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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Joel B., Jan 31, 2003.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 233

    This is my first year plowing and I could use a little advice. I have a 2" trigger on my accounts and we have had 3 snowfalls in the last week or so, 1", 1.5" 1.5".

    I did plow the first two times since we have had no snow here, I have been bored silly and wanted to try my plow. I didn't charge anyone for either time. I am thinking that was a mistake. Am I setting a precident now that I will plow at less than 2" for free? Now I'm looking outside again at about 1.5" and wondering if people are going to expect me to plow again for free (since I did it on the last two snowfalls).

    "They" are predicting more snow Sunday which should put everyone over the 2" trigger. Shoud l I just wait until after that snowfall to plow?

    Thanks to all,

    Joel B.
  2. jbutch83

    jbutch83 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    I have found out that you can't do anything for free. Maybe a reduced price, but not for free. Can't afford to pay bills with not getting paid for doing things. Maybe check with your accounts, see what they think. I have not had any complaints yet, even when plowing when the triggers were not met. I don't mean to plow when there is only 1 in. down and you have a 3 in. trigger, but if it is really close, then do it. If you are only expecting 3 in., then I would wait till you have close to that down before going out, but if they are calling for 6 or more, you have to get out when you trigger is met, otherwise it gets too hard on the equipment to plow 6 or more inches at one time.

  3. Mick

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

    While I agree with jbutch83, you were really plowing for the heck of it. Most of us have "been there, done that". I'd say when you send you're bills mark "No charge" beside that date and a note explaining that you just plowed to see if your equipment was working or something similar. Also that in the future you'll be sticking to the triggers.
  4. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Did they complain when you did it at 1.5" and hadn't billed them yet? If not, they mey not care if you do it at 1.5". I would have a talk with them and find out. I definately would not do it for free, your equipment and time are worth $$$$$. We have a 2" trigger, but I'll sometimes do it at 1.5" if it is going to stay cold, so things don't freeze up and turn into a skating rink.
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I would hesitate to do it for free,or even at a reduced price.Once you do it once,they expect it all the time.Either you bill them full pop for it,or don't even bill them.Stick to your trigger.

    Only time I will plow less than my trigger is like Grshppr said,to prevent it from becoming a problem,or there is residual snow left over from a previous snowfall less than the trigger which we didn't plow.If you get three 1" snowfalls,it will put you over your 2" trigger,if it all stays on the ground.Make a phone call afterwards to whoever is in charge,and explain why you did.
  6. Outdoor

    Outdoor Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    we plow anything 1" and over, if it less than a inch we apply a light application of salt only, our lots are clean
    we have found if you don't get rid of the snow if becomes packed and icy even a 1". at times during the day traffic will turn it into slush, but it the evening and morning you have got a slick crunchy lot,
    so we control all amount of snowfall and our customers are very happy with our service.
  7. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I would stick to the contract, and IMO you did plow for free... (done it) Nothing wrong with testing your equipment, but make sure you explain it so they know that this will only be done again at that depth if they want it and that you will have to charge with the next time. I learned my lesson this year as well, just one of my accounts are at 3" and I paid for it big time. A few .5" and a couple of 1" and the packed snow from that one account took longer to clear than any 4 of the other accounts. They don't want salt :realmad: so the end result was not good when 3" did fall I was up a creek.... Another lesson learned is to make sure that the amount is your call not theirs, this will help as well.
  8. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    We did the same thing before. Unfortuantely for me I did set a precedent. I learned the hard way. We definatetly stick to the triggers. We run a 3" trigger. 1 is at 2" Do yourself a favor, stick to them. You'd feel pretty bad if the damn truck broke on a 1'' storm and you didn't charge them. If they call you and want to be plowed then it is a call, and there is a seperate price for that on my contract. Only my opinion

  9. mulchmonkey2000

    mulchmonkey2000 Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    If it was really close i would've charged them for it. If they complain, maybe something could be worked out w/o it looking like you are a pushover every time it is close to the trigger. I thought this was gonna be a bad winter. Sure i don't mind salting a couple times but this is getting rediculous. I wanna PLOW!!!:realmad:
  10. Mick

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

    "You'd feel pretty bad if the damn truck broke on a 1'' storm and you didn't charge them. "

    That's the truth. Only time I've ever damaged anything so far was when I decided to "clean up" a place right quick and not charge. Caught a tree root and blew a hydraulic line.:realmad: Replaced the line and still in the process of bleeding all the air out of the system.

    I don't really feel too bad about it. I'm making some good money with that account this year:) .