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Include lawn repair in a commercial plowing contract?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by aczlan, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. aczlan

    aczlan Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I work for a smallish hotel (60 room independent hotel in upstate NY) and every year, the guy who plows the parking lot makes some good sized ruts (2-6" deep) around the parking lot where he piles the snow.
    I understand that this is due to the ground not being completely frozen early in the winter and him needing to start his piles far enough back that he doesn't run out of space to stack snow mid-winter, but is it normal to include in the contract that he will come back and fix the ruts that he and his guys make while pushing snow?

    We fixed them this year and it took 3-4 yards of topsoil to fill them all in (the ruts were from several years of plowing).
    I am wondering if we should add to this year's plowing contract that the contractor will repair any lawn damage caused by his trucks (ie ruts or scraping from not lifting the blade on the lawn) or if that is an abnormal condition to have in the contract.

    Thanks in advance.

    Aaron Z
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Hold last payment til repairs are made.
  3. aczlan

    aczlan Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Excellent idea. I assume that this would need to be written into the contract (something like "the last payment will be held until the grass has been repaired")?

    Aaron Z
  4. snowguys

    snowguys Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    no make him put it in his contract i know its in mine and yes spring time we go out any fix anything we do.even if if its not in his i would make him fix it or go out shopping for a new plow guy and tell him that you will if he does not fix it
  5. aczlan

    aczlan Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    That is what I thought should be happening from lurking on here and lawnsite.
    We are probably going with another plow guy anyway. The guy who has been doing it keeps raising his rates, this year he is up to $200/push.
    We (finally) got competitive quotes (as I have told whose in charge we should have done before) and the other quotes are in the $125-$130 range.
    This is just to clear the parking lot, no sidewalks, salting extra on a time and materials basis.

    Aaron Z
  6. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    We repair PLOW damage only. ie: scraped up grass. We don't fix the ruts from trucks turning in to tight, we dont fix the ruts from cars driving over the edge of the asphalt, we don't fix the brown grass along the edge of the parking lot.....
  7. aczlan

    aczlan Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    This damage consisted of ruts perpendicular to the parking lot on the sides of the lot which dont have curbs (from them driving straight in with the truck when piling snow) and a patch of grass about 10' wide by 10' in from the edge of the pavement where the topsoil was peeled up in strips by the plow (like the corner of the plow hooked the grass and peeled it off when they came in with the plow angled).

    Aaron Z

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Very easy to determine plow damage to lawns. I use to plow in Michigan and one of the contractors that worked there did the same thing you describe. Every place I have contracted to has had the clean-up/repair clause in the contract so it is not irregular to ask for it to be added in. Myself, I wont drive on the grassy areas until the deep freeze has set in for that exact reason as I don't want to be the one responsible for damage showing once the snow melts.

    One year we even had to buy parking blocks for a chain restaurant that just laid them in place instead of attaching them to the pavement.

    Good luck in your adventure to find a new plow guy. A good relationship goes a long way toward the service given, I believe. ussmileyflag
  9. aczlan

    aczlan Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    It looks like we will be going with the guy who I worked under when I worked at TruGreen Landcare.
    He got fed up with them cutting corners and left to start his own mowing/plowing business.
    Great guy to work with and does good work.

    Aaron Z
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    We repair lawn damage to an extent. If a customer absolutely wants the first couple piles of snow pushed back then of course we're going to leave ruts and thats when we say not responsible for repairs. I think this year is going to be bad with the ground being as warm as it is around here, our lake temp. is still 67 degrees.
  11. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Yeah if the customer requests for sure a no responsibility paper is signed. I try to explain we stack over curbs or on edge and later in the year get a loader to move piles. It is cheaper for them to pay for the loader service then to pay to have lawn damage fixed or sprinkler heads replaced. :mechanic:
  12. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Recognize that in the end, whether he does it, or you do, you'll pay for the repairs. When he is doing it, you may find you don't have as much control over the quality of the work.