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Call it a trip fee, barn call, flat mileage charge, fuel surcharge or whatever. Regardless of how you define it, more farriers than ever before are looking at charging the fee as a means to keep fuel and other costs in line.
Pat Burton increased trip charges by 33% in 2008 due to increased fuel costs. “Not one client has complained,” says the Burleston, Texas, shoer. “Our minimum charge is $15 per stop and we give clients the option to bring horses to our shop to avoid a trip charge. Time is money and the time you spend behind the windshield is not productive.”
Debi Gurdock of Home, Pa., boosted barn call charges by 5%. When University of California, Davis shoer Shane Westman was in private practice in Burlington, Wash., he inaugurated a $5 farm call fee last year and recently boosted it to $10, along with increasing trimming and shoeing prices.
When gas went over $3 a gallon in the early 2000s, David Goedde added a $5 fee per stop. When fuel reached $3.75 a gallon, Steve Eastman added a $10 trip charge, and the Kenwood, Calif., farrier found most clients didn’t complain.
When Ohio farrier Christine Abramo added a trip fee while working in Chickasha, Okla., it varied from $5 to $60, depending on how far she drives, the number of stops and the client’s circumstances.
“If someone chose not to schedule their horses when I’m in their area, I’m firm about making them bring their horses to…