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Large set of steps How do you guys do it?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by snow game, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. snow game

    snow game Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 255

    I have a new job that has a ton of stairs on it. We had 1st storm today only 2" but very heavy. Stairs are killing us. I'm getting good money for it but would obviously like to speed up production and make it easier on the guys.
    Any suggestions so we don't have to keep moving the same snow.
    One stair case is only about 12 steps high, but is 100' wide with several railings in the middle.
    Another staircase is about 30' long only 8' wide but walls on both side, so all the snow has to go down.
    Can't leave any snow on the steps.
    Once the snow is off the steps its easily moved by machines.

    I saw NE Patriots shoveling the stands once, they had approx. a 18" pipe cut lengthwise in half and they used it like a cement chute.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Indy

    Indy Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    A couple small Toro Blowers and "snow plow" shovels, go with the narrow shovel that fits the step best, that will keep the HANDLE of the shovel over the MIDDLE of the step, seems simple, but will help a ton.

    Don't lift it, PUSH it, or BLOW IT

    Good luck
  3. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I've never had to deal w/ 100' wide stairs, but the shoot idea might work as long as it doesn't stick. A chute w/ a vibrator maybe? How about a few slip & slides, or slip & slides lining a piece of ditch flex pipe (corrugated) cut in half ?....Then you can have some control of flexing it under or around the rails.

    I once had a contract w/ many stairs on several locations. After the first season, I got rid of all the heavy metal shovels, they would wear the guys out too fast, because the snow & ice would stick to them. Cheap, lightweight plastic did surprisingly very well. We also started using back pack blowers & cut the time to less than half. I can't say enough either about the reliability of a Stihl. A heavy wet snow, the shovels were still needed. 2-4" dry powder, your guys would love using the back packs.
  4. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    How about those power brooms you hold that look like a weed whacker?
    I use do a church that had long stairs and all the snow had to go to the bottom. They were not tall though and I would drive the snow blower right down them and have to clean whats left by hand
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    That's what I'm thinking. I'd get the Stihl model with the rubber paddles. Should just fit on the end of an FS90, or FS110. These paddles should slide over the shaft of the yard-boss tiller gearbox. I use the same gearbox on my FS90.


    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

  7. snow game

    snow game Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 255

    Thanks, Great ideas. I think the power broom will be good on the wide steps and believe it or not the slip and slide suggestion gave me another idea. I like the cement chute and half pipe idea, but too heavy to move around.. The slip and slide reminded me about Bamboo Barrier. Its a product we had left over from a job that is a heavy film of plastic, like the cheap sleds that used to roll up. We have it on a roll we could just roll it out over the steps and shovel it on like the half pipe in the picture, down it goes.

    Has anyone out there ever used a power broom for snow removal?
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I haven't on snow but have used one for general use and I think it would work great for snow on steps.

    For narrow steps you could probably take one side of the paddles off. I take one side of the tines off on the tiller to cut bed edges with it and it doesn't affect the operation of the gear box.

    The only other thing I can think of is you see the el-cheapo electric snow blowers that has no wheels. If you could find a gas powered model then you would be in business.

  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    The paddles are nice but what about when snow builds up a few steps later. I personally thing high power backpack blower's would be the way to go. I hope your getting a small fortune to do steps like that.
  10. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    The power broom will only move the snow to the end or a few steps down. Either way you will have a buildup somewhere. You have to get the snow clear of the steps in the first pass. I would get the smallest Toro's that are gas powered and get as much of the snow cleared off as possible, then shovel the rest.
  11. 7_below

    7_below Senior Member
    Messages: 245


    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    If you can get at the front bottom of the steps with a skid loader I would build a tool that would reach out 20ft or so make it 10ft wide or what ever you can handle and fit between the rails bolt a pusher rubber edge to the bottom of it and simply set it at the top or as far as you can reach and carefully set down and then back up and kind of let it walk down the steps pulling all the snow to the bottom. You will probably still have to clean up with shovels but you should be able to get the bulk out of the way. It may take some getting used to but it sure beats all that hand work. We built something similar to this to pull snow out from permanent cart corals at a center we do works like a charm.
  13. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,988

    Or better yet, a telehandler!
  14. DaveCN5

    DaveCN5 Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    +1. That's what we do. Except our stairs are below ground. We use them to shoot the snow up the stairs so we can back blade it out with a plow. A toro 18" single stage would be the simplest way to do it. Start at the top and throw it down the stairs in the middle and off the sides on the ends. They're only like 50 lbs, so ti should be fairly easy to control on stairs.

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    We have one of those as well but not sure if the larger size would make it hard to control for this but maybe.