Customer backed into my truck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wacamaster, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 198

    So I'm mowing a group of accounts in a sub that has fairly small yards. You don't have much say in where you park your truck.. just have to barely fit it between the mailboxes and edge of driveway as to not block either. Well there was a lady at one account I was mowing (had never seen her before, guessing it was the guys wife.) in the 2 years of mowing the account. Her car was on the driveway. When I got done with the jobs I went to my truck and there was a decent dent in my driver side door and black paint was left on it, and her car was gone. My truck was parked directly across the street from the ladys driveway so I'm guessing she backed out right into it. She had to have known she hit me but she kept right on going. I bought this truck 2 years ago for $30k. Since then I have taken poor care of it and damaged it multiple times. It has other larger more notciable dents then this door dent. I don't think I will ever pay to have them fixed. I'm going to treat it like a "**** happens" type deal. I see no point in confronting them over a dent there's no point in getting fixed.
  2. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    thats sucks..
    Last week i was sitting in traffic dead stop. And WHAM.. I get rearended,,, i get out of the truck and the guy behind me looks at me like oops sorrry dont worry about it.. I told him to give me 500 bucks for the bumber or we can do the insurance thing.. he said... "no no insurance.,,,no no we go to my work"

    long story short.. he was a drunk, illegal, mexican, guy and I got NOTHING,,. except a dented bumper and tailgate...
  3. CamLand

    CamLand LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,299

    Why wouldn't you take care of your vehicle? My trucks are washed every other day and polished every 2 months.Part of your business look is your truck and equipment.If you figure screw it and don't care what it looks like then why are you in the business.Do you treat your mowers like garbage as well.Just a thought,go fix your truck and you will probably pick up a few more accounts...
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I'm with you to a point, at least as far as the money.
    I had a guy rolled his flatbed trailer into my truck a few years ago, took out both front turn signals, pushed the bumper in and basically gave it a bit of a skewed smile but it really was mostly cosmetic damage and doesn't hurt the truck (I fixed the cracked lenses with airplane model glue). However, the guy who did it called me IMMEDIATELY and offered to pay whatever it cost, and THAT made all the difference in the world.
    Why not fix it? I'm like you, it is a utility vehicle used for work and they ALL get dents sooner or later, no matter what you do, it WILL happen. It does suck when it's the FIRST dent or later a LARGE dent but it really all does go with the territory.
    Keep in mind when backing up, it IS possible she did not know she hit you BUT sooner or later the dent in her car ought to clue her in. Most of today's cars are well insulated against sound and the metal is so thin that when it bends sometimes it hardly makes any noise... Unlike our tough vehicles, a lot of them don't go BOOOM like they used to and if they have their A/C blowing on high and it happens RIGHT as they were shifting gears anyhow (from R to D), it COULD be enough to deaden the sound, say if their mind was someplace else, thou I still think the odds are somewhat on the side that she did know...

    That's the part that bothers me, but I guess you'll never know the truth... I know asking about it is a waste of time, few people will admit it thou it could be worth a shot if you're bored. Still I can also see the attitude of '*&%^ if that Lco hadn't parked RIGHT there I wouldn't have hit him' and so now it's your fault so they feel they owe you nothing and that irks me a bit... Had enough of the rich folk treating us like their slaves, but...

    Would I do anything about it?
    I'd let it sit for a couple of weeks, see how I feel then and see if anything else comes of it, that's what I would do. You might want to be prepared for the oddball scenario where they come around and try to blame it on you as well and you may end up losing this customer but you never really know, I'd let it ride on for some time, guess like yourself, shrug and play dumb for a while.

    Then again, my truck cost 1,400... The next one likely 2k...
  5. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    If I wasnt gonna take care of my truck and worry about dents, I dont think I would of paid 30k for it. I think I would of looked around and bought an older truck that wa all ready beat up. Any way she prob looked at it and said oh well with thoose other dents one more wont hurt.
    I got me a new truck this season, A 1985 chevy shortbed pick up for $3,000. It is a creme puff with no dents and good paint, but I still dont abuse it. Lower overhead means more $$$$$$ for me
  6. wacamaster

    wacamaster LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 198

    When I bought the truck I planned on keeping it in good shape (as in not crashing it). I do take very poor care of my equipment also.. rarely change the oil. Haven't changed the oil in my exmark in like 800 hours. However, the work I do is TOP notch. I have no problem maintaining customers and getting new ones. So I don't think not fixing your truck means you should have never been in the business. Your work will do the talking for ya.
  7. CamLand

    CamLand LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,299

    I'm not questioning your work.I'm questioning why you wouldn't take care of your truck and equipment.First thing if your vehicle is parked and gets hit then insurance is you say that you don't care for you mowers.What happens when they take a dump.maintenance and appearance are a big deal in the business.If you can confirm that the lady hit your truck ,then get it fixed...Also what part of michigan are you in..
  8. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,765

    I had a husband at a account I was giving an estimate at and he backed into my front side panel and he said he would pay for it and said not to worry about it. Lets just say I got that job easily and I have been mowing 3 years for them. The only reason I did that is because a body shop owed me a favor so I got it fixed for free.
  9. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    same thing happened to me when a colgate/palmolive exec rear ended me when i was stopped waiting for a car to turn in front of me. only a grand damage to the truck, but they only paid half and stiffed me on $10 grand worth of medical bills. cause i had such a physical job, it took my neck and back longer to heal and more visits to the therapist. travlers... colgates insuance company said cause i was stopped and in a truck (ranger) i shouldnt have been injured. my insurance gave me the max my policy allowed and the doc waved some of the charges. ive been boycotting all colgate/palmolive/irish spring products since.
  10. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Why wouldn't you mention it? That makes you truck worth less, it also gives future customers the perception that you just do not care.
    I would not hire a maintenance person if they dont care about their stuff. If they can't care for their stuff why would they care for mine.
    Even if you don't get it fixed hit and run is illegal. I dont care if your radio is loud and the a is on you still feel the vehicle doing something that it doesn't do. Trust me my wife is a horible backer and I have been with her when she has hit several garbage cans. even if she just barely touches it you can tell she hit something.
    I would mention it and see what is up. If they turn it on you then I would press charges. The longer you wait the less leagal backing you will have.

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