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THERE goes two more drives.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bribrius, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    had to explain to them im charging per push. not per storm. they didnt seem to understand the concept.
    i tried to do it real simple. explained that if it snows for two days. you want to get in your driveway right? so have to plow two or three times. so if im only charging you thirty dollars per storm. I'm really only charging ten dollars to plow it each time. would you plow a driveway for ten dollars? the answer of course was no they wouldn't . EXACTLY. I explained that if the storm lingers i might be willing to cut them a break on a case by case basis but they really need to understand that it is entirely possible they will be paying for two or three plowings within a couple day period. One decided to go with someone else (and i suggested they do that). The other is still considering it. I expect they will find someone else too.
    I don't drop for less than thirty on a simple drive. just how it is. Neither of these is simple so they are actually paying a little more. Explaining it to them is another matter.:dizzy
    one of them actually said "well then you dont really need the money do you."
    I answered "No i actually dont need it. But this is more about the fact that i refuse to lose money."
    all good. i actually found it amusing though a bit annoying. see if i get the fifteen dollars one of them still owes me because they didnt have enough cash the other day. lol.
  2. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    I'm surprised one of them didn't suggest you show up only at the end of the storm and plow the 2' of snow off their driveway.

    That's a classic! I guess you don't need the money...Like you said, I don't need to LOSE money everytime I show up to plow your driveway.
  3. TwistedMetal

    TwistedMetal Member
    Messages: 48

    i always attempt to explain to people..the weather is unpredictable..more snow results in additional charges..time of day of storm duration.if more then 6" is expected the charges will be higher because ill be required to plow twice..some people said just wait till the storms over..thats fine...but i explain i need to use my judgment as to the nature of the storm in order to service all my customers.
  4. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    they are concerned about getting out to go to work and getting back in. That is the part of the equation i don't completley understand since most people plowing per event will not be very concerned about having it plowed out by seven a.m. and will want to wait until the end of the storm.
    all good.
  5. Ole Tower

    Ole Tower Senior Member
    from MAINE
    Messages: 210

    There goes Two More Drives

    Here in Central MAINE WE just had Our First Plowable SNOW! 10" to a Foot? it was a GOOD Snow to Plow! but the Storm lingered over two Days! meaning Multi Trips! I didn*t Loose any? but I Did notice several Digging for Change when PAYING! I know All my Customers personally as I have been Plwing them for Yrs! the Biggest Complaint Get is the Price of GAS & FUEL OIL! as every Ones against the WALL Money Wise! I still PLOW by the STORM & I Agree w/ these Multable visits SUCK! as Operational COST are Rising & in just driving from One Customer to Another I See more & more Plows out there! but I really Don*t Think? Most Plow Customers can really Afford to PAY for Multi Pushes? & I don*t have any Problem w/ waiting until the storms over & Plowing just ONCE! in traveling from One section to another I Did See a New Dodge sitting at the End of a Drive & He was still there when I returned? I Stopped & saw He was Hung UP over the End of a Culvert & Hooked Up my Chain & Pulled Him OUT He told Me several Plowers had Gone By! & ONE had given Him the FINGER! I just Laughed!--What Do I Owe You? I waved & drove Away!--the Bottom Line is? Plowng is getting Harder & even On the Snow Site We See New Guys wanting INFO which Means? over ALL Plowing will get Harder in the Future simply Due to Numbers!--Ole Tower--
  6. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I've found a decent compromise to the per push / per inch dilemmas (as I think charging a full push every visit is rather excessive, and having such specific inch charges allows for so many issues to come up). Instead, I have a small range of depth charges. I know I'm plowing twice for a storm up to 9" with maybe a cleanup at the road. Even hitting the route twice to make sure everything is cleaned up still yields an hourly rate of about $140 or better with the single plowing charge. 9-18" will require more visits obviously, and likewise gets a charge of 1.5, and 18+ gets charged twice. IMO, the easy storms make up for the ones we have to put in a little extra time, so the broad ranges aren't money losers AND people accept a reasonable hike for the higher volumes of snow. I don't think the majority of the public we serve accept waiting until all snowing is done AND the roads are plowed to be cleared, so it's only logical that we're out clearing with the storms and cleaning up at the end all for reasonable fees.
  7. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    That is basically what i am doing but i want the judgement call on it left up to me. i won't go that low because that means on a thirty dollar drive i am plowing it for fifteen bucks. I am not plowing anything for fifteen bucks. I would be willing to drop to twenty five on a thirty dollar drive or twenty on the last plow if i had to go out there three times. I think dropping to fifteen on a thirty is a bit excessive. I would prefer they just accept they might get charged full price per push three times because if it's a lot of heavy wet snow/ice i don't want to be plowing it for discount rates. Then if it's nice and light fluffy stuff i can drop the price a little for them for the additional trips. I have the intention of charging full price per push ninety percent of the time, i won't kid you.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007
  8. jokatico

    jokatico Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 20

    On this last snow storm in Maine, I plowed my commercial accounts several times. But I left most residentials till the end. The residentials I did a multi push on: the 1st push was just the front apron and as much as I could plow without too much hassle.

    All my accounts know that anything over 10" I have the right to charge up to 2x the original amount.
    I feel that on the storms of less than 4" of fluffy snow I make more $ on, so it all equals out in the end. Most of my accounts I have had for over 3 years anyway
  9. by the push and by the hour

    It must be getting late

    How about This is my hourly rate and this is my minimum (lets say a 3-4in trigger).
    If it takes longer than my minimum because you parked 3 cars in the drive and I had to wait, or it is snowing non stop and now there is a foot in your drive way --then the
    hourly rate kicks in.

    When they want to save money on cutting the grass, do they wait until it grows a foot tall?
    Or do we wait until every single leaf has fallen and now the snow is coming before
    we do the leaves??

    Maybe the dentist will cut them a deal and they can wait every other year to clean their

    Or skip every other oil change??
    Wait until 2 toilets are plugged before you call the plumber,..

    I will plow the best I can. I will be fair and I wont charge for un-necessary service.
    And, this is my phone number if you need help.

    If you want to save money, turn your heat down to 50 and sell the car.
    Fly to Florida and spend the winter worrying about the grass and the drought.

  10. svelasquez

    svelasquez Member
    Messages: 63


    :drinkup: That's hysterical!! Have a drink on me!
  11. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    This must be obvious to them since you're driving an 8 year old truck. Clearly you have an excess of cash.

    I'm just curious...what were the places and people like. We talking upwardly mobile people with nice places...people that maybe got where they are by being cheap and walking on others, or were the places and people kind of trashy and poor and maybe honestly couldn't afford it?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
  12. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    the kind that pay for their kids to go to private school instead of public school.

    i actually ended up keeping one of the drives. but i had the schedule reiterated to me again on when they need it done by so i guess they picked me for service reasons. which is fine. i charge per push and they will have it open for them to have access to and fro work, kids ballet, whatever..
  13. tkrepairs

    tkrepairs Senior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 186

    I hate explaining things to people that wont understand it anyway. i charge per storm with stipulations. [2 day storms are 1.5x] - [over 12" snowfall is 2x] - [2day + 12" is 2.5x] and anything else will be a freak occurance and dealt with accordingly. ill make 2 trips per storm if necessary to get them out and in and there is no loss or cutting it close with what i charge. i charge a premium and i make sure they get premium service. they appreciate it. i send the bill out late sunday evening, all checks are in my mailbox tuesday morning.

    good luck with your customers. if they are needing time to consider it after you clearly explained it to them, you probably are going to want to deal with them when it comes time to get paid. i would be quoting them high to get them to turn the other way, or if they choose you, you get compensated for dealing with the crap.
  14. hadley-plow-guy

    hadley-plow-guy Member
    Messages: 31

    I tell everyone that asks me to plow that I charge for every six inches. I also tell them that I start at 3 inches and I have a 6 inch minimum charge. Anything 3 inches over an even 6 inch multiple goes to the next 6 inch charge. I also will not drop the plow for less than $25. With that said I may plow 3 times for a 12 inch snowfall or I may plow only twice. My customers understand that before I start. I also charge triple for a driveway that has not been previously cleared or there is more than 12 inches of snow to be pushed. Some people don't like it but that's the way I work it. I don't charge extra for having to go get driveways cleared for people to get to work early in the morning. If they have to get out at 3AM they get out at 3AM. Premium prices for premium services. I am also one of only three guys who plow in my area. Which makes my situation a little different.
  15. samckitt

    samckitt Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have one lady that is that way. She is never happy. So I am done with her, she can find someone else to do it. I am not stressing over it anymore.
  16. jgibb150

    jgibb150 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 29

    i think you did the right thing let somebody else deal with it.
  17. Nascar24

    Nascar24 Senior Member
    Messages: 645


    Better off doing drive by's if you don't want to be bothered by PITA customers. Cash up front, have them sign a damage waiver, once you leave your done! If you can't get enough you just move on.

    A local guy has magnetic signs with his cell number and just before a storm hits he will put small signs around the neighborhood, he seems to do pretty well. All of his work is on a one time and one time only fee, no contracts , no complaints, he calls just before his arrival ,no money when he arrives he goes to the next one on his call list. He told me if a customer calls more than once on his ETA, he just tells them find someone else He always has a new truck with a new plow so it must be working for him.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2007
  18. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    I let my customers know in a letter before the snow flies each year that pricing is per plow and at my discretion ( along with other stipulations). The new customers that try to haggle or the old customers that complain I simply refuse/cancel service. Over the course of 13 years I've kept a core of good paying appreciative customers that only refer customers that are aware in advance of my policy and quality of work. The most important thing I've learned is that there's always another customer; whether or not you want to work for them is entirely up to you.:drinkup: