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New twist on trigger depth

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jbutch83, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    Have a quick question. Have an account, that is open from 10 AM till 12 midnight, every day of the year. They have a 3 inch trigger, and do not want any salt. The lot is busy all day long, and the last time we plowed, we had about 4 inches down, but it only looked like 1 1/2 to 2 in the lot, with all the cars driving on it all day long. There is a part of the lot in the back that does not get driven on, and we put all the snow there, and there was 4 inches on the ground there.

    We had checked to lot at about 11 PM, as it was snowing out, but only about 2 inches down, but with all the driving, the lot looked like crap. We checked with the asst. manager, and he stated that the manager was the only one that could make the decision to plow. We went and did some other accounts, as it was still snowing, and checked on the lot again at abount 5 AM. I decided to plow it, because I was not going to wait till 10 AM for the manager to call, and then try to plow around all the cars. How do you guys handle something like this, when it is close to the trigger depth, wait till they call, or just do it. We have not had any complaints from them yet.

    John
     
  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I just do it when it hit 3" or needs it,sometimes it needs plowing at 1",if its going to get cold,it will all ice up.I would not take that account without the salting job too.There is 1/2 the profit,and it allows you control over lot conditions,with someone else or worse yet,no one salting you may pull in to plow,and slide right into something.Id be concerned with liability also from slip and falls.have it all in your contract,if they wont abide by it,let it go,there are places that will.
     
  3. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Many options here, I would push the salt or other deicer available, lots of problems with a business that does not want a safe lot. Also as far as the trigger, you should get an idea of what they will put up with, if you know you can do it in 2 hours with cars, I would probably have pushed it at 8 or 9am knowing I would have 1 to 2 full hours without cars in the way, and go back for clean up depending on the storm, that way it's clear when they open and if you have to go back for clean up later. I would rather push 1" around cars than 3", but that's just me.
     
  4. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    The way I always thought of it is that if the snow is going to keep coming down for an extended period of time, and it's going to total *more* than the trigger depth, then they shouldn't mind if there's a coating that falls after they've been plowed, as long as that's *less* than the trigger depth. In other words, if they specify a 2" trigger they obviously are ok if there's less than 2" on the ground. Why would they complain if you plowed the first 5" of a 6" storm, and didn't catch that last inch? If the accumulation exactly equals the trigger depth, same thing--plow what you can and they should be ok with what's left. (I should add, that I've never had to test that theory, so I don't know if the *customers* actually see it that way or not.)

    (Then I found PlowSite and started becoming aware of liability issues and stuff--now I get gray hairs thinking about the accounts that don't want to salt away that last 1/16th"...)
     
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It happens all the time if with high traffic properties.I'd hit it once,just before they open,even if you haven't hit your trigger,and then I'd come back after they close to tidy it up.I'm sure it would be faster,and neater,to do it twice when it's empty,with less snow,than to have to do it with a full lot of cars coming and going.We usually go out for cleanup the next night anyways.Even more important if they don't take salt,as you won't have as much hardpack to deal with.The sun in the morning,and cars dragging in salt off the roads will help keep it clean,if it's just been plowed too.
     
  6. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    If it's close to the set trigger I would plow it. I have never seen a manger outside with a tape measure measuring the amount of snow on the ground and hope I never do. It would be truly pathetic to see.
     
  7. SnowGodFather

    SnowGodFather Member
    Messages: 330

    Ditto

    I won't take a commercial lot with a trigger depth and no salt.

    to much liability to sign off.
     
  8. SnowGodFather

    SnowGodFather Member
    Messages: 330

    double post
     
  9. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I would think the liability would be higher on a lot that you are supposed to salt.If someone slips and falls,then you,as the contractor,would have been expected to de-ice to prevent that from happening.

    If they don't take salt,and have a high trigger,then you would not have been expected to clear a small amount of snow,or de-ice,so you should not be liable,as long as there way less accumulation than your trigger point.Salt waivers would also come into effect here.

    That's the way I always looked at it.

    I do charge a premium price for lots that don't take salt,as you have more hardpack,and leftover accumulation to deal with,but I wouldn't turn them down,unless they were really cheap.
     
  10. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Our clients generally leave it up to our discretion. We have a 2" trigger on most accounts. However if it is going to stay cold for a few days, and 1" or so falls, we'll probably plow it so it doesn't get packed. This works quite well, and our customers appreciate it. Worst case senario is they call and say they didn't want it done, and you tell them you are just trying to provide good service and say I won't charge. Your only out a bit of labour etc, and you know for next time. :drinkup: