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12' + storm invoicing

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by The BLUEPRINT, Dec 31, 2010.


    The BLUEPRINT Junior Member
    from US, NJ
    Messages: 4

    Good evening! Need some advice...We just got a 24' storm but my contract only listed 12+
    I do pricing every 2 inches. Do I just add all of the inches for the 24 or do a machine hourly rate? Also, I was trying to explain to mu clients there's a difference between snow pushing and snow removal. One client ordered another company to come in and remove the snow and he wants me to give him a deal when i distributed the snow as needed and returned the next day to push the piles back more . He never notified me of another company coming so I feel thats not my financial responsibility....Please advise
  2. SkyhawkSteve

    SkyhawkSteve Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I think if your contract calls for 12+ in pricing your stuck with that charge for anything above 12+

    As for the other guy if the owner called him independant of you then he is stuck with the bill. Your contract is going to be your guide. Happy New Year
  3. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    If your contract states a set orice for 12+ I'd say you're stuck if your clients push the issue. Our's generally go 0-4,4-8,8-12, then $XXX per inch over 12". "This price is for plowing only, machine work to stack, remove, relocate or open parking spaces must be approved before it is scheduled, and will be billed at the hourly rates listed in the remova/relocation section of the contract", many of our clients have been with us for many years, we know what they expect and what their limits are financially without getting prior approvals, newer clients we ALWAYS get a work order signed before loader/removal work starts, this way when we sock em with a bill for 3-4-5 grand they have no recourse in saying they didn't know, or whatever........

    Even by doing what we do for our long standing clients we are taking a risk, we really should have something signed EVERY TIME.......

    Not sure I answered your question, but I hope it helps anyway.
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 Member
    Messages: 91


    looks like you are stuck with the 12+ pricing since 24 falls above 12+. Of course you can try and bill him more and see if he pays but if he doesn't you really don't have much of a leg to stand on...judging from what you wrote.
  5. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    I agree your stuck with the price you gave for 12+ inches. For me I either say that anything over 12" is bid strictly hourly with a minimum for that lot or i do x amount per inch after 12"
  6. bluerage94

    bluerage94 Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    Depends on how good the customer is... Usually charge hourly rate for blizzards or set price per inch in excess of 12"'s...but if its not in the contract the customer will probably get pissed and possibly go with another company is you try to re-negotiate terms after the service.
  7. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Congratulations you've discovered a problem with your agreement. I'm sure it will never happen again. More than likely you are stuck with 12" rate. Also sounds like you make have some wording issues with your contract. Always stay away from certain phrases. IE: you are not "snow plowing" if you are using a blower, shovel, or flame throwers, do you get payed? You also are not performing "snow removal" if you are just pushing it to the side, are you expected to remove the snow totally or just clear it from the surface? Contract wording can be a real problem. Our contract is drafted by lawyers and looked over by our insurance company, even then we or the customers still find the occasional loophole. For example we always covered heavy snow rates, but never really had anything about drifts. Well last year we had drifts 6' tall covering cars and garages on our route while the rest of the drive was much less. We lost out on probably 30-40 man hours dealing with these drifts. Now we have a clause for that. There will always be something to change.
  8. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Did you plow it 2x or 3x times? Is it a per push or occurance contract? I agree with the other poster you've found a problem...

    Best of luck

    The BLUEPRINT Junior Member
    from US, NJ
    Messages: 4

    Yes you did. But in a storm as 24' you do invoice for the complete 24' correct? It requires more time, wear and tear on the equipment etc. We used to add the 12' quote with whatever the overage was. for example....8-12' $xxx + 4-6' for the total of a 18' storm. I cant or don't want to lose out on a storm of this magnitude

    The BLUEPRINT Junior Member
    from US, NJ
    Messages: 4

    So you charge man hour rates for snow drifts bc it has to be manually removed correct? Also, I have a client that has parking lots with vehicles and I can't service the lot until the vehicles are removed so I plow an isle so they can get them out and them have to return when they are done. I was going to start charging a trip charge to return...What's your input?

    The BLUEPRINT Junior Member
    from US, NJ
    Messages: 4

    I went back 3x in total ...it's per occurrence
  12. JPMAKO

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    I have this in my agreement
    In the event of extreme conditions (excessive snowfall totals) or it becomes necessary to move or remove piles of snow, there will be a charge of $200.00 per hour for heavy equipment services. There will be a minimum of one hour allowed for equipment loading, destination charges and equipment unloading. This applies to both Seasonal and Per Visit Agreements. These services will be rendered at the discretion of the contractor.
    I have not had to use this for residentials since 1996 but it is in the contract to cover my A** if we get pounded with snow. BTW if we get 12+ I charge four times the regular amount. So if the driveway is priced at $60.00 it would be $240.00 for a 12" storm.
  13. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Yes and Yes. Not necessarily manually removed, but you are not going to just push aside a drift as high as your windows with a pickup. Perhaps consider charging partial rates for each.
  14. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Why didnt you include a price to handle snow stacking and removal? I wouldnt be so upset about losing out on that plowing money, I would be more upset about the money lost from snow stacking or hauling. With that big of a storm your losing out on some big $. Even if you dont have the equipment yourself, im sure you know someone that has the equipment to do so.

    Id also be careful with that whole situation for that other company coming in. They could break some curbs or hit a pole or something and it might not be seen until the spring and you could get hit with the charges for that. We make sure that when a company signs with us, its for everything. Not only 3/4 of the work
  15. GimmeSnow!!

    GimmeSnow!! Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    You must have plowed more than once in that storm. I can't imagine pushing 24" at one time. In a storm with large totals or large amounts of snow per hour, we start plowing at two inches just to be able to keep up with the storm. I don't think I've ever had to plow more than 12 inches in one push unless it's drifts. Our contract is 2-5, 5-7=1.5x, 7-12=2x, 12+=3x. The last big snowfall we got was about 12". Everyone got plowed twice but is being billed the equivalent of 3 pushes. The earlier ones are being billed one 2 -5 and one 7-12, the middle are getting charged two 5-7 and the people near the end of the storm are being charged one 7-12 and one 2-5. The places that weren't open or got bumped to the end of the route were charged one 12+. Hope that helps
  16. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Thats why I dont like pricing it per storm, theres just to much confusion about that stuff. And if I was a customer and I knew that you only plowed my place 2 times and were going to charge me 3x's I would flip out. I just dont understand how people do that, it really just blows my mind. It sucks that you werent able to get to the lot more times or becasue they arent open on the weekends things like that.

    I do per inch pushed, so say we get a 10inch storm and I plow in the am at the 3 inches (1-3.9 category) and then I plow again in the evening 7 inches (7-11.9 category) and we simply charge them for what ever amount of snow is on the ground when we show up to plow. So if we have instructions to wait until the storm is over and we have to plow 10" of snow thats what we bill them for 1 plowing at 10" we arent going to charge them for the 1-3.9 plowing and the 7-11.9 plowing becasue we couldnt plow the lot in the am since it was requested.