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Sidewalk clearing -when its all slush?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,934

    We got about 3" the other day in jersey. I have one large account that has 6-20' sidewalks surrounding a large retail building, fire exits, lobby doors, merchandise loading areas etc.

    Even if we had a foot storm, it could all be snowblown with a walk behind blower we have in about an hour give or take.

    3 of us spent almost 2hrs on and off with this place with the past event. Trying to push 3" of slush into the parking lot for the machine to come by and get or plow was too heavy with shovels. Im a pretty fit guy, 175-180lbs 5ft 10, and the shovel stopped after about 6 feet, just too heavy.

    Id have to then lift it up and chuck it out to the lot.... were talking normal shovels but enough that your thinking the handle, shovel is going to break with the right amount of weight sooner or later. These sidewalks were $150 worth of a $600 account that is already way too low, but we needed something to fill a trucks route mid season unfortunately.

    A 2" event takes our one 06 F350 with 9' plow and JD tractor with 8' pushbox, two drivers of course and a helper over 6 hours.

    The slush was so heavy that after 200' , the push box was almost too heavy for the tractor thats over 6000lbs to continue to push... we ended up taking a lot longer than it should have taken, but jersey gets this heavy snow 90% of the time.

    Cant use a snow blower with slush on the walks, the store maintenance guy even tried a big one and jammed up in 15 seconds too. What do you guys do? Just shovel for hours for $100?

    Lets just say it took us only 5 man hours for the walks, physically i hauled a$$ myself helping and it beats all of the employees up. Thats only $30 an hour while were getting backed up beyond belief in the early AM hours on every trucks route because the "sidewalk shoveling" is taking each worker an hour instead of 10 minutes.

    Whats the solution?
  2. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    One of the absolute best thing to use on walks, especially if you have some nice stretches of walk, is a quad with a blade on it. There is just no touching the speed and efficiency of one of these. In your case, this last instance, I think I would have gotten a bit resourceful and unloaded a snowblower or two...not to blow the stuff, but use them to push the heavy slush. It would still have to be better than trying to push it by hand. Even if one pushed the vast majority of the stuff, and follow up on the lighter stuff left over with a shovel, it would certainly help.
  3. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    good single stage blowers work in slush, but more importantly you have to start early and not allow too much slush to build- clean off the snow so the rain doesn't soak it-what time did you start?
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    A small skid will work great even if you have to rent one.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    i used a toro 3650 it throw slush at least 25 feet.

  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,934

    Well something big like a skid steer, machine, or quad is out of the picture.

    We already haul in a 8' push box and the 66hp deere tractor for this property. I could always use our 48" bucket loader tractor but not all of these sidewalks are straight runs to just push in a line. Lots follow contours of surrounding parking lots so they have lots of 90deg bends and areas we'd have to back drag the snow out of for the door entrances.

    It may speed it up, but the time consumed bringing these machines to sites, unloading, loading, driving would eat up any advantage. If it took 10 hours of shoveling and a 4 wheeler or something could do it in 1, then im all for it.
  7. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees Member
    Messages: 85

    single stage and a dakota snow shovel.
  8. MnM

    MnM Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    the answer is start earlier. it was all powder til it turned to rain at 7am...........sure seems like your having a boat load of problems this year..............i would find some new contracts next year because if someone still owed me money for landscape work they def wouldnt be getting any plowing done from me thats for sure.
  9. bluerage94

    bluerage94 Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    I use an older Bobcat 371 for the sidewalks,its 36" wide and perfectly fits on side walks... Makes life a whole lot easier...

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    We use a broom on a skid, but in your situation could you have jumped the curb with the truck and tried to get some of it? Just a thought
  11. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,934

    yeah guess i could have, im a fast shoveler though myself so having someone else backdrag with the plow truck probably wouldnt have beat me and my lil shovel :p

    And yeah, we could have started the walks prior to the lot so it wasnt so slushy yet.

    Lot of problems this year, yeah, most from numerous changes instead of set contracts over the whole year dont make it any easier. This one large account isnt close to us. We drove two trucks and two trailers with tractor and equipment to the site that night at 2am. Driving 30-35mph the entire way took us over an hour! Its maybe 25 miles away, should have left prior to 2" coming down from midnight, but i checked online, said would start around 1am, didnt see anything at midnight so i slept from 12 to 1:50am, got up and 2" almost already :/ my fault
  12. M&A Property Maintenance

    M&A Property Maintenance Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    I find it hard to believe that a single stage snow blower would work on any heavy snow, never mind slush
  13. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Slush just sucks. Do you have any single stage blowers? Those probably work the best for that type of situation. Just line up 3 of them in a row, and you can get done pretty fast.
  14. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees Member
    Messages: 85

    atv first and loose 2 employees/
  15. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    my toros and hondas were throwing water and slush just fine- it's like a freakin paddle boat! silly non-believer....
  16. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    dude, you seriously drive 25 miles for an account? I hope it's worth it I can get a lot of work done in that hour- you need a tighter route and good customers- not paid since last spring and you're still doing the snow? are you nuts? think about it....for your best interest I say these things...
  17. JustAGuy

    JustAGuy Junior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 27

    I know you said it's out of the picture, but a good quad with a plow would've helped significantly. Our Polaris 800 will push just about anything you can throw at it, if it has a place to go (i.e. really high drifts cause a problem). With slush you just raise the plow a few inches, make a pass, drop it an inch, make another pass, etc.