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plow or not to plow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bula54, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. bula54

    bula54 Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 10

    OK its 6pm & snowing with a triger of 2" I only have 2 business that are open past 6pm the two close at 11 pm. if you got the two " before closing would you plow knowing that it is going to continue snowing & you will have to plow again at 4am. ?
     
  2. allseasons87

    allseasons87 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    How much snow are you expecting? Are you paid by the certain amount of inches?
     
  3. bula54

    bula54 Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 10

    I charge by the plow, we are going to get 4" to 8" in the past I have gone by and made a few pushes just through there drive thrus without charge. Then go back after the storm quits & plow the parking lot & charge 1 plow.

    Just wondering because there are others in the area that will plow a skiff & charge even though they have a 2" trigger. I feel that better customer service will keep me going when other have failed.
     
  4. allseasons87

    allseasons87 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I would push the drive lanes if you hit your 2" trigger before close, and just charge the time you were there (your hourly rate). If the contract says 2", I would wait for that. Then push the lot total before opening tomorrow. Just my opinion. You can still charge $ for your services and have great customer service.payup:salute:
     
  5. bula54

    bula54 Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 10

    Thats a good idea, it only takes about 10 min to hit the drive thru but if I do it several times a year that is money down the drain.
     
  6. allseasons87

    allseasons87 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    At least you've got something to push. It's :drinkup: here!
     
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Really? If you didn't do that, what you be doing, sitting on the couch? Easy customer service. As for the closing time and trigger you could let it float till you do a full plow..
     
  8. wondo

    wondo Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Whenever I pick up a new client I run through a lot of "if then" situations so we are both clear on our expectations. On my per push accounts I will always clear in/out pathways once it is at or close to the trigger and come back the next 2" or wait till the storm is over if it is after hours. I'm not there that long so I don't bill a full push but there is a charge to drive out there and my customers are aware of this. When there has been a situation that the property owner and I have not discussed I will take care of it the first time but let them know I did and will have to charge $xx.xx next time.
     
  9. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Push. Packed in snow makes for pissed off customers. If they biatch, explain it to them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  10. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Sounds like fast food joints.

    We make sure they are clear for the dinner rush but most of those places really slow down after 8, depending on the location. Our area used to get a lot of snow so 2" on the ground really wasn't a big deal - so if 2" fell after 6, we'd leave it alone till morning.

    If you get 20" per year or there's a basketball game going on down the road where you know they'll have a bunch of traffic, I'd probably do it differently.
     
  11. bula54

    bula54 Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 10

    Both places are next to the freeway so when the roads get bad they do pick up business at night. That is my main concern & why I have been making sure at least the drive tru is cleaned. If it becomes more often than not I will have to put a small charge in next years contract.
     
  12. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    1/2 charge for partial plow during an event during store hours.

    Full charge or 1/2 charge for cleanup after store hours.

    Or.......

    1/2 charge for salt application during store hours in the drive-lanes and open areas.

    Full application charge after store hours.

    Make sure you clarify with the owner that they want it plowed after x amount of inches per event.

    So, you get a 6" storm. You agree to plow the drivelanes and open areas during store hours every 2", you get 3 pushes for each 2". During store hours, lets say that you charge 20buck per partial plow, you would end up billing for 3 partials during store hours, at a 60.00 total, + after hours cleanup charge.

    Or, it's after store hours, it snows 6", you hit it before it opens, you charge for every 2" of snow on the lot. Say you have 45 bucks for every 2 inches, you would charge $135.00 total for one push.



    ..............
     
  13. rocks&blocks

    rocks&blocks Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    O.K I am just jumpin in for conversations sake. But I don't get all this 1/2 charge stuff. I' ve noticed allot of guys running around not valuing their "TIME" or maybe I am mis-understanding what is being said.

    If I make a trip to a site, its based on a trigger/event or part in term of the contract, and is being billed at full price. Contracts will obviously vary, but if it is a service that is required by the client, and multi trips are necessary, does it not make sense to have it in your billing?
     
  14. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I only have one commercial lot but as soon as 2" are on the ground I'm there.

    it's much easier to push 2" than wait for it all to fall.

    with commercial lots I plow about every 2" if I can get to them all that quick. for residentials 2" is the ticker but if we are calling for 4 inches or less I'll wait for it all to fall. anything larger is a double visit. once at the half way point and then after its done.

    it's NEVER a waste to go out and plow.
     
  15. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    read your contract
     
  16. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    If it takes half the time to do a partial push, then would you charge for half the time?

    Heck, most partial pushes are 20% of the time it takes to do a full push.

    So, I guess time is factored in.

    Besides, do you want your client questioning why you charged them full price to do 20% of the lot.


    .....
     
  17. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    . have you read ur contract ???
     
  18. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    personally my invoicing in by the hour so there is no question about partial pushes and what to charge them.

    at 2" I come and do what I can with or without vehicles in the parking lot and charge for my time spent.
     
  19. rocks&blocks

    rocks&blocks Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Time is time and it costs me money. To go out to do the push in 20% of the time for 50% profit, that cost me fuel, labour and time to get there, and time and labour and fuel to go else where, I am going to kindly disagree.

    I will time all pushes at there contracted trigger amounts, I will do the necessary clears, lets say two passes through my routes(during a heavier snow fall) all in consecutive order, charging out at 100% per push doubling my profit over the guy charging 50% because he wants to save time because its a quicker push. (meaning you and I both visited our sites twice, I just make more which is fine by me).

    And if for some reason the snow keeps up then the customer is now going to pay for a higher snow fall amount, which can earn me 150% on the second push :) .
     
  20. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I know what you are saying, and agree with your line of thinking.

    Ultimately though, it's all about setting the correct price at the top end.

    Lets say company X decides to low-ball an account. Then he milks every push to make as much as he can.

    Or, it can be our business model. Which is to set the full push or full application rate at the high end of the spectrum, thus making the partial pushes still profitable.

    Another thing to consider is the market. We live in an area where there are about 175,000 people give or take. There is plenty of "quality" companies out there knocking on managers doors for their business by low-balling the accounts and increasing their volume. So it's a fine line, at least around here. You want to charge accordingly to make a profit, but yet make sure that your customers don't feel like they are getting over-charged.


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