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When first approching a property

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by pongow26, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Ok, I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. I just got my first call for plowing service. I have plowed before but it's been for my business and friends. This is a person I dont know. When first talking to the customer before plowing I know I should ask about any hazzards under the snow, anything landscaping that might be hidding, and ask where I should pile snow. Is there anything else I should be asking?
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Will that be cash or check?payup
     
  3. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    lol Yea I suppose that a good one too. Im a little nervous though I have heard that elderly people can be a pain. the lady belongs to a group of called the elderly circle and plans on telling all her friends cause their normal guy is full. I hope Im not in for a big pain in the a** lol
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Make sure you agree on price first. Don't let them pull the old , if I get more to sign up will you give me a break.
     
  5. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    You mean you havent eyeballed the property yet ?

    :rolleyes:
     
  6. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    The elderly will make or break you. That is where all of my residentials came from. Word of mouth at their card parties and such. You might also want to know if they will be upset to hear you plowing at say 3 am or such. One guy called the cops on me at 4:45am as I woke him up and he was pissed off. Needless to say I no longer do his driveway.
    Good luck, watch for gas meters, electrical boxes and window wells next to the houses. No body ever tells you they are there till it is too late.
     
  7. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    No I havn't Seen the property yet as I jsut got the call today. Where I live, unless the live in town, its a 5 to mile drive to any location. I am charging a little less than most plow services around here since most plow servicers here are construction/landscape co. I don't have the overhead that they do. I had to have a plow on my truck for my small business reguardless. So my exspenses allow me to be slightly cheaper. the population here is under 5000 so cost of living is low and so is the income. I charge a flat charge for the 1st hr and then a per minute charge thereafter
     
  8. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    *addition to prior post* 5 mile drive is close usually I am looking at a 10 to 15 mile drive so I also charge a per mile charge due to gas and wear and tear
     
  9. Get everything in writing with a contract and be sure to include damage waivers for structures hidden under the snow. If this is a commercial property then get commercial liability insurance. If one of those older ladies slip and fall you better be ready to cover your @ss with insurance.
     
  10. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    I have GLI so I am covered ins. wise and I am pretty sure my contract that the customer will sign covers me for slips and falls. Here is copy if anyone would care to tell me what they think http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=74954
     
  11. First I think this is nuts. Your playing with fire here:

    4. Property Damage. The owner will report, in writing, any property damage caused by the contractor within 48 hours. The contractor will repair any timely and properly reported property damage in the spring season during the snow and ice management program season in which the property damage occurred. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the contractor will have no obligation, and the owner waives any damages for any property damage not timely and properly reported.

    Your accepting responsibility for damage under the snow. You could get screwed over here if a client decides to hit you up for repairing past damage that you were unaware of because of the snow. They could take advantage of you with this clause.

    You also state the following:


    3. Turf Repair. In the event that the contractor damages any turf by snow plowing, the contractor will re-seed the damaged turf in the spring season during the snow and ice maintenance program season in which the turf damage occurred.

    This contradicts this:

    5. Limitation of Liability: The contractor will exercise reasonable care to avoid damage to pavement, curbs, trees and shrubs. However, the contractor is not responsible for any: A) damage to landscaping caused by the piling of snow. B) Damage to items that are snow-covered or not visible. C) Damage caused by equipment when tree, shrub and sidewalk areas are not reasonably delineated due to snow accumulation. D) Personal injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents; and/or E) Acts of God, including but not limited to extraordinary weather conditions.

    I'd be careful with this:

    8. Indemnification. The owner shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the contractor, its owners, employees and subcontractors from and against any and all claims, damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses which the contractor incurs as a result of a claim or claims brought by the owner or any third party, arising out of any wrongdoing, negligence and/or breach of contract by the owner alleged or otherwise, or any Act of God, including but not limited to extraordinary weather conditions, that is related, in any manner whatsoever, to the premises or the owner’s involvement with the premises or the services, including but not limited to personal injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents.

    You should never include the word God in a legal contract because "God" represents a religion. Not everyone believes in "God" or the same "God" so its always best to just leave him out of this legal stuff. Playing it safe sorta thing.

    Other than that I think it looks pretty good. I wouldn't say you are "protected" because a good lawyer can get by most of our contracts with various loop holes.
     
  12. One last thing:

    10. Payment: For per visit agreements – Payment due at time of service.
    Checks must be made out to Roger Carriere.

    The checks are made out to your personal name yet the contract is between the company and the client. This could be a prime example of a "loop hole" I mentioned above.
     
  13. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    I always ask if its paved or gravel so I know I need to lift a little if its gravel. I hate surprises.
     
  14. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Is this better?


    3. Property Damage. Prior to service, property is assumed to have no damage within the area to be serviced. By signing, owner agrees that there is no prior property damage and must provide proof of damage caused by the contractor. The owner will report, in writing, any property damage caused by the contractor within 48 hours. The contractor will repair any timely and properly reported property damage in the spring season during the snow and ice management program season in which the property damage occurred. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the contractor will have no obligation, and the owner waives any damages for any property damage not timely and properly reported.
     
  15. Thats a little better. Always cover your own @ss before something happens and not after...
     
  16. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Where it says act of god, if you want to keep something just like that saying, replace God with Nature.
     
  17. pongow26

    pongow26 Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    thanks AndyTblc I was jsut trying to think of a way to put it.
     
  18. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    This is all too wordy, and some of it doesn't even make sense. Try to stay away from all the "hereins" and "hereafters". Though it may SOUND like legal jargon, it is widely misused and even misinterpreted by the writer. I once read one person's "contract" on here, and he even used "wherefore". I think he may have read too much Shakespeare, or something...
    If you gobble the wording up too much, you can turn alot of people right off from their willingness to sign.
     
  19. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    your GL policy will drop you the second you make a claim if you don't have commercial auto insurance. been there done that. lost over $5k and my job because i hit a $2 plastic tube.
    in the ( no joke ) 283 page book of exceptions on my GL policy i have figured out it will only cover ... im not even sure what it covers anymore.

    anyway , doing driveways you shouldn't be able to do much damage just take a look at the place with no snow and take it slow the first few times out plowing the property. freak accidents happen , it's the stupid mistakes that get your in trouble.
     
  20. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    keep contract tight and percise
    nature works over god.
    decent contract
    I never ask for money at job but you guys are a little dif. than me
    checks made out to personal can get tricky
    taxes, dont mess with gov. chec k with laws and accountant
    are you saying there is no damage before you got there and they are saying its fine before you got there
    take this out.
    if there is preexisting damage its their problem not yours
    I take pics of bigger accounts and old ladies before it snows.
    get google map print out of jobs large also