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I'm having one of those weeks where everything is going in the crapper..

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by EcoGreen Serv, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. You ever have one of those weeks where everything just seems to go for a crap ?.

    Tuesday I go to my commercial account to drop off the tractor. Only to find the doors closed and a sign saying they've gone into receivership :eek:. The great part is they still owe me $3700 for Summer Services. Guess know I know why they've been giving me the runaround for 6 weeks. The receiver figured , based on the assets I may get about 20 cents on the dollar.

    Then Yesterday I'm out staking a private subdivision with 47 Homes. It's not maintained by the municipality so it's the road and all 47 driveways plus walkways.

    As I'm doing this a guy approaches me and asks what I'm doing. So I tell him I'm the snow removal contractor.

    He tell's me that's funny. Because the homeowners association voted to buy their own tractor, blower and plow and do it themselves . I said I have a contract signed by the president of the homeowners association, Bill _____. He tells me Bill passed away in September and the new president is Ryan _____.
    You better talk to him. He's only here part time but here's his number in Toronto. So I call Ryan and explain the situation to him. He tells me he knows nothing about the contract and asks me to fax it to him which I do.
    According to him, Bill ______ was no longer the president of the HOA on September 4th when the contract was signed. He has been the president as of September 1st . So Bill had no right to sign anything and he never said anything to the committee . He Passed away on September 30th and was in the hospital a couple of weeks before that. He said that the homeowners association purchased a tractor and equipment in October so would not be needing a outside contractor. He seemed like a nice guy and did say he would try to get me more summer work.. (I currently do 15 large homes there in the summer and have had several good landscaping jobs there) and seemed truly sorry but there was nothing he could do about the winter since they'd bought equipment. He was of the opinion it was a invalid contract since the person signing it was not authorized to do so. (Of course the guy is a lawyer)

    I spoke to my Lawyer and said I would have a case, but it could take a year of 2 and cost me more in legal fees than the contract was for.. If I started Legal action against the HOA I'd almost certainly lose the summer business I have.

    These 2 customers are why I bought a new Western V-Plow this year because of where they wanted the stacking done. Right now I'm feeling I wasted $7500 because the old Arctic would have been fine otherwise.

    So as it stands right now I'm pretty much screwed, That was 80% of my business. I have no idea of what I'm going to do now. I'm pretty much freaking out.
    It's WAY too late to look for any replacement commercial work, Hopefully I can pick up some more residentials but it's awfully late even for that. So I pretty much freaking out.

    Maybe I should get a big magnetic sign for the pickup with “Driveways Plowed $20 Cash” ? :dizzy:

    If anyone needs a sub in the North / West GTA looks like I'll have lots of time on my hands this winter since as it stands I have 11 driveways. I'm basically at 89 & Airport Rd.

    I really wish there was some Scotch in the house right about now. :drinkup:

    Any advice ?,, I'm sure some of you have been in a similar situation in the past..


  2. DeVries

    DeVries PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,685


    Truly sorry to hear about your misfortune. Hope someone on here can help you out. Best of luck.
  3. TommyMac

    TommyMac Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    I feel for ya brother....I'll take a shot of Jack for ya....Ever considering plowing for a local municipality


  4. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    Most likely the HOA will call you back in after they see what a PIA snow removal really is. Lots of us , myself included, have lost accounts this season. Sub out to fill the gap and hit the bidding hard in the spring. Gotta roll with the punches....
  5. SuperdutyShane

    SuperdutyShane PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,517

    Hopefully like Fisherman said... They will get fed up with doing the plowing and give you a call. You could try talking to your town about plowing for them, although at this point in the season they are probably rather full. However, my town isnt full yet I dont think. So you might get lucky.
  6. Well after spending around $50,000 on a Kubota L40 Grand , blower and Blade I'd think they're pretty committed to it. They're mostly retired there so It will be interesting to see who's going to run it. Lot's of interlock stone driveways so I think plenty will be scuffed up in the spring.

    I'll go to the municipal office tomorrow, good suggestion. Can't hurt.

    Took a ad in the service directory of a local paper so hopefully that will generate some calls.

    Came out pretty good I think. http://www.citizen.on.ca/ROP/large/misc-DufferinCounty&DistrictServiceDirectory.htm 13 weeks for $160 is pretty good and they have a distribution of 14,500

    Ya, just gotta roll with it.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Get some signs for the truck too.
    Talk to the other Co's around and try to sub.
    Good Luck
  8. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    I know a lot of guys in the same shape this year. It has been a rough year. Sometimes you just have to look at the good things in life. Money isn't everything. Survive in 2009 and thrive in 2010. Good luck I hope things turn around.
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    Sorry to hear your bad luck. I hope it gets better for you. Look around for any guys networking.
  10. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Man thats one crappy day.

    I don't see the HOA lasting if we get some decent snow. The home owners are going to want things done before they get up to go to work. And I wouldn't be afraid to bet that won't happen if they do it themselves. Unless as you said they are all retired folks, then they might not care.

    Maybe some of those property managers that never bother to arrange for snowplowing till after it snows will call. Normally they are not the best calls out there, but it is work.
  11. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    that sucks bad.
    esp. so damn late in the season
    Although at least the commercial went TU before they owed you for snow too.

    real bad
    The HOA will be back
    sure, they have the tractor, but who's going to do it?

    the one guy who does it will get tired of it (or want more money, or whatever)

    I'm SURE they have insurance (bahahahahahaha,not)

    craigslist, sub out.
  12. M.McDaniel

    M.McDaniel Member
    Messages: 49

    Don't think it's over, someone owes you at minimum your profit margin for the contracted work. It doesn't matter that he was not president at that time, he was still acting as their agent. A deal was made and it needs to be adhered to, that's why your attorney told you that you have a case, because you do. If they want out, fine, but they need to pay your expected profit margin for the contracted work at minimum to get out. Why should you lose money over this situation? If your attorney doesn't want to play ball, get a new attorney. A good attorney knows that all expenses incurred during litigation is in addition to the sum requested from the lawsuit. Have the attorney start out by sending a letter requesting arbitration with an overtone of "or else" to it. Don't worry about salvaging summer work, they now have lawn maintenance equipment on hand and you can see where there mindset now lies in regards to hiring contractors.
  13. GatorDL55

    GatorDL55 Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    Yes, definitely fight it - Have the HOA pay the court costs since they are breaking the contract. Find the right attorney and make them pay.
  14. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I think you are right letting it go, as you said you'll spend more in leagal fees than the contract was worth and then are just about garunteed to lose all the landscape work. Maybe find a bigger guy locally who needs subs, probably pay better than the muni work would.
  15. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    if you were looking to sue someone wouldn't you be looking to sue the estate of the passed away person? i am not trying to be a @ss, but if he signed the contract and had no right to, then that is where you would look to legal action. but i think either way you are looking for new contracts or to sub with another company. also if the condo association said they may throw you some work in the spring, i would look to get something in writing, don't let the president push you around in this, make sure it goes to a condo meeting and see where it goes, i agree it isn't worth trying to take on the condo association but at the same time they should acknowledge that there is some responsibility there.
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Damn sorry to hear about the news. I know Johnny is looking for some people still and he drives down from around 89 and 400. You could go see some of the bgger contractors around you. I don't care for Sunshine but they might give you enough work to fill in and make your monthlies. Good Luck
  17. APLC

    APLC Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Dam that just burns my BUTT, sorry to here about it I lost a big account a few weeks ago it was about 40% of my plow route and they fed me some BS like they did you its just to bad good luck with it all
  18. Thanks for all the advice guys.
    I still have to take care of the locals I have through the Veterans Affairs home maintenance program. They're not the best paying accounts but my Dad was a WW2 vet so I feel a responsibility to make sure I still take care of them. But that's only a few hours a event.

    JD Dave,, Making the Monthlies will be the priority this winter, I'll give Sunshine and some of the local construction companies a call tomorrow. I'm not really a direct competitor to Sunshine. Most of my accounts are in Mono and Mulmur where they don't want to go. I'll check with Johnny as well by PM.

    I had a email from the Lawyer tonight, he's going to do some digging.. Perhaps your right Buckwheat, But I just couldn't go after a elderly widow who's just lost her husband, It's just not something I would do.

    As my Wife said, look on the bright side, at least you won't have to freeze your butt off on the tractor (Open utility tractor, No Cab) and can stay in the warm cozy pickup .
  19. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    buckwheat, are you sure your Canadian? WTF
  20. SuperdutyShane

    SuperdutyShane PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,517

    Is yours the tractor with the open cab? If it is the condos then you sure will be getting a call withing the first 1-2 storms lol