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Boarder line ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Vaughn Schultz, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Don't you hate when you are right on the line of whether you should plow or not. Either way you are going to PO half your people. Half will tell you " my lot is covered in snow, why did you not plow" when you got the other guy on the line "you plowed THAT? I could a sneezed and it would have done the same!" :realmad:

    You are in a lose lose situation. Just have to make a call and stand by it :salute:

    This is coming from a snow fall that was only an inch or two, but with 35 mph. winds. So one half of the lot has 6" inches on it when the other side is dry :dizzy: . What to do, What to do? So I plowed them all out. Half were very happy with me (made me coffee and said thank you, good job) When the other guy is on the line " there was no snow on my driveway when I got up" THAT IS BECAUSE IT BLEW OFF :angry:

    This snow was so spotty one lot would have 3+ inches on it when the lot next to it has NOTHING. So when they get plowed they wonder why? plus the fact that the lot way all plowed and salted by 4 am so there was no snow on it when the got to work(the evidence was gone!)

    Sorry had to vent, I am going to bed now!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2005
  2. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Up north here, those bare spots were black ice. I couldn't believe how slick the ice was. I've been out shopping and running around this morning and most places weren't plowed, but very hazardous.
    I drove by a park with ball diamonds. The downwind neighbors lawn, the driveway and the snow berm at the edge of the street were all brown/tan from the sand blowing off of the ball field 150 feet away.
  3. Ian03

    Ian03 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    That is why I respect you full timers. Also, this is the reason I am selling my plow April 1st. You cannot make everyone happy no matter how much you try. When it snows I dread hearing my phone ring. You missed that or you forgot this, can you come back, blah blah blah. There is no way to do this and have a real job too.

    So next year you full timers who hate guys like me with my whole 12 residential accounts can have them back. Next year in Hampton, NH there will be 12, count 'em, 12 residentials available for you to fight over. Hopefully this will put the food back on the table that I took away. Try to control your enthusiasm. Have a great, snowy, profitable winter.
  4. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Don't be so hard on yourself. I doubt that anyone has ill feelings toward you for doing it part time. If they do, so what.
    I don't have other winter work, but I wouldn't call myself fulltime at plowing either. I'm only doing three drives this year because of the age of my epuipment. I need to update it for next year. If something breaks this year I'll take the wifes truck and shovel or snowblow them.
    Is this your first year at it? If so, I'd say give it another. Or at least make your decision in the off season when you aren't under pressure. JMO.
  5. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Had that situation a couple times this season, in fact just yesterday. I will call them before I head out to see what their lot/driveway looks like and if they want to be plowed. I'll probably get flamed for this as it's not everyones standard operating procedure, but like you say, I don't want to tick off my customers. And they've told me they appreciate the call. Just like lawn care, communication with the customers is a good thing for the most part. I know some guys don't like customers calling the shots, but around here it seems we get a 1-2 inch snow a couple times a week, some need to cleaned up some don't, so I let them decide that way we don't have any gripes about "you should have plowed or why did you plow when I didn't need it". No wind, 2" inches or more of snow, no phone call...just go plow.

  6. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 507

    quiting plowing ??

    :nono: :nono:
    man your gettin to upset and 25 bucks aint worth it
    do what i do when they call i just tell em happy shoveling
    see ya.....

    :drinkup: :drinkup:
  7. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Had a talk with a property manager today about that. We only take commercial accounts that let us decide whether it needs it or not. They need to be under the understanding that it's better to be safe than sorry. It's both him and me that have to sit in a day of depositions for a slip and fall case.
    Anyway, those fees just get passed along as CAM fees anyway. Property managers want it black so they can justify bills to tenants.
    I don't know, maybe find a new clientele.
    We barely got a dusting this morning, everything got a little salt.
  8. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I may be in this situtation tonight. These are the times iam glad i do not plow commercially. Iam also glad i know most of my paying customers aside from plowing so they don't give me too mcu trouble. I have had the same 37 customers for 3 seasons now and I know what all are like. I will take no PITAs i drop them immediately. I plan on doing my full route in the predawn hours when the snow ends. I email all my customers befor the storm (i did this morning) and tell them the forecast incase they don't know. They are reminded of how to arrange their vehicles and to respond with any questions/ special reuests. Iam not calling them at 2am, its completely under my control they know that 2" gets plowed. Iam so happy to have the customers i do, all go with my decision except for one weird guy who only calls when he wants to be plowed its funny though as he is the only one that complains about 1/2". :rolleyes: None of the customers have my Cell Phone #, that would drive me NUTS. They can call a # to leave a message which i can check from the truck whenever I want. Everyone who leaves a message gets called within the hour, i take 5 min an hour to sit on the side of the road, check messages and call/take action as needed. I don't have many complainers Tankfully.
  9. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 324

    Bugged me last year but this year I made everyone sign contracts. They state the trigger depth and that we have the final desicion on whether to plow or not. I we do not and they want it they can call and we'll send someone right over. Haven't had one complaint this year.
  10. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Most of my accounts are seasonal, so if it's on the line i just do it. As for com and per push, I am blessed that no one has been unhappy when a
    snowfall has been near / slightly under the trigger. I follow the better safe then sorry rule.
  11. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    I'm lucky, most of my commercial accounts are a 1 1/2" trigger. The longer you have them, the better you know their wants and desires. A church for instance with a 1 1/2" trigger,
    on a Wednesday will want to see blacktop with even 3/4" for their evening service, on a Thursday we will only salt on 3/4" you have to know your customers and use your head. I had a customer call this evening and say that no matter what happenes this weekend, they want plowed and salted by Sunday morning as they are having an event Sunday PM. Stay in touch and tell them if they have anything special, call and let you know about it. The same with mowing. It's all in communication. The more my phone rings, the happier and more wealthy I am. You also have to train your customers, my residential people know that the commercial people come 1st. Some of my residential people are also commercial customers, so they understand. It's also all in the timing of an event as to when someone gets plowed. Once again, the longer you have customers, the better they get used to you as you get to know their wants and desires.