We service approximately 450 driveway only and full service residential units and about 90 commercial properties. The residential is all fixed monthly contracts for a 6 month term. The commercial stuff is mixed between hourly, per push, and fixed monthly contracts.
We had started out with hourly pricing on our commercial accounts, but would like to eventually convert everyone to per push pricing. There is no incentive for a service provider to increase efficiency if he is still competing on an hourly price. Most customers don't understand why it's cheaper for them to pay $10/hr more for a 2speed bobcat with a snow pusher to clear their lot vs a single speed machine with a dirt bucket.
We have upgraded some of our fleet to run per push properties at a higher rate under this principle. I have grown tired of explaining why our equipment at a higher rate will out produce a cheaper machine.
As much as I enjoy working out in the field, I try and set up our routes so we have enough employees to cover all shifts. i often end up covering if someone is sick or doesn't show or for vacation relief. I have management set up and looked after by the office staff.