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level of service goal

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yardguy28, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    ok let's here from anyone who does snow removal. anyone who's been doing it a season to the guys who have been doing it a long time.

    what is your goal as far as level of service? do each and every driveways get cleared completely left to right or is the goal just so a vehicle can fit through it. how about steps, wide enough for someone to walk up and down comfortably or the whole steps left to right.

    my service is generally left to right on everything on 2-6 inch snows. if that's all we get all season they get things cleared left to right all winter long.

    once we get more than 6 inches the goal for sidewalks and steps becomes to clear a path wide enough to walk through comfortably. not necessarily the whole width.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Driveway get plowed and move on to the next job.
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Driveways and walkways/steps are one thing we clear in entirety every time we're there. Commercial accounts get cleared as much as possible while we're there but usually due to foot and vehicle traffic that can limit what you can plow, just have to go back over night and clean it up.
  4. UltraLwn&Lndscp

    UltraLwn&Lndscp Senior Member
    Messages: 131

    Short answer: Left to right. We do very limited shoveling but always do them completely. There is no room for half stepping in my market, in my opinion.

    Long answer: We provide service that attempts to exceed the competition. This depends on a specific storm.

    Driveways: Big storms (8+) We are running and gunning to keep everything open. After the storm we scrap everything clean. On a three incher We clean them right. No "snail trails" and no BS like the big companies do with there $12/hr drivers.

    There are companies around me offering 169.95 unlimited seasonal. :dizzy: I start at $225 for a four car double. I make sure my customers know the difference.

    Parking lots: Wide open all day long. After closing I sleep. Back at 1am.

    The driveway market around here is garbage. Way too many "Undercutters INC." running around and to many "big guys" with 25 trucks capitalizing on volume but there drivers are terrible.
  5. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I like what Ultra said...to exceed your competitions standards. Any more it rarely pays to have huge crews, we used to run about 6-8 trucks and for our area thats pretty big but talk about headaches after headaches! We now run 2 trucks and a skid steer and knock out about 70 accounts in a 15 mile radius. I attribute that to having great employees but its taken me years to find them. I know I got off the point a bit but point is do a good job always and people will take note.
  6. JohnDeere2320

    JohnDeere2320 Member
    Messages: 51

    We clear everything from left to right completely, including public walks, walks to front door, and the front porch. If we are going to get more than 6-8 inches we will go and clear only driveways midway through the storm and then come back at the end and take the time to clear all walks.

    So you say you clear all sidewalks completely unless you get substantial snow...does that mean you come back and clear completely later, or you only clear the walks completely until you get a heavy snow and from then on you only maintain the path even if you get 3 inches?
  7. JohnDeere2320

    JohnDeere2320 Member
    Messages: 51

    rcn971, I don't think what Flawless440 does is unreasonable. I would consider these folks he hires off Craigslist on a "per storm basis" to be more of a sub contractor than an employee. I doubt he has a written contract with them but rather a verbal agreement along the lines of "I will pay you $xx/hr when you work with us during this storm". When they neglect to fulfill their end of the agreement they are in effect in breach and the agreement is void. If you hired a sub to clear certain lots for you and midway through a storm he decided to quit and left you holding the bag would you be willing to pay for the amount of work he performed?

    Now I guess if they are actually legal employees that fill out a w-4 then that may change things.
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    if we get 6 inches or more i usually come twice to each client. on the first visit i do just the driveways midway like you and come back at the end and get the sidewalks and steps.

    if we end up getting 9 inches or more i do enough of the sidewalks and steps for people to comfortably walk down them. usually i take the snow blower "down and back". i have a lot of neighborhoods with sidewalks by the street that are usually 4 passes wide with a 21" snow blower. on a 9 inch storm your gonna get 2 of those passes made. generally unless it melts after that and i can get back to the full 4 passes the rest of the winter is just the 2 passes.

    i always do as much of the sidewalks as i can but with thicker amounts and clients only willing to pay the base price each time i come i can't always do left to right.
  9. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,658

    I'm not following the last paragraph here. Aren't you bidding your accounts based on the square footage or general size of paved surface? If you're bidding on the size of the job then you should do the whole thing and not skimp on your services. I'm not taking a shot at you I'm just not understanding the last part of your post.
  10. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    It works, some guys show up and say no thanks, move on to the next...

    Huge headache getting eveyone paid at the end, but i have no problem doing it if they finished the job.. I got a hand full of them call me everytime it snows. They have worked out great, they appreciate the $$$ at the end.
  11. rcn971

    rcn971 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

  12. Who's insurance are they under?
  13. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    no I don't really bid on square footage. it's one of those things like mowing. I just look at it and know.

    the main goal is to clear the snow so people and vehicles can SAFELY walk and drive. you don't NEED the whole sidewalk left to right cleared of snow. just enough to walk through really.

    one thing you have to remember, in my neck of the woods our winters generally consist of mostly 2-4 inch snow storms so sidewalks and steps generally do get cleared left to right. on occasion we see larger amounts.

    this winter has been the exception. we haven't seen this much snow since 1982. so when winter started with the 2-4 inch storms things got cleared left to right. then we saw 14" and people started clearing sidewalks just enough to walk through and it's been that way ever since because as you know snow not removed just hardens and becomes impossible to move.

    another thing to remember is clients expect to pay the same amount per visit whether it's 3 inches or 20 inches. and remember when we get 6 inches or more multipul visits are made and sidewalks aren't even touched until the last visit. takes longer to snow blow 8 inches than it does 3 inches.

    but the bottom line and important thing to me is the clients have always been extremely pleased with my service. I just started this thread out of curiosity of what others do.
  14. Michael J. Donovan

    Michael J. Donovan Head Moderator, Online Communities Staff Member
    Messages: 992

    let's try to keep the thread on point and refrain from attacking one another, etc.

    thanks, we would appreciate it :waving:
  15. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    Just had 20" overnight...was the perfect storm for this thread, I hurricaned through every driveway last night. No walks or steps, no shoveling,. just push and backdrag. Quickly did the walks at the apartment houses, just to keep everything mobile. After the storm, Everything gets plowed as much as possible. Everything shoveled. Shovel out the garage doors, walkways, steps, and porches, unless the homeowner has it done already. I love those days. I'd like to think I clear everything edge to edge, but We've had WAAAAY too much snow lately for that, but it's edge to edge until it can't be done anymore. Commercial is a complete job every time...unless it's closed, then just enough to keep the strain on my truck down.
  16. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    exactly what I was trying to say and the way I do things. edge to edge until it can't be done anymore.
  17. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I clear grass to grass, edge to edge. Until like now in some places I just can't because the piles are just too big.