As a forester, I drive anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 miles per year. The properties that I manage are usually 45 to 90 miles away from my home. Lately, gas prices have been on the rise. I know this is bad news for most of us, but it is especially bad news for those who are self employed and have to travel frequently for work. As a small business owner, my profits are lower because of higher fuel prices unless I find ways to cut fuel costs and improve fuel efficiency. If that can't be done, I must pass the increased cost on to my clients.
I rely on gasoline for personal and business travel. My job requires me to own a four-wheel drive truck. Unfortunately, it doesn't get the best gas mileage. I need a truck that can handle the terrain and the everyday demands of driving off-road. Don't get the wrong idea, I am not mudding, climbing rock mountains, or anything like that. I am driving on rough county roads, dirt roads, old logging roads, and trails I thought were roads. I don't need four-wheel drive very often, but it has saved me from being stuck in the woods, miles from civilization.
Proper tire inflation, routine oil changes and maintenance, and slower driving are a few of the factors I can control to improve the fuel economy of my truck. Unfortunately, there is not much I can do about gas prices. Lately, I have turned to technology and have started using an app called GasBuddy to help me find cheaper gas. The app is available on Android
(iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), Windows Phone
, and Blackberry
. The app uses the GPS in your phone to determine your location. Once your location has been determined, the app will provide a list of nearby gas stations, the current price per gallon, the address of the station, and how long ago the price was reported. The data is sorted by distance from your location, but can be sorted by the lowest price. In an instant, you know where to find the cheapest gas and how far it is from your location.
The GasBuddy app uses gas pricing data from www.gasbuddy.com
. The pricing information is crowd-sourced and relies on the app's users to report current prices. The prices in more populated areas tend to be updated more often. I use this app quite often, especially when I am out of town. I highly recommend giving it a try. My only complaint is when the pricing information is outdated and has increased. Gas prices can raise pretty quickly so you have to be aware of when the price was last reported.
As gas prices continue to rise, I will be looking for other ways to lower my consumption and save money. If you have tips on how to increase fuel economy or find cheaper gas, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org