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Spring clean-up & lawn repair

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CK82, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    Hey fellas,

    Can you provide me with some industry feedback please?!

    Do you charge for clean-up in the spring time such as debris from snow piles, and lawn repairs? Please give me some specifics if possible on your feedback of why or why not. What is the industry norm? I realize some larger contracts may pay out $25k-$100k a year, which would be hard to add on costs for this.

    At some of our larger commercial properties we had anywhere from: $250-$750 incurred costs to clean-up and repair lawns. For instance at one of our properties, we were asked to move & stack snow piles well onto the lawn areas in order to make room for more. We charge the customer for the skidloader hours to do so. Thus I feel we should be compensated for our efforts in the Spring.

    On the other hand, if we ran a skidloader with a wide bucket down the sidewalk and skimmed off grass or ended up damaging something I feel the repairs would be on us.

    We save customers money by not trucking out snow, thus we shouldn't have incurred costs on the clean-up and repair, correct??

    Thank you for any of your feedback.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    This should be in the contract when they sign it.
  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    If they asked for it, the caveat should have been given that you either dont recommend it for potential damage or you're not responsible for any damage. Of course, this needs to be in writing.

    From your example on the sidewalks, that's all on you and good for you for taking care of it without being asked; that's rare these days.
  4. CK82

    CK82 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    Its not in my contracts, that's probably why I am getting negative responses about the charges. I will eat the cost this season as needed and change my contracts for next season.

    Thanks for the feedback!
  5. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    I go around and tamp down grass divots in our apartment communitys for free.
    We have no choice but to stack snow in the grass, no were to put it
  6. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Concrete damage from de-icing agents (yes it does occur), scrapes on the lot from plows, or pulled up pieces of asphalt from plows hitting already deteriorated pavement (not your fault they don't maintain their property) should all be written into the contract as you NOT being responsible.

    Grass damage, moved parking bump stops (composite or concrete type), or other "new" damage caused by your operations should be figured into the contract. Its just the name of the game, and cost of doing business. We fix all grass damage because it will occur no matter how well your guys are trained. Also keep in mind, many large commercial accounts expect a full sweeping of the lots and walks at the end of the season. Often times I've found this will not be written, but will still be an "expectation". Make sure you bring this up, and build it into your price if they desire/expect this service.

    Also, be sure to do a thorough pre-season audit. This will require to you patrol the entire property, make note of every imperfection in the pavement, fencing, curbing, carriage corals, building exterior, concrete, light poles, signs, landscaping/shrubbery, fire hydrants, etc. Then have the authorized management sign off on this form for you, send them an e-mailed PDF copy that same day, and put it in the file. It will quickly end any repair disputes during the post season.

    -Collin Corso

    EDIT: I also should mention there are times when I will write an addendum to a contract specifying that I'm not responsible to fix grass damage at my own cost due to a specific request of the property owner/manager. This happened last winter when I was required to park all my equipment on a manicured lawn area. I completely destroyed the lawn area, leaving 8"+ ruts in the muddy grass. But the customer demanded that the equipment be stored on the lawn because they did not want to loose a couple parking spots. I just made sure they knew, in writing, that they were responsible to pay me to repair the damage. Also, I've had times when I've been required to store snow in the middle of a large lawn area, knowing that I would destroy the lawn... But hey, if a client wants me to put mulch on their roof I'll do it if they pay for it.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013