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When you can't be everywhere at once.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by The mayor, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. The mayor

    The mayor Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    Something I have been thinking about. Safe to assume you all have more than one account that has to be shoveled and salted on a commercial property.
    Most places open at let's say 7 am. Your snow/ice storm is letting up at that time. You have been out for about a hour already....but, you have 6 hours commercial salting to do. One of your customers calls and says its 8am the walk icy and someone slipped fell and got hurt. What do you do. You can't get everything done at once. It was a late storm. Do you have something in your contract that says will be at your place in so much time after a storm.
  2. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    You have hit on the head. If anything puts me out of this business it will be that. When it quits snowing at 7:00 AM they look out there window and wonder why there lot isnt clear. I cant handle much more phone calls with those questions. The last snow was like that. I have gone out close to 50 times this year and there is little respect from the accounts. Just whining about their salt bill and trying to change their contract requirements midstream. Just venting.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    I've heard that using strobes will help you get from one account to another faster. :dizzy: :jester:

    We had the same thing Friday and had 1 complaint, another just called and asked when we'd be there. Started snowing at 3 AM, called the sidewalk guys and 1 other guy to salt then. At 4:30 we had about a half inch. Then it started snowing. By 6 we had 2 inches and he wants to know if we're going to plow their lot. I was polite, but I wanted to tell him to shove it.

    Why is it so difficult to understand we can't control the freaking weather, it doesn't stop snowing the second we finish plowing, it doesn't start at 10PM and stop at 12AM?
  4. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Mark I can't understand why U don't understand why everybody CAN'T be 1st!!!
    Its the Me, Me,Me attitude. Everyone no matter how small of a client they are thinks they should be 1st.
    My biggest PITA's are Resi's who want to be serviced b/f they need to go out to work in the morning. I lay it on the line when I 1st meet any new resi. that I have priorities. Commercials 1st, resis' 2nd, churches 3rd. (unless its a Sunday morning)
    I myself have done alright this year. I've usually been able to meet the request myself or dispatch another member to take care of the situation.
  5. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    What I usually do Is plow everything before they open regardless of storm end time (as long as there is than an inch or so). Then If it has to be cleaned up during or at the end of the work day I go back. Of course everything I have is per push. If I had seasonals I guess I would look at it differnetly.
    EDIT: This is commercials only. I dont give residentials a guranteed time.
  6. Lazer Man

    Lazer Man Senior Member
    from SW Pa.
    Messages: 140

    I'm going to say this, if you've only been out since 6am then its kinda on you. To start only an hour before your accounts open is not good business practices buy you, should have been out at 2 or 3am hitting your accounts. Of course if it starts snowing a 6am this is all different. If you start as I said all accounts should have been hit once, should take a salting to simply clean things up. At least this is how we operate our business. I do understand we can't be all places at once. But doing as I said it would be harder for accounts to complain if all is left is touch-ups.

    Bob:D :D :D
  7. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    this is why we have many vehicals to plow with. so all of our commercials can be getting done at the same time. we usually get the most **** from resis. we make sure the commercial owners are happy.

    A) because they pay us a lot more
    B) because there is a bigger liability issue with them.

    also all of our commercials are seasonal. but in the contract it states that they pay us in advance for one clearing a storm and any after that will be added on.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    NOt sure about the OP, but I think we were on the same page.

    If the snow isn't there to plow by 4, 5 or 6, you can't get it done in that time.

    As for my business, it takes approx 1 hour to mobilize my own crews and subs. So you're trying to make the decision IF you are going to hit the trigger amount and not waste time and money by calling everyone out and then the storm falls apart or there's only an inch that can be burned off with salt or wait too long and then get behind. Maybe with 1 or 2 trucks it's easy, but it isn't with a larger operation. Try having 50-60 accounts and keeping them happy. The OP is correct, you can't be everywhere at once.

    plowfast, you can open up your commercials in an hour's time? Assuming it hit trigger by 6 AM?

    FWIW, my routes are about 5-6 hours max on a normal 2-3 inch snowfall per piece of equipment. Not really excessive IMO
  9. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    You got it. If you normally have a route for your trucks that takes 5-6 hours how can you have everybody done in a hour?Also it is bs that you need more equipment etc. Do you have guys standing by to work a couple of hours and then go home after running your mega fleet? You need so many hours per vehicle to make it worth even running the piece of equipment to be profitable. Also as far as starting earlier it is pretty hard to start plowing at 2:00 AM when it isnt started yet!:mad: Now that I read about how to run a plow operation I feel so mmuch smarter! Alot of much needed advice from the experts. As you can tell I am po'd.
  10. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    pre salt pre salt only take what you can handle. Bottom line is they dont give a shyt how you get it dun just get it dun.
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    There's some more helpful advice, thanks.

    FYI It's called pretreating, because if you really think about it, what is presalting?

    And you're telling me that 5-6 hours worth of plowing per piece of equipment is more than I can\should handle? Care to share what you think the proper amount of work is?

    FWIW, I don't need to presalt, I have 2 liquid anti-icing units that I can use.
  12. rjfetz1

    rjfetz1 Senior Member
    from CT.
    Messages: 640

    Is it anti-icing or de-icing?

    30 years ago I used to let that stuff bother me. Now it goes in one ear and out the other. They get done when they get done........haven't lost an account in 13 years.
  13. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    3-4 hr routs is what we run iv never had a problem . As for you pretreating presalting its all the same thing put down what you have. My post was for the guy who started the thread
  14. rjfetz1

    rjfetz1 Senior Member
    from CT.
    Messages: 640

  15. Snowman16

    Snowman16 Member
    Messages: 64

    You bet it does, only if you KEEP them on, as long as you don't get stoped for it lol.
    If every storm started at 10 and ended at 12 this job would be too easy,oh well it's a nice thought anyway.
    I have given up on getting everyone done early I just do my best, commercial first residential second. When they call I say "i'm almost there" and keep going. 86 accounts 12 are commercial, it takes me 15 hours on a 2'' "perfect" storm.
  16. plowmaster1

    plowmaster1 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    place them on the list of how they pay if they take along time to pay then take along time to get there but don't piss them off
  17. MB3

    MB3 Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Don't quite understand

    If it started snowing, why were you not out salting from the time it started. I don't know about you, but it really does not take me that long to throw salt down on a lot. I know if I need to have them open at a certin time, I will be there right when it starts, salt the heck out of it, and hit my other places, and come back to them again.
  18. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Wow, I try and keep everything in a 3hr window. I have 2 big accounts, with dedicated equipment they never call because the equipment is always there working. All our commercial accounts have a 1inch trigger. We have organized our routes to coincide with the store openings. The worst time for snow to start is after 4AM.

    As far as salting goes, max 3 hrs. If we get freezing rain during the day, I will get out my spare salter to cut that time in halve. I hate slip fall. Most of the time I'm halve way done before our city salters are out. Salting is something I take care of personally. Truck is fully loaded and parked in doors always ready to go.
  19. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    So another words your customers will pay for pre salting, post salting, plowing, sidewalk presalting, sidewalk shoveling, sidewalk resalting? I need to get a few of those. I did not know I was so far behind the curve.
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    You forgot preplowing. That's plowing before it hits the ground.