TAMPA - Raoul Maceda will hate to admit it -- but he drives too much, and has too big a truck.
As we stood next to his 4x4 pick-up watching the numbers wheel wildly on the pump in front of us, I asked him just how often he had to fill up. "Every day," he said, matter-of-factly.
"And every day like this?" I asked, pointing to the numbers spinning quickly through the 80s -- as in $80 -- "How often do you fill up... every week?" "Every day," he responded, almost apologetically.
But I was the one who was sorry to hear about how he has to commute to and from a Cape Coral construction site, and how -- if he wants to pay for that gas -- he has to work.
"Is there going to come a point or a price where you say 'Enough is enough' and will have to cut down driving?" I asked.
"I don't think so," he said. "Because I have to go to work. If I don't go to work..." he trailed off.
As awful as Raoul's ride to work might be, imagine if everything you did in your job had to do with gas.
Chad Suder, the man who runs LawnSculptures.org , doesn't have to imagine.
Chad and his crew of five added a gas surcharge on the dozens of landscaping accounts they have. He's hoping to not have to add any more or further change his pricing structure. "Everything went up," he told me. "And we're trying to go North Tampa, South Tampa, all over."
He doesn't want to stick it to his customers but he has to turn some sort of profit so he can take care of the his daughter Coral -- who accompanied him on part of his morning route -- and his crew, as well as the lawns of Tampa, while some help figuring out how to buy $1,800 in gas every month.
"You do it," he said flatly. "You fill it up. You make the best of it, and hope you have enough for Monday."