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Farriers are doing a more efficient job of scheduling by location in order to reduce the miles traveled, paying closer attention to vehicle maintenance and raising footcare prices as they struggle to cope with rising fuel prices.
A recent e-mail survey of American Farriers Journal readers resulted in dozens of field-tested ideas that you can use to trim fuel expenses.
Phil Thommen saw the handwriting on the wall several years ago when diesel prices started to move up. “I plan each of my shoeing days in certain areas,” says the Frederick, Md., farrier. “This has created more efficiency in staying on schedule for appointments and is saving me $15 to $20 per day in fuel costs.”
Jim Atteberry was factoring fuel costs into scheduling even before the recent increases. “One $30 trim doesn’t justify a $50 gas bill, so obviously it makes sense to pass on a low-paying trim until I can get more work scheduled in that same area,” says the Goldendale, Wash., farrier.
Some 75% of the farriers who responded to the AFJ survey have changed the way they schedule horses.
For 8 years, John Trafton has relied on directional scheduling to become more efficient. “One day I travel north, the next day west and so on,” says the McAlester, Okla., shoer. “I don’t let clients change my routes. If this is a problem, they can load up the horses and meet me someplace on my daily route.”