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What the heck do you do with all those shopping carts?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SnowedUnder, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. SnowedUnder

    SnowedUnder Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 65

    A friend of a friend got my number and asked for help to do a supermarket parking lot. Okay, for a 100 bucks an hour cash and a couple of hours, why not.

    So I get there at 11pm and the damn lot has 100 carts spread ALL OVER THE LOT. What the hell? I call him, no answer. There is no way to do the lot without collecting the carts. So here I am, trying to pull carts from all over hells half acre. An hour and a half later, a million curses spat out, I pulled all the carts to a few areas and start plowing. It took two hours to plow. So now he owes me four hours including travel. Needless to say, the guy tells me that it couldn't be more then 10 carts so he is suprised that it took so long and argues but eventually pays. Moral of the story, I should have driven away.


    What the hell do you guys do with carts? Is it part of your contracts to move them? Or just plow them to the nearest mound? LOL!
  2. JustAGuy

    JustAGuy Junior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 27

    Plow 'em in. :D
  3. Bigcat99

    Bigcat99 Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    I would go inside and tell the manager that they need to get someone outside to retrieve the carts. I highly doubt that would be included in most contracts to have to move the carts. During that time, I would start in another section of the lot.

    The national retailer that I used to manage at would require store management to ensure that carts were cleaned from the lot so that the plowing could be done in its entirety. One night I actually sent some employees (the strong young men) home before realizing that I still needed people to clear the lot. The kid doing that had gone home sick earlier. All I had left were a couple of skinny little high school girls, a couple of mature ladies, and a 65 year old frail guy who couldn't be outside in the cold air for long with his asthma. I sent them home, and after locking the doors, cleared about 130 carts myself in about 45 minutes. I only had about 2" to push them through, so either you are more out of shape than I am, or you must have had a lot more snow than I did to push through. By the way, my co-managers and I often joked that I made damn good money for my cart attendant duties. The salary for the rest of the job though wasn't all that it was hyped to be,
  4. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,231

    I would windrow them towards the store.:gunsfiring:
  5. SnowedUnder

    SnowedUnder Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 65

    I would of gone in but they were already home, sleeping!

    I had nasty little drifts to push through and some of the carts must have been there for at least one snow storm too many.

    One of the reasons I posted this is that I wanted to know is common practice. It's not the first time I see carts all over the place. My places don't have carts (thankfully) but another place I am eying for next year does. As strict as the property manager is, there still dozens of carts spread all over 22 acres. The store managers yelp like dogs at him when they lose their carts. He threatens to charge them for clearing their carts, they threaten to charge them for damage to those carts. Real nice...... :rolleyes:

    Anybody have any clauses in their contracts about carts? And liability?

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  6. SnowedUnder

    SnowedUnder Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 65

    At $300 bucks a piece? Let's see, $300 x 100 = $30,000...hmm.....what I make in a few hours of plowing!
  7. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    I use to plow Wal Mart in Quincy MA. They would have carriages everywhere. They would also have kid that would hide inside more than outside pushing carriages. So when I did finally see him pushing in his 2 carriages for the hour. I told him that if he lined up a whole bunch of them. I would push the line in with my truck. He would just have to stand up front and steer them in.
  8. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    A picture can tell a thousand words. ;) After a quick snapshot , gather the carts and upcharge them accordingly. If the bill is rather high , odds are it will not happen again .

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I had this happen to me twice at the Toys-R-Us I use to do in Shaumburg. I went around every one of em like a light post. So when I was done there was 30 or so carts in snow squares. After the second time it never happen again and in fact when I pulled in the lot and turned on the yellow strobe they would have 2 guys come out and clear em while I went around and did the docks.

    Worth a try maybe it did no damage to any cart as I just went around each one but it sure made a statement seeing em in the lot like that when the rest of the pavement was wet. ;)
  10. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Not your responsibility, make sure it says so in your contract. I'll take some pics of some nice piles with blue carts coming out of them! :gunsfiring:
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    Apparently you've never heard of shopping cart hockey?
  12. HULK2184

    HULK2184 Member
    Messages: 77

    I plow the front of the store, then just push them with the plow in the area that i finished. They sometimes get mad but on the real side they need to do there job so i can do mine
  13. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    make the managers get off their lazy a$$ and pick up their own carts. i once told a manager that if i had to labor to pick up his carts i was going to charge him.
  14. van pelts lands

    van pelts lands Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    i used to have it in contract

    the store was responsible for the carts if any were in the way they did end up in the mound and when spring came they showed up usually all twisted up
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  15. 10elawncare

    10elawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    A friend of mine does a shopping complex and the first storm just about every cart was in that parking lot. So he called the manager told him they are being charged $5 a cart that his guys had to move, wouldn't you know it there has not been a single cart left outside since....
  16. mustangEd

    mustangEd Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I was subin for a guy that did a national grocery store,
    his contract called for $3 a cart that he (I had to get out and clear them)
    had to touch and $300 for any cart damaged while plowing.
    this seemed to work for him because there were never more than 4 or 5
    carts left in the lot and most of the time none at all.
    On a side note he told me when he did damage a cart he throws it in
    the pick up and takes it with him so they could'nt deduct costs from
    the bill. lol

  17. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    We do a mall here in town, when I took over the contract back in 1997 the store manager was quite hostile cuz his buddy. had lost the job . So I knew I had some PR work to do. Most of the carts where always picked up but there were some stragglers left at every storm. I told my guys just took get out of the machine and move it to a safe area. Result....couple of months later the store manager came out and thanked me....said that they had saved moneyon cart repairs and was happy. 11 seasons later Im still there. Sometimes its the small details that willcause you to lose the job

    FISHERBOY Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    shopping carts

    I thought about calling the property manager and telling her the supermarket is under staffed like she has complained to me earlier this season:realmad:,so i said no need to involve her it could make matters worse" so i suck it up and gather all the carts and put them in front of the door so the night shift gets the point. Plus it looks better for me i don't come off as a jerk or worse, i want to keep getting the job to make the big payup.
  19. snowandgo

    snowandgo Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    Well, you could gather them up and leave them blocking the entrances when you leave so the manager has to deal with them when he comes in to open in the morning.

    I used to plow a supermarket and would go in and announce my arrival whenever I plowed. If there was a cart I had to deal with I would gently push it to a clear area or by a light post.

    I would also plow clear lanes for the cart wrangler to push the carts in because it is a PITA to push a cart in only 1/2" of snow, let alone 2" or 4".

    There is no way I would have it in my contract to pay for damaged carts. They could come after you for any little ding, or for carts that somebody else damaged playing cart hockey.
  20. snowplowchick

    snowplowchick Senior Member
    Messages: 549

    I had a mall contract and we just plowed them into the piles. There was a twisted mess come spring. Whoever is last on the shift at the store is responsible for putting all the carts in the corrals.

    Never once had to pay for, or got in trouble for plowing in the carts, and there were several that got plowed up over the winter. As long as it is not in the contract then you are not responsible for them.

    I definitely would not have ever touched one. I would have plowed around them if I wasn't sure. That would increase your time to finish, and accordingly you would get paid more. Your friend should send a fax to them stating that in future, all carts will be pushed into the snow and you will not be held responsible for any loss or damage.