Driveway marks

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by tthomass, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    I had an issue with a customer this year that I hadn't run into before. Space was limited and during excavation we stock piled topsoil we would later need o the end of the driveway, no big deal. When time came to leave the soil was scooped up with the Bobcat and the tooth bucket was used. Yes, I know use a smooth but live and learn, whats done is done.

    Now, the asphalt driveway wasn't damaged but a couple places you could see very SLIGHT impressions from the teeth. They tried to make a point out of it in the end but nothing came of it. Anybody run into this before?

    What more I am getting at is.......does your contract state anything about driveway damage? You don't have to have a 60,000 lbs truck on a driveway to damage it. If the asphalt sucks or mud is under it, I can damage it with just my 4500 dump truck.
  2. CertPro

    CertPro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    we have a stipulation in our contract that states that during the project their home is a construction site and in the event that the driveway is the best access to the project they may see some damage to asphalt/concrete.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    My contract has a clause regarding damages to asphalt and concrete. But the clause is intended for damages sustained from trucks and equipment traversing over it. We do all we can to keep trucks off of driveways. We'll dump it in the road, along the curb before we dump in a driveway. (some towns and cities do not like this, though)

    However, in terms of bucket scratches, scrapes, and gashes.......that my friend, and I'm being perfectly a judgement / competency factor :) Like you said "lesson learned". And I've done worse!

    Tooth buckets are bad news in terms of residential work. Since 1997 we have owned a seperate bucket with teeth. We bring it on site, use it, and we take it away from the site as soon as the digging is done. When we have a tooth bucket on a job site I make it clear to the guys that the bucket is only to come into contact with SOIL and I tell them not to dare even think about using it on concrete or asphalt.

    The biggest thing about bucket marks is the shock factor for the client. Many times, the scratches are not that severe, usually after a couple months of air born dust the scratches become less and less visible.

    Also, this is what insurance is for. One of my idiots recently backed the skid steer into a pole for an awning. Cheap, easy fix. But for my piece of mind and to keep peace with the client I immediately called the insurance company and turned it over to them. This way if the client would have decided to be have high expectations on the repair, the dispute would be between them and the insurance comapny.
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    I did a project for a homowner who recently had a pool installed, contractor that installed pool drove an excavator across the drive and left 6" deep depressions sunken into and across the driveway. Homeowner went to contractor, who stated basically 'contract covers my arse'. Homeowner went to their attorney, tried a lawsuit, in the end the contract saved the contractors' arse. Not the way I would leave a job site (My customers', not your job), personally, but I think with a well written contract, you'll be covered in MOST cases.
    Just a thought, I've used tubes of asphault crack sealer (comes in a caulk tube) to fill/ cover scratches in asphault drives. Would this work in your case??
  5. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    Good post and great topic for discussion...

    I run into the same thing with bobcats and excavators. I use a machine with tracks a lot just because it can handle the job so much better than a tired machine. Of course, at many points I will have to drive the tracks across the driveway and of course I am careful to not turn, but tracks still often scuff a drive just a bit. I haven't been called out on it yet, but im wondering what my response will be if I do. Same thing applies when driving a bobcat with tires on a driveway for moving materials. You can use a smooth bucket and even flat shovel all the remaining 2 inches of material into the bucket, but still end up with countless tire tread stains all over the driveway. Most people don't say a word about it...Im waiting for someone to raise hell though. Is this just part of it and something the customer has to live with or am I doing something wrong?
  6. nameistaken

    nameistaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    Why don't you guys lay down sheets of plywood across the driveways where your equipment will traverse? You can also use the plywood to set your material on and wont have to worry about marks on a driveway. First time my boss scratched a brand new driveway with a skid steer I have always layed down plywood. Also, it is cheaper than repairing concrete.
  7. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    What I have started doing is having the driveway sealed ($160ish) when I exit to leave everything nice, clean, fresh and new looking.

    I often use plywood but the way things went about on this jobs was kind of a last second change in staging and ended up putting me in a spot.

    The impressions are about 1/8" deep, not long and not a lot of them. This was a great customer in the beginning that for some reason turned very anal in the end.

    I have a solid contract to protect myself but what I didn't have in my contract was something specific for driveways and was brought to my attention after this encounter as most contract revisions are created.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  8. amscapes03

    amscapes03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 398

    I've gotten small impressions out of asphalt in the past by warming the area up with a propane torch and working the area with a 10" x 10", 8" x 8" and a 6" x 6" hand tamp.
  9. vtscaper

    vtscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    We have started putting the cost of driveway sealing into bids for these cases. In a situation where you need to be on the drive throughout the course of the job chances are damage will be done. How much, how noticeable, big deal or not ends up laying with the H.O. A couple hundred on a decent job is a small price for a clean and "better than you found it" look. However, a pressure washer and tube of crack seal is a perfect task for the idle employee while the job is getting tightened up.
  10. ford550

    ford550 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 221

    Though we do the best we can protecting driveways, sometimes damage does occur. The home builders do the least possible when it comes to putting driveways in and most crumble under the weight of the homeowner cars and suvs, let alone our equipment. So to combat this problem, in our terms and conditions we have a paragraph about how we are not responsible for damages, etc, we also take before pictures because I have had a couple people try to say we did damage that was there before we got there. Have it in writing and take pictures, its a little extra work but will save you thousands of dollars putting a new driveway in and arguments with the client.

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