How much do you really know about snow removal? Do you know when you should call a snow removal company? How about the time it will take to plow your parking lot? Does your snow removal service include shoveling? There are a lot of potential unknowns when it comes to snow removal. Things you may never even think about.
1. When to plow: Do you know when it is time to plow snow from your parking lot? One of the essential parts of snow removal is to know when to pull the trigger; we call this moment a trigger point. The trigger point is the moment you know it is time to call in a snow removal company. Trigger points allow the client and the snowplowing contractor to be on the same page. If we all know when we are supposed to push the snow, no one can get blamed for missed service or late service. So, you can see why it’s crucial to specify a trigger. Most commercial clients have a one-inch snow plow trigger; this means that when the accumulation of snowfall reaches one inch in height, the snow is plowed within the parking lot. Some clients with less traffic like Churches, HOA’s or Apartments like a two-inch trigger, so they don’t have to plow as often. But this can lead to ice buildup and dangerous site conditions, which is why we recommend a 1-inch trigger. Figuring out your snow trigger and communicating that with your service provider should be a top priority.
2. What does “per-push” mean?: Per-push means each time the snowplow pushes the snow in a parking lot. One push would mean the initial push all the way until the plow stops. You can translate per-push to per service. Snow removal companies don’t typically push snow repeatedly for the same price; it’s usually set in thresholds. In the snow and ice industry, professionals have adopted this term, so when you see the word “per push,” it means per service or one service.
3. How long does it take?: The amount of time it takes to plow a parking lot depends on a few different variables. Let’s assume that there are no obstacles in the parking lot, and you can plow the snow in perfectly straight lines. If this were the case, then a professional-grade snowplow with an 8 ft snow plow blade could plow 50,000 sq. ft. per hour. To put that in perspective, a Lowes or Home Depot is about 250,000 sq. ft. If the conditions were perfect a Lowes or Home Depot, it would take about 5 hours to plow with a single plow truck. However, in a Lowes or Home Depot parking lot, there are obstacles, cars, cart corrals, etc. So, it probably takes more closer to 6 hours to get the job done. So if you’re wondering how long it will take to plow the snow from your parking lot, this will help you put that into perspective.
4. Shoveling Sidewalks: In many cases, snow removal services do not include shoveling sidewalks. If this is important to you, you must communicate that to add that additional line. Not all snow plowing contractors will know that you want this service done. So it is essential to make sure that if you have sidewalks that need to be serviced, you must ask to add that to your snow and ice contract to ensure they are included in your proposal.
5. Staking: Before the snow season, your chosen snow removal company should come out to assess the site and potential obstacles. These stakes show the location of curbs, speed bumps, fire hydrants, drains, and other important items that are in your parking lot. These stakes sit high enough above the snow line that the plow drivers can see them during the worst winter storms. This is important to make sure drivers don’t damage your parking lot. This lets them know they need to raise their snowplow blade and slow down over speed bumps; it ensures they don’t hit and break up your curbs or clog your drain by piling snow over the top of it. This is important because if a drain is covered, then when the snow starts melting, the water has nowhere to go and can create a frozen lake effect in your parking lot, sometimes even flooding a store. So, staking your parking lot is key to a successful snow and ice management plan.
Contact Transblue to get more information about snow contracts and how to protect your business. Keep your employees safe and your business open.