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Circle Plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Leo the Landscaper, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have searched two snowplowing forums for this subject and have found nothing; I hope I am not asking something redundant. I hope the absurdity of it is why there are no threads on this topic. I have taken a new position with a local college as the Grounds Supervisor. I am very familiar with this college and have known that historically the plowing, done "in house", needs improvement. I am being told by my employees that they "circle plow". They start in the center of the parking lot and plow continously in ever increasing concentric circles and make there way out to the edge of the lot. I have been plowing for 20 years and have never really heard of this. i have asked all those I know that plow and they have not either. is this is popular method somewhere else? The reasons, I am told, are reduced transmission damage and increased plowing efficiency. Personally, the fact that you will have a snow pile completely surrounding the parking lot is reason enough not to use this technique. What I am asking is anyone familiar with this technique? Thank you.

  2. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    That's funny... Stupid people typically come up with stupid reasons as to why they do stupid things. Now you know why none of THEM got the supervisors position.
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Sounds pretty efficient to me. It's no secret shifting forward and reverse puts a lot of wear on the transmission. Not to mention the time it takes, and the risk of backing up at night in a blizzard. Snow all the way around the lot also seems like a good idea to me. The further you push snow, the more you have to handle it as you set over each time. If I had a lot big enough to do it I would.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Timmy from NJ is an expert on circle plowing. Screen name TLS22
  5. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    I actually plow one our commercials similar to this were the building is in the center and surrounded by a sea of sidewalks. This is a property of 10 acs in size. It is on a state highway so I can only travel outside the lot in one direction.

    PROS...This the fastest way to plow this particular lot. Backing up only in certain locations when I get out to a curb edge. Reduced chance of backing into another car or pedestrian. And less shifting, clutch, etc

    CONS...This will kill your front end in wet and/or heavy snow. Going circular you never have a stacking area to push too. Some events we end up spinning it out to a certain point and conventionally pushing it to the curbs. Also, light post, etc slow done the process drastically to less than conventional plowing times.
  6. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    A method I have seen used on big lots at the university that I went to is similar to what you described, but they don't drop the blade on the way back. They just circle around plowing it all one way, and then clean up the other end with their tractor with an 8611ss on it. They are done the lots quite fast.
  7. JR Snow Removal

    JR Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    i have done this with a building in the middle worked pretty good kind of fun too:dizzy: tho i found myself going faster and faster. i only keep the blade angled on the straight runs and then angle it straight when turning to keep the snow rolling a good distance. for the lot i do works better/faster than anything else i tried.
  8. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Yes I am familiar and have used the technique you are describing. What I am describing literally begins with the tightest circle you can turn and slowly plow your way out ever increaing your diameter.

    Also others have described lots with building in the center; again i fully understand and can see this used on say a McDonalds. Imagine a 2 acre lot, basically square, servicing a building on one side.

    Thanks for the comments so far.
  9. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I have seen this done before, but in MOST cases I dont think it works. Generally you will not be able to put snow on all four sides of where you sit if you are starting in the middle of a parking lot. Obviously it is very fast because you constantly are pushing snow...no stopping, no backing up, no lifting of plow until the end where you clean up your edges.
  10. JR Snow Removal

    JR Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=seaway+bank+richmond+mi&amp;sll=42.79174,-82.737522&amp;sspn=0.002075,0.003449&amp;gl=us&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=seaway+bank&amp;hnear=Richmond,+MI&amp;t=h&amp;cid=6942576705660319619&amp;ll=42.791437,-82.737452&amp;spn=0.001378,0.00228&amp;z=18&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=seaway+bank+richmond+mi&amp;sll=42.79174,-82.737522&amp;sspn=0.002075,0.003449&amp;gl=us&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=seaway+bank&amp;hnear=Richmond,+MI&amp;t=h&amp;cid=6942576705660319619&amp;ll=42.791437,-82.737452&amp;spn=0.001378,0.00228&amp;z=18&amp;iwloc=A" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

    this is the lot i did it on so it made since to me. oh and the south end of the lot is nothing but a big corn field so the drifts are huge when the wind picks up i had some up to my mirror
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  11. Grass Master

    Grass Master Banned
    Messages: 157

    I have tried the circle method on the lower and upper right lots in the pic. Actually mine was more of an oval patern, driving the lenth of the lot looping around the islands at the ends.

    parking lot.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  12. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Never seen a parking lot without lines. I can only imagine what they look like during the day full of cars.
  13. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I was looking at that pic and thinking something was missing. Thanks!
  14. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

  15. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    We train all operators to plow this way, even on smaller complex lots. You carry then angle and lift blade to dump snow in areas you can store and then a few clean up pushes in the corners and your done.

    Have a restaurant (think applebees) next to another almost identical one. Other contractor is mr. forward reverse. Started at same time and finsished before he is half done.
  16. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I heard a funny story about Circle plowing.

    A few years ago, a contractor was plowing a local Super Walmart. He and his crew were all chasing each other around the inside of thier circle. Well, The snow that they wer plowing was pretty deep, and thier windrows were pretty tall. Tall enough that after awhile of plowing they couldn't windrow anymore. Not to mention plow through the windrows that they made. So here is this guy and his lackies, stuck inside thier circle plowed Super Walmart parking lot unable to do anything. As the story goes, they had to call a competitor to bring a wheel loader over to punch some holes in the windrows just to get thier trucks out. And then the competitor had to finish the lot for them because the windrows were so big and compressed by this time that a simple plow truck (No matter how many they had) wouldn't have mad a bit of difference as for finishing the lot on time.. This Circle plowing contrator is no longer in business. But his competitor with the proper equipment for the job is.

  17. me!

    me! Member
    Messages: 31

    As i was reading this thread i was wondering how often this would happen, then after hearing all the good and no bad, i thought i was nuts and was thinking about trying it. Thanks for saving me.

    I guess i was thinking a lot too small for this to happen would not be worth trying. But then again, i'm sure thanks to this thread some night in mid january about 3 am as i'm finnishing up, i will be board/slap happy enough to try it.
  18. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    My boss would think i was on drugs if i did that. I can't wait to try it ! :laughing:

    Anyway, I use to do this place a few years ago. It was fun going around this lot at 40mph. It was my favorite lot to plow !
    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=42.164668,-87.965459&amp;spn=0.002378,0.005681&amp;t=h&amp;z=18&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&amp;ll=42.164668,-87.965459&amp;spn=0.002378,0.005681&amp;t=h&amp;z=18&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>
  19. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    it works for zambonis why wouldnt it work for plowing:p
  20. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    I don't know how many times I've said this on PS.

    But you can't windrow an entire large lot with a lot of snow. The windrow gets to big.

    You gotta push straight sometimes and move the crap outta the way.

    But yes...there are lots where you can do that technique.