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New Player in New England

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by nor'easter1, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. nor'easter1

    nor'easter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    Came to my attention the other day there is a new "Property Maintance" Company that is taking over snow operations at alot of Home Depots in the North East. Home Depot wants to be able to forcast home much money they will need to pay for snow removal. This is where U.S maintance came in and and sold the depot the idea that they could control costs by going to a seasonal contract. The numbers they go by are the square footage of the lots and nothing else, like material costs,shoveling etc where the store is located. The numbers are so low it scares me that even a part time plower would under take a contract. I wonder what they are adding on to the cost before Depot gets a bill. From a working mans point of view these contracts just don't make sense.
  2. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Yup, That'll happen, happens all the time around here..:dizzy:
  3. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    I made a couple of posts last season when another "former" national snow co underbid the local home cheapo here. I only go to hd when I absolutely have no other choice, but last winter the lot was the worst of any lots I have ever seen. They had employees tucking the islands with shovels, employees spreading rock salt and shoveling the walks as the contractor only made one pass up each isle and not very often, so everything was hard pack almost all season long. Couple that with the fact the the parking lot slopes up hill, so when you walk out of the store, if you have a cart, you have to push it uphill to get to your vehicle.

    The guy who lost it had done it for a long time and had always done a great job. He has some lots adjacent to HD, and they were all literally wet black pavement within a couple of hours of the end of a storm. But when HD was told that they have been grossly overpaying for service, they contracted with this former national co. The national co dropped a pusher box onsite, but it was never used and it was removed sometime during the summer.

    I wonder how many slip and fall suits they had? It was hard enough to drive in the lot, let alone trying to push materials to your vehicle.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2005
  4. lm116

    lm116 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Home Depot

    Hey Guys,

    I also heard today that u.s. maintainance had picked up the home depots.
    Sound like it is going to be interesting. Does anyone know what the square foot price is they use to bid these jobs at?
  5. GetMore

    GetMore Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Maybe you guys should write letters to Home Depot during the winter including pictures of their poorly plowed lots and the well plowed non-U.S. Maintenance lots next door? Send it to corporate HQ with the question of "How much is a slip-and-fall lawsuit? How much are you saving on your contract?"
    Perhaps the corporate world doesn't give a crap, but then again, they might.
    My guess is if the plowing is paid by the corporate office instead of the individual stores they go with the big management company/slavedrivers so they only deal with one contract. Much simpler from the Accounts Payable standpoint.
  6. Mick

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

    Charging for plowing by the square foot? That makes no sense. I've seen it alluded to on here lately and just figured it was a lawn maintenance thing that people were trying to apply to plowing snow. Maybe I just need to be enlightened.
  7. Killswitch

    Killswitch Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Its probably not a bad way to figure plow time and attach a pricing schedule to that for figuring.

    If you can come up with a square foot per hour production rate for a particular unit and operator under varying conditions.

    TRUE TURF LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    Same **** Differnt Day In This Business.
  9. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266

    third party management

    I do not understand..I see more posts on here going back and forth about how bad the "maintenance" companies are. Why not just stop dealing with them, working for them, and talking about them?? There must have been 15 pages of posts last year on one company alone..If everyone just ingores them ,and noone works for them, won't these chain stores be forced to find there own people??
  10. Mick

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

    And that just might happen. It would be on the same order as what AAA does now. AAA depends on private tow companies. As a private tower (contractor), you sign on with AAA agreeing to accept their rates, which are substantially lower than your normal rates. When a stranded driver calls AAA, they go to the list to find the nearest contractor. If that one is unavailable, they go to the next nearest, etc. Nobody likes AAA because of the low reimbursement, BUT most towers sign with them because they get the number of calls to make the truck payment, etc. So what happens if nobody signs with AAA or they try to hold AAA to THEIR rates? AAA buys trucks and hires drivers for a particular area. It's called moving in the AAA fleet. This may be more costly, but they're still making more from the areas where they have a list of contractors and they're sending a message to this area and others that want to try the same thing - "mess with AAA and we'll put you out of business".

    So, yes, I agree with snoluvr to a point - just be prepared to lose the bigger accounts. They don't care about the driveways and mom&pop stores - unless they can get them as part of a larger deal, say signing a neighborhood or subdivision.
  11. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87

  12. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    and if they have to take it to a junk yard, doesnt the towing co get a minimum of 300 from the junkyard???
  13. Mick

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

    No, it's not your car until it's been stored so long and can be claimed as abandoned. It's more like $50 which doesn't really make it worth it in a situation where the junk yard is 30 miles. And not all tow companies do repairs. Plus, the owner states where he wants it towed.

    But, towing isn't the focus of this thread. My point is that maintenance companies (in whatever form) will use tactics that can be difficult to compete against. They can hire a local workforce if other contractors "boycott" them. They'll always find enough hungry locals willing to work at low wages to make it work.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  14. coopersjeep

    coopersjeep Junior Member
    from 48141
    Messages: 7

    Saven money

    I did some work for them last year up here. It took some getting used to in regards to their requirements but I actually grew my business last year through them. I was happy because my one commercial account was requiring 10 million in liability but US Maintenance took it over and they only made me cary one million.

    The nice thing with them is they manage everyting exterior. I don't do sweeping or power sweeping but Zi did pick up some landscaping for them. Just don't work for the wrong companies. I did some work for SMG before but they screwed me on money. Never again.