Vaccine Priority For Essential Snow & Ice Workers?
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Sleet and freezing rain from early Tue am thru around noon- temps shouldnt get high enough to really melt any snow.
Hope you didnt put the spreader away just yet...
I too am ready to see the green of lawns and other flora. Last year at this time I was bush hogging my property in preparation for stump grinding and seeding. This year its buried under a foot + of ice and snow.
Spring cleanups may just consist of a pickup of large limbs and sweeping of sand esp if the non-frozen ground enables the grass to grow early. Its already green in the front few feet of my home (south-facing).
We finished up our stacking yesterday. Some of our accounts told us they would live with the piles and they couldn't (wouldn't) pay for any additional stacking. Hey Cat how'd you make out with that apartment complex ? I guess if you got it you spent most of your time there doing some stacking.
What could have been gold here turned into pure $hit! Gotta be the Kinda Midas in Reverse thing striking again.
Snow started about 6:30 Monday morning, not much but forecast was for 6-12" at that point. I salted all the commercial and condo accounts and sat back to see what developed. Through the day the salt was almost keeping up with snowfall. Residentials were building up some but nothing to worry about.
There was ice on a lot of the residentials from an ice storm a week before. Few residentials want to pay for salt or sand around here so we had a lot of really slippery driveways to deal with under a layer of snow. This was to come back to haunt us before it was over.
Started out about 3:30, 3" down and time to do residentials. Snow started with real feeling about that time, couple inches an hour. My son went after a load of mix for ballast on his truck and then started plowing.
On his first stop he lost reverse in his truck (K2500 Chev). He got pulled out of his pile and drove home, jumped in the spare truck (S-10 with 8' blade). Now we're behind and getting worse fast.
I was going great guns on residentials, snow falling faster than ever. About 7:00 I dropped a wheel off an ice covered driveway and the truck went over the edge. Luckily it went down nose first or it just might have rolled. Had to call a wrecker to winch me out, truck was down by the bow about 30 deg. and up to the windows in the snow at the bottom of the slope.
Linked up with my son just before midnight and we started working together, staying close enough so that we could keep track of each other with our hand radios. Finally had to split up and about 3:30 I get a call. The other truck is now down for the count, broken bracket on the front differential, things are slopping around and making expensive noises. I went home and crawled under there, glued stuff back together as best I could just to keep two trucks going.
On my first stop after that (another icy one) I got sucked into the bank backing downhill. Managed to get a call out on the cell phone. Took an hour for Ray to get to me and get me out,, the hurrier I go the behinder I get.
By now it's been 24 hours since the first flakes, we've got 12-16" down and it's not letting up. Got all our commercial accounts opened enough so that they can open the doors. BAD conditions, lots of places not even bothering to open for the day.
We kept pushing. Temperature climbed above freezing. As soon as you opened it up the ice underneath would get damp and absolutely NO traction. You could push fine the first pass but then you'd sit and spin after that. Stuck over and over on flat going with nothing ahead of the blade.
Ray blew a hose on his plow, replaced it and broke the new one in half an hour. Come to find out there is a spot in the linkage that builds up ice if snow and temp. conditions are just right (wrong?) Never seen it happen before, now we know. Getting behinder and behinder all the time.
Finally got stuck in a bank again, almost dark on Tuesday afternoon, snow had finally stopped, there may be hope after all. Ray was at the far end of the run again so I called the Happy Hooker to get me out and called my wife to go find me a set of tire chains.
Came home and mounted the chains up. They're the Z style cable chains, you can put them on even if you're already stuck. Not as good as the old fashioned ice chains but at least now I can get traction on the rears. THERE!! Take THAT you SOB!! Pushed until 10 or so that night, got 3 hours sleep and back out. Opened the commercials again.
Differential bracket on the other truck had broken again, no good way to fix it in place. Let it sit for the time being, I went out salting while Ray plowed with my truck. Got my salting done and welded the bracket and got back on the road myself. Got our JD318 going and took it out to open some places where the banks had been too close and I had no room to push through with a plow.
Finally went to bed at 10, up at 3:00 AM. Got a buddy to come in with his Cat 416 TLB and open one long private drive for me. Snow had filled between the old plow banks and it was impossible to clear with a pickup blade. Spent the day (Thursday) cleaning things up. Took the 2500 to the Chevy shop for a tranny transplant. Took a short nap and then picked up the TLB at 5:00. Ran that myself until 12:30. Opened one site that had been closed all week and would reopen for Friday, then pushed back banks at some other sites. Got into bed about 2 and up at 6:00 again.
More cleanup, finished opening sidewalks at one condo where we had kept only a "one pass" path with the blower. Picked up the TLB again and opened a road to our salt shed, moved a pile that had slid off a roof and pushed a couple places off and broke up an ice "curb" so water could drain off the pavement.
DONE!! Finally!! What should have been an easy four push storm ended up being a two push nightmare. No real money made on this one by the time we pay for a transmission and TLB rental. Tuesday afternoon I would have sold a mess of equipment for pennies on the dollar. Wednesday morning I pulled into one drive that I had just plain forgotten about. Plowed it Monday evening but hadn't made it back on Tuesday. I was pretty upset at myself over that, the customer is also a friend. A neighbor had opened a one car width from the road to the garage, there was a LOT of snow there! Sign on the front of the garage, I was almost afraid to look. Sign said "Al/Ray honk and I'll make coffee". She came out on the porch when she saw me pull in. She asked if we were all OK,, she had been worried. At that point I had had 3 hours sleep in the past 48. When I get tired the emotions get close to the surface. I had just read her sign when she came out, had a real hard time talking right then. After getting calls all the day before that went "Why haven't you been here yet?" I was overwhelmed. Guess that equipment isn't for sale anymore.
Money not withstanding you are all about what got a lot of us in the business. Wanting to do a better job than the next guy and giving it all to try and get it done.
Great story and you should be proud of the job you've done.
Man,Alan-you are tough,.It seems like when one think breaks-it starts a chain reaction,and all you know what breaks loose.EWe only got 11-13",and it was tough pushing only 1/2 that with clean blacktop,and a 9000 lb truck/7 1/2 ft blade.I dont know how you even pushed that with the poor little S10's/8 ft blade,get a running start-drop blade,and hope for the best.LOL.Bet you wished the old c-50 was up and running,that would pushed the snow with weight,no doubt.
John, surprisingly the S's did pretty well. Only place I had real problems was where the banks were too close to let the snow shed off the blade. I did wish for the old 6'8" I used to run on the first S, at least atht would have been narrow enough to give clearnace on the banks,, a narrow path is better than no path at all. And yes, the 5500 with a 10' blade would have been a great backup truck in this situation. Oh well,, it'll be up for next year. That Sicard Junior that I covet would have been nice too.
Alan - I remember your late winter storm from he$$ last winter. This one made for a good read too - the most interesting thing I've read in several weeks for sure - I can relate. I can't wait to read your next relation due March 2002. Spring must be just around the corner now.