How are you handling increasing gas prices?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cm82pa, May 11, 2006.

  1. cm82pa

    cm82pa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I was wondering what you guys are doing to compensate for the never-ending fuel increases? I am starting to manage an existing lawncare company and am just trying to make it worht the driving. Most of the contracts were signed in JAN. so am I SOL for this year? Is it wrong to ask for a "fuel surcharge fee"? When I managed an auto shop last year, when the first major increase happened most places added $1-$3 delivery chge. Don't know what to do here, our prices a little lower than most to start with how much more of a hit should I take?:confused:
  2. AdamChrap

    AdamChrap LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 935

    We saw it comeing. We eat whatever jump up to $3.00 a gallon. The after that it is in all our contracts that we have a surcharge. Last year we toke in about 3k on surcharges
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Ever since my first year, I've been working on fuel conservation.

    My truck back then got 5-8 mpg... Today, my truck just recorded 15.3 mpg.
    No, it's not the same truck, but it's used for the same thing.

    Back when I started, it was 9-11 year, gas came down to 99 cents/gallon.
    Who knows how much I wasted, I used to go through 70 dollars / week then, with half the customers I have now.

    Today, my fuel budget is $100 / week and my tanks are brimming with nothing but premium.

    So, start conserving and don't stop doing it, you'll thank yourself for it later.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Want some tips?

    - NEVER leave anything running, even if you're just setting it down for a second, turn it off. When I was new, I'd leave 2-cyclers idling then all of a sudden get busy on something and 10 minutes later... To cure myself of the habit, I turned up the idle on the weed-eater, the chainsaw, the hedge trimmers and anything with moving parts just enough to where the parts that moved would not stop moving unless the machine was turned off - That saves some fuel when you have to turn it off. Once it's a habit, you can turn the idle back down but I left it high for several years, I actually kinda liked it.
  5. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,765

    I'm handling it just fine it happens every year why people forget its coming and don't price right in the 1st place is beyond me.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    UNLOAD the truck and trailer.

    Then, plan ALL the same kind of work for the whole day, and load only what you absolutely need. I seen it today, some guy with a Z, a WB and 2 x 21" on the trailer, with a rack with 3 weedeaters and of course 2 gas cans and who knows what else.

    Me? One Wb, one weedeater, a handheld blower and a round-up sprayer. NO fuel, except a quart of mix and a syphon kit.

    Weight difference?
    A Z has to weigh at least 700 pounds, two 21"s another 175, the rack and the extra trimmers another 40, add 100 pounds of fuel to that and you got at least 1,000 pounds right there. Say, what's paying to haul all that extra weight anyhow?

    Bonus: Less crap gets in the way, you load / unload faster and less stuff gets snagged and broken, not to mention stolen.
  7. cm82pa

    cm82pa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I wasn't apart of the business when contracts were drawn up. Thats why I am asking now not then. I just see a lot of money that is being spent with little ways to make it up now thats all. Thanks for the tips, I am currently restructuring schedules right now. We have a couple new accounts so those will be adjusted. So my new question is; do I add theis as a seperate item or factor it in the price of mowing, I trying to stay competative but not cut thoats, employees or mine!
  8. greenscapes inc.

    greenscapes inc. LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 137

    A quart of mix and a siphon kit?? You waist more time siphoning gas then you would if you carried more than a quart of gas. Time is money! What happens if a mower goes down or a trimmer wont start?? You drive back to the shop and waist more time and gas? The answer is, you bid so you can make money, gas is going up and there is nothing we can do.
  9. rklawnmowing

    rklawnmowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    im not spending much on fuel as it but i was undercharging two customers for 3 yrs so i decided with gas prices being higer i can justify going up in price,if they should ask, btw i only went up $5 on two accounts, but thats almost enough for my fuel for the mower for a week and a half, so im not really complaining.
  10. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    Price increases were a given for 06, in addition we include a fuel surcharge in the contracts.

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