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Is gas really that expensive?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by justanotherlawnguy, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    I actually kept track of how much gas my Lazer (60/27) uses. I filled it up a couple of weeks ago and got 75 cuts out of it. Everything from 1/8 acre to an acre and every size in between. Bottom line is that I got 75 cuts out of both tanks of gas.

    I filled up 12 gallons @ 3.09/per gallon for $37.08.

    $37.08 / 75 yards = $0.49 per yard.

    I think gas is like 5% of my gross for the month.

    So what is the big deal, what is with the gas surcharges? Do guys just not charge enough to begin with?

    Let me have it, I am sure to get everything but the kitchen sink thrown at me for this one, actually I expect that as well.

    Let me know your thoughts....
  2. Myk

    Myk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    You have a good point but I like for the customer to pay for the gas that goes in my oil mix for trimmers blowers and truck if you traveled to 75 lawns how much gas are you putting in your truck figure that into. For me I have a budget I pay myself x amount and y amount for everthing else so if gas goes up I don't want to have to pay myself less because of the expense of gas.
  3. Myk

    Myk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    oh yeah how you like your Lazer Z? I love mine 60/27 ultra cut
  4. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    It has never been that big of a deal to me. The cost of everything goes up. It is just that the price of gas is posted on huge signs for everyone to see the constant changing of the price, that causes people to talk about it.
    It is human nature for people to have to have something to complain about, or so it seems. Gas is the easiest target that everyone has in common.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Like others have said, it's not the gas in the mowers, it's the total gas bill. Right now since my customer list is a little thin I am having to travel some decent distances to get my work done. This past Friday I filled everything up for the first time in almost a month. The gas for the mowers and trimmers was 4.2% of gross but the fuel for the truck was 8.3% for a total of 12.5% of gross going out to fuel alone. As time goes on and I fill my schedule out the percentage that goes into the truck will drop but the mowers and trimmers will go up. I'd ideally like to see the total go under 10% and probably closer to 8%. We'll see what happens.
  6. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Its not the mower alone. Its the big truck pulling a large trailer getting 9 to 12 MPG that you need to figure in to those 75 yards.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
  8. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    Im going to call B. S. on the supposed fuel mileage of his mower. Most larger mowers consume about a gallon per hour. That would mean about 12 hours of cutting time. Ill even be generous and give him 16 hours of cutting time. There is no way you are doing 75 yards worth of cutting in 16 hours time. and if 37.00 is 5% of your gross then you are grossing around 750 on all those yards and 75 yards to gross 750 is 10 dollars per yard.

    Sounds like someone talking to hear the BB in their head rattle around.
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Yea, the truck fuel is the one that hurts. Especially out in the country.
  10. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Some of the lawns I did, most of them really, when I lived and worked in Southwest Florida, Were small tiny yards that took almost no time at all to mow.

    I mowed with a 52 inch toro with a 21 horse watercooled Kawasaki, and it had 12 gallon tanks. It could do a whole weeks worth of work on one fill up, or if it ran out it would finish the week on just a splash more of gas. So it is possible to get good fuel economy out of a lawnmower.

    I have about 60-65 lawns per week to mow. My current mower is using both tanks, plus at least one side refilled per week to do them all. It holds around 10 gallons, and it takes another 4 to 5 to finish the week out. So my mower is using roughly 15 gallons of gas to do my lawns each week.

    The trimmers and blowers are using only a few gallons per week, maybe 2.5 to 3 gallons tops. In the winter when the blower is seeing alot of work with leaves I might use 5 gallons per week.

    The truck is seeing about 260-270 miles per week to do my route. The truck is averaging around 9 mpg.

    So to service my lawns it takes about 47.5 gallons of gasoline.

    What breaks our hearts is it was only just what, 2 years ago?..... That gas was around a dollar a gallon.... This would mean it would be costing my around 50 bucks in gas for the whole week. That was less than what I charged to mow two lawns, Or about 2/65th's of my gross income.

    Now it is around 3 bucks a gallon, or higher.... and this means the same fill up today is 142.50$ YIKES!!!!

    Compare $50 to $142.50........ That is why were all stressing. That is almost 3 times the cost. Nothing else we use has gone up at that rate in this short of a time.

    I know truck prices go up a little each year, but they certainly haven't tripled in just 2 years time.... Nothing else has either that I can think of that we buy on a regular basis.

    Gas prices was always something to complain about or be stressed over, but we all knew it was cheap. When it was only a dollar a gallon it was relatively cheap to drive or use gas to go boating or touring the country in a RV or whatever.

    For me, I use at least 300 gallons of gas per month between work and play.... I used to have to budget around 300$ for that gas, Now it is around 1000$ for the same amount of gas. That is a 700$ increase!!!!!!!! 700$ is more than my house payment and car insurance payment combined. 700$ would buy a very fancy boat, or RV, or airplane, or many other nice things............... It is this increase that stresses me out.

    I put a 5$ a month surcharge on my bills to help out with the cost of gas. It raises a extra 300$ or so each month. Since it is considered income it is taxed so by the time I can spend that 300$ it is more like 195$.... So my fuel surcharge helps offset the 600$ per month of work fuel costs by say 200$, leaving me with 400$ to pay out of my normal income. So before these gas prices tripled, I would be paying around 200$ a month for work gas, and now with the help of the fuel surcharge I am paying 400$.... Or only double what I was paying 2 years ago, not triple like I would be paying today without the fuel surcharge.

    I decided on a 5$ a month surcharge because it was only a 1.25$ a week increase to everyones bill, I figured no one would complain about that small of a increase. Next year I will probably just raise my rates across the board by 10$ per month to cover the added cost of gas and do away with the surcharges.

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