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Using NOAA to determine trigger.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by d8on27@msn.com, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. d8on27@msn.com

    d8on27@msn.com Junior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 21

    I've seen alot of posts where there's grey area on wether to plow or not when it's near the trigger and we had the same thing last year. 1/2 way through the season I started using the National Weather Service's weather spotters as a guide. There are several reports from the county I work in, and they are posted online as soon as they come in during the storm.

    This year I put in my contract "as reported by NOAA". I figure this is "hard proof" of an amount reported by professionals. As soon as we get the report we'll shoot out an email informing the customer of a plowable event and an idea of when we'll be starting our route.

    We've also given them the option of choosing a 1" or 2" trigger. If half or 1/4 of them choose 1 I'll just have one truck out instead of 2. This is for residentials only, 50-60 accounts.

    Hoping this works smoothly, what do you guys think?
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I think its nice to be able to have a website to fall back on after the fact, but in my opinion the best way to determine whether trucks go out or not is to get your butt out there and do some spot checks. for example we have snow/rain in the forecast here for the next couple days, even if 1''-2'' of snow falls this weekend theres no way we're plowing because the ground is going to be way too warm yet. We do our own spot checking to determine what our course of action needs to be for each storm. if you have 50-60 driveway accounts i would assume they are all pretty close together so you could make your determination pretty easily
  3. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    ya he's right. the only way to truthfully know is to get out there and measure. another thing to is even if they call for 3" of snow, it could be windy out only 2" stick and the rest blows away. it's tough to go solely off of predictions.
  4. d8on27@msn.com

    d8on27@msn.com Junior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 21

    The reports come in real time during the storm, so it's not based on predictions. I just feel like there's too much grey area when there a storm that's close. I had a couple storms last year that were close and if I went out I'd get a couple of "I didn't think you were coming" and if I didn't I get calls "are you coming?
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    You're always going to get that.

    The only way you can get around that is to get them all on a seasonal contract and put the trigger at 1/2".

    We're working towards that, slowly, but by the year after next, they should all be that way.

    Then you know you go plow when it's white.
  6. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I always make my own determinations, and then charge them accordingly. My contracts are all commercial, and have variying rates for different amounts of snow. The contract also states they will be billed according to the report the following day in the local newspaper.
  7. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i use noaa, and two other private sites(that i pay for) and the storm reports get sent with the invoices for that storm on commercial accounts. I dont do that many RES ..

    but i wouldnt tell them that your going to update them , or send anytype of email...its a great idea , and thought when you have time , and a full staff of office ppl ,...

    but only two trucks i bet you dont have that..... if you sent a report , and then you brake.... your gonna be behind your schedual that you just sent out. PPl dont care that you brake , (at least my customers dont) and to them thats not a good enough reason.

    Also if you tell them that your starting your route at 3 am , and you dont show till 5:30..... they are gonna think they are last on the list...everyone wants to be treated like they are first , even if they just dont know it

    Any time your at your trigger depth , or close to it...is when this tool woudl be useful to you. If there is 6 inches, no one is gonna complain why they are getting plowed. so basicly your talking about a 2inch fall , with a 2 inch trigger, to help you "justify" your service..... problem is , if noaa says 1.99 , and you dont go out .... you might miss out on business. Also blowing and drifting?

    I would incude it on your invoice, but never go by it , and certainly never sent any email giving them a time -