If gas prices get up to $4.50+ like some are saying...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CFB, May 18, 2007.

  1. CFB

    CFB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Is the lawn business through? I just can't see most being able to make a living. Only the wealthy customers would really be willing to pay the dramatically increased rates considering prices would be going up for so many different things....and IMO a great recession to follow. I do this part time and am not making decent money at the current gas price, if it were $4.50 I would be in the red this year. Thoughts?
  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    I'm still making good money. I just have to make sure I don't do any unnecessary driving & keep travel distances to a minimum. Offer incentives to current customers for referring neighbors that sign up on a yearly contract. Make sure the new prices reflect higher fuel prices. Don't raise them too much because I can garuntee the prospective client knows how much your current client is paying.
  3. lithnights

    lithnights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I'm a homeowner and not in the business so I'm curious as to whether most of the gas you buy is put into the mowers or into the trucks used to haul the mowers? If the former, then remember that every Joe homeowner like me is going to have to go and pay that same increase in gas if they decide to do their own yard. So whether we pay to you or to our own mowers, it will be paid. Maybe most homeowners won't think like that, but I would if I had a lawn service do my yard.
  4. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Since it only takes a quart (maybe 2) to mow a lawn, I'd doubt that it is going to keep people from wanting their lawns mowed. Until someone comes along with a viable way to keep the grass from growing, there will be a need for people to do the mowing - no matter what the price.
  5. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,977

    Sometimes when things go up like this, common sense goes out the window. If you have customers who are affected by gas prices themselves, things could get to the point that they start trying to save money wherever they can. Not because of your increase alone, but everything. Things that may appear on the surface to be a "luxury" will be the first to go. In other words, if they see everything else going up around them, and lawn care isn't at the top of their priorities list, then it could turn into a problem.

    On the business end, for us anyway, over the last couple of years it's certainly been difficult to try to pass on any kind of normal pricing adjustments that cover much more than fuel costs.
  6. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    I don't think even 5 bucks a gallon will hurt anyone, that is anyone PRO enough. But if you're in an area where customers are all spread out, that will hurt. Tightened routes will help immensely for everyone, and is the best and most environmentally correct way to do things anyway. Most of my customers are within about a 5 mile radius.

    Fuel per lawn, at $5, won't be more than a $2 increase per week, which isn't going to change things much.
  7. z_clark

    z_clark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    We mow around 350 per week. It cost an average of $0.53 in gas per yard (includes truck fuel too). The cost of fuel going up will take from profit, it will not ruin us. Our lawns are small and routs are tight.

    I am sure those with larger properties can tack on an extra $1 to cover the cost.
  8. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,913

    MY GOD if fuel goes up ...n your out of business .... I'm sorry to inform you BUT your not gonna make it

    THINK about it ... I'm not a huge LCO but I have my cost ... last year I used just over 3000 gallons of fuel ..... but if it goes up $1 dollar ... over last year ...that's a $3k hit .... if I went out of business due to a $3K hit ..... I'm already sunk .... even if it goes up $2 .... over last year ... if I can't impact that or pass that cost ... I should be flipping burgers
  9. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,574

    Lets just say you drive 150 miles a week for mowing to do 50 lawns, and get 10 miles per gallon in your truck. Then lets say you use 15 gallons a week for the mowers.

    Ok so at $2 per gallon you spend, $30 for the truck and $30 for the mowers. At $4.50 per gallon you spend a total of $135.00.... so add $3 buck per lawn...... big deal......
  10. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,094

    The gas it takes to mow is nothing to be concerned with. The 28 efi I run probably burns maybe a gallon an hour, these boys can make a hundred dollars a hour while they are on the mower so what is 4 or 5 dollars worth of gas in the scheme of things. The problem comes in what they are pulling the equipment with, they may have to go to a Japanese rice burner instead of a $40,000.00 pickup if they drive a tremendous amount of miles between jobs.

    I don't like that idea myself because I like the big plush trucks and my family vehicle is GMC Yukon XL. This is what we have been use to for a long time and it would be hard to change.

    They have technology to make these bigger vehicles get better fuel economy it is just a matter of the government making them put it in place.

    I would say with the money Exxon has to keep topnotch lobbyist it makes it more difficult for the good old boys in government to move on this as quick as they could.

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