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Anyone plow a storage facility?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by plowzilla, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I have 4 staorage facilities here in the suburbs of Chicago. The amount of snow and 6-8' drifts made for a long week. Just wondering if anyone else does these and your thoughts?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  2. bushinspector

    bushinspector Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Seen some of those being plowed in Oklahoma City and thought to myself that that is a lot of doors and no room to work in,
  3. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I have been doing some since I got into the snow biz.....In fact 1 of them, we shovel in front of every door:eek:payup. Most years we've used skids w/pushers...But the last couple of years we usually do em with trucks that have either a V, Power Plow, or large plow w/wings. Skids w/pushers are BY FAR better... with our current situation though, we cannot justify using them at the storage units on lighter snows. On our recent blizzard we had, the only way to efficiently service them was with skids.
  4. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    I did, Super bad idea unless you have a skid, You will only beat up your truck, in one form or another
  5. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    I feel your pain! We have done them in the past-avg 400 unit property, which is small by some properties. Min was $750 and could run $1200 with the drifting you have, And this would be 24 hrs after the storm ends. Used 3/4 tons and 860 Speedwings. Would avg 6 to 12 man hours per property.

    Their rental #'s went down 2 yrs ago and now they just pay someone who rents at their 3 properties to clear a lane thru the property. As business rebounds we will have them back. Hopefully not too soon. A pain and as said tough on equiptment and trucks.
  6. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Never done any, but the last snow we had I did drive by one were they only plowed the drive lanes, they just left the snow against the buildings and in the door ways. I guess they figured the renters were dumb enough to be out in the cold they could shovel there way in. granted it was only 3 inches with some 6inch drifts, but still
  7. cobra01

    cobra01 Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 3

    i had one and gave it up to much work not $ but what i would do is run two truck door to door and angle plow towards each other we called it the flying V it work but you had to trust the other guy and have trucks with good power im glad i dont do it any more big headache
  8. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    Yes, about 20 of them throughout the Chicago-land area. Most of them needed loaders to clean up the lanes and stack the snow. Took forever! But would have been next to impossible with trucks alone.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  9. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Yeah it was a nightmare. I own 2 skids and wound up buying a big snow bucket and bring in 2 more skids from my brother. They ask me to do 5 other storages that were untouched and offered me 3 current contracts to take over. I immediately refused. There was so much snow, my guys only slept 2 hrs in the truck over a 36 hr period, my brother was leaving for Hawii, and they just suck to plow/remove snow.
  10. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    Drive around and you'll see a lot of the storage areas are untouched or barely opened up. A real mess. It's difficult enough to plow these properties under normal conditions, but the snow this week really made it a challenge.
  11. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    That is a sign of poor planning on the contractors part, and/or low expectations of the customer.

    That is the way they all look here.....except for mine:nod:

    P.S. Dont mean to sound like I'm full of myself or bashing anyone in particular here, just stating facts is all.
  12. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    I think its more than just poor planning. A lot of these "contractors" don't have the equipment or resources to handle these type of properties when a storm like we had this week rolls into town. As for the customer, my personal experience has been that they are tightening up their budget to the point where its hard for a contractor who is equipt with all the tools to do the job to even consider bidding.

    P.S. Add mine to that list. Thumbs Up
  13. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    Not sure if I answered your question. What kind of info or thoughts are you looking for?
  14. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I am just looking to see if others out there share the same thoughts on these units. So far, every response seems to hit a good point. Our bids come in higher because of equipment, experience, and the know how to get them done. I was forced to drop my bids the last 2 years just to keep my equipment running. I try to be as efficeint as possible but its hard. I guess a good question would be, are you billing them for snow totals, or equipment hours or a mixture of both. I plan on billing for equipment only. How do you bill for a snow total when the 21"s on the roof is blasted into the side of the building in an 8' drift!
  15. snow patrol

    snow patrol Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    It depends on the contract you agreed to. For some of my storage companies the contracts are flat rate for plowing regardless of how much snow. HOWEVER, if heavy equipment needs to be used to clear/relocate/haul the snow, then there is an hourly charge per piece of equipment.

    On some of my other contracts its a per push charge and the price is based on accumulation amounts at the time of the push, 2" to 4", 4" to 6", etc. plus heavy equipment hourly rate if needed.

    Ultimately, you did more than just "plowing" didn't you? You relocated and stacked? If so then you should charge for it and be compensated for it. I sense that some of these details have not been worked out between you and your customer. If thats the case I recommend that you send them an invoice sooner rather than later. Some times customers have short term memory loses. Also, don't feel weird about charging your customer for the service you provided. You earned it.
  16. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Good post. This is similar to my situation. I guess I didnt realize this is the response the OP was looking for.

    As for people/businesses tightening up budgets, I think everyone has felt some of that....but again, this is something we all should know the parameters of at the beginning of the winter....and be able to service the customers within that for the duration on winter.
  17. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I have all hourly rates included in my contracts for the heavy equipment. I have used them in the past to relocate snow piles and charged accordingly. Your right on on getting those bills out, but the proof (snow) is surrounding them like a snow fort!!! I guess I just needed a feeling of what others out there were doing in this situation seeing that I have never billed for such a storm. Thank you for the advice.
  18. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Toot-Toot!!!!!!...Someones tooting there own Horn.....How do you fit through doorways with that Big Head......:laughing::laughing:......:waving:
  19. bub3020

    bub3020 Member
    from ma.
    Messages: 48

    i do one now but i wont do it next year, they dont want it plowed unless we get 4 inches or more! and the wont pay for a machine to pile it up.removing snow offsite is totally out they wont consider paying for that.
  20. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I knew I'd get it for that comment:blush2::waving:

    That sounds like a nightmare.

    I called some of my customers, told them what the bill they would get totaled, what all we did, and encouraged them to go to the site themselves to see/inspect. But being in contact with the customers before the storm seems more effective in keeping a good relationship (also helps them swallow the bill on these deals) . I called every customer before this hit, told them we would do our best to have them taken care of......most seemed very appreciative, and understanding.