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Need some advice

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RdTeK, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. RdTeK

    RdTeK Member
    Messages: 71

    Hey. This problem has been eating at my craw for a few years, but it finally came to a head yesterday. I service around 125 driveways in my area, been doing it for 20+ years. I carry all the insurance/registration, etc needed as well and I charge accordingly for it.

    There's a guy around in the area also doing driveways...he started out with a lawn tractor and looked after say 8 driveways, he advertised his phone number on the cab....this year he upgraded to a small utility tractor and is doing a couple dozen more, I've lost 10 customers to him.....he's also charging 25% less than me. I have no intentions of matching his price, some customers have asked me to and I know for a fact he's not insured or registered to be taking this thing on the road. There was a law passed a number of years ago, that anyone doing driveways commercially must be insured and plated through DMV, and also farmers couldn't use dyed diesel for snow removal since they had an unfair advantage with taxes.

    Now yesterday we had about 3/4" of very, light snow and he was out cleaning his contracts, I figure to try and strum up new customers for next year.....normally I wouldn't go out until 2", but I did go this morning to clean my contracts, basically it was an "eff you" to him.

    What would you guys do with this.....I'm not the kind to call somebody out, as in call DMV and report this guy, but also everyone has to be on the same playing field too....just looking for opinions......sorry for the long-winded rant btw. tymusic
  2. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    I would call him out. Dont hate me for it, but thats BS if hes going to get away with it IMO. Or tell him if he takes anymore from you your going to call on him.

    Hate to the be guy to stop him, but I would.
  3. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    call it in. they have laws for a reason!
  4. csi.northcoast

    csi.northcoast Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    it is your lively hood, and i would definately point out to his not having insurance aspect... you are trying to protect the customer. if he is not "playing by the rules" you must throw the yellow flag....ok super bowl reference...sorry
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    I think you should call him out. Just make sure you have your facts straight.
  6. 03sd

    03sd Member
    Messages: 79

    I agree with everyone else why let this guy take money out of your pocket and food off your table call him in.
  7. RdTeK

    RdTeK Member
    Messages: 71

    Yeah.....that's what has to be done alright.....not gonna accomplish much with the season almost over now, but this fall we'll be doing just that. Thanks for the responses....much appreciated.
  8. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    Or you could man up and talk to him first. Explain to him how the business works since it sounds to me like thus guy has no clue. Tell him that he has managed to piss off a lot of people and you don't want to be the guy to turn him in but you will if he doesn't start playing by the rules. The only thing is you better make sure you have the facts right if you do turn him in. If you don't you could end up looking like the bigger jackass which is only going to hurt your reputation in the long run. Ad far as what he is charging that's on him. There is no law that says you gave to charge a minimum but last I checked uncle Sam wants his cut and I'll bet he isn't paying his taxes either.
  9. RdTeK

    RdTeK Member
    Messages: 71

    I hear ya.....I'm not sure how many he's actually pissed off...everyone is looking for "that" deal.....I assume that's just a scare tactic.....as far as taxes go...that's a whole other kettle of fish....I know myself, I'd rather have the RCMP after me than taxation....:gunsfiring:
  10. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,337

    Are you afraid of competition? let it go! when the big one hits and you get the call for help you wil get what is do. everything always comes around..so if you make the call today, someone may make the call on you the one time you do something...in the end it is up to you
  11. combiking

    combiking Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Id call the law. Hes not playing fair so why should you.
  12. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    Ever hear of 'Karma'...?

    Have a buddy or relative call....
  13. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    If you have 125 driveways, and have been doing this for over 20 years and this is the first time this has happened, consider yourself fortunate. There are start ups all over the place, trying to get a piece of the action. Unless you are so hungry that this is a problem, or so territorial that you have staked a claim to these drives, leave it alone. Do what you do well, and let others have those clients who will abandon you for $5
  14. RdTeK

    RdTeK Member
    Messages: 71

    Hmmmm.....some very good points made and I appreciate the responses. Although I agree with calling this guy out, I have too much of a conscience to act on it.....I hate Karma..... Instead, I may "tweak" my snow removal flyers by adding "fully insured" in the advertisement somewhere. This should get the customers asking about it, and also make me look more professional......hopefully that is.......:)

    Whataya think?
  15. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    Around here, the residential market is about 25% insured, tax-paying contractors, and 75% cash only, uninsured, "I do this for beer money" plow guys. I've been advertising my insurance for years. I tell customers that I'm not going to be the cheapest...and when I leave, they understand why I charge what I charge.
  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    x2. I hate when some people say "just forget about him" bla, bla. Well before you know it you'll be out of business to idiots like this.
  17. jmac5058

    jmac5058 Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    If one of your long time customers drops you for a fue bucks to some fly by night lowballer you dont want them anyways.Were you raising prices each year when thing were going good (economy wise) then you should be giving discounts now if not then F-em.
  18. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    You are very lucky if this is just getting to you now.. I dont know about your area, but where im from, I am very much in the minority being one of the very few people who plow driveways who is actually insured. Id saying in my area, maybe 15% of the driveways are plowed by people with a business and insurance and everything. If i were to call for everyone who plows driveways without insurance, i would be on the phone for days and they wouldnt even do anything about it unfortunately. You just have to advertise that this is a buisness and you are properly insured and if you have any problems with equipment, their driveway will stil be plowed unlike the other guys who just give up all their driveways if their truck breaks
  19. RdTeK

    RdTeK Member
    Messages: 71

    I agree.....my prices are competitive with the area and have been for years, if anything, it's on the low side....of course with fuel price rising, the price must as well.
  20. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    I would go to his customers and knock on the door. Remind them of the importance of being legit and insured. Many years ago when i was 18 i backed into a garage door while on the cell phone. Screwed up the rest of the route, had to wait on a garage door guy. He invoiced me for $350, not worth the $50 push.:cry: