Hi, does anyone plow a Walmart or something similar? I plow about 40-50 properties but nothing the size of a Walmart or with the amount of traffic one of these places has. I am interested in hearing any info about plowing something like this. Thanks
We plow Wal-Mart sized lots, and lots like Wal-Mart. The thing you have to understand is there is no way to plow that lot clean till all the cars are gone. Todays new traffic patterns make these large lots harder to plow, because they are full of dividers.
Our approach is to keep the lane ways clear during a storm, and clean plow the lot at night. If a big spot opens up we will run the loader through it, however it is rare that it happens. So we run our big trucks through the lots with 10' blades and yes we windrow the snow to the side. We don't like casting the snow to the side, however there is nothing else we can do the runs are to long. We also salt the lane ways, and keep the walkways clear.
When the place closes we go in a clean up. When plowing say storms we have plow routes set up in the order stuff closes.
I'll start off by saying that I don't have any info regarding pricing, dealing with traffic etc, but I have done repair welding for the property management company looking after our Wal-Mart and adjacent subdivision. My input here regards equipment, I see in your post you have Ford & Chev duallies with Boss V's & spreaders, they have an ex-DOT single axle dump with one way plow and wing as well as a loader on hand for the big lot. Another construction company we do work for uses a loader with a DOT type one way plow on a quick-attach bracket as well as a backhoe with a 10' reversible blade, also on a quick attach, plus a DOT sander unit, for one of our malls. Just a quick observation on what I see in my area - hope it can be of some help to you!
Two guys I used to work with plow a walmart in Schenectady somewhere. There's a few. It's not a huge lot but it's pretty big. They plow it with two Ford F250 superdutys 8' straight blades on both a small tractor and a fisher V box. I dont plow any lots that size but around here there are only a few lots of this size that are plowed with just trucks. Most have a loader or backhoe parked on the property all season with a pusher. One of the malls has ten pushers mounted on backhoes and loaders and a skid steer with a pusher. Also one maybe two pickups and then there are ten dump trucks. Two tandems and one single axelfor moving snow and the other dumps have salters and plows along with wings. Then they have a setup with a rectangle build out of blocks to keep salt in. There's another loader just to load the salters. This is a big mall there's traffic lights in four or five places. IN case you're wondering I dont have much to do lately but count other guys equipment and wish I had it. Seems to be a shortage of the white stuff lately!!
I plow a Target,a Lowes,a K mart,and the old Target plaza which now has a Hobby Lobby a Hastings in that building with a new large Groc. store attached.Each is very diffrent as to the flow of traffic.Arrival times are much earlier for the Lowes which is a Home Depot type store, the large groc. store has issues with shopping carts performance on snowy isles,the large department stores place alot of urgence on their loading docks.Each is very diffrent in reguard to the level of service required,either because of the number of customers they handle or how they see snow removal fitting into their budgets.I have also had som real issues with manager turn over.I lost the Sams club that i did because of the constant turn over of their managers. New manager were not happy with the job we were doing but it was all the previous manager was willing to spend and all that had been agreed upon. Despite all of that, we really like the big store because we are usually providing them service when are servicing no one else but the local airport,despite the diffrences in service levels it still is usually higher than other stores.
Thank you for the input! I will check into this pro-tech thing. I am going to check out this lot tomorrow and see if its something I can handle and how much its going to cost me for additional equipment, if needed. Do these types of places(i.e Walmarts) usually rebid every year to save $20? Again, I have never provided services to 24hr retailers and have no experience for what them to expect of us when it snows. The girlfriend loves these places and I avoid them at all costs, especially Wallyworld, so I don't even know how they are plowed currently. Maybe I'll go and have a look'see.
We have both Sam's and Walmart in our area.I think they were paying between 20 and 30 thousand for the season for each lot.
Diggerman is right,there is a big turnover in mgt. and no loyalty to anyone.They stictly run on numbers that is why we try to get a multi year contract.
As far as equip needed
One loader with multi quip bucket to handle a 12' plow and 16'Protech pusher,skidsteer with 8'Protech pusher,and a Mitsubishi FH with 9'Boss V and a 4 yard sander.Also a good supply of Magic salt.
Add that all up and 30 thousand aint worth it!!!
These contracts include everything. No extra costs. It seems like every year someone new wants to plow these stores and always bids lower and lower. It is a bigger headache than a lot of people think. Customers always complain about the littlest thing and then you get a phone call.