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How do you handle it?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DodgeBlizzard, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    OK, how do you guys handle it? Since Sunday afternoon, everybody is calling for freezing rain/ice conditions. I go out early this morning "monday morning" before most places are open or as employees are just showing up and salt due to predicted forecast. I do this for two reasons. I feel that salting just before a predicted ice storm, especially at the time this one was predicted for mid morning, that salting is better distributed throughout the lot by the vehicles. Also, if I wait until it actually is coming down, then I won't be able to service all my properties in a timely manner because it takes about 90 minutes to salt including drive time. So I feel I did my part in salting and getting it done in a timely fashion. But the forecasters are wrong and it never gets cold enough to freeze. The precipitation stays all light rain. Now they're still calling for a possible freeze later tonight, so I it's not a total waste. Do you guys charge when this happens or how do you handle it? I know what I have invested in the stainless steel salter and the dump truck that hauls it, but also looking at it from a customers point of view, mostly the new ones, as I've worked out those details with older customers. No, I'm not afraid to charge for it and will, but looking to compare how others handle it. I always get a different perspective from the little woman here at home and she says she wouldn't pay it, because it only rained and she wouldn't want to pay for salt during a rain storm. But ever since we had that 4" storm and then 1" of total ice coming down at the end of that storm, I don't want to worry about trying to save customers money. I've been on the better safe then sorry mode. Since then, I've gone back to putting it down when it calls for it. Problem is, this is like the third time this season that they've called for ice conditions and it's only rained. Plus it has hardly snowed and I think I also get an itchy trigger finger when it's a slow year. Any input?
  2. DESTEFANO3782

    DESTEFANO3782 Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    My Crew And I WAITt Until It Starts To Drop As Snow/sleet/ice Before We Drop Anything. As Soon As It Starts To Stick Then We Go And Hit The Proporties I Dont Care What Time Of Day It Is And Where Cars Are Parked. Yes, Its A Nice Thought That You Want To Go The Extra Mile And Try And Cover All The Areas Where Cars Are Will Be Later But Sometimes You Just Screw Yourself Like So. The Weatherman Are Not Always Right And Never Know What To Expect. Best Advice I Can Give Is As Soon As It Starts Sticking Start Spreading Even If It Comes Down And We Get 2 Inches In That 90 Minutes It Takes You To Spread Your Material Should Melt That 2 Inches Anyway(worst Case). I Used To Always Worry About Getting Things Done Asap But I Soon Learned Its Snow And Its Gunna Fall The Way It Wants To And We Cant Control It, So Just Go Slow And Steady.
  3. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I've already had a slip/fall this season at a doctor's office. Thank goodness it was an employee and not a patient. But I saw the result of that slip and he had a bloody/fat lip. He must have came down right on his face. Since then, I really don't want to wait until it's already iced over, knowing it will take me an hour and a half before I get them all salted. That could have easily been a lawsuit. The phrase "an ounce of prevention comes to mind."
  4. DESTEFANO3782

    DESTEFANO3782 Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Im Not Saying Wait Till It Ices Over Im Sayin Wait Till It Starts To Stick, If Its Raining You Dont Really Want To Drop Salt Anyway Because It Kinda Washes It Away. And Thank God For Insurance Because We Always Have The Idiots That Think A Snow Storm Is Like Another Day At The Beach (careless).
  5. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    We wait till the event starts. If you start then and crry it out in a resonable manner nobody can get you for neglegence. You can't be everywhere at once and as long as you are there in a reasonable amount of time you should be covered in the event of a slip and fall.
  6. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I never salt when it's raining. It forecasted ice, but only rain fell.
  7. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    if i'm your customer, i'm paying for ice control/removal..... if there's no ice it's your loss.. sorry man, just pad your hours next time and make up for it.
  8. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    If we spread salt and then it just rains, we don't invoice for it. We just eat it and chalk it up to the cost of doing business. It would cause too many arguements with our clients and we probably wouldn't get our money out of most of them anyway so we don't even bother. We do mention it when we talk with our clients as often as possible though... :angel:
  9. GSE

    GSE Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    What's the contract say? If it's a zero tolerance contract, I pretreat in advance of any predicted snow/ice. If not, I watch the temps, time of day and sun exposure prior to the event. Normally I put my crews on alert to mount up as soon as the first drop falls and see where things end up.

    As far as billing, I think you have to eat this one.
  10. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    I will eat this one as I feel I would not want to pay as a customer. What I have done in the past was to mark it on the invoice as salt lot due to predicted ice conditions, then no charge on the line item stating that only rain occured. I feel that it is fair and shows that we were there and on top of things, but are willing to eat the cost if we make a mistake by salting too early. Their are a few customers that I will be charging in that same event, but only because of how our contract states it differently and they are the customers that money isn't an issue, but slips and falls are. I appreciate all of the responses.
  11. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Your last post sums it up perfectly:

    Depends on the contract/customer

    Eat it on this one, but mention it on the invoice--you look good this way

    For that type of customer in the future, wait till temps hit 32* put it heavy in the driving lanes and hand apply it in between the cars near the entrance.