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Plowing Schools???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by KDOG, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. KDOG

    KDOG Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I am currently working on a list of potential customers for snow removal and am considering placing bids with some local schools. Does anyone know the proper procedure? Do I talk to the Principal of each individual school, the superintendent of the school system? Or someone else? Thanks for any help you can provide.
  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Around me schools and other town properties are maintained by the town itself.

    I do plow local churches and their schools. Usually they have a person incharge of hiring landscaper and other maintainence people.
  3. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Try the business manager of the School District. Most of them have one.
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    In my area, the Superintendant of Buildings and Grounds is responsible for snow removal. Most of the Districts here have their own equipment.
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    JA is correct. Contact the Business Administrator. You can also try the Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds. Both of them will have the bid specs, AND a copy of last years winning bid (if it went out to bid) which is public knowledge, they MUST show it to you upon request. I worked at a high school in the Buildings & Grounds Dept. for 5 1/2 years. The town I worked in required a bond from ANY contractors doing work on school property. That excluded many of the smaller contractors from doing work there. The way "around" it, was to sub for someone that got the contract, and had a bond. Good luck, school plowing can make you or break you, literally!

  6. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Here all the school plowing is tendered by the Supervisor of buildings and grounds thru the school board. As in the other replys give the local office a call, and find out how to get on the bidders list. Here our contracts are for 3 years, and require proof of safety training and 2 million cotractors liability insurance. They great contracts, I'm just in the process of bidding on 3 schools.
    Ours here also bid on a per season basis.
    The best part about these contracts is that during a major storm and some not too major the schools close for snow-days, so the only requirement is to have them opened up so maintaince staff, emergency vehicles, and sometimes the odd teacher who comes in to work on snow day has access to the building, so we do a quick sweep of the driveways, and a few parking spots, and then come back after our other cntracts (commercials mostly) have been done and plow the yards.

  7. jaclawn

    jaclawn Member
    Messages: 92

    When you want to know something, start asking. Start by calling the main office, and asking who you would talk to about plowing. Then call that person. Keep going till you get to the right person.

    As said before, many schools do snow removal in house, or have the municipality handle it.
  8. KDOG

    KDOG Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for all the information guys. It was alot easier then I thought. I called the Administration building and was immediately forwarded to the guy I needed to talk to. Unfortuneatly he was in a meeting, so I left him a voice mail. Again thanks for all the help, I may be posting another thread later trying to get you guys to help me bid some of the schools. They aren't municipally plowed in this school system. Thanks Again!!
  9. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Plowing schools is about 60% of our winter work, we do good but they are put out to bid no matter how good of a job that you do. And they are great when there is no school but if you have a late storm that ends late in the night then you got to work your butt off to get them done for morning because they will expect them to be clean. They are good money makers and like I said when there is no school or it is a weekend you can concentrate on your other customers but when they have to be done you better get there quick and have them done right or you are going to hear it. My customer mix is awsome, we do alot of schools and a lot of churches so we are able to handle quite a few places with not all that much equipment. On school days we start in one order and on weekends we start in a different order of accounts. Just my two cents
  10. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Don't you just hate those days, listening to the radio, thinking it's gotta be a snow-day, and the school decides to open anyway, and there you are scrambling to get them done and still keep your other clients happy. Here last year they cancelled classes at the 1st of the season on the PREDICTION of snow which didn't happen, and then because of the winter we had ran out of snow days, and keep schools open but limited bus runs to main roads, in a couple of 6-8 in events. We managed to keep up, but I'm glad we didn't have breakdown, that really woukd have messed us up.

  11. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    That is why I think municipalities maintain the schools around where I am. They can work on clearing those buildings first is school will be opening. If the schools decide to close then they can leave the schools and work other municipal buildings first.

    I would be very careful in scheduling schools. I know I have to be with the two private schools I do because the same buses are used and therefore they sometimes follow the same schedule. I try to have them opened up in any snow just to be prepared. If it gets real heavy we take the chance and assume they will be closed. In the lighter snows though they are on top of the list.
  12. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    It is unbeliveable but in our area the people who make the choices are the bus company and the superintendent of schools, they have the final say so they usually ask the Town Highway super how the roads are and what the forcast is and that is how they make there decsion, in all of my years plowing schools I think that I have only seen the School Maintenance Dept forman come out and check the schools and see how we were doing, the towns are more worried about the roads than the school lots, there have been many many times that all my schools were plowed, shoveled and salted and then they went and cancelled school any way, but that is the way it goes. Just My two cents
  13. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Here it is the Building manager who gets input from the Public Works Super (who is out on the roads) The uppers in the school department have nothing to do with the call.
  14. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    One thing you may want to consider is that if you are bidding on schools that have resident halls then you will probably not be able to get away with a "quick sweep" even if school is cancelled. The college I work for has 1450 students that live on campus. Our administration requires us to keep the campus open 24/7 even if classes are cancelled (which is very rare) because professors and staff can't make it in. I can count on one hand the times classes have been cancelled in the last 17 years. I would think this would be similar to bidding snow removal at a hospital or other facility that was open 24/7 but I'm not sure. Just my two cents.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2002
  15. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Libality would be my main concern. Just picture some kids fooling arround & getting hurt. Read the contract! Again & again. A few times more to be safe.

    Arround here the Highway Dept's plow the schools, so no bidding. Remember I'm from Buffalo! Plow & salt 1/2 the winter, ther other 1/2 just salt. So your area may be & prolly is compleatly diffrent.

    The super. for the schools is the one who closes schools arround here.
    Back when I was in HS. the idiot said "If I can make it to the school it's open". Unfortunatly the idiot drove a 4wd. So many a time they would send out the busses, when all the other schools were closesd. 1/2 couldnt make it, got stuck or in accidents, but school was still open.

    Year After I graduated there was a new super (wonder why?), who acutally contacted the Highway dept. & weathermen. Many more snow days...:(

    Like chuck said, it will either make or break you.
    If you dont think you can handle it then dont bother.
    If you do & it works out: Great experience & you can use it in advertising.