1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Per-Push Contracts?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Bob V, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. :confused: My question is this: Does anyone in Western New York use a Per-Push or Per-Plow contract for regular "Will Call" customers? Or the one time callers?


    I have alot of regular Per-Push regular customers that usaully call me when they feel they have enough snow. Some of them wait till they think they will get stuck at the end of the drive and then call.

    Since these people only call every 3rd or 4th time it snows 4" or so, I wind up pushing hard packed and refroze snow. In my contracts I have a blizzard clause, forecasted 8" or more snow, I might have to plow several times, 3" trigger, to keep up to the storm. And I also have clause to "Hidden items, hoses, dog chain, etc". and "displaced stones, sod, grass etc." and "Late Charges if not paid in 30 days from date of service"

    What do you guys think?:confused:
    Thanks, Bob V
     
  2. ebaron

    ebaron Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Bob,
    When I got back into plowing years ago, I was actually thinking of taking customers on as as call basis. The few that actually did that, were a hassle. I am not interested in them. I come when it needs it and to soften the blow of return trips in the same day, I discount the return. I also offer a discount after a certain number of plows. Basically, a per push contract with some of the benefits of a fixed price contract. It really keeps nearly everyone happy!

    The other day a customer's neighbor called, said come by tomorrow morning and I'll be happy to pay you an extra $5 (she got the per push price from her neighbor). Said I would be happy to, at 2-3 x the per push price. She gasped. She hadn't cleaned out her driveway in 2 weeks and I've made 6 trips since then. Enough said! She didn't get it.

    Bottom line, I think you get burned on the we'll call when we need you stuff, even in our area. Not enough business and too much unnecesary beating on the equipment.
     
  3. ebaron,

    Since I wrote this thread, I have had to tow 2 customers out of thier own driveways and one guy that has the money, retired and always waits called me the afternoon after we got a foot of new snow and another 5" overnight.

    When I arrived Rt104 was clear and a 3'+ plowed pile at the end of the drive and with the blowing, the rest of the drive was drifted 2' most all the way down to his 2 car heated garage.

    I could see he had pulled out of the garage and started up the hill and turned back and put his truck back in the garage.

    I finished and went in and he said what do I owe you? I said Jack "why did you wait? I see you tryed to get out. We have had 3 days of snow and I plowed most everyone twice yesterday. I should have been in here 3 or 4 times in the last 3 days". I told him , "Jack, NOW you have to pay me" I told him 3 times the regular fee and he still didn't understand and I said, " you should have signed a contract". He paid and walked away saying he knew he should have bought a 4 wheel drive. I said "Thanks, I sorry I can't stay and talk, busy day".

    He has had someone new plowing him since. Kinda sorry to loose him have had him for 3 years and he always tipped $5.

    I will add a $10 or $15 fee if any customer needs a tow out of their drive or parking spot. Also going to drop the others that want me to push the when THEY think its necessary.

    Thanks, Bob V

    PS. I grew up and lived in Rochester, money seems to be much tighter here in Orleans county. Most poeple try to see how long they can keep plowing thier drives with the good old car.
     
  4. Mick

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

    Bob, I've pretty well come to the same conclusion - not worth the hassle. I'd have to charge so much for those 'will call' customers that both of us are going to be unhappy. If I can't push the 3-4" snows, I don't want the 14" ones.

    Also, I'm not a tow truck. I'll give people a pull, but THEY hook the strap to their car and my truck. That way if a car part comes off, I didn't decided where to put it. I give advise like "you might not want to hook it to the bumper" but that's about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2003
  5. nben

    nben Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Towing? No way, no how! The only vehicles that we tow are our own. Even if you let them hook their end to their vehicle, you are still the one doing the pulling. That's a liability nightmare. I will always let people use my phone if they are not near one, but I tell them to let me know when the car is out of the way so I can finsh. Most people understand the policy and are thankful for use of the cell phone, others..........well.......just don't get it!
     
  6. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Dont do a "will call" customer unless he's willing to pay twice the going rate. With regular contract customers you can set up your route, making the best of your time. If you have to run out when someone calls, its not very cost effective. Remember the old saying " Time is Money" it really applies to us.:waving:
     
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    So who pays for the new tailgate or rear window when the chain or strap comes off ? :eek:

    I will tow people,as we are licensed to do so.We have a wheelift on the back of one of our plow trucks if needed too.When using a chain or strap,make damn sure it's connected properly.Wrap an old towel around the middle of the strap or chain,so if it does come off or break,it won't end up on the front seat beside you.