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A favor turning into a job.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CraigH, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. CraigH

    CraigH Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I have a plow on my GMC 2500hd for my personal drive and my business. In the past I also plowed my elderly neighbors drive for free, just because that's how I was raised. We'll their gone now and the family member who owns the house asked me to continue plowing it as they are renting it out. I don't plan on doing it for free and I don't want to just give a low ball price as it is unfair to everyone doing it for a living. It is a simple drive about 80 feet by 12 feet. Usually takes me about 8 to 10 minutes. What should I tell them for a price so if he shops it I don't screw someone one else with a stupid low price. He is asking for a per push price. Thanks!
  2. all ferris

    all ferris Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    You probably are not insured for this type of work???? The money you would have to charge to cover your insurance expense would be over the amount they would be willing to spend. LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE TO LIABILITY.
  3. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 701

    My advice would be to just let them hire someone. You know the old saying - no good deed goes unpunished. The new owners are running a business, so it's no longer you just helping out a neighbor. Just my opinion, of course. I'm just a personal plower like you - my druveway and a neighbor (as a favor) - large country driveways.
  4. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,713

    It's a whole different situation now. I commend you for taking care of the elderly. This is income property now. If not insured for snow services I would pass. If you feel you will take the shot $40 to $45 per trip. Some scab will probably under bid you anyways.

    Not for nothing I know guys without a lick of insurance doing 20 to 25 resi's. maybe $20 to $25 per push. Not recommended.
  5. CraigH

    CraigH Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Thank you, I will take all your advice and pass on the offer.
  6. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Fear mongers - oh dear lord. Simple driveway next door, ten minute job for him, three minute job for the well equipped - charge the people 20 bucks.

    This isn't like plowing the local fast food joint, mall or gas station. For liability sake - you've been assuming liability all these years while doing it for free...............

    Any business that bitches about a lone wolf doing ONE driveway isn't a business.
  7. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,713

    Fear Monger's? He's not taking care of the elderly and neighbor anymore. No its not a fast food joint it's income property, Is there a difference?
  8. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    when he wasn't charging money, it fell under Good Samaritan

    Now that money is exchanged, it changed everything, it's a business.

    So if he does something that creates a hazardous situation he can be held liablel for it.
  9. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    OMG - a hazardous situation plowing a single lane driveway? GTFOH.

    You know how many tom dick and harry's I see running around this town doing the same thing? How many people do work out of their garage??

    You all are way over blowing this. You gamble every single day you put your feet on the ground, let alone walk out your front door.

    What is your risk? Property damage for sure, easily avoided. That Susie slipped and fell in her freshly plowed driveway - BS, what percentage of driveways plowed are salted too?

    This is a residential driveway where homeowners and guests come and go, not a fast food joint that sees 1000 people a day - that's the difference.
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    1 or a thousand drives what difference does it make?
    and yea, that pile of snow he made, melts, refreezes.
    then old aunt Betty come over, slips falls, broken hip,
    then to the home because she cant walk anymore....
    Aunt Betty can go after their homeowners and the guy who plowed the drive...

    It's the same reason you(maybe) and the rest of have INS.

    Yes ,their are a lot of stupid folks taking on liability.
    also working out of a shed, doesn't mean their not insured.

    Premises liability is the legal responsibility of owners to ensure their property is safe and free from hazardous conditions. This includes removing tripping hazardous, cleaning up slippery floors, lighting outdoor areas appropriately, and much more.

    nope, wrong, the delivery guy, repairman, etc etc
    are all invited ,, and it doesn't matter you have to tell trespassers of any dangers too.
    Premises liability

    Property owners – especially homeowners – have a responsibility to keep their homes safe and hazard free for their visitors.

    This falls under the legal term "Premises Liability," which states that homeowners must keep their properties safe for guests. This includes shoveling snow, clearing ice from pathways, securing loose cords, and much more.

    Homeowners are clearly responsible for those who enter their property. But first, we have to define who those "guests" would be. The following people would be affected by premises liability in different ways if they were injured at someone's home:

    Licensee – This term refers to family members and guests. Though they have no contractual relationship with the homeowner, they are permitted to be on the property.

    Invitees – These are people who have been expressly invited to someone's property. This includes construction workers, contractors, and postal workers – anyone whose invitation is implied.

    Trespassers – Trespassers are people who enter a property without the expressed consent of the landowner. While you might not want that salesman knocking on your door, you still have to keep your property safe for him or her. Homeowners aren't able to set traps for trespassers, and the home must be reasonably safe for all.

    Just because the home owner as INS doesn't mean that the injured party wont come after you, because they will come after everyone they can.

    its a dog eat dog world... and when people get hurt they get hungry.

    ps just for thought...
    in Rhode Island you may collect damages from another party even if you were found to be 99% at fault and the other party is found to be 1% at fault. In Massachusetts you must prove that the Defendant was more then 50% at fault before you can collect damages.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  11. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,713

    We are all aware of the risks we face everyday, We are also aware of the scabs moving snow without insurance. What you are choosing to ignoring when people get injured and attorneys and disability gets involved they throw crap at everybody involved and see if it sticks and how much.
  12. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Do you salt every driveway you plow? Probably not, so per what you're saying, you're exposing yourself to all these hidden demons - I say BS. If there was such an extreme risk as you say, there's no insurance at any cost that'd cover what we do.

    My business insurance costs (comp, liability and vehicles) are way north of the poverty level income, we do a tick under a mil a year in sales.

    One driveway or a thousand drives whats the difference? 999..... Your exposure is this not THAT. And yes it only takes one but then again, life is risk, odds are odds.

    I ought to start selling padded closets.........
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    So why do you have insurance?
    Roll the dice..
    As you said, it only takes one.
    ( from a guy who is insured)
    One could ruin his financial future.
    Even bankruptcy wound discharge a court order.

    Did you know their are people out there looking for a payday at your expense
    Why do you think inc costs so much.
    30 years ago it was a fraction of the cost that it is today.

    Who mentioned salt?

    He's not insured , nor in business, his exposure is huge....

    And you and I are free to express our opinions and differences.

    He has no obligation to plow the drive.
    If he wishes to go out and charge $ then he has to play on the same field you and I do. That's the way it is,

    Or we use a name to describe them, like lowballer, scab,
    Guys who plow for beer money.

    No offense to the op,
    We all like to plow and help,out around the neighborhood.
    But it could bite you in the @$s.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  14. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,713

    I don't want to go back and forth about who is a better earner. No I don't salt every driveway they salt there own and salt is visible and only have two.

    In your former thread $20 for the drive. I thought the Op was stating he used to keep the elderly clean because this was the way he was brought up.

    The OP stated he has the truck to keep his own business clear from snow. He also stated he did not want to cut a local out of the job to not be a low baller.

    I told him $40.00 the home is bringing personal income. I also told him he would be beat out by a scab and would not get the job. You don't have to be broke to be a scab. Just means your flying under the radar. You still could have a good performance too.

    Everything you do is a risk, The idea is to minimize the risk. You say you carry WC does this concern you at all? Or would you close one eye to this too. I know on my jobs I don't want no loud mouth ball busters on my job that are not safety minded.

    The more incidents and increased liability's could prove to put you in trouble when it comes to bidding. The padded closet thing was childish not banter.
  15. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    Yes this is still America and two people can disagree and still drink beer together.

    The minute I began doing work for others, I was insured and have always been so - overly insured probably.

    I choose to use the phrase "lone wolf" verses low baller or scab. These guys aren't cutting into my business nor most other business' - sure there's guys out there making a living off 40 driveways and maybe they are leaning into them slightly but I don't seeing them as taking food off my table, just putting a little something extra in their pocket that their employer can't provide. I actually admire a guy that will do that "extra" for some more coin.

    This country was built off risk / reward. If that risk for the one driveway was truly that high, than those of us that do a fair amount of work would never be able to be insured - because of the high risk that you are implying. If you maintain a Wal Mart, I think your risk is just a tad higher than Susie's driveway, not just incidents per year but incidents per dollar earned.

    Maybe exaggerating somewhat, but IMO based on the amount of exposure I've had over the years, the odds are you'll get eaten by piranhas in the Mississippi river long before you'll have an incident plowing a single driveway.
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    I'm all for risk reward.
    Financial risk of starting a business.
    As soon as you plow for money you have crossed the line, your in business
    Doing business as ( insert your name here).

    Some make a really good living off of residential.

    I've never had a slip fall, but there are other businessmen who have lost their business over just one slip fall.

    The 70's are gone, society has changed,
    The tax man is more aggressive ,
    People are looking to for a big payday , fake slip fall
    No one wants to be responsible even if it's a legit slip fall.

    A lot can happen just plowing snow.:drinkup:
  17. CraigH

    CraigH Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Hey guys, just to restate. I already decided to pass on it and let someone, hopefully a legitimate business take the opportunity to plow their drive. I'll stick to my personal and my business, God knows I'm busy enough with my real job, I surely don't need to add to my plate.
  18. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,713

    Good decision and good luck with your current business. I'm sure you don't need no early mornings to clean a new neighbor.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  19. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    There, their, they are just key board warriors. Good thing you didn't ask about plow oil/fuild
  20. JCPM

    JCPM Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 319

    Not for nothing but most insurance companies will insure you to plow under your regular auto policy at very little extra cost of you are only plowing snow on the side. I'm fully insured as this is part of my business but my father inlaw has been plowing on the side for the past 30 years and his auto insurance has additional coverage for the plow mounted on his truck and basic liability for resi plowing. I think it costs him like $150 a year.