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drifting issues with residentials

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PTSolutions, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    all the seniors get a guideline with other rules but it also explains how we cannot predict drifting so it is their responsibility to call us if they want it cleared for an separate fee.

    but my non-senior clients have been calling me and i explain to them that we've only gotten maybe trace to 1" of snow for the last 2 weeks but we have had high winds for several days and that we cannot be responsible to come out automatically like a standard 2" trigger we use for precipitation.

    i am thinking of writing a letter and mailing it to outline all this so i wont have to explain it a hundred times.

    has anyone encountered similar issues and how have you handled it?
  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    I dont like that. As a snow removal business we are hired to handle their snow even when its drifting. If we know its going to be a drifting issue, we send out a truck to monitor each site, drive past, if theres major drifting or anything plow it and charge them a minimum $15 or 20$ usually.
  3. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    commercials i understand as that is a different story. but you drive around a residential route as well?

    i dont like the "plow it and charge them" thats opening up a whole 'nother can of worms there if the client doesnt approve of any work to be charged.

    i went to these sites today and it was definitely not major drifting, maybe a small 4" drift 5'x5' on one side of the driveway, they were telling me they were getting stuck in the driveway. one house we plow had nothing and the other next door had a lil drifting, its just so hit and miss, thats why i dont mind if they call me and i know exactly where they

    the reason i want to send the letter is so that they understand there would be an additional charge, this way they cant plead ignorance.

    thats the problem, the high winds were not called for. from now on, i will drive around if its called for, but id like to hear other ideas as well.
  4. StormRanger

    StormRanger Member
    from NorEast
    Messages: 72

    I tell all my residential customers they need to call if they have drifts, I don't have the time or money to drive around all my residentials looking for drifts. Theres a couple that drift a lot, they're in town, I drive by them every day, I'll hit em.
  5. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I somewhat agree with sending a letter. Just let them know that after the event is over and there drive has been cleared you can not be responsible for monitoring there property for drifting. If they would like it cleared again there is a charge for it...if the snow event is past.
  6. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,412

    We deal with it often. Also, with the townships plowing the roads and knocking the banks back days after a storm, and filling in the ends of drives. We charge extra for drifting as well, and for clearing the ends of drives days after a storm. It is also stated in our contract that you have to call for these additional services and that there is an additional charge... That way they understand that if they calI, they will be charged for the service.They are essentially making the decision themselves. From time to time, I will waive the charge for drifting or clearing an end, depending on the customer. I don't mind cutomers calling about it, but if people become a-holes about us not automatically assuming that their drive would be drifted, I usually tell them that my crystal ball is broken or that my closed circuit camera system which monitors each of our 700 drives is down right now. :D

    BTW... when you say "seniors", are you referring to senior citizens?
  7. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,513

    I drive around and check for drifting and take care of it as needed. Dont hapen that often here.
  8. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    I believe you must be charging seasonal other wise it would not be an issue. This is when whats written in your contract becomes very important. In ours we state the client must call us about drifting, and then we will come by. We explain that the drift must be across thier driveway and they can really cannot get out. If they call often then adjust your price accordingly for the next season. As for the muni plows cleaning the streets days later, out contract states we will clear everytime the muni plow passes. It takes a little while before everyone knows what to expect. Take the time, take the calls, and it will all work out in the end.
  9. As Neige said make sure issues like this are specified in your contract. Ours states that unless other arrangements are requested we will attempt plow after the snow has stopped and the municipal truck has plowed the street, and they are to call us should they need additional services and will be charged accordingly.
  10. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    How many residentials are you really talking about Pro? The ones that call us about this are handled right away. I wouldn't charge them for this....

    If we get many calls, or I suspect this will be an issue across the board I will dispatch the trucks to run through all the resi's to clear what needs to be cleared. The reality is this doesn't happen that often.

    I do not advocate political correctness, but this is the politically correct thing to do for your seasonal customers.
  11. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    I understand where u are coming from ProTouch our contract states that if a client has drifting they have to call us. However if we get a good wind (and we get lots of winds here), I do send the crews out. That way my customers phone just to make sure, and I don't have a angry customer with a drift when they are the only one that drifted.
  12. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    we druve by and check ours but are town is small and the routes are tight
    never more then 5 miles from shop at any time for our routes
  13. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I always put in a "return charge for drifting" in my estimates.

    After a season or two you learn pretty quickly which times you'll need to go and check them out, and usually that's only 25% or less of the time.
  14. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    we have 200 residential customers within a 3 mile radius of home. 80% of which are seasonal customers, so therein lies the problem. per push customers have another inherent issue with questioning the amount of pushes they get billed for but that another issue.

    i am going to type this letter up just so that they are informed, and this way they know all the information prior to making that call.

    thanks for the advice guys.
  15. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    i tell all my customers if the citys out so am i. you will get plowed 1 every 24 hr from when the storm stops. if it needs more dont be afraid 2 call and i will come out
  16. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,533

    see, we go out with the storm, usually once during the storm to clear the majority of it out then again after or after its slowed down a bit.
  17. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    I have a client that was per push last year for his house and his parents and seasonal this year. He was looking to save money. He calls me 6 days later complaining I had not serviced his or his parents house the last storm. I rattled off the date and time of service to him right there. I also told him about the car sitting in half the driveway when I was there so I did the other half and shoveled around what ended up being his mothers car. So now he knows I was there for sure. I then was at my brother in laws later that day and his drive was still clear. Right across the street. But his parents house must have drifted a little and drove on it after service. It turned to ice. I told him I would salt it and take care of the situation. He stated it was taken care of. I then told him if they get drifts to call. It says to call on my contract if you have any issues. But 6 days later is pushing it. Last year he thought he paid to much and this year he feels he is not getting his moneys worth. You can never win sometimes. I also explained to him that all my seasonal and per push accounts have been serviced equally. Another thing was last year the trigger was 2 inches as it is this year, but when we got an inch he would call for service for his house and his parents on occasion. I should have set the trigger at 1 inch and raised my seasonal price, but then that price would have been the same price he spent last year on a per push basis. Send the letter explaining the drifting issue and that will take care of it. Sorry for the rant.
  18. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    i do the same i never push more then 2in but my contract says i will be out 1s every 24 hrs.
  19. snowfighter75

    snowfighter75 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    I tell my customers to call if drifting occurs. Not gonna monitor nothing! Its money down the drain.