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Did I make a mistake

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gslam88, Feb 19, 2003.

  1. gslam88

    gslam88 Senior Member
    Messages: 168


    With all the storm and things going on I made a mistake.....

    During the storm and I got a call from a customer... I think a one time plow out.... so I said I had to look at the drive way before I would give him a price... well, just before I was NEEDINg sleep... about 35 hours straight I stopped by to look at the driveway... the guy was not in a rush.... first missed red flag..... took a look at it... steep driveway city plow had been by and piled the end of the driveway ... so it was going to be a little work..... I did not walk the driveway... could barely stand.... should not have been driving... but my mistake....so I figured that I would over price a little hoping that I would not have to do it as so many people complain about $30 or $40 charges.. .I quoted him $85 for the driveway.... he said that sound about right very quickly... 2nd missed red flag..... so I said tommorow... got to sleep for now....

    go back today ... and the driveway was full of supprises....

    I knew I was in trouble when I started going up the hill and found ice and leaves.... I think this is the first time this year he had it plowed.....had to back in and take out little by little what was there.... then I get to the top of the driveway and find that half the driveway is covered in 3 feet of snow and there is a car just about mid way in the drive......

    Well got stuck a couple of times where I had to use the shovel to get myself out... .even got stuck going downhill once due to how much snow there was.... I was just trying to get out of this one with out cost, lost or damage at this point....

    I got it done finally... took about 75 min to get it done.... it taught me a lesson..... don't quote a cusotmer money if I have worked more than 30 hours straight......

    Just had to vent...... I am sure others have done the same thing.....

  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I learned my lesson never give a price on the spot and never do it when your tired you make mistakes because you want to get rest.
  3. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Good thing you charged the $85 as opposed to $30 or $40 considering it sounded like alot of work even for $85.
  4. drobson

    drobson Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    I normally don't take one time calls when I'm out doing my route because I have just enough customers to get done in a reasonable amout of time. After saying no to about 10 different calls I got one that happened to be only a couple of block from where I was so I went by. It was not difficult at all, but I almost got in a bind because I was going to knock down this big drift in the driveway and just before I did it I notice an antenna sticking out of the drift. Turns out they had a Z3 in the driveway they 'Forgot' to tell me about. Would have been a costly mistake. Thank god it wasn't too far into the day or I may have been too tired to notice in time.
  5. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I had one of those calls looking for me to plow the whole 2ft of snow that we got and when i told him the price of $30 to push like a car 1/2 lenght out he said he was thinking of paying right around $20 so i said would not even consider it for that much.He said what options do i have I said to look in the phone book i'm sure some one will do it for $20 .went by the house shovled (very badly ).Guess he could not aford the $30 :p my drivway is plowed :D
  6. drobson

    drobson Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    I don't know about people. If I didn't have a plow or snowblower and I needed to be plowed, I don't think ten bucks would break me to get it done. I would skip dunkin donuts coffee for the next couple of days and save my back from shoveling. But I'm with you, I won't touch a drive for under $35, well maybe $30 if they have cash in hand. But I can't see giving a one time caller a better price than my regular customers. I usually charge them more just because they call on the day of the storm.
  7. roblandscape

    roblandscape Senior Member
    from Phila
    Messages: 185

    I got a lot of one time jobs this past storm, I was charging 100$ for a 50ft. drive with two feet of snow, did not have anybody say no I did about 8 new driveways this storm.
  8. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Don't you just love it when people see you out plowing, and they haven't made arrangements to clear their driveway, and are tired of shoveling the big snow, so they flag you down and offer you five bucks "to just do a quick scoop" which really includes the two-foot ice berm from the road plow, and the foot of new snow on top of the six inches of bumpy pack that they have driven on all winter, so it is a real mess. Meanwhile, your paid customers are waiting for you. I actually had a guy (probably 18 or 20 years old) offer me two very dirty, wadded up dollar bills and some of his chicken McNuggets to plow his driveway! Needless to say, I passed on that one!:eek:

    When it is during a storm, I will usually tell people that I'm sorry, but I have to stick to my pre-paid route, but would be happy to get with them when I finish for the day (or the next day if it is going to be a long one). For a one-time plow, we pretty much try to stick with a $50 minimum charge if we can do it with the pickup. If it is a heavy-duty clean-up that requires the Bobcat, then it is $100 minimum charge.

    On the other hand, if we see someone in trouble, stuck, or an elderly person out shoveling, etc., we will usually stop and give them a hand just to be neighborly. Of course, there is a limit to how much time you can spend doing this during a storm. More often it is the next day while we are out pushing things back and cleaning up where cars were parked, etc., that we will do this.
  9. CMerLand

    CMerLand Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    HEHEHEHE, overpriced it??? LOLOLOLOLOL

    Let me give you a lesson on overpricing. Second storm in a row that the strip mall stores asks me to talk to them about plowing their lot. I believe it is owned by an asian couple (not that it matters) but must not understand the snow climate yet.

    This time the young lady comes over to my guy whose shoveling to ask for a price on plowing their hasnt-been-touched-yet parking lot, complete with 4 foot street plow drifts in front. My guy looks at me and asks how much.

    I say, $ 5000, yes thats not a typo, 5 grand. My guy does a double take, smiles then tells her 5,000. She looks at him, says $5,000????? then quietly walks away.

    In the mean time one of my truck breaks down (see who broke what thread) and I watch some guy pull in with his ford with his meyers plow on it. First push, he gets stuck and spends the next hour trying to get unstuck. He finally relents and comes over and asks how much to pull him out. NO I didnt say $ 5000, I just told him there was no way I had the time to help him out with two of my own trucks down and a couple properties left to clean up. Besides, I figure he was a low baller who undercut my bid!!!! LOLOLOL

  10. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    cheapskates can shovel

    i had some indians flag me down, i was charging 80 buks per drive here, some 100, they wanted me to clear the apron and one car length,..they had shoveled almost the whole driveway to that point, which was 75 feet. i said 20 buks, which was cheap,,he goes take 15?..i said bye!...he was shouting ok ok as i drove off....

    and the buried car that someone thought was a drift...too scary,
    my eclipse looked the same here, barely visible
  11. NoStockBikes!!

    NoStockBikes!! Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    Hmmm... He must not have had barbeque sauce... Nuggets and barbeque sauce... I better never plow hungry, cuz it's the middle of the night and now I have chicken nuggets on the brain. :D Who knows what I might do for nuggets with barbeque sauce. LOL
  12. dangerousdarren

    dangerousdarren Member
    Messages: 42

    man, i so know what you mean. you've been out plowing all night at the tummy is rumbling. something i learned early on, it's good to have freinds that work 2nd shift, so in the middle of the night they can come by the job site and bring you some chicken rings from white castle. set em on the defrost vent and they stay warm for hours.
  13. LADDER286

    LADDER286 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

  14. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Had a woman call me from out of town, seems her father lives in My town, and his realllllllllllllllllllllly long gravel driveway hasn't been plowed all winter.

    He is with her out of town and wants to come home. She asks me to go look at it, which I do, Its about 350 feet of worn rutted gravel drive and on top of that its a shared drive with it branching off to two houses.

    While I am looking at it the 2nd homeowner is trying to get his BMW SUV throough this mess. So he asks me how much I would charge. Told him That under normal winter snow its about a $200 - $250.00 per push. and that under the recent blizzard conditions I probably would have hit it at least 4 times, with graduated charges for each additional visit.

    He himmmmmed and hawwwed so I went on my way. Called the woman that placed the original call. Told her my rate, she said fine do it. She asked me to only plow the shared part and her fathers drive (unless his neighbor offered to share the expense)

    Well I went up yesterday and did the drive. Took me 25 minutes,
    felt like I was riding a 3000 lb bucking brahma bull. got it right down to gravel, hell I even regraded some of the darn tire ruts.

    But I didnt do the neighbors house. Now the real hard part...
    Billing a person I have only talked to on the phone.

    But I have a great non payment reply should this woman decide to not pay me... a Triaxle dump full of snow at the end of the driveway.

    And NO I am Not Kidding:nono:
  15. NoStockBikes!!

    NoStockBikes!! Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    Just maek sure the dump is at the NOTshared part, cuz the Beemer guy isn't really involved. He was apparently content enough do play off-road with his little SUV, so more power to him.
  16. cos

    cos Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I went to a house and saw a drive that was along a major street or route. The sidewlaks were frozen and the drive was smal but double wide. The walks would have to been done by hand for I only had an 8 hp blower.

    The guy said let me ask my mom. She said she was senior citizen and couldn't see paying that amount. I said, "good luck to ya"
  17. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 324

    I hate one time callers. Usually they are more headaches than they are worth.
  18. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    i had a guy who refused to pay me after doing 150 feet of 30"(this was in the blizzard of 96)
    i had told him 125-150 over the phone, the garage was about 75 feet from where i was and he told me i then had to clear about 1/2 a football field size lot cuz it was a psychiatrists office and 7 cars/people were coming tommorow. it told him 250-300 for it all, he didnt want to pay, i said pay me for what i did, he wouldnt, i threatened to plow him in, it was all downhill from there... he snapped and i had to leave and never got paid...i dont reccomend dumping snow on anyone, it will come back and bite you, they could take you to court and you would pay a huge fine, like 500 buks at least...