The fluctuating cost of gas is an ongoing expense mobile-only AGRR companies know too well. The expansive territories they drive each day eat up quite a bit of gas. One of the best ways to keep the cost of gas as low as possible is by mapping out each day in advance.
“I try to plan jobs as close together as I can,” says Collin Woodall, a Novus Glass franchisee based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I serve four large counties in Iowa, so I plan it out as much as I can. It’s also important to have the right tools when you leave for the morning. You have to rely on your knowledge.”
His team will spend one day in one area and move onto another county or area the next day.
Lance Spitler, who owns Packerland Auto Glass in Rice Lake, Wis., says the price of gas is a necessary evil.
“I advertise free mobile service, so I can’t add a fuel surcharge to an invoice; however, it is not hard to simply raise your prices when fuel price goes up,” Spitler explains. “I actually rarely look at gas prices, I look at it like my credit card machine. It is a necessary evil. So when my gas light goes on, I stop at the next station and fill up. I currently drive a 2009 Ford E-250 and get about 14 miles per gallon. I fill up about every other day and it costs around $100 every time. I rarely look at the price per gallon, but I will when it starts costing $110 and up per tank. I get pretty used to the up and down in fuel costs.”
Alan Paull, a Novus Glass franchisee based in Wilmington, N.C., says he is spending $220 to $270 on gas each week. A way he keeps down on his overhead is by focusing on one-man sets. His technicians use Lil Buddy to do a job, which means he isn’t paying twice the salary per van.
Focusing on quality and getting the job done right the first time can also save on gas, he stresses.
“If there is a leak, we have to go back out there on our dime to fix it. If you need to do a second trip you are burning fuel and paying the salary of the tech to do the job again the right way this time. He should have done it right the first time. By not rushing my techs and telling them to take their time, this saves me money in the long run,” Paull says.
Paull’s techs generally do four or five replacements a day.
Editor’s Note: What do you do to save on gas? Please email your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.