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damaged driveway

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mike9497, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    in my contract i put that im not going to cover damage done to driveways walkways.unless i can see that it could of been avoided.now i had one of my new customers call and say there was damage to there driveway and could i send someone to have it repaved.so i said no because i looked over the driveway before i left and saw no damage.they then said they had the driveway patched in some spots and the patches were ripped up.
    so i don`t see why i should replace there driveway.they read the contract and signed it.the damage policy section is in large print.
    what do you guys think.i think they were ripped up by the last guy who did there plowing and they want me to fix it.no thanxs!!
  2. Joey D

    Joey D Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    They should have been prepared for that. Patching a driveway is a temporary fix.
  3. a palustris

    a palustris Member
    Messages: 74

    Who is to say what is avoidable and what is not avoidable? How long of a driveway is this? If I was you, I would go out there and talk with these people and try to smooth things over as soon as you can. If it's a descent sized driveway, why wouldn't they take you to small claims court to get as much out of you as they can. Are the people A-holes? If they are... appologize and drop the account. If they are not, work it out with them.
  4. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    I plow several of my Mowing residential drives. This one in particular is a side loading garage type driveway (The only type that I'll accept!) Anyway, first plow of LAST winter was a rather warm temp storm, and the ground wasn't frozen yet. I like to slowly get to the end of the pavement, lift plow slightly and continue to push till tires hit the grass (Even further if ground is frozen). Well I ended up cracking up the edge in one place. Didn't notice it till April when I was mowing. Not really that bad. Homeowner NEVER said a word. I think that they think their brother-in-laws 5th wheel camper may have done it, but I KNOW that it is from my pushing back past the edge.

    Bottom line, a patch in this place would look STUPID and be much less visually appealing than just leaving it be. I credit it to the developer not preping the driveway base prior to paving.

    I don't have contracts with my residentials, but most are longtime mowing customers, or ones that my Dad has been plowing since the early 70's.

    In your case however, looks like they're trying to get a new free driveway! If they put up a stink, most I would do is offer to have it RE-patched! Thats IT!
  5. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    If you hit a bad spot in their patched up drive and wad your plow up into a ball, are they going to pay to repair your plow??? I think not.
    I would say you couldn't be held responsible for a patched up drive then, especially if it is in your contract.
    But I'm no lawyer.
    Good luck,
    Mark K
  6. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    No way!
    If they had a patched driveway, they should have known a plow would take it up when they called you.

    It's a no brainer.....

    Not only that, who is to say the ice and water freezing under it didnt cause it... I'd be more inclined to believe that.

    No Way!

    Unless you raise your prices enough to include repatching at the end of every year....
  7. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    You sould have known it was patched when you estimated it....
    Gotta word your contracts better so you will not cover ANY damage done to pavement no matter what the shape it is in.
    I can just picture someone this year sueing you bacause you "scratched" the newly resealed drive.
  8. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    go back to the customer and explain the situation. tell them about your damage policy, and also tell them how the blacktop patch is not the correct way to fix a real problem driveway. i would say re-patch it in the spring for them. if you tell them it will happen again, you might be able to sell them a new driveway and get some work out of it.
    ps. word of mouth can also work against you. (a lot faster)
  9. captdevo

    captdevo PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 58

    i would try to work it out with them as far as getting them 'a deal' to repair it.

    i would also, in the future, note on your contract any patches, bad areas and potential problems that you see.

    with or without a contract, i would actually take the customer and physically show them the problem areas and have them at least sign an acknowledgement to the fact.
  10. NoStockBikes!!

    NoStockBikes!! Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    Worst case scenario, it was a lesson learned. Cheaper than a year of college, and the year of college still wouldn't have taught you to note and exclude patching. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. Hopefully it'll result in some headaches avoided.
  11. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Well, I'm with paul. Doesnt hurt to go chat with them and explain.

    But I sure wouldnt offer to fix it for free.

    There is a limit, word of mouth I think would be blown off by a thinking person as soon as they mentioned the word patch.
  12. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    thinking person

    Unfortunately, too many customers seem to not be able to think logically. I think I would say look, patches are temporary repairs at best, and will likely not hold up to even standard everyday use, let alone plowing. If I wanted to try to keep the customer, I might offer a repatch job in the spring, with the CLEAR understanding on the customers part, that it would be considered normal wear and tear should it happen in the future
  13. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    in my contract i state that i won`t cover any driveway sidewalk retaining wall damage at all.unless lets say i slide down the driveway and hit there retaining wall.thats my fault and i would have no problems fixing it.but the customer even said i know it says damage is not covered,but they would like a new driveway put in or have that one repaved.i`m like nope never going to happen i`ll patch the spot but thats it.i went there today and the patch just pulled up off the driveway a little bit.looks like some water got under it and turned into a big ice-cube.so i can`t see were a plow would make it bubble up in the middle like that.and the other patches the plow didn`t even go near them.there car was over them when i plowed so not my problem there.they said oh but we moved the car out of the drive before you came.i said well i had to shovel around your car broke my shovel and you saw that.shoveling some of the pile i made with the plow.so i said to them i`ll patch that one but thats the only one im going to patch.
  14. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    one of those....

    That sounds like one of those that will never be pleased. My two cents says either dump 'um after this year, or give them a renewal rate that makes it worth the headache
  15. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    well i need the money this year im only taking care of 12 places one commercial.i watch the weather channel every 5 minutes to see if theres snow coming lol lol
  16. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    If asphalt has been patched *properly* the plow driver shouldn't even be aware that it's been patched, unless he's looking at it after the snow's all melted.