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Are gas prices really that bad???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MudslinginFX4, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    With all the talk about gas prices lately I've been doing some thinking. Are they really that bad to us (the lco's) when it's all said and done? Sure... everyone is having to pay more for gas for their equipment, trucks, etc.. but what is it really costing you per yard?

    Here is something to throw out at you. I am currently now taking care of right at 100 properties (few commercial, mostly residential) on Tuesdays-Fridays running one 3-4 man crew. I usually average about $1050-$1200 per day. I also usually spend somwhere in the neighborhood of $50-60 dollars a day in gas/diesel. On Mondays we do landscaping work, and occasionally I will run another truck other days of the week also doing landscaping work.

    Back to my point and main question... For the bigger, more established companys is gas really hurting you that bad? I can actually see higher gas prices being a plus to bigger companys because it keeps the low baller without insurance and proper equipment from even entering the business because after they drive to the site, use the mower and stuff and are only charging $20.00 for a yard and spending $7 to get there and run their equipment they stop. I know for a FACT that I have picked up several yards because the so called "scrubs" (even though i don't like that terminology b/c I really honestly could care less what they charge or look like) have stopped cutting as much grass around here with the prices rising.

    What does everyone think? I know expensive gas prices hurt us personally still but are they as bad as we really make them out to be? Are you really loosing (not putting in your pocket) that big of a difference?
  2. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    I dont see it as a huge issue either. I am paying 2.50-2.60/gallon like everyone else.
    When gas was 2.00/gallon, i spent 48 for a fill up. Now .50 later it cost me 12.00 more, so what. I fill my truck 2 times per week and equipment once. I pick up an extra hedge trimming job once a month, or do a couple of one time mowings to make up the extra cost.

    I am busy enough as it is, I have hardly even answered my phone in the last 3 months. When I need some extra cash, I just answer the phone and take an extra job or 2.

    Everybody complaining that they are going to be forced out of business, or wondering if they should charge a gas surcharge. Are you kidding me? Run your business right and gas prices arent even an issue.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, I'm hardly spending 20% more actual money with over twice the business than what I did my first year and the fuel budget at a time of 99cent fuel is holding up today, thou it does mess with the expense %'s a lot faster than it used to.

    In addition while I see a lot of crap about fuel surcharges and raising prices (don't get me wrong, raising prices is a good thing), there really is no reason for me to panic thou the one problem I AM worried about is once actual fuel shortages start to hit us, then EVERYBODY has a problem (not just us).
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I agree. Once they really look at the numbers they will see it isn't as bad as they think. Fuel is always one of my least expensive expenses over the course of the year.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Last year, we spent just under 17K in diesel and gas. Sorry, but to me it IS an issue.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    my fuel bill has gone up $500.00/month.

    we will go from about 12K last year to about $15-17K this year....

    how would you feel about loosing a few thousand dollars??????
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    ...but if you raised rates last year it should have compensated for that.

    On another note...raising prices to often or always putting in surcharges will eventually lose you accounts. I think in the short run of this year you are better off trying to find ways to reduce costs and fuel consumption. Take off mowers you don't need. An extra 500-1000 lbs of weight uses more fuel. Tighten routes, use sharp blades all the time. Keep those tires inflated.

    Point is, overall in the scheme of things, fuel is not the biggest concern. Its a concern, but not the biggest to worry over.

    Rod, I'm kinda surprised at your statement. Last year when everyone was freaking, you were one of the ones that pointed out it was a not that big of a deal. We both said, that if prices were going up and the person was struggling then they probably didn't price the job correctly.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

  9. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Gas prices may not be nothing to you if your customers are within a few miles from your home. I am in the country and I drive 20 miles to a bigger town before I even get to my first job.

    You can't generalize that it isn't a concern just because it isn't a concern in your situation.
  10. 2k1yzfr1

    2k1yzfr1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    Funny thing today at the gas station when I went in to get a receipt and some lady in line was in there bitching about gas prices being so high. In her hand were 2-20oz Dasani waters at $1.19 a piece. She was complaining about a gallon of gas costing $2.50 but will pay $1.19 for a 20 oz water?

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