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Charge for second storm?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by thelawnwizards, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. thelawnwizards

    thelawnwizards Junior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 2

    We Had a storm go through last night leaving about 3 inches. Per the Weather service storm was to end at 11 A.M Hadent seen snow since 8 A.M which is when we started clearing. Its now 2 P.M. We just finished out accounts about 20 mins ago. Now the weather service is predicting another 2-3 inches over the next 2 hours. Our trigger is 2 inches.

    How should we bill this?
    Will customers understand it was two storms?
    Should we give discounted price for second trip or charge full price?
    Should we just eat the time/labor/diesel.

    I'm trying to get some ideas before I call around and see if people want us to come again.

    They are all Residential Driveways Around 20+ or - A few

    Our usual billing is for up to 6" then there are Extra charges for over 6"
    The total of both snowfalls will likly be under 6" Still.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Plow are bill them again.It's a new storm and new day.
     
  3. thelawnwizards

    thelawnwizards Junior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 2

    I like that idea. I just know already a few of them will call complaning.

    How would you write it on their invoice to help ease their mind and prevent possible complaints?

    This is the first time we have run into this issue in the two years we have been doing snow.
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Date it with the amount owed ,then if its the 2nd plow of the date ,write the date again with the amount and write also 2nd plow.
     
  5. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    You bill them twice!
     
  6. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    I would offer a discount. We are talking a few hours here, and the trucks are already warm.
     
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You go plow them and I'll send out the bill. Then pay you the discounted price and keep the difference.
     
  8. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,518

    your question is your answer.
     
  9. TJSNOW

    TJSNOW Senior Member
    Messages: 374



    Trucks might be warm but...Fuels not Free.....Labors not Free.....Wear and Tear is not Free....


    Discounts are a tricky mine field......You give one...Then they start to expect things at a discount or free....:nod:
     
  10. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    LOL. You may get away with horshite like that on your nickel and dime driveways, but not in my town. I charge a premium for the service we provide, and a "second" storm happening in the SAME DAY as the first storm would get a discounted rate. We are talking a few HOURS here, not 12 plus.

    Tell you what, double bill, and when your customers start crying, give them GV's number. All for what? A handful of $20 drives you could have been a standup guy about and charged $16-18 for a second, SAME DAY RUN? LOL.......
     
  11. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    We are not walking a fine line here. This is a system that has come in 5 hours after the first storm. Im not talking about giving things away for free here either.

    Would I charge again? Absolutely, would I charge a full price, no. I dont cut throats on my pricing, perhaps Im better insulated financially to give a slight discount on multiple pushes than others. But I personally would treat it as a second push, same storm and therefore they would get a 20% reduction on their bill.

    PS I should add that I treat all accounts with MAGIC SALT prior to departure, and therefore that second push on a three inch snow fall, would be more of a slush push if anything at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  12. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    Dude, I'm in MA and I know what "system" you are dealing with, and unless you are barely squeaking out a profit on the initial push, I wouldn't charge a full price push on the second. Not with today's weather... But listen to these guys in other parts of the country if you want. Let us know how it works out for you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Won't know about driveways. I barely plow my own.
     
  14. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    If I read right this is your 2nd year. This will be a good decision time for you and your customers to go forward. Personally I would charge 50 percent 2nnd push, as only 2 or 3 inches. Had it been as much or more than 1st go round, full charge. An one who complains, no charge for 2nd push and let them know in the future you will wait till all is clear. No 7am, no 5pm, just when all is clear. I kind of like having a few of these, but at some point they need out/in and will call then they go back to regular billing. Its funny how money is important until it inconvenience's ones lifestyle.

    Option 3 they switch provider's-so be it, let someone else lose money!
     
  15. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    If u plowed 3" at 8am, then 3" at 5pm, bill twice. Full amount. If someone alls and complains, explain the situation and possibly discount it then to keep them happy. I bet you get very few calls though.
     
  16. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Yeah I have to agree with Grandview. If your contracts state a 2 inch trigger, and you plowed 3 inches the first time, then 5 or 6 hours later you have another 2 inches, then follow your contract. My contracts reads there is a 2 inch trigger in effect, which means in a 4 inch storm your lot will be plowed twice, and will be billed twice. If it snowed 10 inches, then each lot would be plowed 5 times. I don't get what the problem is? It's your contract, so all you need to do is follow what it says.
     
  17. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    You have an interesting definition of "trigger" when it comes to wording in your contract. A "trigger" is simply an agreed upon measurement to commence service. Having a two inch trigger does not mean you push every two inches during one single storm.

    IN the op's case he has a two inch trigger billed in four inch increments going off of what he wrote at the bottom of his post, which was;

    "Our usual billing is for up to 6" then there are Extra charges for over 6"
    The total of both snowfalls will likly be under 6" Still."

    So you see, and I think most would agree, that your definition of "trigger" in this case is wrong, and I believe that in most if not all other cases, would be considered wrong too.


    And btw, plowing twice in four inches is tough to pull off... How many trucks vs accounts do you have to support an operation such as that? There was one storm we had out here that fell slow enough to even attempt to pull something like that off without a 3 drive to 1 truck ratio and I have a pretty tight route.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013