The best thing to do is ask the customer when they expect the lot to be cleared. Go over all of the scenerios concerning snowfalls: For example, if it stops snowing at 5 A.M., do they expect you to have it cleared by 6? Or if it starts snowing at 5A.M. and snows all day, how often do they expect you there? Just a suggestion, but I'd cover all of the bases now, before any situations arise.
Since you have a monthly contract, just put in your contract that when and how much salt you use is to your discretion, unless otherwise stipulated by the customer. Most guys charge by the ton, however, I charge a flat rate by the pound (usually between $.15 and $.24/lb.) which means when I'm spreading material, we don't charge for labor or truck time, it's all built in to the price of the material. Works well for us anyway. Hope this helps.
Where do you live? How many accounts do you have? How many trucks do you have to move the snow and what are they? All this is important to what you will charge and what you can promise for start and completion times.The last thing is are they asking for all this info or are you just providing it along with the price?
I live in Toronto. It's only me right now but i have someone to help me out if needed. I only what two commercial accounts and maybe 30 drive ways. I'm providing all of this with the price. One of the customers is a factory and the other is a club that is only open on Wen - Sat.
Around here, nobody promises completion times for residentials; let them know up front no guarantees when the driveway will be done and there will be no hassles. You usually have to get it done before the town/city tickets the homeowner for not clearing the walk however. (36 hours after the storm).
Standard reply from contractors around here when a customer demands to be plowed by x:xx hour: better buy yourself a snowblower.
Your commercials will have to be done before seven or eight and your residential will wanting to be getting out to go to work by that time so it will often be tough to make both happy without several units if the snow falls at the wrong time.I agree with lawnguy better tell the res. up front you aren't going to set a time for completion.
P.S. I went and met Iowastorm at his "home" the other day there were alot of people in white, took me a second but then I understood.Hard to know with internet who your dealing with,he just kept repeating "there coming to take me away ha ha" and rocking back and forth in his chair.