Register free!
Search
 
     

Click for Weather
  #1  
Old 09-17-2009, 01:56 PM
snowchicago snowchicago is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: 60611
Posts: 5
Trying to find out information about trends in snow removal industry

Hi,

I'm hoping readers/posters of this forum can help to educate me about some of the major trends in the snow removal industry for research I am currently doing.

Snowblower usage is of particular interest to me as there are several manufacturers of snowblowers in Quebec. In the research I've done so far, I haven't found very much information with regards to snowblower use and application in the U.S. among private contractors.

This is where you as end users (commercial/private snow removal contractors) can help me. Are you seeing more use of skid steers with mounted snow blowers than tractors with mounted snow blowers? I know the difference largely depends on the size of the snow removal job, but it seems to me that skid steers are getting more and more popular due to their maneuverability.

What are popular size snowblower attachments based on hp requirements?

The other thing I'm curious about is if there has been an increase in the amount outsourcing from government of snow removal jobs. For example, I know the City of Chicago is currently in the process of looking to outsource a portion of its snow removal for this winter. I've also heard of some smaller airports outsourcing snow removal as well.

http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/co...?audioid=36608


If there has been more outsourcing, are private contractors for snow removal purchasing some of the larger trucks/tractors with high-powered snow blowers (able to move between 1500 and 3000 tons of snow an hour) more often? What percentage of private contractors use large snow blowers for snow removal (think the large units requiring 200 hp carriers and more, or ones that are self-propelled and on mack/oshkosh type trucks)?

Finally, the last thing I'd like to know is if small vehicles with plows attachments or blowers are being used for city sidewalks in the U.S? In Canada, many municipalities use skid-steer or small tractor (trackless) vehicles with an enclosed cab for clearing snow from city sidewalks.

Early this year, a municipal worker from a city in Ontario posted a picture of a sidewalk unit that is used in his city:

http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.p...eleon&page=150

Are vehicles like this being widely used in the U.S for sidewalk clearing ? I know some cites in Alaska and Illinois have used them, but I'm not sure if these narrow tractors are the norm like they are in Canada.

I'm very new to the snow industry, so any information you could share with me about trends in snow removal would be of great help.

Thanks for reading,


Maureen Moloney
Quebec Government Office-Chicago

Last edited by snowchicago; 09-17-2009 at 02:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-18-2009, 12:43 AM
big acres big acres is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 658
[QUOTE=snowchicago;807372]Hi,

I'm hoping readers/posters of this forum can help to educate me about some of the major trends in the snow removal industry for research I am currently doing.

Snowblower usage is of particular interest to me as there are several manufacturers of snowblowers in Quebec. In the research I've done so far, I haven't found very much information with regards to snowblower use and application in the U.S. among private contractors.

This is where you as end users (commercial/private snow removal contractors) can help me. Are you seeing more use of skid steers with mounted snow blowers than tractors with mounted snow blowers? I know the difference largely depends on the size of the snow removal job, but it seems to me that skid steers are getting more and more popular due to their maneuverability.

What are popular size snowblower attachments based on hp requirements?

The other thing I'm curious about is if there has been an increase in the amount outsourcing from government of snow removal jobs. For example, I know the City of Chicago is currently in the process of looking to outsource a portion of its snow removal for this winter. I've also heard of some smaller airports outsourcing snow removal as well.

http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/co...?audioid=36608


If there has been more outsourcing, are private contractors for snow removal purchasing some of the larger trucks/tractors with high-powered snow blowers (able to move between 1500 and 3000 tons of snow an hour) more often? What percentage of private contractors use large snow blowers for snow removal (think the large units requiring 200 hp carriers and more, or ones that are self-propelled and on mack/oshkosh type trucks)?

Finally, the last thing I'd like to know is if small vehicles with plows attachments or blowers are being used for city sidewalks in the U.S? In Canada, many municipalities use skid-steer or small tractor (trackless) vehicles with an enclosed cab for clearing snow from city sidewalks.

Early this year, a municipal worker from a city in Ontario posted a picture of a sidewalk unit that is used in his city:

http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.p...eleon&page=150

Are vehicles like this being widely used in the U.S for sidewalk clearing ? I know some cites in Alaska and Illinois have used them, but I'm not sure if these narrow tractors are the norm like they are in Canada.

I'm very new to the snow industry, so any information you could share with me about trends in snow removal would be of great help.

Thanks for reading,


Maureen Moloney
Quebec Government Office-Chicago[/QUOTE}

Maureen,

I am a bit curious what and why you are researching this, and since no one has offered info, I'll give you a Minneapolis - St. paul perspective...

For us, the skid-steer is the universal machine. They are low-cost compared to larger loaders and tractors. Maneuverability is a key component, but there is also the fact that they can be transported with a 3/4-1 ton truck, which is less expensive that say a tandem dump. There is also the fact that transportation does not require a commercial driver's license, and all the government headaches (sorry, I had to say it) that go along with it.

We own about 8-9 skidsteers currently. Most are trackless. The ones with tracks were purchased mainly for summer work where mud is an issue. We certainly do not receive as many deep snowfalls as Canada, and I would assume that Canadian contractors run the opposite ratio as far as tracks are concerned. Tracks are significantly costlier to replace, and require special equipment to install.... basically a "track stretcher". We fabricated one for our own use. Unequal tire pressure of machines with track-over-tire set-ups can result in a track slipping off, which means serious down time since it as not as simple as changing your car tire on the side of the road.

We handle lots up to about 6-8 acres, and all can be done with the smaller equipment I mentioned with the right techniques. We have two snow-blower attachments that can create piles higher than the biggest payloaders. They reduce volume and allow snow storegage in tight areas where loaders do not have access such as between trees, over fences, down/up steep inclines, etc....

Calling some dealers would probably give you the most accurate read on blower sizes, which are typically a few inches wider that the width of the machine's tires. We have seen a few dealers here beginning to offer invertable blowers to convert from pushing to pulling snow while blowing, but I have not seen one on the road yet. We have looked into them... quite an investment. You can search this site and find that several Canadian contractors swear by them for clearing driveways, but with smaller events we use a "back-drag" attachment which is a three sided box used for pulling snow while in reverse. I would not assume that the invertible unit has much practical use in Municipal operations.

I am seeing more outsourcing of both winter and summer maintenance from municipalities, but generally the smaller cities outside of the metro area. While it may likely be more cost effective for the municipality, there is always politics to consider... unions, etc...

As for the oshkosh type equipment, we have little need for them here. There are a few in use for extremly large lots, airports, etc.... but not many.

For sidewalks, most suburbs use similar articulated machines as pictured in your link, only trackless for reasons I've mentioned. Smaller rural cities probably use skid-steers for lower cost and multiple use reasons. i should also mention that we use mostly blades here, rather then blowers. ATVs such as quads and the bigger 6X6 machines are widely used, and the imported 4x4 "mini-trucks" (search this forum) are gaining popularity... we own one and are looking at buying another. For the deeper snowfalls. we just have to plow with the storm as not to let accumulations build up to beyond what these lighter machines and blades can clear without coming to a dead stop.

Hope this is helpful.
__________________
"A fair deal is one where BOTH parties leave the table feeling scr*w*d."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:02 AM
2COR517's Avatar
2COR517 2COR517 is offline
PlowSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: rock - Me - hardplace
Posts: 7,130
I live in rural midcoast Maine. I have only seen one skid mounted blower. A local Agway uses it to clear deep snow from their lot. Tbe nearest "city" (8K people) has used a self powered loader mounted blower for post storm cleanup to clear downtown streets directly into dump trucks. It's at least 72 inches wide, I believe its in excess of 100 hp. They use a JD 644 size machine to carry it Privatizing of snow removal has been used by the smaller rural towns basically forever It's much cheaper for the towns. The state has done some subbing out of major roadways over the past few years. The contractors to a better job, for less money. I suspect, and hope, that contractor use will continue.

Please give as an idea what you ultimately hope to do with this info.
__________________
The Dog Napper

Truck has engine, transmission, transfer case. Tires on rims bolted to axles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfd9
As for your question, the only thing you missed is him answering the question you posed and him completely ignoring the fact that he didn't answer it. .

When you hear hoofbeats look for horses, not zebras.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-22-2009, 10:57 AM
snowchicago snowchicago is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: 60611
Posts: 5
HI,

Thanks for your responses. I'm basically doing research on the snow removal industry to have a better idea of what's popular in the U.S versus Canada to help snow removal manufactures. Magazines like Snow Business and Snow and Ice have articles about ways to improve a contractor's business, but very little on equipment trends.

Sidewalk compact tractors (trackless) aren't that cheap, so I wasn't sure if they were widely used in the U.S. or not. A Canadian manufacturer asked me recently about their use in the US market, and I wasn't able to find much information besides a few old bid notices from some city government sites. In Chicago, were I'm based, I haven't seen many sidewalk snow removal vehicles. But then again, we also don't get the same amount of snow as Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Minnesota, parts of Michigan and the Northeast.


If there are other contractors, government streets/san workers, or snow removal experts who would like to talk about your area's usage of sidewalk tractors, snowblowers or outsourcing trends, I'd welcome the feedback.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-22-2009, 11:09 AM
JohnnyRoyale's Avatar
JohnnyRoyale JohnnyRoyale is offline
2000 Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vaughan, Ontario
Posts: 2,935
The options for sidewalks around here are one of the following;

Skid steer with plow or v plow or snowblower, and drop salter,

"Trackless" or "Holder" type machine with same setup,

35-40 HP tractor with same setup.

Municipalities do alot of outsourcing here (Greater Toronto Area), and rarely does this type of work in house with their own employees. They simply put it up for bids, and monitor with their own forces. They typically pay a stand by rate for the winter and an hourly operating rate-usually multi year deals. I know a few contractors who have as little as 25 units, and some with as many as 150 units dedicated to this type of work.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cet View Post
You can ask JD Dave for his advise but I'm pretty sure he has never used anything made by Trojan
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-22-2009, 11:33 AM
Grn Mtn's Avatar
Grn Mtn Grn Mtn is offline
PlowSite.com Addict
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 1,649
Maureen, here in Rochester NY, blowers are rare. The city uses a fleet of old 2wh drive sidewalk tractors with deep v-blades for most of the sidewalks. granted you will see the occasional 4x4 or bobcat toolcat but that is not the norm. In the town of Greece the sidewalks are cleared with a dedicated tracked sidewalk unit with v blade. Skid steers with blowers or loaders with blowers (for the roads) are only used when benching will no longer provide enough space. In Watertown NY they do have a fleet of the dedicated blower trucks to clear the roads since they get significant lake effect snow.
I didn't even realize you could use a tractor with blower to do driveways until I saw fellow plowsite members from upnorth posting thats all they do.
__________________
Roald HughesClick link to see all my old setuphttp://www.plowsite.com/attachment.p...4&d=1171805620

'09 Ford F550 Powerstroke, 9' Fisher X-Blade, 2 Yard Smith Stainless V-Box Salter
Cat 420E Backhoe 14' ScoopDog Pusher

Grn Mtn Landscape no longer does snow services but as a winter employee for another company these are my tools to use and I love it
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2000 - 2012 PlowSite.comô Moose River Media
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:25 PM.

Page generated in 0.03491 seconds with 7 queries