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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by drafto, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. drafto

    drafto Member
    Messages: 63

    My contracts are setup in snowfall increments and I charge by the storm. In my contract it states "all storm totals will be measured by the nearest weather station in Hockessin, DE"....Everyone got it so far? It has snowed 6" so far here in this storm, but only 2 on the streets and parking lots. It is still blowing and snowing somewhat here BUT, my triggers are 2" for some (no brainer they will get done), 3" and 4" for others. I know I will have complaints if I don't go, I know I will have complaints if I do, what do I do when it is all said and done snowing and there is 2.5" on the streets? But 8" on the lawns and at the weather station? Some of your opinions would make me feel better.

  2. Mick

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

    Is there more than one station in Hackessin? You're saying the NEAREST one there. Everybody's situation is different, so that's why I say "go by your contract". If you're going by the station reporting, plow at the trigger. Yes, you're going to get complaints no matter what. Then it's up to you to decide what to do about it. Go stictly by the contract and they might not renew. Be flexible and you will wind up going crazy trying to keep them all straight as to who expects what.

    Having said that, my situation is entirely different. Mine are all residential. All are a 3" trigger. Snowfall amount is measured in my driveway and applies to everybody. If I think there's a question whether they'll want plowed, I have told them to call me. For instance, if it's snowed right at 3" and they want me to plow, they should call me to see if I'm going out. If not and they want it plowed, let me know and I'll get them. I don't use contracts and whether I plow depends on the circumstances.
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    We use a trigger to determine when we start plowing , not if we start plowing . 1 inch of wet snow , then 20 degrees for 3 days = ice. We state in our contract plowing and or salting will be done at the discression of the contractor . Its better to have someone complain that you plowed and they think it didnt need it , or to hear that someone broke their leg because you didnt show up
  4. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    I always try for that complaint that I am doing to much. 23 years and have never have gotten it yet but still trying.
  5. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I have a few clients who pay well but like to question the trigger. I make it very simple for them. Call when you want to be be plowed with the understanding that we may not be able to service your account immediately. They soon get tired of this and let us handle it.
  6. all seasons

    all seasons Member
    Messages: 61

    (quote=Mdirrigation)Its better to have someone complain that you plowed and they think it didn't need it.
    than to call you and complain that you didn't show up.its always a judgment call when the snowfall is just below or just above your triggers,and i sure am glad to hear that I'm not the only one who agonizes over the decision of go or not.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2005
  7. drafto

    drafto Member
    Messages: 63

    Just incase anyone cared to hear a follow-up from me, I plowed all my accounts. No complaints yet, I don't think I will have any either. Real quick story: I ran into another contractor in the area and he flat out asked what I was charging my clients for. He said he didn't know what to do if he should charge for the 4" on the streets or the 6" on the lawns, he had talked to 10 other contractors all with the same dilemma. I chose to charge for 4", I figured it could be argued either way. But in the end I wouldn't want to bill my customer for 6" and them find out from another business owner their guy only charged them for 4".

    Here is how much your opinions matter:

    At 10pm EST I started this thread then went to bed and set my alarm for 1am. I woke up at 1am looked outside and was not going to go out. I got on the computer to check the weather which told me nothing, saw the replies to the thread and decided to go.

    Thanks for the replies fellas, this site is great.
  8. tonybands

    tonybands Member
    Messages: 31

    Do you plow lawns, or do you plow pavement?
  9. drafto

    drafto Member
    Messages: 63

    Pavement. Did you read the whole thread?
  10. all seasons

    all seasons Member
    Messages: 61

    I'm glad to see you worked that out and that you feel good about your decision,i think that if a customer complains that you came and plowed when they didn't have that much snow that you can always do something to make it better IE. not charge,discount,whatever.but you can never make up for not coming when they think you should have and looking like an amature.i had that happen once this year i plowed and Mr. customer thought that i should not have,i explained that we are a professional business and its in his best interest that we take care of him in a professional manner,later that day i sent him a 0 dollar invoice and we have never had a problem since.besides i didn't really loose much i plow all his neighbors also so I'm there anyway.
  11. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    That's one of the drawbacks to residentials. While we can go into commercials and keep them cleared out during the day (in 2" increments if/when necessary), residentials always want to wait until after the entire event is done. We just can't go in and plow twice in the same day in smaller increments. Sure, we still have a price structure that increases on x amount of snow over 4", but they don't care. They would rather pay that than just keep it cleared. Even when we have 2 events in 2 days, some res. customers think that because they are getting charged for 2 services in as many day, it is too much - too often.