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Commercial Property - New owner 3" Trigger

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by joe2025, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. joe2025

    joe2025 Member
    from NEPa
    Messages: 56

    Have any of you ever run into a situation like this:

    I received a call yesterday from the new owners of a commercial property that I have been servicing for the past 4 years. They are gas/convenient store locations that have been bought out by a new company. The call was from a secretary that asked me if I have heard from their property manager and I explained to her that I have not and that she is the only contact I have had with the new company so far. Anyway she tells me that she was asked to call all of the snow management companies to explain their requirements for snow management.

    She tells me that they have a 3” trigger, we are not to do any of the sidewalks and we can only salt once in an 8 hour period. Then she tells me if we get 3” and I know that the storm will be ending soon I could wait until the event ends and then plow. So I asked who will maintain the property under the 3” trigger and she tells me that the store managers will shovel and hand salt in the event it is under 3” This site is about a 3 acre site and I can’t see a store manager out there with a shovel trying to clear the lot and at the same time running the store. I told her that I will want this in a new contract that releases my company from any slip and fall liability and since they have a 3” trigger I will have someone there to plow and salt at 3” and I will not wait until it is over and push my equipment harder because they want to save a few bucks and have me play weather man. I just can’t believe that a company that runs a business such as a convenient store would have a trigger at all let alone a 3” trigger. I told her that I would not be surprised if they get sued in the near future because this site has been sued many times before I started to do the winter maintenance. Have a feeling that I will be losing this one next year and to be honest I don’t think I want my name on a property that looks like a skating ring ever event we get that is less that 3”. Anyone have any thoughts on this because I am totally confused by such a requirement for this type of commercial property.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Dump them now. No so much the suing part but if it freezes before you get there and it's all rutted up you'll be pissing and moaning.
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I would tell them that is not the contract you signed. You would not sign the one they are offering and if that is their policy you will allow them out of the contract. State laws vary but normally selling the company does not void a contract.
  4. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Run Forest Run!
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    And run fast....
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Walk away from it, you'll be be better off and you will thank us later!

    TKLAWN PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,636

    Agreed 3inch trigger in a high traffic area wil be nothing but a headache.
  8. Ziob34

    Ziob34 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    run for the hills.....to much liability plus if the locals know you are the company plowing the store they won't care about what your contract is they'll just think you do a crappy job = bad for business.
  9. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Lots of good advise given.
    On the hold off till the storm ends, it depends on the situation, I have done it on HOA properties, and tried to other times on the, & let it bite them in the butt because they insisted we service because there was 3", rather ghan let me do my job and manage the event. But these are individual patio home drives. They are typically 3" trigger, if the storm is almost past I try to wait and catch all 4", its better IMO, than leaving 1" on the drives to be driven on, freeze, etc., because they "override" my decision, I'll let the 1" sit and make a mess, not my issue, there isn't 3", and no salt. These are also priced as a seasonal.
    On acommercial lot senario, for us on commercials it's more get whatever has fallen up, before the open or their busy time.
    Then do the best you can from there.
  10. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I'd do like I was asked, provided they released me from indemnity for any and all actionable incidents.
    Then I'd tell the world that the idea to plow at 3" was not your call.
  11. badgerman

    badgerman Member
    Messages: 32

    I also just picked up a gas station like this owner is just cheap she wont budge on 3 inch trigger i think is just insane in my opinion. but i did get the contract for more money than what she was paying last guy to do it so i feel like she is moving forward lol.. i just need to convince her that a nicer cleaner well maintained lot will draw more customers not to mention less risk of slip and fall.. lord knows gas stations/store on every corner so who's gonna stop at the one all snow covered??
  12. Ziob34

    Ziob34 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    in my experience the majority of gas station owners are cheap as they really don't make a ton of money especially with the gas prices the way they are so they try and find the cheapest solution to "get bye". Just beware you don't get stuck with the liability in your contract when someone falls on their a** because of this 3" trigger nonsense...like buswell said have them release you from the indemnity clause and you should be fine. Its probably common sense to but don't let lack of payment go bye to long they are natorious around here for paying late or just not paying at all and getting someone else....now your out decent money and its not worth chasing it through the courts.
  13. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I dump them now I wouldnt want to mess with a 3'' trigger
  14. rjm06590

    rjm06590 Member
    from de
    Messages: 56

    Just about every contract I know of down here is 3" some are 4"!
  15. joe2025

    joe2025 Member
    from NEPa
    Messages: 56

    Finally got a call from their property manager, wanted to know if I had them covered for this Nor’easter we’re getting today. I talked to him about how his managers and customers are complaining about the property not being clean like it used to be and he didn’t seem to have a problem with that. I asked him how many times a year they get sued for slip and falls and he tell me he can’t remember the last time. I’m still not happy about the 3” trigger for a commercial property but he also mentioned that he manages 600 properties in Pa. so maybe I’ll rethink my feeling about it if I can manage to get some summer work and some additional snow contracts out of him.

    You might say that I’m sort of selling out here but hey, I have a mortgage to pay and a family to feed so I may have to swallow my pride on this one. I’ll never be happy knowing that I have to sometimes leave a property with 2” of snow cover, not feeling like we’ve done our best but business is business and as long as I’m not responsible for injuries on the property I can live with it for now. It’s time for me to get ready for this big one that should be starting around here in a couple hours. Stay safe out there today, the wind is going to pick up and all the idiots I’m sure will be out driving around in the snow.
  16. badgerman

    badgerman Member
    Messages: 32

    yeah im not responsible for any accidents and she has the cashier pay out of the till every time so works out good for me..
  17. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    I'd be out of business if I serviced accounts only at 3".
  18. badgerman

    badgerman Member
    Messages: 32

    most business's are not like this just this one lol.. Most stuff we do thats commercial is all 1" trigger if they are opened any way.. All our driveways are 3" tho