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customer deciding when to salt ???

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by smokin4by, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    now the only problem is trying to get most if not all properties to take salt. i don't understand how a business can say they want to push the snow over 2" but they don't want anything done less than 2". this is getting to be all too common.:mad: seriously, we have been told well it may be 10* now but two days from now its going to be 30*

    most slip/ falls are with less than 2" on the lots. we are having problems with customers not liking our contracts that state "All commercial properties will receive de-icing treatments with an event less than one inch". and "If salting is refused by customer, a sign waiver of liability must be signed and on file for each event". i don't think we are being too bullish, but if i am responsible for the liability if someone falls, then i am going to take all precautions to prevent it.. right??? :redbounce

    Just wondering how other guys are getting the salt sales with every company trying to cut corners to save money??
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Stick to your plan.
  3. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I've been plowing for 15 years.

    In all of my service agreements it states a price for plowing. All additional services are on a "on-call" per hour rate.

    Up until Christmas, I only had 3 banks where we spread salt each time.

    I've never had any waiver for customers to sign, I've never rammed salt down their throats.

    About 3-4 years ago I had a call to salt on a parking lot at 9:55 am. I was on the lot at 10 am, and as I walked in to check in with the customer, a gal walked out of a store next door, slipped and blew out her knee.

    The gal tried to sue me as well as the property. The property's insurance company put the blame on me, saying my client called numerous times to get salt spread.

    I run everything through my cell phone and pulled up the records showing they called at 9:55 and I was on the security tape walking in the door at 10 am.

    They then said that I had driven through the lot earlier in the morning and should have known the lot was icy.

    My insurance company asked them what color the truck was. They said white. I had traded those trucks in and currently have dark gray trucks.

    I then pulled up the invoices and correlated them with past phone calls and showed the customer called each time service was to be performed.

    I also pulled up WeatherUnderground.com and printed off 3 previous days' worth of weather to show weather conditions weren't so severe that I would automatically make the call.

    This happened either late Feb or early March, and the 18 months later I had received a letter from my insurance company that they had denied all claims and no further action was warranted.

    If you have a paper trail, you don't need a liability waiver or a demand that you salt.

    If it were me, I would get the 2" trigger down to a 1" trigger. IMO 2" of snow is ALOT of snow to melt with salt.
  4. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    see thats the headaches I'm wanting to avoid. we do our contracts as anything less than an inch we chemically treat, and anything over an inch we push. some of our customers are wanting to decline anything being done with less than two inches. our contracts that state salt for commercials are also for higher foot traffic lots like banks, pharmacies and movie stores. we do not demand salting entire warehouse lots.

    we have stuck to our contracts thus far, but its getting to be an epidemic of customers wanting to do nothing for anything less than two inches. and thats a lot of liability on me just for them to try to save some money. because as you just stated, they wanted you to be liable just because they called 5 mins. earlier.
  5. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    "Salt is cheaper than an attorney."--ME. :laughing:

    Seriously, though, I won't take the job unless the terms are in my company's best interests. Allowing the customer to determine level of service that could compromise safety is *not* in our best interests. Last time I checked, the customers hire the professional for their service & expertise gathered from years of experience, right? Would a surgeon let you dictate *how* he performs a triple bypass on you? NO...you just give him the OK to do it--he determines the rest.

  6. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    The more decisions the customer takes on, the more liability they take on.
    The more control you have, the more liability you have.
    Make them aware of it and make sure you get paid for only what you do.
  7. smokin4by

    smokin4by Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 98

    i agree, and i have made this apparent. they hire us to do a service they are not capable of doing right themselves. i'm beginning to wonder if we might need to add a little more travel time to our routes to reach other areas that take more care in protecting their employees and customers. we have a few upper class business communities that are within our reach that are not that far away.

    thanks for the input guys, i think our problem is the shear number of plows in our area that will do whatever the customer wants for what they want to pay just to make a buck. man i hope those guys get a job again and go back to work.will be best for both sides. that way us professionals do not have to keep defending ourselves for doing our service.

    that may be harsh, but i feel like if you want to learn how to do a job, ask someone don't half jack it till you figure it out.