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How do you guys document everything during a storm?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Jguck25, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    I have been trying to figure out the best way to keep track of everything i do during a storm but it is proving to be more of a pain than anything. Like the sheet you guys bring along with you when you go out to plow during a storm. I have been working on a few different ways to document all those things using Excel, but I cant seem to find a layout with everything on it and how to document everything efficiently without it looking extremely clustered and confusing..

    I need it to list all my customers and then also have a place to write down how many times i plow during the and how many inches i plowed and when sand/salt was applied and the times and everything.. I use an incremental pricing system for almost all my accounts, 2-4", 4.1-7", 7.1-10", 10.1-14, ETC... but then I also have about six or seven driveways that are per push and one push up to 6". Also not all my accounts require sand/salt every time and i have it in the contract that it is upon request from the client, and I want a way to document this so that i can cover my butt when i put it down and when i do not put it down because they did not ask for it..

    I have a couple different options i use but they all seem very clustered and complicated not very efficient.. Just wondering if anyone is willing to show a sheet that you would use?
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    do a search........someone posted a form for what your looking for
  3. wilkie

    wilkie Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I use a simple list in the trucks with columns - location, time in & out, salt info, comments ...add what ever columns you want. Then the next day I take those run sheets and input the data into an huge Excel workbook I have 1 page for every month and a totals page at the end.
    each month I enter for every time I plow an location salt a location how much salt I used etc and make it all total so I can look at anytime and get a month total or ytd total. great for billing just have to move the numbers over. Took me hours to build and lot of formulas.
  4. tjslider

    tjslider Member
    Messages: 42

    I wrote a small database/website that contains all necessary options for each customer. When a driver would finish a job the info would get added from their phone.
    Print a report at the end of the storm and send out bills. It works for us.

    I am working on a few more options including truck records and easier past history viewing.

    I'll show you a demo if you'd like... let me know.
  5. Dig-it Landscap

    Dig-it Landscap Member
    Messages: 66

    Try the Nediso snow software. They have an app on apple devices that allows you to enter all of the info you need to enter and keep it very organized.
  6. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    Yeah thatd be great:drinkup: sounds like a great system
  7. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    I did do a search, Did not find what I was looking for, must not have entered the right thing. But anyway, if everyone did a search every time, this site would be dead. Just about everything has been covered at least once
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    I would suggest making up nicknames for the sites...or numbering them so when your guys enter the names of the sites into the sheet it won't be as much handwriting. leave a master list in each truck.

    I would also have satellite sitemaps made up, with the specifics/scope of work of each site on that if your guys ever need a reference. Cuz if they know exactly what they should be doing on each site...all they would have to write down is the site number/nickname, and how many inches were cleared...because all the other services would be public knowledge or in the scope of work outlined on the sitemaps.

    I would basically make a simple graph (on excel) with columns : Date, Site #, Time in, Time out, inches cleared...really no need to put the deicing info on that sheet because it is already on the SiteMaps in each truck.

    Or else you can do it the very very very very easy way...but sometimes a bit risky. Hand Held Voice Recorders.

    I do this for myself and it works better than any system where your writing crap down...hold a button and just speak out load what the hell just went down...It;s the BEST way for me...I do not use that system for other drivers though....but I would if I had any real good guys on my crew....lol.
  9. Welderguy24

    Welderguy24 Member
    Messages: 87

    I posted a copy of my route sheet on here a couple weeks ago. Ill try and find the link on my phone and put it in here.

    EDIT: http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?p=1110992#post1110992
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010

    STRONGARM Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    We use a binder for each crew with everything they need inside. List of all vendors and employees(with address and phone #'s) A complete site list of every site we do with all info, that way if I ever have to send them to a site not on there regular list they have the info. Then finally we have log sheets with site info already entered(saves them time) Date, time in/out, conditions(weather) , and comments. I then enter it all in a master excel sheet on the computer, this way I have all the info for billing but also(more importantly) I can then look back over the year to find out if I'm making money, if I should change there contract for the next year and if I need more staff or better equipment.

    It's a lot of work but the end info is well worth it for your bottom line!
  11. greywynd

    greywynd PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,370

    No matter what system you develop, the real key is to take a minute and USE it!! The data has to go in to be useful, whether it be weather info, snowfall amounts, sanding and salting times, etc.

    Also try to develop ways that automatically leave a paper trail. If you have email on your phone for example, ask any customers that can to email you to request sanding or salting for those that are by request. That way you have a record of it. You can also quickly reply when the service is performed if you wish. Another thing would be to have a sort of 'receipt' book, that when you've sanded or salted, you take a minute, and get them, a guard, or someone sign, again, if it ever gets into an issue where they claim something didn't get done, you can prove it.

    As a sub, I also carry a handheld GPS with me, and use the tracklog info. I can tell exactly when I arrived at a site, when I left, how fast I travelled between sites, even if/when I stopped somewhere for a bite to eat or a short nap if needed. If something ever happens, whether it be an issue with a customer, or the contractor I'm with, I have another record of events that may be useful. Sure it takes a few batteries, I take a handful in a pocket when I'm going long term, I can also plug it into a cigarette lighter if needed. Then in my case I save the data from that in a file on the computer, and have it for a period of time.

    Just some thoughts to throw out, it all depends on you, the customers you have, etc.
  12. turb0diesel

    turb0diesel Senior Member
    Messages: 181


    we have OPN2002 scanners and have bar codes that are placed at each location..
    we scan when plowing and scan again when salting
    it also help helps as proof

    expensive though!
  13. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I too make binders for each piece of equipment with all info for our accounts. Instead of a log sheet, we use index cards for each property with columns for time in/out, snow depth, amount of materials used etc. all pre-printed on the card. Cards are color coded (white for plowing, red for sidewalks, and so forth) This makes it easy to give out routes; just hand each driver their cards in order, they put them in their binder and go.
  14. slave2lawns

    slave2lawns Member
    Messages: 46

    Hand held voice recorders...I used to put them in my coat inside pocket and walk into wireless stores in and around my area and talk to it on what my competition was doing when I used to be in the wireless industry. Just a funny memory sorry.
  15. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    How about a black box like in police cars? Their about $300 and can hear what you say in the truck.
  16. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    I broke down and bought myself an Ipad. I always said the things were useless and then I started thinking how I can put all my spreadsheets for plowing, mowing and truck maintenance etc... on it and be able to update it real time vs. waiting till after the storm and having everyone try and remember what they did.

    I can also take it with me to meetings and use it for presentations as well.
  17. maelawncare

    maelawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    That is exactly what i am using this year. I used it all mowing season for my route lists. Works perfect. And it is nice being able to pull up a big radar to look at.
  18. espyj

    espyj Member
    Messages: 53

    I have a RAM Mount in my truck and I have a Netbook computer. I run an excel spreadsheet that I customized. It has my route, time in/time out, approx snow on site, comments, any materials used (ie: sand or salt)
  19. Kale Lawn

    Kale Lawn Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 107

    this is what my company uses... amazing program