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Does anybody offer unlimited residential but just ONE event per day?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Exact Services, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I know it sounds limiting to unlimited seasoanl but that is what my competition is offering.

    They also state any snow after 2 pm is cleared the following day. So basically they get to go home in time for dinner. It basically it makes it less of a death march in bigger all day storms.

    Just wondering if they are the only ones offering this?

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Fire them ......
  3. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    But they are already have 35 or so snow stakes in my main service area. :cry:

    Yeah... they also have 2 blackout days no snow service on Christmas & New Years

    So what in real world terms is the cost difference worth in flat rate monthly based on $79 ONE event vs. TWO events? .....or how many times for you multi year veterans does this happen over the chose of a winter where you need to show up a 2nd time inside 24 hours?

    Does an extra $10, $20 or $30 per month cover it?
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  4. TonawandaNY

    TonawandaNY Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    I am a complete newb to plowing. this is my first year doing it.

    I have alot of customers this year that signed with the me knowing this is my first years because last year their contract either had stipulations like that or the plow guy never showed up.

    My biggest selling point was unlimited visits and sidewalk maintenance. Most plow companies in my area dont/wont offer to clean the sidewalks.

    i dont know, it seems to me that per push rates for residentials and stipulations about how many times you will plow the driveway is not good customer service.
  5. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Are you kidding? No service after 2pm or on Holidays!? Your "competition" is worthless. Explain to your prospects that you will be there whenever needed like any legit contractor should be and therefore the value of your service far exceeds this "competition" you speak of. Who by the way will be out of business soon with those type of operations.
  6. vinny69

    vinny69 Junior Member
    from canada
    Messages: 25

    Mine is monthly flat rate,once every 24 hr,maximum of 10 clears extra for 11th,12th etc
  7. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    :dizzy: I know your not kidding but really. :laughing:
    I guess you just proved there is a sucker born every minute, in your service maybe more.
  8. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    tonawanda ny.....

    good for you on the jobs, I assume you have under 20 accounts, clearing the walks puts the onsite time to 15 minutes average. around here you can count on 4 times a season that you will make repeated trips per storm. does your unlimited without restrictions include drifting, town cleanup, aunt murphy's shopping whims? Did you price your unlimited based on "x" amount of trips a year so you still make money?

    I'm curious, if this is your first year what planning did you do to insure you can hold up your promis to your customers and still make money? Your taking a kidney shot at your competitors but you've never done snow before yourself?
  9. TonawandaNY

    TonawandaNY Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    Did not mean to take a cheap shot, sorry if that offended you.

    I did price my seasonals with the ffact that I will have to at some point and time over the winter visit each customer multiple times depending on the amount of snow we are getting.

    I think my prices are fair and competitive. I am just offering more services than some.
  10. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i am surprised that more companies don't have a time stipulation, i have time stipulations on all our contracts, although our stipulation is 5 pm, meaning if we get enough snow to shovel but it is after 5pm we don't do it until the next day, the reasoning for this is that if it is a continious snowfall, we wouldn't have time to do a snow service for residential, then get our commercial done and still get back in time to start residential again. i also have times set for our commercial contracts, example we do a industrial plant that needs us done and out by 6am, and with two skids it takes about 6 hrs to do this contract, so if we don't get enough snow by 12 am, we can't do the entire complex in the set criteria, plus we still have other jobs to do too. usually when we get snow after 12 am we go and do the important areas, and then leave the rest until 8 pm when we are allowed back in to the site. Also concerning time stipulations, we ALWAYS have someone on call if one of our contracts has a problem/emergency so if a client is having a party after 5pm and needs service done before the next morning, she just gives the office a call and someone well come out and do it
  11. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    haha I'm not offended

    if it takes 6 hours for one property, wouldn't adding more or better suited equipment be in order?
  12. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    we bought a loader this year, however, to answer your question more directly, no, if we hadn't added more contracts this year to justify the loader, i don't see why we would have bought more equipment. my contracts are set up in such a way that it worked out just right for us, besides we average about 4-5 snowfalls a month here so what do you do with the extra equipment when it isn't snowing? the only way to make this go faster would be another machine and operator, so we also run into issues with finding workers for a limited amount of time 5 times a month. I guess what i am saying is i would rather take longer and give my current employees more hours then to have more equipment and more employees, and when it is not snowing have more people complaining about making less money
  13. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Trying to explain that my service is better doesn’t seem to matter. Older folks I don’t think can really shift through all the finer details of why my service is better. I typed an info sheet to hand out and it was 5 pages. One page directly points out the differences in my service compared to the other guy’s service. My wife couldn’t figure it out and she said there is no way they will ..... she might be right about that.

    This so-called worth less competitor has roughly 35-40 snow stakes in a densely packed retirement community. They get it because he has a near monoploy and they have already grossed over $10k in upfront money. I was too late this season in advertising. It was like pulling teeth to get information from the folks that live in this area on what the snow terms where last year. All I hear was people griped because he raised the rates 20% from the last year. One of my sign ups this year gave me a copy of this year’s terms. I'm hoping to capture at least 20 accounts next winter. This contractor is somehow connected in with the homeowners association for grounds mantienance. This is speculation on my part but I believe they also sub out plowing for the streets since it's privately owned.

    I can see how a plan like that can look very attractive cost wise as long as the upfront price is very low. Frankly on tiny driveways the time difference to clear 3" vs. 12" of untracked powder with a Toro Single blower snow is not that much. The real killer is getting called out constantly for small storms not the really big ones.

    Speaking from experience last winter I got badly burned on 3 of my flat rate accounts. It was my first year and I didn’t know what I was doing. Instead of a normal 50” or less of snow I got hammered with 100”+ ...so having some sort of cap on trips or total snow fall would be great if you can pull it off. Last year’s trigger for me was 1” – 1.5. This year it’s 2” – 3” but in reality I will roll with any appreciable snow over 1.5”

    I was a newbee last winter and I took a wild “Plowsite educated” guesses. I had priced my flat rate customers at what a normal winter was and that is what was predicted. I got hammered with a record winter 100+ inches. So yes having some sort of cap on total snow fall is wise .... Last years trigger was 1" - 1.5" this year it is 2" - 3" but I will roll with any appreciable snow fall over 1.5". 2”-3” just gives me more margins to roll because snow depths vary in my service area.
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,477

    I've seen quite a few of my competitors that have that in their terms. The once per 24 hour thing. Always blew me away, started wondering if I was the stupid one.

    Must not be in a lake effect snow belt, either. Could have 2" starting at 2 PM and ending at 3 PM or 10" by midnight (or more).

    Other than a few customers, our unwritten rule is we plow til about 5 PM and get started by midnight. Will plow 2 or 3 times within that range if necessary.
  15. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    So the real question is what is a one event service worth vs. a TWO or come back 3 or more times repeatedly during a big storm ......in pricing....:confused:

    I can honestly say for a one man show ...One event per 24 hours is much more realistic. Especially with snowblowers. :dizzy:

    Also if there is no cap on trips or total snow fall the pain is limited with just ONE event per day if it is an above average year. That would of saved me some 16 hour days last winter.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009

    ADLAWNCUTTERS Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    Any plower worth his salt knows you have to plow with storm.If you wait to long their might be 3 or 4 feet of snow in the lot or driveway.If you do driveways that are between two tight houses ,the trucks rear end will kick out and damage your truck etc.Lets face it the trucks have there limits.Your plowing with the storm to make your life easier..
  17. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I don't stipulate things like this but we will shut things down by mid afternoon if it means getting some sleep, up at midnight and a good chunk of work done by morning. Why keep working when you are tired? It goes so much faster at night.

    If people call during the day, I just ask them would they rather get done now (only) OR after it is finished snowing, they get the point. We do it on a play by play basis.
  18. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    With my seasonal contracts, I stipulate "once in a 24 hour period". But if it snows at night, I do it in the a.m. and if it keeps snowing, I go back and have it done by 5 p.m. Anything after that can wait until the next a.m.

    I put that clause in the contract to keep people from calling me if there is a dusting or a drift or something crazy and over abusing the contract. But if the trigger is met and the time is right, I go plow.
  19. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    I agree with this, sometimes you get so much snow in a day that you have to go out and do a second removal in a day, but unless it is a stupid amount of snow, it can wait til the next day.
  20. ScnicExcellence

    ScnicExcellence Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    You guys seem to making this way more complicated than it actually is.

    I price my monthly/ seasonal contracts on a total number of times i had to do anything the year before.

    I figure out last year the average seasonal could charge anywhere from 17 to 20 pushes. I figure this out by talking with people. I then charged any of my seasonals accordingly. I don't stipulate a once every 24 hours. i just go when it needs it. i have a mix of per push and seasonal. so i just go do my per push before i do the seasonals. I look at the weather and watch for how much snow we are suppose to get. Unless it snows more then 5 inches people can still drive through their driveway. So i sort of wait until a reasonable time that i can be happy with as well as the customers can.

    For example if it starts snowing at 10 pm we get 2 inches by 12 but we are suppose to have 6inches by 3 am or 4 am I will do the per push at 12pm and wait until around 3 or 4 to start my seasonals At the same time redoing my per push contracts for the second time that storm.

    This way i get paid twice for the same storm with my per push and only have to do the seasonals once.

    It is not hard to set things up this way. It is all about time management, as well as planning your route to be able to do this in a fesible time frame.