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how much does snow compact when you plow it?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grottsnowremoval, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I am looking for a rough figure on how much snow compacts when you plow it and load it into a truck. There is an account that I am going to be bidding on that has, when you do the math, about 688 cubic yards of snow per inch that need to be removed. Obviously, there is no possible way to get every flake of snow into the dump trucks, and I know that the snow will compact as I plow it and load it into the truck. What I am looking for is a rough percentage to go by when figuring how many cubic yards of snow I will actually be hauling away. Any ideas?

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2003

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Are you charging a flat rate for the entire job including plowing and removal?
  3. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I will be plowing and removing it, but I have not decided whether to charge a flat rate for both or separate the services. Trying to get a better idea of the equipment I am going to purchase for this one. Figuring about 6 yards per load and a 20-25 minute round trip per truck (this includes load time). That is pretty rough but it's something to work with. The dumping site is very close to the property.
  4. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    That would be tough to figure out the percentage of compacting. It vary so greatly because you could be getting a really light fluffy snow (30:1 moisture ratio), or really heavy wet snow (5:1 moisture ratio).

    The light fluffy snow are so light that it would fill up the truck fast, because there are less weight to compact it. But if you have a heavy, wet snow, it has more weight and it would compact more when filling up the truck.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Grott I have to agree with wxmn6, thats going to be hard to figure with snow density differing by temperature. Can you charge for the plowing and then give a separate hourly quote for removal? It would simplify things quite a bit and give you more flexibilty with what equipment to use (more snow, larger equipment) and how long it would take.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Are you planning to use your 450 to haul snow with? I think even if you could get some major compaction, you'd still be looking at 30% of original volume. That would still be over 200 yards of snow. I've never tried to figure compaction, so I may be way off. Anyway, could you try to melt the majority of the snow by using treated salt. You could melt most snows of 2" or less. You'd then have much less to haul off. Compare costs and you might wind up saving money by melting vs hauling.

    Whether you're hauling a light, fluffy or wet, heavy snow, you're still limited in how much can be hauled per trip. I've seen my Dodge heaped with that powdery stuff you can blow away and not even know it's there. Then it gets that crap that's more water than snow and 6" in the bed makes it dragging a-- .
  7. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Plowing doesn't reduce the volume of snow a whole lot, and it depends on the moisture content of the snow. If you want to reduce the volume run it through a blower, even a small loader mounted unit will load about 1500 tons/hour the big ones can move 5000 ton/hr, and it reduces the volume, by at least a factor of 10, depending again on the moisture content. At 1500/hr that's 25 tons/minute, or about 30-40 seconds to fill a tandem dump. They can be very cost effective.

  8. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Day time plows with traffic and salt applied will also reduce volume of snow creating more slushy material. Not that I've done this type of work, but I would recommend charging by the hour at first. At 6 yds a load that's a lot of hauling.

    This I do know. I had a property last year where we'd run two dump trucks around the corner to unload snow piles. We'd run 5 to 6 yds per truck. It would take us about 3 to 4 hours to move these piles (during daytime traffic), about 200 to 300 CY (40 to 50 loads). That's about 10 to 12 man hours. It seemed very inefficient because we were using available equipment. This year I'm looking for subs that I can use with larger loaders and trucks to haul snow. I figure a tandem dump that hauls 25 ton of salt/gravel could hold upwards of 25 or 30 CY of snow. That would cut me down to 10 truck loads. I just have to figure out how to get the snow over 10' sideboards. I guess that's a back hoe or articulating loader. We'll see.
  9. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    lawn lad, what was the square footage if you dont mind me asking?
  10. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    The lot was 56,000. The piles of snow were accumulated in the corners and got hauled out three times last season, once in December, once in January and again in February. We had lots of snow.
  11. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Lawn Lad,
    I ran into that same problem last year on a job i did.

    If i used the small 1 ton dump it would've taken me a week to move all the piles of snow after the christmas & new years storms.

    Ended up using a sub with three tandem axle dumps and a roll off container truck to move it all and it still took them all of 10 hrs going non stop.

  12. HenkeRep

    HenkeRep Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Related question...

    How much (loaded question coming here) does a typical cubic yard of snow weigh?

    I know, I know...depends on the characteristics of the snow: light & fluffy vs heavy & wet.

    So, how about the average for each?

    I've been trying to help one of our dealers estimate whether or not to put a 4 cubic yard snowbasket on a CAT 420D backhoe, and I figured somebody here would have some good insight.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
  13. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    First you have to know the water content of the snow, water weights about 1680 lbs/cu yd, and snow can be from 3% water for light fuffy snow to 20% for compacted snow, and of course ice would be a 100%. I would think most plowed snow would be in the 20% range or about 336 lb/cu yd. Any other guesses?

  14. Santo

    Santo Banned
    Messages: 255

    A heated body helps too.
  15. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Actually, since water expands when it turns to ice, it would be something less than 100%. :p

    (Yes I know only a jerk would quibble about that point, but I have a reputation to maintain...) :D

    But seriously, using Bill's figure of 1680 lbs./yd, four yards of water would still only weigh a little more than 3 1/4 tons. I'd say 4 yards of snow would be well within the capacity of that machine, regardless of its particlar density.
  16. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    Hey DanG

    Hey Dan ,you are pretty close.I plow in East Greenbush.
  17. Sno Munky

    Sno Munky Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Road Supt.

    The faster you plow it the more it compacts :yow!:
  18. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    This post is over a year old. :D
    Some of those guys are no longer here.
  19. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    im new at this, but it seems like loading snow into the truck, is kind of like loading leaves.

    when dry leaves/light fluff snow = more cubic in" therefore fills up ALOT faster.

    when wet leaves/heavy snow = takes up less cubic in" and can fit more in the truck.