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What's considered good service?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mlc4163, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. mlc4163

    mlc4163 Member
    Messages: 36

    What is considered good service?
    Have a nice size apartment complex we service.
    Currently 1) plow the roads for access in and out. 2) hand shovel apartment entrance walks to parking areas and chem treat after we hit trigger depth. Then 3) next day during normal busness hours we do clean up work in parking areas while cars are gone.
    I'm catching some heat because we didn't shovel between cars that hadn't moved when we came back to do the clean up or "Why didn't you have your guys shovel along my car so I wouldn't have to walk in the snow to my car"!
    What the heck is decent service here? I figure we made the trip a second time to get maximum access to the parking areas and final touch ups, ONCE!
    How many times and to what extent is fair effort for this industry? If they aren't moving vehicals then I don't think I should be breaking out the stick plow.
    I have a contract but obviously it's not quite detailed enough.
    Just trying to be fair to customer and myself.
    Comments or questions are welcome.
  2. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    My larger (300 units) apartment complex is on a seasonal contract.

    3" trigger (I usually do it if it is 2-3 too as we have gotten NO snow this season)

    Day of storm I completely do all lanes and parking that I can get to. Day after return between 10-4 and do parking spots (1.5 car space minimum). I don't go back if people come running out of their apartments to move their car. If there is not enough room when I am in the particular area I don't do it. The complex has alot of dead cars and "unemployed" people that seem to NEVER go out. In my contract I will come back as many times as requested to do spots, for an additional fee.

    I feel for you. You are working for the management company or owner. Explain to them the situation and express that you are willing to provide that "extra" service for an additional fee.

    Time is money. Your contract stated walks shoveled and parking as space permits probably, not complete elimination of snow from the complex.

  3. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    i have a one inch trigger.we go every 4 inches if its a big storm.we keep all drives and lots open.after it stops snowing.we come back to do clean up of drives and lots.then after that is done pending what time of day or night.we have a section of cars moved over to the other side of the road so we can plow there spaces.the way this place is setup is nice because you have one long drive down the middle then theres a number of short ones off it where the condos are and everyone parks to the right or left up against the condos.so we drive by a few times to open the drive up.then we blow the air horn on are last pass for the drive.then most of the time everyone comes out to move there cars.there is no way that i would shovel around cars.you don't move the car you don't get plowed plain and simple.
  4. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    You plow the lot so residents can get in & out. You shovel & salt the walks so people dont fall...

    These people sound like a bunch of snobs who expect everything to be handed to them on a golden platter. Afraid to get thier $300 pair of shoes dirty/wet? aww what a pity... Screw them.

    The contract is with the Complex, Not the tennants. If the tennants are the only ones giving you a hard time, screw them...
    If the complex it's self gives you a hard time then you need to seriously re-think your contract with them & decide if you would work for them even if they paid you to shovel the tennants to thier cars.
    So you decide to shovel between the cars, then what... They sue you for tossing a rock into thier door? If cource it was from the shoping cart while thay were at the market, but is it worth the effort?
  5. jpl

    jpl Member
    from ct.
    Messages: 39

    The sevice your giving sounds great to me. The next person to come out and ask you to shovel between the cars ask them if they want you to wipe thier A..... for them too!!!!
  6. Acorn

    Acorn Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Tenants are the worst. They don't own a shovel because they are generally dependant on the landlord. If a car has not been moved after two visits then they have to shovel around it themselves or wait until the next storm and be sure they move their car. I've found that once you pick up a shovel, they don't want you to stop shoveling. Don't take sh!t from people who don't sign you check.
  7. Brother1

    Brother1 Member
    Messages: 59

    Sounds to me like you're doing what you're supposed to do. Tenants can be the worst. What happens when the guy in parking spot A has already cleaned his car off and u've shoveled b/w his car and the guy in parking spot B, than 2 hours later the guy in parking spot B comes out and cleans his car off and now there's snow b/w the cars again. Are you supposed to go there and shovel again because the guy in spot A doesn't want to get his shoes wet?? Just my $.02 - you could get into an endless cycle of shoveling with these people and worse yet if they start to ask you to clean off their cars too. Wouldn't be out of the question considering some of the requests we get from people. I'd talk with the person signing the checks and explain to them and have them talk or send a letter to their tenants.
  8. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I'd say it sounds like your doing your job. You can't be expected hand shovel between every car. Any apartment complexes we do, if I can fit the plow between the cars, It doesn't get done.
  9. mlc4163

    mlc4163 Member
    Messages: 36

    Still thinking

    Still pondering whats "reasonable"
    No way on the shovel between cars, thats rediculous. Already told the guys "if your not willing to pay for the damage then don't push it, I can just hear all the $hit now about so and so scratched my beemer" I can say no chance now because we don't and won't go there.
    Still considering what I can do to show some effort on my side within reason. I just wanted to bounce the idea off someone not emotionally involved, or finacially - LOL.
    Thanks for all comments, I'll post in a couple days with my thoughts and decision.
  10. NoStockBikes!!

    NoStockBikes!! Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Bottom line is that if you had to do that, it would increase the cost significantly, and their rent would go up. Go ahead and bid it as an option (profitably), and worst case scenario, you can make more money if the management bites on it. If they don't then you can say "the management cut that option to save money to keep your rent down." It'd probably cost each apartment another $50 per month to get their cars shoveled.

    The least you need to do is let the management know what comments you are getting, so that when they get complaints from the tenants, they know what's going on.
  11. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I do a condo assocation and what it says in my contract is not to do them if there's cars in them.

    " All unoccupied car ports and parking spaces shall be cleared up to the posts within four (4) hours or completion of road and court clearing according to the above schedule"

    I stick to that even if someone comes out and asks me to clean around their car. They could turn around and say that i hit/ scratched it etc.. so i won't do it period.

    It also say that for me to go back and do misc. work there is a $50 per hour fee with a 1 hr minimum.

    " Returning to clear snow drifts in roadways, walkways, mailbox areas and fire hydrants or to plow snow where cars have been moved after all intial plowing has been done etc.."

  12. KenP

    KenP Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I'd be happy to shovel between your cars you toad, just as soon as I remove my Size 11 boot from your A$$ crack sir! CHARGE'EM
  13. ProSno

    ProSno Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    Hope I dont sound like a s.o.b. but I will be blunt and to the point-I plow once (all drives and entrances) then I come back and do parking spaces. Shovel between cars? sure no problem and as jlp said can I wipe your cooly for you too? I would print the posts on this subject and show it to them. Some people and their $500.00 shoes-excuse me. Just my .02 cents. I get out and shovel steps and walks and do a lot of it, but between cars? they should wake up and smell the coffee.:realmad:

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,304



  15. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    Sounds like you're giving great and fair service to me:) Some people are never happy. Go by your contract, and if they want more service make them pay more$$$ There's an old saying... "If you try to please everyone, no one will like it."
    And it's true
  16. plowking35

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

    I will be the lone devils advocate. We do 2 condo assoc. and if we get 4" of more, we will clean between the cars. This only amounts to about 6 cars at each place. The sidewalk guys do it when they finish the walks. Why do we do it?
    1- makes the job look better when all is said and done
    2- only takes about 1/2 hr to complete if that
    3- as that snow gets packed down by walking and then melts and refreezes, a slip and fall is just aiting to happen. Anything I can do to limit that exposure is worth it to me.
    4- I have been plowing these places for years, and I want to keep doing them even longer
  17. Mick

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

    My opinion doesn't count - I don't get out of the truck.

    I know - worthless post. Sorry.

    Seriously, I think this is a valid issue. In some areas, people may be willing to pay extra for this service. In that case, you may want to consider offering it as a "premium service" - even to individual tenants.

    I've been in some condos where the tenants want everything done for them (even to opening the door, getting their car warmed up and brought to the front door) and aren't shy about paying for it. This could even turn into a marketing stategy and justify doubling your prices for plowing. Hire some shovelers just for that purpose.

    It all depends on the area you're in and can you sell this idea.
  18. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Now were talking about being a butler service....
    Heck why not just pimp your self out to them.
  19. NoStockBikes!!

    NoStockBikes!! Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Hey, if they're willing to pay pimp prices... :cool: :eek:
  20. windmill

    windmill Senior Member
    Messages: 224

    Hand him the shovel and ask him to show you precisely how he would like it done, and since he thinks you might be stupid enough to do it, suggest that he might have to do a number of cars before you understand what is he wants.:)
    It sounds like you're doing plenty.