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Gotta vent!!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bigmac1276, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. bigmac1276

    bigmac1276 Member
    Messages: 57

    So a customer of mine, that I've had for 8 years, tells me I have to only spread salt when they are forecasting ice and only plow when there is a significant amount of snow on the lot. Now this is a tiny plaza that has a mini-mart that is open, well whenever they want to be. The reason for the cut back is I am destroying his asphalt according to him. Now this guy has done nothing to his lot for the 8 years I've been plowing it, of course its going to get beat up. The cut back on the salt and calcium is its damaging the concrete. What would you rather have lawsuit or concrete that has very little damage over probably a 12 year period. I have another customer, gas station, that only wants salt if they request it. It has been like that for a few years. I sent him an email saying I need something in writing stating his request. He replies with I'm going to let you and the manager use your best judgment this year. Now we have had snow 3 times in the last couple weeks and I never bothered going down there because they didn't call me for salt, and he just called a month ago to remind me no salt. WHAT THE HELL! I am freakin pissed!:realmad:
  2. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Get rid of him it's not worth it. Alot of people don't understand the correct way to get rid of snow. If a customer doesn't let you treat that property like it should be done, just get rid of him I'm sure you can find another better account.
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    All part of the business. Need to have a sit down meeting with them and explain the risks of poor snow & ice management. You also need to explain that he assumes all slip and fall liability and your attorney will be creating a contract and liability release for him to sign.
  4. daman

    daman Member
    Messages: 69

    Let sombody slip and fall, hurt them selfs badly,they'll wish they had you come down and salt! Tell them its your way or the high way.
  5. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    school her on the freeze/thaw cycle . shes concerned about her bottom line $$.
    calcium is 1/3 the price of salt .
  6. Fourbycb

    Fourbycb Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    I picked up a service station this year and there Insurance covers the slip & falls and release's me from being sued or held accountable ( of coarse I have that written on paper) and they say Salt the lot reguardless Better safe than sorry . I guess the last company just sanded and had a number of slip / falls over the years serviceing them. So I salt all the time
  7. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    If you can not care for a lot in a manner that you are happy putting your name on, then you should let someone else do the half assed work they are requesting!!
  8. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    Amar, don't care about no snow or ice.
  9. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    The key thing to think about here is this; WHAT is it that makes YOU responsible for 3rd party personal injuries on your customer's property? The answer is the assumption of that liability, which is done by way of the contract between you and the property's owner. The property owner is responsible to the 3rd party, you are responsible ONLY to the property owner (except for DIRECT cases, like running someone over or backing into their car), up to a maximum of (what the court awards to the 3rd party PLUS damages to the property owner for having to deal with them). If you aren't contracted to perform a specific job, you are not assuming responsibility for that job. The key here is to leave the liability in the hands of the property owner. If they want the plowing and/or salting done ON REQUEST (by their own judgment), then the contract needs to read as such, and they need to SIGN OFF on the job upon completion.

    Your contract should say that the jobs are to be done on request, which must be sent to you by some secure and reliable means (according to mutual agreement). The contract should specify an allowed time limit for you to get there and complete the job. The time limit protects you from liability BEFORE it expires, the customer signing off protects you from liability AFTER the time limit expires.

    The final piece of the puzzle is, of course, your right to refuse requests by way of NON-ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. I.e., the owner agrees that if you are unavailable, he is prepared to use alternatives, like picking up a shovel and doing it himself (i.e., he HAS a shovel and a bag of salt). The clock starts ticking only IF you accept the request. That can be a difficult condition for the property owner to accept, but if the maintenance is to be done according to HIS judgment, it has to be at his risk. This protects you from stupid crap like being called at 3 AM on a day when it doesn't snow and having a 3 hour window to clear out what he was too cheap to have you clear 5 days ago when the snow fell. It also protects you from other stupid crap, like 8 inches of rutted ice. Give yourself a window to inspect the site before accepting the job. This can be verbally, over the phone. I.e., if it snowed a foot 3 days ago and was warm yesterday and frigid overnight, you can tell him that you'll take a look, but won't agree to the service until you've confirmed that you can actually do it.

    Basically, that is a long winded way of saying that you should absolutely NOT accept liability for something that is based on someone else's judgment. ESPECIALLY in cases where they have the option to REFUSE service and cause it to become dangerous.