How Small Service and Delivery Fleets are Coping with Gas Crunch
Small service and delivery fleets are using smarter routing, adding fuel surcharges and holding onto older trucks to help cover high gas costs.Small service and delivery fleets are using smarter routing, adding fuel surcharges and holding onto older trucks to help cover high gas costs, reports The Virginian-Pilot<\i>. David Kifer, owner of Peerless Carpet Care & Restoration of Virginia Beach, said he recently canceled a $45,000 truck order to help offset losses from high gas prices.The company operates 16 full-size vans, with heavy carpet-cleaning equipment bolted to the truck’s interior. Last year, Peerless spent about $66,000 on fuel, Kifer said. Gas now accounts for nearly 12 percent of his operating expenses, about double the percentage of a year ago.Ronnie L. Denny, owner of Denny’s Plumbing in Virginia Beach, says he has implemented a $5-per-job surcharge for new contracts. His fuel costs are up 45.6 percent over last year, he told the Pilot<\i>.Electrician Eric Saar is looking at increasing his hourly rate but hasn’t yet. His vehicles, two vans and a Ford F350 diesel pickup, run almost 80,000 miles total per year. Hoffman Beverage Co. Inc., a beer distributor in Virginia Beach, no longer has drivers leave the warehouse fully loaded with enough beverages to supply unanticipated client need. Now, only products “presold” for the day are loaded. The company’s 40 diesel trucks are running with less weight and using a few hundred gallons less diesel each quarter, but that reduction hasn’t nearly offset the price spike.