ones: every other new post about needing more business.


Yeah, and $37 is 5% of what?

$740. So, if $37 is 5% of your gross on 79 lawns, that's less than $10 each. Let's hope your pecentages are off. I can only assume you grossing more than $10 each.

Richard Martin
06-12-2007, 10:27 AM
Yeah, and $37 is 5% of what?

$740. So, if $37 is 5% of your gross on 79 lawns, that's less than $10 each. Let's hope your pecentages are off. I can only assume you grossing more than $10 each.

You're not reading between the lines...

He said he put $37 in the mower...

He said his gas cost is 5% of gross...

He didn't say what portion of his gas cost is attributed to the mower. It may well be that his mower gas is only 25% of his fuel cost and that would put him at $148 in total gas cost. That would give him a gross of $2900 or $36.70 a yard.

Without knowing what percentage of total fuel that the $37 represents it's impossible to know the rest of the numbers.

He's not really trying to trick anybody, he just doesn't want us to know the exact figures and I don't blame him.

Grits
06-12-2007, 11:56 AM
This is a great example of how everyone's business costs are different. It depends on how tight your routes are and how big your yards are, and various other things, on how much gas you will use. Everybody is different and everybody's biz is different. This is why you have to figure out YOUR cost of doing business. It doesn't matter what everyone else costs are.

KTO Enterprises
06-12-2007, 02:13 PM
I say a good number to shoot for is fuel being between 8 and 10% of your gross. If you can get lower its probably because you have 100 accounts within a couple miles of your house.

MOturkey
06-12-2007, 07:22 PM
The one thing everyone needs to remember is that inflation costs us not only in our businesses, but also in the private pocketbook as well.

It's kind of like having a job with a salary cap on the per hour rate. The only way to make more money is to work more hours, because in actuality, when factoring in inflation, you are actually making LESS per hour every year.

Same with the mowing business. If you don't recoup the increase in costs, of which gasoline is only a part, you are actually making less this year than you did last, and the only way to overcome this shortfall is to do more work.

Fantasy Lawns
06-12-2007, 07:36 PM
http://fantasylawns.com/7.jpg

Here's a sample of some of our huge lots we have too deal with in FL ....n like Grits says ... ya gotta fiqure it fore ones self ..... using your own numbers ....

Is there any difference between 75 accounts n 75 Acres ??

If you say YES ... than the 1st step of understanding this concept is at hand

ZX12R
06-12-2007, 10:13 PM
"Im going to call B. S. on the supposed fuel mileage of his mower."


I have to agree.While I have not done any precise calculating of fuel usage,I have put about 20 gallons of gas in my Lazer HP 56" Triton 23 HP Kawi. It has almost 15 hours on it....you do the math :cry:

Keith
06-12-2007, 10:38 PM
The one thing everyone needs to remember is that inflation costs us not only in our businesses, but also in the private pocketbook as well.

It's kind of like having a job with a salary cap on the per hour rate. The only way to make more money is to work more hours, because in actuality, when factoring in inflation, you are actually making LESS per hour every year.

Same with the mowing business. If you don't recoup the increase in costs, of which gasoline is only a part, you are actually making less this year than you did last, and the only way to overcome this shortfall is to do more work.

I think a lot of people fail to see the big picture. If it was only the price you pay at the pump, the effect would be pretty minor. But in reality it's not possible. Everything you buy in business, and your family buys for personal use has been affected by increased fuel costs.

Think of the economy as a whole. There can only be so much money. There has been a huge shift of this money to the oil industry. It has to come from somewhere. This money is not new money, it was shifted from somewhere else. Fuel prices are the ultimate in wealth shifting. Every single person is affected by them in almost every aspect of their life. Not just what you are paying at the gas station.

justanotherlawnguy
06-13-2007, 01:52 AM
You're not reading between the lines...

He's not really trying to trick anybody, he just doesn't want us to know the exact figures and I don't blame him.

Thank you for getting it. Its not that I dont want anyone to know the exact figures, all you had to do was ask....

Here is some additional info for that particular month of may:
$37.75 to fill up 60
$6.22 to fill up 2 cylce
$395.50 to fill up the truck 5 times
=$439.47 for the month of may

total gross for the month was $6374, so my fuel expenditure for the month was nearly 7%...

I am not trying to fool anyone. I was simply posting how much it cost me to mow x number of yards from a fill up. Nothing more, nothing less. But in true lawnsite fashion, the post gets fubared cause everybody wants to raise their b.s. flag. I am not the one on here pi$$ing and moaning about fuel prices...

That pic a couple of posts up is extremely representative of the lots that I have. on those the hour meter on the mower wont even turn .1, thats how fast they get mowed...

My 75 lots may not be the same as your 75 lots, so call B.S. all you want....

topsites
06-13-2007, 02:01 AM
Yeah, but my truck gets a fair +1 mpg when the Z isn't loaded, while the 15hp 48" Wb tackles most lots under an acre in, believe this, slightly less time than the Z... The Wb runs all day on a tank, I've ran out of gas once in 3 years, I did 12 lawns that day, and I was almost finished (I actually did finish by adding a pint of mixed fuel to the tank lol, yes, a pint).

But the hydros consume a ton of power, and in terms of horses, double the horsepower consumes more than double the fuel, I think my 15hp consumes around 1/2 gallon an hour, maybe a little less (no hydros for one).

So I just don't see using the 1 gph machine when the 15hp miser does it at least as fast, but have you looked at the price of motor oil? Just because I'm still running synth (blend) I bought ~3 years ago between $1.59 and $1.99 a quart doesn't mean I don't see the nice bottles at the parts store for $3.59 each!

Granted, I get most of my oil on sale, if not all, but here again that's my bonus for being smart. I don't mind giving some sort of a discount while I'm getting most of my stuff 50% off, but I'm not giving up the whole amount, either.

Don't forget the tires... Rear tire on my Wb runs $25, the Z is closer to $80 each, dang car tire price.

It took years to find the corner shops and the perfect deals among the clutter, and still I have a slew of stuff I have to pay full price for... I don't get a discount just because I own a business, I can't flash some magic card at the clerk and whooops yup 45% off here you go, I get a discount because I bargain hunt all the time.

So then every time I turn around something else goes up or went up, way I see things I didn't rack my brain looking for deals with no end in sight just so I can earn less money. So, why not raise prices of the service, sooner or later you have to, anyhow...

lawnman_scott
06-13-2007, 07:16 AM
"Im going to call B. S. on the supposed fuel mileage of his mower."


I have to agree.While I have not done any precise calculating of fuel usage,I have put about 20 gallons of gas in my Lazer HP 56" Triton 23 HP Kawi. It has almost 15 hours on it....you do the math :cry:Did you bother to look at the picture above your post? Thats an AVERAGE size yard for around here, some are bigger, and lots are actually smaller.

I however do continue to raise prices. The cost of gas is a great reason for doing so and no one complains. They actually say "I can see why you have to with the cost of gas". Perfect.