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second trips

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by willie dexter, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. willie dexter

    willie dexter Member
    Messages: 46

    i wrote a thread about when to start and a thank yall for the response, but if you start befor the storm ends do you ever have to make a second trip back, and how do the clients respond to this? is this something that should be discused with them up front?
  2. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    I don't go back, I just plow again the next morning.
  3. SLLNorth

    SLLNorth Member
    Messages: 39

    If the storm is big enough, we go back. The customer is charged accordingly. This stipulation is in thier contract.
  4. carcrz

    carcrz Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    My contracts ar every detailed so the customer knows what to expect. I charge per plow / deicer application basis.
  5. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    YEp it's in the contract, never had a prob. Last storm a comercial actually called me and wanted a 3rd time.
  6. carcrz

    carcrz Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    I pushed 3 times last go around. As long as it keeps people from complaining or getting hurt they are A-OK w/ anything I do.

    FIREMAN Q Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I tell my residentials that i will plow there driveway every 4-6 inches. This way they have and approx. idea of how many times i will be stopping by. I also charge a little bit more than half for all return trips. Some will disagree with this method but it works for us. good luck to ya
  8. Wiggins

    Wiggins Junior Member
    Messages: 8


    I dont know if anyone else does this but if I need to do a return I usually give a certain discount (30-40%) off. This saves the customer some money and pretty much seals the deal with them. I take a small loss but if you think about it, its a long lasting customer plus i'm still making good money on the initial push and returns.

  9. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    it's in my contract, I go every 3-6" and for a $30.00 drive, I drop 5 bucks for return trips in the same storm. If I go out 2 times, the bill is $55.00, if I have to go out 3 times, the bill would be 80 bucks and so on
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2006
  10. Dougman

    Dougman Member
    from MA
    Messages: 83

    Seems like a majority here give a substantial discount for second and third pushes... one even admitting that he probably loses money on those return trips. How are you folks making any money?

    My customers are beating me down to darn near my costs (apportioned fixed plus variable) on the first push alone. The benchmark price was set very low this year by some lowballer doing it for fun. One potential customer even asked for free pushes after the first. How is anyone making any money on residential if this is the case?

    Somehow this all reminds me of the famous (or infamous?) recommendation to "Sell at a loss and make it up on volume"!!!

    a.k.a. "Frustrated in Snowless Massachusetts"
  11. carcrz

    carcrz Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    I don't understand the discount either. Does it take any less time to push the 2nd or 3rd set of snow? It actually might take longer because you have to stack it more.
  12. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I think it is just a decent gesture to *save* them money, but believe me, I'm still making out on doing it.... or I wouldn't be doing it at all. My $30 drives take a max of 10 mins to do including shoveling in front of the garage doors, but more like 7-8 mins... and I have 6 on the same 0.7 mile road. thats $180 an hour for first push and 150 for 2nd/3rd etc. Then I go hit the rest of my route with the bigger drives and bigger pay
  13. Dougman

    Dougman Member
    from MA
    Messages: 83

    I guess that F350 V-10 is a lot quicker than my 2500HD V-8 on driveways! :waving:

    I have no problem with a $5 discount on 2nd or 3rd push provided that the first push is profitable. I do that too when requested... but I build more into my initial push. I'm questioning the discounts of 30%, 40%, 50% or more. One local guy reportedly does 2nd and 3rd pushes for free. This is killing me because: a) the benchmark price in my area is set so low and, b) my backup comes from 2 towns over and requires full price for every push. He doesn't care what push number it is. To him, it's a push! I must also blame myself for basing my financial plan on full price per push... clearly I received bad advice and made a huge miscalculation. Instead of making a profit, now this winter's plan is to try to minimize my losses. :cry:

    Apparently the key to making money in residential plowing is to have a *TON* of no-nonsense customers with very fast-to-plow driveways. My marketing approach of offering a premium service to a smaller group of more demanding clients is turning out to be a real loser.

  14. Wiggins

    Wiggins Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Let me clearify my discount real quick. I just want everyone to know i'm not one of those lowballers out there, i'm just a competitor. I'm still making money with the commercial accounts and residential. Just not as much as I want to make because the low ballers out there are doing the 50% off and sometimes even free for the second push. So i figure if I want to keep my clients I need to drop my price on the returns and loose out on a little bit of profits. I'm sure there are similar situations out there with you guys.

  15. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    :eek: I don't give a discount on any push.
    The truck works just as hard for each push I'm there.
    The people that want this are the ones with the most money most times.

    I loose some customers but I gain some too and in the long run it all works it self out.

    The only great thing about dry years like this is the lowballers or people who cut it too close will not be around next year.
    This helps to keep the price from going to low.

    Right now there is a lot of people with Ads in the paper saying all driveways under 30 bucks, an you know what if they want some of my 1500ft driveways for 30 bucks they can have them.

    I even had one guy say (well my last guy plowed and sanded for $40.00 but he wasn't that reliable so can you do it for the same price? :dizzy: )
    I told him he better give that guy a call because reliability is one of the things we are paid for.

    He was kind of at a loss for words

    Rant over...........
  16. Dougman

    Dougman Member
    from MA
    Messages: 83

    You can say that again. It's probably my main miscalculation with the concept of a premium/upscale snow removal service. Can't be the "Ritz-Carlton" of plowing services when even the richest folks are only willing to pay for Motel 6! :D

    Yeah, I wish I could have recorded some of the conversations I've had so far. So funny you have to bite your tongue to stop from laughing. Always funny to find someone who claims they are getting the deal and service of a lifetime (well below anyone's costs)... but want to know if you can do better! The second most fun are the ones who've been abandoned by their last provider. The fun part is figuring out why.

    The answer is usually way too easy! :D

  17. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    i open them up in the morning when its over depending on the storm size
  18. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    for me a $30.00 drive is about 10' wide, and 3 car lengths long and widen into a 2 car garage that is on the side of the drive... so it's a straight push. 2 angled passes, and 1 short pass then a 1 foot or so windrow to shovel in front of the garage. They are all pretty much the same except some the garage is on the left, others it's on the right (typical all houses are the same development)
  19. cha-chas plowin

    cha-chas plowin Member
    Messages: 44

    thats the way id drive,s to not commercials:waving:
  20. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I agree, I don't discount my commercial drives either... I thought we were talking residential drives?