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billing recommendations for residential drives

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by J Berry, Oct 27, 2000.

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  1. J Berry

    J Berry Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    This will be my first season out.
    I was wondering which is the prefered method of billing
    for reidential driveways. I hope to get around 8 or so
    and maybe 1 private road right by my house.
    One local guy said he billed every 4 storms, is this a
    good idea or should I bill on every event.

    any info would be appreciated

  2. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    My opinion:

    If you're charging per time, bill as often as possible with a Net 10 Day payment cycle. Cash flow is very important.

    If you're charging per season, get all your dough up front. You'll need the money to survive, pay bills, pay for gas - etc. If it's a mild winter, residentials balk at paying that last "installment" if you let them pay over several months.
  3. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    When I was younger and did all driveways, I used the hand method. That's knock on the door and stick my hand out and asked the customer to pay me for services rendered. Nice if you can get away with it. Give some thought to pre-printing some invoices off your computer and then hand-write them in and give them to your customers upon completion of the work. If you don't have alot of money to float cash flow; get paid as soon as possible.
  4. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    You do them by the season and get paid by Nov. 15th.

    I've seen some guys offer a split payment Nov. 15th and Jan 1st.

    If you DO charge per time, bill early and bill often.
  5. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    I'd recommend charging per season, for the reasons stated by the other guys. We charge per season and the money is due Dec.1st in total.
  6. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    A lot of it depends on the prescedent set by your competitors. When we were doing residential (which we don't do anymore because it got to be too much hassal), we were getting the full season's payment up front. If they didn't want that, we didn't want them. Cash(flow)is king!
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    If all you plan to do is eight drives just keep it simple and collect at time of service.
  8. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    We have it written into our contracts that we bill after each snow occurance except if there's more in the forecast. Then we might lump 2 or 3 together. With 8 it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to do all the billings. I'm talking about over 100 accounts.
  9. landscaper3

    landscaper3 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Our company has been plowing commercial and residential accounts for over 6 years and we do all our maintenance summer and winter on a monthly plan. For our residential accounts up to 30 we charge say like $30per storm and over 8" will be $45.00. We also send them a contract that they will sign and mail back stating costs per storm and sanding charges. Also we put in there we are not responsable for loose or broken pavement from winter maintenance (you could be in for a big headache) if you dont add that WE LEARNED YEARS AGO!!!
  10. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Landscaper 3

    Do you have something in your contracts about damage to grass, shrubbery, edging, etc? Do you plow brick paver driveways?
  11. landscaper3

    landscaper3 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    To Sno Pro, Up here nobody I have ever seen has brick driveways that doesnt mean there isnt any, But anyways never heard of people damaging shrubbery or edging and we maintain alot of commercial , condo's and town houses with shrubbery everwhere. As far as grass we do take responsability for that but we lift our plows up when approaching grass areas to PREVENT this problem. Mabey we will have to touch up a lawn or to but to do so only costs us less than $35.00 per lawn to touch up. Not trying to be harsh here but have learned to take a little extra time to prevent incidents like the ones you posted and thats why we continue to grow through our reputation!
  12. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Except for shrubs, urethane edges will eleiminate all damage caused by steel edged plows.
  13. Snow Pro

    Snow Pro Senior Member
    Messages: 146


    Are you saying if I run my new urethane blade across grass it won't damage it?
  14. mountain

    mountain PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 23

    We bill on the first of the month for all work completed the prior month , whether it is plowing , salting or whatever. works out good for us!
  15. justa hick

    justa hick Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    We bill around the first of the month also, but most of our residential customers put a check in the mail the next day
  16. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    That is EXACATLY what I am saying. We pushed 30-50' across lawn areas last winter with no damage at all. And this was a late storm with minimal frozen turf. The only caution is that with soft ground, the tires from the truck may sink, but no damage from the edge. If it wont move loose stone in drives, it wont move grass.
  17. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    I AM buying 4 urathane cutter edged this year, but I'm NOT expecting them to perform 1/2 the claims as proposed here.

    I mean, if the can't move a "loose stone" how is it going to scrape hard packed snow?
  18. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317


    I don't have one of the edges <B>yet</B>. I can say, it does make sense to me. I know from using a big squeegee (like for a shop floor) to clear walks of slush and light snow, that when I did, I could push it right onto the grass, no harm done. When the snow was packed, from foot traffic, I could pull back on the squeegee, and it would scrape the walks clean. I mean CLEAN. I imaging the urethane edge will "roll" the gravel where it lies, but not move it far, or accumulate it in front of the blade. Gravel is a solid, that can't be compressed like snow. That's a fact. So the edge rides over it, because the edge is flexible, and can compress / flex. Steel is rigid, and doesn't compress, and so it bites in.

    The action of the urethane edge flexing, will compress the snow between the edge and the pavement, "squeezing out" the snow, scraping it up. Even hard packed snow can be compressed. A steel edge shaves the snow off. Leaving it in low spots, and riding over it often. This is because the steel can't flex. Ice, is another story, and I will be impressed if the urethane gets that up. This is my opinion of course, but it makes sense to me, at least in theory.

    I also think of how I push my green barrels across grass, when overloaded. I never drag a barrel if I can push it with my walk behind. Across pavement, across lawns, it does no damage to grass, no matter how heavy it is. The sides buckle in it's so heavy sometimes, with wet leaves that I jumped on to stuff into it. It still goes right across the grass with no damage at all. Even after years of doing this, the bottoms haven't worn through, and I only can hope the urethane edges are as durable.

    I can also say that there is 3 different grades of the urethane edges.

    Yellow is for light duty applications, (light duty blade) on pickups, tractors, and small dumps. It is not for high speed plowing. It is for parking lots, driveways, and private roads.

    Blue is (special duty blade) for municipal plows, not exceeding 18 - 20 MPH when plowing. It was designed for cobblestone roads, going over manholes, and roads with raised reflectors.

    Red is (heavy duty blade) for heavy industrial equipment, that clears at high speed. It's superior in it's resistance to cuts and abrasion, extended wear, and resiliency. Ideal for interstates and highways. It is also obviously the most expensive.

    That my take on the edges. I hope to learn more soon.

  19. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Well lazer seems we are in the same boat. You see I dont belive 1/2 of the claims you make. Plowing a drive per minute, no way, but some things you have to see to believe.
    When I was told the benifits of urethane last year, I was skeptical also, yet after a seaon of plowing I can tell you it was true and then some. We are pounded everyday with product info, and most of us dont like change anyway. But this is something that will earn you more money, with less damage to trucks and landscape. It is quiet and functional. And above all it is cost effective. And if that doesnt matter, then this will, if you buy an edge made by MTS which is the company many of us represent, if you dont like it, you dont pay fay for it. 100% satisfaction or we will buy it back. If that isnt a claim that you can belive in, then I cant help you.
  20. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Only 1 driveway per minute? Better be a heavy snow! ;)

    Hey I did order them for this year, but I'm getting the yellow ones. Doesn't look like those are the ones to get.
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