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Stooopid Drivers!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by derekbroerse, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Another post I was typing on reminded me of an incident last winter that I don't recall sharing.

    I was running late due to being stuck in 2wd (due to a broken axle shaft caused by a bad u-joint) and was stuck plowing into business hours on a few of my contracts (no help dealing with traffic makes you later, answering the cell phone, and dealing with a really ignorant store manager sure slow things down too).

    My last lot was a plaza, understandably annoyed because people were getting stuck. Obviously, I got to work immediately. I was 3/4 done when I did a push down the aisle, piled it at the end, and reversed while watching in my mirrors... all clear.


    WTF was that?

    Took about half a second to stop and look around.... here was a red Dodge Sebring Convertible pulling forward away from my cab. She gets out and (looking quite stunned) asks me "Where did you come from?" Seems she had gotten into her car while I was piling the snow at the end of the aisle, and started it and reversed without looking to see where I was. Where was I? Directly behind her from what I can tell. Her trunklid was punctured on the front corner of my dumpbox, and her taillight panel was against my door and cab corner. My question was simple--how does one miss a 10000lb truck with all the lights on and a rotating blue flasher assembly on the roof?

    She was quite ignorant with me (even tried to leave), didn't want the cops involved etc. Luckily, there was a Cooperators Insurance in the plaza, right beside where we hit, so we went in and asked them what we should do (I quietly asked one of them to call the police for me since I knew I needed the police report to clear my name for insurance purposes).

    Her biggest arguement was that I shouldn't have been there because it was daylight. (What, leave the lot buried under 6" of snow until the following night???) My counter arguement was that it didn't have to be me, it could have just as easily been another car or someone walking by behind the cars. She backed into me halfway down the length of the truck, so it was painfully obvious that it wasn't MY doing.

    Anyways, the cops showed up (much to her annoyance) and took the report. Funny how she dropped the big mouth when the badge arrived, her story matched mine so there was no problem. She was insured etc. so no probs there.

    I had called the insurance while I was waiting for the cops, so I was covered with that. They told me there was no problem as her insurance would have to cover my damages.

    BUT we all know how insurance always seems to work, don't we?

    I didn't file a claim for the damages because a)it was really really minor on my truck, and b) I just can't bring myself to trust the insurance company on this. I don't need my rates going up, especially over something I am perfectly capable of fixing at home.

    Overall though, I am still kind of irritated with the whole situation. I didn't report an attempted theft of the truck either because of the same worry (hammer and chisel to the passenger door lock). Isn't this kind of the point of insurance?

    What would you guys have done in the same situation?

  2. Mick

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

    Sorry, but I would have fixed them both myself and no notice to insurance. Insurance can get cancelled based on number of claims (often the number is "1"). I've fixed the front of my garage when it got damaged (I backed into it and knocked the door frame support off the base). I called the company and they sent out an adjuster. We agreed that I'd just fix it myself, there would be no record of a claim since they hadn't paid anything. But, I have turned in a windshield on my wife's car insurance and the $800 TV/VCR that got fried by a lightning hit, to the homeowner's insurance.

    I will protect my General Liability insurance to the best of my ability. If that gets cancelled, there is no requirement for any other insurance company to pick it up (like so-called "high risk" auto insurance). If one company cancels, you're just out of business.

    Now, if I hit a gas pump that exploded, burned two cars and gave someone a heart attack, that would get turned in.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2004

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    I do a private street with 3 houses. When I get there everyone comes out to watch. I tell them, "Look for me because I can't see you". I watch them like a hawk but people become oblivious to their surroundings all too often.
  4. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    People just don't pay attention to what they are doing and are always in a rush. I would not deal with the insurence in a minor situation but sometimes you have to.

    was your house directly hit by lightning or was it a power surge? My house got hit last year, small fire on the roof that burnt itself out luckily, fried one of the computers though. Now we are the only house in my town that has a lightning rod. I HATE lightning give me a blizzard anyday.
  5. Mick

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

    Chris, I'm not really sure. I think it was a power surge. Tripped a GFI on the kitchen circuit and the TV/VCR which were on another circuit. I'm thinking it hit the satellite dish and traveled along that wire. We just counted ourselves lucky it didn't do more damage.
  6. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    No I didn't think it was worth making a claim on either--I am sure I can do a better repair than most bodyshops will anyways.

    All that I did with the insurance company was to notify them that something had happened, as is the law in Ontario. No claim was filed at all, even though they gave me opportunity to do so, I turned it down.

    I probably would have left the police and insurance completely out of it if she hadn't tried to drive away (I stood behind her car and wrote down the plate number, so she pulled back into the spot...), cursed me out, or been telling everyone within earshot that it was my fault. If I owned her car, I could repair the damage for $500-1000. An insurance claim would likely be in the $3500 range. My truck needs two dents pulled out and filled. Oh and she scratched the underside of the dumpbox (good ole' Tremclad!)

    I seriously doubt that State Farm would cancel my insurance, I'm their favorite type of customer--I have six policies with them! When I spoke with them on the phone, he thanked me for calling and guarenteed that my insurance would not rise even if I made a claim, as long as the police report backed up my story.

    Speaking of people 'Watching Out For Themselves", later in the season I almost backed over that rather ignorant manager I was referring to in the original post! I saw a flash of orange in the mirror and hit the brakes (the orange was his gloves, everything else was light coloured).... there he was, shovelling around the gasoline fill holes in the concrete, directly behind me. Because of these people, I have now added an industrial sized backup alarm. That thing is soooo loud, I have to put it on a toggle switch because I can't stand it for normal use. I'll only use it when I am plowing during business hours or on a jobsite... otherwise, there is just no need for it. I dunno, but I pay attention when I walk/drive around, I notice things like 'reverse lights'. My reverse lights are a pair of clear halogen driving lights like you see on the front of many cars.
  7. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I have 2 circular flood lights mounted on a backrack. I have a switch on the dashboard that either turns them on no matter what gear the truck is in, off no matter what gear or on only in reverse which i use for plowing. They light up everything like day and i can see where iam going at night. If people aren't paying attention it won't matter if youre lit up like a christmas tree though.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    Thats a good idea! You can never overdo safety!
  9. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Insurance companys. Insurance companys. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    What can we say. We buy it to protect ourselves but when we need it we are afraid to file a claim for fear of exorborant increased rates the following year. Da DA DA DA.