Unexpected snow can cause a lot of issues. It may look pretty, and you may make some fantastic snowmen out of it. But when it comes to access to your business, snow is not so pretty when it comes to customers and your employees’ safety. Emergency snow removal is the last thing you want to deal with when you’re already immersed in other business responsibilities. Snow and ice cause a million slip and fall injuries each year. Slips and falls cause $ 150K lawsuits and an average of $35K in hospital bills. So, when snow falls, and you don’t have a plan, you could end up paying thousands of dollars. Between customer access and safety, the amount it would cost to have a snow plan far outweighs the risk of hoping it won’t snow. If you don’t already have a contract with a snow and ice removal company, you will find yourself scrambling to find one to plow your business.
Don't Get Put at the End of the Schedule
Attempting to find a snow removal company is more challenging than you may think. Many businesses have already contracted snow removal companies. They book early in the year, so they have much less to worry about during stressful winter storms. Unfortunately, you can be left calling multiple companies to find someone who has a slot open for you. Finding a company can take hours, if not days, depending on where you are and the severity of the snowstorm. Once you do find a company, you are placed at the end of their schedule. If anything goes wrong through the day, you can be pushed back as far as the next day, if not longer. This doesn’t only mean having to wait longer to clear the snow; it also means you cannot do some research on the company coming out to work on your property. You could end up with the worst snow and ice removal company in the state and have an even worse situation than you started with. Make sure you are asking the right questions; How many trucks do they have? How much equipment do they allocate towards routed customers? What happens in a blizzard or breakdown, and what are your contingency plans? If they only have one truck and have a significant breakdown, you will be scouring the internet for emergency snow removal companies. Here at Transblue, we only utilize 70% of our equipment to ensure coverage in case of equipment breakdown and support emergency snow removal clients. On top of all that, you will end up paying more, much more.
Pay More When You Don't Plan
Recently we were contacted by a company that makes multiple deliveries a day. Their loading bays are on a slope, and as you may have guessed, slopes and snow do not mix so well. They were unable to use the docks for three days. The trucks were stuck at the loading lock with places to go but no way to get there. This business lost tens of thousands of dollars because of this. This year they were very proactive and set up a snow program months in advance, with the loading dock being a primary focus. They were not going to have to worry about emergency snow removal again. Emergency services can take up a lot of time for you and your team to find a snow and ice provider. When you do find the provider, the costs can be outrageous. We have had customers tell us that snow providers were charging as high as $800 per hour to plow their parking lots during emergencies. The average cost to plow snow per hour, under contract with an 8 ft snow blade on a pickup truck, is about $150 per hour. So you can see you could be in a position to pay over four times the standard billable rate during an emergency.
The Importance of a Snow Plan
The importance of setting up a snow plan well before the snow hits is necessary. Emergency snow remova; causes stress, safety issues, and on top of it all, it is very costly to businesses. Snow removal costs only increase as the weather approaches the snowfall forecast. Make sure to contact snow removal companies early in the season as the longer you wait, the more likely they will be booked up. Snow and ice plans and contractors should be set up in mid-summer, and all contracts lined up correctly by the end of August; that way, you have the best snow and ice contractors at the very best price! Being proactive and planning for the snow season is easy. Putting in a little work and relying on a snow removal company to take care of the rest is by far better than taking a chance. Emergency snow and ice services are available during all storms, but you always start at the back of the list and pay the highest cost. So having a snow and ice plan in place will indeed be the best business decision you make all season long!
Still have questions about preparing for the upcoming snow season? Give us a call.