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plowing etiquite

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dirt_Werx, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Dirt_Werx

    Dirt_Werx Senior Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 129

    hey guys, just looking for some feedback regarding plowing etiquette. I plow town roads and was just wondering how anyone else in my situation deals with snow or slush filing up driveway entrances etc. I have been told countless time by the town super, that its not my problem and that i am just doing my job, yet i cant help but to feel guilty when i see some poor old timer out shoveling and just getting his driveway clean and then i come along and fill the mouth right back up with heavy wet snow. So what I'm wondering is for those of you in a similar situation do you make any kind of effort to avoid doing that? i know the roads need to be cleared and thats my job, but i still cant help but feel bad for the people in that situation. So do any of you slow down considerably? swerve for a second? angle your blade differently? just wondering how others would handle the situation, thanks again
  2. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Most of the guys that plow the streets my accounts are on are Mexican, and only speak Spanish (subcontractors from a construction co.). They see me plowing, and in Spanish I stop them and they angle their blade away from the driveway I'm working on, this way, I have less work to do :) .
  3. As bad as you might feel about filling in the end of driveways, there is not much you can do about. As for plowing speed you shouldn't have to really slow down unless you are going to fast to begin with. When your plowing along the gutter you need to be careful of houses, cars in driveways and sidewalks ( don't want to bury them, as it only leads to complaints) so you want to be traveling at a speed that is not throwing the snow to far off the blade. As far as swerving goes you don't want to really do that because then your snowbanks will jet in and out and be a hazard to traffic, plus the road will start to become narrow for traffic too. You also wouldn't want to start to play with the angle of the blade as you would start to leave windrows in the travel lanes as the majority of the time when plowing down the gutter of the road the blade will be full. Once again as bad as you feel for filling in the driveways there is not much that can be done as all snow must be plowed to the road edges.
  4. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Dont worry about it and dont feel bad. I shoveled my entire (BIG) driveway from the time I was 10 up until I got my plow at age 16. I shoveled enough big storms and tons of little ones. When Iam shoveling I dont expect the town to not plow. Id rather the town plow me in and have a clear street to drive on, wouldent you? Or would you (or the old guy) rather they not plow at all. I have never been able to understand why people get all upset about the town plow coming after they "just finished shoveling" like the town is doing something wrong. EVERYONE who lives in a snow prone area should FULLY EXPECT to have a snowbank to deal with at the end of their drives. I know I always expected it when I shoveled all the time and I continue to expect and deal with it on all my drives. Snow needs to be moved off the roadway, thats the bottom line. Its just a reality of life, everyone knows that streets are plowed when it snows and that snow does not dissappear, it needs to go somewhere.
  5. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I have a hard time believing that anyone plowing roads would do that. I have seen people who have slid into ditches out of their cars talking on their cell phone calling for help get sprayed with snow all the time by the state plows. Town and state plowers especially could give a crap less about anyone/thing who is in the trajectory of the snow flying off their blade, as long as its not going to hurt somebody they do not care. At least that is my experience and my opinion is that they shoul not care.

    If anyone ever tried to stop me or expected me to angle the plow for them, I would speed up and throw it in their face. DPWs have a job to do, the road should look neat, not all over the place because of changing position of the blade/truck all the time.
  6. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Okay:rolleyes: That works too :(

  7. I know that no one here would change the angle of the blade of their plow when coming to a driveway, not even if we were asked too. The roads need to be cleared for the safety of traffic. If people don't want windrows at the end of their driveways maybe they shouldn't live where it snows, as the snow gets pushed to the sides of the road. Its amazing the amount of people out there that will flip you off, swear at you, wave their arms in the air and even stand out in the road so you have to go around them because they just shoveled their driveway and don't want it plowed in. What do these people think happens when they go to bed and were still out working around the clock cleaning up and edging the roads back. Maybe they think we will stop the truck and pick the snow up and bring it home with us.

  8. I disagree about town (especially here) guys not giving a crap about anyone or anything that is in the trajectory of flying snow. Yes we do have a job to do but we can't go around blasting snow off of people, cars and even houses if they are close to the road. If we did that the D.P.W. director's phone would be ringing of the hook as well as the Board of Selectmen's phones. Here people call up and complain on us if we are going to fast (guess they have their own radar gun) and put to much snow on the sidewalks that are next to the road (homeowner's responsibility to clear sidewalks, except town property and downtown area). But its never a win win situation, because then they complain we don't plow the road wide enough, or we don;t get to their road fast enough.
  9. Rappa

    Rappa Member
    Messages: 84

    Tough, they should wait until we are done to start shoveling their driveway entrances. People are stupid. I laugh at them as I push snow back into their driveway when they are standing there giving me the look of death.

    Oh well, and good lucK getting anyone to answer the DPW phone during a storm...
  10. sawbones25

    sawbones25 Member
    Messages: 74

    What gets me about doing roads is the guys that shovel their driveways and throw it into the street. Then they get mad when I push it back up to their driveway when I come through... And I have no problem coming back later to make sure the road is still clear... :cool:
  11. rembrandt100

    rembrandt100 Member
    Messages: 43

    I live in North York bourgh of Toronto. The city plows in this area have a gate on the curb side of the plow. As they near the driveway they drop the blade and it collects the windrow and moves it to the side of the driveway. Most of the time this leaves a small bump of snow that is easy to drive over.

  12. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    The town and state guys have a job to do- clean the roads. There should be no concern for the people's driveways- they all know what to expect.

    If you fail to clean the roads properly (leave windrow in the street, do not plow to the curb, etc) the DPW super will hear about it as will the Mayor and the selectmen. If you're worried about people complaining to the super about town plows sending snow 4 feet back into their driveway you need to fiond other plowing work- if you're doing the plowing properly you WILL send the snow several feet back. I can't tell you how many times I have had to clean up roads because town guys don't know what they're doing- or are afraid of complaints.

    As to those shoveling out into the street- it's illegal in most places anyway- they risk a ticket by doing it- you pushing it back is doing them a favor.
  13. norrod

    norrod Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    No, don't feel bad. You've got your job, and it's important.

    Just pretend the driveways are not there. If you worry about all the driveways, you'll never get your route done :salute:

    Plow on !
  14. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    This is just me, but when I'm mostly done on my town route, I do open up a few of the driveways. You know how you sit around for an hour or two sometimes--this lessens the taxpayers pain. most people are happy on my route( takes out the pain of the random mailbox). It's mostly random! I have gotten to know about 1 out of 5 houses on the route.
    Just the last storm, a lady was stuck trying to get in her drive way-- she was going to park in the road, which is a PIA to me, since she lived at an intersection--I made a sweep of her drive--was a horseshoe, so she could drive in her garage!. Later she came out and offered to pay,I declined and stated that hopefully someone else would do the same for my wife if need be--and she already pays me by her taxbill! It's just KARMA and hopefully most are happy with it.


    KCAPXIS Senior Member
    from NE PA.
    Messages: 143

    I run a 9.6V plow, I can and often do, pull the wing up to a scoop & save some people some work, BUT! if they throw the snow in the road, I'll shove it right down there drive.
  16. Emerscape

    Emerscape Member
    Messages: 58

    I dont plow for the state nor really plow much since I work as an accountant in Boston but when im out working and see someone struggling with the windrow at the end of thier driveway ill usually stop and ask if i can help them out real quick. Of course it depends whether im in a rush or not. If they want me to do any more but upon up the windrow then itll cost them $$ but I figure its good karma and it will come back to me at some point.. then of course theres always the good lookin girl or milf out there so u gotta help out ;)
  17. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    I personally know the plow guy from years of seeing him around and him seeing me out snowblowing. He knows where most of my clients are and when he sees me there he will come by numerous times so i get all the snow while im there and there isn't a huge pile there again 10 mins after i leave. Works out great.
  18. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Just to give you some background info: my town doesen't have a DPW that plows, ALL of the streets are done by a big construction co. Now, the sub doesen't give a d@mn about how the roads turn out. My road (which is supposed to pass 2 cars) only gets plowed wide enough to accomidate one car. No offense, but Mexicans on the whole aren't the brightest lights in the drawer, and so far asking them to angle their blade away has worked just fine. My roads NEVER look neat to say the least!
  19. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Yes, I understand completely, you were very clear the first time.

    Dont get me wrong, Iam not trying to bash you but maybe you should not be yelling at them with the intention of getting them to angle their blades away from your accounts. If you saying they are doing a bad job and the roads are not wide enough, why promote them doing something thats going to leave snow in the road??? Does not make much sense to me. When they pay attention to you yelling at them it will distract them and they wont be paying attention to doing a good job on the roads. Maybe they dont do the best job in the world but let them do their job and you do yours. Snow from your accounts belongs on the property of the place your plowing, that includes windrows from the roads. I would suggest you dont yell for them to angle their blades anymore, your not special.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2006
  20. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    If it weren't for the town plows pluggin things up i think approx 30% of my customers would shovel their driveways and wouldn't hire me.

    I used to live in a small developement and the plower used to make three passes. The first and second pass would dump all the snow in my driveway. So I (and all the people on my side) would have a 4' deep x 5' wide pile at the end and the folks on the other side would have like a 2'x2' pile. It pissed me off that he would always do it the same way everytime. One year it got so bad that the piles I had shovelled at the end of my driveway were tall enough to hide my F-150, and the driveways accross the street you could still see compact cars. What really pissed me off was the guy didn't know how to plow cause he would come back after the initial plowing (after everbody had shovelled) to "push the banks back". Well the moron wasn't pushing the banks back (he needed a tractor or payloader to do that), instead he was scraping the snow from the snow bank and depositing it into our driveways (cause there was no where else for it to go) and then we would all get the chance to get our shovels out again. :mad:

    Now town plows, DO actually push banks back cause their trucks are heavy enough to literally move the banks, and they are doing more than simply moving the snow from the side of the street to peoples driveways.