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Conundrum

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by klaus, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. klaus

    klaus Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    So I find myself in an interesting conundrum. Here's the situation. I live at the end of a one lane road about a mile long in a small cabin. I have a Bobcat and clear the road. There are several other neighbors, mostly part time. Snowfall is about 500 inches per year, so a pretty serious job to keep the road clear. Up until now, things have been pretty quiet, but development is taking off, and two owners are building new expensive houses. One existing owner has a house worth at least ten times the value of my little cabin. And we get along and have a good agreement on clearing the road. The problem is the new people. They buy lots or teardowns and don't understand what it takes to keep the road clear. So of course, they don't want to pay a fair price for snow clearing. I have no leverage because I am the last house on the road, so if I clear for me, they have access. These folks think $250 a year is too much to pay for clearing. Pfffft. 500 inches, one mile. :) So how the hey do I get them to kick in for the costs? Their argument is that they only come up X times a year, so they should pay less, not understanding that I have to keep the road maintained all year long, not just when they come up. I don't care if they are there 6 times or 100. Work is the same for me, and their insurance and property value are contingent on my clearing. So how do I convince them to kick in a fair share? I'm not even looking to make money, just want my time and costs to be paid in a fair way. We're talking million dollar homes here. They have the money. Meanwhile I have a small rustic cabin worth way less than that but live here full time. Any suggestions? Or am I just whining? :)

    Klaus Biggers
     
  2. KIVALO

    KIVALO Member
    from Uhh NO!
    Messages: 31

    Get estimates from a snowplow company and then show the neighbors, tell them to pay you a fair price or pay to have someone else plow. Thats what I would do.
     
  3. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,958

    KB

    You take great pictures. Get out of the snow clearing business and keep perfecting your photo skills. This way, you can put a heliport in your yard, stop using the driveway, and leave them to fend for themselves.....
     
  4. klaus

    klaus Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I already know what it costs for commercial plowing, paid for that a few years. It was about $1500/month. My costs are about $700/month not counting my time (equipment maintenance, depreciation, fuel). I already don't plow their drives. They just park in pull outs necessary so you can get around people on the road. The sheriff won't tow them. I'm thinking stop plowing and use a snowmobile until they come to their senses, but then, it's a PITA for me.
     
  5. klaus

    klaus Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I like this idea, but not sure it'd work. :)
     
  6. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,958

    Yeah, but it would be worth it if they get a grip.
     
  7. klaus

    klaus Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    The look on their faces would probably be worth the price of admission. It'd probably only take a year before their insurance cancels. Million dollar home with no access for fire suppression? Heh. And they can't use it for 6 months a year? It's not like they're the walking a mile in a few feet of snow type.
     
  8. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,248

    I think your only leg to stand on is their insurance, I highly doubt any insurance underwriter/carrier of a mega dollar vacation home would be ok with limited/no access.
    Having been up your way I’m sure these part-timers from the valley do nothing when it comes to forest fire mitigation too, another no no with insurance underwriters/carriers.
    These types of people have a huge sense of entitlement and think people that actually work are their minions to serve their every need with minimal financial impact.
    I'd have to image these folks want to go to there places over Thanksgiving and Xmas/New Years, if you wanted to prove the value in having you clear the road I'd stop doing it during that time and chain up your pickup to get in and out or just stay home. If they were able to get in they'd more than likey not get out after a a couple nice dumps. When that happens you have them over a barrel and you can name your price.
    Twenty years ago I was looking at a piece of property that has a very similar setting, end of about 1 mile of single lane dirt road (wasn’t more than a FS road) and a couple places along the way. All the cabins/homes ran off of generators/solar and you hauled water. I talked to the power company about cost to get electricity to the place and it was around $55K at the time. They said that if I put in service for the place I was looking at anyone along the way could tap into it and only pay for power from the pole to their place. So needless to say I didn’t buy the place due to that little snag.




    Before I was married I lived in a place that I had to sled into 6-7months of the year and it was a huge pain. I had to make sure I had a good cache of firewood, propane and anything else that couldn’t be hauled on a sled. Now if I had a snow cat life would have been much easier, which could be an option. I have friend that has a Piston Bully that he picked up from Big Sky Ski resort about 10yrs ago for $12K.
     
  9. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,853

    My first thought was dont do all of it, just your part up to next neighbor, then yes drive a sled onto where you can park your sled and car. After a short time I'd imagine they pay you or someone else to get it cleared. But yes mention the fire access(if there is any) and insurance, but mostly safety & being able to enjoy there nice houe without haveing to worry about being stuck in or out of it.
     
  10. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,166

    I have a friend in the same situation, he plows for a living and lives at the end of an unassumed road. None of the neighbours will pitch in. Plow it for your convienience (you need it done anyway) ignore them, if they want something done say no. Working for neighbours sucks and in many cases is not lucrative...just friendly.
     
  11. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    ...and roll the snow toward their drives so they have to climb a 10' bank to get in. Keep ur buddies place nice and open.
     
  12. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Exactly what I was going to say. Stack all of it in their driveway.
     
  13. klaus

    klaus Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Looks like the situation might take care of itself. We have pretty restrictive development regulations up here. Turns out to get his building permit to rebuild his tear down, he needs to have a fire truck turn around...... cleared year round. And he needs a letter from whoever clears stating they will keep it clear. So when he comes to ask, I will politely decline and refer him to the commercial service to have it done and to get the letter. Then when he asks me to chip in, I will tell him I don't normally need a fire truck, but if I ever do, I'll be happy to pay for the number of times I use it. Karma truly is a b*tch. :angry:

    Klaus Biggers
     
  14. Snoviper

    Snoviper Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Sure is........Thumbs Up
     
  15. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,958

    Well, we were hoping you would come up with something as appropriate as that....

    Thanks for making my afternoon.... Good knowing Karma is still working...Thumbs Up
     
  16. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,248

    Klaus for the win.........:salute:
     
  17. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    Nice! Glad to hear it!
     
  18. jomofo

    jomofo Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    That's what I do with a-hole neighbors who don't help maintain the road. Those driveway entrances make the perfect spot for dropping whatever I'm pushing when I get there.