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Gimmee a break....

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by derekbroerse, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I was salting one of my commercial plazas last night after our 'icecapade'.... guy from across the street comes over and asks me to salt his lot too.

    Figured, no problem, lots of salt bags on board, tractor is unloaded already.... told him (from a view across the road) that it would be about a $50 job...

    He looked stunned.

    So I said ok well maybe I should go look first..... so I did.

    Changed my mind.. smaller than I thought... told him I'd do it for $40.

    Still looks stunned. What's wrong with $40 to do a parking lot?

    He says "I pay a guy $20 to plow, why is salting so much more?"

    Ummmm because I have to buy salt maybe???

    ($20 to plow??? Its like at least a $50 job... holy lowballer)

    He keeps making the job smaller (leave the back lot alone) to try and make it cheaper. :rolleyes: Wants it done for $20.

    I felt like telling him to stuff it, seriously... but I humoured him.

    Took his $20, loaded two 40kg bags in the spreader, spread it and left. He seemed happy.

    Drove thru today with the little truck, salt did a terrible job (not nearly enough). Barely roughed up the ice (its 1-2" thick).

    If he whines next time he sees me, its "Hey, you get what you pay for."

    Lets see, I used two bags I paid $4.99+tax each for ($11.48) and got $20, so I made a whopping $8.52 less the fuel to run the tractor. Personally, I hope he complains so I can ask him where he gets off charging $200 for a woman's haircut and style....!!

    I wanted to put four bags in the same area instead of two (hence the $40 charge) but he was too cheap. I won't work for free, but I sure as hell REFUSE to pay to work for someone!!! :angry:
  2. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    You never know, maybe he does just pay $20 per plow but throws in a hair cut for the contractor...naw, never mind, I doubt it, he does sound too cheap.
  3. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Sounds to me you didn't make any money. $10 for the salt. Included time and fuel costs to pick up and load. Now factor in insurance and everything else. I believe you lost money my friend.
  4. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    I would have asked him for the name of the guy that plows the lot for $20. Sub out some work to him and triple your profit without even starting up your truck! payup
  5. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Yeah it certainly wasn't a profit job, thats for sure. But like I said, the equipment was already there (working right across the street) running and such so really it was more of an extension to the crappy job I was already working on.... :( need to renegotiate that one, its just not in the budget to keep that one salted. Ahhh well, may just have to live thru the season with it (its only on-call basis, like 2-3 times per year)

    Yeah I would like a sub like that except I bet he has no insurance and I'm not willing to put my name on someone like that. Also, the lot was a pretty crappy cleanup job, so again you get what you pay for...
  6. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Been their done that. that saying "He got what he paid for" could bite you in the ass. I'm not trying to be a jerk here. Just look at it this way...

    Let's say I drove by a parking lot and I saw a pickup truck salting the lot. I notice the truck is from company X. Well, I go back to the same parking lot two hours later and notice the lot is still iced over. Stepping into the customers shoes, my conclusion might be this contractor has no idea what he is doing...even though the cheapskate only paid for a certain amount.

    Just something to think about.
  7. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I definately agree with that.

    I was fortunate that I use a tractor (no logos etc.) and my truck was 'hidden' behind the building across the street. Everything in the area was closed except the bar in the plaza I was working on.

    When I do these jobs, I tend to be a perfectionist. Thats why people like this rub me the wrong way. I can honestly say that the Valumart in Virgil that I take care of is by far the best kept lot in town, no exaggeration, thats just the way it is. The only other ones that have any bare asphalt is only due to sheer volume of traffic (aisles only) and tracked in salt from the road. Everyone else is an ice-rink. It is the only grocery store in town, so everyone goes there. I wonder how many people have taken notice? I'm tempted to make a few "Snow Management By:" type signs for the place.

    I saw some poor old lady pushing one of those wheeled-walkers down the sidewalk across the street from where I was working. I have the only stretch of bare sidewalk in town, the rest has just been plowed with a township sidewalk machine (rough).

    The other two places I normally do are on-call only, usually done in the middle of the night. They are all 'cheapie' jobs that need to be renegotiated now that I have proper equipment. (Job prices came from the guy I bought my equipment from a few years ago). They were always done with a hand broadcast spreader, more of a 'favour' service to the people (one is the local Lions Club). I hope they haven't gotten too attached to the favour feeling of it. Times are changing in that regard.