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broken driveway

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by maurader, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. maurader

    maurader Member
    Messages: 37

    I had a phone call from one of my new customers yesterday telling me I took a chunk out of his driveway. I tried to blame it on the street plows but he wasn't going for it. In ten years I've never had this happen and was wondering how others have dealt with the same problem. The customer told me this has never happened to him before either. I went and looked at it today and it is obvious the driveway has been sliced previously by plows because you can see where it has been sealed. It's pretty small so it'll be easy to fix but it could have been broken before me.
    Any advice on how to handle this will be greatly appreciated.


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  2. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    It is obvious that there was previous damage.
    Point this out to them.
    Point out that the pavement is not even a 1/2 inche thick there that is why. If he pushes the issue then tell him you can't plow anymore because of inferior surface.
  3. alittle1

    alittle1 Member
    Messages: 35

    If you figured you did it, tell him you'll fix it. If you figure you didn't, tell him its not you. if you figure you didn't do it B U T you want to keep the customer, repair it or offer to pay half of the repair. You are in a damned if you do, double damned if you don't situation. I'm sure you'll make it back on the next bag of salt you sell.

    The drive looks sealed and has a patch there, but there is a scratch there too. If you were the homeowner what would you think and do?
  4. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    from the picture it looks like the black top is higher than the cement gutter. you could patch it but it will just get damaged again. the best fix would be to cut the black top back 1 ft or so and put new black top in. this way it would be level with the gutter.
  5. maurader

    maurader Member
    Messages: 37

    Thanks guys for the quick replies. I just called the customer and mentioned what Bolts wrote. He agreed that there were other cuts already in the driveway and it's possible that I just hit it at the wrong spot. He just wanted me to be aware of it and keep an eye on it in the future. I wish he had said all of that when he called yesterday. The customer will buy the patch material in the spring and I told him I would help him fix it. I figure I have to fix his lawn anyways so no big deal.

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  6. alittle1

    alittle1 Member
    Messages: 35

    Well you have that camera in your hands, why don't you check the rest of your properties and take pictures of the drives and curbs. This would avoid the unpleasant feeling that was sitting in your gut for the last day.

    In fact, all plow operators should take a lesson. Could you tell your customer that you didn't do it?

    Sure, you have a clause in your contract that says your not responible for damage done to curbs and drives. BUT, will you have a customer next year?
  7. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    man I hate residentual work :cry:
  8. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    What happend to the lawn?????
  9. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    liny rob, so don't do residential work if you hate it, it's a no brainer.
  10. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    It seems to me the the crack between the concete and ashphalt should be sealed in some way. Ill bet water is getting in there and freezing. Thus raiseing that spot and here you come to do you job and whamo you hit it and take a chunk up. Is that your fault, I dont think so, but it seems you already worked it out. Ask an ashpalt guy he could tell you what happened to the drive....Rob
  11. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Was there any damage to your plow? seems that blacktop could have caused you to be thrown through the window when your plow hit it and stopped the truck dead in its tracks. Then when you got home and told the wife about the broken windshield she said that was the last straw and this damm plowing is just costing to much money and she couldn't take it any more and left you. Also you got a notice from here attorney stating you will have to take the kids or pay $2000 a month child support. on top of that your insurance went up because of the broken window.

    This is just ment to be a joke so don't take it seriously. But if a customer was to insist you pay for damage you did not do be sure and let him know you can play the same game.
  12. maurader

    maurader Member
    Messages: 37

    That was pretty funny Dwan. This happened at least a week ago if not longer. I've only plowed this driveway twice so far this season. The lawn could have been partially torn up before I had my way with it but who knows. It rains for a week and then decides to snow...a second too late with the up button and that's the result. I hate driveways that are lower than the lawn. I usually pick the sod back up and replace it right away but for some reason it looked like I used a roto tiller on it. :rolleyes:

    alittle1 was right, more reason to protect yourself before the snow starts flying in the first place. I definitely need to add some things to my contract for next year.
  13. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    My contracts state I am not responsible for anything covered by snow. But as I do hydroseeding durning the summer I uasualy fix lawns for free.
  14. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    All I can say is you guys down there have got it tough. Up here lawns and driveways are frozen so hard you could not tear them up using a D-7 to plow snow. Since our snow doesn't leave until late spring the lawn makes a good place to stack snow. When the snow melts the lawn looks like it did last fall other than the grass being brown.
  15. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Hey Maurader...
    Tell the customer that he may have that problem every winter. What happens is when the ground freezes the asphalt driveway tends to rise where it meets the concrete. When I lived in a residential area in the twin cities we all (myself & neighbors) experienced that very same thing. For whatever reason, between the city street and the driveway they installed concrete, supposedly for curb & gutter reasons. In the summer the driveway was perfectly level with the concrete, but as soon as the ground froze up...we all would get a "lip", driveway would stick up 1/2 at least above the concrete. It was a pain as we'd always get snowblowers hung up on it, just something you'll have to live with as I don't know anyway to remedy it. Seems to just be a contract and expand issue due to warmth or cold. Have him check his neighbors driveway, probably have the same problem. Good luck.

  16. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Gentlemen thats why I take Photos of All costomers Yards before It Snows! & I don*t know? about the Rest of You Guys!--But--I would DROP this Customer like a HOT ROCK! as It apperas as though Hes IS! & is Allways going to be a PAIN! & perhaps? Next Spring! YOU can Re-Landscape His Property!--NO I would Diffinatly SAY Good BYE! to this GUY!--Ole JIM--& just So You all Know! when a new Customer Calls ME w/ say 6 inches of SNOW! all ready On the Ground! --I Inform Them I will NOT be Responsable for Any -Thing I can NOT NOW SEE!--& in Plowing especially Private Driveways for over 50 yrs--I have NEVER! had a Complaint to Date! & in Todays WORLD of Every One Sueing Every Body! Drop this GUY! as HEs One of those Guy that Wants some One Else to Fix All His Stuff for Nothing! I would FIX His Driveway! & Lawn next Spring! so Hes HAPPY?--& DROP HIM! thats My Opinion!--Ole JIM--
  17. maurader

    maurader Member
    Messages: 37

    Ole JIM, I definitely thought about dropping this guy but seeing as how he also got me three of his neighbors it would be kind of hard. He seemed to be very nice when I called him up to discuss it. Time will tell how he behaves in the future. I've had pain in the butt customers before and after I discuss the situation with them and give them my perspective they usually come around. People are very strange and I give up trying to understand their reasons for doing things. Customers you think you'll lose you end up keeping and vice versa.
  18. JPMAKO

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Add this to your contract,

    The contractor will not be responsible for the following: damage to existing landscaping or any damages that occur to asphalt, concrete or stone surfaces as a result of our snow plowing, shoveling and/or de-icing services.

    That should pretty much take care of it for you in the future. :waving:
    It also does not hurt to take photos and make a diagram of driveways that you do with damages so that you don't forget about it when plowing.

  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    As a professional, I would acknowledge the damage. Then explain why it happened. 1.that the asphalt is at the wrong angel from the road cut. 2. the asphalt is not very thick, it should be a min of 3in where thy meet ( its hard to tell how big of chunk was taken out by the pic )
    Then I would leave them with a bid for repair and seal-coating of there drive.
    as we offer, striping, seal-coating, asphalt repair, and of coarse Snow Plowing.
  20. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Put a urethane edge on and you won't have to worry about this sort of thing.