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Rural subdivisions???

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Brian in MO, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Brian in MO

    Brian in MO Junior Member
    from NE MO
    Messages: 29

    After this last storm (Blizzard on 2/1/2011-2/2/2011) of 18"-20" I tried for 1 1/2 days to get to a residential customer (my ins agent) and the county road into his subdivision was not cleared. I had told him as soon as the county got the road to his drive cleared I would get him cleaned out. After 1 1/2 days I was disgusted and started clearing it my self, about 3/4 of a mile into it the county shows up with 2 trucks (I knew both drivers) they finished the road and I got my customers drive. After talking with these guys I find out that the road is not even a county road, the sub division was built with no agreement for the county to take it over ( if I bought a home in there I would be HOT) but I am thinking there could be a market for snow removal here. I have also found out there are several more of these subdivisions around our area that are not the county's responsibility. Has anyone else found something like this and how would you approach them about servicing their road? It is not like a HOA because they do not all pay dues, but if they would all agree to pay $XX.XX a year and the cost to be paid by Sept 30, it could be done as a seasonal???? any ideas or anyone already doing something like this?
    I know this last storm is not the normal but this has been a ruff winter for us and might be a good time to market services while being stranded at home for 3 days is still fresh on these peoples minds. Also I am quite sure that they have all seen my truck in their neighborhood and know I was the one opening the road before the county showed up. Any ideas on how to approach this would be very helpful, I am not asking for a price (I know my cost and what I need to make so actual numbers is not what I am looking for) just ideas on how to structure the payment system and how to approach these people.
    Just for some info there is about 10-12 houses in these subdivisions and about 2-3 miles of "community" roads.
     
  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    it may not be county, but I would check with the town that its in. Maybe its the towns responsbility.
     
  3. Brian in MO

    Brian in MO Junior Member
    from NE MO
    Messages: 29

    It's not in a town. I live in a very rural area, and these little subdivisions are have popped up in the last 10-15 years. They are totally out in the country off of gravel roads, the roads in them are gravel. I asure you there is no city involved here! The area I live in is rural and everyone knows everyone type of thing. I know alot of people on this forum can't relate but some places still are not in a city limits.
     
  4. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    are they paying the county then to plow or what? I guess it wouldnt hurt to ask them if they would be interested.
     
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    don't bother
    you can't get all the people on the road to agree that the sun comes up in the east, much less agree to PAY someone money to do something. (the one thing HOA's are good for)

    I live on one of these private roads, no HOA. the road is falling apart. I got the bottom 4 people (where I live) to agree to put in $150 each for me to go get 2 semi loads of road base, delivered, at cost and spend a few hours spreading it (basically they paid for 3/4 of the road base, i paid the other 1/4 and did all the work for free). The upper people couldn't agree. (there's only 7 people on the road). I always plowed the road out for free (cuz I'm a nice guy)

    I go around to collect the money ($146.63 each), the 4th guy (who has a lot more of the road than anyone else), gives me $100 and says "that's all I'm paying"

    this is AFTER he agreed to pay.

    Am I plowing the road anymore?
    hell no
    Am I getting the tractors out and straightening out the road anymore?
    hell no
    I hope the ******* chokes on his $50

    there's a good solid 4 to 6 inches of solid packed snow on the road. That should do wonders for the road as it melts.

    and these are my neighbors. NFW will you ever get anyone that you don't even know to agree to do the work.

    BTW, my contract has a line in it about access to the property must be open. I"m not clearing the roads.
     
  6. 09Busa

    09Busa Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 138

    Very well said........

    In the fall, a lady called me and told me that she needed an access road to her property done and not her driveway, as her husband is very particular towards anyone on their property plowing. I go over to give her an estimate. There are three or four houses on this road leading down to hers, however other than hers, they are all seasonal. The road was half washed away. I did not want to damage my truck or plow and/or run the risk of having to be recovered everytime I plowed this road. I politely declined. She asked me if I would do it, should they repair the road. My answer was "absolutely".
    After several snowfalls, she calls me and tells me that her plow guy has not shown up after the most recent snowfall and wll not answer his phone. (Lesson to be learned.....not always a irresponsible contractor...look to the customer as well) She gives me a song and dance about how they are stuck at the bottom of the hill, etc. I ask her if they repaired the road. She tells me it is now perfect and has been plowed many times. I plow it, can tell that it has not been repaired, however snow and ice have leveled it out.
    Let me backtrack. When I declined the job back in the fall, I told her should the road be repaired, I would plow it at $100 per push up to six inches. When I showed up to plow it, she asked me to let her know when I was ready to do the driveway. I informed her that since her husband did not want their driveway plowed, I gave her the price of $100 for the road only. If she wanted the driveway done, I would have to charge her my minimum driveway price of $35, even though it was a $50 driveway at least. She agreed. When I was finished, she asked me if I would take a postdated check for a week and a half later. I said sure, however please make sure that the date it is postdated for, the funds are available. She assured me they would be. What a surprise, the date I deposit the check, it is returned a few days later. In the meantime, I had plowed for her again and left an invoice. When I called her regarding this, she returned my call a couple of days later and told me that she would meet my girlfriend and give her the money. Which she did, plus return fees. I traded my truck in the next day and I was without a truck for a couple of days while the swapped the plow out. She called and asked me if it snowed, would I plow? I informed her that I was without a truck and to be on the safe side, she had better make other arrangements. She left a message the next day stating that she no longer required my services. I returned the call, left a message saying that I was happy that she found someone, thanked her for her prior business and all that was left between us, was the unpaid invoice. I have not heard anything from her since then. No payment, nothing. Since then, I have found out that she has stiffed countless contractors, been taken to small claims court to no avail, etc.
    What made me respond to your post is.......I have been told that she contracted someone to fix the road for $4000, however told her neighbors that it would cost them $2000 each. Being that they are seasonal, and this lady was trying to screw them, small wonder why they left it alone. As for your good deed, you sleep at night and that jerk will get his........
     
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    clearly you need to plow this road just one more time.
    but of course, stop right in front of her driveway
    with the pile (since no one else is on the road...................)
     
  8. 09Busa

    09Busa Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 138

    :cool::cool::cool::cool:........I see we think alike
     
  9. contractor078

    contractor078 Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    Holy crap that is one hell of a story. Let me ask all of you something with the story in mind. How do those private roads get plowed i mean who pays for it. Do all of the residents just get together and pay for it? i was thinking that private roads would be a great money maker to get some new business. I guess contractor beware. Any thoughts on how all that works?
     
  10. Brian in MO

    Brian in MO Junior Member
    from NE MO
    Messages: 29

    That's what I was wondering, how would you go about getting paid. I'm sure there is a market for itpayup and with the right contract it would work. I'm just not sure how to go about it, and then again it might be more of a headache than it is worth???
     
  11. 09Busa

    09Busa Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 138

    I know of one group of residents that all pay a share to have the private road plowed on top of what they pay for their driveways. Not my customers, however they are ideal. Residences tightly together and you will always be assured that you will have access to them.
     
  12. 09Busa

    09Busa Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 138

    As one of the earlier posters said, it is hard enough to get five homeowners to agree on anything. However, some neighbors know the need to have this road done and you can offer each neighbor an individual payment plan. Upfront, monthly or biseasonal. This way you don't embarass someone in front of their neighbors if they could not afford to pay in advance for their share of the road, as well as their driveway.
    I do not currently have one, however I would like to find a few of these. To me theyare cst effective.
     
  13. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    We plow some private roads. They are some of our best accounts, as we also plow most of the individual driveways as well. No HOAs, but usually one resident will be the contact for us, we give them our quote, and they get with all the neighbors - if everyone agrees, then we get a signed contract and payment from each individual home owner for their portion of the fee. Then if they want their personal driveway plowed too, we do a separate contract for that.

    When dealing with residential customers, it really helps to accept credit card payments.
     
  14. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 620


    They may not live down town with it's one traffic light, but they pay taxes to the township they live in. So this can be a town road. I live on LI, NY, large suburban area with large industrial parks. For a period of over ten years the town would not accept the roads and take care of them because the IP developer roads did not meet the towns standards and refused to do so until they were brought up to standards by the developer.
     
  15. DPDDOG

    DPDDOG Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Another story on private roads...I was the first to move onto mine...had extra money way back when so bought a new 77 Dodge 3/4 with a meyers and thought I would be a good guy over the years. Plowed the road all winter...used the blade to level in the spring...neighbors would call and ask please so I would hit their driveway... Beat that poor 77 Dodge to death...Then picked up a Ford Jubilee and dropped the old meyers on the front of that plus bought chains and back blade.... still would dig out the neighbors if they asked. Then one year after a lot of snow and after repairing the road again one of my neighbors sent me a $40.00 check and said thank you so much. Guess it was more insulting than anything else. Sold (gave away the Ford and bought a snow blower from my drive as both me and the boss lady have 4 wheel drive) the next year comes the husband of the $40 check to my door asking me to kick in the money to fund repair of the road after close to 25 years of maintaining it for free.

    Will I did just pick up a Wrangler with a plow as I am over 60 and tired of chasing the snow blower.

    Will I do the road again? only if I have to and I will not clean out the driveway mouths for them.

    Folks move out from the city not prepared to take care of themselves.

    no good deed goes unpunished
    DPDDOG
     
  16. contractor078

    contractor078 Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    how did you market or get your name out there to get these streets. i think that it could be a great money maker and def a nich type market. i am just not sure how to break into it. how do you handle your CC billing do you just have a machine at your home that you get all the info on and take it down and run it when you get home or do you have a hook up in one of your trucks that you can run it right there. i am very interested to learn more....