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?'s about blizzard clause

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SDlawndawg, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    When should the blizzard clause in a seasonal contract take effect? Is it for more than one plowing for a 24hr period. Or is it based on inches of snow per hour? I have always contracted on a per push basis but now I have some commercial accounts that want a seasonal contract. Billing per push has been a simple and fair way of doing business but I can see where a seasonal contract has its benefits. The customer can budget the plowing much easier and I can get a check even if it doesn't snow during an entire month. But doesn't the blizzard clause seem a bit unfair to the customer when they may actually pay me for no work for an entire month yet they have to pay extra for above average snow fall. How often is the blizzard clause invoked?
     
  2. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    I think it is regional..

    Here in the mountains Mine is 24" in 24 hours enacts the blizzard clause.

    Other places might go as low as 12"

    Howard
     
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    We have it written in our seasonals,but rarely use it.We have come close a few times,but all the additional removal work was already a big enough bill,I didn't have the heart to use the blizzard clause.For us it's anything over 30 CM (12 inches) in a 24 hour period.12 inches may not sound like a lot,but for a large metropolitan area like I live in,it's huge.
     
  4. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Our "Catastrophic Blizzard" clause starts when 24 or more inches are PREDICTED. We start round-the-clock plowing efforts when 5 inches is accumulated in a blizzard situation. We also put our heavy equipment on alert when the 24 inches is predicted.
    We got so burned by the 65" blizzard last year, we will be very agressive. So far, the customers like it.:yow!:
     
  5. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    AAAHHHHH the 12" dusting:D

    Look at the southern states that get shut down with 5"

    Heck, the county doesn't plow my road on the weekends no matter how much snow falls
     
  6. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    Thanks for the responses. Two feet of snow in 24 hrs seems reasonable to charge extra and I think my customers would understand that. That only happens maybe once per year so I doubt I would even have to use it. I guess ya never know though. Only two of my accounts will be seasonal but they are the biggest.
     
  7. Progrounds

    Progrounds Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Lawndawg -
    Down here in the Detroit area we don't get as much as you do up there, but on our seasonal contracts and per push contracts we use 8" as our cut off point.
    Over 8" in a 24 hour period causes the pricing to revert to hourly rates, for every minute we are plowing, thinking about plowing, resting from plowing, etc. :sleeping:
     
  8. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I have been using 12". In central IL, it is seldom that we get a storm over 12". Do you think that that is too high of a cutoff point?
     
  9. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It would depend on your region,and your customers.If you set the amount to low,then you'll be charging them all the time.Some may not put up with that.I'd say once every ten years or so,when you get that record storm,you should be invoking the blizzard clause.The trigger amount will have to be calculated based on your average local weather data for the past 10 years or so.
     
  10. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I'll have to do some more thinking on this because now that I think about it we got two feet of snow on more than one occasion the past couple years. Depends on the kind of snow too I suppose. Lake effect is what we usually get and it's light and fluffy. 2 feet of heavy wet stuff would definitely be a problem.
     
  11. JML

    JML PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 70

    Can anyone help supply the acutal wording that they use in their contracts/proposals.. I am going to sign up a few seasonal accounts this year for the first time just to help with the overhead, I don't know how to word the the clause..
     
  12. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Here is a copy of mine.

    Extreme Conditions Clause: Snowfall over 10” in one event, wet & heavy snow, fast accumulating snow (2” or more an hour) and Ice storms, are all examples of this condition. The customer understands that when these conditions are present, Snoworks ability to plow snow within service guidelines A and B, may be greatly altered. Snoworks believes in operating with safety as first priority, snowplowing in these conditions will be done in the quickest manner possible without jeopardizing the safety of all parties involved. Snow removal from driveway or any portions thereof, is not part of this contract. If snow removal is necessary, customer understands that additional charges will be applicable.

    This is for residential applications.

    Chuck B.
     
  13. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Here is a copy of my Commercial clause.

    Extreme Conditions Clause: Snowfall over 10” in one event, wet & heavy snow, fast accumulating snow (2” or more an hour) and Ice storms, are all examples of this condition. The client understands that when these conditions are present, Snoworks ability to plow snow within commercial service guidelines may be greatly altered. Snoworks believes in operating with safety as first priority, snowplowing in these conditions will be done in the quickest manner possible without jeopardizing the safety of all parties involved. Snow removal from parking area or any portions thereof is not part of this contract. If snow removal is necessary, customer understands that additional charges will be applicable.

    Chuck B.
     
  14. HerkFE

    HerkFE Member
    Messages: 92

    Ever had to use/defend those clauses?

    Snoworks, those look well written and pretty darn self explainatory. If/When you have had to implement them how did the customers react? Did they dispute the clause or was it pretty straightforward and they respected them?

    Pete
     
  15. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    We have never had any problems stemming from accumulations over 10". We plow with the storm, so very rarely will we plow any customer at 10" or higher.

    We do however, run into problems with fast accumulating snows, especially after 3:00am. A few customers think that they should be done no mater what, so we put this clause into our contract. The rest of it is in there, just in case, something crazy happens.

    When we sign a new customer we make sure they read the Terms and Conditions page on the back of the contract. This has worked well for us so far.

    Chuck B.
     
  16. Edgewater

    Edgewater Member
    Messages: 70

    In our area, the blizzard clauses are different.

    The contractors here use farm tractors with blowers. Most use New Holland 110's.

    The blowers are 60 - 96 inches.

    The contracts state the the average snow fall for a season is 215 inches. Any snow after 300 inches will be billed on a % of contract basis. Ex if we had a 600 inch year, the contract price doubles.

    The blowers have 24 -30 inch high mouths, so and storm up to that much does not slow them down at all.

    I have seen my lawn equipment dealer do an 80,000 sf parking lot.

    He has a 10 ft blade on the tractor, pushes the snow to the end, then just backs into the pile with the blower and it's up on the banks in minutes.
     
  17. brad welch

    brad welch Member
    Messages: 48

    IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS I HAVE BEEN CHARGING EXTRA OVER 8 INCHES AND HAVE HAD NO COMPLAINTS IT DOESNT HAPPEN TOO OFTEN BUT WHEN IT DOES AND ITS A WET SNOW THE EXTRA CHARGE IS WELL EARNED
     
  18. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,302

    We plow by the push and do not give a seasonal price ever. Our standard rate covers up to 5". That rate doubles for 5" to 10" Over 10" is done at 10% of the 10" rate for each additional inch above 10.

    example

    2 - 5 $150
    5 - 10 $300
    13" $390