Saving Money???

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Gatewayuser, May 27, 2006.

  1. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,765

    How do you all save money by cutting costs. I am saving about $300 in gas per month by running 2 trucks only when truly necessary but I still am spending about $1500 in fuel a month. I am trying to learn CLIP but it takes forever to learn. I am working on making my route tighter to save on labor and fuel. In June I am going to really crack down on unnecessary costs.
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I was reworking the schedule to get through the holiday week and realized if I add a guy and go to a 4 day work week I can save fuel costs and overtime. I am also putting a cooler in the truck and stocking it so the crew does not leave to go to lunch and finally I am gassing up the equipment and truck on the weekends so they don't have to stop in the morning. All this has also improved morale, when its 100 + they want to get done asap.
  3. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,765

    I need to start getting fuel after work each night that would save around $30 bucks per week in labor. I can't just fill up on the weekend we go through to much fuel sometimes 2 gal of 2 cycle a day alone.
  4. GlennZ

    GlennZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    How does adding a guy save on fuel? Don't you still have to drive to the properties? To save on the overtime it is a great idea, of course all the employees will complain because you just cut the pay, but it is the smart thing to do.
  5. GlennZ

    GlennZ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56


    Look at labor first, since it is the highest expense. Overtime is a profit killer. Tightening the routes will save gas but will also save you labor.

    Use CLIP's link with MapPoint and it can tell you the shortest way to get to the properties.

    This is really a bigger picture issue of what your service area is. We keep an extremely tight area. I would say once they arrive at a location all the houses are within 3 minutes of each other. We will not work out of our area because the price of gas and labor does not make it profitable.
  6. Green Grass and More

    Green Grass and More LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I've stopped washing my work clothes, saving in soap and water at home, lol.

    I've started to tighten my route and started to drink water from home instead of buying gatorade. I also have been limiting how far I travel for a job, just not worth it.

  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Do this to your truck:

    - Replace all your spark plugs with double platinums.
    - Install high performance 8mm Taylor spark plug wires.
    - Install a High performance cap and rotor.
    - Install a Flamethrower or comparable High performance ignition coil.
    - Replace your air filter.
    - If it does not leak or burn any oil, consider running a synth
    - Remove the tailgate and install a net instead.

    Now this next part will be very hard to do because you just added a TON of power to your truck, but learn to go real light on the gas and never stop learning that part, do NOT feel the power, do NOT step on it.
    Be the slowest truck on the road, learn to use only your gas pedal to control all your speed. Example: I almost never touch my brakes on a highway off-ramp, when a red light is coming, I'm off the gas 1/4 mile up the road, I'll coast down to 20mph before I even have to touch the brakes, and so on. No, it's not about going into a turn too fast, it's about letting off way early.

    I have a 1986 D-250 carbureted 318ci, old stuff...
    I get 14+ mpg with mine, sometimes 15+
    If yours is an Efi, you should see at least 16mpg.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here's more:

    EMPTY out your truck.
    Yes, everything.
    Once all is out, keep some basic tools in case of emergency, the most essential belts and a rope / come-along (your tow kit) and jumper cables and yes this and that (weedeater string ok) but don't load everything back up please.

    Plan to do ALL the same kind of work for the whole day, so example:
    Monday is grass cutting ALL day long.
    Tuesday is mulch ALL day long.
    Wednesday is hedge trimming, you guessed it, all day.

    Sunday evening, load up ONLY the mower(s) you need (I only carry my 48", one mower is the only thing on my trailer on those days). It looks kinda funny, but not nearly as funny as those guys loading a Z, a Wb and two 21" mowers, 3 weed-eaters, 2 wheelbarrows and rakes and cans and literally at least 1 if not 2 thousand pounds of extra crap.
    Then, load one trimmer and if you have a handheld, that or the backpack (handheld easier on fuel). Fill up ALL your stuff with gas, and leave the gas cans at home. I DO carry an old 'quart of oil' bottle with mixed fuel and a syphon kit just in case (the truck can refuel the Wb in a pinch, a backpack blower carries enough fuel to refuel a weedeater).
    Be aware the oil bottle is not perfectly tight, they do leak so they must be kept in an upright position someplace.
    I've never had to refuel my Wb, it always goes all day on a tank but if you forget, one stop by the gas station don't hurt.
    The backpack lasts 3-4 days on a tank, the handheld I refill more often because it's a small tank, but all day easy.

    Make that stuff last, my weedeater goes 5-6 yards on a tank easy, the Wb and the blower both usually last all day (the blower runs low or out if there's a TON of leaves or whatever).

    At the end of the day:
    UNLOAD the Wb, the trimmer, and the blower.
    RELOAD with wheelbarrow, pitchfork, edger and rake.
    Now you're ready to go do mulch.

    At the end of mulch day, unload all that and load the hedgetrimmers, a leaf rake, the blower and a tarp. You might can even leave the trailer at home.

    See how that works?
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    This saves time and fuel as well:

    'Fix' your bank deposits to where you make only one deposit per week.
    This means stacking your checks someplace safe at home until deposit day (I make mine on Mondays and it's mostly checks anyway, so no big fear of a robbery, they might get 20 bucks cash lol).

    Now you're down to 4 (sometimes 5) deposits / month, that saves you a fair ton of time (and fuel as well).

    For fuel, buy at least two 5-gallon cans and fill them when you fill your truck, buy more 5-gallon cans if you need so that you have to only fill up once / week.
    My truck usually goes all week but in a pinch I might drop a 10 or 20 bill in there towards end of week (I can't use mower fuel, it's mixed with leaded gas). But before I started using offroad fuels, oh you bet I'd dump a 5-gallon can in the truck sometimes. That was years ago, I can go 300+ miles on a tank now.

    Leave the gas cans under the house where it is dark and cool, this keeps your fuel healthier.

    Good luck !
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

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