Most of us can deal with those high gas prices by driving less, carpooling, and taking public transportation; but companies who rely on vehicles for their livelihood can't. There are several strategies they implement to try and make ends meet.
"It's absolutely annoying," says Steve Weseman, owner of Servpro, a fire, water, cleanup, and restoration business in Grand Junction. Weseman is just as annoyed as all of us with these crazy gas prices. "We just have to watch how we schedule our trips, my guys are pretty good about that," says Weseman. Weseman has six trucks and three trailers in his fleet. "We'll try to do the Delta and Montrose jobs as one trip, rather than send two vehicles out there." High gas prices have forced him to try and get creative. "We tried to figure out a way to put solar panels on the truck, but it isn't happening." Weseman also maintains his vehicles to save on gas mileage. "We try to keep our vehicles maintained on a monthly basis, if not a weekly basis."
Dealing with high gas prices is nothing new for businesses, it's happened before. Companies tell KKCO they just use their experience in dealing with it, they stay smart, they stay proactive, and that keeps them in the driver's seat in their business.
"We were here when gas prices were at 4 dollars a gallon, 2, 3 years ago, whenever it was; it's tough, it eats into the bottom line," explains Weseman. Weseman says its' been a slow year, and his business can't cut costs in other ways. "We really can't make them up in other ways. We sit back, relax, and not let it bother us too much." He's looking forward to staying as far away from the red as possible.
"We will eventually recoup that money from the insurance companies that we work for, right now the insurance companies haven't done a whole lot about it," says Weseman. He's still waking up with a purpose to not only stay in business, but succeed. "You just have to pay attention to what you're doing out there, and save as much gas as you can."
"We'll probably respond by upping our gas surcharge that's been in place for a little while now," says Ricky Houtris, owner of 2H Mechanical LLC. Houtris has 20 vehicles in his fleet that average up to 40,000 miles a year. "We're always cognizant of not wasting gas, no matter how much it costs," says Houtris. Houtris is also trying to save on gas by consolidating trips. "We don't like to send two vehicles to a job site unnecessarily, unless it's all filled up with vehicles." Houtris also focuses on saving gas mileage by maintaining his fleet. "That's another reason we make sure our vehicles are properly maintained," he explains. However, high gas prices are forcing him add a surcharge. "As prices go down, hopefully we'll remove it," he says.
No matter how bad things get, perspective changes everything.
"You're always going to survive, it doesn't matter. If you quadrupled the cost of gas, we'd all survive, somehow," remarks Houtris. "I don't lose sleep over it, it's just a cost of doing business," adds Weseman.
Gas prices traditionally start to go up as we get close to summer, business owners understand that. Of course they go down, but if they don't, business owners are willing to deal with it, and do whatever it takes to stay in business. AAA is reporting gas prices are up about 11 cents across the country in just the last two weeks.