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Is there anyone else

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JimMarshall, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    Who has competitors that you aren't sure how they get people to pay their bills????

    It seems that there are several people here that plow ALL THE TIME, and I don't understand how they get their clients to pay for it?
     
  2. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 639

    Not exactly sure what you are asking? Are you saying there are those that are plowing when it isn't needed? Which I don't understand how that can be but whatever.
     
  3. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    I have competitors that plow regardless of accumulation. It can be .25 inches on a 30 degree day and they still scrape their lots. I apply salt and half the parking lot is melted before I am done with my paperwork and pulling out of the lot. I number one, don't understand why they waste their time, and number two, don't understand how they get people to pay for it.....yes, they salt the lots as well.
     
  4. CleanCutL&S

    CleanCutL&S Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    If I have a good annual / flat rate customer, I try to plow it as much as I can. Makes them happy, and they renew next year.

    Also have a few commercial ones Old folks home, Daycare etc. that have zero tolerance. But we salt off most of the small storms
     
  5. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Well
    Its in my contacts any time there is snow or ice on the lots I have treat it or plow.

    Plowing a lot with less then 1'' on it I will use less salt

    I get paid to clean and I get paid to salt it. So why not do both
     
  6. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    I can see it being the other way around. Not showing up til noon when the business opens at 7 and you got 2-3" of snow over night and they're getting contracts renewed.
     
  7. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    What is the trigger on your contracts? If you can get someone to pay for plow and salt when only salt is needed I ask, how?
     
  8. mark268

    mark268 Member
    Messages: 81

    All about what's in the contract and what the customer wants. I have them anywhere from zero tolerance to 8" trigger. They pay for what they ask for. All agreed prior to the start of the season.
     
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    90% of mine are no trigger the other 10% is few drives and few gravel lots that has a trigger

    I have one Seasonal Contact that is Home Depot and it has 1'' trigger
    Takes more salt to burn off 1'' of snow then it does 1/16'' of snow


    I get paid per visit on all my jobs besides the 1 seasonal contact
     
  10. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    I got customers that dont want salt or melt used, some ever, some as little as can, so therefor we scrape .25" Sometimes it's a seasonal thing, & they are trying to provide great service, like antler said, some are contracted as 0 tolerance, I got a few places, if the ground begins to look white, scrape it, they happy to pay for it, some even several times a day. It's about providing what the customer wants & or pays for.
     
  11. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,770

    It all depends on the customer I guess. I have several places that if we drop the plow and can make a pile of any size they want plowed. I have one that gets plowed if you can see footprints in the snow and salted all the time. No one complains and most times when I call the client or stop in they say how they are happy that we take such good care of them and grateful for our services. I have a larger place that the contract says they are to be plowed at 1.5" and only salted during icy conditions. That lasted till the first snowfall...they want a wet parking lot at all times and don't mind paying for it. 90% of my customers want a clear safe parking lot / walks and they allow us to do whatever it takes for that to happen as soon as possible meaning we sometimes plow a half inch of snow to get everything melted off and wet. Do have a few that only want done at 2" and anything less they will deal with.
     
  12. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    How many snow events do you have a year? I suppose that would factor into this as well.
     
  13. northernsweeper

    northernsweeper Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    If it is to cold to salt, and going to be that way for a few days or weeks, I will scrape off a light snow. Better to scrape it off, then let it get packed down to become ice, otherwise it is a total mess when it finally warms up enough to salt.
     
  14. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    I completely understand when it is too cold for salt to work effectively.....I'm just saying, if I was a business owner (well, I am) but if I was contracting someone to clear my lot, and I knew that they billed me for plowing and salting when just salting would have been just as effective, and as quick, I would tell you to shove it.
     
  15. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    Im right there with your line of thinking. There is plenty of money to be made without boning ppl and that is one reason why I have over time slowly accumulated more work from ppl that do what your saying. I just watched a fella scrape a burger king parking lot that I KNOW IS PER PUSH/PER SALT. There may have been 1/4" snow on the lot. Most of the snow wasn't even getting scraped and at the end of his push to the back of the lot. There may have been a half assed pile in front of the blade about 6-8" tall. I do a strip mall directly across from them and I salted only. My lot was down to a wet lot just as quick as his was.......

    What some of these places don't understand is that they can go with someone that has a higher bid and still come out ahead at the end of the year. I have bid on this particular burger king the past two years. They want a per push per salt bid. They always say im way higher than the other bids but I wouldn't be pushing the lot off with a super light snowfall either. Yes its no tolerance but the same can be accomplished by just salting on a 1/4 " snow. temps were right at 30 in this particular storm. Guess that's why Ive never lost an account. They trust im not out to gouge them.........

    Sometimes I cant believe some ppls contracts. I have simple to the point contracts that can be gone over in 2-3 minutes. I got a call from Brickman group about a month ago wanting me to do some frontier buildings. I told them no I don't sub for anyone. They made the deal to sweet to pass up and promised that the IVR system was easy. Ive already done these places three times without having a signed contract because they are dragging there feet getting it to me. So finally I get the contract by e-mail a few days ago. It took me 2 hours to read through that damn thing and I regret signing up as a sub for them now. There are so many ways they can screw you out of money its not funny. Basically if they want to they can figure out a way to not pay you if they want to and you have to sign it.... Atleast I have to. Hell they owe me 2K bucks and if I tell them I don't want to sign there contract now im sure id never get that money. My fault, always said id never sub and I did........ if I get boned it will be all because I did something id said I would never do......
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  16. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    What does it matter how many snow events I have
    Dec I had 3 plows and 4 salt on 90% of my jobs
    Its what the customer wants and how contact is written

    I use to not plow this way but I started to loose jobs to guys that plowed this way So I started plow this way and I gained my accounts back and + more this year I turned down 10 lots
    I have 34 lots from a 1 acre to 5 acres I run 5 snow rigs
    Im small time snow company in Dec I made 24k for 3 plows and 4 salt events
     
  17. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    In December I plowed 2 times and salted 19 times. (21 salting services total)

    It matters because I don't think your customers would be as likely to pay for it when it is happening every day.
     
  18. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 639

    Why not let the customers decide what they want? Or are they not qualified to make a decision on what to pay for? I find it suprising their is a lobbyist for the customer on here.
     
  19. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    Im not the original poster but my point above is not about lobbying for the customer.... Its more about "I cant believe how bad they bone the customer" and get away with it.......... 1/4" snows do not need pushed unless its to cold for salt to work. Plain and simple.............. It pretty much is proven in my area as I slowly but surely accumulate more and more work in my area and never have complaints about these types of issues. These exact issues are also why I got the phone call in the first place.

    These folks will learn the hard way. There is a fine balance in my opinion. We make money but still need to keep the customers check book in mind. This is when doing per push per salt im speaking of. Its a sure way to keep work if anything else.

    I have many of times asked my customers that have 1" triggers if they want the lot scraped when there is 3/4" and its just about time for the place to open. Most times they say "what do you think". I tell them if I don't push it, the customers may have to deal with the snow for an hour or so. Most times they say go ahead and scrape it and salt but I would never ask the customer on a 1/4" snowfall. unless its in your contract that you must scrape no matter what it is worthless as salt will take care of the issue no problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  20. snowcrazy

    snowcrazy Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 409

    Damn, now that really puts a twist on things. I don't get near those numbers of snows. I couldn't imagine what the customers would say if those 19 salt events you did they had to pay for plowing also when it really wasn't needed. I would think the contractor would be gone the next season. They should be........