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Proof of Salting

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by hydroturf, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. hydroturf

    hydroturf Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Hey guys, I have an unusual situation from a rental property owner who i know is playing games with me. He doesn't want to pay for any salting i've done - he has asked me to 'prove' i've done it. He says his tenants have never seen me do - of course, since it's usually done at 3 or 4 in the morning.

    Now, I have salted every storm and I have already terminated his contract in writing. Thoughts on collecting or providing proof? I do document my salting on a route sheet but I'm afraid that's not going to be enough if I have to go to court.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    You calmly tell him all worked was done per contract.

    If he is unwilling to pay have your lawyer send them a letter with the date for court. Lawyer fee's should also be included as well as late fee's for non-payment.
  3. Cassy

    Cassy Senior Member
    Messages: 180

    I agree with that advice. Once lawyers are called in I find many clients are suddenly willing to pay.

    While I don't salt, I've had similar situations with landscaping--specifically when we are contracted to spray chemicals, clients can't generally see it so I can see them questioning whether it was done.
    Keeping dated logs helps alot, as I've heard from other guys, to go towards proving your case. Especially if it is a long running log, that way it doesn't look like something you've slapped together for the court to see--if it gets to that.

    good luck!
  4. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Ask him to proove that it wasn't done!
  5. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Generally we write in and out times, but thats not oh so reliable.
    A landscape company around here, has linked there gps tracking in that when the salters are engaged, time on and off are logged, alongside the normal location tracking. Thats gotten them out of two lawsuits this year.

    We are looking into arrange the samething for our salters. We've never had a problem, but it sounds like relatively solid way to avoid the unknown.
  6. KCB

    KCB Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Tell him to lick the pavement .

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    I have a salt sheet that MUST be signed. In fact, if the customer does not sign it, it is free. I have several accounts where having them sign it at 3 in the morning would be impossible so we/I return in the am and have them sign it then. I had a problem getting paid $2300 5 years ago with the same problem and it hasnt happened since. If they dont sign it, atleast you'll know the first time out that they are aholes. I would hate to walk in on pay day and 12 saltings later to find out otherwise.

    Good luck
  8. Bernie Lomax

    Bernie Lomax Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    What about invoices proving your purchase of the material?
  9. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Out of all our accounts we have one or two where we ALWAYS have an issue. We have a camera. We photo snow dept 3 place on the lot at each clear. What it looks like at the end of each clear and the salter working and done. I had a customer where we photoed the truck start and finish to show salt used(did not rebid as it was not worth the pain.

    Bottom line is at this point it is almost impossible to prove. We track GPS and times. Also Approximate amounts applied (however we are per application not per ton.) We have very few issues.

    One thing I found that works better than anything is calling the next morning to ask How it looked and what they thought. I always mention every service we did so there is no questions. We also send a morning report to all customers about progress. Because of this it makes it much more difficult to say we are not doing things. We had one guy this year I showed the lawyer what we had and what we sent and my records and it quickly went away.

    The main thing is make it Your word and records against his thoughs. you will almost always win.

    X-LOWBALLER Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 102

    I cant think of a single account worth the headache of going thru with what you mentioned above. We get a signature, it takes all of 3 seconds. It records time in and out along with the work performed ie salting, or salting and plowing. Taking photos of your salter working, taking photos of depths in 3 different areas, pre and post photos :dizzy: Can you say $160 per ton? And thats if I am getting it at the rock bottom price of $63 per ton. No chance in hell I would have time for any of those shinnanigans. , I would have told the customer to pound sand AFTER I pounded his face.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  11. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Usually the wet parking lot is proof enough, but like the first guy said get a lawyer.
  12. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,559

    How about the phrase "And what address and to who's attention should my lawyer sent the collection paperwork to?"
    Also, like earlier stated, you were fullfilling your contractual obligations, and tell them to prove you didn't"
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  13. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    I agree with this and what REAPER said....:nod:
  14. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Account in question this year put $157K profit into my pocket after all the Shinnanigans! I think it is worth all the hoops I had to jump through in the begning. After being on it 6 years I probably don't Have to do it. But my site manager is used to it so I just don't let him know he does not have to do it....
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    If you have route sheets or daily logs or whatever you record time in\time out, these are acceptable documents for court--according to JAA. If not, I suggest you start keeping them.

    How much money are we talking here? Couple hundred? Couple thousand? I like Big Dog's suggestion the best, then the lawyer sends him a nice little letter if it's worthwhile. Probably figures you won't pursue it after firing him.

    From then on, if it seems like it might be an issue, ask the contact if they would like it if you called them from then on to come down and check at 3 or 4. Usually changes their minds.
  16. andrewcarrigan

    andrewcarrigan Junior Member
    from alberta
    Messages: 7

    it would be up to him to prove you didnt so if youhave a log book and invoices and dates and times in court you will win every time
  17. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    yeah...after you bust his lip and rub his face on it....LOL
  18. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    cheapest insurance is a small digital camera or even a polariod camera.

    if you have a feeling there might be trouble. take pics. file them save them till your paid.