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Snow contracts?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    Im not new to this, but figured id ask about how you guys handle your snow contracts.

    Do any of you require seasonal deposits, estimate prices up front, plow/snowblow driveways and sidewalks for any "new" customers that arnt regulars or people that just get overwhelmed after say a 20" snow fall?

    What do you do with your route? Say you have 25 customers. Theres 20" of snow, all of them want it done within a couple hours after the end of the snow storm of course, how do you handle those situations?

    I only do snowblowing for now for residential, mainly all developments, and ive run into problems like this in the past couple years with big snow falls.

    If you dont charge a deposit, Ive gone to do driveways, and theyve already been cleared.:mad:

    AND, seems new customers bombard me with numerous phone calls AND current customers keep calling non stop to make sure they know when youll be there. I feel like the entire time im out after a big snowfall, its mostly on the phone... not making money at that.

    I know it differs from being in the truck with a plow, IE able to talk on the phone at any moment, usually.

    When im out of the truck with the snowblower running full throttle, theres no answering phones or voicemail until im back in the truck.

    I have my brother help, since i now have two snowthrowers, and my girlfriend usually tries to handle my phone and messages. Its not that its not profitable, but seems to eat up a 3 person team just to have one or two snowblowers out doing work. Or should i say, just not much work is accomplished for a 3 person crew? :dizzy:

    Any suggestions would be appreciated, from the guys that do snow blowing and even the guys with 6 trucks, 6 crews or ones who manage the whole business aspect of winter snow removal.

    on a side note, theres a few developments local to me, none ever have their sidewalks plowed. One has a sidewalk that connects its two housing units together, its 36" wide and probably 2000+ feet long. If i ever finally get in contact with these people, what should i charge? It would probably take an hour with a lot of snow, which i can make $140hr doing snow blowing small driveways so would i just charge the complex that gets their associaion fees $140? I will have commercial snow removal insurance next year when plowing too anyway. Thanks
  2. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    put a cause in the contract. giving yourself say 2-3 hours after the snow has stopped. a buffer zone. plus you should have your route pretty much mapped out.

    closest to your house/shop.. to fartherst away.. get an idea of how long your gonna be at each site. calculate your time. say first house 2 guys 20 mins.. 5 mins drive time to next house. 35 mins at next house.. 10 mins drive time. do this for each contract. so you can better answer there questions when they call and ask what time. say 10th house calls and you know its gonna be at least 2.5 hours b4 you could be there if all goes well.. tell them you will be there within 3.5hrs after snowfall. so you have a hour buffer. then when you route is full call your contracts and tell them where aprox. there at on the route.

    thats the best way to solve that problem. when the call. refer them back to there contract. if clearly states i will be there within 3.5 horus after snowfall. if im not there by blah blah time.. please call me then.

    as far as new customers go.your gonna have to trust them first go round. if they dont pay. then dont go back.. small claims call.
  3. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    In my contract / agreement, it states that all lots will be cleared curb to curb within 24 hours from the end of a snowfall.

    9 times out of 10 they're cleared before the business ever opens, but when you get a quick 6-10" of snow from midnight until 6 am, there's really nothing you can do.

    I'd start putting it in your contract a longer deadline.

    You cannot be everywhere at one time.

    You can also put in there that phone calls will be answered after the work is done.

    Put a line in there, something as "in order to keep costs down, office personnel are at a minimum during snow events, therefore phone calls will be returned after work is completed: "If a situation arises where the work will not be completed before the alloted time in the contract, the contractor will reach the client to make further arrangements".
  4. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Get rid of the brother and girl friend and buy a use dplow truck that way you can talk and plow. Thats a lot of drives to snow blow my friend!
  5. GrandScapes

    GrandScapes Senior Member
    Messages: 189


    im with this guy