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Is it misleading to market "snow removal" on your business cards and letterhead if all you own is a plowing business? Just curious how this would be preceived by potential customers.

Thanks,

Bruce
 

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If your doing residential only then I don't think it'll make very much difference. However if your doing commercial then I would think at some point some one is going to ask for removal and what will you say then? If you have no intention of offering it then I would stay with "plowing" and skip removal. Just my two cents.
 

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I think it depends on how you would respond to the person who called and said "I need some snow removed from my place".
 

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Do you just plow? Or do you manage snow and ice? Do you shovel? You don't call yourself Bob's Shoveling Service so why call it Bob's Plowing!? I'd steer away from plowing and removal in the name of the business since it appears to be more limiting in scope. Just my two cents!
 

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GeeMC said:
Is it misleading to market "snow removal" on your business cards and letterhead if all you own is a plowing business? Just curious how this would be preceived by potential customers.

Thanks,

Bruce

I guess the only answer to that question is:
If you don't remove the snow, then don't advertise "removal".

If I hired you to "remove" the snow as your business card/etc states, then I'd expect you to remove the snow, and not just push it aside onto my lawn.

Makes sense to me, which is why I advertise "snow plowing".
No, I don't shovel, salt, or remove....I just push it.

If you do shovel, salt, and what have you, then advertise "Snow & Ice Management" like most others do.
 

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Ditto to all that was said.

FWIW, I list TWO very different rates for PLOWING and REMOVAL. I list on my cards, letterhead, and trucks PLOWING and than list REMOVAL as additional serivces in the contract.
 

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I diasgree. I remove the snow from their parking lot. What I do with the snow is not an issue. "Snow removal" means removing the snow from a certain area. It doesn't mean removing it from their property.
 

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I bet the insurance company looks at it diffently too. Removing is clearly HAULING it away.

When you cut grass are you REMOVING the clipping when you are not bagging it? Or do you just consider the Lawn Removal too? When you do a spring or fall clean up with Leaf REMOVAL do you just move the leaves from one spot on the lawn to another, or HAUL them away?

Just for the sake of good arugement of course not looking to say either is wrong or start a fight.

But when a performance requirments for a RFP )Request For Propossal) states SNOW REMOVAL and SNOW PLOWING how do you adress this?

Do you claim that "I remove the snow from their parking lot. What I do with the snow is not an issue. "Snow removal" means removing the snow from a certain area. It doesn't mean removing it from their property." and then bill them for both services?

When you do REMOVE the snow from there parking lot by plowing it WHERE does the snow go it not OFF their propery??

Funny thing is I way told about the difference between SNOW REMOVAL and SNOW PLOWING when I was looking into my SIMA membership, I wonder how they would define the diffrence. I will post it on the SIMA Fourm and see what I can learn.
 

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I know the Attorney General in NY defines a difference. I recall hearing stories from Buffalo (during their 7 ft storm), of contractors being forced to remove (truck)snow from residentials. Look at the other site, you'll probablly find something. I revamped all my contracts after that storm (& stories from it).
 

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I don't advertise either "snow plowing" or "snow removal". I'ts never been an issue for me or my customers. We don't work in cities, or areas where actual trucking of snow is required. "Snow Removal" is the term most use around here. I guess it's different in other areas. The most extreme "removal" we ever had to do in 28 years of business was to have a loader push back the banks once and a while.

Mike, do you have any details regarding the case you mentioned? Dates, or actual legal cases so that we may all be informed. If there has been an actual suite brought by the AG, then I would be inclined to not use the wrong terms.

Certainly not worth arguing about. Call it what ever you prefer.
 

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"Certainly not worth arguing about. Call it what ever you prefer."


Ditto, call it what you want as long as it pays in green.
 

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CPSS said:
I diasgree. I remove the snow from their parking lot. What I do with the snow is not an issue. "Snow removal" means removing the snow from a certain area. It doesn't mean removing it from their property.
Ya dont want to be called to the table with this one.If your not removing it from the propert you should not have it in your contract that your providing snow removal.Snow re-locating,snow plowing,snow clearing,Any word but removal.
 

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We don't have it in our contract. I was just trying to make a point. We are "removing" the snow from the area of concern, ie: the parking lot. They don't pay us to clear the front lawn, or side field of wild grass, so we put the "removed" snow there.

As I said, an argument could be made either way if it was important enough that you wanted to use the term.
 

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CPSS said:
We don't have it in our contract. I was just trying to make a point. We are "removing" the snow from the area of concern, ie: the parking lot. They don't pay us to clear the front lawn, or side field of wild grass, so we put the "removed" snow there.

As I said, an argument could be made either way if it was important enough that you wanted to use the term.
Your still not removing

You are relocating

All that has to happen is one day after a giant storm and you tell the guy he has to hire a machine and a truck to remove the snow .

He can explain

NO YOU REMOVE THE SNOW THATS WHAT YOUR CONTRACT STATES

and then he will finish by saying that he allowed you to store the snow on his property and now he wants it removed at your exspence Or he is going to hire another contractor if you refuse to do it and take his pay off of what he owes you.

A contract is a contract and the wording of the contract is what is held up and enfourced in a court of law.
 

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This is an interesting discussion on the use of different words in our vast vocabularies and the English language. I believe it's important within our own industry to use the same wording across the board. So often one will say something like "per occurrence" or "anti-icing" and mean something different than how others interpret them.

Because of our regional differences we sometimes use different expressions for the same thing that we're talking about. This is confusing not just to us, but also to our customers.

As a member of the SIMA education committee I'm advocating that SIMA develop a standard glossary for the industry. I already see where terms are being defined in the industry because of companies like SMG. If they say to invoice "per occurrence", they do not mean "per storm" or "per event" which is a different type of invoicing. Anyone who works for SMG and cares to stick to their definition of "per occurrence" by billing after each event (no matter how many plowings/saltings) will be loosing money.

When you talk to a property manager that is working across different regions, you'll find their jargon may be confusing since they aren't speaking the same language. This is why you have to ask so many questions to understand what their expecations are. This would be made much simpler if as an industry we spoke the same language, ultimately teaching our customers the proper terms and language of the industry.

All of this being said, it's important to define the terms you use in your contract in some form or fashion so their is no confusion. Defining what you intend to do in your "scope of services" is the best thing you can do. You can call your contract a "Snow Removal Contract" and then define in your scope of services specifically, "The Contractor will Clear/Plow snow from paved parking areas.... etc." Later stating, "This contract does not include the removal of snow from customers property."

Use whatever term you wish on your business card. I just think it's mis leading to say "Snow Removal" as your line of business when you actually are providing snow clearing and ice control applications. To say snow plowing excludes shoveling, instead use clearing which then could mean any variety of methods of clearing (e.g. blowing, shoveling, plowing). To say "salting" is to define the chemical you will be using to melt snow and ice, rather try using "ice control application" so that salt, calcium, magnesium, Magic, liquid or solid may be used. Be cautious of the wording you choose to use in your contracts as it may very well define in court what others believe your intentions were, even if you meant something different.
 

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Lawn Lad,

That is right in track with what I was attempting to say when I mentioned meeting the performance requirement when submitting an RFP. I do clearly define what the client will get in the "Scope/schedule of services" section of the contract. I spell out what each service will include and/or consist of, the bill rate for that service and finally where and when exactly each service will be performed.

Even with all of that being spelled out I find that most clients NEVER read the darn contract they just always clearly remember each and every word spoke during the conversation resulting the the rate plan. Oh they sure do member the rate part in dollars and cents but never remember what I said about the service. I find this even more with the Lawn portions of the contracts. I guess the contract is a good fall back to position but I never even think of telling the client to go back and read the contract, I just try to mention that the service they are asking for were not covered in out conversations about rate plans.
 

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Although you still have the customer perception to deal with and not wanting to slam a contract in their face when a misunderstanding arrises, it is helpful to have the following, or similar, in your contract. Albeit this clause covers a bit more, but it does say that the contract supercedes all previous agreements, written or oral.

18. Future Dealings and Change Orders. The terms and conditions contained in this Agreement govern all future dealings between the parties and supersedes any and all other agreements, either oral or in writing, and contains all of the agreements, covenants and other obligations between the parties hereto with respect to the obligations of the parties as described herein. Any changes, substitutions, amendments, cancellations, extensions, revisions, or modifications of this Agreement, in whole or in part and on one or more occasions, shall not be invalid or unenforceable because of lack of consideration, provided that said changes, substitutions, amendments, cancellations, extensions, revisions, or modifications, shall be in writing, authorized and confirmed by the Contractor and the Owner.
 
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