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Dont Worry it will melt!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by tls22, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Hey guys it has been a while since i started a thread here, hope everyone is having a great green season. Now that the weather has change my eyes have turn to the winter. I service 65 lawn accounts a week, Im pretty sure i have lock in 30 driveways for snow removal. I will still be sub-contracting this year, yet i will have one of my workers using my fathers tractor to finish the driveways. My father and i will split the money after we pay w/e expenses there is. Perhaps if i dont work long hours with my main gig, i will just do the driveways myself.
    Anyhow its not getting the driveways done thats the problem, its the amount of people that say dont worry it will melt. Last winter was our first harsh winter in sometime. Many customers where use to getting 2 storms and year, and it melting in 2 days. Last year i ran into the problem of people not wanting the 2 inches plowed off the driveway, and then we would get a 5-6 inch storms and i would have the old stuff to push. I also love the customer saying i will "drive over it" or the "kids will do it" as i know in the back of my mind it will not get done. My plan is to take a picture of driveway before a impending storm, if there is any snow cover on the driveways that did not want to be done the storm before. I will prob send the picture out with the bill, and explain why the extra charge. As we know freshly fallen snow on a unplowed surface could cause damage to my plow or traction issues which could result in damage done to the property. A notice has been sent out about this issue. My question to you guys is am i going about this the right way? Or should a consider a different route?

    Thanks TLS22
  2. keitha

    keitha Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    Picture sent with bill ='s extra time and money.
    What does your contract say...?
    They expect you to live up to it, so should they.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  3. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    I dont mind the extra time, as i always take a ton pf pics while im plowing anyway. I can upload the pics on my comp at print them out. No extra money. Contract says over 2 inches driveways will be plowed. Yet its a few that say dont worry about it, this will melt. Thats what i stated there will be a extra charge for existing snow pack.
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Just add a note or send out a notice saying something like " any snow left in the drive will be charged at an extra fee to plow when we do it".

    Welcome back timmy....long time no post...lol
  5. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    What would GV do?
  6. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    lol ! :D
  7. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    Hey tim welcome back.

    I would drop the customer. It will be a pita to have to go to certain houses right before a storm to take pics. I would either hold them to contract or drop them. It sounds like you'll have plenty of other stuff to take care of.
  8. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Mention additional fee for snow pack in your contract. But be reasonable and use good judgement when adding the fee. If a driveway plows out fine, even though it wasn't plowed last time, I wouldn't make a big deal about it. If you encounter substantial issues, add the fee.

    Servicing customers means doing what they want, without putting yourself at risk. Don't penalize your customers just because they wanted to save some bucks on the light snows. If it becomes a consistent problem with one or two customers, change their contracts next year and charge more. Just my take though.....
  9. me!

    me! Member
    Messages: 31

    Anyone under contract gets done. If they don't want to be done at your trigger, they can call you when they want it and you will fit them in when you get to them and a higher price.
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Lot's of good advice here. I have had a customer or two grumble when I show up to plow a couple of inches of snow. We don't have the "it'll melt problem" as much as you do of course. I had one guy that was real pain. Pretty small, but gravel drive. Has a 4WD RAV 4 type of car. The first time he was all we can get out, etc. I explained that I have to do things in a certain way so that I don't damage my equipment or his property. When I don't plow, it gets icy causing problems, etc. The next time he came running out the door all wound up. I stopped about halfway up the drive with a blade full of snow. I suggested he find someone else, and send me a check for what he felt was appropriate. Picked up the blade and left. I called all the guys I knew and gave them the heads up about him.

    You have to decide how you want to do business, and stick to it as best as you can. Watch the weather, make a decision. If it's going to be sunny and above freezing for two days with no storm in site, I can see the customer's viewpoint. A pretty good rule of thumb is if the city is plowing, I'm plowing.
  11. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Perhaps it's time to offer the seasonal contract. No one complains about too much service then. It's like a salary guy showing up for overtime.

    I agree with 2cor also. If the salary guys are out so am I.:)
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Plow them and bill them!

    That's right.
  13. Dubliner

    Dubliner Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    What GV said!!