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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ICindrich, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. ICindrich

    ICindrich Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    I've got this driveway, its a about 30 feet long, on a decent hill and ends at a 2 car garage. The wife has MS and is in a wheel chair so I shovel the wheel chair ramp and also have to get down to bare pavement leading up to her van. First time I plowed, I charged $40 and they grumbled a bit but paid it. Last night they tried to chisle me down and I said I had to charge what I charge, tried to explain how expensive it is to operate, ect. They paid again but grumbled. Am I over charging or is this customer just a PITA?

  2. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 Senior Member
    Messages: 449

    well, 1st of no thats to-low.....2nd are you clearing the front of the garage, back dragging, shoveling????its hard to say wat id to a drive for without seeing it....buuutt its steep, it has a garage at the end so u have to clear out infront of it, then you have to shovel....id be asking no less than $55
  3. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus Member
    Messages: 71

    if your happy getting paid 40 bucks then keep them at that....

    40 seems cheap......
  4. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    $40 seems cheep with the shoveling add- on. I would say they are getting a bargain. I have a similar drive with a small parking area off to the side--I get $45 and its what I would consider a friend--mostlikely charge $50 if it was a off the streeter!
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If they think you're charging too much, then why don't they get someone else?

    To me, the big factor is shoveling. By getting out of the truck, you are increasing the risk to yourself. Also, just a word to the wise from someone who knows -- be careful shoveling a wheelchair ramp or any handicap designated area. By charging for and providing this service, you are holding yourself out as a professional. A wheelchair ramp requires special attention to insure that it is not hazardous for its intended user. Where a person with full use of their legs and feet could be expected to use diligence and step over or around a spot of ice or snow, a person in a wheelchair could not reasonably be expected to avoid any such spot on a ramp.

    Can you say "That's why I have General Liability insurance"?
  6. ICindrich

    ICindrich Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    We pay those insurance bastards more money than lots of people make in a year! I've got commericial insurance on my truck, general liablilty for our four company names is about 20g a year and we even pay workman's comp on my check (not plowing money, my regular salary).
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Customer's a PITA. Your not charging enough, let them try and find someone else to take that amount of risk for that little reward. Trade them in for 2 $30.00 never get out of the trucks'.
  8. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,902

    LOL Trade them in:D good one... The exposer of the wheel chair ramp for the handicap person is higher than the normal account. (slip and fall)
    I would charge $50 + salt, with a 1inch trigger. A 4 inch snow fall, you would plow them twice) or "Trade them in"
    You can make more with a truck than you can with a shovel.
    Leave the PITA accounts for the Low-ballers, it keeps them busy and out of your way.
  9. Allagash

    Allagash Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    This is excellent advice. I'm right down the road in Charlestown, RI and I refuse to drop my blade for less than $40. And I usually don't shovel walkways. Many of my accounts this year I charged $50 and $60. I actually dropped two accounts this last storm for being difficult. I'd rather weed out the bad eggs and build a client list of people who pay up and appreciate the good service I give them. I will say that I've got a soft spot for WWII vets and I occasionally will shovel the walk and not charge them extra but that's an exception.

    By the time I figure in the cost of my 40k truck, 3k plow, $2.79 / gallon diesel, insurance, taxes, etc., it ain't worth it to charge less.

    As qouted above.....Let them deal with low ballers and see how they get treated.
  10. Jpocket

    Jpocket Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    It should be $60 since your getting out of the truck
  11. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    I agree. Typical residential customer, wants everything done for free. Stop by at their house tell them if they are not happy at $40 try and find someone cheaper.
  12. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    It would be ridiculous to do it any cheaper! I would figure at least $75 to do all of what you are doing. How do you do the area in front of the ramp to the van, with a shovel or do you plow it? How long is the wheelchair ramp? Way too much hand work for only $40.

    You should raise your price on this guy since he is such a pain in the @ss. Just explain that with the cost of the truck, plow, fuel, insurance, maintenance, shovels, gloves, washer fluid, (you get the idea!) that you are unfortunately forced to raise the price to a level that makes you at least break even with your expenses. You could do two more plow jobs and make triple the money elsewhere and not have to hear the guy piss and moan about the $40.

    If he doesn't give you the increase after you calmly explained that if you continued to do it at $40 you would eventually go out of business, then tell him that you can no longer service his property until he agree's to the new price and that maybe he should put a plow on his wife's wheelchair! :eek: