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what did i do wrong

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mountain, Dec 14, 2000.

  1. mountain

    mountain PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 23

    this morning about 4:30 I started salting there was about a 1/2 inch of ice and the freezing rain was still coming down . at about 7:00 I went to check on a couple lots that we already salted and they were froze over again like I was't even there before. I thought the salt would melt the ice that was already down and prevent any more rain from freezing GUESS I WAS WRONG . I ended up plowing the lots and resalting when storm was finished . should I charge for first salting? if it's my fault it did not work , I would not be comfortable charging for my mistake. what would work next time there is an ice storm???
     
  2. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    You performed based upon the conditions at the time. Not your fault conditions changed, or continued. Wasn't your mistake. We would charge 'em.
     
  3. RB

    RB Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I got online today to post the same question. Looks like we could use some good advice.

    My situation is very similar. Here in Pgh. they were predicting 24 hours before the storm hit that we would get 1-3" snow then up to 1/2 freezing rain on top. I was surprised when the storm hit without snow, just freezing rain starting at 9pm. On my commercial lots that I usually wait until 3am to start plowing/salting, I put down salt thinking that it might prevent a disaster. I pictured in my mind the headache it would be to try to plow these lots with an inch of ice at 3am. After the first salting at about 10pm I went home got some sleep then started at my usual time,3am, plowing the slush and resalting (Dino - that urethane edge would have been great). The next morning the temps 10am were 38 and there was no sign of that icy mess that happened last night.

    My question is: 1) Should I have more patient and waited until my usual time, 3am, and started like always?

    2) Can I get away with billing for two salting and one plow? If I would get questioned from customers I would justifiy it by saying that the weather at the time predicted the measures I take and I had to make a decision when the ice started to build up on the lots. I would rather be in the position I'm in now than try to explain why there is an inch of ice on the lot and cars are everywhere.

    HELP - How would you guys have approached this situation (weather and the billing question)?

    Thanx.
    Ron


    Being inexperienced and wanting to
     
  4. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    RB,

    See my post above yours.

    You're not getting paid to out-think God, just to react to what He hands you (and your customers).

    I tell my customers..... "Believe me. If the Allmighty had asked me how to go about this snow stuff, we'd be doing things alot differently. Unfortunately, it don't seem to work that way, and He hasn't asked me yet - so we gotta deal with what we get at the time we get it."
     
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Here is what we did. All lots were presalted before the event started. That way a brine ofrms under the ice and or snow. We recieved about 1/2" sleet and then 1/2" ice. The magic salt absorbed the 1/2" sleet, but then diluted enough for some ice to strat forming, so we reapllied at 1/2 the first application rate. It melted the rest of the ise and left it slushy. We then pushed off the slush, and one more light app of magic salt. No refreeze last night.
    On gravel lots, good night, about 1" of ice, we laid down staight sand with hopper wide open. Not going to waste the magic on gravel. Anyway,the score card the last two weeks
    magic-0 -2
    mother nature-0
    Dino
    And I would charge for the 2 saltings, you did the work, cant out guess god. like what John said.
     
  6. jaclawn

    jaclawn Member
    Messages: 92

    RB I am in Pittsburgh as well, and did nearly the same as you. I did not plow though. I hit my lots shortly after 1 a.m. and then again at about 4:30 or so.

    I am billing for two salt apps. I don't know if you can get away with billing for a plowing, as there was not enough to plow. Your customers may question this, not being able to see any "piles" of white stuff.

    I don't really think that most customers are up during the night, and checking to see what is going on by the hour. All that they seem to know is that the lot is either done or not done at the start of business.
     
  7. mountain

    mountain PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 23

    Hey thanks for the help guys

    so the why i understand it i did not lay enough salt for the amount of sleet and ice we got, right?


    Dino,
    i have been looking for magic but can not find in my area.one guy sells magi melt but the cost is outrageous and product is not shrub friendly , anyway where can i find this magic?
     
  8. Aspen Snow

    Aspen Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Mountain,

    Email me and I will be able to help find a distributor near you. My email address is RRM1826@warwick.net
     
  9. RB

    RB Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    Thanx guys. I think I'm just going to bill for one salting. This was my first experience working an ice storm and I learned from the experience.

    Ron
     
  10. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    For what it is worth, we billed for three saltings.We did the work, drove in horrendous conditions, and had the lots in better shape than any DOT or town did. Damn right I will be paid accordingly. And if any ?? our work, I have the signed time sheets for back up. The amount of salt is inmaterial, it will only work till it is diluted, and melting snow and ice dilute the product. That is why a second app before it starts to refreeze is mandatory. We started at 2 am and drove the trucks non stop till 11 am salting resalting and then resalting again. But we had lots in the best possible conditions under the circumstances. And when that was done, we loaded straight sand and beached the gravel lots that were skating rinks. We even did sone long gravel drives. If you did the work, for gods sake charge for it. Set the precident now, that way it makes verey storm that comes after easier to get the money you deserve.
    We spent all day today with more prevent maint. on our trucks. That money is spent, but that is the type of behind the scenes that we all do to stay ready for the big one, so that we can give the best possible service. The customer never sees that, yet you have to cover those expenses in order to turn a profit. To do that you need to charge for any and all work you do.
    Dino