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Asking You Professionals???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by kutnkru, Mar 5, 2001.

  1. kutnkru

    kutnkru Member
    Messages: 56

    I went to pick up our daughters from their friends house, had a Blizzard Slumber Party last night.

    When I pulled into the parking lot of their friends complex the idiots who had plowed the lots had pushed the snow from the center outwards towards the back of the vehicles. We have 33in. tires on our explorer and the piles were up to the hood almost behind the rows of parked vehicles.

    To top it all off, they had pushed the snow into the L-shaped lot instead of out of it. The snow was piled onto the sidewalks in front of the building at the end as well. I thought you were suppose to drag it away from the interior curbs and stack it at the entrance sides to the lot??

    I also thought that if there were to be walkways at designated spots between vehicles, (where they have like a 4x8 extending slab into the lot) that they were suppose to keep these runs cleared as well?? Not use them as designated pileing areas for what they thought was clearing the walks. They literally made a 2ft meandering footpath thru the 4ft walkway.

    I just cannot figure out how some guys get away with this type of workmanship, when there is such a high liability for this type of work. Not to mention they did a poor job clearing (or should I say windrowing) the lot to boot!

    Is this the norm for what you guys compete against??

    If so I am going to seriously contemplate snow removal for the next season in the commercial market.

    My brother and our laborers have taken care of it in the past, but I may bid some on my own for the extra cash. This way we have piece of mind that it gets done right at least where our daughters go to play.

    Thanks for the input, when you guys get back. Happy Plowing!!!

    [Edited by kutnkru on 03-05-2001 at 04:20 PM]
  2. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Sounds kind of familiar. The only time I windrow towards cars is in our lot at the dealership... and even then, I make them as small as possible. We do this only because we have no other choice. But, yes... I have seen some competitors push the snow into some pretty strange places. Oh well... that's what we "Professionals" are here for.

  3. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    yes there are idiots everywhere;
    the sad thing is that next year most managers will forget about things like that & go with him again (or some other fly-by-night because they have the best price (notice it NEVER equates to best service)
    I would bring it to the mgr. attention (or have a tenant do it for you), & start your plan of action there.
    Personally, when clearing a run thru a lot,I always start near the cars & work the snow into the middle, then put my Boss in a scoop & take it out. Even if I have to use my Meyers, I do the same thing-start near the cars & work to the middle, then push the pile OUT. Sounds like he was behind, or lazy, or usually both.
    You should find out who it is, then call him for a "free estimate", & ask for references of other accts. Then go hit those places up for a bid.
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru Member
    Messages: 56

    Thanks for the input

    Thanks guys!

    Thats a great idea about calling for his references =)

  5. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    You should hear some of the horror stories I've heard this year since I started plowing. Snow piled in the Handicapped space of a State Office Building, on the ramp and sidewalk and in the entry driveway. Today, I heard WalMart cancelled the contract of one guy who'd invested lot of money in equipment because he couldn't figure it out that the parking area was to be kept free of ice and snow at all times - apparently the contract was something like $20,000. Just this morning I was talking to the Meineke store manager who said the guy they contract with ($2200 for about 10,000 sq ft parking) comes at 8:30 knowing they open at 8:00. Then just shoves straight between customer's cars and piles it at the entrance to a main highway. I think this area is ready for some service-oriented snow management company.

  6. Ben W

    Ben W Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I have learned that alot of apartments and condos will go with the lowest bidder. Around here some places change contractors every year. You try and educate the customer and they still go with the lowest bid.
  7. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I have been plowing snow "in house" (at the shop I rent and at my workplace) for 4 winters now, poor service such as you have all mentioned is why I started plowing in the first place. Yes, this sort of thing is everywhere (I'm north of Toronto Canada) and I am seriously considering taking on a (manageable) number of accounts next season.

    One of the problems is the "lowest bidder" phenomenon you have mentioned. There always seems to be "XYZ" who will do it for 1/2 of what you quote. Bear in mind also that often the property manager isn't willing to pay what better service is worth. I don't know what the solution is (I am still in the research stage) but I do feel that if you provide quality service, in the long run you will come out "on top".

    And there will always be a new crop of the "XYZ" crowd for those who insist on a lowball bid.
  8. Mike Hughes

    Mike Hughes Member
    Messages: 51


    What you need to do is get a camera and get some pictures of that mess...........could work in your favor. Good luck.
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru Member
    Messages: 56


    Funny thing you mentioned that, though. Im waiting for the film to be developed. Its my understanding in talking with our friends who live there that early this moring they came thru to try to clean it up a bit.

    When Jack went out to talk with the company doing the work, they told him their contract stated they were to keep the property accessable during major storms, and then cleanup afterwards.

    He said the guy just rolled up his window when asked if handicapped persons were supposed to hire ski lift operators to get over the mounds of piled snow where they had stacked it previously and it still remained??

    Hopefully the pictures will help as well.

    Thanks for all the GREAT the ideas folks!
  10. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Maybe you should see if you could get him ticketed for parking his snow in a handicap spot with out a permit.
  11. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I'm curious as to where they threw their beer cans while they were working. Sounds like Digger's work to me.
  12. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Regarding pricing jobs and low-ballers.

    When I give a quote, I usually say that I am probably not the lowest price he will get, and in fact, I sure hope I'm not the lowest price, because the service commitment commands more money.

    It works more times than it doesn't.
  13. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I see a lot of guys around here that I think have no business plowing snow. They just don't seem to care. I like it...it helps me justify investing money into snow removal. Once you have refrences that you are dependable and do a good job it's real easy to take an account from an idiot even if you're price is higher, and like the other guys said the picture help too.
  14. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Just curious, 66construction. Why do they think you have no business plowing snow? Are you independently wealthy and don't need the income? Just tell them THEY have no business plowing snow, but that you'll be glad to give lessons.