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Fuel Surcharge letter help NEEDED!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ExecutiveLawns, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. ExecutiveLawns

    ExecutiveLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    I am in need of help writing up a letter to send to customers informing them of a fuel surcharge. I have talked to a few other LCOs around here and they are imposing a 5-7% fuel surcharge to offset the increased cost of day to day operations. They did not send out a letter they just put it in the invoices. I would rather send out a letter but Im not sure how to word it and should there be a chart showing fuel surcharge % along with the different rates that fuel may go up to and also a fuel price where there will no longer be a surcharge?

    Any input or sample letters would greatly be appreciated.

  2. seabee1

    seabee1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 239

    :)try a google search with fuel surcharge sample letter the first hit sounds very interesting it's on a trucker's forum called trucker's helper they have a lot of practice with surcharges .just a idea .
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    What is the added price of fuel per customer? In other words, based upon your expense records, how much additional are you spending on fuel per customer (or what other base measure you choose) this season, over last season?

    Somebody posted his information, and I think he said he was spending an additional $0.82 per customer this season. I worked out my information, and I was a bit higher, but in the $1.00 range. Based upon my finding, and the other post, I cannot justify a 5% upcharge.

    What is the basis of your 5-7% surcharge? What do your calculations show as the differences in fuel expenses per customer that caused you to arrive at the 5-7%?
  4. ExecutiveLawns

    ExecutiveLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    When i figure up some calculations we are any where from $1.00 more per cutting to $21.00 more per cutting depending on the property size, but that is only the fuel in the equipment not the 7-8mpg gas drinkin trucks that we use to get to the properties. we are at 1.6-3% increase on the property only not the trip there.
  5. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Keeping it simple, I just imposed a flat $10 per month for everyone. I just threw it on the invoices. Not a single question or comment so far.
  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    I didn't use a letter or anything either. And rather than just raise prices I also added a "fuel surcharge" line and for more residential customers it was $1.00 per mowing extra. A few larger lawns I figured $1.50 to $2.00 and the 2 HOA's I do it was $5.00 per week. Only had ONE customer mention it, and she's a pakistani that's already getting her lawn mowed for way too cheap. (because i'm an idiot and let her, um, talk me down.
  7. I send letters out in the spring, and this is one I sent last year...

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and business. We would also like to take this time to share some changes for this upcoming year.

    With our monthly billing cycle, we offer bill dates on the 1st (due the 16th) or 15th (due the 30th) of each month. Please call us if you would like to change your current billing cycle date.

    Secondly, while most lawn care companies raise their prices an average of 8% per year, we will NOT be raising prices this year, and have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. However, due to the rising cost of fuel over the past several months, in addition to the forecast of oil prices this year, we will begin charging a $7.50 fuel surcharge per month beginning in May, 2007. This minimal surcharge will be reduced in the autumn months, as the frequency of lawn service decreases. We are committed to reasonable rate pricing and this allows us to continue service without raising our “per cut” prices.

    Also, if you have other services you need performed throughout the year, such as window cleaning, pressure washing, gutter installation and repair, etc. please call us if you need a referral to a qualified company. We work with many other companies who can provide these services to you if needed.

    Once again, thanks for your continued support and business.

    We hope you have a great summer!
  8. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    Keep it short and simple, professional, not emotional. The last year I was a LCO was 2006. My customers gave me a little extra starting in the middle of that summer. I considered doing a split bill. Example: lawn "A" I mow in 90 minutes, mower uses 1.15 gallons per hour. I was charging $45 plus sales tax to mow it. The split bill I was considering I would take the $45 price, minus the cost of gas at beginning of season that was around $2.20 a gallon =$3.79 in gas used =$41.21 for mowing which would be a fixed cost through the season and the cost of the gas charge would change with the fluctuation in gas prices. So the bill looks like this
    Mowing $41.21
    fuel---- $3.79
    sales tax $2.67
    Total ---$47.67

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