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Did my first damage to customers property :(

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dr Who, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Well, I've done it now!

    Was plowing this morning about 7 am, had been out since 9pm and had been awake since 6am yesterday.. So I was a little tired, the coffee wore of.

    Anyway, was doing the long side of a commercial lot that I have only done 1 other time, just a on call type deal. Well it has these landscaping islands on one end of the building, and one in the middle, well I was backing up to make another pass and backed right over the landscaping, which was 2 big rocks, they cought the plow mount, wedged between it and the curb, well the curbing broke in 3 different parts :eek: :realmad:

    I check the truck for damage, check the plow for damage....all good.
    then I go an put the rocks back, and stuff the curb back best I could, the property owner was on the other side of the building, so I walked over there and told him what I did. He said "Did you put it back?" "yes, best I could"I replyed. Then he just said "it happens, don't worry about it"... I am sure that he will forget about it in a few days, he is in his 80's, but if not an he changes his mind, I guess I will be paying for a curb...

    See this is were marking these things would be handy... I have never seen anyone in this area make anything, but all mine will be marked for sure. If its a one time deal, I am going to keep a bunch of stakes in the truck, use a shovel to find things and mark them temp, just so I do not end up doing this again!
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    If you are talking about the movable bumper curbs, they aren't that expensive.

    At first I thought you were talking about an actual formed/stationary curb.
  3. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Nope its the formed, pored concrete ones..
    I guess I will be going back tomorrow, try to fit it back better, take some pictures of the damage,just in case he trys to get me to replace all of them in the parking lot, or some other crazyness..

    I know what you are taking about, they have a name, its *#$%@(#&$^# things!
    I hate them things, pain working around them, clearing between them and the sidewalks..
    I guess I could do what everyone else does around here and just leave the snow there, or better yet, push the snow ontop of them! yeah thats a good idea!
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665


    Talk to the owner and come to a good conclusion. Might not be too hard to just use type-S mortar and piece it back together when the weather is nicer.

    Other alternative is to cut out the bad section and re-pour it.
  5. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    EASY TURBO!!!!!!!! Take your time and feel these things out on a lot your not familiar with. That and common sense goes a long way. You can usually tell by the way the snow is if there is anything under it. If your going slow enough you shouldnt break off a curb. Time is money but haste also makes waste.

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    First off, if the guy just shrugged it off then you can certainly rest easy. At least until the time comes, if it comes when he changes his mind. Many customers appreciate it when their vendors have integrity. The fact that you pointed out what happened is, in many cases, head and shoulders above the rest.
    The next thing that comes to mind is the question of whether you actually broke the curb or if you simply upset what may have already been broken. When you say broken I picture the curb separated from the flow line to the top. This is usually at least 4" thick and 6" tall. I can see chipping or breaking off the face but breaking a curb with a pick up truck is pretty tough to do. I simply can not believe that you could break one, especially while backing up, without damaging the plow. That is, off course, unless it was already damaged or old enough to be in decay. The fact that the owner has said not to worry about it makes me think that his curbs may not be top notch to begin with.
    I hate when thing get damaged. Especially because I go to great lengths to avoid damage.
  7. thatlittleguy?

    thatlittleguy? Member
    Messages: 34

    Whenever I plow a property I haven't staked I make sure in the contract it states that was not able to inspect the property prior to snowfall, and can not be held liable for damages to snow-covered objects. Don't drop the blade without a contract!
  8. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    something else to consider

    Take pictures of your properties and the obstacles in them. They are very helpful. Print those out and have them in a binder for each site and have them in all your trucks in case someone else helps out on another route. This has helped us for many years. We call it plowing by the book. It does more than just show obstacles.

    It also shows preexisting damage as well as becomes a selling tool to your client.

    Thought this might help.
  9. MrSnow

    MrSnow Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 23

    We take photo's of all our sites too. The initial takes some time to do, but it was well worth it in the long run. Each pre-season we tour all the accounts, speak to the property mangagers and owners to make sure there has been no changes. This technique has been a huge assistance with our risk management. I suggest this to everyone, newbies and old school. It also helps in court proceedings as well, the courts have a better understanding of the area, if you are ever challenged.
  10. ColvinsPS

    ColvinsPS Member
    Messages: 73

    I sub for a guy and have been doing a specific bank. The other day another guy got to it before me and did it. This morning i went out again and when i got to that bank i saw he must have plowed over a bunch of the parking curbs. I am hoping that the boss doesn't think it was me. Best bet i guess is be upfront and like everyone said take some pictures. I just hate feeling like i am tattle taling on the guy for plow them under.
  11. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Just call your boss and tell him whats up. Its called saving your own azz and not being a rat. Say it nonchalant in conversation.
  12. motodad

    motodad Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 91

    @ years ago I was plowing my 1st lot of the season and it was a BK and my 3rd pass backing up I went over the curb and smokes the welcome sign and it was 1 of those light up ones, dam thing exploded into a million pieces and Im like no f#$%^ way % min into the season and im busting up stuff already. Went right in and told them <they where great and BK sent me a bill for $65.00 couldnt believe it thought a grand atleast. It happens but pay for it out of pocket and move on .
  13. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 604

    curbs are easily broken. i broke a few over the years. easy to patch with some bag concrete mix in the spring. just have to clamp some form material to the curb.
  14. Mr.Freezzz

    Mr.Freezzz Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 81

    Why would you waste your time digging with a shovel for items to mark??? Plow the roadways not the landscaping! It should be obvious what is asphalt and what is different. I send guys home when there tired period!!! Get so sleep and don't try to take off more than you can handle. Be glad you did something Minor like that not hurt someone!
  15. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637


    was not going fast, was backing up...

    its more to blame that I had been up for 24 hrs already and just was way to tired to be out working still.

    The bad part was there was no snow around it, I had already back drug the areas that were around it, as well as cleaned out the parking spots on either side of it, I was not even plowing in the area that it was, somehow I just ended up there....

    but I think most of it was the lack of sleep or not enuff coffee....
  16. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    You are correct with you mental picture.

    I broke it in several places, one piece the one that the rocks hit I picked up and carried back to replace it.

    But you may be right, it may have already been broken, or just old. I know that all his sidewalks are pitted up from the salt over the years, so his curbs may be the same...
  17. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    You know, I understand were you are comming from But.
    Contracts, pictures, maps, staking, etc just would not had worked in this situation.

    this was the 2nd time I pushed this lot. I just happen to be there, gave him an quote. I was $30 higher then the guy he has do it. he called out of the blue on Christmas day when we had snow, I plowed it.
    been 3 snows since, have not heard from him, but he called me about midnight that night to plow it.

    I never thought I would be back, but I guess I impressed him so much the first time, that he wanted it again..

    I have a hard time with contracts, I have gotten 2 signed, my regulars. but the rest of these people want a one time deal, I do the job expecting not to go back, but sometimes get the call next snow.

    I would love to map the sites out, have pictures of them and stake them out, but I have yet had a customer before it snows.. no pre planing on there part.

    Now, I am going to go out this fall, try to market myself to several other properties, and if I hook them, well I will be doing maps or photos at least, I am sure as heck marking the property before hand.
    I like maps, I do a lot of survey work, so I like maps...

    But all in all, it was just me being so tired from a long day and night that I was not paying attition. I am glad that I did not do any real damage or run the guy over.
  18. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Dig with a shovel? so I do not damage things in new properties that I have never seen, I alwyas do this in the resy drives that call out of the blue.

    The landscaping was covered in snow, the areas around it was not, I had already cleared them....
    So this area was ovbiously not susposed to be plowed, but still...

    some times its not obvious what is what, like when the landscaping is level with the asphalt...I have had this proplem many times with these one call plows.

    This was my last stop for the night/day. I took it on at midnight, I just started at 9pm so was no big deal since I had droped 2 lots 2 snows ago(were to far away). I was not over loaded with work, I was overly tired since the storm did not realy get going untill 8-9pm.

    I came home, got a little rest, went back out and did a few more of my one callers that called for a 2nd time. then cme back to the house. I had 2-3 more calls, one time pushers that I just told them no, I can't do anymore to tired.
  19. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I just about took one like that out at a bank a few snows ago...missed it by a frogs hair..

    2 years ago I was pulling a trailer someone had given me (was made out of the rear half of a truck), I pulled it across town to unload all the scrap wood that was in it that I had to take with the trailer.
    I took it to a friends house that burns wood/brush in the back of his lot, drove across town again to unload all the scrap metal that was in the bottem of it at the scrap yard. I then pulled it across town again to go home, were it got tired of my Wagoneer and jumped off.

    I crossed a set of RR tracks, not ruff or anything and I was going slow, but it jumped off and tryed to pass me, so I let it slam into the back of the jeep and was trying to direct it and stop out of the middle of the road, were it just somehow shot around me to the left, went down the parking lot and slammed into the fence (chain link) and gate at the Pepsi bottling plant.
    I was next to it when it was going toward the fence, was going to ram it if it went toward people or cars, the fence, well that would stop it.

    I went in and told them, they called the mantiance people, 3 of them. They were on the phone for about 20 min with the area supervisor, I was sweating it....

    head mantiance guy said, don't worry about it, not to big a deal to fix. I nearly fell over, I was sure it would been thousands to repair, I smashed the gate, it was an automatic gate to boot, smashed the fence and one post.
    I asked them again, they said not to worry about it, I came in and told them what happen, so its all good.

    I drove off, left the trailer in there lot and called a junk man to go get it...

    that was close! LOL
  20. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    this is a good idea, not sure how it becomes a selling tool to the client, but it is a good idea, now if I only got the jobs when there was not snow on the ground..