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residential driveway problems?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by General Grounds, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. General Grounds

    General Grounds Member
    Messages: 66

    :yow!: well for the most part we do commercial but i do about 15 of my high end customers for snow also. the problem ive been having lately is that our contract states we start at 3 inches and well come every 6", this has worked very well for us. the problem being esp. last night is that we sarted plowing when we thought the snow had ended but it actually started up again and gave us another 1/2" to an inch, so some drives have minor accum. at most. the problem comes that the town didnt get to most of our streets until after us, and realizing the i actually pushed like 15-20' down each side of the street to lessen the blow from the town. well ive been getting calls today from the people wanting to know why i didnt wait for the town to come and then do their home, now they have a pile of snow in the drive and want to know when will i be back to "finish" the job. i already told one guy to pound salt, my schedule doesnt revolve around the town, and one person thinks i should stop back a few times to see when the town does the street. are you freakin kinding me, sorry guys just had to vent, seems like these days people need a reason to ***** about things. hope all made it though with little to no problems. tony
  2. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    I would have to say that if it was done snowing and you plowed then that's it. I don't go back for the plow. What if a plow comes by 3 times? Are you gonna chase this drive 3 times? No I don't think so.
  3. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    They are probably the same customer that calls you wanting to know where you are, and are you coming. You would like to tell them, that if you have to wait until the town is done, they will be calling you a half dozen times wondering where you are. If they would like you to visit their place 2 or 3 times to see if the town has been by, tell them you will be happy to do that at the tune of about $35 to $50 per visit. They will whistle a different tune at that point, and if they will pay it, do it.
  4. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Wow, didn't radar show more coming??? I would be polite and offer to come out and re-plow...For another charge!!!
    My premium accounts are the ones that want it cleaned at my discretion, and salted if any covering at all...Chuck
  5. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    i just got back in from plowing. did all 37 drives the town plowed alot of the main roads but the side roads probley won't be touched (about 3"). If i have time i usually check back to get what the town leavesat the end of the drives. This is especially important to the customer when the snow is wet and heave and there is alot of snow on the ground. The windrows at the end of the drives are the hardest to shovel for people. ever notice when people flag you down thats what there struggling with.
  6. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I am sick of the town not plowing when there is 3" and they know its going to be cold for the foreseeable future. My street which is a side street is not at the top of their list but iam getting sick of it. They do a good job when its heavy snow but the light stuff they don't touch. I am sick of sliding all over the place all winter i am seriousley thinking of going out at 2:30 Am and plowing my street myself, just so i don't have to deal with it until it gets above freezing which won't be anytime soon!
  7. poncho62

    poncho62 Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    I am in the same boat. My street is always left till last. I go out and plow half the street in front of my house only. When the truck comes by, I get some dirty looks from them. "F" 'em.
  8. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    I believe the trick is to have good communications with your customer to what he wants and expects and communicate your price to them based on the service they WANT. I charge a little more but go back and clear the drive front. I feel that if the customer has to shovel the front once or twice after an event he will soon get the notion to buy a snowblower or atv plow and another customer will be lost to the market. SELL SERVICE,SELL SERVICE,SELL SERVICE.
  9. carlriv2

    carlriv2 Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 126

    Are they good year round customers?

    If so treat them well.

    Charge for everyting you do, or at least list it on an invoice(if you are not going to charge) so when they pay the bill they know what you did.

    If they are poor customers, take care of them, and they drop them nicely.
  10. litle green guy

    litle green guy Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    We had the same problem. We started drivways at 1:30am and at about 4:00am it started snowing agian. the town had plowed some roads but not alot of them. Once all the commercial places where cleaned up all the way and we all got a few hours of sleep we drove back through our routes and pushed back anything along the road. Most where shoveled though, outa 120 res. accounts we only had a few calls.
  11. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Tell these customers to call the town and demand that their road be plowed by 2 am because their snowplow guy will be by at 3 am to do the driveway. Tell the customer to demand this because they are taxpayers . Or have them complain to the town that since they paid good money to have their drive done the town plow driver should have the courtesy to hop out of his warm truck and shovel the entrance he just plowed shut .

    The job is finished when you leave, if you have to come back bill again. Time is money. If you are there working for free you arent somewhere else working for money. You are basically losing TWICE your basic rate.

    I believe that a lot of homeowners think that guys with snowplows are just like the kid down the street trying to make extra cash shoveling. They think they are doing you a favor letting you plow the drive.
  12. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Along with our commercial work we plow almost 100 driveways. How the he$# do you go back and check the bottoms of 100 driveways. People are wacked. Do they care if we sleep? NO. We have plowed 21 out of 29 days this month, all they want to do is whine about the plow going by. I just called back 3 people and said we are doing the best we can, if you can find better call them, See Ya.:realmad:
  13. General Grounds

    General Grounds Member
    Messages: 66

    :drinkup: rock on CNYscapes, tony
  14. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    like i said i always check and don't charge extra to get rid of the bank. However i am not by any means a professional plower, i do it for people i know and accept some referrals that are close by. if time was as important to me as it is to professionals that work for or own companys i don't think i would be back with out billing either.
  15. mylawn03

    mylawn03 Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    I'd charge em' to go back and clear out the bottom of the drives. Same thing happens around here, haven't had any complaints about the extra charge yet.
  16. dylan

    dylan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 83

    Around here, removing the plow bank is the most important part of the job. There is usually more heavy, compacted snow in the bank, than in the rest of the driveway. Every single company goes around and does it. Part of the job.
    My customers call after the plow has gone by because sometimes it is right away and sometimes it takes the town a day or two. Works fine and I don't have to run around too much.
  17. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    Same situation here compounded by drifting. Last storm in December checks were coming in slow (I bill every storm). So I started calling around. Customers reply: "I thought you didn't plow". Do you think they would call to find out why? No! I collected all checks and didn't lose any customers.payup
  18. Landscape80

    Landscape80 Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    I gotta agree with Matt "Mdirrigation' when you do your job, its done...period, if they wanna yell, let em', it won't do any good, if they go with somebody else, well, tough for them, cause rest assured, the same thing will happen then too.

  19. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    If customers want you to come back again, charge them again also. Maybe that will discourage them from being so picky.
  20. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    It's like this last storm. It wasn't completly over by dawn. Yet my cell is buzzing at first light. Customers all want to be plowed at the same time. They may find some cowboys roaming nearby to get it done faster or cheaper. In the end they'll call you back to get it done right.:nod: