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CLEARLY define the difference between plowing and relocation

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by elite1msmith, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i had this come up twice so fare, and i know as these blizzard invoices go out, there will be even more questions

    SOOOOO many people think i can put the snow anyplace with any peace of equiptment as part of a normal "plowing" application. They think with pick up trucks, we can move snow 500 feet, then make a left turn, then make a right turn, then go another 300 feet, then turn around and push it in a ditch. - sure...right

    in my contracts i give a defintion of each, but to be honest its not that great, and i cant really provide a good argument against this type of questions.... With the large bills going out, im sure im going to get the "why didnt you guys just put it over there in the first place as part of your plowing?"

    so please give me some good argument points, and some good contract wording. Im hoping those along the east coast and to the north receive more snow than us, so im hoping they have better ways to argue this point
     
  2. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Just draw a diagram and circle the areas where snow will be placed.Simple,nothing else really to add.
     
  3. procut1

    procut1 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I hate this one. It never fails that after there is 60 inches of snow on the ground, you tell them they need to pay for machine work and they respond...."You should have pushed it back more in the beginning"
     
  4. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Plowing defined: The act of clearing snow from parking, driving, and walking surfaces such as parking lots, driving lanes, sidewalks and approaches during or immediately following snowfall events resulting in 1" of snowfall (enter trigger amt) or more by way of pickup truck or machine equipped with snow blade.

    Snow relocating: The relocation of snow from areas used as stacking locations during plowable snow events to an area more conducive to permanent storage of large amounts of snow for an extended period of time. Snow relocating will be done at contractor's discretion periodically throughout the season by means of skid steer, loader, or other form of heavy equipment to properly maintain a clear and safe lot as seasonal snowfalls begin to accumulate in the stacking locations outlined in the commercial site plan. (i.e. suggested locations for stacking snow...) These services will be billed at a rate of ___/hr with a minimum charge of $___.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Raymond - My contract has berry similar wording to your above statement, But if I can play devils advocate, and be the customer....

    Judging by your statement, why can't you use your pick or machine with a blade to move the snow to the back of my lot? Why can't you just plow it there to begin with?
     
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    I do that on a lot of sites. Problem, when those ares fill up, The next words out of these owners is "push it over there".
     
  7. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Think you need o educate your customers more, and you should also be going over pile locations before even signing the contract so that there is no confusion.
     
  8. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    I go over everything with my customer before they even sign the contract.

    I tell them where the snow will be pushed and stacked by trucks and that we will have to bring in heavy equipment throughout the year to stack snow.

    I make sure to ask if they have any questions and if they do, I answer them the best I can.

    I've never had a complaint from anyone.
     
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Yes, we do all that, I normally print a google earth map and draw in the locations and make it known thats where we are going to pile it. But when you are talking to the hot short property manager prior to the blizzard to get pre approval for snow relocation after the event....and his responses is, "well when your plowing just push it all over there". How do you professionally give him an answer that would hold up in court, how do you word that into your contract, in a manor that isn't "well we can't do that with a plow". I honestly can't think of a good argument, fact is we good plow it to those locations..just it would take way way longer. Snow plowing- defined as removal using a plow....that doesn't really tell anyone anything, or give a reason that we can't do it
     
  10. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,227

    Why not have them sign something when he gives you the approval to do it?
     
  11. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    I hear you.Dealing with it just slightly now myself.If 1 lot owner doesn't hire me soon to back up/relocate piles with my loader before the next good sized snow fall,I will have to push snow where it was not agreed to be and I will charge him more.
     
  12. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    we just place the snow where it needs to be at the time of plowing. no hassles with property owners that way.
     
  13. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,227

    On smaller lots with trucks thats not always possible you can only push back so far.
     
  14. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    it most certainly is if you show up at the site with the equipment necessary to do the job
     
  15. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    I'm on your side dayexco... I make sure that we have the right equipment for the job, that way this question is never an issue with my customers.
    Oh, and I don't want to be out looking for a wheel loader 3 days after it snowed to push and move piles.
     
  16. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,227

    I agree with you also to a certain extent in a normal winter it isnt and issue this year we have had 60 inches of snow one was a 20 inch snow fall and this is the first week all year we have had any snow melt. If your talking big lots yes only a truck isnt going to cut it. My dads dealership had to hire someone to haul their snow this year that is the first time in the 20 years he has had to do that. Some of the lots we do are downtown and it doesnt matter if you plow with a skid eventually you are going to have to do something with the snow no matter what you do when you plow that much snow.
     
  17. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    The reality is that I don't clear snow for big box stores or mega sized sites. My primary type of property (other than condos) is the mid sized parking lots that have limited room and the customer doesn't want snow stacked in twenty different piles that take up ten parking spaces. I just happen to use wheel loaders to plow lots that I don't want to lose to the guy plowing next door that uses a bobcat with bucket, then if the piles get to big, comes in with a blower on it and makes them smaller. Point is: competitor close by does a good job. What neither one of us is afraid of is losing an account to the guy with a pick up truck and plow who always has a excuse that there is too much snow and he can't push anymore.
    Come on guys, you are in the snow business.... Remember, your customer doesn't want to tell you how to clear snow. Mine never have! They also don't want monster invoices when you need to rent machines or truck snow using a 1 ton dump. Somehow when guys are involved in snow removal, the last concern should be "to much snow"... Really?
     
  18. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    an example. we've had just about record snowfall here this year. there has been a HUGE influx of guys just starting out, pickups/blades...more power to them. except when they clip your pricing by 30% to get a client base...then get in trouble because they're not equipped properly to service the account. one benefit though, we haven't had snow for a week now, and our loader has been swamped stacking for pickup/blade only contractors...NICE $$$$ for us, but i'm sure their customers will not be pleased thinking they hired the guy because of a "supposed" cost savings....only to be invoiced additional money to do it the way it should have been initially.

    dozerman said a mouthful. i hear the word "professional" used on here frequently. i really don't know how to sell groceries or gas, but i DO know how to push snow. and our customers expect that of us.
     
  19. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Speak of the devil...I already got my first...."can we have a meeting on Thursday to discuss this". 3.5 hours loader time, 3 hours truck time for onsite relocation and stacking

    Most of these I'm expecting issues wih are small commercial lots, most were expecting relocation bills of 500 bucks, not 1200. I know it's going to happen "why didn't you just plow it over there". So whats going to be a good argument other than "well we can't"
     
  20. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Here's the situation, On this account, Seasonal contract, no limit no blizzard clause, But it does say stacking and relocation are extra. This site is normally plowed with a pick up as it is small. Why would I run a loader over there to plow snow as part of their normal service. The snow was pushed where we could. We ran out of room in some areas. There is a ditch around the other side of the property which is where the loader put the snow. But it can not be plowed there with a truck unless you have a v blade and want to spend 6 hours on a 3/4 acre lot.