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Resi Per-Push and Per-Event Guys

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mitragorz, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Mitragorz

    Mitragorz Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    I'm sure this has been asked before, but I must not be using the right terms when I search. I can't find a good answer to this one.

    You've got a bunch of residential driveway accounts. You generally start plowing at 2". Two inches falls, so you head out and plow. You get back to your first account, and another 2" has fallen. You plow all your accounts again. You get back to your first account, snowfall has stopped, and only 1.5" has fallen.

    Push guys: Do you leave the snow or plow and charge for another push?
    Event guys: Do you leave the snow or plow and add it to the event total?

    Follow-up: If you DO charge, where do you draw the line? Obviously the accumulation will be less as you go along your route, ending with 0" accumulation at the last account you plowed.

    OR, do you have something in your contract along the lines of: "Plowing will commence when accumulation has reached 2" and will continue until snowfall has ceased and the driveway is bare" so that plowing 1.5" at the end of a storm isn't even a question?

    I'd like to hear what everyone does in this situation.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  2. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Per event. 2" trigger but will not plow until storm is over if expected accumulation is 6" or less.

    Homeowners don't need their drives open all day long every two inches.
  3. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I second what Triton said. If your resi's want a 2" "maintained" trigger; make sure you're charging for it.

    On our "per push" customers, we charge the same price every time we plow.

    Like Triton said, 6" is pretty easy for most cars to get through on their own drives.
  4. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    for resi I generally only do them 1 time per 24 hrs(I have that in contract) but that is a queston you got to ask your customers, do you want me to show up more then 1 time pre day if needed. Again with the 1.5" thing, it is something you need to discuss with the customer. Me I would go clean it cause you know they want it to be clean after the storm is done, never had probs with any resi bitching that I showed up & cleaned when it was close to trigger.
  5. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    You'll be fine anyway since anything over 6" is rare for us here.

    What part of the Island are you on?
  6. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Yeah, if they want it done @ 2" and are willing to pay, do that...but if the snow is going to taper off and end, I will wait on the last push and push the 3" or whatever...
  7. Mitragorz

    Mitragorz Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    What you guys are saying is pretty much what I was expecting, but I've seen people say "your trigger is 2" so you plow at 2"."

    That's right. A 3.5" scenario would be more likely for us :D

    I'm in Riverhead.
  8. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    In the case that you get customers who want to be plowed at 2" and some that are ok with waiting for 6" you are still in fine shape.

    Charge your 2" ones a little more, once your done with those you could be close to 4-6" on the others and by the time your done with those you'll have another 2" on the initial drives giving you less down time.
  9. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    Just because Grandview hasn't said it yet...GO SEASONAL!

    But seriously, that would eliminate all your issues. I've only done contracts with seasonal customers and commercial customers, aside from that it's been all "handshake" deals. While I don't recommend that way for everyone, it's worked great for me as they leave it up to me when I plow and never question it. If I come in and push every 4" because it's wet or come in at the end and push 9" of powder, they never care and just pay it. Every storm seems to be different and I approach them as warranted. I can't in good consciousness charge someone 3 or 4 or 5 times because it snowed 10" of fluff. If it's my fault, like I plowed and it snowed 1" after, I'll plow it off for half price, or if I really blew it then N/C for the cleanup. This method has proven to be very successful for me. I've been able to replace the picky and slow paying/no paying customers over the years. I save the legal stuff for when there's a lot of liability and/or a lot of money in play.
  10. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    That works where you live. I cannot get anyone to sign a seasonal contract here. They're all too focused on the idea that we don't get snow like you guys do, and in some years not much at all (like the 2 previous years before)

    Back on topic.

    My customers will not have me plow unless it hits 4" or more. So they pay pricing based upon how much snow we get. 4"-6" / 6"-12" / 12 + and pricing is dependent on the topography, obstacles, etc.
  11. PlowSlick.com

    PlowSlick.com Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Most, if not all, of our customers in the Cleveland area would flip out if we dropped a blade at 2". All of our contracts, and per push, are at a 4" basis. We have operated that was for 14 years and have rarely had a problem. At the end of the run if I have to do a quick clean-up on the first few aprons, no big deal.

    and by the way, try some of our Plow-Slick and cut you plow time down http://www.plowslick.com
  12. mark268

    mark268 Member
    Messages: 81

    Some seasonal some Per event , all with 2" or less trigger ( customer preference ). I will normally wait resi's until end of storm. Here in central Indiana we don't get many storms over 4" anyway. I'll get my commercials done, hit the resi, then return to the commercials for cleanup. This works great on all beside my maintenance properties. Those I will have another truck run the route continuously throughout the event. Sidewalk crew will be out hitting all sidewalks.
  13. Mitragorz

    Mitragorz Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    This is all great advice guys, I appreciate the responses.

    I already picked some up! It arrived last week and it's going on the plow tomorrow :drinkup:
  14. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    You would have to be crazy to hit residentials every 2" under ANY circumstances.

    I'm a "per event" person. My prices depend on 1) Size/nature of driveway 2) How much snow is on the ground at the END of the event.

    2"-6" is a certain amount then 6-12, 12-18, 18-24 and 24+. Prices vary based on #1 as well but generally nobody pays less than $90 if its 24"+ for example. Average price for a residential at 2-6" is about $45.

    It does not matter how many times I have to show up to do the job. None are more than 3 miles away so I have that going for me. Generally, if its not enough for people to get stuck, I wait until the town starts plowing and leaving enough to screw people up at the ends of their drives.

    Big storms, I get all these grand plans in my head but reality is that all bets go out the window very quickly when you cant see a foot in front of you and nobody is able to go anywhere to begin with. Some storms are not worth trying to keep up with, the first 2+ footer we had in Boston last winter was one of them. I kept my own drive open through the night and a few neighbors but it was too dangerous to venture out of the neighborhood. Started most customers when we had over 20" down. If I had been "per push" Id have screwed myself because some I only did once or twice but is that really representative of the amount of time and stress on the vehicle I had to put in to complete the job? I think not. Per event is the only way to go, otherwise you are going to screw yourself in big events when you may only be able to get there for an initial break open real quick and then a through clean up the next day.

    I dont see how anybody would have an issue pushing up to 12" in one visit even if it was wet. I run jeeps and half tons and have never had a problem. Yes, its gonna be slow going but nothing says you cant pick through 2+ feet if you have to.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  15. PlowSlick.com

    PlowSlick.com Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    That's where a V-Plow is a beast. I have pushed through 2 foot of wet crud with no problem while others were stuck on the street.
  16. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    My trigger is 2-3 inches, but that is just when I know ok I will have to be out plowing this event. I usually plow when it is over if it is under a foot depending on the timing of it. Most of my accounts are seasonal and elderly so the houses are vacant or theyre not going anywhere. I know people would not be happy if I plowed them every two inches, there is usually at least that on the roads anyways so they dont really care.
  17. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I charge per push exclusively. I have it set up that I wait until the storm is done up to 12". If we are supposed to get 13" on up to 18, I will hit everyone around the 8" mark, and again at the end..
    Over 18, I will hit it as many times as I deem appropriate.
    Everyone is OK with it.
    I also tell them all to CALL ME if they want it done before I would normally get there..especially the "weekenders". I do those the day after I do the "locals"...if they plan on coming up, they need to call so I can get there before they do.
    So far, everyone is fine with it.
    I don't mind pushing the one time up to 12", it's not like my truck can't do it.
    I think it gives customers a sense of "value".
    The one exception being really wet heavy snow...and my customers understand.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  18. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    I am in the same general vicinity as JVT.I am 99% residential and do pretty well for a part-timer.I have approx 65 residentials.I say approx since if we have fluff some will shovel---to me no big deal.Wish they would also do it when there is 10" of wet snow too.Anyways I start at 3" unless of course the weatherman says a definite max of 5-6" of snow.My customers know that I will wait until the storm is over before I start.Full blown storm and my customers know that they will be charged probably for 2 plows.Some will go out and keep up with the minor amounts so as to keep their bill down.That is OK with me since it is only part-time for me since I work a regular job.

    I personally would never go seasonal on a residential because my feeling is if there is no snow I do not expect to be paid.On the other hand when it snows pay me.