Kyle Gargaro

Some rants and raves about the HVAC industry out of the mouth of an editor this Monday morning:

RANT:Gas prices. Did you hear the one about the woman who begged her husband to take her somewhere expensive for a change? He drove her to the corner gas station.

All kidding aside, this is a big problem for many contractors who are seeing these spikes at the pump take a bite out of their profits. And nobody wants to add a fuel charge to the bill and anger customers who are already peeved about filling up their own SUV.

As I write this on May 10, the average gas price is $3.96 a gallon. This is an increase of over a dollar from the same time last year. NBC’s Brian Williams has reported that the price of oil is going down, but I am still waiting to see that at the pump.

Are you contractors making sure all the gas that is being purchased is actually going to your company? I ask because in my recent travels I have talked with numerous contractors who have recently found out at least one of their employees, was using the company gas card with the same responsibility as Rosie O’Donnell at the local Ponderosa.

It might be time to take a look at the expenses and GPS reports to make sure everything adds up. I heard stories of technicians filling up their own car with the company gas card and even one individual who would keep a gas can in the truck to fill up and take home.

In this economy every expense is important.

RAVE:Bad jobs. Since some people are of the opinion they have the worst job (not me, boss, things are fantastic!) I always like to take a moment to list what I think are the three worst jobs so we can all feel good about ourselves. Today, the list is: Donald Trump’s Hawaiian private investigators, Paul McCartney’s fiancee’s lawyer attempting to get a decent pre-nup, and the director who is going to be taxed with finding a way to have the 64-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger be believable in “Terminator 5.”

RAVE:The repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement. Kimberly Schwartz covers this issue very well in this week’s cover story. Check it out. Basically this will remove a huge secretarial burden from small business owners.

The question (because I can never praise government without also mocking) is why was this passed in the first place? If the folks in Washington, D.C., are so interested in the environment, shouldn’t cutting back on paperwork be an easy first step?

RANT:All the air conditioning crime that shows up in my email inbox everyday. I get Google Alerts on most of the industry keywords so I can stay informed of everything out there. The air conditioning keyword always has at least one story about criminals destructing the product for the copper. It happens everywhere from stores to churches … which takes a special kind of criminal.

By the way, every contractor reading this should be getting Google Alerts of your company so you know what everyone is saying about you on the Internet.

RAVE:HVAC Excellence and their recently held National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference. I attended the conference (coverage to follow in a subsequent issue) and was impressed by how much they jam into the conference. I always knew teachers got up early to get going on education but never knew they stayed up so late doing the very same thing.

Listen to HVAC Excellence’s Howard Weiss talk all about it on our latest podcast which can be found at or iTunes.

RAVE:The fact that I have so many raves and so few rants. Must be the springtime Michigan weather.

Publication date:05/16/2011