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Do you check sites every night?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Patrick34, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Patrick34

    Patrick34 Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    Wondering if any of the bigger companies assign someone to check sites every night. Do any of you guys not sleep so good (anxiety) wondering if any snow showers are going to hit or unexpected ice or snow.

    A few nights ago my main foreman calls me at midnight (he was out for a late night taco bell run) and says we have freezing drizzle. I did not see any of this in the forecast unless I missed it. Fortunately my foreman saw this, and we were able to salt everything by early morning.

    Of course when snow is expected or a maybe, we keep an eye on weather overnight. Once in a while you get those surprise minor events. It just does not take much to have to salt certain properties that are zero tolelance. I was brainstorming the idea of having my main guys take turns doing daily snow watch from 2-6am.

    Anyone else do this?
  2. 4x4Farmer

    4x4Farmer Senior Member
    Messages: 953

    i know what you mean, I have woke up at 3am before and theres a inch of snow on the ground that no one said boo about. That gets the blood a pumping! calling everyone and no one will awnser there phones, then at 7am they call you and say "well I didn't know it was going to snow" I guess usually when we get one of those are clients are usually pretty understanding if we are running a little behind. I know there are weather alert text messages for when a warning comes out, but I wonder if there is anything out there that would alert you as soon as the current conditions changes to snow or freezing rain.?
  3. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I always have to sleep with one eye open. I also caught the freezing drizzle the other night, mainly because I stayed up and went for my usual drive checking out the commercial properties. Right now I am doing it consistantly every night, because our days are above freezing and nights are below--perfect conditions for piles to melt back then have the runoff freeze across parking areas and walkways. I sometimes have to resalt the lot, or sometimes just spot salting. I also carry a few bags of icemelt for the walkways.

    Yup.... pretty much every night I go out and have a good look around. Takes about 3/4 to an hour round trip if there's nothing to do. Obviously a lot more if I have to salt.
  4. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Our salt truck leaves every morning before 5 am 7 days a week, if there is snow in the forcast we leave earlier depending on the probability of precipitation. We take the salt truck so we can salt pudddles and runoff. Hardly a morning goes by all winter when we don't use any salt. For liability reason we keep daily check sheets for each lot.
  5. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    If you don't mind me asking, how do you charge for a portion of the parking lot? Or are your contracts with salt? If so, do you have a bonus if you have a surplus in salting?
  6. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    I check every morning around 6am if it is below freesing or very close to it no matter what. On the events that are not forecasted, I get a call from the foreman of the highway department of the town where my larger accounts are in, He is a good friend of mine and the police department will call him at home if they see slick spot while on partol and he in turn calls me... it's good to know people...
  7. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    On the salt included properties daily site checks are included in the price. On salt extra sites I have a minimum charge. There is no giving money back on light years. Site checks are more for me then the customer, if I carry the liability on a property it is my insurance on the line, so daily records are a must.
  8. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Our town is small enough we go by our accounts on a daily basis anyway.
  9. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    Are you kidding me!:realmad:
    How could you go to sleep without knowing the condition of your lots!:gunsfiring:
    It only takes one time with your pants down:blush2:
  10. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    lol, high and mighty words, we have ALL been caught once, all i can say is try your best, we check 12 every night no matter what, then myself and my foremen well check if we get up for washroom or for a night snack, i can think twice where we have been caught, usually from times where is snows in isolated areas, it happens, and customers are usually understanding. This year, we had a forecast for a clear night, yet, we had one swath of about 1 inch of snow, running about 10 blocks, everyone woke up, no snow, then we received a couple phone calls, we got out as soon as possible, and got sand and walk, etc done, plowed that night, EVERYONE understood.
  11. sk187

    sk187 Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    Our main lot has security 24/7 and they have to call when they need salt.
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Getting up in the middle of the night and doing site checks are two different things. Site checks are generally for runoff and slippery spots which can occur every morning. If your doing retail sites you need to keep daily records for liability reasons. There is no excuse to be caught with your pants down even once. JMO
  13. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    I run a 3rd shift at the shop their only job is to wash trucks and monitor weather. lets me sleep like a baby. they call if more than a couple salt trucks are needed. best money I ever spent.
  14. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,782

    You can still be caught with your pants down even with daily checks which is why we do them. The other day with the freezing drizzle we checked through our sites at 4:00am (nothing) still residual salt on the lots. Checked through again at 8:00 am (still nothing) Went for breakfast, by 8:30 we had 2 slip and fall calls by different clients. It can happen that fast.
  15. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    We don't check every site every morning, but check areas. We don't have to worry about runoff for the most part with our properties. They are mostly roads and where we do pile isn't on a slope. I would love to have a better system, but it is hard to trust people and my foremen are at least trustworthy and it is part of their job description.
  16. angelryder

    angelryder Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    We run nightly watch, all properties are checked for temp & cond. Starts @ 2am 1 person out records everything. This is done 7 days a week, especially in this weather, sunny days below 0 nights. It has to be someone you trust totally to make "the call". If I dont trust them they dont go out. Sometimes one end of town is good the other a mess. I was on last night, some lots were dry others had drifting?? A good practice to keep your liability $$$$$ down.Have an awesome day all!:)
  17. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i realize that, however the original poster is talking about unexpected snow/snow-rain events, not runoff and slippery spots:D JMO (don't tell me you have NEVER been caught by surprise by a isolated snow event)
  18. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We run a watch for 2/3 days after a storm or any night where temps are above freezing daytime and below at night, this happens often in NJ. We also have some "trouble lots" where ground water is an issue, those get checked everyday, no matter what, as sometimes ground temps are low enough to glaze things even if ambient temps are too high.
  19. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I hardly sleep when snow is predicted in our area. I go out every night or early morning after a storm to check/clean up, if no snow or ice event is predicted i don't check. I also keep a close eye on the local radar on my cell to see if snow has developed or is on the horizon
  20. CMerLand

    CMerLand Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    Once again I find myself agreeing with Forest and we have a section in our contract concerning DAY AFTER site visits. Unlike you guys in the great white north, we dont have many "surprise" events but we do get the freeze/thaw from runoff melting then refreezing.

    However, we only go out the "day after" a storm to inspect lots as the contract states. After that the client retakes control of liability for the site and if they find icy conditions on their site after that they can call us for a visit, and we promptly respond. I suggest all clearly state in the contract who is responsible and when for care and control of the lot and it not be vague at all. If you say your coming everyday, you better be there everyday. If its for the first two days, go just the first two days. If your contract says two days and one time you go out 4 days later to provide that extra customer service your opening yourself up to liability the next time you dont go out 4 days after cause you thought it would be okay, and your customer thought you were coming.

    Im curious of you guys that go out every night to check, are billing for this service or just doing it at your expense. If its part of your contract and youve figured the cost into service I understand completely. But if your getting up, driving around for an hour, checking and doing nothing and not getting paid, my question is WHY NOT?