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Hey, some people are funny, ya know?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Roger Dodger, Nov 11, 2002.

  1. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    Got any good/strange stories about plow jobs?

    Reading through the threads on price lowballing and others on what some folks will and won't pay for plowing brings a couple of contrasting incidents to mind:

    Middle aged woman asks me to stop and do her single lane 75' driveway and agrees on the price. When finished she comes out and hands me a cup of hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie but NO money. States she will "catch me the next time around" when it snows heavily" then scoots off to go answer her phone (supposedly). I filled in the end of her driveway with the pile I just created. She wasn't going anywhere!:drinkup:

    Eledrly man flags me down to do his single lane driveway that he's already got 3/4 of it done with his snowblower. I see he's looking like a heart attack about to happen and I figured I'd be a good Samaritan and make someone's day a happy one. So it only takes two quick passes to really open it up for him. He stuffs $20 in my hand as I tell him $10 would be more than fair for the minimal amount I did. He insisted the $20 bill was well worth it to him. What a contrast compared to the chisler above!:)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2002
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    sometimes it pays to be the good samaritan. no matter what business you are in, there will always be that one "chisler" that acts like a complete jerk and stiffs you.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The first year out, I was trying to drum up business so I thought a good idea would be to drive around for anything like people flagging you down. Most I saw were people shoveling out driveways or mailboxes. I stopped at a few and offered to plow them out if it'd only take a minute or so. Then I'd talk to them and give them a card hoping they'd call me or recommend me to someone else.

    Total waste of time and gas. Never got a call from any of them or a referral (and I know how all of my customers found me). Yes, I agree that being a good samaritan sometimes pays off. However, be a good samaritan for the right reason - don't expect a payback.
  4. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    exactly. when i finish plowing my route (usaually next day or so) i always help my neighbors, and some strangers (most of them elderly folks). i never expect anything from them. when the snow stops i also plow my entire street (clean), around here people shovel out thier spaces and stick garbage cans in them(some cans are not even in front of thier own houses, drives me up the wall).i plow the whole road and park anywhere i want(last thing i want to do is to come home from plowing and look for parking).
    in our line of work you learn how to "read" people, see what thier angle is (thier always is one).
  5. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Rodger Dodger - I think I have the ultimate funny plow story!

    7 years ago I was in my 2nd season of plowing. A current customer had reffered me to this elderly lady, he said she had special plowing needs. I called her up and we met the same day. I looked over her driveway and concluded why she had a special plowing need. Her driveway width was only 6'-0" from her stoop to her neighbors house, very tight. I said I could plow the driveway, but it would be a little more than what she had paid in the past. My 94' GMC Jimmy just fit with the plow angled.

    Apparently, the last plowing contractor she had used an eight foot plow and had to shovel the entire driveway from the back garage to the front of the house. She said he serviced her driveway for 3 years and then quit the buisness.

    Well, after she aggreed on the price and signed the contract, I waited for the snow to fall. Sure enough the first sign of flakes, this lady calls me to ask if I'm ready. I tell her I will be there in the wee hours to plow her driveway, she says she will see me then. (I'm thinking to myself, ok why will she see me later.) At about three in the morning I pull up to her house. I see her staring through the front window, and then I see her garage open up. The front door opens, so I get out of my truck to see whats going on. She says to follow her to the garage, so I do. When we got to the garage, she shows me a brand new craftsman 5 horsepower 24" wide snowblower. She tells me that she felt bad that I would have to shovel most of her driveway, so she bought me the snowblower to perform the work. I honestly stood there for about 3 minutes with no expression on my face. I didn't think she was serious. I then explained to her that I could plow her entire driveway with my plow and truck. She seemed very confused and proceeded to watch me do it. After I was finished plowing her driveway, I told her to bring the snowblower back. :D

  6. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    thats a great story!
  7. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    No pay stories

    I too, have to admit to back plowing a customer or two who refused to pay me. I packed one pretty darn good and left promptly. There is nothing quite like the challenge of shovelling through 15 deep x 8 wide X 5 high hard packed snow, and that's feet men, not inches.

    Even the Jeep enjoyed doing it, she gave her all and never missed a beat.

    The lady called the police. Civil matter, no action taken by the police. but a good laugh by the officers who responded.
  8. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    Those are pretty good ones so far! On a somewhat similar note my buddy pulled a car from a ditch near a driveway he had just finished plowing. The gentleman was in a hurry and agreed to pay him for the yank. Once out of the ditch, my buddy walked up to the slightly opened driver's window only to have the guy stiff him and spurt a few unkind words then he drove forward! Problem was he didn't realize the chain wasn't unhooked yet and slid back into the same spot!!!:p My buddy unhooked, got in and slowly drove by, smiling and waving to the guy!:drinkup:
  9. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    well I can't top the snow blower lady but here it goes.We had about 1" of snow not very much not even enough for me to even plow my own house.But I got a call from one customer that has a 3 1/2 car length drive way woundering if i still wanted to plow his driveway.I told him there really was not enough snow for me to really plow and that's if was a full inch of snow.So i went over and scrapped down the drive way ,so now no matter what is on the ground he gets plowed and you he never arguess about times i plowed or the price he is my best customer.
  10. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Ok. I do have another story. After reading so many stories that sound like ones that I have experienced, I remembered this one.

    I live in Chicago, and as most of you know we do not get alot of big storms like the lake effect prone cities. However, four years ago in early January we got hit hard; 21" in a 24 hour period. Man, I was working like mad. I only had one truck with a back plow, so I had to do all the residential driveways with this truck(My good old 94 GMC Jimmy, and it is still in action). Most of my driveways had around three to four feet of snow on them, the only thing I could do was back up and drag the snow out into the street, maybee 50 to 60 times, before I could even drop my front blade on the driveway. Well, of course, I am high strung from all the snow and I am thinking of how all my other drivers are doing. When I notice two people across the street staring at me. You have to understand, I am pushing snow everywhere; in the street, across the street, down the street, what ever it took. But the majority of the snow ended up across the street with a big pile (biggggg) right in front of my contracted driveway. When I finished my customer, I started pulling away and one of the men who was watching me flagged me down. In the kindest way, he asked me if I could redeposit the snow I had put in his and his neighbors drive. I looked at him, and said yeah sure, I wasn't going to leave it there, I just wanted to clear the street for traffic.

    Another 40 min. later I finaly finish clearing mount saint hellens.

  11. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Anouther good thread to bring back.

    Chuck B.
  12. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I get a phone call from one of my customers, about three snowfalls into the season. He says that we have missed him twice already, and was wondering if I was still in business. I said yes, and apologized for the poor service. I told him I would do his route the next snowfall to make sure it was done.

    The next snowfall I hit the property twice overnite during a 9" event, and the snow was still falling when I finished the second time there. At about 8:00am in the morning I get a phone call from the same guy. He starts yelling at me, stating that I never came to due his driveway. I say, hold on a minute, I was there twice this morning, but it was still snowing so there might be a couple of inches of new snow on the drive. He insists that it has never been done, so I said I would be out the in a couple of minutes to plow it again.

    Sure enough I get to the driveway and it had a couple of inches on it, but I did service it before. I finish the driveway, as a person comes walking from the side of the home. I roll down my window and say, I did do this driveway, but its no big deal, so have a nice day. He proceeds to say: Yes you did, but now can you do my driveway!

    He home was right next door on a cul de sac - next to the one we had serviced. Both had the same address with the same street names except for Dr. and Court.!


    Chuck B.
  13. Greensway

    Greensway Member
    Messages: 97

    In 2001 had a new customer a pre-school, signed up in Oct.
    and it only snowed enough to plow 1 time it was in Jan.
    It was a Sunday eve 3inches. and I sent someone over to do it, then monday 5:00 a.m. I went myself to clean up cause an additional 1 inch fell and brand new customer.
    It never snowed again.
    I sent invoices, stopped by repeatedly, finally June they said that I did'nt do a good job- no pay.
    FAST FORWARD -- Superbowl Sunday eve. 2002
    3 inches snow, made 1 large pile in front of only entrance 4 foot high.
    Went by in afternoon saw a small little path dug out.
    Had 4 foot of snow last year never was plowed by anyone, but parents still dropped off their kids to this place.
  14. Plow Dak

    Plow Dak Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 48

    Great stories.
    My favorite story isn't as interesting as some of the previous posts but it just seem to stick with me. After a good dumping
    I cleaned my drive and headed to work. This lady on my street
    was buried over her hood. She had backed into her long drive only about 10 feet and the city proceded to fill her drive with heavy wet snow. She was out shoveling and not making any ground. I drove by and she had this look of pain in her face.
    Well, i turned around and dropped my blade and proceded to slice through up to her front bumper. I didn't say anything or
    want anything. i backed out and did a reverse 180 in the middle of the street and went to work. Thinking nothing of it ,that night
    I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door and a lady was standing there with something in her hand. She asked if I was the owner of the truck in the yard. I said yes. She handed me 2 pies. An apple and a blueberry. Seemed she made them and started driving up and down the street untill i came home and saw the truck and stopped. She offered some money also but i didn't accept it. She told me she got stuck backing in to her drive and left it there not realising what a city plow can do. She had to get to work and the guy she hired to plow hadn't shown up yet.
    I told her it was big storm and it takes longer to do routes. She smiled again and jumped in her car and off she want blasting her horn as she went. :D
  15. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Had a nice restaurant/bar that we couldnt get any money out of and finally decided that if we couldnt get any money, we were going to at least get dinner and drinks out of them. 4 of us ran up a pretty good tab and when the waitress brought us the bill for dinner we just pull out a bill for the snow plowing, deducted the amout for our evening and handed everything back to her. She hands everything to the manager who decides that there is no way we are leaving without paying, well after a brief discussion and a few threats about the frontend loader showing up to fill in the drives and more of us returning the following week to contuine with "our repayment plan", The manager decided that he would be willing to trade dinner and that maybe he should pay off the remaining balance while we "were there". They wound up closing within 6 months.
  16. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Guys, these were all really good stories, I enjoy reading them, I wish I had one to add. Keep them coming! :drinkup: Mike
  17. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Mike, is that short post really necessary? Just finding another way to upper your post number like the other one line poster member? LOL :rolleyes: Also I didn't see "buddy" or pumpkin smiley? :confused:

    :D pumpkin:
  18. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890


    Enough post count stealing

  19. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Same to you too, little Jay! :D pumpkin:
  20. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    OK, here is my funny story from my very first year in the business. I was a college senior paying my way by plowing. I had the contract for the apartment house I lived in. They were very slow paying, and I got behind in my rent. The manager left an eviction notice on my door. I went to his office and told him that he owed me more money than I owed him. He said tough ****. Pay up or get out. I went to the main office in town and was told a similar story, with a comment that checks should be there in about 3 weeks. I said that I would be evicted by then. They said yeah... Well, it snowed a pretty good one a couple nights later. I saw the managers brand new Ford 4x2 pickup with nothing parked on either side. You guessed it. I plowed that ford in right up to the top of the bed on 3 sides. I told them I would move the snow when I got my check. 4 days later I had the check and paid my rent before I was evicted. I think that Ford had to melt...

    I still offer a put the snow back guarantee...:nod: