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Gravel in grass

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by metiernan, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. metiernan

    metiernan Junior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 1

    Do you guys charge to remove the gravel from the grass of the customers you have or is it a free service you provide? I
     
  2. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    If its a contract its included, if it aint we CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. TerrForms

    TerrForms Member
    Messages: 78

    only if

    If I told my contracts I would, Than I will. But I'm down to just one that I will do it for now.
     
  4. Krimick77

    Krimick77 Member
    Messages: 50

    If we also look after their lawn than raking the gravel is included with the spring clean-up price. If we only plow, then we repair any lawn that may have been chewed up at our cost but clean-up of gravel is extra.
     
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    If they have a gravel drive then they know theres gonna be gravel in te yard after plowing.
    Never had a customer want the gravel raked yet.
     
  6. DKG

    DKG Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    We sweep the gravel with a rotary broom as part of the spring clean up for our lawn customers.
     
  7. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I do a lot of gravel drives. The customer is always aware of the fact that gravel will be in the grass in the spring. I offer to celan it up as a seperate charge based on the job. I'd say 90% of my gravel customer pay me to clean it up.
     
  8. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I did not exect those answers.

    I don't charge extra. The gravel didn't get there on its own. I did the job of clearing the driveway and by doing so, gravel got in the grass. That is like charging extra to clean up after a project like putting in a retaining wall.

    I charge more because it is a gravel driveway and I power broom the gravel back into the driveway in the spring.

    Do any of you charge more because it is a gravel driveway rather than if it was paved? If so, is that for wear and tear on equipment or is it for putting the gravel back or both?

    I don't charge to repair sod damage either. I did it, I fix it.
     
  9. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    Interesting discussions. I advise people that we will take as much care as possible, but the fact of a gravel drive means that during no frost storms, or when pushing snow back for added storage, a certain amount is going to end up on the grass. I don't feel that the plow operator "owns" that gravel, any more than the town or the state own any debris they might kick up from the roadside. What ever happened to responsibility of homeowners. I am getting tired of everything being somebody elses problem.
    When the ice storm hit NH recently, I went out and cleaned up the downed branches on the roadside immediately. Others called and b*&#ed at the state to come and do it for them. You own it, it should be your responsibility! nuf said.
     
  10. 24v6spd

    24v6spd Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    My property has frontage on a state highway. Every spring the gravel needs to be raked out, it's just a fact of life. I like the idea of using a power broom, I have been looking for one for my Gravely tractor. Those of you that are using power brooms for cleanup, which brand are you using?
     
  11. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    That's a judgment call, but more often than not it's an extra. If they expect the piles or ridges OFF the driveway then most definitely an extra charge is in order.

    downtoearthnh nailed it pretty well. :drinkup:
     
  12. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Did a contractor that you paid leave that branch in your yard?

    As an example: Lets say that you hired a company to remove a tree from your yard. And when they were done, they left the leaves and saw dust everywhere. When you ask them to clean it up, they say, "Didn't you realize there would be saw dust? It will be extra to remove it."

    Don't get me wrong, I don't care what any one else does. Its your business, but I clean up after myself at no additional charge to the customer.
     
  13. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    I tell my customers that gravel WILL get displaced and I am not responsible for it. However, if I left an excessive amount of gravel in a pile I'll back drag it for no charge as a common courtesy come spring time. Maybe 5 minutes of my time. If they want it raked off their grass then that's extra.

    My thought process is I didn't design the poorly thought out driveway or install the landscaping that leaves little or no room for snow. I also am not Mother Nature who decided to let snow fall before the ground froze and I didn't decide to use gravel for their drive. I tell them upfront that it's gonna happen. I don't charge differently for gravel or paved drives.

    I totally understand both sides but I think it depends a lot on the customer, the service level and communication. If when they're signing up they say they want it included I would simply add it to the cost. I have a gravel drive and I always b!$@$ at the plow guy (myself) come spring time :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  14. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We repair sod damage. Gravel displacement, no way. First its expected, second its a ton of extra work. I have a gravel drive to my shop, the first year I was here I faned it to both sides, it took 4 hours to rake it out of the grass, now I fan to the side in front of shop & it stays where it lays, unless theres a pile. If we were to rake it up it would be more than the market rate for plowing would allow. A power broom would be faster but at a min, thats another $ 600 tool, that will be used for a couple hrs a year.
     
  15. DKG

    DKG Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    We use Shindiawa power brooms and a BCS rotary broom. I also have a "broomer" attachment for one of my Walkers.
     
  16. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Charge the customer for plow damage, it's not your fault they have gravel driveway.. You did your job plowing, if they want gravel out charge them a clean-up fee..
    I repair my clients business and homes every year, it's inevitable use a good pack pack blower or power sweeper works miracles...
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  17. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    when pricing a drive, i charge more for gravel becuase i really don't want to do it in the first place. if the customer wants me to go ahead and do it, i tell them its inivitable some gravel will be pushed around and end up in places they don't want it. they all understand this. but i try to minimize this by floating the blade as best as i can and that means more work for me and more wear and tear on my hydrualics.

    if a customer refuses to pay for the snow removal until i clean up any displaced gravel (which has never happened) i would do it and then once paid i'd never see them again.
     
  18. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Wow, surprising. I don't have any gravel anymore- the last one was paved a couple of years ago, but I always explain to my customers when they sign and have it in the contract there WILL be damage to the driveway and edges of the lawn around the drive from plowing to which the plower is not responsible for fixing. Dragging an 800 lbs hunk of steel across the pavement tends to leave marks, and plowing gravel meant I left an inch of so on the drive to avoid moving gravel (digging in). I also listed some gravel would likely be in the grass where the snow was piled after the season and is the responsibility of the property owner.

    There's a difference between causing unreasonable damage and normal expect results. Driving through your garage door is an accident that I will gladly repair, but a scrape in the driveway or a section of torn up grass along a driveway edge should be expected when you have a plow doing the lot. I'm not in the business of landscaping so I don't happen to have a staff or equipment on hand to do these cleanups, nor do I want to. I plow snow.

    This seems harsh and I'm sure will draw fire, but trust me, I'm a respected plow operator in my area and I have never lost a customer over one of those issues. Infact, I've only lost 3 customers ever that were not due to the owners selling the house and moving. Infact, until the housing crash, I got all my customers by word of mouth from existing customers without any incentive.