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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is kind of along the lines of a broken snowblower from a water shutoff but different.

You bid a lot, you see potholes or broken asphalt. Maybe you factor it in, maybe you don't. Your crews plow around it the first year. Year number 2 the crater is still there.

Do you approach the customer about their lack of lot maintenance? Has anyone put something in their contract about damage to plowing due to lack of lot maintenance?

Nothing has happened yet, just a thought I had. We have one account that you could lose a Volkswagen in, and it's been there for 2 seasons now. It's a tight lot and right in front of their loading docks, but it's ridiculous that they won't fix it. It isn't like we can cone it off either because of its location. I'm sure the truck drivers all love it as well.

Seems like there's a few accounts that are deferring pavement maintenance for far longer than they should.
 
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From a practical business standpoint, if you sign a contract with them, you should attach to the contract pictures of the premises to show the “as is” conditions not only for your protection, but also to show (and state explicitly in the contract) areas that won’t be serviced due to potential equipment damage

no different really than refusing a job that has unsafe conditions


Plus - if a client isn’t willing to pay to maintain their property, they are unlikely to pay for equipment repairs (or maybe even for your services)
 

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Unfortunately I think your options are limited. Like stated, they probably could care less that it negatively impacts you.
Best case...document, try to price accordingly, and the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease.
 

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You should see my parking lot. I don't know how my garbage plow hasn't broke yet. I generally cannot even put the plow on the ground, the entire thing is potholes and cracks. I charged accordingly to maintain this lot and have to use more salt than I like, but it's still going to be quite profitable.

In lawncare, I do not charge the customer if I run over something in their yard. I typically make a point to do a very good walk through prior to servicing, just as I do with parking lots. With a crew it's different, because you have to mark and notify all your workers. for me, I just remember the bad spots and lift the plow when i get to them but it would be much better if the lot was in good shape and i could plow it clean. some of those chunks are so loose when you walk on them they move, water sits under there and it's just a mess. OH well.

Road surface Asphalt Line Floor Fence


Sky Ecoregion Automotive tire Cloud Vehicle
 

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I'm surprised the owners of the lot don't do the same, I have thought about sending them an estimate for 100 bags of road pack to fix some of these massive holes.

will make it hard to plow, but like i i said i just have to keep the plow off the ground a bit and throw more salt than what's needed.
 

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Last year i did a seniors home that put a scratch coat of pavement down just as the snow flew. It stayed that way until the spring.
All the drains, manholes, and seams were 2 inches higher than the pavement. They attempted to use pot hole filler to slope it up at each so the plow wouldnt catch it but the plow just ripped it out. It was a fantastic mess come the spring, added quite some time to my plowing but no employees so no damage to my stuff, just some massive cursing on some hard trips.
I do have a clause for ripping up lots but nothing really that protects my stuff.
Something to the effect of:
"Mr. Markus assumes no responsibility for accidents that occur on lots we have serviced, irregularities in drainage, design, or maintenance of lot material (pavement, concrete, gravel, etc.) ."

I did tear the hinge on my plow appart one year on a patch, but i also tore the patch right out and landed it on their lawn. I ate the cost of the repair but didnt repair the bad patch, i documented it and sent them a picture of my blade and we called it even.

 

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What do you guys do when you know it's a rough lot. do you still scrape with the plow all the way down? example: the photos i posted above. I personally dont' feel comfortable having the plow all the way down in those areas so i keep it a cuople inches high.
 

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Last year i did a seniors home that put a scratch coat of pavement down just as the snow flew. It stayed that way until the spring.
All the drains, manholes, and seams were 2 inches higher than the pavement. They attempted to use pot hole filler to slope it up at each so the plow wouldnt catch it but the plow just ripped it out. It was a fantastic mess come the spring, added quite some time to my plowing but no employees so no damage to my stuff, just some massive cursing on some hard trips.
I do have a clause for ripping up lots but nothing really that protects my stuff.
Something to the effect of:
Mr. Markus assumes no responsibility for accidents that occur on lots we have serviced, irregularities in drainage, design, or maintenance of lot material (pavement, concrete, gravel, etc.) . I did tear the hinge on my plow appart one year on a patch, but i also tore the patch right out and landed it on their lawn. I ate the cost of the repair but didnt repair the bad patch, i documented it and sent them a picture of my blade and we called it even.

What! You didn't then charge them to clean the asphalt out of the lawn...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a clause as well for damaging concrete or asphalt...once ripped out an entire speed bump, didn't break the plow.

Way back I broke 3 of 4 motor mounts on a manhole that had the same thing done to it, no top coat of asphalt so they paved up to it.
 
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I have a clause as well for damaging concrete or asphalt...once ripped out an entire speed bump, didn't break the plow.

Way back I broke 3 of 4 motor mounts on a manhole that had the same thing done to it, no top coat of asphalt so they paved up to it.
Manholes have motor mounts? Who knew...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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I had a clause on one: its a small concrete drive, which at one time was heated. At some point in history they stopped heating it, but didn't blow out the lines and its all cracked. Also, copper pipes randomly appear. I've hooked them with the jeep plow and they flip up and I have to break them off flush. I was mostly concerned about puncturing a tire.
I gave the owner an ultimatum; replace the drive, or pay for any and all damage to equipment.
 

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Has anyone put something in their contract about damage to plowing due to lack of lot maintenance?
I know you're new at this, so I don't mind sharing. I use this language in our contracts...

Client understands that plowing involves pushing a steel cutting edge with trucks, tractors and loaders over the surface of the pavement. We will not be responsible for any damage to obstacles that protrude from the surface of the pavement, or to pavement that is deteriorated, weakened, defective, heaved from frost or installed improperly. These are considered hazards that can harm our workers and equipment. We will also not be responsible for damages to asphalt speed bumps and/or asphalt curbing due to its fragility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know you're new at this, so I don't mind sharing. I use this language in our contracts...

Client understands that plowing involves pushing a steel cutting edge with trucks, tractors and loaders over the surface of the pavement. We will not be responsible for any damage to obstacles that protrude from the surface of the pavement, or to pavement that is deteriorated, weakened, defective, heaved from frost or installed improperly. These are considered hazards that can harm our workers and equipment. We will also not be responsible for damages to asphalt speed bumps and/or asphalt curbing due to its fragility.
I was referring to damage to MY equipment due to lack of them keeping their lot in good repair.
 
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