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what time do you try to have properties cleared by

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GSS LLC, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Lets say there's a snow overnight, you can start plowing by 5am. What time do you need to be done by? I've always wanted to be done by 7am. At least with main drives. I see some people saying lot will be cleared by 9am. Can you get away with that? People aren't mad?
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I try and have each lot done 15 minutes before the first car gets there.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I just make sure it's done by the time in my contract. If it doesn't stop snowing untill 5 am, or 9am I will have gone through each lot before the time stated in my contract, then I will go back through a second time to clean things up.
  4. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    Before they open is best time, weather its 5 minutes or 5 hours.
  5. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    i do mostly apartments. so 7am is my goal time. before people head out to work. i guess if youre doing business that open at nine or restaurants that open at 11, you get some more time.
  6. csi.northcoast

    csi.northcoast Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    i am there to catch every flake before it hits the ground.....seroiusly, most of my place are 24/7 so we are there
  7. bluerage94

    bluerage94 Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    Each site is different...certain ones are priorities...I have a few that are started as soon as there is 2" on the ground and try to keep up with the storm.
  8. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    I try and get my drives. No later than 730 ish. The older people that don't need to go any where by 9:00 but there are a few that's first
  9. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    There's trouble brewing if we can't start plowing before 5:00am...
  10. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    not if it didnt start snowing untill 3am and took till 5 to get 2 inches. thats iowa snow for ya. suuucks...
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    In a perfect world we would have all our places done by set times but mother nature doesn't allow for that. On late snowfalls we do what we can and are off site by 7am. We will return the following night and do a full plow and salting.
  12. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    Well .... who's smoking what. This question of WHEN is too funny.

    It's best effort to say you will have a property done by a certain time.
    It's reality to say you will have the property addressed within certain criteria.

    For instance ... if the storm hits at 4:am and your lot has to be cleared by 5:am your out of luck. If you have a storm that ends at 1:am then your golden by 5:am.

    The key is to have some level of shared understanding and expectation between the client and the service provider. wesport
  13. odd1or2even

    odd1or2even Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    ScottL nailed it.. it's all on the timing of when it started and ended. We've been lucky that it starts snowing late afternoon or later and it's done by 1 to 3am. We surely get everything opened up by morning rush 6-7am. Then we start driveways once all the commercial work is done. We have 9 commercial lots with 4 trucks with 2 v box spreaders, and then 65 driveways. Of course some people complain that we don't get to them fast enough (residential) but with only 3" or so.. just drive over it and go to work and we'll have it spotless by the time you return home.
  14. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475


    Has nothing to do with Iowa or Michigan or Maine.

    Last year, the one time the guessers were right, we had maybe a 1/4" at 5:30 AM. Called in the salt guys at about 5. By 6 AM there was well over an inch. By 7:30 there was 4" across the board.

    I think we wrapped up about 7 the next AM. Hit everything we could that morning, went around and cleaned up and resalted that night.

    So in answer to your question, we get properties done approx 5-6 hours after the good Lord sends the snow, if it's more than a 5-6 inches, we'll be taking a little longer.

    I had to educate a customer on this. They wanted it worded in the contract that we would have the lot plowed and salted by 7AM. I told them that was impossible. Even if I had guys sleeping on site, that's impossible.
  15. mpgall26

    mpgall26 Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    I won't put times in our contracts since there cannot be any guarantee. Whether it be storm timing, trees down blocking access, or whatever else can throw a curve ball. I do offer verbally that you will never be stuck for residentials and commercials we are there repeatedly from and inch until the end so it will always be continually serviced. I have offered references from other commercials who always comment how we set up camp when it snows then show up when it clears and walk the areas checking for issues.
  16. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    As a couple others have touched on, the time to have lots completed by is really relevant to the event your servicing, its timing, and accumulation rate. So then it comes down to your route turn around time, or as we call it "route cycle time" meaning the time it takes for your fleet (and or subs) to clear all of your lots with an average accumulation (2"-4"), from beginning to end. This includes response time upon call in, drive time, and potentially required break times, etc.. When laying out routes, or determining my fleet's capacity, I total route time up and then cross reference that with actual field data gathered during the winter. A standard route cycle time needs to be set, and become the expectation your customers have for you. Commercial is generally 2-3 hour route cycle time, where residential is 4-6 in my market.

    An important thing to also consider is what I call "traffic factor" which I add in as a percentage of inefficiency. Its such a dynamic thing its impossible to sit back and plan extra minutes for IF you hit traffic between accounts, so I use a percentage system for that. It took a few years of having to call customers and explain that there was an accident, and my driver is stuck in traffic before I figured out a way to overcome that. If no problems are incurred, that extra percentage of inefficiency added will put your truck running slightly AHEAD of schedule, and when a breakdown, traffic, and extremely fast accumulation is encountered, the driver will have built a window of extra time around him to handle the situation before the next customer expects the truck onsite. If nothing is incurred during an entire event, then you will just end up with customers that are very happy with service times.

    I am very open to my customers about my route cycle time to help them better understand that if it starts snowing out at 5am, and we have 2 inches by 6am they will most likely not be cleared when they arrive. Explaining how I lay this out to them does help some, but not completely. I will always have several customers that just don't understand anything besides instant gratification... I do my best and attempt to counter act this by providing e-mailed weather and service updates so they have time stamped service status and weather reports in they're e-mail. I found a lot of times, they would be asleep when it starts snowing out, and then wake up 20 minutes later to a white ground, they come into work assuming its been snowing all night and I've had several hours to clear it...
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  17. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    Awesome Wright up. I will have to remember a lot of this when I get alittel bigger.
  18. mpgall26

    mpgall26 Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Omg. I'm speachless
  19. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

  20. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    :drinkup: also every storm is different! In a perfect world it stops snowing at midnight and everything is cleared and salted by 6am but we all know that isn't how nature works.
    If it starts snowing into traffic we either salt before if it is 2" or less predicted or sit tight until after traffic and plow then....no point of being stuck in a traffic jam.