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Plowing gas stations

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by flyguyirvin65, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. flyguyirvin65

    flyguyirvin65 Member
    Messages: 47

    I have been ask to bid a chain of 11 gas stations. The money is good, their not asking to pay me in coffee and donuts. Walks have to be shovels and salted, trigger is 3in. Some of the stations have stacking issues but nothing terrible, I know the traffic can get annoying. Im wondering if Im missing something, I havent done gas stations before. Do you veteran gas station pushers have any advise Thanks
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    I was warned to stay away from them.
    Every store manger or clerk is now your boss.

    A 3" trigger ?
    And clearing around the pumps?

    Watch the tank covers, plows like to peal them up.

    Get plenty of insurance.

    Humm most of them call when the snow starts to get tracked into the store
    Or right after the guy in is littel ricer gets stuck at the pump...

    They will call 24/7
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 6,780

    You couldn't pay me enough to deal with the idiots coming and going. Seems like every time I've seen guys plow gas stations they spend more time waiting for some moron to move there car out of the way so they can continue with the push. What should only take 5-10minutes ends up being 20-25minutes with a great deal of risk/exposure.
    Besides tank lids that are typically above grade to contend with you can also hook a filler hose with your blade and pull it off.
  4. truckitup

    truckitup Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    Stay away!!!!!!! Or gets lots of insurance, charge lots of money, salt the crap out of them so you do not have to push as much. I would just stay away. 3" trigger is too high. you will have a lot of hard pack to deal with.

    salt, salt, salt, then salt them again. charge by the trip.
  5. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,396

    I don't know if anyone has mentioned run, stay away, they suck

    3 inches of hard pack he'll never find the lids.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Never had a problem with them.make sure you get seasonal on all of them.this way you put them in rotation and don't have to worry about if they should be plowed or not
  7. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Gas stations are easy. I've done plenty. Fill in on the contract that you need to get a backhoe or loader in once or twice a winter to remove excess snow and make sure they pay for it. The traffic, like you said, is a killer. Sometimes you'll be there sitting for fifteen minutes or so, a couple times in one parking lot, just waiting and wasting gasoline. It's ironic, but gas usage goes up dramatically when plowing gas stations.
  8. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Oh yeah, I also agree with the others, three inches? Are you going to be sanding/salting them?
  9. Buswell Forest

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

    The customers all kick the snow off their car's wheel wells. All of them. Then you have the manager/clerk calling you for a scrape every 30 minutes.
    My personal views:
    Charge per push only, and you set all the terms ; trigger, salting frequency, etc. Make sure you charge 15-20% more than you first think because of waiting time, shoveling and hand salting, and general aggravation.
  10. flyguyirvin65

    flyguyirvin65 Member
    Messages: 47

    I would be happy to come back every 30 mins, They are paying $150 per push plus salting most of the stations will take 20 minutes to plow without interference. Im working on getting that price bumped up, it looks like they will do it on most of the stations.
  11. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    Sometimes if prearranged you can have the manager put out orange cones over all tank lids before it snows for you that way it makes it easier on you until your trigger is hit, that is if he doesn't forget
  12. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    exactly with out interference. I would give them 1.5 hours each if they are busy at all. yuck yuck...
  13. flyguyirvin65

    flyguyirvin65 Member
    Messages: 47

    I put that in my contract and if there not there Im not responcible
  14. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    They are not worth your time. They are very hard to get clean and they hog tie you to times and service. P.s one tank lid is 2600 to replace. my buddy broke one last year. I warned him
  15. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,547

    My insurance policy precludes me from doing them. You might want to check the fine writing in yours. Contracts are great when nothing goes wrong, but it's the interpretation of the contract by lawyers and judges that really screws things up when someone gets hurt, or significant property damage occurs.

    Personally, I wouldn't go near them... other than to fuel up my truck and plow elsewhere...
  16. flyguyirvin65

    flyguyirvin65 Member
    Messages: 47

    Dogplow you bring up a good point with the insurance, I will check on that. It is clearly stated in my contract Damage to tank lids that are not marked by four 18" safety cone are not my responsibility . I email a copy of every contract to my lawyerfor approval. She doesnt charge that much for the service, Its cheap peace of mind
  17. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,547

    That's great you protect yourself like that. Cameras front and rear as well?
    Good to have video backup to keep it all in line. I like reviewing the few places I tape or photograph after the storms pass. Helps reinforce layout memory of each site
  18. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    IMO EVERYBODY plowing snow should be running dash cam, the 3" trigger is an issue, commercial lots should be zero tolerance, you need to pre salt heavy and run a rubber or poly blade to keep from ripping thing up fill caps, etc. all the rest is just a time consuming hassle and the pay should reflect that.