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Trigger on Residential, Seasonal Contracts

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Remstar, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Remstar

    Remstar Member
    Messages: 44

    Okay guys, Just wonering if someone can share some input on what has worked best for you, In regards to residentials on seasonal contracts.

    as far as trigger depth is concerened,1" or 2"? 2' would save me labour expense, there would actually be a little snow to push but i can possibly see people getting pissed off that it snowed a little and nobody came to clear it.

    What has work best for you?
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I have 80 customers with a 2" trigger and 20 with a 1" trigger.
  3. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    This would be an extremely regional spec. You need to find out from your customers what service they expect and/or are used to having. In our area, customers expect that the bank across the end of the driveway will be gone when they want to go to work in the morning so that means that you're cleaning driveways every time the road plows are out.
  4. Remstar

    Remstar Member
    Messages: 44

    Do you charge a %percentage more on top of your normal rates to lower the trigger to 1"?

    Ex. normal drive is $100 per month but if you want a 1" trigger it is $120?

    how do you work this?
  5. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Our trigger is 2 inches, or when the muni passes and plows in the drives. Have a clear SRP and I find the most important part is to respect that trigger. It happens when the competition goes out at 11/2 inches and we will do the same. The problem then happens when you get another 11/2 inch snow and don't go out. The client becomes confused, and confused clients makes for lots of phone calls. If and when you can stick to that trigger, clients over time get used to it.
  6. phillie

    phillie Member
    from indy
    Messages: 97

    sorry if this is a dumb question but i think it relates. If it snows 2 " and you go plow your first drive the go through your rotation and it stops snowing after another 1 1/2 inches do you go through your rotation again? Also do you charge more by the end of the rotation when you are pushing 3 1/2 inches at 1 time? Sorry, not trying to hijack the thread just thought these questions relate. Thanks.
  7. mnlefty

    mnlefty Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Our service area 1" triggers are the standard, we have a few extra that we pick up at 2", but try not to do to many so the route isn't much different from 1 to 2.

    We do not start as soon as there is 1" though. Our standard service agreement states that we will wait until snowfall has ended and finish everyone within 8 hrs of snowfall ending... We have a clause for heavy snowfalls of 4" or more, or prolonged light snow of approximately 12 hours or more where we begin during the snow in order to clear everyone once by 7am or 5pm, whichever makes more sense due to snowfall timing. If they're calling for 6" and its snowing through the night we'll head out around midnight-1am... if its during the day we'll start around 10-11am. We then just continue through the routes until everyone is done after the snow has ended.

    All of our work is seasonal, so no extra charges for anything.
  8. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Nicely organized and explained.
  9. phillie

    phillie Member
    from indy
    Messages: 97

    OK, I get that. How about the pay per push guys. If your trigger is 2" and it snows 3 1/2 inches do you go back and clean up the 1 1/2 inches for a full rate push? Or just leave it? Thanks for that last post mnlefty it was a help on the 2 seasonal accounts I picked up this year.
  10. coyote

    coyote Member
    from montana
    Messages: 39

    Just talk to them and see what they want and tell them you will charge accordingly.
  11. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    This hits it right on the head. Our trigger for all residentials is three inches... Pretty much the norm around here. The key is the very clear contract language, and sticking by the contract/trigger amount. Many guys set a trigger amount, and then go plow any amount of measurable snow, for fear of complaints. When we let a two inch snowfall sit, and the calls come in, we address the complaints directly by clearly explaining that the trigger is three inches. Usually, the customer understands and that alleviates any complaints of the same nature in the future. We never deny a customer service at two inches, we just explain that plowing a two inch snowfall is an additional charge outside of their seasonal contract. Often, they're willing to pay the additional charge.
  12. phillie

    phillie Member
    from indy
    Messages: 97

    OK, I think I have it. I set my minimum at $40 (1-4") and $65(5-8") depending on size of job. I think since I'm going for residential mainly I should just aim at going out towards the end of the storm or start about 2 hrs before rush hour. What do you think? Does this seem right?
  13. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,747

    I use a 2" residential trigger also. However I actually go at anything over 1.5" because I want my customers to get better service than they expected. They are all seasonal pricing, so they are not going to complain if they get a couple extra services.

    Same thing for 1" commercial accounts also, anything over 3/4" inch and I'm there. Sometimes at a 1/2" actually depending on the account.
  14. Whatever you decide for a trigger point be sure that it is CLEARLY explained to the customer as well as stated in your contract. Those 1 or 2 inch triggers might be OK for a seasonal contract, however in my area if someone was gonna service them for a 1.5" snow most resi per push customers would be extremely irate as most will clear that themselves with a broom or just push it off with a shovel. Around here most per push customers dont wanna see ya for less then a 3" storm and only want it done once AFTER the storm is over and the municipal plows have left the piles. This is mostly cause schools/businesses tend to close or delay with a plowable storm. Just make sure your and the customers expectations for trigger, push frequency etc are CLEAR and in writing for both parties!
  15. Plow man Foster

    Plow man Foster PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,153

    My driveways are triggered at 2"
    if it snows another 1.5 and stops I dont push.

    i think that trigger is fair, any lower and the customer expects it to e done after every "flurry" storm..
    All of my driveways are under contracts where the customer pays in full and gets unlimited pushes.
    I dont do any "per pushes" on residentials. Really dont do them in commercials either due to the fact if we get 30 pushes it really hurts the customer!
  16. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    Dude, are you serious? You go plow when you get 3/4" of snow? And sometimes at 1/2"? Bahaahhaa
    I plow on an average of 26-32 times a year per acct. at a 3" trigger. During Big storms I let it pile up 4-5" then go out. Theres no way I could do a 1-2" trigger when we get 125" a year. Last season we got 180".
  17. Plow man Foster

    Plow man Foster PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,153

    i went out 22 times last yr.

    :laughing::laughing: if i let my drives hit 4-5" i would be sooooo fired!
    Thats 2 pushes for me!
  18. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    mine are 3 inches unless they have alot of slushy ice they want removed
  19. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    That's 4-5" during overnight snowfall. Why go out and plow when you hit 3" at midnight? Most of my clients aren't going anywhere in a sh!t storm. I let it pile up and clear em out by 7am. Daytime snowfall I'm on top of.
  20. Plow man Foster

    Plow man Foster PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,153

    Ohhh! Okay i see you!
    Yeah thats what we do! I try to just push it when ever the storm stops. So if it stops and be done by 7AM. At 7 im usually just driving around checking lots and such...