Gas prices hurting you now or soon

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I am in the process of building my business and right now Im using a Bronco II that gets about 13-15mpg and less then that when towing. It got me thinking about all of you who have the big 3/4 ton deisel trucks. Most of your trucks are pulling ALOT more then mine to.
    I was going to buy a dodge ram 1500 with a v6 that gets 17-20mpg. What are you guys going to do for your businesses? Do you plan to buy more fuel efficient 4-6cyl trucks and cut way back on equipment weight, or do you plan on gutting out the $5-$6 a gallon gas until vehicles are manufactured to have better gas milage? I know I spend ATLEAST $65.00 a week on gas for lawn work and essential living purposes and I have very little customers right now.
  2. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I plan on just sucking it up. There is nothing we can do to control the price. All we can do is pray for the best. I got $20.02 in diesel today and it was only 5.284 gallons according to the slip i got back. It is $3.79 a gallon here. I spend 100 dollars a week one fuel. That is until this summer i am going to be looking at 200 dollars or a little more. Don't get a V-6 unless you plan on not pulling with it. you think you get bad pulling a trailer now what till you have less power and see how bad it gets.... Just my .02 cents
  3. Scagmower48

    Scagmower48 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    I own a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 V6 5 speed manual and I only get a lousy 13 mpg around town not towing. I prolly get 17 mpg on the highway. V6 full size trucks get about the same gas mileage as V8 full size trucks.
  4. CrownlawnCare

    CrownlawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    If you plan on pulling anykind of weight, I would never even consider a v-6. They may get a few more miles per gallon but you are straining the v-6 to much. What if you expand your company? Then you would have wished you would have a v-8. "Thats all I have to say about that" Forrest Gump :laugh::laugh:
  5. old oak lawn

    old oak lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    i would love $65.00 a week. how about $250.00 a week
  6. pinto n mwr

    pinto n mwr LawnSite Senior Member
    from gr8, mn
    Messages: 422

    how about 1500 per week. Does not concern me too much though. Fuel costs are only 5% of my revenue. If/when gas goes to $4 it would mean 6% of my revenue. Gotta look at the numbers before you freak out. I'll take a 33% jump in cost of business if it is only going to affect me by 1% overall anyday, especially with everything increasing in cost

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I've gotten a lot more aware of my routing since gas went thru the roof. I'm always looking to see if I can be more efficient in that regard. I also just moved to a new storage shed which is going to save me about 20 miles of driving per day. Besides saving $4-$5 in gas a day, I'll be saving 100 miles of wear and tear on the truck.

    I'm utterly shocked nobody has chimed in with the cliche response of "have tighter routes" :laugh: That's easy to say but harder to do. Your lawns are where they are. Try at least to pick up one more lawn anywhere you have a single stop. Then you'll have the leeway to drop some lawns that involve too much driving.

    Generally, I no longer look at the gas pump :dizzy: I just stick the nozzle in and hit 'YES' for a receipt and drive away
  8. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Gas prices don't phase me much. I have a Chevy S-10 V-6 Vortec, and a small trailer that pulls around (soon) a Qiuck 32 and a Husky power rake. The rest of my equipment is inside the 8 foot bed. Through concentrated targeted advertising, my 11 new accounts are all within a hlaf mile of my house. After dumping my lame accounts, as a solo, I now have a paltry 16 going into year 2, but all billable from $1,300 to over $2,000 a year. I'm getting two new accounts per week. ALL within a half mile. Small properties, biggest with 4k of turf.

    The trailer, Quick and Husky weigh about 750 lbs. Most of the time, I won't have the Husky on the trailer. So, I know from my small bass boat, I'll get about 18MPG. I only drive about 25 miles a week going to accounts... add another 25 for supply runs.

    My business plan took fuel costs as a major overhead cost that had to be minimized. So far, so good. It could go up to $5 a gallon, and it won't put a big hurt on me, but I can still use it as a reason to charge a bit more. Pretty much offsets.

    Being certified and legal to do apps makes all the difference. I need another 15 accounts or so, all in this half mile territiory, and I'm good. I am a solo, and have another gig on the side.

    No Yellow page ads for me... walking with door hangers. Skipping houses I don't want. Tight route, good business plan. So far, so good.
  9. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    Really what I was talking about is trying to future proof yourself as much as possible. With prices getting so high, so fast, I see it being a very hard time within the next few years. Im trying to get a fuel efficient truck and tow a WB on my 5x10 trailer.
    With the value of money dropping and prices rising, people will just get more "stingy" with spending so I think raising our prices to catch up with living, wont work out so good. Gas was my first guess for saving money.
  10. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    My new 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 V8 gets 16mpg in the city and 20+mpg on the highway and my old 1999 Dodge Dakota Sport V6 got 13mpg city and 17 at best on the highway and didn't pull worth a crap.

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