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charge twice? need help

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by vpantus, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    Hey guys, newbie here. 3rd year plowing.

    We should be getting 8-11 inches of snow tonight. Snow ends around 8am. I tell my customers that I plow twice after 8 inches. Should I go plow once now and once again in the morning? Its at about 4 inches now. I know ẃe will hit the 8inch trigger tonight, but what is the value to the customer with me plowing now and again at 7am? They will be sleeping, not like anyone needs to get out at night.

    It that fair to plow twice and charge twice? Technically I can do it all in one shot. Light snow

    Thanks larry
     
  2. andersman02

    andersman02 Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    yes it is fair, as long as thats what your contract states. Most of our contracts are seasonal but we more or less use a tiered pricing for resi per push, 50% increase after 6", 100% increase after 12" etc.

    You NEED to go out more then once for a 11" storms, your equipment will be under much less stress not to mention a cleaner scrape if your back draggin. We usuuallly go out every 4-6"


    On commercial per push they pay for how ever many times we come out. 10" storm we may be there 3 times, they get billed for 3 times. If its a church and they dont need to be cleared asap we may push it to twice or even once for 8" max depending on the type.
     
  3. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    ok thanks, I think that answered by question. Plow twice, charge twice. even if is once at night and once in the morning.

    Yes that is what I agreed to with my customers. anything over 8 inches i come twice.

    Another side question.

    Forecast says 7-9 inches. its 4 inches down now. 4 more hours of snow. How do you decide this will be a 2x plow, versus one time and waiting till it stops? but then its two late to plow twice. Assuming 8inch trigger
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Start at house/lot one ,keep plowing your route till it stops and you have everything cleaned up and bill them for every stop.
     
  5. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    snow is alot like sex, once it starts-there is no mercy for the client.


    Really tho, seems unfair? milk the customer for every snowflake? How many residential customers can afford to pay 40x2=80 when it snows 7-9 inches once a week? that's $320 a month. I know i have costs too, but Im trying to justfiy the pricing.
     
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sell your plow now. Or go seasonal.
     
  7. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    How do you estimate a seasonal price?

    Just give me a general ball park idea.
     
  8. Bartlett_2

    Bartlett_2 Senior Member
    Messages: 226

    I concur....
     
  9. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    for residential
     
  10. starspangled6.0

    starspangled6.0 Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    What I do for seasonal is take the average number of snow events in MN (I calculate to 15 events on an average year), and multiply that by their quoted per-time price. On below-average years, you win, and above-average years, your clients win. The vast majority of our clients are per-time, but it's nice to get a few seasonal clients at the beginning of the year, to provide a shot of cash.


    Here's one thing that hasn't been mentioned: if you wait till the end of a 12" storm to plow, just because you can't bring yourself to charge your clients twice even though that's what's in the contract, then who's going to be holding the bag when your plow breaks because of shoving so much snow? It's much easier on you and your equipment to plow with the storm, and go out twice instead of trying to move 12" at once, especially if it's been driven on by your clients.
     
  11. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    I usually discount my plowing price alittle bit when I do multiple plowings to give them alittle break. But I will deffinatly plow 2 or 3 times a storm if I have too.
     
  12. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,346

    If you cannot plow 11" in one shot then sell your equipment. My gravely with a plow can do that. I am referring to resi and small lots. Not Mall size lots here.Just to be clear.
    Been doing this way for 20years. Never broke anything.If you are a hot dog and an animal then yes you might break something.
    This includes the 36" Nemo last Feb.
    T.J.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  13. starspangled6.0

    starspangled6.0 Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Just about any snowplow and truck combo can plow 11", but your risk of breaking something goes up exponentially. Besides, if it's in the contract to be paid for every time you plow at that property, why pass up money?
     
  14. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    ok guys, the original question wasn't should i plow 11 inches. that's a no brainier. Plow can handle it, but why put stress on it and forgo the income?

    What i was trying to get at was... what makes you determine this storm is a 2x plow vs 1x plow. with an 8inch trigger.

    Someone suggested seasonal pricing. can anyone else explain how they come up with a seasonal number?
     
  15. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    11" at once is still more wear and tear than once at 7" and another cleanup after the storm.

    My setup is more than capable of pushing 12" plus, but I still go twice if it's more than a foot, because it's easier to get a nice finished product (backdragging especially), and it's more work for my truck, hence a higher price for my customers.

    There were times during Nemo last year I plowed driveways after the whole storm was done, but they weren't the regulars, and they paid extra due to wear and tear on the truck, and the chance I might get stuck.
     
  16. horizon jay

    horizon jay Member
    Messages: 99

    No one wants to shovel themselves out after they get 11" of snow with drifting either. I found many a random customer begging me to plow them out after this storm. I plowed my residentials 3 x's this past storm. I didnt get to one thats on a hill until after 8"+ was down. I got stuck in the driveway in a 3' drift. (i got out but just barely) So just because you CAN plow more snow doesnt mean you should. My transmission would have been happier had I gotten there earlier. If a client doesnt understand why there were multiple visits then kindly let them know it was necessary and they can find someone else in the future if they arent happy with your decision.
     
  17. horizon jay

    horizon jay Member
    Messages: 99

     
  18. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,614

    If you have a 8" inch trigger you would plow every time there is 8" on the ground and charge accordingly and only plow when the trigger depth is met as per the agreement
    You could be there 3 times if it snowed more...

    Your not responsible for it snowing.

    Maybe you need to drop your trigger depth and or go with a seasonal rate..

    When they call in the am just say the trigger depth we agreed on has not been met, but if you would like we can modify our agreement.


     
  19. vpantus

    vpantus Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the responses.

    I understand now that time of snow and time of plowing does not affect how many times i plow it
     
  20. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,346

    My truck or plow does not know the difference between 7” and 12”. All you are doing is mitigating a little risk, which is hardly measureable. I doubt the risk could be even calculated. Every time we go out there is a risk of breaking something, getting stuck, etc no matter how deep the snow.

    Here is the answer to the OP question. Which is basic micro-economics. Opportunity Cost is the term.
    To me that is a waste of time when you can do it once and charge the double amount. Why go back. Instead of doing it the second time, go to another customer/site to increase your gains. This is called “opportunity cost” which is basic economics. Basic definition: "the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen".