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What should be done with side walks? Effective?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BOSSMAN21, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. BOSSMAN21

    BOSSMAN21 Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Alright guys, some of you might have seen the post I had about the 1 ton dump, the reason for that was because I got the bid for a small apartment complex this winter as well as a road that is all dirt, and six miles in one way. Now, the apartment complex. I have strict orders to open up the door yard, and to have all the walks done by 7 AM. What is the best way to do the walkways and sidewalks? there are about 30 or so different walks, all ranging from about 20-25 feet. Working alone as I do, should I use one of my ATV's with a plow on it? or should I shovel it? Or just go out and buy a nice snowblower that will get the job done right? I have 2 ATV's with plows on them and I have found them good for doing around curbs and sidewalks, as well as concrete. Any Help here would be really helpful! I also have about 15-20 driveways and 2 more parking lots, although I dont have to shovel the walks on either of them.
  2. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    Better get some help!
  3. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I agree with the last guy, you're really going to want some help, unless this is your only account you're going to have a tough time with this by yourself. I assume they will want you to salt it too, if not you're probably going to want to at least salt the walks for liability purposes.

    I personally would use snow blowers for it. A small single stage toro will work great as long as you don't let it pile up too much. For real light snow falls 1.5 inches or less it'd be easier to use a shovel. I'd also have a 2 stage snow blower on hand for any heavy storms. Depending on your situation and the layout of the walks you might be able to do it with a lawn mower mounted snow blower, but that requires a trailer for transport. I personally don't like ATV plows at all for sidewalks.

    Like I said though, if I were in your position I would plan on sending out a dedicated vehicle to take care of the walks, unless you have very few other accounts, otherwise you'll be pulling your hair out the first 6+ storm.

    Good luck with it
  4. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91


    I live in Kansas City and probably do not get the snow that you do but all I have done for the last six years is sidewalks. We have three small apartment complexes like what you describe that I do year to year. First trust me you will want help. I always had one person with me ALWAYS!!!! Second take a mix of equipment. I found that unless you have long runs like strip malls or the outer sidewalk next to a street ATV's are slower and more cumbersome to use. I will only use a ATV when the sidewalk is longer than say 100'.

    Here is the equipment that I take with me. All I have is two two stage blower when it gets above 4" it is a GOD send one for me and the helper. 80% of the time I use my Dakota Snowplows look at investing in one or two of those they cut my clearing time in half or more. Shovels of various sizes, ice picks. Five gallon bucket for ice melt and an earthway spreader for ice melt on larger sidewalks.

    With the Dakota Plow most standard sidewalks at apartments are two passes. The places I did had close to 3000 liner feet of sidewalks on snows less than 4" which most of my snows are it took sixty to seventy five minutes with clearing and application of ice melt.

    I hope this helps.

  5. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Agreed you will need help especially when you get wet or significant snow. Use what will be the quickest and most efficient for the walks.
  6. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    I had the same deal last year with a new acount. I took one of my lowest paid shovel'ers and made a deal with him. "by the way he's only 19" The Deal? I went to my local Honda dealer got a brand new 4x4 quad with 4 foot plow installed. Told him to keep the 4-wheeler at his house and I would pay him 200.00 bucks per snow storm to drive the quad around the apartment complx and keep the walks clean. Ofcourse my other guys do all the plowing and salting but it's been working out really good. There is about 85 units so theirs alot of sidewalks! But he has them all done in about 4 hours. The 4 foot plow works out great! Only one pass is needed. If you can find a good guy you can count on. This would be the way to go! You dont need a brand new unit. I seen them for about 3000 or 4000 with a plow already on. I went new because the last thing I wanted was a break down.

    This year should be even quicker!! I just got a used salter off craig's list for 300.00 bucks. Im working on a welding a braket on the back of the quad to mount the salter. Once thats done he will be able to plow and salt all in one shot!! All in all it's going to work out good.
    Just my 2 cents....

    Good luck this year.
  7. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    i can say without a doubt. HELP is what your gonna need when you have a storm that drops wet snow at 10-12" over a 12hr/or more period..... i have 3 commercials that need shoveling and less than yours, but when it's wet and heavy i try to bring someone, it makes the night/day go by a LOT quicker, and everthing gets done in the same amount of time as a light fluffy storm...
    how tight are you on time?
    how far apart are your accounts, and will you be driving through traffic to get between them??

    last thing you want is someone falling while bringing their kid and grocerys in at let's say 930am, when theres another inch or two on the ground..
    how often is your atv coming through when clearing the walks at the complex?
  8. John143

    John143 Senior Member
    from NEPA PA
    Messages: 254

    The units are all on one big lot. They kind of wrap around a block. I pay him per visit. We have a 1" trigger for salt and 2" for plow. Every 2" he go's threw with the quad. And I pay him for each time. Ofcourse if we have a storm that big he's going to have a long night! As he's going to have to keep up with whats falling. We havnt had anything that big or should I say a storm that stayed at 1" or more per hour for any peirod of time. So far so good. I also have a back up quad that I could put another guy on if it ever got to the point my main guy could not keep up. The walks are fairly new so one pass is all it takes. Right now I have him and another guy pushing the salter behind him as he's plowing the walks. Im hoping to cut that down this year to just him by mounting the salter on the quad. That way one guy can do both and will save me money. I still have so loose ends to close up. I will see how this year go's.
  9. monson770

    monson770 Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    sounds like your goin down the right road with the salter on the quad, it seems to have both ends of the job on lock down... i know we are suppposed to have another whollop of a winter here in minnesota, and for me, the more walkways i do the less plowing i'm doing, thus the reason for the help for my route when it's a heavy snowfall..

    i think you'lll be fine. have fun and be safe out there, and judt make sure your guy with the quad job, never runs out of salt...
  10. mike thunder

    mike thunder Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Get a rider to go with you. He'll keep you company and shovel for you. Let him shovel while you're plowing. Take him with you for the resi's as well and let him shovel out near the garage doors and other detail areas. If you insist on going it alone get a nice single stage blower for heavier stuff and a good 30 in. shovel for the light stuff. I think if you go alone you're creating an unnecessarily long route for yourself.
  11. ProLawn Outdoor

    ProLawn Outdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    We do a lot of sidewalks, I'll chime in. Toro single stages work the best for 1-6". Get a few of them, they will break. They do a very clean job all the way to the pavement. Even if its an inch of snow, if its more than just a walk to the door I use a blower, so much faster, way less back, arm, and foot motion to go through, less fatiguing. Light snows, both of you grab a single stage and get to work. For heavier snows, one guy grabs a two stage and starts going. One guy grabs a single stage and follows him to clean-up the excess and get it down to the pavement. Who ever is done first grabs a shovel to do doorways, steps, etc. I agree with what others say, the single best way to do walks is manpower. Your gonna need more than just you. I always see the solo guys here when we get a big snow, they are running through their shoveling, blowing trying to keep up. Even see them bringing their wives/gfs along to help!! The problem I see with ATV's is when you have, lets say a 48" walk, theres no where to push the snow usually, unless you windrow it too the side, but then your gonna lose a lot of sidewalk, especially if you get a bad winter. If you have big sidewalks and entry ways where you could push snow into the lot, then plow it away, that would work well.