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Old 10-13-2008, 03:56 PM
Acorn
 
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DAMAGE done by bobcat

how do you handle bobcat damage done to sod and/concrete? Always going to happen, but to what extreme is unpredictable. How is addressed in your contracts and in your labor charges???
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:43 PM
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What kind of damage are you doing to concrete with a skidsteer? I can see tire tracks from turning, but there shouldn't be much more than that.

As for turf damage, either we spell out that we will regrade and reseed any turf damaged, or we don't address it at all, either in contract or on job site.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:08 PM
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So, Stone, if you don't address it all, what do you do when they freak out about the inherent damage done when a 4K to 10K pound machine runs back and forth over a lawn? Or are you implying that you don't tear up the lawn?
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:11 PM
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That's pretty much it - either we've discussed it with the client in advance and they are aware that they will have repair to do, or we'll spell out on paper that we're going to get things back on track for a nice lawn by way of grading and seeding. The OP was wondering how it's handled with our contracts, and that's more or less it.

We have no magic machines - we tear it up like everyone else. We've even abandoned using plywood to reduce damage; the cost of plywood and the labor to shuffle it around seems to be more than the cost of $20 in topsoil and $5 in seed.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:01 PM
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Why do you ask?
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:26 PM
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bobcat damage

We have it listed on our contract that we do not replace sod or repair concrete damage. Our reasoning is that we do not know ahead of time if or how much damage will be done. The only fair way, in our minds, to handle this is to treat it as a separate issue if they do want us to repair. We are having trouble with a client who insists we should repair all at our cost, even though it states on the contract that these items are not covered. (which she may never have signed... she was a friend) The fact that the invoice does not include sod replacement is also listed on the estimate and the invoice. CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, but if a landscaper, pool installer, deck builder... whomever.. were to come in and state that all damage WOULD be repaired... would they not include the cost of such repair SOMEwhere in that estimate, in some way?

What is making me so crazy is that we did a ton of extra work for the client at no cost because she was a friend. Some changes had to be made due to problems with her yard, but we just ate the cost because we wanted her to be happy. NOW she is claiming we are not a "responsible" company! In 12 years, this has never been an issue. She ended up paying most of her bill, but I hate for her to continue to bad mouth us for something like this!
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:52 AM
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Plywood works best for us on the turf, and lots of plywood works best on driveways. Always sweeping and keeping it clean underneath the wood. DONT DO WORK FOR FRIENDS!! Be up front and clear as to having large equipment on peoples properties as to the damage that can occur.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:43 AM
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PattiDons, ultimately it's going to come down to what's on paper. If you have no contract with her, you may be on the hook.

I'm still wondering how you damaged concrete with your skidsteer, though.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:48 AM
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just the other week we were grading next to a concrete driveway and the installer of the drive didnt prep the base correctly and the skid popped a corner of the concrete
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:16 AM
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"$20 in topsoil and $5 in seed" !?! Any chance I could subcontract you Stone to do my turf repair?
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:15 AM
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Heh - Ok, $60 in topsoil and $15 in seed.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:16 PM
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My take on all the jobs I do is that if I wreck it, I fix it. Included in the price. You get to know how much damage to sod you will cause and I tend to stay in the same tracks if I have to do a lot of back and forth travel. Keeps the damage localized. A bucket or 2 of topsoil and seed or a few rolls of sod if client really picky and things are fixed. As far as concrete goes I will protect the edges with wood or soil so that they don't get chipped and If I do a lot of work on concrete I will spray it with water so that it dosn"t get so many tire tracks. I have also spread sand on concrete to stop tires from marking. Keep the turns and spins down to a minimum. I fix what I wreck and so far with concrete I have never had a problem. Asphalt I stay off of unless absolutely necessary. Protect the edges with soil or boards. Price damage into the job as part of cleanup, try not to do to much and fix it without being asked. It is part of the job
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:08 PM
Seedling
 
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pitch forking the turf sometimes can help if it wet. And a good stiff raking!!
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:41 PM
Acorn
 
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You still made my point... you put the cost in there somewhere...you don't just eat it.... I just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something. Sometimes we have the crew run the bobcat (makes me crazy) and we have had A LOT of rain (hence the extra sod damage). The job in question was up on a hill in the middle of an older neighborhood... old concrete I guess... just cracked a corner. I guess I get a little defensive when we get accused of not being a responsible company. My husband is very trusting so when we have had to take a hit, it has always been when he was "being nice" another lesson learned!! For the record, we didnt have to take her to small claims... she sent the price that we originally offered (we offered to pay 1/2 for sod, but that was only a 4th of what she held back) In 12 years, this has only been an issue one other time... so we can't be completely off base! thanks for your comments, they were very helpful...
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:22 PM
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I make a point to not do any business with friends. I tell them as such. I tell them "it's a business preference not to work with friends" and they usually understand. There are a MILLION landscapers nowadays, work with them. I usually end up holding the bag when I work with friends because they expect a huge discount. It's just easier that way. Business is business - if they want me to do the work, then it's sign the contract and follow the same terms everyone else follows.
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