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Private Gated road

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Bmoorefield, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Bmoorefield

    Bmoorefield Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I was contracted to plow a gated road and at the top of the hill there are five homes set up with a oval common area in the middle of the road and the house surround the area… Similar to a round about. 3 of the customers also contracted me to clear their driveways additionally.

    The other 2 houses are complaining that I am blocking their driveway in when I plow the road. One is complaining so much that they are threatening to take me to court over this matter because he claims that I am impeding him from leaving his house. I have tried to explain to the guy that when plowing in a circle the snow naturally wants to push outward toward the driveways and that I am only clearing the road according to the contract (No I am not pushing the snow in a pile in front of his driveway).

    1.) Am I doing anything wrong?
    2.) Does he have a case if he took me to court?
    3.) He wants me to push the wall of snow away from the front of his driveway
    4.) I’m trying to keep my cool and keep this professional but I’m having a really hard time seeing his point of view. He has no interest of paying me to plow his driveway either.
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    Is his driveway cleared when you get there? If so, you should most definitely clear it out.

    Why wouldn't you take an extra minute to clear out his entrance?

    Taking a little extra time might get you more work.
  3. SnoFarmer

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

    He has no case.
    Most municipality's plow the snow to the sides of the RD. even on cul-de-sacs
    This snow can be well over 3' high blocking every driveway.
    It is the homeowners responsibility to clear their own drive.

    Few municipality's plow to the center. The ones that do usually remove the snow in 24-48hrs.

    He' trying to intimidate you into clearing the opening to his drive for free.

    Tell him for $xx you will plow his drive or for 4xx you will open up the end for him...

    or just wave as you go by.

    ps It makes no difference how immaculately clean it was before you came by.
    the snow that falls onto the shoulder of the rd is not your responsibility.
    This area some like to think is all theirs, when it is part of the roads, right-of way.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  4. Bmoorefield

    Bmoorefield Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    No, his driveway was still covered with snow.
    If I take the few minutes to push the entrance of his driveway for free, I am now telling all the people in the community that I will do that for free. Its not fair to the people who have taken the extra step to hire me to clear their driveway.
    Also, what happens if I do plow the entrance and damage somethinig and he wants me to repair it (lawn, mailbox, driveway)?
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    How many houses are on this road? Maybe I misunderstood, I thought you were already doing 3 of the 5. Apparently there are more.

    If that's the case, tell him to see you in court. He's bluffing.
  6. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Situation is different than municipal roads,these private roads are governed by state laws.A non-profit is formed (like a condo assoc) a board is formed etc. This homeowner is trying to get something for free that others are paying extra for.Call his bluff! He has copy of contract,have them make changes so that everyone is happy , and you get paid for any changes
  7. NThill93

    NThill93 Member
    Messages: 96

    Is there one homeowner or a HOA who contracted you to plow the whole road? I would tell who ever hired you and be up front with him so it doesn't come back bad against you. He has no case either tell him you will plow his driveway for xx$ and make him sign a contract or tell him to *** off.
  8. Bmoorefield

    Bmoorefield Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I was contracted through the HOA. This guy just moved in a month ago to his million dollar new build, I'm sure he could afford the $50 to get it plowed. This guy has no interest in paying me, he is taking it personal like I am plowing him in intentionally.
    Believe me it took everything to hold myself back they way he was yelling at me on the phone.
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    Had it been me, I would have hung up on him. I will not have a discussion with someone who swears and/or yells at me. I will hang up or drive away. I have told my employees the same.

    If someone can't respect me enough to have a civil discussion, I will not be on the receiving end of it.
  10. SnoFarmer

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

    I'm with mark as soon as they swear at me there done
  11. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I would not do it for free!

    I build coming back after the city/town fills in the end, it is part of my service and they pay for it.
  12. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    IMO - you are working for the HOA and that guy is 20% of the HOA. These 3 of 5 driveways you plow, you are plowing the whole driveway, not just the end of it.

    Cul da sacs suck, there is no other way to put it - we do more than one with very picky people that live on them, I know exactly what you are dealing with. We don't bury the drives on these out of curtousy, we do spend some extra time digging the ends out when needed but we don't do it for free - it's built into the price of doing the road/subdivision.

    Now the drives on the straight portion of the road, if it's already clean, we slow down and scoop past it (v plows), it's not perfectly clean like it was but there isn't 12" of snow in there - again, not free but built into the price.

    The way I see it - County/City drivers do what they do with no recourse - sure we maybe can vote out their boss but you have no say so what so ever about that driver. HOA are completely different - that driveway you buried, that could very well be the next board president.

    Don't complete work for free, don't bill extra for it - I hate that fuel surcharge that people add to bills - build it into the cost of plowing the road. In all reality, it takes me no more than 10-15% more time on any of our subdivisions to do that little extra and it's in the price.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    sweep the entrance of the two drives your not contracted to plow . for 5 minutes of work you'll have less b.s. to deal with
  14. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    plow clockwise and put all the snow in the middle
  15. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Yea don't listen to this guy.

    And why do they even have your number. They should know to only contact the head of the HOA but the homeowners shouldn't have your number unless they are your customer.
  16. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I agree with that guy, the city plows just plow him in. some people here in MI only pay for plowing service because there will be a 2' pile at the end of their drive. there is no way of getting around this unless he wants you to plow his drive,.

    keep in mind also, while its not your fault, the people with the contract will view it as your fault and not give you another contract, youll probably lose less taking the time to drag the snow out from in front of his drive than losing the account.

    also keep in mind, go to the customer, say hey, there is an issue here. it may very well be their advice to tell the guy to screw off, or they could say we expect you to keep the drives clear.

    communication is key in this business, and also knowing which customers wont be happy no matter what.