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New Contract

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by MSsnowplowing, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Well I sat down and redid my formal contract, moved a few things, deleted a few things, added a few things.

    What do you all think?

    Attached Files:

  2. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Not sure what type of properties you target or specialize in, or mabye some thing like this is required in your area, but I became disinterested in soon after the 2nd page. Too much definitions, exemptions, see section 3 for this meaning written in legal lingo. ect ect.

    Mabye include all that stuff at the very end if you feel you need to.

    People want to know what and when is a service going to be performed, how much will it cost and how and when do I have to pay. Give them what they want to know first.

    Too much detail can bite you in the ass as well. Client won't plow within 1 foot of parked cars. What if you leave 18-20" and some pain in the ass property manager calls you out stating you are not following the contract.
  3. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    That legal lingo as you put it can save your ass.
    The days of a handshake is long gone when dealing with commercial business propertys.
    Homeowners that can be a different story but I deal strictly in commerical.

    If you had read to the end you would have seen all those questions are answered. What is to be plowed, what locations, etc...

    As for too much detail, what's in my contracts is what gets done, that is what contracts are for.
    What I put in them, I stand by them.

    Contracts spell what you will do and what you will not do, what the client will do and will not do.

    That saved my ass from a lawsuit on a slip and fall on their sidewalk.
    Contract clearly stated we only did the roadways and parking spots, they did their own sidewalks.
    Their Lawyer saw that and took me right out of the lawsuit.
    If that had not been spelled out in detail I would not not have had a leg to stand on.

    There is no misunderstanding because if it's not in the contract it doesn't exist no matter what someone says.

    If your just doing homeowner driveways and doing it on a handshake, more power to you.

    If your doing any type of commercial property your a fool if your not using a contract to protect yourself.

    You might get away with no problems for a while, but it only takes one time of something happening to ruin you.

    Pretty much everything in my contract was written because of real life experiences, either myself or others.

    For example
    1. Independent Contractor.
    The Contractor is an independent contractor in the performance of this Agreement.
    Neither the Contractor, employees and subcontractors will become the agent, representative nor employee of the Client and no express or implied representations to the contrary will be made.

    I had one client who thought we were their employees and we had to do whatever they said, they were trying to order my guys around and telling them that to get them to do work outside the scope of the contract and while we well do any extra work the client wants, they get billed for it. This one expected the work for free.

    2.4 Scope of De-icing and De-icing materials of the Contractor’s choice will be applied to driveway/ parking lot, walkway, stairway and handicap access ramp areas at the discretion of the Contractor based on Exhibit A, Site description.

    Another client wanted me to use echo / green / earth friendly salt on their sidewalks. Cost was like $25 for a 20 pound bag of the stuff.
    Problem was they didn't want to pay extra for it, they wanted to just pay $10 dollars out of it and have me foot the rest.
    Didn't happen.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point now.

    Now stop being a stubborn ass mainer and use a contract.

    My Great Grandfather was a maine lobersterman, my family comes from there.
    Most of Maine is a Bunch of stubborn, stiff necked, bull headed honest, hardworking people, just like me ussmileyflag

    Be safe this winter.
  4. TMLGC

    TMLGC Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    I may of missed it but If the client elects for your tiered pricing by the inches I would put that you will be the deciding factor at which price point gets charged or use some other deciding factor such as the NWS online amount per storm for your area, again so you are not dealing with you say it was at one level and the owner/property manager says it was 1.5" less and at a lower price point than you are charging.

    Again I may of missed it, not trying to be wise, but that is often a point of contention.

    I do really like the pricing options they can choose A or B.

    Also just curious if you wrote this all yourself or if it was written by or with the assistance of a retained lawyer or representative from your insurance company?
  5. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Too wordy for me....
  6. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Ninety five percent of my contracts are seasonal, the rest being per storm.

    Lot's of options from paying for weather services -(they send you detailed reports with the inches, type of storm etc..) to the state D.O.T. site that reports the inches for each town.

    I use my state site with onsite measuring due to drifts overhand buildings etc...
    I also take pictures with a tape measure -(time and date stamp)
    Funny thing is I never had to use the pictures, my clients trust me and have never questioned my billing because I don't inflate numbers to make a few extra bucks and my clients know this.

    Also with sites that are per storm, while we may have gotten a 3 inch storm but due to those other factors there may be 5 inchs on the road or lot.
    I discuss things like that with my clients before the snow falls and during and make them aware of it if they are not already -(the first year I plow them)

    Open discussion and a good contract spelling things out means you don't get into conflict with services or billing.

    I wrote most of it myself using other legal docs.
    Picking and choosing what I needed to cover a what if situation.

    I tried for the most part to keep the wording simple english and not legalease.

    My insurance company has looked at and they like it, I have not had a lawyer look at it yet.

    I keep tweaking it every year, adding some, deleting some, changing wording, moving the sections around, cleaning it up trying to make it more user friendly and easier to read.

    Years ago bought software with over a hunded different types of contracts.
    The contracts were all gone over by lawyers and all you had to do was find which one you needed and put in your specfics.
    The contracts did not cover everything but gave you a good general base for starting.

    That is where this one started.

    I have been writing contracts for over 15 years now -(other types not just snowplowing) and one of the most important things I have learned is;

    If it's not in the contract it does not exist.

    Like I said the days of a handshake and it is a done deal are over.

    Which is a shame because your word and handshake should be the end of it.

    Have a good one.
  7. Daddyworbucks

    Daddyworbucks Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I read it in its entirety it spells protection.....Bravo.