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Collecting double for 8"

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dfor, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. dfor

    dfor PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 57

    This is for the 2-12 Nor'easter. Here in my area, all we got was about 8" of real light powder. BUT, they were forecasting 13"-15" (even while the storm was in full swing).

    So I head out at about 5" for round one. Head back out for round two with only about 3", and clear all the driveways.

    I getting ready for the complainers. I plan on putting this at the bottom of all the invoices.

    "Snowplowing two times for the 2-12-06 storm was required due to the amount of snow received and what was being forecasted. Feel free to give me a call should you have any questions. Thank you."

    Does this sound alright? It's not my fault we didn't get what they forecasted. Had I known it was only going to be 8" of powder, I would have plowed once and charged accordingly.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  2. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,320

    Judging by that forcast I would have done exactly what you did! I would bill twice and if anyone calls explain the situation.

    Good Luck!
  3. Mick

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

    I wouldn't explain until you get a complaint, though. Why look for trouble? Do what you think is right and justify your actions when asked.
  4. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 153

    I've plowed twice for less depending on the customer. We try to do the best that we can to accomadate the customers particular needs, especially bussinesses. With two plowings for 8", I don't see where anyone should have grounds to complain, especially during a daytime storm.
  5. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I agree with the last posts. why put it on the invoice, to me it would sound like if I complain maybe I can get a deal. I only had one person call this week and the bills were out a week and a half ago. I explained the situation as you did and they seemed alright with it.
  6. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    I have 30 comm. accts. and been plowing for 11 years and here is proof of what i tell my customers. We can write a book on snow fall. I charge $ 60.00 per hour im 1 of the most eexpensive in my area , many is still at 50. I tell my customers and they know a head of time how my service works. I offer everyone like a tailor package. Lets take 1 of my lots, major chain store sits down in a hole large lot. We plow at around 2" and most of time i have to keep 1 truck there for complete storm we cant let it build up. Some times we can break away sometimes not this is the elements. Another lot we have maybe 17000 sq' they have no retail business they provide services on the road. We plow them every 4-5" and they are happy. I will never leave a lot go 10" at the worst it will be 4" or i will not do the lot, and everyone is happy. A 10" snow not plowed is to hard on equiptment and i would never take the account if they would not let me plow my way. Good communication can normaly take out any guess work of service or invoicing.
    Good Luck
  7. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I would have done (and was doing) the same based on conditions and forecast. We ended up with about 17" and I plowed most people three times and some four depending on when the town showed up. I don't charge the same way you describe but the principle is the same. I don't see a problem with it and I think your customers should understand. Somebody may complain but I think you have yourself covered.
  8. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I would as Mick said dont ask for trouble. What is the agreement or contract state ? Mine is a 3" trigger so for that same storm 11" here I could have billed 3-4 times however when it is coming down 3-4"s an hour i cant keep up so I only billed twice. I had one lady complain stating that she would take care of anything less than 3" so what i did is made her my first drive and i make sure to be there at 3" so I can possibly get more plows out of the storm.
  9. gcsupraman

    gcsupraman Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    I had the exact same problem happen last year. I ended up charging only half for the 2nd plowing and I never receieved a complaint. Currently my contract states "your driveway will be plowed twice if there are more than 12 inches of snow" which is how I got myself into a pinch when it was predicted for 15+ and we only ended up getting 10. Next year I will update my contract to let my customers know that I will use my discretion when plowing and they could be plowed more than once depending on accumulation and/or forecasted snow fall totals.

    Good luck

  10. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    plowed 2 X for 8 inches

    You get the best information you can get and make a plan. You did exactly that. I do not think you can be faulted. If someone questions you I have heard your answer and it works for me.

  11. mmwb

    mmwb Senior Member
    from wyoming
    Messages: 114

    Be sure to cover this type of situation in your contracts. Mine states that plowing is to occur when the trigger depth is accumulated and specifically points out that it may lead to multiple pushes for one storm. Could technically plow several times a storm. I don't use it to take advantage of a customer, but their signature indicates they know in advance if it is necessary. What you did was reasonable.
  12. golden arches

    golden arches Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I agree with the prior posts.. why give your customers a reason to complain. A company can have a "customer service" line or a "complaint" line - you invite the complaints by having a complaint line.

    mmwb's comment above is your guideline for billing. Anticipate the complaints and cover it in your contract.