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"Just plow half of the driveway"...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Joel B., Dec 4, 2002.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 233

    Gave a bid the other day and the lady tells me that there will be 2 cars parked in the drive and how will I handle it. I said I would plow the open half and check back later to see if the cars had been moved.

    Then she tells me that her husband will probably do the other half (where the cars are) and how much would I charge to do just the open half of the drive. I said I would get back to her. So, do I charge less or not? Do you pro-rate your driveway price depending on how much they want plowed or is it one price no matter how much you plow? The house is located right behind my house.

    Thank you,

    Joel B.
  2. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,037

    I wouldnt do it, i personally dont like plowing in tight areas with other cars. If i were to do it, itd be the same preice, and explain that there is much more liablility with a car there, thats JMO tho.....
  3. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    I wouldn't so it either, most the time, they'll try to move the cars while you are there, meanwhile you sit and wait 10 minutes when you could have had 2 more drives done.
  4. Garagekeeper

    Garagekeeper Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    Neighborhood Rates

    Joel do you have a minimum rate? That's what you should really go by. But she is a neighbor. So may be you should think about a little bit less? It's up to you on how you feel about helping out your neighbors and she could bring you in some other very close neighborhood business.
  5. BOSS 444

    BOSS 444 Member
    from In.
    Messages: 32

    I also agree,

    You should get more for the liability, or pass on it!

    Personaly, I am tempted to give up all my drives.
    Private accounts,( vs. buis. or corpt. ones), are always
    first to complain & last to pay!

    Just my 3 cents.

  6. Dave1250

    Dave1250 Member
    Messages: 57

    My 2 cents

    I would bid the job as doing the hole job. If they want to do half that up to them but you have insureance ? and repairs on your truck to keep up. I set a min price for all my driveways and will not alter it . I tried to do what people wanted but it backfired on me a few times .Now I run it as a buiness not a hobby. It is hard at first but if you go back again to take care of them you would lose money I also set my price by what I feel I need to make. Just my two cents .73`s for now o that ham radio talk sorry
  7. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Yea, i think i agree, once your there, she will be saying "oh just stay a little bit, hubby will be right out, hes taking a dump and then hes gonna get dressed and put his shoes on, and he will move the cars." Then you will feel bad to say "no lady, i gotta get going." So then you get to sit and wait. Its up to you. If you do take on the house, i wouldnt do it any cheaper, charge her as if you are gonna do the whole thing, cause i bet what i said above would happen often. Mike
  8. ProSno

    ProSno Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    Do you really need the job that bad? along with the headaches and liability? When people start to put out THEIR terms and conditions I turn around and leave. Its not worth your headaches.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    I had a customer like that. I'd charge them again when they moved the cars. They started having the driveway ready every time after that!
  10. Right behind you? I would do it now for one price, charge the same as if you were doing the entire area, and if I was going by later and noticed they moved the cars then whats 2 or 3 minutes if your all caught up. But I would not wait if I had others waiting for me. My mistake is with 8" of snow its hard to know what that entire area actually is. Remember, she could send you some business. Good Luck
  11. newtosnow

    newtosnow Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Heres my line in my contract that covers that:

    4. Customer will make every reasonable effort to keep serviced areas clear of vehicles and other obstacles.
    Shall such obstacles be in the way, service will not be completed satisfactorily, but full charges may still apply

    I just do the best I can, but still charge them, or, if theres no place to put the snow around the cars, and they didnt call me to make other arrangements, I dont plow, but they still get charged. They get a bit mad at first, but its all part of "training" your clients.
  12. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415

    Tell me you guys are kidding

    Wouldn't plow because cars are in the drive :confused: are you not in control of your plow :confused: .

    "I know why take a chance" but I can plow within 2" of a car & not hit it all day long or night for that matter. All it takes is to slow down, if it's a lot of snow plow about a 1' away then go back & clean-up the rest.

    20 yrs. ago I was plowing over 70 drives every snow & 30 would have cars in the drive ( never hit 1). Of course a bud of mine would hit at least 1 car every time it snowed :eek: some guys should not be snowplowers.

    As for what to charge, charge as if it's a full drive never as a 1/2.
  13. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Working for a neighbor... and cutting favors can really backfire into making enimies!!!
  14. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I'd charge the full price as well. Even though your only doing 1/2 the driveway you still have to go there and like other said you might find yourself plowing that other 1/2 more often then you think.
  15. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240


    I have learned the hard way that too often in life, customizing or tailoring a service like you are considering to do just doesn't work out for everyone in the end of it all. While it's nice to try and work out solutions to appease all parties involved, the service provider usually gets the shorter deal. I try not to be so black and white with other service jobs I do, but I could write a book here on the many times I didn't economically pan out. When a customer starts setting conditions and terms that begin to "unreasonably" cramp or restrict you, you always have the final word in politely turning down the job.

    I showed up yesterday to do a residential driveway (under agreement) and see it's been done by someone else! Now, it appears that this home owner wants to have both plows available as reassurance that things will look occupied while they are away vacationing for months. Now, I have to communicate via email with him to figure out my involvement. Further complications are that this is a relative and my payment will be forthcoming when they return (of which I wasn't informed they would be gone for so long). I have to drive a pretty good distance to get there (14mi) and discover I wasted my time and gas with a V10 -- 4WD?? Being that he's a relative and I'm trying to work with him and be accomodating, I just may end up cancelling the job if I get perturbed! Maybe I should plow more snow into the driveway so the mysterious other plower has even more work to do, making it a financial loser!!:rolleyes: :drinkup: LOL
  16. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    If the owner wants two plower then he gets both bill...

    Bill him for service.... you were under agreement!
  17. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    Full Price

    I would and do charge full price to clear the end of a drive you are pushing all that weight and stressing your equipment why would you not want your min charge for it and there is no way would I try to plow within 2" of any obstruction .. EVENTUALLY you will hit something
  18. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I'd have to agree, full price.

    But, being a close customer as that, I would discount a bit.

    Half the time and hassle is travel.
  19. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    I failed to mention above that the agreement was a verbal one... being a relative. I should know better, especially since I favor not to involve relations in business deals and the like. When things go wrong it makes for some strained relationships. I have to go there today again since it's snowed over night and this morning. We'll see if the other plower beat me to it. I just may keep silent and casually wean myself from the job rather than get negative and cause hard feelings.
  20. Acorn

    Acorn Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Don't give her a break because she is close by. All your jobs should be close by. If she is a friend give a little break but let them know you are giving them a better price. If you don't know her, it sounds like she is trying to nickel and dime you. Watch out that they don't park the cars in the half you plowed and then expect you to plow the other half for the next storm. Make sure you pick a half and ONLY od that half. I would consider a slight decrease in rate (maybe 10-15%) because really, it's going to be less hassle than waiting for them to move the cars or making a second trip later