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Not enough snow for YOU to plow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DodgeBlizzard, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    We've had a few ice storms and finally got a good 3" ...maybe 4" storm. No problems with those customers at those triggers. Except for this one new customer this year. This is a long windy stone lane with a tenant living in a seperate building. I placed probably 50 marker flags on this property because he said he didn't want the grass torn up at all. I got the bid because his TRACTOR WAS BROKE and the wife didn't want him on it plowing in the cold anymore because of multiple hip injuries. Anyways, I pull up to the drive after the storm's over and guess who's sitting on the (now fixed) tractor. I was on like two hours of sleep due to the storm, and had been plowing again since 4am. I pull the truck up to him and asked him what the deal was. He said he didn't need me unless we got at least 3" of snow. I said that's what I've been plowing ALL morning. He said that was bull@#$%, we don't have three inches. I said if it's not enough to plow...then why area YOU? He says, "well I didn't want to do it, but I spent $700 to fix the tractor. I said well that's great, but I didn't spend my time and money to 1.) meet with you 2.) buy marking flags and install them on both sides of the lane, including the rental property. 3.) Spend the time to work you into my route as you just HAD to have me do this for YOU. After hearing that he got pissy with me. I told him from now on, he can consider himself on his own. I don't care if we get 3" or 3'. Now I've always been calm, cool and collective. But this guy makes no sense. Now we're suppose to get a big storm this weekend. I'm headed out to pull my flags. I know it's now worth my time. But I'll be darned if I'm gonna leave them up for HIS benefit. It's customers like this that will cause new customers to be charged up front for installing marking flags. This is really no big deal as dealing with people on a daily basis, I've seen a lot and dealt with all kinds. My question is.......how would YOU have handled this one?
  2. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Once he said "that was bull@#$%, we don't have three inches!" I would have pilled out the ruler from the truck, stuck it in the snow and said, "Looks like it's 3 inches to me" Yes I have had to do that in the past. I would pull up my steaks and let him be, guys like this I don't have the time for. I'm a real patient, understanding person, but even I have a breaking point. :gunsfiring:
  3. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    I agree...dump the guy. I make it clear that whether I plow or not is up to my judgement.

    My trigger is 3 inches on residentials but I went out and did them all yesterday with 2 inches. With a major storm on the way I don't want to have to deal with ice under it all.
  4. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125


    I've turned down customers this year who wouldn't fit on my schedule. when I make room for someone, I expect to do what the contract says.

    I would have pointed at the ruler in the snow, pointed at the contract, and sent him a bill.

    This business isn't like cutting lawns. On lawns you can always squeeze one more into your schedule. For snow, we sometimes turn down customers becuase there isn't time. When you make time for someone on your schedule, you'd expect them to allow you to do your job.
  5. 98GTX

    98GTX Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    How to handle? You can try the method I follow.... Couple of anonymous night drivebys with the plow 1 inch off the ground along the street to PLOW THE ENTIRE driveway in! :drinkup: Let him try to open it up with his tractor after that.

    Well, thats my temper talking... I guess pulling out the ruler would have been best and impossible to argue.

    I would def. go pull those flags though. (or move them ?? :rolleyes: ) ha

    I tell ya, some of these residentials really get to me.
  6. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I got busy getting ready for the next storm coming. I haven't had time to go pull the flags yet. I know if I pull them, he'll call and want me to plow. And if I leave them in, he probably won't call me back. Ah heck, I"m gonna pull the flags JUST FOR MY SATISFACTION. My flags....my business. The heck with ''the customer's always right". Obviously whoever invented that saying was a schmuck.
    And thanks for the payback suggestions on moving the flags, that's a good one.
  7. lqmustang

    lqmustang Member
    Messages: 36

    Dodgeblizzard, I know how you feel. I do all residential, and many of them are elderly. Therefore, when it's kinda borderline to plow or not, I will go out because of this. Well, earlier this week I ran my route with a 2" snowfall. (all customers were set up on a 2" minimum) My ears were ringing from 2 of my customers bi***ing that it wasn't enough snow. One of them told me to go to a 4" trigger. (He's 80 and has a 50' walk to his detached garage). I hope he doesn't fall and break a hip. The other called and whined, then hung up on me when I tried to resolve the situation. (a 70 year old man more imature than my kids??!!) He will be having a difficult time getting out of his drive tomorrow when noone shows up to clear his drive. Personally I am fed up with residential plowing. I enjoy plowing and being out in the snow, but some of these people just burn me up. Next season I will drop all but 5 or 6 residentials, and then try to just get 1 or 2 mid sized commercials, or maybe even just sub.
  8. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I agree, after landing many more commercial properties this year that I want keep landing those compared to residentials. I'll keep the good residential ones and weed out the bad. Someone else can deal with those headaches. I'm be sure to put more thought into my contract writing next season. Basically, if they don't want to leave it to my discretion, then they can find someone else. I'm starting to wonder if these kind of customers are also the ones plugging up walmart and the grocery stores stocking up on weeks worth of supplies when a little snow is coming. It makes sense. That way they don't have to pay the snow plow guys because they can wait until it melts little by little each day with the sun. Talk about stretching a budget. :help: