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Sickest plow requests you've ever had

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Dogplow Dodge, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    After reading another thread, my memory was jogged about the time I was asked to plow a residential home in an upscale neighborhood with poor access, that I turned down.

    There is an area that a bunch of very wealthy homes are built with one road in and out. At the entrance to the development (if you want to call a bunch of 2-5 acre properties with mansions on it ...........a development) the only road that goes in and out wraps around a peninsula type steep hill, and swings back around parallel with the river offshoot (crescent shaped bend in the river that the road is adjacent to the water) next to it. From the edge of the road to the river's edge is about a 3' drop. There is NO Guard Rail...or at least there wasn't one when I was there last.

    So I get a call to look at this property that the only way into the neighborhood is via this road, and wacky turn. The property itself doesn't look like a huge ordeal, but then I get to talking to the owner about the snow we had that buried NJ a few years back. He goes on to elaborate about how he had to walk to his house, as he couldn't get past that screwy turn (his F350 diesel pickup slid towards the water and he retreated back to flat ground).. He continues about how the township wont plow the area until dead last, as they've had several trucks slide right into the river offshoot, and they refuse to take risks there until at least the storm has subsided, this way they can fish the trucks out of the water if their guys lose it.

    I had no idea about how these conditions were, or the refusal of the twsp. to address it. Since the turn is sketchy in dry clear weather, I figured that when the weather turned bad, that they'd sand and salt the area to death to prevent twsp trucks and residents from swimming in the middle of winter.

    I asked him.... "ok, your driveway is a no brainer, but how do I get to your home ? How much are you wanting to pay me to risk my vehicle (and life) driving to your home in poor weather conditions ? "

    His face went blank. I quickly ended the conversation, and asked him to call me when he had some answers to the questions I posed. He never called me back.

    What Insane jobs have you turned down ?
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,676

    Manager of a Wendys asked me to plow his sidewalk with my truck. Yep 3' sidewalk and 7'6" blade. :rolleyes:
  3. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Well I had one that I installed there lawn back in 90s out in the country and road to there drive is down hill run and you have turn left or end up in there lake. Well I don't leave town, So I turned it down. They ask me if I know anybody could do it I said no. I wasn't going send anybody I know out there.
    Bad thing is we had Ice few days before then 12''+ snow.

    Then about 1 hour later my hunting buddy called me asking if I could plow his lots. I ask why He said went did one out off Hwy 3, I knew where he was at . Well he found out Ice wasn't very thick. He thought it was a field when he was sliding down the hill till ice broke and half of his truck went under. I told him wasn't me that gave his number to them.
    Since the owner didn't have a rail up and signs. The owner had to pay for a new truck and new plow.
  4. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    If walk runs with the lot I'll plow them smallest one is 4ft with my 9.6 MVP

    I only do it if the walk is drifted
  5. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,676

    Walks were not part of the contract. I was just helping a guy I know finish his accounts after his truck went down.
  6. kg26

    kg26 Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I had a home owner ask me before I plow would I brush the snow off the car. No no I will not.
  7. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    why not? unless you dont do shoveling at all.
    I charge $5 extra to wipe off cars, I got 3 customers that pay for it & one seasonal that I get $180 every year, just to wipe his car off when it snows more then an inch. Wiping off cars make me several hundred $ every year & it only takes 3 min each one.
  8. RSE

    RSE Member
    Messages: 90

    I had a lady ask me to plow her driveway that was entirely 3/8" peastone and that I had to be careful not to push any of the stones onto the grass. I stated it was impossible not to and offered her my springtime clean up services( powerbroom ) and she went nuts telling me the stones collecting on the grass were not her doing and she had no part in creating the mess and was damn straight NOT going to pay to clean them up. I told her about driving on the fresh snow and "packing" it down to create ice and locking the stones into place. She asked,"Why would you do that? Doesn't that create a dangerous situation? Do you know what you are even doing?" I politely thanked her for her time and consideration then turned down the job. I saw her shoveling last week.....
  9. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    I plow a path in a woman's lawn... $35 and I just backdrag a few times.
  10. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    What do you do with the snow you sweep off?
  11. Woodenshoe

    Woodenshoe Member
    Messages: 84

    We had a new to us condo association (19 drives and 1300' of roadway) which had a change of volunteer board members partway through the season. The new president emailed saying they now did not want any snow put in the front yards, and that all snow should be relocated to 1 or 2 areas in the project. We replied that there would be a large increase in price if they are going to change contract specifications mid season (especially requiring different equipment), and informed them that snow storage would also become a significant issue. They thought we should meet so they could show us how easy it would be to put the snow where they wanted, which after much back and forth we politely declined. The board members cc'd in the emails thought we were being "childish", and threatened to find a new contractor, which we eagerly encouraged them to do!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  12. RSE

    RSE Member
    Messages: 90

    Yep...charge to move them out of the way too. My peeps find it easy to leave the keys in a place I will find them, my shoveler brush the car off and move it out of the way and then back again. Everyone pays a little extra to enjoy a nice clean car and parking spot.
  13. kg26

    kg26 Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    1. They were not going to pay for it. 2. No
  14. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    lol, I shovel a quit a bit of lawn paths, everyone needs to get to there shed, also shovel a few paths for utility meter readers

    sweep it on ground, then shovel it up/out the way, one place I dont do the parking lot(old folks home) so I just sweep it on the ground & leave, the other contractor cleans it up, if I come after him I just shovel it onto the lawn.

    I did that a few times back when I started, now I dont for liability reasons among not having time.

    fair enough then, no pay, no do!
  15. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    so you dump it on the ground and shovel a car length of snow for $5?

    How does this work for multiple visits? I couldn't imagine shoveling 2 feet of snow for $5 if it's done at the end.
  16. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    Yup, multiple visits, means multiple bills, other then the seasonal guy. Luckily I dont get no 2' snowfalls, it always is well worth my time vs what I charge, heck I'll go so far as to say I wish I had a few more....since I offer shoveling & plan on continuing to offer it, soon I'll just stay in truck, let the boys do that shoveling:laughing: lol me & my pipe dreams:dizzy:
  17. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    We aim to please is the way I do snow removal. This is why I get to charge more.

    We do residential. Depending on the amount of jobs and snow I go out alone, 1-3 helpers. I run two 2 stage blowers and one guy on a shovel usually. When done blowing a drive way We will pass over the surface with a large plow shovel to get rid of the crumbs. We even go over the front steps/entrance way when done.

    I do not like shoveling close to cars or blowing close either. When standing between two cars there is no place to toss or blow the snow to.

    So we will clean the drive up to the rear of the cars. While one guy with a BR 600 will blow the cars off. Wet snow then we brush them off. We just let the snow on the cars fall onto the drive way.

    Usually the cars, and the back half of the drive way are done being cleaned at the same time. So we then back the cars up onto the clean half of the drive way. Then it makes the front half of the drive way easy to clean without the cars in the way.

    Customers love it because they do not have to clean their cars. If they did clean their cars off after we leave. All that snow on the cars would wind up on their just cleaned drive way.

    The cars do not get cleaned for free. That is built into the price as is cleaning away the snow by their mail box.

    I never say I want $$$ to clean your drive way.

    I say we will do your drive way which includes cleaning off your cars, front stairs, mail box, for $$$, and we leave the surface free of crumbs.

    There are people that are not impressed. For they do not want a first class job. They want cheap price.

    I say to them good work comes with a good price. Have a nice day. If you can not find someone else give me a call. End of discussion.

    Not all of my customers call for the light snows. They tend to want to do them themselves. Can not bash them trying to save money. Because I do most of my own repair work to save money as well.

    Though this level of service has been keeping people with me for 6 years so far.

  18. tpendagast

    tpendagast Member
    Messages: 53

    Until someone claims you scratched their paint, and your insurance tells you , you aren't covered for this claim and you got ot fork out a few grand for a paint job.

    yea... a decade of wiping off cars, down the toilet.
  19. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    Another good point.
  20. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    You got that right. How about starting the car and something goes haywire or the battery is shot. Now its your fault. No thanks.