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Slow Down

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jaclawn, Jan 26, 2001.

  1. jaclawn

    jaclawn Member
    Messages: 92

    Has anyone ever had a property manager or building owner ask you to "slow down" your services? By that, I mean not do the lots as often, or perhaps melt a minor snowfall rather than plow and salt.

    This winter has been very good for us as contractors so far. We have had 17 salting runs, and 6 plow runs. THis has certinly been one of the busiest winters in recent memory. The past few years have not had near this many events over the entire winter.

    I fear that some customers may be going over budget this year. This situation has not yet arrived yet, but was wondering if anyone has come into this situation, and how you handled it.
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    We are having that problem here,as it has been a heck of a winter so far,especially early december,when we normally don't get snow.I have a few contracts that were bid a little low,that are getting real close to going over,and they are concerned,a few want to go "on-call" only.Just remember to get whatever changes that they want in writingsigned as someone may come after you if they slip and fall because the lot isn't as clean as it normally is.If they decided to cancel or slow down services,then they are liable for anything that results if you have good documentation to prove it.One way we do it,is tell them I will give them a discount,or cap the price,for any additional plowing,if they sign a multi-year contract (rate-locked).Keeps them coming back.
  3. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I've had one customer ask me to not plow as much this year.

    They said that they don't park up in their driveway that much so they only need it done when the oil truck needs to fill their tank.

    They'll have a rude awakening when they call me to come plow up the hill to their house and I can't move the snow.

    Lucky for them I know someone with a backhoe who'll be more then happy to do it for them at $75.00 per hour.

    Maybe that will make them change their minds when that happens.

  4. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I've had one customer ask me to cut back on salting. It was kinda funny because he had decided to go "per push" instead of contract. I serviced the lot the same as if it was on contract and I was thinking that my quickly calculated, yearly price would have been very close to what he would have ended up paying. He stressed that he was very happy with the condition of the lot but just had to cut the expense down some. No problem, when someone pays their bill by return mail like he does I can be a little accomodating.
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Im getting that now,after the blizzard and the last 2 stroms in January,Im getting a lot of service refusals.a couple want me to stop pre-treating their lots.I quess i need to get some more bids out for next year.I just make sure im up on my records,as soon as you stop pre-treating thses lots,man it gets icy someone's going down sooner or later.Managers only look at the price,when their trucks cant get out because if the ice,how much will they save then?
  6. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    When they tell me that they are overbudget, I politely ask if I should stop plowing.... when they as why, I (politely) tell them that if they are out of money I need to know now so that I can stop plowing.

    That usually stops the "I'm overbudget" remarks.
  7. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Great Ploy John,

    Bet the responses you get are in your favor 99 % of the time.
  8. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Another one is have them sign a disclaimer that they want to slow down services and they will be respondsible.Send that to their insurance company and let them know what is going on...
  9. CCLC

    CCLC Member
    Messages: 91

    I usually get this from one of my bigger accounts. I usually get final payment in June or July on a bad year.
  10. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    In Maine, winters varry from year to year. Most winters we get right around 80" 90" a season, then every few years we break 100 or more inches.

    Some big properties and industries in Maine have snow Insurance. I don't have any accounts that carry snow insurance that I know of. However it sounds like an intersting concept, that I know very little about.

    Too bad I could have a policy where we got paid to plow by the insurance company every storm over 100 inches.

  11. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Plow insurance is a big thing. More companies are getting it. They don't advertise it, and don't tell the plowing contractor - but some BIG names are carrying it.

    It's expensive, but becoming more popular. I started hearing about it a couple years ago. Predominantly on the east coast, and originally for cities and townships. Lloyds of London has a policy just for it.... if it snows more than a certain amount (usually 150% of average) the insurance company starts paying the bills.

    There is one for contractors too. VERY expensive. Pays off it you get a small percentage of the average. Lots of caveats though, I'm told.

    Can't get it here in Erie.... as you can probably understand....
  12. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    A good example of snow insurance at work, is when you see the ads (a la Toro) where they will rebate the amount of the snowblower purchase if it doesnt snow.

    Back in 84, the distributor had to pay ~$50 per machine sold to the insurance carrier. It didnt snow, and many folks recieved checks for $1000+ from the carrier.
  13. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I keep detailed records of service refusals,who refused,(manager) and its always for salting.This morning i just did it,if they fight me on it,this will be the last year i service that account.I will drop it before i continue to do inadequete service.They always pay for plowing,but want me to cut back on salting,they end up paying anyway becasue it ices up if i stop salting,then I need to come back and salt heavy to get it under control,and during that icy time,they were at risk for a lawsuit.In cutting costs,snow removal costs cannot be trimmed,per a given sq ft, without sacraficing safety,and quality of work and service.