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What is the "correct" method to plow around parked cars in big lot

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by traumabill, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. traumabill

    traumabill Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    After the big storm this week I've seen several examples of cars rendered inaccessible by plow jockeys - before karma hits me I want to find out how others treat obstructions/parked cars in big and medium sized lots. I understand it tight lots how things like this can happen, but it seemed amazing to me how many cars are un necessarily buried during this storm..

  2. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,781

    I have a commercial business that I plow that has no overnight parking signs in it. For years there has been a car in the same spot. He's actually an elderly tennant of an upstairs apartment but he's not supposed to have a car there. The bank that leases the downstairs is adament that I should plow him in but I never do. Just work around it.
    The year I didn't have the account the guy that plowed it plowed him in, and you're right totally unnecessary...
  3. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Years ago we plowed a place that had a car permanently parked in it. We asked for it to be moved and even offered to have a few of us push it if it didn't run. Well it never got moved so we buried it but that's the only time I've ever plowed someone in that didn't do something to me personally.
  4. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    I have one account that is almost always an issue with cars left overnight. It is a strip mall with about 15 businesses in it, 3 of which are bars. Of course the drunks close down the place and then don't want to drive home, (thankfully) so they leave their car in the lot. I show up at 0500 to start plowing and I almost always have between 4-8 cars that I have to go around. I called the PM to see if she had any advice and explained to her that for every car I have to go around adds 8-10 minutes to my plowing time, it takes me a good hour longer to do the lot than it should. Also, another issue is that there are low income duplexes on the next street over behind the shopping center, which doesn't get plowed, so some of the residents park at the cntr and then walk around behind to go home. Then the next morning, they come back over to go to work. I have seen some of them coming for their cars and have said something to them about the signs posted NO OVERNIGHT PARKING. Of course they blow me off, so the PM's advice was that if I knew for sure that the cars were not any of the tenants, that I was to plow them in, thinking that if they had to go 2-3 days w/o a car, they wouldn't leave them there anymore. She also gave me copies of a tow sheet with instructions to call PD to have towed if it continued. Plowing cars in for the most part worked. Those that couldn't get their cars the next morning to get to work quit leaving them there. The only downside is that if you don't bury them, then they get out and free up the space allowing you to come back the next night and clean that spot off. If they got buried, the car may be there 4-5 days before they finally move it. I haven't as of yet, towed a car.
  5. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,192

    In all of my commercial accounts if there is more than one open spot between cars we back drag it after clearing everything else.
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,254

    Not sure how much snow the OP had, but in situations over 10" or so, it's difficult to not "plow" them in. Even trying to keep it away from the car, it will spill over.

    But even then, if a butt hat parks in a stupid place, I try to change behavior. I'll roll enough snow around the car so they have to walk through more than a normal amount of snow to get into their vehicle. IF they don't get the hint, I'll push enough around so it's a bit of a struggle for them to get out of the spot. If they're really stupid, it might get worse. I plowed in a semi time and time again because he parked in a lot that had signs stating no overnight parking. And he parked where one of the piles had to go.

    So it might not be that they tried to plow them in, or maybe there is more to the story and they were sick and tired of idiots parking where they weren't supposed to.
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Some times we back drag it after clearing everything else, more often we back drag those spots then plow the lane.

    I've plowed in vehicles at the request of the business owner.
    Some we have towed, mostly we just plow around them.

    I've plowed in a grey-hound buss,
    A long battle of him staying in the hotel next door but parking in a private lot.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  8. traumabill

    traumabill Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    To update, we got 28+ inches with drifting all over. It's not my lot, fortunately, nor am I making a play for it. Just seemed to me to be a better way than to plow in three vehicles in a 200+ space lot, when there were other places (to me) to place piles than to have an eight or nine foot pile up to the driver and passenger doors, overnight parking or not...
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,254

    I can't say I would have done that.
  10. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Who cares if they're plowed in, it's not like they didn't have advanced notice of a major snow storm coming. If they leave their cars in the lot that's the consequences. I hate when people leave their cars in my way. That being said, I've never plowed them in either. We used to plow a couple bars, always 5-6 cars left over from the previous night. Then they would gradually show up one by one to get their vehicle, but 80% of the time I had plowed around it already. Then you gotta go back and clean up where the car sat...PITA!
  11. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,679

    Normally only cars in our lots overnight are their company vehicles. Now we used to have an issue with them being scattered through out the lot but after making a request to property manager they now park in a group. Now you will never get away from butthats with a day time storm.

    Because this is no fun at all.

  12. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    We handle this similar to Mark. First time, kind warning, second time more stern warning, third time you're not getting your junk outta the spot. I don't have the patients for stupid people. If I have half of a 5 acre lot cleared, and you choose to park repeatedly in the uncleared part because that is "your" spot in an unassigned retail lot, then I have no problem giving you a little education.

    After the third time, they generally get the idea.
  13. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I worked nights at a grocery stocking shelves one winter. Nothing like walking out in the morning tail dragging to find my truck plowed in with snow.

    Our sidewalk guys pull snow away from cars so the plows can get it. Saves a trip later. Once you've plowed mulifamily with acres of parked cars that expect to be able to get out without getting snow in their loafers, the odd car in a parking lot isn't so bad.
  14. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    It's the norm for me,I expect it and deal with it.Many of my lots have company vehicles left in lots.I just plow around them .One post office I do has hundreds of vehicles throughout the lot.Be nice to have an open lot.I bid it accordingly.It is aggravating though,I always think how fast I could plow if no cars .
  15. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    What I hate is a couple of the grocery stores I plow who have overnight employees, it never fails, I'm there for half an hour, strobes running, backup beeper going, etc, get to the point that I need to plow around that car, so I spend 5 minutes cleaning around it all nice and neat, and inevitably 15 seconds later the employee comes out and moves it to the cleared spot. That really irks me. One time I had that happen and the employee came out and moved it to a different part of the lot I hadn't started on yet and I had to work around it a second time!!!!
  16. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,781

    I had a lot that was all downhill, I couldn't pile at the top because the nightly re freeze was horrible. When they were under construction I swear the construction guys were just effing with me... Lol
  17. Brad3403

    Brad3403 Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 392

    I do some grocery stores as well, I clear an area then grab an employee when he comes out for a smoke break and get him to get all the other employees to come out and move their cars. It helps to get the store manager on you're side too. That way if the employee says "no", then you can tell him that you will pass that on to the manager in the morning.
  18. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,254

    I thought it was just me.
  19. just plow it

    just plow it Senior Member
    Messages: 131

    We've plowed a strip mall for several years now and about 6 years ago there was the same car there everytime we plowed, The car owner would wait for us to completly plow around her car and then she would come out and move it. grrr!!! She owns the jewelry store and told us she was busy and worked a few nights to get caught up, but come to find out about 4 years ago she lives in the stripmall. What a pain in the butt to have to deal with her every night. I often wanted to plow her in but we have to remember that we are supposed to be professionals in what we do and plowing a car in would just be childish. On a side note I think if there isn't any overnight parking signs and you burry a car you could be on the hook for the tow bill but im not sure.
  20. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    First, any car you didn't manage to hit was plowed around properly.

    Second, I want to plow em in, bad like, but I don't have the mean streak it takes to actually do it.

    Third, what really sucks is when you clean around them, then they move to a clear spot.....and clean off their car there.