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Snow Plowing vs. Snow Removal vs. Ice Management

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by thelettuceman, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    I advertise my business as "snow plowing". I vision the words "snow removal" as a front end loader and a dump truck with the snow being removed from the property. I bring this subject up because of liability issues. I am not a lawyer. I am just trying to cover myself in case there is a slip and fall. This way I can say I plowed your snow I never said I was going to remove the snow.

    I do not have a tailgate spreader so I am not in that end of the business. I do not think that I would use the words "ice management". I would take that as the ice on my property has been treated and is safe to walk on. I would tell my customers that salt (or pick your favorite chemical) has been spread. Proceed with caution.

    I would like your opinions, pro or con. I do not expect everyone or maybe anyone to agree with me.

    Thank you for your time and responses!

    Rick S
    d/b/a The Lettuce Man
    lettuce help you
  2. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I agree with you. That would be how I interpret those terms as well.

    I have operated under a few different names over the years, anything from "Snow Plowing" to "Snow & Ice Control", to "Snow Removal Services".
  3. qualitycut

    qualitycut PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,231

    I think there are different interpretations, some people may consider removal as plowing as you are removing snow of of the lot and making it usable. So in a way you are removing snow.
  4. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    FWIW, I would say that "snow and ice management" could or would incorporate snow plowing, de-icing, anti-icing, snow removal and relocation, pre and post season site inspection and repairs, obstruction identification (stakes at curbs, fire hydrants and catch basins),snow fence intallation, signage installation, clients needs assesment, site patrols, documentation, site maps, storm management strategy, etc...into a whole package custom tailored for the clients needs, site conditions and exposure to liabilty.

    Any part of that package would and could be a stand alone service.

    On a liability standpoint, its important to identify whose resposible for each service...but I highly doubt you would be excluded from a lawsuit if someone fell on ice in a parking lot you only plowed and didn't salt.
  5. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Johnny's "snow & Ice management" definition is great.

    "Snow removal" is a very common and loose term. You are actually "removing" snow from the hard surface you are to maintain by plowing it off.

    I wouldn't get too hung up or anal about it, but that's just me.
  6. adan

    adan Member
    Messages: 36

    Snow and Ice Management or Snow Services
  7. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    JohnnyU: not to threadcrap the thread that I started but: I like your user name but JohnnyU. Did Johnny Unitas have any influence on that name?
  8. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    Nope, it's just my name: John Unes. I often had the nickname of "Johhny" while growing up.
  9. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    Yes there are differences which have been covered. It all depends on your capabilities and your contract wording.

    My official company name includes "Snow and Ice Management", but I have different DBAs to cover the different aspects of the duties:

    snow plowing
    snow removal and relocation
    ice management
    storm management

    Currently I only plow snow, so I use that DBA. When I have more services available I will use those DBAs for those purposes and they will be a division of the actual corporation.

    The actual company name is of little consequence, but the trade name or DBA name will support what you actually do. This is also helpful in case only one service is contracted out. An example would be a snow plowing only company using you for their removal and relocation needs (ie you load it into trailers/dump trucks and dump it in a field somewhere). This is also helpful to understand what part of your business operations get the most profit and what services don't. Easy to cut them or sub them out if they aren't profitable for you.
  10. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    good advice. is this the definition of shadow corps? I hadn't thought about that.
  11. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    What the hell are you talking about?
  12. NW Snow Removal

    NW Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    accounting slang? I don't know. we don't use any of those tricks.
  13. StratfordPusher

    StratfordPusher Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Ice & Snow Management

    On advise from a lawyer who is also a good customer I went with Ice & Snow Management and snow removal services on all my contracts and adverts.....

    It kinda covers all bases....

    My 2 cents worth...

    stratfordproperty (decal).jpg
  14. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    My apologies I read your response wrong. No, not really much to do with accounting for taxes as it does organizing and managing. It gives a better picture as to what your business is actually good at making profits doing. It's used in many different industries with thousands of companies. I use it in my main business and it's helped greatly.

    You will have one company and that's the corporation or LLC. Then you have trade names or names the corporation does business under/as, aka DBA. It's most common in manufacturing.

    This way you can track your sales and jobs. Let's say your snow plowing is the most profitable but your ice management is actually costing the company money. That alerts you to make a decision to reorganize your ice management operations or to simply cancel them.

    You could track your sales and profits by having a division for your residential customers and your commercial customers. Then if you find your residential division isn't as profitable as commercial division, you can decide what is best for the company- reorganize your residential division or drop it and just do commercial contracts.

    It's not anything shady or secretive. It also allows room for growth or retraction. What if your company is "Snow and Ice Management" but you find that your snow division isn't doing as good as your ice division so you decide to drop it and revisit it at a later date. Well, if you have DBAs for the division's its simple to stop marketing with that then update your corporate business name (which is a PITA). This gives you flexibility.

    So maybe NW Snow Removal would be for remove and relocate but plowing only would be NW Snow Plowing with that being a trade name DBA of your corporation. Then you want to add ice management to your services, so have NW Ice Management added to your corporation as a DBA. Then invoice with those DBAs and they all go into the corporate account.
  15. Tubby not saying it doesnt work for you, but In my opinion it makes no sense and is way overkill to use all those DBAs. You mention tracking profitabilty/losses as a reason for doing it but this can be very easily accomplished in an accounting software such as Quickbooks Pro by simply associating the segments of your income/expenses with particular items. As an example I have under the Income account I have sub accounts for Plowing, Mowing, Maintenance etc. Why have all those DBAs to confuse customers and you paperwork? What if you plow and do ice control on the same storm for a customer? You gonna send 2 sepaerate invoices from 2 different DBAs? Just trying to understand your though process behind this.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  16. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I really need a cool catch phrase...
  17. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    How about ,Nobody can "Ketchup "to us in plowing.
  18. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Grandview: Another old thread brought back to life !!! I counted three this week. Did I miss any?
  19. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    i saw 4 oldies grandview pulled out & dusted off. LOL all the resposes it brings is how grandview is pulling old threads, some older then his membership, lol
  20. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    Maybe Grandview should change his avatar to Gravedigger....:laughing: