Grow show: Fuel prices

Brainstorming solutions with your employees and changing habits can save you money.

May 16, 2011
Industry News

The Grow Show is a frequent podcast series brought to you by The Harvest Group. This podcast series is designed to tackle the difficult issues and challenges landscape contractors face day-to-day in their businesses. The Harvesters take each topic, break it down into manageable pieces, and share a common sense approach to working on your business.

The Grow Show is produced by The Harvest Group, a team of industry veterans focused on helping landscape companies “harvest their business and personal potential.” Our team of Harvesters includes: Bill Arman, Ed Laflamme, Steve Cesare and Cindy Code.

The Harvest Group GROW Show Podcasts have by and large focused on practical ways to make more money.  With this goal in mind we have developed a two-part series on “Dealing with the Rising Cost of Gas.”

Part one will discuss ways to help minimize this increased cost. Part two will focus on ways to approach your customers with varying ways to offset this added cost.

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 Get Your People Involved
•    Meet with your people and get them engaged
•    Make them aware of the challenge. Be specific, say our gas cast have gone up $/month
•    Make sure they understand the potential impact this will have on the financials
•    Brainstorm on possible solutions, ideas or additional info needed
•    Decide on some specific areas that we can address or measure
•    Assign champions to these areas
•    Meet regularly to review progress or make any needed adjustments
•    Measure results and reward positive results  

Right Sizing Your Equipment and Vehicles
•    Take an inventory of all vehicles and equipment
•    Now determine if these really make sense. Are we over kill on size?
•    Look at the sales, supervisors and owners vehicles
•    Get rid of the clunkers, they eat gas, look bad and are often unsafe
•    Update vehicles and equipment with up-to-date fuel efficient technology

Minimize/Eliminate Driving Habits and Behaviors that are Gas Guzzling
•    Needless Idling: in the yard, at the pump
•    Don’t Tailgate: It’s not only dangerous and illegal but there’s wear and tear on the brakes, and the fuel efficiency drops considerably
•    Cruise Control: Use when practical. It saves 12 to 14 percent on fuel
•    Slow Down: It’s safer and saves fuel in a big way. Some use GPS on this
•    Acceleration: Jack-rabbit starts suck up fuel and tax the transmission

Proper Maintenance and Tire Conditions  
•    Clean Air Filters: Clean or change on field equipment and vehicles on regular scheduled basis
•    Tire Pressure: This is a BIG one, have metal caps, check pressure weekly, have a gauge in each truck, over inflated wears out tire, under inflated causes “Drag” and loss of MPG

If you have any other ideas on how you’re saving on gas costs please share them with us at