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Residential plowing

1932 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mick
I am hoping to buy a Snoway plow next year so until I can afford one I made some wings for the side of my plow. I tested it this morning on a property that I have to backdrag and it worked quite well. I used a thick rubber truck mud flap and cut and attached it with some heavy bolts. (I wouldn't do this on a new plow).

One question for the residential plowers, my contract is set a 2 1/2 inches and I was wondering if any residential guys have there's set at 2 and still get calls from customers when its around an inch? I set mine thicker to avoid this but still get calls from a few people that are too lazy to shovel an inch of fluffy snow that melts mid afternoon.


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Can I assume that your residentials are aon a per push or per inch charge?

If they are a per push charge, then.....

Just an idea here...

IF you are getting calls from customers to come plow at 1" and you have a 2" or 2.5" trigger in your contract, why not send them an ammended contract with a 1" trigger amount and go make yourself a few extra dollars?

If your customers are calling for service at 1" then by all means provide them what they are requesting.

A local Independent Supermarket owner has a Large chunk of Granite in the lobby to his store. Cut into this stone are his rules for Customer satisfaction...

Rule #1 Customer is ALWAYS right.

Rule #2 When in doubt... Read Rule #1

If my customers want me to start scraping at a 1" trigger, then thats what I am gonna do,( as long as they are paying for it)
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My contract is from Dec 1 to March 31st with a maximum of 20 plows over 4 inches. I only do a per plow basis for one small car dealership that pay's cash and I have to wait until they call to unlock a gate.
For the one's who call, offer a revised contract to include the lower trigger as Jeff suggests. Sounds to me like you're passing up an opportunity here. For the ones who continue to call without revising, just suggest they refer to the contract at hand specifying 4" or more.

More work = more $$$

I wouldn't pass it up!
It looks like you're from Markham, Ontario.

Your trigger may be too low, especially if you're into subdivisions which are 95% of Markham/Richmond Hill.

The standard around here is 3cm, I know that's low but if you wait for more than 5cm, you'll look bad because everyone elses will be done and your customers will wonder why.

Lowering the trigger is another product of the lowballer, which affects us all.
Pelican said:

More work = more $$$
Sounds like he's on seasonal contracts which is pretty much what everyone around here uses.

So it's quite the opposite! More work = less $$$! :)
Read my post.....

The opportunity exists to renegotiate his contract at a greater price.......

If the customer requests more work be done than specified, then charge accordingly.
Pelican said:
Read my post.....

The opportunity exists to renegotiate his contract at a greater price.......

If the customer requests more work be done than specified, then charge accordingly.
It wouldn't seem reasonable to go out for 1 or 2 driveways at a lower trigger and not do the rest, even if you're charging more. You couldn't get the customer to pay what it would be worth.

Of course that depends on how far away he is and the size of the driveways.
I have all my customers at a 1" trigger. All my contacts are seasonal so the number of times out does affect the bottom line. I always get 10 to 15 phone calls from people when we get a 1/2" of snow. I explain that, its not in my scope to plow this amount of snow, and refer to the contract.

I agree with NOVA on this one. Due to the nature of the seasonal contract, and how the client views it. (Example: My trigger depth is 1" and my contract allows for up to 15 plows - I will get the phone call saying to use one of the 15 plows for a 1/2" snowfall) It will be very hard to get paid for coming out at a lower trigger depth, or to just have them pay a per plow fee, etc. Even if they would like to pay extra for lower triggers, whould it be worth it. If your talking about 1 to 5 customers, I would say no. If your talking about 5 to 10 customers, maybee, depending on the locations of the customers.

I used to have three to four trigger depths per season, depending on the customer. I gave that up two years ago, it was way to complicated. Especially, if you have more than one truck on the road. I set all my contracts up at 1", if they don't want it that low, find someone else. But to be honest, plowing less than 1", hardly does all that much. No sense going any lower IMO, for a driveway. But other regions may be different.

Chuck B.
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I don't do any seaonal contracts all mine are per push and all close to home my trigger is 2" and a couple of customers want it at 1" also so I do go out but very rare we only get just an 1" and if we do better for me.:cash
I have one customer with a gravel driveway and a 1" trigger. Another with a private road over half a mile and wants "anything" done. Both want sanding. Both are "per push". I simply set the per push at a rate that I'd be glad to drive up and down there pushing an inch or so with a 9' plow on a 3500 diesel.

Everyone's happy. I make money. They can get in their driveway. So there's no problem.
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