1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Routing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Sep 10, 2000.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Just have a few quesions to ask everyone.

    1. When you rout trucks with jobs, do you have one truck do all the jobs in one area? Or do you send a bigger or smaller truck over to the location, if the bigger or smaller truck is better for the job?

    Me: I will send a truck out of it's way. Like if i have a good sized lot, and a pick up is the only thing in the area, then i will send a F 350 or bigger over to the lot. However is there is a drive near by a bunch of lots, i don't have a problem sending a dump body to most drives.

    2. As we all know some drives get done quicker than others. So do you provide your drivers with a Master list, that gives the location of where every truck has to be. And do you allow your drivers to change the order of their route for reasons, like more cars in one lot than others.

    Me: Every driver has a list of his locations and directions to get there, on a plastic coated sheet. This way they can check them off as their done, so that not one account is forgotten.

    I have also found that generally this is the order of who gets done first.

    Loader and Equipment operators ( to you have to start haulling snow or pushing it back.
    Residential trucks
    Lot Trucks F 350-F550
    Road Trucks also doing lots
    shovelers.

    The equipment operators are the first to go back to the shop. The other trucks jump around to help the others finish up. Some drivers even help the shovel crew.

    Geoff

    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 09-11-2000 at 12:55 AM]
     
  2. Aspen Snow

    Aspen Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Geoff,

    We have our driver do an area. We try to size the work to the trucks, but that does not always happen. Our work areas are geographical to the work load. We try to keep our route balanced between trucks. The driver have route sheet for the area. If a driver completes their area they have to check in with the dispatcher to either be released for that storm or moved to another area.
     
  3. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i wil generally send one truck to do a certain area/route if a particular route end up being small or a driver gets done soon he will start at the end of another route and work backwards so to speak although amny drivers have directions to all locations they dont change their routes unless its my call i am not so big yet, so i can micro manage 6 or 7 trucks myself most on different routes
     
  4. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Geoff,

    This is an issue that we are currently experiencing since we took on about 20 new commercial contracts. Our current thinking is to have 2 to 3 trucks per team (1 ton and 3/4 ton trucks), depending upon the property sizes and locations. The CDL plow trucks will go out and make the initial pushes and then the teams will follow up to finsh each property. Each team will have a specific job list or route in a certain part of the city. We hope this will alleviate overlapping of crews and reduce extra drive time.
    Since we use 2 way radios the drivers can reports their job progress with our dispatcher. If one driver or a team finishes early, they can go where necessary to help the other teams finish their jobs. Is this about how you guys handle things?
     
  5. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Thw whole routing thing is weighing heavily on me right now. For the first time we'll have truck with varying capabilities on the road.

    As of now it looks like we'll field 2 pickups with 8' straight blades, one pickup with a 9' Vee(first year with a Vee) and tailgate hopper spreader, along with the 5500 with a 10' straight blade and undertailgate spreader. The small hopper will get loaded out of our own bin with Magic salt. The 5500 will probably be getting loaded at the salt distributor with up to 5 ton loads of untreated salt. I'm hoping to incorporate a pre-wet system of some sort so I can get Magic on that salt too.

    Right now it looks like the 5500 will do the private streets and will see some duty in the industrail areas. Plan is to hit the early salt run with that truck so that we can get the anti-ice application down quick. I'd like to run a team of one straight blade and the 5500 together, do the heavy push with the big truck and the taller/wider blade and let the pickup plow clean the corners and loading docks.

    That would leave one straight blade and the Vee for residential and commercial pushes. Only snag in that is that we'll have to decide where to best use the Vee. A lot of our lots are long and narrow, with snow having to go off the end, perfect conditions for a vee plow. But they are scattered over the length of the route. Not a perfect condition at all.

    Some places (not many) would work fine with the 5500 by itself, other than the slow reverse. Pushes in excess of 100 yards, virtually straight and just keep rolling it off to the side. The private streets will be easy meat for the 10' blade, two passes in each direction as opposed to three, in the past, with pickup plows.

    I really hope that our first storm is a small one so that we don't have to do the residentials. Then we could debug our commercial route without being in a full panic.

    Communications will probably be cell phone. We have two now and I think I will get two more and load them with prepaid minutes. Pricey by the minute, but cheaper than a montly contract. Short range communication is by Motorola "talkabout" radios. They work great when we have two trucks working the same neighborhood.



    [Edited by Alan on 09-11-2000 at 04:02 AM]
     
  6. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Good question,I used to spend hours going over which truck I thought would be best for each job.But after a couple of years I was seeing that the amount of time it took to move a truck from one side of town to another just to do a lot that I thought would be easier for that truck to do the truck that was there could have done it and been gone. Now it may not have been easy but it was still saving me money and time. Now that is based on pickups, Larger trucks and loaders have places they just can not get so they have places the can not go. The other thing that I have done is when assigning routes I have them split up in to apt and commercial routes. Knowing that the commercial has to get done by seven to eight I send each truck to their initial route, then as a secondary route I assign the same route to another truck in the area, when he is done with the first route they are to start backwards on the second so if one route is not as difficult or one driver is faster they help out and check over each others work and the business get done on time.When they are finished doing those they have an assigned apt route to work on,there are always a couple trucks that the only task they have is to open up apt drives so some of that is done immediately to coincide with business plowing.Now some of the ability to do this is based on how far apart your accounts are if they are a long ways apart its not practical to have multiple trucks checking each others work nor moving a special truck in to do a certain job,if they are close the ability to have a 10ft plow windrow the snow away from the buildings on big accounts before the pushers arrive is practical. So depending on your situation there is no right or wrong answer it has to be tailored to your specific situation.
     
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Iowastorm

    My only ishue with useing the team plan, is depending on the size of the lot one of the trucks may sit doing nothing. The last thing you want is 3 trucks in a small area, it may equal dents and damage to one of your trucks. I think a team of two may work better, even if it was two pick ups.

    Geoff
     
  8. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I agree with you, however, I didn't completely explain the thinking on that . . . the properties where we'd assign a 3 truck team would be strip mall or office complexes with large parking lots, multiple entrances and service/loading areas. Also, it would only be when we are pushing in the overnight hours; not during the day when parking areas are full and there is alot of pedestrian traffic. Hope this explains it better.
     
  9. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Oh i agree if you got big enough lots, and you can have 3 trucks in them, and keep them apart. Its the way to go. It would just suck if ya had to have a scratch and dent sale in April, from to many turcks in one lot.

    Geoff
     
  10. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    If I had to have a s&d sale come spring I would be turning over my whole fleet every year. We have so many tiny tiny apt lots that tip hard one way with cars on both side and garages and curbs,you would never be able to even park two trucks in these lots. We will be buying some more tandem axle dump trucks this year for most of these smaller lots and am hoping to pick up some residential lots as well.
     
  11. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Well, I've been giving this thing some more thought and I'm wondering about using one or two mid sized front end loaders. Don't own any, but am thinking about either renting them in the short term or possibly buying one or two. The only problem is that we would have to invest quite a bit of money into trailers and large trucks to haul them. After all of that, we might as well puchase more plow trucks; either single axle dumps or one tons. Any thoughts?
     
  12. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    First what do you consider midsized?Big bobcat, tractorhoe,2yd rubber tired loader. Second to make a loader as productive as a pickup for the type of snows we have you need a protech or at least an 11ft reversable plow which should be run with loader aux hyd, this can be tough to come by for reasonalbly priced rentables and the attachment also drives the price of this option up. I have all the sizes. I use a 90xt Case loader,car 416c tractor loader,(long term lease) 928 Cat(short term replacement lease)2 1/4 yd loader and a 938G (I own)3yd loader. The other thing about just getting any rental loader is that not all of them have atraction system that allows them to be unstickable in the snow.
     
  13. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Oh yeah as to what Geoff said you can not haul a machine in the snow with out tieing up a truck that could be plowing snow and just creating a minor head ache for the compareable options.
     
  14. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Beside the trucks, we currently run a 773 G Series and a 763 Bobcats with v plow attatchments and they're nice. The only drawback is that it takes extra time to trailer and haul them, along with tying up a truck (even dropping the trailer from a plowtruck take time). In reference to the end loader, I was thinking along the lines of the Case 3 yarder. We could use it on a couple of big jobs we have that are all located within a couple of blocks from one another. However, if we couldn't find a unit that's functional in the snow, then I wouldn't waste my time on it.
     
  15. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I rented a Case from RSC last year long term(no per snow but for the winter) and it worked fine.Just with out traction control or locking diffs they can get themselves stuck and do not push like a machine that does have it. We used to have a 544B JD and it was great it would climb right up a pile of snow but with a locking diff the machines can get hoppy on dry pavement.IASTORM What are you using for vplows on your skids
     
  16. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Kwick Way makes a 7' and 8' V plow attatchments that we bought thru Capital City. Boss also has a V plow attatchment, but the largest size they make is 7'6". The cost for the v plow was just over $3K and made the skid much more efficient. If you don't have the hydraulic attatchment kit, then it's a few hundered bucks extra. I believe you mentioned that you plow alot of apartment complexes and the v plow was absolutely great for cutting in close to parked cars, garages and curbs, etc., as well as trimming after the fact.

    Question for you regarding the Wheel Loaders: Talked to CAT today about renting a loader and they only rent by season (4 months). Anybody around rent by the job/weekly/etc.??
     
  17. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I have a 90xt w/ both sets of hydro on it I think kwik way will build a 9' for that machine,have you had any trouble with them. I am not going to buy one till we get some desent snow I have plenty of attachment for it already.

    As for the loader RSC rent on the daily weekly and monthly the problem is the price. For equipment three days is a week three weeks a month etc, so in order to get a good price you need to bite the bullet and get one for a season.I think it can be returned but with a penalty.Did you talk to ZRS rental or Zieglar sales.Also road machinery and deere some times hve option. also sprietzer and rexco who now handles New holland. The other idea is to try a local CO. Eco Tech, Elder Petticord and see if they will rent a loader to you.(I know two of those do snow but I do not know the names of some of the smaller co. who might have a loader)
     
  18. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    We bought the Kwick Way's at the end of the season last year and only used it once; the Feb. 21 snowfall. It worked great, but haven't used it enough to have problems yet. One thing I don't like is that sometimes the quick connectors can be a pain to lock in or release. To be honest, I had more problems with the skid loader freezing up last year because one of my guys put the wrong blend of diesel in it.

    I spoke to ZGR Rental today; they're to ones that quoted me a seasonal price. Heck, spending $12K on a rental, I could buy some other equipment for that. Oh well, I'm sure it'll work out. Wonder if Corell would have a loader to rent?
     
  19. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    They might if the do not do snow hope it isnt blue
     
  20. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    See the way i see useing equipment to move snow is simple. If there arent a few good sized lots close together than you can't keep the loader busy enough to justfy the expense. I don't even consider hauling equipment.

    I have two compact loaders, which i use as support plows, each at a different lot. They help to plow the lot, and do most of it on there own. However a truck comes in to help, and to sand. I do the same thing with compact tractors, if its got a bucket loader on it, i find a use for it.

    Loaders

    I have one that dose one lot all by itself, only aided buy a pick for the edges, and a sander.

    I have two others that do multiple smaller lots

    If you got a lot of mid sized lots, that are spread out, you have no choice but to go with a big truck. Its just all part of the game, it is very rare that everyone has all their lots lined up one after another.

    Geoff