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Lawn Damage and other damage

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dreich3075, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Dreich3075

    Dreich3075 Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 3

    I have been in the business for 8 years and in most cases, repair any lawn damage that was done while plowing in the spring.

    This year in Connecticut there has been much much more snow than we are used to. Now that we have had a few days off a temps warmed up a little bit, I have had a few calls about lawn damage and patio damage.

    Now this is all stuff that some of you may be used to all the time...but we very very rarely have to move snow in residential driveways with a skid steer or shovel off roofs because buildings are collapsing.

    So back to my question...how much do you repair in the spring for free, or do you charge for it? Lawns, Belgium block, plants, patios???

    Any information would be appreciated!
  2. Schnabel Plowin

    Schnabel Plowin Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    If it is your fault, you replace it free. Repair for spring should be built in to your current plowing rates. If it comes out more or less than expected, you deal with it ASAP regardless.
  3. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    You damage it... your responsible. When doing machine work we will advise of possible damage, probably the biggest being fences from the weight of the snow, and we also advise about curb damage if customer wants us to push up and over onto lawn areas. If it's our lot already, we have everything staked. If we are called in later on an account, we do not accept any liability. this year there is ALOT of damage.
  4. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    "you break it, you buy it"
  5. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    Top soil= 2 cu yds $49
    Grass Seed $15
    Starter Fertilizer $30
    Straw $10
    Labor Priceless
  6. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    If you mess it up, you fix it. Immediately or as soon as weather allows. No hassles or charges to the customer. No excuses. End of story.
  7. simoncx

    simoncx Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    How do you damage a patio? All our snow clients are lawn clients so we fix the grass during spring cleanups if we have to, never had a damaged patio.
  8. KMBertog

    KMBertog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    we inform client that we will repair any damaged turf in the spring once weather permits... and that we will fix it on our dime. turf gets ripped up, it's the nature of the business. other damage happens too... we had a guy in the blizzard a couple weeks ago knock a light pole down in a HOA we service. they bill us for a new one.... it is what it is.
  9. Dreich3075

    Dreich3075 Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 3

    Not really a patio...its a walkway that leads to the driveway. Last step is a 4x1 piece of bluestone. She says its broken but I cant see it right now with all of the snow (she doesnt want the walkway shoveled b/c they dont use that door).

    Thanks for all of the input guys! I see what you are all saying about you break it you buy it but... How about if the customer is standing there telling me there is nothing under the pile of snow that im moving and I rip up a few different shrubs that she forgot was there. She played it off like it was no big deal at the time but I know she will be calling in the spring.
  10. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Certain stuff we will mark off differently in the fall, around bushes we might put a bunch of markers there just to be safe. We also have in our contract that if we damage something that is marked, we will fix it, however; if the client refuses to let us mark the property, we arent lible for the damage.
  11. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    we fix damage in the spring and we pay for it
    not much of an issue for us
  12. Schnabel Plowin

    Schnabel Plowin Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    Pretty individual case, but I'd imagine if the customer told you to pile snow on her shrubs, that would be okay. Is this a one time account?
  13. Dreich3075

    Dreich3075 Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 3

    Account I got after the first storm. How could I possibly know what was under the pile of snow. I have to rely on the customer to know their own property and if they don't I cant see how I can be responsible for it after asking here what the property looked like and she specifically said the only thing under the pile was pavement.
  14. blogsdon

    blogsdon Member
    Messages: 63

    I do mostly residentials usually have some bare spots at the approach. A little seed an i'm done

    Now I did back into a chain link fence pole and shifted things around a bit and bent the post (a little) but still $260.00 worth

  15. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Cost to replace a few broken shrubs: $100

    A happy customer who knows you went above and beyond, now feels bonds of loyalty towards you, and will tell all her friends: PRICELESS
  16. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    thats something where we have the not liable clause, basically states that if we are hired after a significant snow fall, meaning that we can not clearly see the property for obsticles, we are not to be held liable for any damage to the property.
  17. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    I repair lawns in the spring if my plow tore it up.But in the HOA that I do the drives are a perfect 90 degrees to the street with no flare at the end.So the ones that you can see that are just from a car turning too soon I will not repair.Some people have tried to get me to repair them.I have 2 fences that I told customers that there will be a problem with all the snow and all they said is that they will have to deal with it and get it fixed.
  18. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    It's funny you said that. I almost went through the same thing, but found out it wasn't us. You would be surprised how easy those lights come down, and I warn my guys about it constantly. Those poles are meant to be collapsible upon impact so they do less damage to whatever hits it. You can easily push it over if you are stacking against it.
  19. jklawn&Plow

    jklawn&Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    My first year I backed over the neighbors mailbox. Real nice area. Turns out it was a "Designer Mailbox", lucky me. I went and rang their bell and told them it was me. They told me the mailman wouldn't deliver to a broken post. I felt bad because if it was mine it would be an added burden-I was able to identify. I was able to use some pvc piping inside the caste iron till spring and then bought the post for $200 at the special store online. The account next door was ~$250 for the season. What a profit, $50. Good thing for those 0% credit cards or it might have mattered that first year. I guess I could of run it through the insurance, business or truck, but my rate hasn't gone up in 5 yrs, probably an even trade.
  20. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    I have it in all my comm. accounts contracts that ANYTHING buried under the snow I will not be responsible for.End of discussion.Never had a problem yet in 32 years.The worst is always just some grass damage.I offer good job security to my local landscapers.Thumbs Up