Economy?

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  #1  
Old 05-09-08, 05:36 PM
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Economy?

Those of you who are in business, is it down across the board or just me? My phone rang three times today - two phone solicitors and a price-checker. Not an everyday thing, but enough times a month to wonder what's going on. What's weird is that normally the towing picks up when the economy is slow because of people keeping their older vehicles longer and keeping them fixed up. Sure has me puzzled.
 
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Old 05-09-08, 05:48 PM
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I am in remodeling, repair and old home restoration. No new construction. Mine took a dive in September, and was slow until the first of the year. I think everyone instead of building new homes are "fixing" up what they have. I feel I am truly blessed, because mine is picking up at break neck speed, and in larger jobs, too, some commercial. I am cautious, however, as with most things it can't last forever. Take the downturn with the astronomical increase in diesel prices, my prices have had to keep pace, and I am afraid that can't stand the test of time, but I need it to keep in business.
 
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Old 05-09-08, 06:49 PM
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Its funny Tow, people have to meet you by accident.....(old joke I'm sure). Must be that all the folks in Florida are taking mass transit now. Did the spring breakers bypass Sarasota this time?

It's too bad that gas is so expensive, or you could just cruise the highway on slow days like today and look for breakdowns. Come to think of it, the gas may be cheaper than all the advertising you probably have to buy to get your name out there. I can't even imagine how much it costs you.

Funny how different businesses can be. Chandler and I are in Home Improvements and are not experiencing any downturns. My problem is I can't get to all the customers fast enough, so I just hired a new experienced carpenter to help out. My advertising budget is practically zero (logo'd shirts and hats that I and the crew wear), and all work is from word or mouth. I don't know, people just find me.

Chin up my friend, you'll be wishing you had an extra truck on the road in no time.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 05:14 AM
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Sarasota's never been a big Spring Break destination; don't know why - great beaches here.

Cruising for tow business is actually illegal; the only time it is legal to stop for a stranded car is if the owner/driver flags you down (makes the first move). Helps to avoid the fistfights that might ensue when a motorist calls one tow company, then flags down a different one who is still hooking up when the first company's truck shows up. I sometimes slow down or take a turn around the block to see if they will flag me, but I don't pull over unbidden.

My advertising mainly consists of the yellow pages and I don't use a huge ad there. The major overhead costs are fuel, vehicle upkeep, insurance, advertising (mostly yellow page $), and phones (landline & cell). The majority of my work is to a dozen or so garages and a lot of them are seeing slow times, too, so it trickles down.


 

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  #5  
Old 05-10-08, 06:34 AM
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scary slooow , folks just aren't spending money and where heading into summer which is usually slow . that plus the gas is killing me , I would raise rates to compensate but I don't want to drive off business

I also find customers who used to write me a check on the spot are looking for 30-45 days and the 30-45 day folks are dragging it out to 60 or 90 days

I don't see things getting better anytime soon , maybe after 1/20 /09 confidence will return
 
  #6  
Old 05-10-08, 08:16 AM
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With 225 vehicles on the road, gas prices are seriously affecting the company I work for. They're implementing cost-cutting measures in nearly every department so they don't have to raise prices.

It hasn't seemed to affect new business ... yet.
 
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Old 05-10-08, 05:46 PM
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Yeah, TG, I pulled up a P&L graph and noted my fuel expense for last year was at 28%, right up there with materials and subs.
 
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Old 05-11-08, 04:57 AM
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Virtually every supplier I work with is hitting me with a fuel surcharge on orders and deliveries to the jobs site. I don't see any alternative except to pass these on to the customer.

Not to start anything, but why is it so hard for politicians to understand the simple laws of supply and demand. Increase the domestic supply and prices will go down. For the life of me, I do not understand why we are not drilling for the oil supply that sits directly under our feet. And I'm paying close to $4.00 a gallon so that some Caribu or Moose in Alaska can chew its cud in peace during the six months the sun never comes up near the artic circle. The logic escapes me....
 
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Old 05-11-08, 06:04 AM
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For the life of me, I do not understand why we are not drilling for the oil supply that sits directly under our feet. And I'm paying close to $4.00 a gallon so that some Caribu or Moose in Alaska can chew its cud in peace during the six months the sun never comes up near the artic circle. The logic escapes me....
that is the logic , run the prices up until we say screw the environment drill everywhere I WANT CHEAP OIL
 
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Old 05-13-08, 10:55 AM
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Hey Toe Guy:

my guess would be that because of higher gas prices, people are simply driving less. fewer cars on the road, fewer breakdowns.
 
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Old 05-13-08, 01:09 PM
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Well, May is generally never a good month because we are between the winter snowbird visitors and the summer vacationers. Still plenty of cars on the road, though.
 
  #12  
Old 05-13-08, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by czizzi View Post
Virtually every supplier I work with is hitting me with a fuel surcharge on orders and deliveries to the jobs site. I don't see any alternative except to pass these on to the customer.

Not to start anything, but why is it so hard for politicians to understand the simple laws of supply and demand. Increase the domestic supply and prices will go down. For the life of me, I do not understand why we are not drilling for the oil supply that sits directly under our feet. And I'm paying close to $4.00 a gallon so that some Caribu or Moose in Alaska can chew its cud in peace during the six months the sun never comes up near the artic circle. The logic escapes me....
I remember when drilling was first proposed in the artic 50 years ago. There was some of concern that the pipeline would disrupt the annual migration patterns of the barren ground caribou. The project went ahead because the eco nuts didn't have the clout to stop it. Here we are 50 years later and the caribou are thriving.

No way could a project like that happen now.

I just read that the Peoples Republic of North Massachusetts (once known as Vermont) has blocked a proposal for wind generators because they are a visual pollutant.
 
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Old 05-13-08, 02:56 PM
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That was the Lower Kingdom of Massachusetts, and it was none other than Teddy that nixed that before it had a chance to sprout. The main wind generators would be directly in line with the view from his house on Hyannis Port.
 
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Old 05-13-08, 04:21 PM
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They should use eminent domain and purchase 5 sq miles of land adjacent to the Anwar wildlife refuse and start drilling at a 45 degree angle to where the oil is. Or, if I read the map correctly, set up shop in Canada and drill at a 45 degree angle from the opposite direction. Problem solved......

It would take the issue completely off the table and we could move on to more idiotic rules and regulations that we all live under. Such as the following rule - when I build a deck, on day one, I dig a bunch of holes in the ground. I have to stop, lose a day or two of production, to wait for the inspector to stop by to give me a "hole" inspection! Around here, we only need to dig our holes 18" down. I can get there with about 4 shovel loads. But gotta get a sign off in order to proceed......
 
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Old 05-13-08, 06:05 PM
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They have started making us pour continuous footings rather than sonotube holes for our decks that approach a fall off. And here you "fall off" everywhere you look. Everyone builds their houses to face the road, and the back is off a mountain side, so continuous footings. And yes, rebar, inspection, pour, inspection, build.
 
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Old 05-13-08, 07:37 PM
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Of course, now adays, we have the "convenience" of ordering our inspections on the internet. Which is great, except, when we order an inspections we get the following confirmation back by email. "This message is to confirm you request for a site inspection tomorrow. A representative will be at your site between 8 am and 5 pm". Which means I pick my nose all day long until he decides to show up. Of course, you need to be present with copies of the approved plans and drawings.....Gotta love it.
 
  #17  
Old 05-14-08, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
That was the Lower Kingdom of Massachusetts, and it was none other than Teddy that nixed that before it had a chance to sprout. The main wind generators would be directly in line with the view from his house on Hyannis Port.
Also true in the Peoples Republic. I think the town was Charllotte but I could be wrong.
 
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Old 05-14-08, 07:32 AM
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Thankfully we don't have to put up with government over-regulation of towing down here. Business license and "wrecker" plate on the truck are all the government regulation I have to deal with. Tow-ers in other areas often have a SIGNIFICANT amount of government millstones to carry around on their backs.
 

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  #19  
Old 06-06-08, 03:14 PM
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IMO TG, I think enough people are driving less now.
I know my wife and I are.
We are eating out less which adds up to less driving and planning out our trips to mall or supermarket better instead of making 3 trips a week it's down to 1 trip every 8 days or so and we're keeping the tachometer around 2k rpms to max our mileage..........no more lead foot.
Also went back to eating breakfast at home and brown bag'n it for lunch and keeping after the kids to shut off the PC and the TV if their not watching.
All of these things add up to cut our utlility bills to offset the extra cost of gas for our cars and oil for my furnace and H20 heater.
I just got an oil bill for $865.00 for 227 gallons (knockin' my socks off man!)
 
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Old 06-06-08, 09:50 PM
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try $4.799 for diesel in a f250 at 11mpg. that'll knock your socks off.

Murphy was an optimist
 
  #21  
Old 06-06-08, 11:24 PM
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Business has been way off for us too, started about 9 months ago. Last 3 weeks things have picked up, but I think that's just temporary.

As far as ANWR, the majority of Alakans, including the governor, are for drilling. Get all the facts here:
http://www.anwr.org/
ANWR is 19.6 million acres. Of that, just over 9 million acres is classified as "refuge". 8 mil is wilderness. 1.5 million other acres are classified as the 10-02 area, set aside by congress in 1980 for gas and oil exploration. It is the only part of ANWR that can be opened for exploration, and is on the north coast.

To further specify the definition of land that could be used in ANWR Congress has limited any future development footprint size to 2000 acres. This means that within the 1.5 million acres of the 10-02 Area and with in the total 19.6 million acres of ANWR …..ONLY 2000 ACRES CAN BE USED! That’s less than of 1% of the total area of ANWR.

The 10-02 area however, cannot be explored despite its specific oil and gas definition without Congressional approval. And it is at this point that the debate now stands.

Depending on how the government handles it though, it may not mean lower prices. If they give the oil companies free rein, and allow them to sell it on the world market, well, the market is getting $130 a barrel. They should allow them a fair profit, but that's it.
 
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