The rising price of gas is not only affecting the fuel cost per hour for mowing, it is also affecting prices for replacement parts (blades, belts, tires, filters, etc.) so I factored in those costs as well when I raised prices in February.
To make a point, I just placed an order with J-Thomas for a number of items that I'll need for this mowing season. Things like blades, deck belts, cannister air filters, oil filters, trimmer line...all the items that I will need for the season. It is the exact same order that I placed last year at this time. The total price for the order has increase by 21% since last year for the same parts.
This increase in cost has to be recovered just to maintain the same level of profit as last year.
One other thing. I was at the dealer the other day and I noticed that they increased their hourly labor rate to $74 per hour. Last year it was $68 per hour. Not a big deal if you service your own equipment, but it indicates that everyones costs are rising and those costs are being passed on to consumers.
It's a form of inflation yes. Everyone is feeling it. Swift Transportation just up-ed their fuel surcharge. Not much you can do about it in a fuel based business except tighten that route, and use the most fuel efficent stuff possible. I visted the Greasel site the other day and they are swamped by people looking to get around the fuel problem. The cost of electric is still not practical yet. I can't believe that more companies aren't toying with it. I've seen a few greens mowers that are electric and that makes sense on triplexes. Last thing you want is fuel leaking onto a green or a tee.