With gas and diesel prices skyrocketing earlier this year, the big question is whether to simply put up with the increased business expense or pass the increased fuel costs along to your shoeing clients.
This was a concern in early summer for shoers in Wisconsin, Illinois and other areas where gasoline prices were as high as $2.19 per gallon. This followed on the heels of an earlier increase in crude oil prices that soared to over $32 per barrel, a 209 percent jump from earlier $15.31 per barrel prices.
To gather ideas on how to handle the dilemma of increased fuel costs, we talked with seven shoers in July at the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition in Calgary, Alberta.
While most of these shoers were absorbing the extra fuel costs, several farriers took action to keep higher fuel prices from draining their checkbooks.
Faced with higher diesel fuel prices, John McNeary of Fort Collins, Colo., raised shoeing prices by 30 percent at the beginning of the summer.
He now charges $75 for a trim and four new shoes in the Fort Collins area, $85 when he has to drive a few extra miles and $95 when he has to drive a long distance.
“I have a diesel truck, so there was only about a 10-cent price increase per gallon, but that still makes a big difference,” he says. “With the fuel price increase on everyone’s mind, the time was right to raise shoeing prices.”
McNeary lost a few…