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Who Adds a "service fee" to stake out driveways?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by EGLC, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    I've been charging $5.00 this year but will probably up it to $10.00 next year to mark out my customers driveways.....who here does the same??
  2. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Not here. Staking is always included.

    Messages: 88

    I don't on my own return accounts. I do some high end drives, i think of it as insurance on the drives till i push it once or twice, then it's out lined for me...i don't feel i should kick that onto the customer and i don't like to do repairs in the spring. So i mark for free and grab my flags back at the end of the season, being all my accounts are within a 8 mile radius.
  4. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I don't charge.
  5. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    maybe jersey is different, but people are tired of getting nickled and dimed, just raise your rates $2 and offer staking as a free service. on big commercial jobs you'll have to charge more of course.
  6. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I think charging for staking or taking them out is a BS charge and I will never do that. Staking is for your benefit not to do property damage. JMO
  7. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    so far I've had no complaints.....I dont see why its BS when the stakes are almost $2.00ea and I'm spending my time and fuel driving around to put them out. Most driveway here I use 8-12 stakes......

    I have a clause in my service agreement that if customer opts for us not to stake I am no longer held responsible for turf repair in spring......like I said I have now over 20 customers which isnt a whole lot, but it is my first year and no issues
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What are stakes?
  9. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    We don't charge anything! Like it's been said that is for YOUR benefit not the customers, therefore you should do it for them. Or let them do it themselves, we do charge for missing stakes in the spring however since they do cost money.
  10. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733


    I dont understand your arguement....I have a landscape business, so lets say theres an over grown apple tree on the property and while mowing you constantly get whacked in the head by some low branches. So by your statement I should trim the tree for no charge?

    I mean I've spent close to $400 just on stakes alone and I bet by next year I get back less then 2/3 from customers, now including hours I've spent marking out drives and fuel driving around I'd like to try and recoup SOME of that. Hell customers cant even stake out their own driveway for anywhere near $5.00........
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  11. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Ummm Stake..

    Here is a whole one. A small one.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  12. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    well said

    If I was a customer and you buried some "staking" charge in your bill, I'd drop you.

    I don't see the problem.
    I use the cheap ones from angelo's (50c each), I lose almost all of them each year (I don't do landscaping, and our last snows come late March, by which time grass is already growing typically and the landscapers have removed them) and it's just a cost of doing business.

    I've only ever seen one other lot staked out here (some other company).

    It's a LOT cheaper than fixing curbs, turf, etc

    It's a BS charge, price your work correctly.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  13. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    You charge the customer for missing stakes? How do you know it's their fault there missing?
  14. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    Theres not "buried" staking charge, its IN the seaonal contract and shows up on the first invoice.

    So are you saying I should figure this into my "per push" pricing? Wouldnt that be more of a "buried" charge then just telling people openly WHY they're getting charged $5.00???

    And seriously guys, calm down. There's no need to jump on me, I'm not stealing busines, hell from the way you guys are talking it seems like I'd be loosing business which would be a positive for other local plowers!
  15. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Being a professional plower it is your job not to do property damage, so IMO it's your discretion if you need stakes or not. Some of our sites we use them others we don't, it all depends. We are responsible for any damage caused plowing. If you can get paid for staking and no one complains then the more power to you. I would assume doing driveways stakes would also asisst you in finding your driveways and also you could you the road stakes for advertising hence why you shouldn't charge for them. This is all JMO.

    On edit I'm not excited at all, Im just expressing my views.
  16. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Those are steaks.
  17. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    I see your point....for now I'll keep the charge, if/when as I grow and accumulate more accounts people complain then I will remove it. Like I said over 20 very good accounts and not a single complaint....now again this is my first year plowing.

    I have one customer who refuses to allow me or her husband to stake out the driveway. She says they look "ugly" and can not stand looking at them. I told her we will not be responsible for any turf damage. The driveway is 2 cars wide and about 3 deep, pretty square. However I would've felt MUCH better just putting down 6-8 stakes just to make sure I dont get near the lawn.

    She was totally OK with signing a disclaimer just to not have to see the stakes....I personally think she's CRAZY but oh well. :dizzy:
  18. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    AHAHAHAHA :laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
  19. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    Why not use "irrigation" flags. $2.50 for 100. Cheap and who cares if they get lost.
  20. Mackman

    Mackman PlowSite.com Addict
    from S.E. PA
    Messages: 1,356

    I dont think the charge is BS. Sounds like a good idea to me.