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Do you get waved/flagged down?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Shortstuff, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Member
    Messages: 94

    I know that there are more than a few instances/times when someone might aproach you either while you are plowing a driveway or lot or even parked at a coffee shop or while at a gas station, asking if you can plow a driveway (for example) for them.

    Has this happened to you and how often? Mostly during a snow storm or shortly thereafter? And if you do, do you make it a point to help them out?

  2. N.Star Snow Man

    N.Star Snow Man Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Just thought I would reply. I have had people approach me on several occasions during a storm . They see the truck with a plow and will approach you about plowing. I was plowing a gas station. I was approached by a gentlemen about plowing his church for their Christmas service last year. He did not need it done right away,so I scheduled a time and meet him there the next day. Ended up being a two hour plow job good for $250 bucks. I was also driving through town on my way to the auto parts store to refill my empty window washer fluid. When I came out side I was approached by a daycare operator about plowing their business. It was a 10 minute plow job down the street. made $50 bucks and was asked to do it again a few days latter when some more snow fell again.
    Look at being approached as an opportunity to grow your business. I am sure I will have this two clients again this year when the snow starts falling. It also helps to have a great business partner( My Wife) to keep track of all the client information and phone numbers.
    I am in the process of calling them this week.

    Good luck and may the snow fly and keep you busy. ussmileyflag
  3. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    I was called out to plow a street in a subdivision. county plows around here move kinda slow. the lady needed to be able to get to work in her 2wd suv in the mornin so she asked me to clear her street. while i was doing that a neighbor asked if I could help clear his driveway so he could get his wifes amg and his bmw out in the mornin. so i said sure. i clear the driveway of this very expensive house so he can get his 2 very expensive cars out in the morning without so much as getting snow on the tires....and he says to me " do i owe ya anything?" to which I said , "heck I was already in the neighborhood, ya got $20 on ya?" .........he says "no, not really man"

    lesson learned.
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i get flagged all the time, people just come up to me while plowing and ask, i dont mind doing the odd extra, but only if i am ahead of the game, customers always come first.
  5. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    i have been flagged down a number nof times in the past, normally it is when i am doing a drive and the person next door asks me to do theirs when i'm done, always help, there are times that someone calls the office and asks to be plowed this normally happens in big heavy wet storms, we tell them yes but after we finish our regular accts first, but tell them if they sign up, we would get them with the regular route in the future
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Once or twice. Had a woman who's husband was ill and couldn't drive the tractor. Needed to get to the airport. Asked how much, I said 20. She gave me 40. I have knocked out ends on heavy storms a couple of times for people that couldn't afford a regular plow guy. No charge.
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If I have time I will.
  8. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    like others have said, if I get stopped or called to do any drives I tell them that my regular route comes first. sometimes I tell them that I may not be able to get there untill the next day and to call if they get someone else to do it. I have enough steady money coming in from my regular accounts that they take top priority over call ins. if I drive by and see a elderly man or hot female :yow!: out shoveling I usually swing and throw in some help for free.
  9. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 275

    I hope you learned to tell them there would be a charge and what that charge would be--before you did any work
  10. Bolt-1

    Bolt-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Not very often , as I live in a rural area. Maybe 2 or 3 times a season. Or if i see elderly or women that might need a hand I'll stop and ask if they would like some help. They say thank you. I say your very welcome, have a nice day and hand them a card with a contact # on it just in case there's a next time.
  11. IHI

    IHI Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 245

    Been flagged down a few times during big events and people were'nt getting anywhere shoveling, overall have had no problem getting settled up when i was done, but on a few instances had to give the people back their snow before i left since they holed up in their house and would'nt answer the door come pay time...and these stupid people would actually try to dodge into a bedroom out front and peep out the blinds thinking i could'nt see the shadow or movement...:realmad: The one fella came running back out the second scoop full back into his driveway with the cash in hand, the other did'nt...fugg'em, i got no patience for that, but have been brought up old school when a persons word was good...

    I do probably an hours worth of work per storm pro bono for older folks that i know do not have the means physically or financially to get their driveway cleaned for either themselves or hospice. All are grateful and send me christmas cards or come spring time will bring over a fruit basket, gift card, etc...as a means of saying thank you-which is fine with me. Karma can be a vicsous beeotch so i try to pay forward when i can to stay in it's good gracious and just think hopefully in the future if i have a freind/family member in need somebody will be there to help them too.
  12. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    "Where I come from a man's good word and a handshake are all you need", unfortunately...where I currently live isn't that way, lol.

    When I used to use a big atv to do residential I did 2 driveways back to back while both of them said thanks and drove off to work.....WHAT???

    yeah, so now I make darned sure they know upfront that there WILL be a charge ( I mean who would assume otherwise, do they actually think this equipment was free?)

    And Ive learned not to discount the charge until the job is done. wait to see what the attitude is like after the work is done, THEN worry about giving them a break or not.

    I don't envy these jerks their big houses or fancy cars...but I definitely have a problem with them getting their "things" off the backs of honest hardworking people getting screwed out of their money.:gunsfiring:
  13. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 275

    Unless, I were desperate. I think I would just get people to pay up from if they flagged me down. No pay, no work and no worry. They are the ones that are desperate to get out of the drive. You are in control at that point
  14. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    His lesson learned would be to shovel the huge pile of snow you just cleared for him that is now blocking his driveway. I would not stand for that at all. I guess because I always discuss price before I start the clean up. I also agree with Charles in the fact that they are the ones approaching YOU so getting paid up front would be easy to achieve or they can keep looking for a sucker.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  15. mcfly89

    mcfly89 Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Yeah, I guess I just expected better from people. especially ones who are obviously in a bind. If someone gets you out of that bind, wouldn't you want to offer them SOMETHING? I should have retaliated by putting all of their snow back and then some. but it was just really discouraging for me. so I don't bother with residential anymore unless its someone I know or someone who obviously doesnt have the means to pay for help but needs it.
  16. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    I usually just drive on by... unless I'm in a good mood, which isn't very often if it's snowing.

    Now, if it's a hot muffin flagging me down... I'll usually re-consider. :cool:
  17. The mayor

    The mayor Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    Nope won't do it for 2 reasons. 1. I have customers that paid to be plowed first. They are my only concern. Not some dude who didn't know it snows around here. And #2 the big one. I personally know of someone that they thought they were going to make a few quick bucks, ended up hitting a well head at the end of the drive. That got costly.
  18. nate456789

    nate456789 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 194

    People approach me all the time, and it has always worked out for the best. I have added more people to my list of jobs because that person talks to family and friends.

    One time I had a guy flag me down and I plowed his drive. He said he didn't have any cash or a check book so I gave him my card and told him to send me a check when he gets time.
    I figured it was on his conscience and if he didn't pay I really wasn't out that much. 15 min of my time.
    Sure enough I got a check in the mail + tip a couple days later with a big thank you note for helping him out of a jam. I think people are generally good. If not - what goes around Will come back around.
    Most of my residentials are elderly and I feel good about keeping them from getting out there and getting hurt. If I see an elderly person trying to shovel I always make a point to stop. Even if it means spending an extra 15 min. You might have saved their life, who knows.
    I usually have more business than I can handle so I don't think I am going about it wrong.
  19. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    I get approached all the time and since im a sub I always turn them down. its not worth the risk to me to do side work on the clock. if im done as a sub then I would but that doesnt happen since im normally the last one on my route off the clock and the snow is handled by that point.
  20. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Usually if there is a real bad storm where it dumps like a foot of snow over night I'll get a bunch but not on a typical storm. Funny story but pissed me off.....last year or the year before we got dumped on with a wet heavy snow but it was an early morning storm so we were scrambling to get our stuff done. I was flagged down a few times but I explained the situation an most understood except this one lady. After I drove by kinda slow (a foot of snow on the road) she yelled "can you plow me out" (her car was half in her driveway and half in the road) I kept driving and I swear she through a friggin' snowball at me....BE-ATCH! I actually thought of buying a small Jeep to use for a 3rd little truck and put some one in it during big storms, last year during Jan. it never stopped snowing and was flagged down every damn block, just no time to do it.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009