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Formal Contract suggestions

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by MSsnowplowing, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Hello all,

    I have been using this as my formal contract for my clients.

    How does it look and any suggestions to improve it?

    The pricing figures are what I would normally charge for a one hour plow job and sidewalk price for sidewalks done in 1/2 hour.

    Thanks all, I look forward to your suggestions.

    Add on:
    All the contracts I do are commercial, I have no residental at all.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  2. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    updated contract

    Well I cleaned the contract up, moved a few things in it.
    Changed some of the wording.

    Tell me what you think, did I miss anything?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  3. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    Can I assume that this contract is for a commercial property, and not a residential one ?
  4. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    All Commercial

    Yes I do all commercial and no residentials.
  5. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    Have a lawyer look it over and give you suggestions for your state.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    Looks ok to me.
  7. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Sign of the times ... 10 pages just to plow snow ... What ever happened to a handshake??? ... I've got the answer to my question ... Ambulance chasing lawyers.
  8. newhere

    newhere PlowSite.com Addict
    from Fenton
    Messages: 1,288

    Sounds to me like you never can loose and dont have any responsibility on your shoulders. Shoot they even have to mark the lots for you. If i owned a building i sure as heck wouldnt sign that.
  9. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    That's kind of what I thought, myself.

    Really sucks that we have to do this kind of crap to just provide a service. I'm not bashing the OP or what he's doing in any way shape or form, as he's doing what's prudent for the "times". I'm just disgusted by the idea that we're driving around with big red and white circles on our backs, and we have to resort to these long and drawn out words on paper, that, when they come before a judge and jury, really mean squat.

    Too many court cases find the guy who's trying to do everything right, at fault, due to judges and juries that think that the only one's at fault are the "professionals" making a living at what they're doing....... or trying to, anyway.
  10. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    That is what I was trying to say !!!! Not bashing the OP either and hope I did not come off like that.
  11. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    I used to have a simple contract till

    I had a simple contract till 2 years ago.

    A condo unit, all we had to do was plow the roads and the parking spaces and sand.

    About a 1 hour job.

    They handled the sidewalks with their own guys.

    Well guess what happened, a slip and fall claim.

    On their sidewalks, not the road, not the parking spots.

    Now I am defending myself -(well the lawyer is) in a lawsuit.

    It didn't even snow that day in question.

    So my simple 2 page simple contract has morphed to protect me.

    As for the stakes, I don't know about you guys, but I was putting out my own stakes, good ones, fiberglass with reflective markings.

    Well after buying 100 of them 2 years ago, I'm down to 20, they all seem to disappear.

    I marked one site with just wood ones, put 40 of them on the property.

    One week later, I'm driving thru and I have just 5 left.

    So I'm done paying out of pocket for stakes and I tell my clients that is the reason why.

    I well stake them but if they disappear I charge them for the missing ones.

    I well change the contract to reflect that, thanks for the head ups.

    Let's all have a good season.
  12. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    again, neither myself or others are dismissing your work in any way. You're doing what is necessary and required to do, and from what I read of your contract, it elaborates on just about all subjects, and repeats many of them to "preclude" those who say they "I DIDN"T SEE THAT IN THE CONTRACT"..... Well, it's said multiple times, so.... mr. judge man calls "BS"..

    Your contract, when presented to a company, will usually go before their lawyers for review, and usually won't be signed on the spot. There are a lot of clauses that protect you there, but for the most part, the way I understand it, contracts are written up to help dissuade another party from taking you into court, by limiting their behavior, and specifying their (and your) responsibilities in the agreement. Contracts "clarify" who does what and when, and how they're supposed to act should a disagreement occur.

    Arbitration clause is essential, as the end result of you coming clean from the argument are at a greater chance of being in your favor. Arbitrators are usually made up of a couple lawyers, who will look at the case in a greater "fairness" than a judge and jury will, as it's their obligation to both parties, to extract the facts, and create an outcome that's more a collaboration of sorts, than just a statement of " I SAY THIS ", as most judges would do. Some judges become skewed in their tenure on the bench, and this can dramatically affect outcomes of cases brought before them. It's kind of the "I'm the king" complex, and generally the contractor takes the hit.

    Lots of stuff on the net about this particular subject, and if you're interested just google :" does a written contract actually protect me from being sued " or something to that affect.


    Sorry about the diversion / drift

    Back to your original question...... I like a lot of what I read, but I would have a lawyer review it before I started handing it out. THere are a few phrases in there that are a little complex understand, and without spending a lot of time trying to figure out what it says, a lawyer, who reads this stuff every day would be better able to correct anything that didn't seem right.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  13. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761


    I know what your saying, that's why I have the arbitration clause.

    Also just because you have a written contract, you can still be sued, the contract just helps you out.

    I am having a lawyer review it, but was interested if I missed anything in it that others may have found helpful in their contracts that protect them.

    BTW, changed the staking to we well stake but if they come up missing client is responsible for new ones. Those things are not cheap -(I like to get the 5 foot ones, more visible at night) I stake everything and one for curbs, two for drains, 3 for protuding anything that might catch the plow.

    Last thing, I did not get anything bad from what everyone was saying and helpful criticism can save a person from making mistakes that may cost them.

    I would rather hear it from everyone here than when sitting in a court of law going "oh oh, this doesn't look good"

    So thank you all.

    Have a great season.