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Its funny.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Peterbilt, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I havn't been a member of this site for all that long, I don't really know anyone on here and i will probably regret doing this. So I don't mean to offend anyone with what I am about to write.

    I have been plowing for about 12 years or so now. I have been doing it for myself for 2 of these years. Along with the plowing I have to do the bidding as well.

    Every night I get on this site to see what the new topics are and I am always hearing about how someone came in second on a bid, or was close on a bid, or just got plain LOWBALLED!!

    Now for one I do not think I am a lowballer at all. I go look at accounts figure out how long its going to take. Figure out how much Ice control I am going to use, Find out what the potential customers needs, wants and Expectations are then submit the bid. Just like everyone else.

    Along with bidding accordingly I sometimes get the account and sometimes I don't. But I don't complain about it when I don't because By not getting them all, I can provide better customer service to the accounts I do get.

    I know for a fact that when I do get new accounts I usually come in at the same price or close to what the other contractors are bidding. I get them because of the reputation that I have for customer service. Not to mention the attention to detail and the products that I use.

    Last year was my first year of SOLO plowing. I had to totally start from scratch. I am not origonaIy from the town I live and work in. I knew no Business owners or really anyone that could Help me out for that matter. I had to go out and actively bid accounts. I never went out wanting to lowball, I went out so I could make a GOOD living during the winter months when I cannot perform my real job (Grading, Seeding, etc) I bid all my jobs as competitively as I could. But I was always surprised at how much people will acctually pay to have a premium service provided to them.

    From plowing for as long as I have I have learned a few things along the way.

    1. Everyone plows better than averybody else.
    2. Most customers have unrealistic expectations
    3. If you loose a job to someone else, Its because you were probably not doing a good job last year and the customer wanted someone else.

    I just hired this kid to work for me a few weeks go. The other day we were chatting a bit about family and family business. Come to find out his father also has a winter plowing business. And come to find out its a business that I have out-bid on a account or to. Now I don't know this man (the father) at all. I bid the account because the customer wanted him out. So pretty much any number I gave them was going to be accepted. I took over this guys account and hated every thing about it. LOL I gave a totally over the top bid this year so I don't have to do it again but thats another story.

    Anyway. This other business has 60 accounts. Mostly commercial. He runs 3 trucks and 2 skidloaders. I ask my help how long it takes to plow all those accounts with the equipment his fathers got. He stated that on almost all snows it takes 3 DAYS!!!!. Now I have to ask. If it takes 3 days to plow your accounts what type of customer service are you providing? How do you keep them from calling you to find out where you are at? How do you keep any accounts from year to year?

    Last year I had 20 accounts. Mostly commercial and medium to large Condo associations.
    I Ran 3 trucks and a Skid loader. My crew and I could usually run my accounts in 8 Hours depending on conditions. I feel thats an acceptable time Vs. 3 days. Sure I would have to go out and do spot clean ups due to drifting and melting but 8 Hours is pretty good. Now Let me explain a bit more about an 8 Hour push. The first 8 hours is just lot opening or primary clean up, Or clean up on a light snow storm that only needs 1 push, then I treat the lots all in that 8 Hour time frame. Now my crew all goes home. On heavy storms My crew comes in we run our shift. they go home or to work at other jobs, then we go back out and do our follow ups after people have gone home for that day. On these days I awnser calls from customers and put out fires all day. My follow ups take about 6 to 7 hours.

    This year I am hoping to double my accounts and still provide the same service I did last year. I have double my fleet. (Not due to snow, But due to my businesses growth this year) I have hired more capable operators. Have 2 more subs. and Have picked up a few larger accounts not to mention kept all my last years accounts. I plan on offering the same customer services that I did last year.

    I know that I went on and on with my lame story but, I am trying to make this point.

    Stop complaining when you lose an account or don't win a bid. People hire you and don't hire you for a reason. You are all businessmen and adults. Start acting like it.

  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    You're taking yourself (and this site) way too seriously. Yes, people come on here and complain but so what...does it have an affect on you or your business? Probably not. If it makes someone feel better to vent a little bit then it's all good. Keep in mind that you're just looking at dots on a screen.

    We all have our own reasons for being a part of this site. Yours is obviously different than some others but that's what makes it great.

    The snow will be flying soon so until then have a couple :drinkup:
  3. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

  4. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    the kid is a spy. dad sent him over to see if your going to be a contender or you will just be out of business in a couple years like the ten that tried before you. everyone is talking about you. your the new guy that keeps under bidding the regulars. half of plow contracts are decided on who your related to or who you know. didnt you just move there? just kiddn. good luck.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Why is your competitions kid working fro you?

    More along the lines of why does the "kid" want to work for you and not for his dad or is he ?

    See you got to rant too.:redbounce :bluebounc purplebou .
    Feel better.

    ;) You keep coming back.
  6. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    ;) No your not.:D

    You said what I was kind of thinking too.
    (scary:eek: )
  7. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745


    The kid is a complete ******. Not overly motivated. I have to hand hold him alot but he is a deceint worker.

    I was just venting up above. Don't hold it against me.
  8. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    let his dad hold his handxysport spyyyy hahah

    really bored
  9. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Were all friends here, group Hug ? :rolleyes: :p
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    There's that dam bunny again!
  11. Mick

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

    re: the "three days". This could actually be ok. Think about it. If the person who hired him needed it done sooner, he would have hired someone else. There is really no reason to wait that long; there's always going to be someone around who could plow it in less than three days.

    I have two accounts that could potentially wait six days. Both are "vacation homes" - the owners live and work in another state. One comes up Friday night and spends the weekend. The other comes up Saturday morning and leaves Sunday afternoon. Neither one cares if it's plowed during the week; Only that it's plowed for fire trucks (the FD said they can easily drive on 5" of snow) and by the time they get there. So, me arrangement is to plow anything over 5" or have one plowed by Fri afternoon and the other by early Sat morning.

    As far as "Lowballer", it depends on the circumstances. I've defined "lowball" as using someone's bid to submit a lower bid. So, let's say I find out what you've bid for a property and I submit a bid lower than you instead of going out and figuring out my on my own what I consider a fair price. That would make me a "lowballer" (besides lazy and dumb). If I just plain WANT a particular site and bid low figuring everybody else is higher; I wouldn't call that a lowballer. The other one I really have a problem with is the person/company who bids so low that they are actually LOSING money, just to drive out the competition. This is usually a tactic used by larger companies with more than one place of business. And, yes, it happens in snowplowing - just ask some guys in a certain area of Pennsylvania.
  12. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    I agree with mick on the lowballer thing, The kid, i dont know about him I dont like that idea sounds like hes a spy.

    You want to come in and complain about the way we act on this site, what’s up with that?
    Each of us that come on plow site knows what works and dose not work for our own company. We use plow site, to joke around, have fund and pick up new ideas and ticks of the trade. Face it if we came to this site to tell every one about the lots we bid on today, it would get old real fast.

    Yea guys man did I have a ruff day, I went over to auto zone and bid it at $45 a push, 15 for walks and 34.50 for salt. Then I went to bank one and bid it at 55 a push and 45 to salt, the manger said she was happy with the last guy but she likes the way we do things better, but she’s waiting on Grandview to give her a bid, she said she would call me next week.

    I know this site would get old real fast!!

    But I enjoy this site, and the Rachel Ray post and the Ohio thread. I believe that why most come here is to relax.

    So take a chill pill.

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    If you have any clue at all about business you will end your relationship with your competitions son. After reading your post you make it painfully apparent how green you really are at this.
  14. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Snow Lord I agree

    Or maybe he will put his dad on part-time also.

    Maybe hes growing so fast, it becasue hes the cheapest. :rolleyes:
  15. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    All I know is that I have never ever lost an account because we didn't service it well or enough. I have lost accounts because they felt we over serviced, in that case I tell then fine, but I'd rather lose one or two accounts a year this way than lose my whole business because of one stupid lawsuit, of these folks who claim over service I get half back......Then there are the lowballers......we lose 10 percent a year to low bidders, which is fine because we sign an average of 25-35 perceent of added business annually, steady growth is all I need to be happy...........