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Need advice and opinions on revised contract

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Jguck25, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    View attachment Blank contract 2010-2011.doc
    This year was kinda crazy with how I did all my contracts and accounts. I did not charge enough and also did per storm pricing... no matter how much snow we got.. So for next year I changed my contract and did it a lot different and i need everyones opinions so be truthful and point out where it could be sketchy or could use some improvement.

    This contract is for residential and commercial, with slight changes. My parents have never had to pay someone for plowing because my father has always had a way to do it, and they think that its way to confusing and expensive for residentials. They are also very cheap.. let me know if it would be too expensive or overwheling for the average residential
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  2. k5PlowGuy

    k5PlowGuy Member
    Messages: 40

    I've seen that doing percentages confuses some clients and they would rather see real costs shown to them for additional charges. I also think you need to throw some liability wording in there about what you are liable for, plowing wise and damage wise especially with commercial. Always make sure your contract covers your butt or you lose that hard earned money and then some.

    The percentage rate is just my opinion from what I've seen, I may be wrong but with residentials they like to see numbers from my experience.
     
  3. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Yeah i understand that they would see numbers instead of percentages, but all my accounts have different prices so i couldnt make up a generic contract like this.. But i think i will add prices in there somehow for the actual customer when I am writing up the quote for the individual person. Is it alright to say that I am liable for anything i hit, but not liable for the lawn or gravel driveways if they end up getting torn up from the plow scraping?
     
  4. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Oh and I hate to say anything about being responsible for any slip and fall acidents or cars getting stuck because none of my clients will pay for sand or salt every storm. and if they do not sand or salt then it is their fault for not buying it, correct?
     
  5. rich414

    rich414 Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    surf the internet for sample contracts.
    you need liability launguage..

    I might have a problem this spring, I ran my 8' blower just into a clients planting bed, blew plants dirt and sprinkler pipe everywhere... in the fall I sugggested the he pays my son to mark his driveway or do it himself...he didnt do either..,

    what if a kid leaves his bike in the driveway and you wad it into a little ball.. whos at fault, what if the bike causes damage to your plow? and you cant complete your routes?

    I have a contract somewhere that bacisally says the clinet is resposible for all "burried in snow" damage that I cause on his property, unless I stake his driveway. If I hit a buried in the snow object that was not staked, he is responsible for the damage to my equipment, for instance a kids bike, ladder, propane tank, and so on......it also says that I an not responsible for any chain or plow scrapes, not sure what would happen if I dug up part of his asphalt driveway....it also says that I am NOT responsible for the icy conditions that my exist after I plow....and so on.... I never did have anyone sign this ONESIDED contract, If is can find it I will post it... I am sure that it will get some commnets back.

    basically cover your ass!!!!
     
  6. k5PlowGuy

    k5PlowGuy Member
    Messages: 40

    We don't tell our residential clients that we are liable for anything, ours just state what we are not liable for. Similar to Rich we're not liable hitting the grass unless there is major damage, it grows back anyways, it's grass. We aren't liable for damage to the ashpalt, concrete or bricks due to the plow scratching and pulling bricks out. Not liable for objects that are left in the driveway or large rocks that a lot of people like to put right at the end of the driveway unless they mark them. Mainly all we worry about is hitting a garage which is just obviously our liability. If they don't like the terms of the contract they're not a client.

    I'm not sure if the contract covers ice or not since I don't have a copy as I'm a sub. I think it's a basic "We don't offer salt services so we're not liable for ice".
     
  7. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    To be honest I havn't read your contract but I will give you some advice..... spend a couple hundred bucks and have a attorny (one that would defend you in case of a slip and fall) draw it up... its amazing how much wording that they can put in there to CYA and still make it understandable..... don't be cheap and try to do it yourself... another lawyer will pick apart your contract in the event of a slip and fall and it will cost you MUCH more then the couple hundred to draw one up.... take it for what its worth

    Mike
     
  8. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I'm a little late to your thread, but after it came up in a search..I'll give my feedback.

    Your categories overlap. I (as the customer) how would I know which price I'm being charged if it stormed 4". IMO - you should change it to the next integer to limit the question. (1-4, 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15+)

    Aside from that, it's pretty readable and concise.

    Again, my .02
     
  9. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    But then it snows 4.5". There could be a dispute with that. Better to go: 1-4, 4.1-7, 7.1-10 and so on.
     
  10. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    If a residential consumer went out to measure the semantics of 4.1 - 4.11", perhaps they should just shovel their own driveway? It's either 4" or it's 5". Round up.

    4" would/should cover all of 4".
     
  11. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    My contracts start at 3 pages and go up, you can never protect yourself enough. Leave the multiplication out the of the contract, people are stupid and prefer to see what it will cost them with 5.5" on the ground instead of doing the math.
     
  12. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Agreed.

    It's 4.1- 7", not 4.1-4.11"...There's gotta be a line you draw somewhere.
     
  13. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    OK GUYS! THIS IS EASIER THAN EVERYONE MAKES IT! lol. Okay. So you know that customers are going to argue whatever you measure. So, make a larger spread. Does 4.1" really make that big of a problem for you on that account than 2" does? Probably not. We use whatever we are given by the company in bid packages so they can prepare apples to apples. OR we use 2-6" and 6-9" for brackets on a standard account. I use a multiplier (say 50 percent since I'm not going to hand out my real pricing). Anything over 9" falls into Blizzard policy and we bill per hour. This protects me, and the customer. It works for everyone.

    It is all about productivity numbers. Do you push 6" slower than 4"? and how much slower?.....Modern trucks and plow handle everything within 6" pretty much the same in our experience. It matters even less with pusher/tractors. It all has to do with how much space do you have to stack.....and then if you are limited how much of a PITA is it going to be to put the snow somewhere else.
     
  14. underESTIMATED

    underESTIMATED Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Why would you have a larger spread in the beginning? It's still the same arguement I brought up a few posts back when Mr. MileHigh eThug didn't read.

    2-6" and 6-9" still overlap. vs. 2-5" and 6-9"
     
  15. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Thanks for all the good advice, since i originally posted this last February i have fixed many of the problems.. But what i mean by 2-4" and 4-7" is like:

    2-4 inches covers everything from two inches of snow all the way up to 4 inches.
    If the storm is anything OVER four inches it is in the 4-7 section... this is how i have always looked at it but i can definately see why it causes confusion. so basically it is anything UNDER four inches is the first category and anything over four is the second one
     
  16. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    O lord...here we go again. All the previous posts where I dismantled your lack of argument have been deleted due to the shear embarrassment I imposed upon you. Call it whatever you want to...I'm an "e-thug" and your an "e-idiota."

    Dude...2-6" and 6-9" overlap by a measly point 1 inches...WHO CARES?...as opposed to your 2-5" and 6-9" misses an entire INCH of snow in writing. Ridiculous. Why can't you get that? Who cares if you know that you would just charge for the entire 6" if 5.5" fell, when your scale says 2-5"...why wouldn't you just modify your scale to say 2-5.11"? Cause that's what your really doing. :eek:

    EXACTLY...thank you.

    The only thing is your scale should read 2-4"...and the 4.1-7"..instead of 4-7.
     
  17. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    I don't understand why anyone would not follow this advice. :confused:

    Spend the money to have an attorney write your contracts now or risk losing everything WHEN, NOT IF, someone slips and falls. It will only cost you a couple hundred bucks now, and it will be the best investment you ever make for your business.