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Figuring costs for fuel usage

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ICE, May 8, 2004.

  1. ICE

    ICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    Hey guys! I am just starting out here, and was wondering if you consider (and if so, how?) fuel usage. Is there an equation for this? And with the price of gas that just seems to just keep going skyward, how do you quote a job today that may put you in the hole tommarrow? Thanks, any info would certainly be appreciated! Tim.
  2. Hawkeye5

    Hawkeye5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    I use actual historic data: number of annual hours on a machine/machine specific fuel, oil, filter,repair = annual operating cost. Within this data you capture data on the total gallons of fuel and the average price. It then is easy to adjust based upon estimated fuel costs per gallon and estimated hours.
  3. CNE

    CNE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    If you give a price today and gas goes up another 10 cents before the season is over, is it really that big of a deal? I don't think so. Lets say I am mowing a customer who has 1 acre. Typical charge for this yard is $60 and it can be done in 45 minutes. I won't burn over a gallon of gas if that much. Now is 10 cents going to really matter?
  4. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    Scenario, you log 500 miles per week over a 30 week season. Your truck gets 10 miles per gallon. So, a 10 cent increase is another $150 for the season. Chances are a 10 cent increase is NOT going to make that big of a deal. However, let's say gas goes 40 cents over what you factored in for the entire season. At 600 bucks more does it really matter?

    I think it all depends on the company. 600 could be two customers for one company yet two days worth of work for another. I believe it all depends on YOUR company.
  5. mjoaaa

    mjoaaa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    I would have to agree with the post is it a really big deal over $0.10. If you had 3,000 clients I could see.

    Couple of things I have seen from other companies. I have seen 1 big company charge a voluntary fuel surcharge. It suprisingly worked out well. The client was not required to pay this fee, but most did when they where satisfied with the work done.

    I would also recommend keeping good records. Example: How many square feet for each lawn you mow. At the end of the month add up all the sq. ft. and gas charges (only gas placed in a mower) and average it all out. That is if you really want to make sure your not loosing a whole lot in gas.

    Good luck though...

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