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Five years ago, we produced an American Farriers Journal article on how horseshoers were dealing with skyrocketing fuel prices. At that time, gasoline prices in the Corn Belt were averaging $2.19 per gallon for gasoline. Crude oil prices had soared to over $32 per barrel, a sizeable increase from more traditional $15 per barrel prices.
Now 5 years later, it’s hard to find a farrier who isn’t worried about paying considerably more for fuel in the coming months. With crude oil as high as $58 per barrel in recent months, fuel prices are expected to soar even higher than the $3 per gallon price now paid by some California shoers.
In the past year, the U.S. Department of Energy reports gas prices jumped 34 to 44 percent across the country. During the same time span, diesel fuel prices increased 57 to 69 percent.
While some shoers are passing along fuel price increases to customers in the form of trip charges or higher shoeing prices, others are figuring out ways to make their vehicles operate more efficiently.
To combat higher fuel charges, George Peterson has raised shoeing trip charges anywhere from $7 to over $57 depending on how far away a client lives. “All of my customers pay a trip charge now and most have been understanding,” says the owner of Diamondback Ranch Farrier Service in St. Charles, Iowa. “After all, high fuel costs affect them also.”
He groups farther away shoeing jobs together, consolidating them at a…