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breaking up a large storm

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by HouseHitter, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. HouseHitter

    HouseHitter Junior Member
    from zone 4
    Messages: 16

    I plow a half a dozen residentials all on a per push basis. We are going to get a good smack here in Saratoga NY. Its going to start Tues at around midnight and go straight through Wed. Now I know I have to get out early Tues am because my trigger will have been met and I need to get people out.

    My question is do I let is snow the remaining15-20 inches before going out again? or do I break it up once more and do a couple of 8-10 inch pushes. The timing of this storm means that my customers are probably going to get 2 possibly 3 pushes. How do some of you veterans do it? This is my first year. thanks
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    My suggestion to you at this point would be to try to plow, at the most, every 5"-6". Plowing over ten inches of snow takes some experience in planning the push and the limits of your equipment, layout of the site etc. You can get in a lot of trouble real quick. You may have customers that want to be able to get in and out, even though they should be staying in, anyway.
  3. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Unfortunately you will probably get comlaints either way if it is not spelled out in the contract. I tell everyone, even residentials that we plow with the storm, meaning that we try to plow at 4-5 inch intervals. Sometimes we end up having to plow more.

    People will say two things depending on what you do. "Why didn't you plow my driveway during the day?" or "Why did you plow, I wasn't going anywhere?"

    I still say plow with the storm and take any complaints with an explanation that your policy is to plow with the storm.
  4. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    FLIPPER, same here. i do what i have to do to get it done! we cant read minds, who will need to go out or not! one other thing that you might want to look at is, the type of area to be plowed, i have places were you cant just drive in, push and leave, one place has a garage at the end of the drive, one side is lawn area, but is raised (up hill) and the other side is a parking area that meets up with a patio/wood deck... i have problems with 4 inch storms at this place..... you cant let it gat ahead of you, you need to stay up with the storm!! i simply tell everyone, if i come you might have to pay a little more, but what if you need to get out at 2am, im not going to answer my phone, im out plowing, or what if a fire, how are the medics/fire dept. going to get to your house, the fires not going to wait for me to plow is it?, then they dont really mind paying for a extra push..
  5. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I agree, once it becomes an issue of safety - like when people can't actually get through, then I just plow and bill. What if you leave it until 10 inches and then you get stuck someplace or some equipment goes down? Then you are in a bind because people are stuck and you can't get there. Along with safety issues mentioned above. I would rather loose a customer because I showed up too often (and you may) then loose a customer because you didn't show up enough - or worse, somebody has a heart attack and can't get out because the plow guy didn't come.
  6. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 153

    They are calling for anywhere from 1-3 feet here. at 1 foot, most everyone will be hit twice,some businesses more, if we really do get 2-3 feet, the two trucks will roll doing everyone on the schedule as quick as we can cycle through them till its done snowing and if people don't like it, they can find someone else.
  7. ADK

    ADK Member
    Messages: 31

    I'm right around the corrner from you and I hit all my accounts first thing in the am. That way they can all get out for work. As the storm intensifies, I'll be hitting them every 4-6". That way I keep up, they can get in or out, and I don't beat up my equipment. Here's what the forceast looks like....Yeappppppyyyy!!!!!!!!! I do most of my plowing in Luther Forest....Where abouts are you?

  8. The mayor

    The mayor Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    One thing I have found out about plowing is...no matter what you do you will be in the wrong. I had 2 customers direct neighbors. one wanted to know why I was there and the other wanted to know what took so long:dizzy:
  9. mole

    mole Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    saftey first and this is for you. just run with the storm, we really didn't got out that much and I knw in wny we avg 20x per year not even close to this yet. it's going to be blowing snow also so you will have to deal with drifts, if I were you I would try to stay with the storm thats what i am going to do I don't want top be pushing 10" inches out of every driveway that wouls kill my equipment. just get the places open so people can get in and out then go back after it's over and clean them up.
  10. HouseHitter

    HouseHitter Junior Member
    from zone 4
    Messages: 16


    I am plowing from the exit 15 home depot and East into Washington Co. all resi's I'd like to talk to you about possibly subbing for me next week in the event of snow. I will be in Tenn for a week. PM me.

  11. Elwer

    Elwer Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    While we are on this topic about seperating the pushes per amount of snow, how would you bill the customer. I have plowed all of mine twice so far and the snow is still falling and blowing at 40 mph. Would you bill for each time of 6 inches or bill for total storm or just find a happy medium and say i think this will cover!! this is my first year of major plowing so any imput would be greatly appreciatted.
  12. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I bill them for each time I go. Full rate. That is the happy medium. Payment for services rendered. Why should I do it for less - especially in a heavy storm when my time is worth more to me than at any other day of the year. payup
  13. DodgeRam1985

    DodgeRam1985 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 82

    I clearly lay it out in all my contracts that a 2" triggers means I have the right and ability to plow once snow reaches that level the first time and all accumulations after that. Thus I can plow during a big storm at 2" 4" 6" 8" etc. Although I rarely can keep up with the storm and hit all my drives gain before it gets to 3 additional inches, I try to keep all my pushes at 4" and under. I don't charge per trigger, meaning that if I plow 2" off first thing in the morning, but can't get back until it's 4" deep, I only charge for the two pushes, not the total amount. Good Luck!
  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    However you decide, don't take a hit or miss approach. Have a well laid out and defined billing method. Otherwise, they'll think they got cheated somehow, even if you "give" them some or do them a favor. Remember - No good deed goes unpunished.
  15. Hammer24

    Hammer24 Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Hey Neighbor!

    Just wanted to say hello to my neighbors...ADK and HouseHitter:waving: . This is my first yr of plowing as well House, I live in Ballston Spa. Glad to see people close by. Well boys, enjoy counting the greens payup and stay safe out there. Hopefully talk to ya's after the storm.
  16. dieselboy

    dieselboy Member
    Messages: 43


    Hello fellow upstaters. i am from the pottersville loon lake region. anyway so what are you all going to do about pricing? i am going out tommorow morning and then i think maybee reg charge1sr push and half rate after that per push. i cant charge 80 dollars for a driveway the people here wouldnt pay me and if they did they wouldnt eat for a month. let me know what your guys think.
  17. DJC

    DJC Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    I don't think they are going to have a problem if you have to plow them out a few times. That's what I always do when your talking that much snow.
  18. LockedUP

    LockedUP Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    I go out every 3-5 inches. Thats what I do for my residential customers.I'm not into pain,If they don't like it thats too bad......I'm right in the middle of this one, greater than 18". I'm going out for my first here in 1/2 hour...

  19. Gusco

    Gusco Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    Good answer. Everyone always wants done first. They all expect to wake up to a clean black surface in the morning. Do what you can. Pace yourself. Dont burden your equipment. I start at 4 inches and repush every 4-6 inches. What I hate about residentials is when you get a call (post storm) and they want all 18+ inches moved for 30 bucks.
  20. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    Matt- I also plow with a Quad, I've found the best way to charge for a snow/sleet mix (like we're having here in NJ) is to plow as often as you can (every 2-3" since it's really heavy stuff), and bill for 2/3 of the times you plowed, since you could potentially push more fewer times, but it's easier on you and the equipment to plow more frequently. That's generally how I do it anyway.:salute: