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Anyone plow a current Lowes account? Bidding this year for the nationals?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    The lowes portion of the contract scope is out of this world... multiple reports are required, sign offs, crews check in/out of locations each visit. No fueling onsite unless authorized each time by an on duty manager... really?

    Let me just let this machine sit , or waste 10-15 minutes to go inside to have another sheet signed to allow ME to fuel OUR machine with OUR fuel... crazy.

    So many loopholes to allow them to not pay in the end, i'd be surprised if you were paid for 50% of the work completed.

    FISHERBOY Senior Member
    Messages: 542


    Thats why i wouldn't bid any of the ones here in pa, what a joke.:jester:
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Here we go again. Same stupid requests, by the nationals. Why don't we all just get regular accounts, and leave the nationals hang to buy their own equipment?
  4. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Been avoiding them for years, no downside,I'd rather have 25 medium accounts that appreciate my services than a high risk low pay pita account! I jokingly tell my customers about my" hands around the neck" collection rule . Got burned for about 10k and finally figured it out.(this was before I discovered this site and educated myself).I set my self up so I'm not affected by loosing a couple of accounts, diversify! Stand firm.
  5. jonanderson

    jonanderson Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Have any of you guys purchased plows from the guys at Quality Truck and Equipment in Bloomington, Il? They gave me a really good deal on 2 plows and a tornado spreader.
  6. Snow Picasso

    Snow Picasso Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    AMEN Brother!
  7. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Ram, are you a masochist?

    You seem to enjoy complaining about these stupid contracts, bid them and get them and then spend spring and summer bitching about not getting paid by these same stupid companies that want us to sign unreasonable contracts.

    Throw them away, everyone should know better than to even consider working for these morons. Just for grins, who is this one from?
  8. lilpusher

    lilpusher Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 140

    We chose not to bid after reading scope and requirements. Too much BS
  9. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    I get calls all the time from nationals mainly for landscaping services, I turn them all down some might be good but most are probaly bad. I just rather deal with people face to face any day of the week.
  10. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Same here,
    We did two stores 2 years ago for Mirrorlawn was supposed to be a 3 season deal, they broke the contract after first year to go with someone cheaper, all his equipment was worth 1/4 of what I was using to do one store. The bid packet I looked at was for Springwise same specs, they tell you it's a 2" contract but hidden is "maintain slip free conditions" so it's really clear lot, that comes from Lowes, I assume because both nationals used same specs & terminolgy. Springwise wanted per push or something along those lines (I don't recall), I'm not sticking my neck out without a guaranteed check every month. The landscape portions they wanted a lot of hoops jumped through, pricing per yard, estimated quanities, etc. to much BS for lowest bidder type work.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  11. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    I've plowed Lowes for 5 years now. Sounds like this years bid is all the same contract scope, however I can tell you none of that was ever enforced. Like another on here said, its all cover your a$$ stuff just incase a situation were to arise that it could be used to their advantage. But no manager really cares if you fuel your equipment on site, in fact I doubt any of them would even know you are fueling equipment.

    However I will say that I chose not to place a bid on any Lowes accounts this year, withdrawing as the incumbent. Nothing negative about it, just not the direction I'm headed in.
  12. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    You didn't say if you were working for Lowes directly or through a national ?
  13. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    It was through a national, whom I've never had any trouble with.

    Payments would be slow sometimes, but on the other hand a month ahead of schedule other times - so I'll say it all balanced out to be fair. I don't advertise ESM companies on here, so PM me if you want more info.

  14. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I did lowes for mowing last year this year and snow last winter. They actually paid faster for snow than for mowing. It was through Brickman and really no BS to jump through. The only issue I had was getting preautorization to presalt before expected ice. Took 2 hours for them to call me back, it was 3 am though.

    All in all, I was pretty happy. Made good money and not much headache over other lots.
  15. grf_1000

    grf_1000 Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    I've done a couple lowes stores for the past several years. i did have to re rid this season. i have bid through a few nationals. still waiting to hear which one has them.
    anyone hear anything yet?
  16. snowbrothers101

    snowbrothers101 Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    The crazy scope and requirements? Not the nationals. It is Lowes who writes the scope. And they have no clue what they are doing. I saw the bid sheet they had to submit. I've been pushing snow as a shoveler since I was 6 for my Dad and I've never seen anythign so crazy. Somebody should do an intervention with Lowes.
  17. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    If i dropped every national account, i'd literally join the joe blows mr. plow your driveway around this area of NJ... There is nothing to get on your own. Its taken us years of marketing just to gain a few commercial accounts. We have a handful of places that are 50k to 150k sq ft, but thats not going to make money or operate our entire fleet each season. Granted, we make good money on those accounts per actual time spent there.

    Its hands down 100x easier to just go in, document your work, plow/salt, bill and the end of the month or storm. Some accounts we email an invoice after each week or each major storm, IE over 6" of snow or where plowing is required. Its so much easier than doing your own invoicing, then calling on the phone, internet, emails, adjusting stuff, getting denied services, having to get more sign offs, organizing which locations require signoffs and if they're open or have to go back....

    5 years ago, we had 1-2 commercial accounts on our own, all the rest were subbed from nationals, we progressively get bigger, more trucks, more equipment, need more sites. We need 200-500k size sites or dozens of small stuff like banks, pharmacies, chains etc. We were able to bid our ONE LOCAL BANK last year, they sent us the bid, and attached it said they have a $3k yearly budget... fine if it doesnt snow, but we're not taking liability in NJ for 3k for a bank that has a 24/7 drivethrough atm. Plowing only, sure, even with that, i'd rather not take it if we're not salting all year, we all know thats where the money is.

    Thanks to another semi-local company, who plowed all of their snow with a large front end loader into the entrance of a site we were contracted to handle in 2009-2010, a 3 year contract for two 100k-125k sites on two of our truck routes that would have paid good money and been a great client, were lost. It cost us $6k in attorney/court fees to settle a $10k original bill for $4,000.00. They were going to counter-sue for loss of income from the one site because it had to close down an additional day after one of the blizzards. The company who plowed in the entrance with 8-9ft of packed snow, 50 feet wide and 30+ feet deep from street to parking lot, claimed no responsibility. I had demanded $2,250~ for our loader fees to bring in one of our machines MID STORM to this site, off another site, to move the pile just to get our trucks in.

    Attorney recently filed claim against them in superior court for contact interference, which equated on paper to well over $100k loss, which i reduced to a little over $50k for the suit. The company, after receiving police report, photos and case information, didn't even answer the complaint in court. Now they'll institute a bank levy against the company and eventually i'll get a check. Its still a loss, i'd rather have the account. We went above and beyond for this client even with something as crazy as another company plowing them shut and their lawyers blamed us for it.

    This company plows million sq ft complexes, i believe owns over a dozen skid steers, another dozen backhoes and loaders and probably two dozen trucks and trailers. We called them when it happened, all they had to do is send one of their guys over to bucket away the snow back to their side, at least so we could get in. They couldn't have cared less, maybe it was done intentionally, as the account we serviced was Brickmans old account and i think they had it out for Brickmans and didn't realize it was us doing the plowing that year.
  18. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    If it were me I think I would stop plowing if that's par for the course plowing in NJ. Sounds like it's not worth the hassle. Things must be much different here in Ct. We leave the big loader sized lot's to the large excavation companies. No way you can or would want to play that game. Tons of small to mid sized lots around here to keep everyone "happy". Lifes to short to be chasing the mirage of the big time. Oh well time for a beer and a nap!
  19. SnowHill11

    SnowHill11 Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    Anyone hear who got the new Lowe's contract for 2013-2014, just heard yesterday from one national that they didn't get it, haven't heard from another one I bid it through. I assume its been awarded though....
  20. grf_1000

    grf_1000 Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i talked to 2 nationals today and both told me they had not heard yet. which one told you they didn't get it?