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It’s funny- we remember back in 2008 when the bubble burst and the hurricanes caused gas prices to soar well above $4/ gallon. I say “caused”, but do any of us really know what causes gas prices to do what they do? When that happened, a lot of our suppliers began to add fuel surcharges to deliveries and materials. That was fair. What’s funny though, is that when gas prices returned to “normal”, those surcharges never went away. It’s like a boa constrictor squeezing every time you breathe out, but never loosening until – well, you know.
Gas prices are up again and climbing. We’ve considered raising prices to accommodate the expense in the past but we’ve also considered better ways of doing business. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention, and innovation, I might add. Raising prices is a last resort, in our opinion. We continue to consider and implement ways to be more efficient with fuel. Fuel economy has increased in personal vehicles, but not so much in commercial fleet vehicles so far. There’s a lot of interesting talk about converting vehicles to CNG (compressed natural gas) engines, however. Every little bit counts, and there are other small changes with routing and management that we continue to implement. They say if you have a good idea, someone’s already doing it. I haven’t seen anyone using motorcycles and trailers yet, so maybe it’s not a good idea. Sending crews out with motorcycles and trailers is probably extreme, but we’ll consider anything.
The expense for fuel is what it is. We’ll continue to work at efficiency before we reach the point of raising prices. Let’s face it, we provide a luxury that is available in America like no other place on Earth. This is a chance for the free market to work its magic.