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finally the lowballers fall !!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by fireside, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    We have been getting dumped on with snow first storm 14 plus inchs, second 12" plus inchs and the last 24" to 30" it came hard and fast. I have recived 40 plus phone calls about plowing. I did walkaway from some it you can't due it right than don't due it is my feeling. One came from a contract i lost dec 30 2010 due to sale of property by $300 for seasonal contract to a landscaper. After two storms were back at are original seasonel quote we even had to go fix there mess. I did 4 driveways (600' to 2600') that there plow guys could not plow we did them with the compact loader we had no problem. They signed on the spot. I have 4 more to due in the am one has almost 3' of snow on the whole driveway. It's nice to see finally the poeple have seen the light and you due get what you pay for. Heres where we stand we lost 3 comm contracts one is back with us we signed 3 other(there guy could not get it done) lost one residentail and gained 9. They are all in are route we already drive by them. The two others we lost are bad to be nice. So we will see there they go both due have 30 day termination clauses. I did here they are both not happy
    So long and short of the story fly by nights and lowballers will fall on there faces just sit back watch the show and be ready to pickup the pieces at your PRICE.
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    it is just a matter of time
  3. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    i signed another commercial today. There new guy this year was half of the old guy who did it for ten years. Win for me got my price plus the clean up of there new guys mess

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    i have been seeing the same thing here, we got roughly 40-50 calls yesterday after the storm from random people begging to plow them out. and about 30 the big storm prior to that. We do what we can and make some extra cash, but for now my plow route is all full. If i had more ambition i could have picked up 50+ more plowing accounts this year alone from all the lowballers who never shower or who got stuck/broke down.
  5. FordFisherman

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

    Ben, you gotta have 48" on the ground up there, or close to it?
  6. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I turn people down after the snow hits ground to many hidden objects on properties, never know whats underneath until it's discovered...
  7. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i was asked to bid a lot last fall by a customer who works there, we plow her driveway and shed human resources head.

    anyways, apparently this guy came in and bid ridiculously cheap. towards the end of december she calls me and asks me to come by. lot is a mess, packed snow everywhere, he comes after business opens and plows around the cars, no salt etc...

    put in my bid at my terms they terminate him and now we took over. She called me up after we serviced it this past 20" storm and says we did a terrific job.

    you just have to keep at it, they cant last forever, whether they fail b/c they dont profit enough or their service levels are sub par.
  8. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    It often comes down to decent snow falls. Lets face it most anyone can handle a 2 inch snow fall. Its when you get 6+ the cracks begin to appear, get over 12 inches and lots of lowballers become no shows. Real snow separates the real snow contractors from the pocket money guys. Thumbs Up

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    yea we have had 3 storms this year first one was almost 2 feet of snow, second one 12-15 inches, and the one the other day was 28 inches. so thats like roughly 65 inches in alittle over a month.

    It def seperates the weak from the strong in the plowing game. and the low ballers all come to light, We needed a winter like this to weed them out, last few years have been real easy winters with little to no snow, and lowballers have been running rampid.

    I went to bid a driveway last week that was on an incline and around a small corner, decient size driveway, the plow guy waited till the end of a almost 2 foot snow and tried to plow up the driveway, needles to say he ddnt make it and got stuck on the bend, he backed down and left, leaving a pile of snow the size of a honda civic in the middle of the driveway. we went there and dug it out a bit, got the truck through and charged him $150 bucks to finish the driveway. we ended up signing him for the season for $75 per push the lowballer was charging $45 per push.
  10. FordFisherman

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

    I've never gotten more calls to come and bail out other plow guys that broke down and dig out mailboxes. You're right, a season like this will make people appreciate what we do rather than just look for the lowest price.
  11. SDP Hauling

    SDP Hauling Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    I'm glad to hear that. However its "do" not "due" in most of your sentences

    Ex. yours I did walkaway from some it you can't due it right than don't due it is my feeling.
    mine I did walkaway from some, if you can't do it right than don't do it is my feeling.

    Sorry I just had to point it out as it was hard to read because of it.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    its a good opportunity to go out and make some serious cash after a big storm from non customers, i usually start calling people back that called and go out and pow them for cash, if the driveway would usually cost 50 bucks to plow i will charge double if not more for the one time push.
  13. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    I am only small potatoes to some guys.I mainly run a snowblower operation.32" ariens and 33" cub cadets with spare blower.This last storm I lost 3 customers because of delays,not because of me though.We had 3 blowers down with the daily newspaper jammed in them.So we were down to one blower and that one caught a paper.The lady comes out mad because we were plowing the 12" of snow.She said we were suppose to snowblow.My son said we did start to but you never picked up your newpaper and it is now jammed in the blower and we have no choice now but to plow.She just said OH and went back inside.But back to the story I cannot wait till the next guy with the Wally special in the back of his ranger with no plow on it catches a newspaper.It does not look like he has any kind of backup.The one customer I lost twice before but she keeps coming back to me eventually.Think if they call me back I will have to raise the rate.Been doing this HOA for 20 yrs and I still run into problems even though I think I have all avenues covered from year to year.I do not have any contracts with them so there is only so much extra equipment I will have.But at $2k per commercial blower ther are only so many spares that can be justified.
  14. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    Good for you. Glad to hear it.

    Are- You are tall.
    Our- That is our original seasonal quote.

    Here- I am here.
    Hear- I did hear they are both not happy.

    There- You are over there. Location
    They're- They're starting to piss me off. Contraction of they are.
    Their- Their plowing service stinks. Possession.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  15. sven1277

    sven1277 Senior Member
    Messages: 498

    Yes, do instead of due. Also, THEIR guy instead of THERE guy. A professional knows how to spell, too.
  16. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    ^^^ The problem with current generations becoming dependent on spell check. The words are spelled correctly, just not used in the proper place. I agree it makes it very hard to read, much less actually understand.
  17. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Nobody here is desperate enough to pay $50 for emergency push...
    In fact people make a run for it through snow filled driveway seen it time after time...!
  18. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,231

    Until next fall when they are price shopping again,
  19. darryl g

    darryl g Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 461

    Same thing around here. This last storm took a lot of guys out. They just take on too many customers and can't get to them in a timely manner. Or broke down/got stuck or just gave up. I plowed one guy I know out because he got stuck on the wrong side of a huge pile he was trying to push...blocked himself in the driveway, lol. I pushed it off and broke through for him from the street side. I could hear him cursing from the account I was on about 50 yards up the road :)

    I only take on as many customers as I can service in 8 or 9 hours during a normal storm so that for the big ones I can still get it done, even if it does just about kill me.

    I'm actually glad that the newspaper I advertise in didn't get my ad in like they were supposed to. I had one running for fall cleanups and plowing but it expired and one for just plowing was supposed to start on Jan 7th but didn't. I called and they said it would run on the 14th but still didn't. I had more calls than I could handle as it was and turned most of them down.

    I close my list as soon as a Storm Warning is posted. If someone I do lawn service for calls after that I'll sneak them in, but all others go on a "call-back list". Wifey field's the calls and tells them our list is full and to keep looking but takes their name/number/address in case I finish up and am looking for more work. After all my regulars are done I'll start making calls to see if they still need someone. Doesn't usually happen though.

    I made the mistake of taking every call and flag-down when I first started plowing and then my regulars had to wait. No more of that.
  20. GripTruk

    GripTruk Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Glad I'm not the only one who had a hard time getting through this post.