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when to begin plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by greenworldh20, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 Member
    Messages: 84

    i had a problem with one account. if you read my recent thread, they complained that i did not know how to plow. i told them that the snow was heavy and they needed a machine to move it. anyway, the management company told that they have other lots and they do not have this problem. their snow plows pile the snow off the parking lot and on the grass, islands...

    my question is do you guys push the snow off the parking lots with pick-up trucks when you have 12" strorms, 16" storms and so on? do you plow the snow every 2 inches, or what?

    i cannot see that as being true.:realmad:
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    If you let that much snow accumulate,then yes it will be difficult to push with a regular pickup truck.You would normally start as soon as possible after your trigger point has been reached,and plow with the storm.It doesn't neccesarily have to be every two inches,but it's a lot easier to push 6 inches twice than a foot once.

    If we got 12-16 inches and could only push it once,then bigger equipment would help,especially for stacking,or locating the snow where you want it.
  3. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    I learned real quick. Plow EVERYTHING with the storm. I made the mistake, and this is my first year. I had a 21/2' foot storm. Figured I would do the main travel lanes. and the parking lots and would come back and "touch up" when the storm was done. You need to keep pushing everything back as far sas you an the whole storm. My "touch ups" took quite a while moving banks of snow and not being able to backdrag effectively over that quantiy of snow. Getting close to the curbs, let alone finding them was hard. Cost me a tire on some railroad tire edging that I couldn't see in the 4 foot piles. I had to go back with my skid steer for some of it.

  4. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    yup i've had customers say the same to me and my 2 main plow trucks are big.you can only stack so much snow.after that we get are case backhoe in there to push it up higher and back more to prep for the next storm.a pickup truck won't move big piles around you need a one ton and bigger to get close to what your customer wants.they must of had a hack who doesn't care about there equipment.you know what your doing.they just want it the cheap A** way.i wouldn't do anything for them.
  5. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 Member
    Messages: 84

    i have never had this problem in 10 years of plowing. it just seems like this management company has no idea how to move snow. they are paying for the lot to be scraped with a truck and salted. no more, no less. they wanted the basic package. of course, they can have the machines and operators to move big piles of snow, but that is an additional cost.

    gee, so many problems with this one account and no problems with the others...

  6. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    greenworld,I dont fully understand yor question.I push the snow off the lots onto the grass whenever possible,and as far as possible,in anticipation of the next storm.If there are curbs or drop offs,then i go as far as i can.I cant see why you would have a problem unless there are obstacles preventing you from being able to do this,then you would need a loader.I have never had a problem pushing onto the grass,except when the ground is not forzen,the U edges are great for this.If you have a problem at this one account only,Id drop them next season,or increase the price,so that you are fairly compensated for your time/equipment.Even with heavy snow,we try to plow with it,and commercials get pushed every 3-4",so we can stay ahead of the snow.I rarley need a loader at any of ,my accounts unless there are obstacles,or limited stacking space.
  7. SnowMatt13

    SnowMatt13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,527

    Here's my two pennies. A franchise company we plow for (chain of restaraunts) allows us to use parking spaces for the snow. there is one where we can push into some lawn but usually never go more than 4 or 5 feet in otherwise we'll have a lawn to fix in the spring. Our contract starts with plowing after 2" has fallen. Any less, and we need verbal approval from the specific restaraunts manager. And we try to plow every 2-3" after that (it takes us 4-5 hours to get them all plowed once.) So in let's say a 12" strom we plow it three times. Obviously the piles get bigger and bigger. A couple of restaraunts a very small parking lots, so if we use 4 spaces for 12" of snow in a lot that only has 30 spaces this could be a problem with more snow. So what we did for them with removal is we left it up to the owner(s). Each can call us whenever they fell the need for snow to be removed. We stated in the contract that our advice would be given on when to haul the snow, but before we do verbal or written instructions nedd to be given to us by the owners. That way, they know they say go, so when it's time to pay the bill, they know it's comming. That way if a customer can't find a parking spot because of snow piles, they can only blame themselves. Oh, one more thing, on our site diagram for each restaraunt we show where the snow will be piled, but note that additional spaces may be needed if removal is declined.
  8. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Like others have said Plow with the storm. Depending on size, you may be albe to start every 2"-4" and push as far back as possible. You will have to push more often the first time you do this, but it will give you a good understanding of what works. If the area is small enough you may be able to wait longer, but remeber if the storm is going to be dumping large amounts fast, you will want to keep up with it.
    Just another thought, I myself do not own any heaver equipment, I would like too but's its just not in the cards right now. So a good alternative is to know what the prices are for what you might need to rent and where you can rent from in a storm. It won't take long to find out the places that still have equipment to rent when a storm of any size hits. And be sure to have the possible extras listed in your quotes for you, the equipment, and removal if needed.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    Depends how big the lot is. On small lots a truck should be able to push it no problem.

    On larger lots, perhaps you need a loader or backhoe.

    Are your trucks properly set up?

    New ice rated tires (every year)
    Plow in low range
    Limited slip axle
    Plenty of ballast

    12" is never easy, especially when it has a high moisture content (wet) but if you're properly set up, it should not be that big of a deal.
  10. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I try and plow lots around every 3'' and push all the snow as far off the lot as I can. However when dealing with 12''-16'' storms you will probably need a loader to help push back and stack piles. I know I would with some of the lots I have.(limited snow stacking areas)
  11. edrenckh

    edrenckh Member
    Messages: 61

    Raise the plow and go forward until the front tires hit the curb. Can't do that if there is too much snow though.