Chris McGuire, owner of Lawn Guru in Valrico, has made adjustments to his lawn care business to combat the rising fuel prices. He has also started installing hydroponic food production systems into his client’s landscapes as a way to supplement his income.
Gas prices have taken its toll on everyone. With the average gas price in Brandon being $3.75 a gallon and it’s expected to hit $4 by summer, many people are cutting back on luxury items and services. One of the luxury services that are being cut is lawn care (no pun intended).
Many lawn care companies have gone out of business because of rising gasoline and diesel prices. Chris McGuire, owner of Lawn Guru in Valrico, has made adjustments to his business to combat the rising fuel prices.
“My company got hammered the last time we had a spike in gas prices, since then, I have streamlined my business in preparation for the next gas price spike,” McGuire said.
He bought a cheaper and more fuel efficient truck. He focused more attention on maintenance and care for his equipment to extend its economic life.
McGuire is a fan of compressed natural gas (CNG). CNG is an alternative to gasoline that is made by compressing natural gas to less than one percent of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. It consists mostly of methane and it’s odorless as well as colorless.
McGuire has even considered purchasing a Ford F-250, which has the Westport Innovations CNG Kit. The downside to CNG is that it’s quite difficult to find a CNG filling station. There are only three in the Tampa Bay area and the closest one to McGuire is in Lakeland. To help lower McGuire’s expenses, he expanded his client base to the River Hills and FishHawk communities.
“They are both the closest communities to our base of operations,” McGuire said. “We will still service other areas that we have accounts with, however, all of our advertising will be directed towards River Hills and FishHawk.” He has also started installing hydroponic food production systems into client’s landscapes as a way to supplement his income. He calls this project, “Backyard Food Solutions.”