1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

How much snow do you plan to handle?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by chtucker, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    With this large storm that occured in Colorado I got to thinking... (trouble)

    What do you think you could handle 1-2',3-5,5-8' When do you say that the storm would be out of anyones hands?

    With seasonal accounts what level of service could you provide? What do you think people would expect of you?

    With residentials, what would you be able to handle, What about the road not being the easiest to access, maybe not even passable?

    Do you have the resources available to stack or dig your way through on commercials? (Not renting or calling in an excavator because they are already busy)

    How soon after the storm would expect your customers to have to wait (how many days?)

    Do you plan on having enough equipment to get all your sites down in under 4-6 hours? (2-3 inches of snow falling an hour)

    How would you handle a storm of this magnitude?
  2. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    This year we got hit with two 2'+ snowfalls in less then a week.

    I had all mine done(plowing wise) the same day the storm ended.
    Put in alot of hours to do that thou.

    That pretty much is the max for using "normal"equipment also for me.

    After the second storm had to use the skidsteer(use it any time i need it) to move some of the piles to other places on some sites and also hired a sub to come in and take away multiple dump truck loads( 15 tandem axles) at one site.

    Did my commercial stuff first and then did the resi's, if i got 3-5'that would be pushing it for me to get done quickly i think.

  3. phillyplowking1

    phillyplowking1 Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    I would handle a storm of that magnitude with some how get some really big equipment.I think thats the only way you could handle a storm of 8 feet or so.
  4. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    That is my point.. everything is spoken for in the Denver metro area. Besides half the trouble is getting it their. Roads are 1.5 lanes wide in places.

    I am GLAD I don't HAVE to deal with it. Scott Szorno where are you:) ??

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    We have the subs available to handle most storms below 40". Above that we would tell our customers they would have to either shut down completely or run at half staff for three to four days. I can't imagine snow on that scale and I have been plowing for 16 years and my father has been plowing for 33 years and I know he has never seen anything above 40" so I doubt anyone would expect to operate normally.

    One thing that really is important in this scenario is how well it was predicted. The blizzard we had this year was said to be 10-15" even at the start of the storm, it did not change until the storm was well underway. Had they predicted what it was (27.5") we would have lined up more and bigger equipment and we would have done it sooner. In the end we moved all the snow everyone asked us to and managed to do it within 3 days and had very few complaints.
  6. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    As JD said if they had given us a better warning for the amount of snow we could expect for the Blizzard I also would have lined up more heavy equipment sooner. I was able to get two JD 410 4x4 Backhoes committed to the campus the day after the storm from a local contractor to work along with my Loader and that is what kept me going. Half hour into the storm my backhoe went down and was unavailable for the whole Blizzard. Engine is out being resleeved as I type. Should get it back this coming week. I guess I have never really thought about getting more than a couple of feet at one time Hmmmmmmmmmm.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2003
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We are pretty much set up to handle whatever would come. We would be able to keep our roads open however they would get narrow. After the storm we would have a hard time, getting snow moved back, however if a state of emergency is put into effect, we have a rental company that will bring in equipment from other states.

  8. farmertim

    farmertim Member
    Messages: 95

    Hey Howard

    I was just thinking of your situation sitting in the sun in the doorway of my shop this morning.
    Its 11' tall and I was just looking at to get an Idea of the mess you people have out there.

    I am set up to handle about a 4 foot snow fall with drifts.
    I actually invested in a 100 hp loader tractor 4x4 with 9 foot HD western and 8' V as well as a large bucket, before I had a decent pickup and plow to plow with.
    Another thing I have noticed about my clients and your question brings it home real quick, people have forgotten that we as humans are supposed to work around what mother nature gives us not the other way around.
    Our changing climate has given a lapse of understanding to those up the mountain with their cable, power and satelite TV.
    40 years ago if anyone was dumb/brave enough to live up there in the winter they planned to be there "ALL WINTER" and if they survived it you'd see them in the spring, if not it was their choice.
    Now they all have to live on the top of the mountain, hill, or remote lake island and drive the kids to school 30/50 miles one way everyday.
    And that so&so plow guy better move that 5' of snow by 6:00am tommorow because I haven't had my cappuccino in two days.

    We had 2 feet of the stuff you got last week Thanksgiving last year after a week of rain.
    I got stuck in mud never in snow.
    I V plowed with the tractor all 97 drives first, then went back with the loader bucket on and cleared them all out.
    I knew 5 guys who lost Transmissions that snow, given I had the tractor the pickup stayed home.
    It took 125 hours to do it, and they still complained because the roads weren't wide enough the first time I opened them up.
    It all melted in 8 days, you should have heard them scream about their lawns, but they had to get to town they had a doctors appointment and had to get their only to find the doctor couldn't make it he was snowed in.
    Ya do what you can do, or do like they say in Oklahoma, God put it there, God can take it away.

    I cannot imagine 4 to 11' of snow, anybody in their right mind has got to know things are going to slow down if not stop completely.
    If they don't, they have no right to live there, and no right to ask you to risk your life so they are not inconvenienced.
    Convenience is what cities are for, if you demand that stay there for the winter don't come to my town and demand city service at country cost.
    And oh yeah if your going to spend $750.000 on a summer cabin while the Cat is there to clear your house lot, have him "MAKE SOME ROOM TO PUT SOME SNOW".
    Good luck, I was in your beautiful town in 1987.
    I still think of that sunset at 8500 ft or so.
    I'd give anything to load up and move some real snow, but spring is fast on us given we have only had 12" of snow this year.
    Be safe
    Rich tourists/turned parttimers in overrun Hayward Wi.
  9. HLS Wholesale

    HLS Wholesale Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    This is an interesting discussion. We don't get any where near the amount of snow you guys do out east, or up north for that matter. A big storm for us is 10 inches, which we can handle with difficulty. The 18 inches we had a couple years ago was very stressful.

    My guess is it's all in the allocation of trucks and personell. At the beginning of the year, in order to make money, I have to spread my resources thin...because I know that 95% of our snowfalls are going to be 1 - 5 inches. Sure, I could only take on a handful of customers and be totally prepared for the big one that comes every few years, but then I'm not making any money the rest of the time. So when the BIG ONE comes, people just have to realize that it's going to be slow. I don't know how else to do it...any ideas? I certainly don't want expensive equipment sitting around collecting dust. I guess it's just a delicate balance between making money and being prepared.

    You guys out east, however, get the big ones much more frequently and therefore need a higher concentration of equipment/personnel. Of course, you also have to live with the Jets and Knicks too....

    Dan Norton
  10. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    We generally say we can handle 2' for sure, and 30 inches if it is light. The 65 inches we got was mashed-potato snow. Heavy and wet. We were keeping up until we got 22" in a 5 hr period. The county guys put such a stack at the entrance to our businesses we couldn't bust thru at several sites.
    Snow stopped on Wed evening, everyone was open for basic business by Friday noon. We used a Volvo loader with a 4 yd bucket and 3 different skid-steer loaders. Trucks were for cleanup only. We are still shuttling snow storage at most lots even this morning. (trying to reclaim parking):)