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3-5" predicted what would you do?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Earthscapes, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Ok all my contracts ended april 1st. and now it's going to snow. We already pulled the stakes and started to fix the damage.

    My thoughts are:
    1. Plow the commercial accounts and leave the residentials.
    2. Plow my summer customers and leave the rest.
    3. Charge $10.00 for every residential that calls.
    4. Plow everybody and just eat the gas money.
    5. I would like to charge everybody, but not sure how they would react to recieving a bill in the mail. I'll tell you what i have a new clause page to add in for next yr.

    So what would you do ?
  2. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    I would plow anything commercial that requires you to do. Most places HAVE to be clear of snow and ice for their insurance companies. My few commercials will all be plowed, their insurances require it. As for your contract goes.....I would do it charge what you can eat what you have to, might show some people that in an emergeny snow fall outside the contract dates you are still willing to help. I would still pay if I owned a business and it snowed tonight/tomorrow and my contract ran out. If they argue with you, tell them you were thinking of THEIR customers and doing what you thought was best. Next year extend your dates or add a early and late season snowfall clause....Happy plowing:cool:
  3. Comet

    Comet Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    That answered my question SnowMatt; one that I questioned in regards to having the dates run out on my contracts also,
    I still think I will walk into the office though and get an OK approval
  4. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    You are welcome. Happy plowing and good luck!!!:waving: :)
  5. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    All my contracts run October 1 through June 1 for this reason. Yes snow is unlikely but it does happen. We will plow anything that meets the trigger, commercial or residential, and the customer will pay. That is what they sign for and that is what we do.

    If you don't plow you will be getting a phone call, trust me.
  6. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Earthscapes, Can't believe you live in western new york and you end your contracts April 1. Can almost bet on a late storm every year. Put them (blades and spreaders )out of the way but not away till late April. Contracts till May 1. Add a renewal clause to them.

    As for your present situation. I'd plow them all. You signed on for the season. Bill them. Put a note in the bill and thank them for being your customer this season. Think of this as a bonus billing. Also add a renewal offer for next year with the bill.

    Just my .02 Jerre
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I used to do my contracts nov 1 to april 1. I can't see plowing anything in May.

  8. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Part of my plowing contracts include lot cleanup. This is why I would run the contract to June 1, to allow plenty of time to get the sweeping done. We have had plowable snow in Southern New England as early as Oct and late as May. Uncommon but possible.
  9. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Well, I'm one of the very few that hasn't pulled their stakes yet.
    My contracts run from the 1st snowfall 2002 & upon signing of the contract through last snowfall spring 2003.
    So I'll be plowing everyone. providing that I can find my plow buried somewhere behind my trailer... ;)

    Because your contracts expired you cant be held responsible for anything. But I would defiantly plow your comm accounts. As far as billing them I doubt I would, as some customers may get quite upset & start looking around next yr. if your planing on dropping them then go ahead & send a bill ya have nothing to loose.

    As far as the res ones. I defiantly would plow your yr round customers. They hire your yr round & expect to be taken care of them yr round no matter what needs to be done. if the grass was growing like crazy you would be out there mowing it.

    I wouldn't plow, then send them a bill as they never really hired you to plow outside of your contract dates & they would be under no obligation to actually pay you.
    Kinda like dropping off 4yrd.s of topsoil when they only ordered 3 and expecting them to pay for the extra yrd. when they didn't order it.

    Either plow your route & call it a freebie. Or expect to be driving back & fourth all over the place, using up even more gas. when the calls start coming in.
  10. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I am in the same boat. My residential seasonal contracts run from Nov. 1st to March 31st. I have not had a plowable event after March 16th, since I started plowing 9 years ago. I will be plowing my commercials, and I will skip the residentials. If I had all my trucks up and running I might have considered plowing everyone, but all the plows are off and a couple trucks are apart waiting for parts.

    I will be taking regular customers calls and charging them a discounted rate if they want the service. Its rare for plowable snow in these parts, but I will be changing my contract next year. Maybee adding a per plow price before and after my service dates.

    Alot of residential plowers in this area have contracts that go from Nov. 15th to March 15th. As far as smart business sense goes, it would be best to plow everyone, no matter what date it is! Never had this happen before.

    Have already had some customers call and ask for plowing, and to send bill in the mail! At least they are reading the contract.

    Chuck B.
  11. Got Snow

    Got Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    i'm finding myself in the same predicement. although my contract states 02-03 season and a minimum 3", i probably will give everyone a call to get a yea or nea.

    i can't see plowing anyone for free, regardless of when you do it.

    with the next few days being cold, i think most people will want it done.payup lots of obstacles out there again!!!!:mad:
  12. shamrock1

    shamrock1 Member
    Messages: 30


    All of our commercial contracts run from November 1, 200X until April 15, 200X....

    The nasty Ice Storm form Thursday 4/3/2003 Drive Time until Saturday 4/5/2003 was really a PITA....

    We really would rather plow[,,,,, 6" of snow than deal with 2-3 days of constant ice...

    Now we are looking @ anywhere from 4-6" over the general area with more to come apparently on Tuesday 4/8/2003.

    The 73' temperatures last Friday apparently fooled many contractors, we keep @ least 2 trucks at the ready until May 1, 2003 just because of the fact that we are in BUFFALO.

    As far as seperate billings, I would be careful of this if you do not have this implicitly stated in your contractual arrangements with customers.

    One of (3) things can happen:

    1-If you do not do the work, People tend to get friendly with the media, BBB, etc....

    2-Seperate (Unexpected) billings can add to the ire of a customer, and it can also make that customer go elsewhere for next season if there is not a clause in place stating that you are going to charge for the service at this late date.

    3- You risk your reputation as a formidable and professional contractor if you do not make the right decision in this matter.

    If you clearly state in your contract that anything above and beyond the scope of the agreement herein, is a chargeable service, then you should not have a problem and the customer should be aware of this clause.

    If you have not clearly stated this in your agreements, then it becomes clearly a professional judgement issue on your part, do the right thing......

    We have a hybrid-blend of contracts that are Seasonal / Per-Push/ Hourly which gives us a consistent revenue base for the season and we are in good shape even when these sort of natural oddities occur.

    Also, we don't touch residentials at all for the reason that everyone remembers in 2001, no matter what you do sometimes, someone is never happy.

    Good Luck, Be Safe, Happy Plowing Buffalo Contractors!!!!

    Look for us in Snow Business May 2003 Issue,

    See y'all at the SIMA Buffalo Symposium, June 2003:waving:
  13. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    All our contracts have expired,but we still plow them,and bill accordingly.It is stated in the contract (most of them),that if we get snow after April 1st,we still plow them and bill hourly.The ones who did not agree to this are contacted by phone,to receive authorization to plow.If we can't reach someone for authorization,we just do it,and very few ever complain.Same goes for de-icing services as well.

    I guess it's up to you.I'd call a your customers in advance to get a general concensus of what they wan't done.If most of them want it,do it and bill for it.If some are being picky about it,but they are good customers,I'd do it as a courtesy,to keep them happy.
  14. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I received 6 phone calls, out of 200 residential customers, regarding plowing services for this latest event. All asked to be plowed and paid cash up front. It was kind of nice having customers ask nicely to plow their driveway! I was very suprised that only 6 people called, but I will not complain.

    As far as accumulations for snowstorms in April for my area:

    3" Heavy wet snow - today
    3" snow; April 1st, 1993
    9" snow; April 6th, 1970

    Chuck B.
  15. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Thanks for the answers guys :waving:

    Turned out to be 1" in most places, so i had a good nites sleep.

    I wonder how long it would take me to get a job as a weather man ? It seems its the only job where you can screw up all the time and not get fired. Oh well bring on spring i have work to get done.