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Cleaning up after the city plow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by brian m, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. brian m

    brian m Member
    Messages: 57

    How many of you charge extra for cleaning up after the city plow goes by and messes everything up. Driveway blocked, wet, heavy snow thrown back on the sidewalk and crap like that!
    Out of the goodness of my heart I make a second round to clean up after the bozo's in the city truck mess things up but I'm getting real tired of it. If I don't go out and make that second round and a customer calls and asks why I didn't do their walks when I really did but the plow trucks covered them over I tell them If I have to come out again to clean up after the city trucks there will be an additional charge, usually half or the original rate!

    Does anyone else do this?

    I think if we all did this enough homeowners would complain about it to the Public Works Dept. and eventually the foreman would have to keep a closer eye on what his drivers are doing out there!

    Maybe we should send the Public Works Dept. a bill for whatever we have to cleanup because of their drivers.
  2. RidgeCon

    RidgeCon Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    I look at it like anything else. Certain customers pay more for certain levels of service and we do return for those customers. For others we will return and the charge will be a percentage of a normal push. And for others we do not go back, however if possible we try to wait until the plow has gone by.
  3. brian m

    brian m Member
    Messages: 57

    If I had to wait for the plow to go by I'd start plowing around 5-7 hours after it stops snowing and then all my customers would fire me, seems like a catch 22, you just can't win!
    I really like the idea of sending Public Works a bill :mad:
  4. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    i think its funny that you are not suppose to put any snow in the road, but the DPW can plow a drive way in and blast side walks.
  5. RidgeCon

    RidgeCon Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    I agree tha with a lot of storms it is not practical to wait until after the plow has gone by; however a number of our customers who get charged for a return trip would rather wait until the plow has gone by that shovel the end of their driveway themselves.

    I hear you though...catch 22 :)
  6. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I try to wait it out a little and hope the city plow comes by, i have parkings lots to kill some time anyways.If they didnt plow yet when i get there i just clean up in front of the house as best as i can and hope they dont plow the driveway back in.I dont normally go back unless they call and ask me to.
  7. E&B

    E&B Member
    Messages: 43

    I would like to ask you a simple question. Being a "bozo" city plow guy myself where would you expect me to put the snow???? I am subcontracted by the city to plow the roads, they require me to plow the from curb to curb so that people without the luxury of having a 4X4 can get around. Do you think we get our rocks off plowing the snow in peoples driveways or on there walks that they just shoveled?? Maybe you should use a little common sense while plowing your customers and make sure that if you only plow one per storm it should be after the streets are clean. Sorry, I should take a breath, but unless youv'e ever plowed for a municipality before you wouldn't understand. Lets take this morning for example, because we just got 6-8", I plowed my commercial customers at 5AM so they could open for business on time, then I got the call from the city at about 9AM, throughout the day today I had 3 snowball, 2 shovels and a beer bottle thrown at my $42000.00 truck (1 of those snowballs was by the way ice that shattered a headlight in my truck) I was cursed at, flipped off and yelled at more time than I want to count. All that grief so that some a## holes can get there cars out of there driveways and get to work. If I could wave my magic wand and make all the snow disappear to make everyone happier I would but lets face it we live in parts of the country that get snow and if you don't want to deal with it MOVE! By the way if you think you could do a better job at plowing streets your welcome to come plow my route and try. Any Idiot can by a POS with a plow can plow driveways, I should know I do 30 of them too. P.S. sorry again I just got home and the anger is still there..
  8. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    Honestly i expect you to fill in the drive ways, especially the ones that are cleared since the snow now has a place to go. I just find it ironic that i am suppose to be so careful not to get snow on the roads, and have been stopped by a DPW driver when i was plowing. i had to plow out into the road and then down alittle and push the snow up on the grass. i wasnt going across the street but was none the less was in the road. Opps, in the words of the DPW driver, "my road"
    That sucks that people throw things at your truck and act so stupid all because you are doing your job. :)
  9. E&B

    E&B Member
    Messages: 43

    I have the opportunity to see both side being that I plow streets as well as driveways and I can understand every ones frustration. Some of the DPW highway guys are real pieces of work and being that there are laws that say you can't push snow on the roads they get there moment of glory and power by telling you not to do that. Those law are there actually for the retards that blow or shovel there snow into the roads after the plows clean the street that the city's have to in turn pay more money to have them cleaned again. I will give you this though, out of 2-3 dozen city hired plow guys that I've met only a very small few actually do a good job and get it done the first time. For the ones that don't I get to go back after you have cleaned your driveways and clean the roads properly. Again, sorry for that.
  10. motorider000

    motorider000 Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Don't think anybody is going to win this one. I do disagree with the law that one cannot plow snow ACROSS streets as most commercial plow contractors know what they are doing and the people that do just their own will do it anyways.
  11. E&B

    E&B Member
    Messages: 43

    I don't plow anything in or across the street when doing residential or commercial accounts but thats just because I have a place to stack it (just lucky). When I'm out for the city I don't have any problem with anyone plowing it across as long as they don't leave piles in the road. When that happens the city is going to be getting calls from residents bitching and in turn asking me why I didn't clean the street properly. The only thing I think the law is good for is the idiots with the snowblowers that can put the snow pretty much anywhere they choose but insist on blowing it into the street. As if it's some kind of payback for the plows pushing it on there walks and driveways.
  12. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    One thing i cant stand is when the city finally comes by and gets the road nice and clear then some idiot snowblowing his driveway blows all the snow back into the road.If i was plowing for the city that would just drive me nuts i would make sure to plow that guy in good every chance i got.Just a little rant :)
  13. szippijr

    szippijr Member
    from S.E Pa
    Messages: 50

    The city is just doing there job, Don't get bent out of shape over it. Charge accordingly. :cry:
  14. Ian

    Ian Member
    Messages: 96

    I don't know if it's common, but I have seen commercial plows with a gate on the curb end of the blade. It looks to be hydraulicly operated from the cab. The gate moves over the outboard end of the blade just for a few seconds while the plow passes a drive or intersection. As soon as the truck is clear it opens (raises) and dumps the snow. Has anyone else seen these or have a picture?
  15. 4speed

    4speed Member
    Messages: 93

    My mother in law hates when i plow across the road . she lives way out in the middle of no where yet she will stand out in the middle of the street with a shovel just in case i drop some snow in the street.( by the way ,I always clean up before i leave ) My point being, some one is always going to ***** about something. Fulfill your contract and be a little pickier next year when you sell your services.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2005
  16. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    When I plow if it is before the city comes by I plow down the street on the aproching side for 50' to 75' that way there is no snow or at least very little for the city to put in the drive way.A After we are done with our route we always make another round to clean up any burm left. I charge by the hour so it is easy to just add 10 minutes to there bill from earler.
    The law here states you can not put snow in the street that did not come from there.
  17. Flask

    Flask Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Man, it sure is a shame that us dpw drivers have to keep the roads open and safe for the rest of the world, but some people find it necessary to put snow back out into the roads. I do know that my 12' plow can move more snow back into the driveways than an 8' can put it out there. And I get paid by the hour. I can drive around all night and put it all back.
  18. hillmin

    hillmin Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    People go into the snowplowing buisness because they have a pretty good idea that snow will fall each winter season. Business people are aware of the law, the rules of the road, and the conditions that occur during and after a storm. They know they have to buy fuel and maintain their trucks, and that cost will be included in their price, just like profit. Some also know they will have to make two trips during one storm to completely clean the area and 'that' is included in the cost also. When you hand the customer a contract and they question the price, explain the reasons. If you have to work longer to keep the snow on their property or that more than likely for more than half the season you will have to make two trips to satisfy their need.... you must charge for it. When you make a fair profit overall, plowing snow can be tolerable.
  19. lakeeffect

    lakeeffect Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    Well said Flask and E&B,also as a DPW plow driver and a snow removal contractor I see both sides of the coin, but it is not that hard to clean up a couple driveway ends, figure in a cleanup in your initial price if it is a common occourance. Just how do you guys think us DPW guys can not get snow in a driveway or walk? If you do obviously you have never stepped foot in a plow. The snow has to go somewhere.
    I see everyones frustration about cleaning up but its part of the business, deal with it!
    And if you think that pushing snow in the road is going to pi** off the plow drivers it won't, we are hourly employees, its your tax dollars your wasting, and not saying there is revenge out there, but with both wings down our plows clear a 26' swath, I bet we win. :nono:
  20. brian m

    brian m Member
    Messages: 57

    E&B, and any other municipal plow truck driver, when I called my local plow driver a Bozo it was meant for him alone, I didn't mean to make it sound like they are all Bozo's so don't take it personally, I know several people that plow for municipalities and they all do a great job, and none of which drive like maniacs.
    Yes driveway openings will get some snow in them when the city plow goes by but there is absolutely no excuse for them to drive so fast down the road as to BLAST the sidewalks and sometimes 5-10 feet or more onto the lawns!
    It all comes down to an inexperienced or revengeful driver, and in my opinion anyone that plows like that should be fired.
    I've plowed for over 20 years and this has only been going on around here for the last two years or so.
    So E&B, when you asked where you should put the snow my answer is on the edge of the road and grassy curb area, NOT on the sidewalks and yards.

    I know that once in a while even the most careful driver may blast a small amount up onto the sidewalk and it is probably because he just hit a pile left from a snowblower or plow, but to drive around town and cover up so many sidewalks is uncalled for, it's only one or two drivers around here but these guy's have got to go, or we should be able to charge the city to clean it up if it is deemed excessive, or the city should send someone out to clean it up and then dock that driver's pay!

    And for the record, I very rarely push snow out a driveway and across the street, when I push out onto a street I keep it in front of the yard I pushed it out of, which by the way is what our City ordinance says to do.

    E&B, sorry you have to deal with the "BOZO's" that throw things at your truck. I could see you getting the "finger" allot but throwing things at you is just asking for trouble as far as I'm concerned.

    One more thing on this.
    This city requires that the homeowner cleans their sidewalks within 12 hours after the storm ends, they also expect them to pay for the repair of a cracked or damaged sidewalk, this being the case, they should do their best NOT to put more snow on these sidewalks that the homeowner has to take care of and replace when damaged.
    One can easily say that the sidewalks have become cracked from the excessive weight of the snow, and let the city pay to repair them!
    Does anyone else agree?
    Sorry this post was so long! :eek: