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The Big Fuel Squeeze

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  • #16
    Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

    I tried to convince 2 different shops to allow me and the guy I worked with to do that to no avail.
    I just wanted a 3 day w/e, but also it makes more sense on new construction & remodels because the ratio of time worked each week vs clean-up and bringing out tools /bringing them back is better.

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    • #17
      Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

      I don't have a service charge, or add a fuel surcharge to every call. I do check my expenses monthly, including insurances, maintenance, etc and adjust my rates accordingly.
      However, if I have to leave a job to pick up a part and then return to that same job, i will charge for the gas used (I get 12-14mpg in my Chevy 2500 van)
      "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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      • #18
        Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

        My Chevy HHR had an option of getting van panels on the side instead of back door. We see quite a few around town.

        I have the only purple one though

        My 34 miles/gallon (highway) sure beats Rick's 6 miles/gal.
        I love my plumber

        "My Hero"

        Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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        • #19
          Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

          3 GMC 1/2 ton vans, 8 cyl motors. 3 Dodge 1/2 ton vans, 6 cyl motors. 1 GMC 3/4 ton box truck, big 8 cyl motor, 1 Dodge Sprinter, 6 cyl. 1 Dodge 3/4 ton P.U. with the hemi. and 1 GMC 1/2 ton P.U. 6 cyl.

          We just raised prices to cover the increased fuel cost. What else can you really do? Unfortunatly you need to have vehicles large enough and rugged enough to be worked hard every day. We tried Astro vans a few years back but they just were not up to the beating that carrying heavy and daily driving gives them. And the guys hated them. Every time you need something, you've got to unload half the van to get at it.
          sigpic

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          • #20
            Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

            I finally bought a GPS. I'm bad with directions anyhow. missing streets and house a couple times a day seemed crazy at $3.50 a gallon. It's really bad at $4.00. It has helped that's for sure.

            a Buddy of mine just bought a big box truck A month a go. It gets 10mpg but he keeps it stocked way better then his van. His goal is to not go to the parts house. It's been working good so far for him.

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            • #21
              Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

              Hmm, I was going to make a post about this subject. Well anyway, we have two chevy one ton vans than suck gas like crazy. We are thinking of going to a small mini truck would cut our gas bill in half. That way we don't have to raise prices(yet).

              I think this option will catch on with many vendors. What else can you do about gas prices?

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              • #22
                Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

                Originally posted by TomSV650 View Post
                Hmm, I was going to make a post about this subject. Well anyway, we have two chevy one ton vans than suck gas like crazy. We are thinking of going to a small mini truck would cut our gas bill in half. That way we don't have to raise prices(yet).

                I think this option will catch on with many vendors. What else can you do about gas prices?
                The timing couldn't be worse for me, right as I'm considering a larger vehicle, over the frustration of trying to organize stock & tools in a Chevy 1500...plumbing just isn't the trade for a small truck.

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                • #23
                  Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

                  Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
                  I've seen station wagons and mini suvs with plumbing logo's on them...surprisingly they look pretty cool.
                  I drive a chevy 1500, 4.3 liter with an 8' bed & a cap and the MOST frustrating aspect is storage space/organization...trying to make room in the back for a water heater or toilet is like a chess game...moving one toolbox to make room to move the other so I can have space to slide the box of fittings to make room for the heater...then later moaning and groaning as I try to remember what the heck I hid the snap cutter under.
                  While fuel is up there, the cost of hybrids ain't cheap either...Both Marks have it right....the added cost must be added to the cost of doing business, no way around it.
                  Why not downsize the truck and pick up a small trailer to haul bulky stuff like sticks of pipe and water heaters on the occasions that you need to.
                  "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

                  https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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                  • #24
                    Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

                    Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                    Why not downsize the truck and pick up a small trailer to haul bulky stuff like sticks of pipe and water heaters on the occasions that you need to.
                    Seriously, thats one idea I've tossed around.
                    Parking would be an issue for the city jobs, and I'd have to look into legalities as far as hooking it up.

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                    • #25
                      Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

                      Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                      My main truck is a 96 ford E-350 460 cu. In.[ 7.5 liter] . second an 8 Cyl. 91 Chevy Z 4x4 pickup,Only 60,000 miles [pretty little thing]. 7-8 MPG van [ tool soup].
                      thinking,used Isuzo Diesel ,or like,with a utility body. Any thoughts out there?????.
                      Trying to watch the $$$$ with this economy.Should I consider a box truck? Also Diesel is $4.99 a gal.Are You charging any more for this Fuel situation?? Any, and All thoughts appreciated. Tool
                      we have 1 of the Isuzu's with a 4 cyl. diesel........they get alot better mileage than our chevy 2500 vans............. I actually just purchase a 1999 Ford Ranger (2wd, 4cyl.) to drive to jobs when a fully stocked service vehicle is not necessary.

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                      • #26
                        Re: The Big Fuel Squeeze

                        Not a Plumber here, but thought i would chime in on this too. I have two work vehicles, a 98 Dodge 2500 Van (5.9 V8 Gas) and a 00 Dodge Ram 2500 (5.9 I6 Diesel). I trade off which one I drive, as even though diesel is more expensive, I get 16-18MPG with the Truck, and only 12 on a good day with the Van. There are days I hate driving the truck, as it is loud, its not practical for what I do, but I bare with it as it does get better mileage, and in ways, its alot more fun to drive (408HP with the flick of a button ) But many days I have driven the truck, and wish I had driven the van, as that one item I know I have, is on the shelf in the back of the van, so off to HD or the like to get another one. Then there is days when I drove the van, and ended up needing to get plywood... fitting a 4x8 sheet of plywood in the back of a van that has tool racks/shelves on both sides and up front, SUCKS! Plus, I do need the truck for pulling the 22ft trailer on cabinet installs, and for picking up pallets of tile, the truck works great where the van is just not up to the task.

                        I have been thinking about selling both vehicles and getting a Sprinter 3500. Only problem is, even then with the CRD engine, they still only get ~15MPG I believe, and they are expensive, even used. A box truck would be great, but its not practicle for what I do, and buying another more economical vehicle to drive the days I dont need a larger vehicle doesnt pay. The fuel savings dont out weigh the cost of the vehicle, additional insurance cost and matinence costs.

                        Its a dilema for sure, adding a fuel charge might just end up being a must. I wish I had more mechanical and electrical engineering experiance, as I would love to find a way to take my Cummins engine in my truck and mate some type of hybrid transmission to it. The Cummins engine in my truck is regularly used in large generators, makes one wonder. If at idle it could produce enough power to run an electric motor/transmission, could you imagine the mileage you could achieve?

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