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Condo Association Snow Removal

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lawnlandscape, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Hey guys, just joined the website. Can't believe I did not know about it.

    I have been in the landscape/lawn care business for years, but never got into snow removal until last year. Last year was only residential though. This year I have moved into commercial. My biggest job is a condo association with 18 units. It has 9 buildings, and 9 driveways, because they are connected.

    There is a short road into the area that I am responsible for plowing as well as the circle (where all the condos are located. I have a BOSS V-Plow on my truck, but its still going to be a little tricky, because the snow must be pushed to the inside of the circle, not the outside.

    For the driveways I was going to use Snowblowers, and go out there with a 2 man crew. I do not have a bobcat yet, or I would get a snowblower attachment, and use that.

    I have been looking at getting two of the Honda HS1132TAS Snow blowers for the driveways. I was thinking to send a 2 man crew. One would work on the road plowing while the other starts the driveways, when the road is finished, that man would help finish off the driveways.

    Does this seem like a good way to tackle this job, or does anyone have any other ideas?

    Snow blowers seems like a slow way to do it, but last year they had a different company using bobcats with plow attachments, and they complained about always have ice and snow left on their driveways. Snowblowers, will get it nice and clean looking in my opinion.

    Thanks for your imput! ussmileyflag
  2. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    Sorry, can you explain the size of the place. It is 9 buildings, but 18 units? So they are semi-detached? I think what you are talking about is overkill. Just shovel them, and use the truck where possible. You and a helper.
  3. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    You talking 9 twin homes?
  4. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Maybe I did not describe the areas very clear. They do not want a truck back dragging the driveways, and even if they did, the snow from the circle drive has to go into the middle of the circle, and if we have a snowfall like last winter, all the snow will not fit into the middle if i put the snow from all the driveways there too.

    Correct, 9 twin homes. 18 units total. Each unit has a 2.5 car garage. Which makes the driveways very wide.

    I did not measure the driveways, but If I had to guess each of the 9 driveways is 35-40' wide, by 50-60' long.
  5. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Not sure how big those blowers are but that seems awful wide to clear from middle outward. If they are split by a small island, that will help. My gut feeling is that you will be in trouble with a heavy wet snowfall that clogs your blowers.

    Most HOA who request no truck do so with the intention of getting a bocat which will always out back-drag a truck and do a cleaner job with the down pressure. Sounds like the previous vendor sucked, or you have a tough crowd to please. If there driveways are wavy gravy, a truck or skid will leave some in the low spots.
  6. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    This is an area that was just built 2 years ago. Last winter was there first winter they needed a snow removal company, so all the driveways are in perfect condition.

    Like I said, last year I did just residential. I started out by back-dragging those, but then the city told me I can not because they did not want more snow at the side of the street. I blew all those last year, with older, used snow blowers, never a problem even in the wet snows.

    There is no island in the milddle, but I was just going to run up the middle with the blowers, and blow half one way, and the other half the other way.

    Your response is making me even more worried about this job.. lol
  7. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    28-32" wide (the hondas)
  8. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    even the bigger ones will clog in the wets stuff. get them to agree to allow the truck to clear the bulk and sell them on snowblower/shovel follow-up... but make sure your getting paid for it. good luck.
  9. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I've already got the job.

    They signed a contract for Snow Removal this season, and lawn mowing & lawn fertilization the next.

    Just trying to figure out the best way to do it.

    I will be buying a bobcat next year :) then I can plant one at a job like this over the winter.
  10. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    I have normally figured out how to do the job before I bid.
  11. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Consider a back-up plan for this year. What part of midwest are you? have any contractors you trust enough to bail you out in a bigger storm, or help you stack thosse piles when they spread out into the cul-de-sac.

    Consider leasing a small machine? We had a guy offer us a bobcat for 250 per month through some networking... you would make that up in labor saved and be more secure.
  12. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I'm in Wisconsin, along the lake.

    I have other contractors I trust, but in my opinion it looks really bad having someone else do your work, and I know I would be able to handle in. Just keep re-thinking about the best way to do it.

    blowerman - I did have it figured out before I bid. I wrote down numbers for 3 weeks, and went over them about 10 times before I made this bid. lol, just seeing if anyone else had any better ideas.

    I think I just need to stop second guesing myself. :nod:

    Leasing a bobcat might not be a bad idea. Considering I was looking at that honda blower for $3,000.. lol

    Thanks again for the imput. I'm off to bed.
  13. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    250 a month for a bobcat is cheaper then cheap. Don't count on getting one for that kind of money. Those are wider driveways then I would have thought, but there really are not that many of them. I still think you are going to have to much equipment for such a small place. Forget using the truck there perhaps, and just bobcat the whole place. It will be alot cleaner then plowing (pile wise).

    Cheaper as well, use the truck where it makes sense to use a truck, and have the bobcat driver take care of the cleanup by hand afterword.
  14. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Don't forget to post the numbers here to double check them after receiving the bid as well. :cool:
  15. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    Bobcats do work well, you might look into renting one for the winter months, make sure it has a door and heater though, some dealers may do a season rate.
    one other piece of advise, i have done condo's in the past, if there are 18 seperate units in the complex, there will be 18 different opinions on how the job is to be done, and is done. good luck
  16. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Thanks again guys