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Does any one have customers like this

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by slclawn, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. slclawn

    slclawn Member
    from IN
    Messages: 37

    I have a factory that we had just gotten 10 inches of snow and I had just crawled into bed after 50 some hours behind the wheel. Well they call and say that they want there rail dock cleaned off. Well I told them I had already done it but that I would come out and see what they were talking about. When I get there they show me the rail road tracks and said they would like to have them cleared. They wanted me to get my truck on there and plow them, I tell them you can't do that with a truck and they say well it needs done. OK I tell them it will be taken care of well the bob cat won't work be cause of the steep hills on the side if the tracks. I can't drive on the tracks because it would be 1.5 miles from where I could get on the tracks to where the snow was long way to be driving on the tracks pluse its ilegal here to be on them. I forgot to say the snow was chest deep and 200feet long well the shire bolt broke and it was my last one and you can't get one of those at 2am so I grab a shovel and go to town well three hours later I finaly get to bed. This is the same factory that calls me one time after I just left and want. They say they have four semi's stuck and would like the county road plowed so I say I will take care of it and call the county no answer. Well I go back and plow the road with the blade six inches off the ground and they are happy. Good money maker but can be a pain in the butt.wesport wesport wesport
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Were you under contract for this dock? It sounds like they just called you out of the blue, in which case I'd have scoped it out and said "Sorry, I can't even get TO it". If you already had an arrangement with them, which it sounded like at first, then you'd already known how to take care of it and not let it get chest deep. So I'm kind of confused on that one. As far as the county road - that's not within your scope unless you're contracted by the county for it. Your insurance won't cover it unless you've got a municipal policy. I simply do not drop and push a blade on any public street/road/highway. NONE. They need to call the county road commissioner or whoever is contracted for that snow work.

    You did not get paid for plowing the county road, so how can it be a good money-maker?

    Sounds like you're getting jerked around.
  3. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    I am little confused. Did they actually want you to plow the railroad tracks? As far as the county road, no way would I have touched that. Good customer or not. Sounds like you were not under contract to do that and you would have one huge liability if something had happened. Just my .02
  4. starc

    starc Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    I may be wrong but, would that not be the resposibility of the railroad....
  5. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    the tracks sound like private tracks that lead into the factory from the main line. you have to be real careful plowing around train tracks. you could pop a tire, or if you really srew up shift the tracks out of alignnment.
  6. jdavid

    jdavid Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Yeah, I'd be real careful about plowing railroad tracks, too!:nod:
    There's some things I just won't do............ That may be one of 'em!
    Same with the county road.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  7. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Sounds like to me he plowed it enough for the semi's to get through, but legally he didn't drop a blade on the road for the county to get mad. And got paid for clearing 4" of snow off the top of the road to boot.

    The rail line definately sounds like a private line just for the factory, and it also sounded like there was no plan in place to handle clearing snow off it. Maybe it just isn't a problem and this was a once in a couple years kind of thing?
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Ok. Now I'm really confused. I missed the 6" off the ground thing the first time. You're going to have to explain how you do that, especially if you're angling the plow to windrow. Besides, I don't think the insurance company, county or the judge is going to be amused with any lawyer that tries to argue that the plow wasn't actually on the road.

    And why have it 6" off the ground anyway?

    Plus, you SHOVELED 200 feet of snow that was chest deep? In three hours? When was this? Where - in Indiana?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Mick, whats the difference if you clear the road with your vehicles minimum clearance (the truck is probably 8" but most cars are around 5") or the blade in a "transport" mode.
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The difference - plowing snow from the roadway. If the snow is so deep that my plow won't clear it, I wouldn't go on it. Transport mode for my truck/plow is straight. Snow would build up in front and become unable to push it. Now, is he (or you) trying to say that a public roadway wasn't plowed and ten or more inches of snow was allowed to build up on it? If that's the case, they still need to get the municipal plows out there, the road is blocked to traffic and impassable..

    But don't you mean "maximum clearance"?
  11. mole

    mole Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    when did it snow?. the weather has been warm all over the place. the only people that are getting snow is UT and denver.
  12. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    I would rather have it not snow than have a miscommunication between a customer like that.

    I also would never plow a railroad track.
  13. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I have an account just like that, I have had it for about four years so they are getting better.
  14. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    PLowing Tracks? No way
    Plowing the road? Not on your best day.
    I don't understand how all this snow got built up in the first place, and to shovel 200 ft of chest deep snow? Get your check book out buddy, cause it will cost ya!!!!!!!
  15. carcrz

    carcrz Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Sounds like you need a change order added to your contract. I would highly recommend not pushing the tracks though. One thing goes wrong & you will definitely be the first one to get the blame. As for the call about clearing more than specified, if it wasn't in your contract I would charge emergency clean-up fees. Make sure that you add the service before the next snow storm.
  16. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    You guys must have missed the snowstorm that parts of the Midwest got hit with on Dec. 1. I got about 14" plus 40mph winds and drifts to boot. Business owners were being rather unreasonable in their requests regarding snow removal, but we got them taken care of and billed accordingly. I haven't heard any complaints, besides the normal bitching and moaning about "salt getting tracked in" Of course the converse was also present, "there is still some ice in some corners, can you put more salt down?"

    I've decided to give them what they want, but to charge them for every little thing you do. The Doctor isn't going to give you a break on any services just because you've been going to him for a few years, is he?
  17. carcrz

    carcrz Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    We got 9" in KC. I figure give them what they want. I have prices for per push, per additional inch, and per application. It includes ALL of the lot that they expect to be plowed. If they want more, they need to let me know in advance so I can plan my route accordingly & have it in my contract. All locations are plowed in route order. If they want more done during the visits, I charge them the hourly rate on top of the regular price . If they want me to put deicer down again, I do it & bill them for each application. You can't complain about people asking you to do more work when it only snows about 4 times a year here. I figure $$$ in my pocket. I can park out front for the whole storm if they want, but for an hourly fee. payup