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Day later snow service

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RLawnCare, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. RLawnCare

    RLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    I am looking for input on this idea.
    I would like to offer a residential snow service that'll take place within in 48 hours after the city plows.
    What i'd like to know is:
    Have you tried or are you doing this.
    How it can be sold and advertised.
    Things I should be aware of.
    Help me brain storm what if situations. (questions customers might have)

    Thank you,
    Ryan
     
  2. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 788

    It's going to a PITA. It's going to be really hard on equipment and you/your guys. Clearing 12 inches of snow that have been driven over 20 times in the past 48 hours is just plain horrible. Why not provide traditional service? Personally if I get called 48 hours after a storm to do it after we have wound down, cleaned equipment, ramped buck up on in our case whatever remodel we are doing, I won't do it for less than $150. Usually when they call that late they will pay it because it's some kind of emergency to get it done and they pay. Our city has a law stating that the sidewalk in front of houses and businesses has to be cleared within 24 hours of the snow stopping so they are facing a fine by the time they call.
     
    FredG likes this.
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,275

    Once snow has a chance to "set up" and possibly go through a thaw/freeze cycle it becomes denser and move difficult to remove and remove cleanly which leads to more salt/deicer needs to deal with hard-pack/ice.
    Also if someone is willing to deal with the snow till after the storm they're probably looking for a cheap way oot but the reality is it'll cost more due to the PITA.
     
    truckitup likes this.
  4. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,663

    Gotta agree with others. Couldn't imagine waiting that long. What if windrow of township plows freezes? Solid two foot windrow would be a royal PITA to get through.
     
  5. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 788

    Maybe you could pull a permit to use dynamite?
     
    norb5150 and BUFF like this.
  6. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,663

    If that was the case I would be out pouring water on it. Thumbs Up
     
    FredG likes this.
  7. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 788

    No kidding and get the contract from the city to do the road repairs from said dynamite in the spring:cool2:
     
    FredG likes this.
  8. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    It's already done by guys that plow snow.

    It's called emergency plowing and usually it's the calls you get right after a big snow storm and someone can't handle it with just shovels, their snow blower broke, that great home depot plow they bought broke, their car broke, the husband up and left, grandpa died trying to shovel it, etc...

    or the really cheap snow plow guy they contracted to do their driveway, lot, etc... calls them up and says my truck broke down, family emergency, snows too deep for me to plow, I can't be bothered to get out bed today, I'm sick, my dogs having babies -(and I think they are mine), etc.... if they even bother to call.

    And if you do this remember your plowing area's you know nothing about so a waiver for any and all damages that might be caused by you plowing or any preexisting conditions and make sure it is signed by said person responsible for said area unless of course you like to shell out money to fix things like curbs, pavement, grass area's, dildo replacements because you ran over the one she left in the driveway, etc...

    Also know the prices in your area, if said area say would normally have been plowed for said storm say for a price of $500 then you better be charging at least a $1,000 for the emergency plowing.

    just my two cents
     
    norb5150 and ktfbgb like this.
  9. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,229

    We got enough people flagging us down and following the trucks into gas stations, Diners etc. Even have people at the shop waiting for us to return. Hard pack ain't no joke. They still only want to pay $ 40.00 to $45.00 what you would charge if you got on it when suppose to.

    Bad idea, I usually tell them skid price and in some cases that's what it's going to take anyways. Some pay some don't. Most of the time I run them off. I hate when your on your way to plow a customer and some :terribletowel:is trying to flag you down. You need help and got the money call the office. Some people think your out there with nothing to do, Just waiting for someone to flag you down. :dizzy:
     
    norb5150 and UltraLwn&Lndscp like this.
  10. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,229

    :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: You have to start your repairs right away to fill the crater with stone the dynamite created. :eek: Finish up when the plant opens in spring. Thumbs Up
     
    ktfbgb likes this.
  11. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,550

    Wouldn't he just need a plow with down pressure & maybe a bag of salt?
     
    Philbilly2, FredG and BUFF like this.
  12. RLawnCare

    RLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    We are still doing snow in the traditional method. But if I could fill our day later with retired folk and homes that are vacant then why not go make more money? And save the busy day for the people that need it.
    This won't be a recommended service for people that need to leave their home for work, school etc.

    We do not do on call work. Especially when it's a larger snow. Nobody gets different treatment. Non of this well I can handle 4 inches with my snow pup. Can you do the rest?

    Maybe I am dreading going stir crazy this year!
    Ryan
     
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,972

    Fill you day later? Huh
    we're usually doing clean ups and resting.
    What if your equipment breaks on in of those accounts, would it be worth it then
     
    FredG likes this.
  14. chevyhauler

    chevyhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    No one has mentioned liability yet. What happens when/if (and God forbid) someone gets hurt on this un-serviced property. Then it comes down to the lawyers proving (or disproving) that your next day service was soon enough. Have a good friend (one of my kid's Godfather actually) who got sued when someone got hurt walking between cars at a hotel that he serviced. He had put in his contract that he would NOT do between cars. Hotel agreed. His insurance AND the hotel were on the hook for the injury despite the fact that he was contracted not to shovel there. Point being, even if that is what the customer wants you to do, you are still on the hook. Push for more service to lessen your exposure, not less.
     
    ktfbgb likes this.
  15. RLawnCare

    RLawnCare Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Chevyhauler: I appreciate your angle, i'll be sure to include a zero liability for timing for both the homeowner and or guests. For liability reasons we do not apply salt. If someone were to slip then it could be said that we did not do a "good enough" job salting.
    dieselss: Rest would be nice... as I am sure you know you cant when you're trying to expand a business. I am not worried about having issues with equipment.
    I have just thought of another. This customer base would have us because we were "on sale". Are these the type of people that we want???

    Thanks for the input guys. I might try a demo run with a few driveways this year.
    Ryan
     
  16. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 788

    I have just thought of another. This customer base would have us because we were "on sale". Are these the type of people that we want?

    For me this is not a on sale type of service. Like i said for me when people call and want to be done later after the storm the price is triple not less. Your going to have more break downs and it's going to take longer to clear after that long.

    Personally I never want customers who are price shopping and looking for a deal or on sale service. I'm a contractor too and when I get a call for an estimate from someone like this I can smell em a mile away and tell them I'll be happy to do the estimate but inform that I'm going to charge them for the estimate. I only want customers who have plenty of coin. That way you never worry about getting paid, they don't complain, they don't nit pick before they pay etc.

    An no matter if you have them sign a zero liability or not. If they get hurt on your drive they will sue you. Not sure but something else comes to mind. For me I have a lot of clients on my tour that don't live at the house that I'm servicing and would never even think to take a trip to the house if there is snow. They have me plow for them so that there is easy access for the fire dept etc. to get to the house in case of emergency. If you had contracts stating that you would do it 48 hours after the storm and they had a fire in the house would the insurance company be able to sue you for providing a non customary service that slowed down the fire dept in turn causing additional un needed damage to the structure or worse killed a person inside the fire because it took fire 20 extra seconds to access the house? I have no idea just something to think about.

    And yes I'm retired as a full time paid firefighter. And an additional 20 seconds is plenty of time to kill occupants and or cause the fire to go from a simple room and contents fire to a fully involved fire that is now burning the framing of the house. Just so the haters don't argue about 20 seconds lol.
     
  17. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,550

    ^reaching,

    blaming the plow guy because it took the basement-savers an additional 20sec to get up the drive.
    I guess they should have bought a home 25sec closer to the fire station.
     
  18. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 788

    Like I said not sure if they would win just speaking from experience from dealing with insurance fire investigators after the fire. They will get the tapes from dispatch to listen to the times on the benchmarks, the fire report from the department, and then if there are any unusual discrepancies they will meet the crew or a representative from the department on the scene to interview them about what happened. Believe me they will ask questions like "so from the tapes from dispatch I see that you had a 3:45 second response time, but the response time maps for your department show that it is a 2:50 second response time to this location. Can you help me understand why it took longer than normal were you out of position on another call, or were there adverse road conditions? Oh ok it was snowing and that slowed down your response. So I guess that helps me with my second question. National standard practice is to only take 45 seconds from the time you report on scene to the time you start to force entry and your historical data shows that the average for your department is 50 seconds. However you didn't report to dispatch that you were forcing entry 1:50. Why was there such a huge delay? Oh Ok because there was a three foot tall berm in front of the house from the county plow and the snow in the driveway was up to your knees and slowed down your time to force entry and report water on the fire by over a minute allowing the fire to double in size from the time you came on scene to the time you reported water on the fire is that correct?"

    They do this for any fire we ever had that resulted in large damage to the structure. Now I don't know how the information was used after we gave it to them but thats the kind of stuff they ask.They are always looking for a way to cover their losses and or a way to decrease the amount of money they pay out.
     
  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,550

    that's all well and fine, but they are not coming after the plow guy.

    useing your logic,,,, then they should be going after the county for the berm?? them selves for not keeping the hydrant accessible or the streets plowed....

    why not blame the home owner for not having sufficient fire extinguishers?

    if or when we get a snow emergency a city/county plow will escort the fire dept/ambulance to your residence plowing a clear path for EMS

    Like I said, maybe they should live closer to the fire hall.:dizzy:.

    I have a few old retired folks who don't drive when the streets are bad.
    They don't really care when I get to them and their insurance rates are not effected either.( for not having clear access for the basement savers.


    What if the fire happens 1hr or 25sec before you regularly service the drive say at 3am when you regularly get there at 4am?

    your reaching, just say'en...
     
  20. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 788

    Ok and thats fine. He was asking hypothetical questions and so was I. I never said that the insurance would win because I don't know if they would. And the insurance may not come after the plow contractor but the home owner might once they find out that insurance isn't covering as much as they thought. I was taught in many classes on liability and negligence that we were required to attend as part of the job that when you do something out of the norm is when you open yourself up to litigation. I was just stating that a contract provided by a contractor for this type of service is not the norm. Just saying. Its no different than was stated above for him being liable for someone who slipped and fell on the same driveway because it wasn't plowed. Believe me if there is a way for someone to sue you after something like a fire they will find a way to sue absolutely everyone involved. That doesn't mean they will win but you will still have to pay to defend yourself.