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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by rjburns & sons, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. rjburns & sons

    rjburns & sons Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 10

    I have a commercial contract with a small business, the parking lot is about 11,000 sq. ft.

    Anyways, I have plowed it twice and been paid, the storm the night of the Pats game someone else plowed it.

    I have spoke with the director of operations and they will not pay the contractor. It looks like someone used the parking lot to dump their snow and plowed it as a courtesy.

    The director is willing to pay me for the inconvience and to keep our good relationship. I do not think I will accept any money.

    Has anyone ever had this happen? Any suggestions for the future if this happens again and I catch the contractor in the act?

    Are times that tough that someone would risk their reputation and whatever else for such a cowerdly act?
  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Well if your not going to accept the money from the owner I would send that contractor the bill for it.just to bust them on him for plowing on your account .I had that happen but I just saw it was done and charge like I did it if they go out and grab someone else and can't call you before hand then they should get a charge.But it would be easeier if is all stated in your contract if events like this come up.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Illegal dumping in this area is rampant but only after fairly large storms. If you know who it is call the police. Illegal dumping carries some fairly stiff penalties in this state. Depending on where its dumped and where it came from, the EPA can get involved and really make this guys life miserable. BTW has the owner dealt with this guy before?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2002
  4. rjburns & sons

    rjburns & sons Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 10

    JD as of now the owner nor I know who did this. Cat I think I will send the contractor a bill. As far as the Illegal dumping goes I will pass that info on to the owner. Thanks for your help.
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'm glad I don't have those problems. Someone plowed your account? How do they get paid? Why would an owner/manager pay someone other than who they had arranged service?

    Ranks up there with the "parking chair". I laughed over that one, thinking about a bunch of lawn chairs sitting by the curb.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Mick, if we ever get a real snowstorm I'll take some pictures of the streets around here. I've seen people put kitchen tables out to save a parking spot! It gets vicious when we get a lot of snow, but that has'nt happened in A LLOOOOONNNNGGG TIME :mad:.
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  8. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    Phila is the same way after a storm. chairs, end tables stolen traffic cones, you name it. And don't mess with somebodies spot. If they shoveled it they will use deadly force to save it. Not uncommon to hear of shootings, stabbings, & beatings over a shoveled parking spot. When it snows I stay out of the city.
    My truck is so long I would have to shoot it out with two neighbors. :D

  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Amazing - Went around my route early this morning. At 5:00, came to a small apartment complex I have and it was already done!!! Maybe the owner did it himself (he has a small plow of some kind). Called and left a message for him that I'd been by and it was already done. Had he found somebody closer? This was a small 4" snow, so maybe he thinks he's going to get out and do the small ones and leave the big ones or what he can't handle for me. Wrong. I'd figured average snowfalls when I gave him a price. I'll do it that way, but the price just doubled.

    Sure threw my timing off.

    Just goes to show, sh-- can happen anywhere.

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    happened tome once this year allready, i actually went to the account and saw someone plowing it in an old piece of crap truck, no i did not get out and talk to him, i just sat there and watched him for a few minutes then left. later that day i called the owner and asked him if he had 2 of us hired for the lot? he said no... i told him that someone else did it this morning and suggested it was maybe the guy from last year, he said he would find out.
    called me back shortly and said it was the dude from last year and told him he no longer should plow that lot. to make a long story short yes i am billing them for his work.
  11. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Some of you make it sound like you will bill the stealing contractor, but some make it sound like you will bill the owner, which is it? Can't figure why you'd bill either really except to fill your pockets. The other dude did your work and you're going to charge the owner or the contractor??? This sounds backwards. I wouldn't like it either but I wouldn't go charging anyone for it. Just politely tell them not to mess with your turf anymore. If caught again, I might do something more drastic (hmm what's a fair punishment for someone else doing your D.W.? lol. hmmmmm...
  12. carlriv2

    carlriv2 Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 126

    I would bill the property owner just as if I had plowed. He expects to pay someone for plowing. He had best not have someone else that can do it for him, and if he does he will still pay. You have based your schedule on having time to service that lot.

    As for the dumping of the snow. If you can find the contractor maybe bill him for the dumping. (and credit it to the property owner)? Just a thought, I don't know if that would fly with anyone.

    PS. Where in MA?
  13. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I will tell you this much, if someone does one of our Jobs, the bill still goes out.

  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Tonight talked to the owner's wife of the apartment building that had been done. He'd done it himself with a little atv and plow last night before leaving on a trip. She says he hadn't thought it was deep enough for the trigger until he got out there, then went ahead and finished it. I tried to use tact and a little humor letting her know that my route is set up for efficiency and timed for people leaving for work. I get up early and start the route with that in mind. Asked her that if he was going to do that again, please call the night before and I could sleep another half hour. Not doing that one put me ahead of schedule and too early for the next ones (not wanting to wake the neighbors). Went home and killed a half hour.

    Also let her know that cut into my revenue in a light-hearted way. Don't feel right about billing for work I didn't do. Although I do understand the principle behind it. If I had an employee out there and paying wages, I'd be plenty perturbed.
  15. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Mick, why wait a half an hour. I would just go to the next one on the list. We just start at the top and work to the bottom, we get there when we get there.

  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I try to work them on schedule by when they need to be plowed to get out for work etc. Since some have neighbors, I try to set it so I'm not too early and wake them. I've got several that are real isolated, so I can do them earlier. Then a library that can be done anytime including late morning. Just my way of giving service and standing out from competitors. I also do little things like cleaning up trails, keeping drives open and pushed back, opening the "mouths" of driveways and keeping piles at the road/street knocked down so snow piles aren't blocking line-of-sight for oncoming traffic. May not seem like much to others on here, but to some people around here, it's not the usual. It's surprising to me how every driveway/business entry has snow piled on each side ten feet high. You have to pull out so far to see oncoming traffic that you're in the oncoming lane.

    May seem goofy, but I get lots of compliments and people telling me they don't want to lose me as thier "plow guy".

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    We also had an incident this year of someone dumping a large amount of snow into our lot. It was a part of the lot that is basically unused, but we will be watching closely for a next time. I dont know how I will handle it yet, but I can see making them move it back out. It really makes us look bad.
  18. lobstrmn

    lobstrmn Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Must be the Maine way Mick. Thats how Ive been getting a lot of accounts-by taking the horrible jobs people do, thinking they're great by their new truck, big additude, and $500 light bar. They usually have NO CLUE how to move snow.
    In response to the post, I have a woman who hired me to plow, so I do, but she usually shovels too....I just clean up after her, and still charge her. I just think some people are bored. Ive seen some people plowing driveways of people they dont even know, just for something to do. These people are usually commercial plow wannabees, but cant be commited. Just hope insurance damage doesn't come back on you I guess, huh?
  19. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266


    Its not that we don't do good work. However as you and I both know this biz cuts into out sleep time. I myself couldn't stand sitting around for 30 mins waiting to plow, once I start, I don't want to stop till I am done. Maybe its just me.

  20. GMCplow

    GMCplow Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Here is perhaps another perspective from a new guy.... (Please don't hate me! I plan to be here for a long time!) You all know the anxiousness to hit the down button on your first snow of the season. But remember how excited you were on that first snow with your first plow?

    This past weekend, I finished my drive (500 ft), and was eager to do more. (You guys are right - throw the shoes away for blacktop). Was the first (Only??) snow of the season, 4 inches and a wet snow. "What if I had backdragged here, then I could have pushed this to over there and..." The bottom line for me is that I learn best by doing. And snow has been rare enough this year to cause me to want to do more. I certainly think about things more as I walk through parking lots and see driveways on how I would do this one or that one, but my darned driveway was done already.... I almost put it back!!

    I appreciate the posts on subcontracting, and that would be a great way to gain hands on experience, but confidence for lots of readers on here isn't even to that level yet. Until you get that first snow, you don't even want to try to get contracts. You sorta just want a quiet isolated corner to see how things work.....

    So where do ya go to practice and figure things out "by doing" without offending an established contractor's turf (Or going the subcontractor route) after your own drive is done? Or if you don't have much of a drive to begin with? Any suggestions?