Here are some reminder hints for coordinating and executing snow removal plans for commercial accounts.
Be smug all you readers living in Hawaii and the southernmost parts of the continental U.S. There is this stuff called snow and ice that can clog up roads, parking lots, and walkways. And while you dig out the goose-down-filled puffy parka when the temperature drops—gosh forbid—below 65 degrees F, there is an alternate reality where that temperature is considered warm and even a cause to celebrate and maybe organize an impromptu tag football game at the park—skins versus shirts.
For northern contractors, winter can signal the end of construction season and the beginning of snow removal season. Here are some reminder hints for coordinating and executing snow removal plans for commercial accounts.
Before the Snow
• Inspect and place markers / reflectors that are at least three-feet tall to indicate potential hazards such as holes, speed bumps, medians, low landscaping, fire hydrants and other obstacles that will be covered with snow.
• Request a map of the area to figure out where to begin, open areas where snow can be stashed, and areas that the owner does not want plowed (Does the scenic paved path to the employee picnic tables really need to be cleared?).
• Plan your snow removal so you are driving forward as much as possible—it is faster and more efficient.
Plowing the White Stuff
• Turn on warning flashers when plowing to alert any customer or employee that plowing is in progress.
• Back-drag snow away from the front of buildings first, then push the cleared snow to the outer edges.
• When plowing large areas, plow at right angles to the main artery, piling up windrows by back and forth passes in alternate lanes.
• Don't forget to accommodate for cleared snow from future storms that won't block highly trafficked areas.
• Do not pile snow close to handicapped spaces—they have enough hassles getting around when the weather is bad, so be considerate.
• Avoid creating large piles near the end of driveways since they can create visibility problems for vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot.
After the Snow Storm
• Come back and perform touch up cleaning.
• Re-sand or re-salt roadways and walkways. It also makes sense to treat the pathways that people take—the diagonal short cut through the parking lot or the cut-through leading to the front door.
• Check in with the owners to make sure they're happy. Encourage them to post a favorable comment or review of your services online. A good posting can help in acquiring new customers and inoculate you from potential negative future reviews from that customer that can occur during a big snow event that everyone struggles with and shouldn't be blamed on you.