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Pros respond to pain at the pump with rising gas prices

June 23, 2022 -  By

It’s no secret that landscape companies are paying more at the pump week after week this year. According to AAA, the national average for regular fuel is $4.897 as of press time.

To understand the impact of rising fuel prices on the green industry, Plowz & Mowz, a mobile app for on-demand landscaping services, surveyed its more than 8,000 members in nearly 60 markets. Wills Mahoney, the co-founder of Plowz & Mowz, says members in many markets have seen prices at the pump double from the same time last year, and in response, they raised prices for services.

“Landscapers across the country on average raised their prices about 13 percent,” he says. “In specific markets, we saw raises high as 30 percent in Raleigh/Durham, Charlotte and in the Midwest, Kansas City and Des Moines, Iowa.”

Mahoney says the app also surveyed its customer base to see how consumers might respond to rising prices for goods and services.

“Only 7 percent of consumers said they were considering doing it themselves,” he says. “I thought it might have been a little bit higher.”

Flipping the switch

Mahoney says pros responding to the survey are strongly considering adding battery-powered equipment to offset rising fuel prices. As Plowz & Mowz has polled pros in the past, there has been anecdotally little interest in electric and battery-powered equipment, he says. But, as prices continue to rise at the pump, the conversation has changed.

“This year was completely different,” he says. “74 percent of the landscapers surveyed are now considering purchasing electrical equipment.”

30 percent of respondents plan on purchasing electric equipment within the next 12 months Mahoney says. He says 21 percent of those surveyed already have some electric or battery-powered equipment.

Mahoney says one thing pros need to consider if they haven’t already is improving route density — clustering stops closely to cut down on travel time and gas.

“Route inefficiencies and impossible workflow have plagued landscapers during high-demand seasons,” he says. “But with inflationary pressures driving up the cost of gas and other operational expenditures, landscapers are now more open to tech enhancements to boost their bottom line and improve the profitably of their business.”

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Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University and has been in B2B publishing for seven years. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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