Understanding Commercial Snow Removal Contracts

Without a doubt, contracts, of any kind, can be intimidating. 

First and foremost, should you have questions or concerns regarding any Commercial Snow Removal Contract, you should seek the assistance of legal counsel prior to execution of said contract.

Provisions Protect Clients & Providers  

Often, the vast majority of a Commercial Snow Removal Contract contains provisions to protect both the “Company,” and “The Client.” These items are typically industry standard and rather similar contract to contract. Outside of those provisions, are the details that may vary contract to contract, and are “negotiable,” per say. 

  1. Term – The Length of Time the Contract is Valid For
    1. In Colorado, a typical “winter season” runs from October 1st thru May 31st. Ensure your business is covered for at least the industry standard “winter season.” Negotiate if a shorter or longer “season” is needed. 
  2. Payment – The Length of Time “The Client” Has from Date of Invoice to Render Payment
    1. Industry Standards for Payment Are:
      1. Net 30
      2. Net 60
      3. Net 90
        1. Ensure your/accountings availability to turn payment in the stated time frame. Negotiate if additional time frames are needed. 
  3. Services – Trigger Services, Chemical Applications, Below Trigger Services
    1. Make sure your contract trigger depths are reflective of your properties needs.
      1. Industry Standard for Plowing – 2”
      2. Industry Standard for Snow Shoveling – 1”
    2. Make sure you have approved or declined chemical services such as Ice Melt and/or Ice Slicer.
    3. Below Trigger Services are usually initiated at the conclusion of any storm that does NOT reach the stated trigger depth. These may include the treatment for snowy and icy conditions via minor plowing, shoveling and/or application of chemical material. 
    4. These are all your choice. Make sure the contract is suitable to your needs!
  4. Pricing – What Are You Actually Paying for And How Are You Paying for Items
    1. Traditionally, most commercial snow removal companies are charging for “Time and Materials.”
      1. This is you per hour, per pound, per gallon, etc. charges incurred from work done. Often, you will see that this type of pricing has a minimum one (1) hour charge for all services. 

The Different Pricing Types

While Snowology does indeed provide Time and Materials Pricing, we are also utilizing additional, advanced pricing methods. 

  1. Per Push
    Based on a predetermined trigger depth, services are initiated one we reach that depth, we bill a set amount each time we service the property at that depth.

    Example: Trigger depth is 2”. Price for 2” full clear is $900.00. It snows 4”, we clear the site twice, total bill will be $1,800.00.

  2. Per Event
    Services are initiated each time the trigger depth is reached, the total invoice is based on a predetermined amount for total storm inches.

    Example: Trigger depth is 2”. It snows 5.8 inches. We clear the site 3 times. Price for 4-6” of snow is $1,800.00. Total storm bill is $1,800.00. It snows 4.9 inches. Total storm bill is $1,800.00.

  3. Seasonal
    Based on historical snowfall information. Services initiated each time the trigger depth is reached. Quoted price covers the entire season, billed monthly regardless of snowfall.

Additional Provisions & Holiday Surcharges

Keep in mind, there will likely be specific pricing provisions that may also be outlined such as blizzard clauses, services outside contracted scope and inch caps. Holiday surcharges will also typically be listed in the provisional pricing section. 

Lastly, every contract should include an “Additional Provisions and/or Notes” section. Utilize this section.

Use this section to outline additional items such as extended ice watch nights, weekend hours or provisions, timing of removal, maps, property security detail, etc. Any contract you are signing off on should ultimately be satisfactory to BOTH “The Company,” and “The Client.” Here at Snowology, we ensure contracts are 100% agreeable!