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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JThompson, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. JThompson

    JThompson Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 71

    We got a bit of snow today. The last two accounts we hit had something to say about how long it took us to get there. Our contracts do not specify any sort of timeframe for service. It also does not specify how many visits per event. In fact, it particularly states the number of service visits per event is to be determined by the contractor. We charge according to the total number of inches per event.

    This storm was approx. 5-6 inches. SOP for such a storm in our market is to wait until the storm ends before services commence. We do not plow at 2 inch intervals. We left the yard around 8:30am, snow stopped by 9ish. We arrived at the last stops at 4pm.

    What is the timeframe you consider adequate for service as described? Also, do you regularly alternate at which account you begin so everyone gets a chance to be first (and last)? (It's probably the fairest way to go but I would hate it. I am very anal about my routing sequence. ) :rolleyes:
  2. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    A few of my accounts are Walgreen stores so I start on them as soon as get 1 inch because of the customers going in and out. Unless the store(s) are closed. After that, I just make a big circle from account to account. If it keeps snowing, I keep plowing, although I have a couple that I wait until the storm is over or until the next morning when they are getting ready to open.:waving:
  3. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    The day of the week has a big bearing for me. All of mine are within a 3 mile radius. Office bldgs. M-F are 1st, Churches are last M-Sat, unless they have schools on the property. On Sat and Sun, office bldgs that are not open go later on the list. Sunday's, churches are 1st. Resturants are according to when they open for business any day of the week. My route changes also depending on the time of the event. Again, my route is real tight with almost no travel time to speak of, so it's easy for me to deviate.
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I also agree with Gt Racer,
    time of day/night has alot to do with when and where I go on my route. I have a church that has to be done first thing on Sunday mornings and a couple of days during the week because it's a catholic church.
  5. gene gls

    gene gls PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 480


    I would start plowing sooner and plow some of them 2 times. I would rather have them complain about paying for 2 plows instead of not being able to get out all day.People just have to get out and go some where no mater how bad the roads are.

  6. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    This is how we do it. We determine hours of operation for each commercial account we plow (they vary weekdays to weekend). We carefully look at when there is enough snow to start plowing and the estimated times at which the snow will fall and stop falling. We then route accordingly, trying to give every lot at least a partial push(opening entrances and main parking spots) before they open for business. I have tried to establish accounts with in a relatively close proximity to each other with staggered opening times. I have accounts that open at 5:00am (diner), shopping center 8:00am, furniture store 9:00am, bus station 11:00(when buses are gone) just to name a few. We try and usually do get all commercial accounts plowed at least once before their respective opening times. We explain to our residential customers that we mainly do commercial plowing and our residentials are done last. Be open and upfront and provide good service and you will have fewer complaints and problems.
  7. 84deisel

    84deisel Senior Member
    Messages: 696

    We usually salt any lot with traffic first. This gives a little head start. With my crew, we break up the drivers into groups of 2or3 . I usually start my route where I finished last storm to keep my guard up.
  8. JThompson

    JThompson Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 71

    BTW, I should've mentioned all my accounts are residential condo/townhouse developments. Thanks for all your input.
  9. Mick

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

    I use to live in a condo about eleven years ago. I learned that everything about condos can be a pain - from the residents to the "board" to getting service from trades people. I wouldn't live in one again if it was free. Everybody is on a different agenda. As a resident, I expected service. In the case of the snow plow guy, I wanted access - to the street in the morning and to my parking area in the evening. I expected that I wouldn't be driving in any significant amount of snow and certainly wouldn't be having trouble getting in or out. I expected the sidewalk to be clear when I went to or from my car to the condo entrance and I expected that there would not be any slick conditions on the driving or walking areas. Cost was not my concern as this was a part of my condo assoc dues. If the plow guy had other accounts or in what order he did them was not my concern either. Now, obviously, the board's agenda was different from mine. They also had to stay within a budget and deal with all of the resident's concerns. The plow guy's agenda was even different.

    I suggest two things:

    1. Talk to the condo manager. That should be the only person you deal with. Tell residents to contact the manager. If the manager wants to discuss timing, you might want to advise him/her that specific times will result in higher prices.

    2. Do not vary your route. Get there the same time as much as possible each time. Residents will come to expect you at a certain time and adjust their schedules. Uncertainty as to when you will get there will be worse than being late in the evening.