There is a great post on the Gopher Lawn Care Business forum about high fuel costs and how a lawn care business can try and save gas.
Chuck wrote ” Holy Hell…. In the last 2 months with 1 truck/trailer, 1 mower & the usual hand tools I have spent over $1300 in fuel! $650+ a month is a little nuts ain’t it?”
Then our friend Sherman shared with us a little secret he was attempting to pull off in order to tighten his routes. The more lawn care customers you have in a smaller geographic area means less driving, less gas usage and more profits. He said “I am currently working on a deal with another lawn care operation in the next town over that I have 5 customers in. The other lawn care operation will be trading me 5 of his ( He Is based out of this town) lawn care accounts in my town. They are out of his way but just down the street from me. These lawn care accounts are pretty much equal in size and revenue. It will be a good deal for both of us. We will save at least 26 gallons a week of gas, that’s approximately a savings of $105 bucks a week!.. switching on the 1st of July.”
Dave, another forum really liked the idea. “Wow…that’s a sweet deal. I’ve been thinking about something like that, but I don’t really know where to begin…I guess Craigslist?”
Sherman responded back by saying “it is kinda funny how it came about. As you know I have only been up and running my lawn care business for about 3 month. Well I got one customer in the plantation area and then another from referral. Then I got another lawn care customer until I had 5 on the same street over there. The average pays approximately $35 a week for basic 101 lawn care stuff. Well while servicing them over the last few weeks I have got to know this other lawn care operator who does most of the accounts in this area. I started seeing him in my area a lot. We both have seen each other when stopping at the local 7/11 store several times a week and started talking about the lawn care business, and how bad the gas prices are getting. He is also a one man show. Well I got to thinking about it one night and asked him the following day, if he had any regular contracts in the lake estates area and he said he did. I found out he has only five customers as I did in his area. It started there and now here we are. I kinda got the better end, though not by much. His accounts will pay approximately $50 more a month to me then mine to him.
The best way to find out if this is possible for others to do is just strike up a conversation with the other local lawn care operators in your area. I find that though this business can be cut throat at times, all we want to do is make a living and do it the cheapist way possible, the common ground. I hope this helps others to save money and fuel.”