As we approach the beginning of summer, it’s time to start thinking about winter preparations for your snow removal business. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your business and determine if it’s ready for the upcoming winter season. Being proactive and preparing your business ahead of time can help you avoid potential problems and setbacks that could affect your operations during the winter.
Update or Create Your Snow Removal Operating Procedure
A comprehensive snow removal operating procedure is essential for any snow removal business to ensure that your operations run smoothly during the winter season. A well-crafted plan will help snow removal contractors manage their crews, equipment, and materials effectively, and it will also help ensure the safety of their staff and the public.
The snow removal operating procedure should outline the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team, from snow plow drivers to dispatchers. It should also include a detailed description of the equipment and materials that will be used during snow removal operations, including the types of snow plows, salt spreaders, and ice melt products.
In addition, the operating procedure should establish clear protocols for communication between team members and with customers. This includes how and when to communicate with customers about their snow removal services, as well as how to handle any complaints or issues that arise.
It is also important to include safety procedures in the operating procedure. Snow removal is a hazardous job, and safety should be a top priority for all team members. The operating procedure should outline safety measures for equipment operation, as well as for working in inclement weather conditions.
To ensure that the operating procedure is effective, it should be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. Contractors should seek feedback from their team members and customers to identify areas that can be improved upon.
By having a clear and comprehensive snow removal operating procedure, contractors can streamline their operations, reduce risks, and provide high-quality service to their customers.
Estimate Products Needed for Next Winter
When preparing for the upcoming winter, another important step is for snow removal contractors to estimate how much ice melt and road salt they will need for the season. This will allow them to order their supplies early and avoid running out during a winter storm.
To estimate how much ice melt and road salt they will need, contractors should consider the following factors:
- The size and number of properties they will be servicing. Larger properties will require more ice melt and road salt.
- The average snowfall and ice accumulation in their area. Areas with heavier snowfall and more ice will require more ice melt and road salt.
- The effectiveness of their snow removal equipment. If their equipment is efficient, they may need less ice melt and road salt.
- The storage capacity of their equipment. They should ensure they have enough storage for their supplies to avoid running out during a winter storm.
- The duration of their snow removal contracts. Longer contracts will require more ice melt and road salt.
Contractors should also consider the type of ice melt and road salt they will be using. There are many different types of ice melt products on the market, each with its own pros and cons. Some common types include:
- Calcium chloride: This is a fast-acting ice melt product that can work in temperatures as low as -25°F. It’s effective at preventing refreezing and is less damaging to concrete than other ice melt products. However, it’s more expensive than other options.
- Magnesium chloride: This is another fast-acting ice melt product that can work in temperatures as low as -13°F. It’s less damaging to concrete than other ice melt products and is more environmentally friendly. However, it’s also more expensive than other options.
- Rock salt: This is a common ice melt product that is effective at preventing ice buildup. However, it can be damaging to concrete and vegetation and is less effective in extremely cold temperatures.
- Potassium chloride: This ice melt product is more environmentally friendly than other options and is effective at preventing refreezing. However, it’s less effective in extremely cold temperatures.
Once contractors have estimated how much ice melt and road salt they will need, they should order their supplies early to ensure they have enough for the winter. They should also ensure their snow removal equipment is in good working condition and that they have enough storage space for their supplies.
By taking the time to estimate ice melt and road salt needs and ordering early, snow removal contractors can ensure that they are fully prepared for the upcoming winter season and can provide the best possible service to their customers.
In addition to ice melt products, contractors should also consider other snow removal equipment they may need for the upcoming winter. This may include:
- Snowplows: Contractors should ensure their snowplows are in good working condition and that they have enough plows to service their properties.
- Snow blowers: Contractors may also need snow blowers to clear sidewalks and smaller areas.
- Salt spreaders: Salt spreaders are necessary to efficiently distribute ice melt and road salt.
- Snow shovels: Contractors should ensure they have enough snow shovels for their employees to use.
- Backup generators: Contractors should consider investing in backup generators to ensure their equipment can still function during power outages.
By estimating their ice melt and road salt needs, ordering supplies early and ensuring their snow removal equipment is in good condition, contractors can prepare their business for the upcoming winter season.
It’s important to order your ice melt and road salt early, as supplies can be limited during peak winter months. Make sure to have a good relationship with your supplier so that you can get your order in early and ensure that you have enough product on hand to meet your needs throughout the winter.
Check for Property Damage & Fix It
In addition to preparing your equipment and materials, it’s also important to check your customer’s properties for any damage from the previous winter. Check for new potholes, cracks, curb damage, torn up or dead grass, and any other issues that could affect your ability to provide service. Addressing these issues ahead of time can help ensure that your snow removal operations run smoothly and efficiently.
Continuous Training for Crews
Snow removal is a demanding and high-pressure business. Snow contractors need to ensure that their equipment and operators are prepared to handle the challenges that winter brings. Training and certifications can play a crucial role in making sure your team is ready to handle whatever Mother Nature throws their way.
One popular certification for snow contractors is the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) Certified Snow Professional (CSP) program. The program is designed to test a contractor’s knowledge of the industry’s best practices, safety regulations, and techniques. The CSP certification is an industry-recognized symbol of excellence and is a valuable asset when bidding on jobs or promoting your business.
Another certification option for snow contractors is the Certified Snowplow Operator (CSO) program offered by the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA). This program is designed to ensure that operators are trained to operate equipment safely and efficiently while performing snow removal operations. The program covers topics such as pre-trip inspections, snowplowing techniques, and equipment maintenance.
In addition to these certifications, snow contractors should also provide ongoing training for their operators. Training should cover topics such as proper equipment operation, safety procedures, and customer service. Many equipment manufacturers offer training courses for their products, which can be a great resource for snow contractors.
It’s important to note that training and certifications are not just about improving your team’s skills and knowledge. They can also provide a competitive advantage when bidding on jobs and help to improve your business’s reputation. Customers want to know that they are hiring a reliable and professional snow removal contractor, and having certified operators and a well-trained team can help to provide that reassurance.
Preparing for the winter season requires more than just making sure your equipment is in working order and your customer contracts are up-to-date. It also requires careful planning, training, and certifications to ensure that your team is prepared to handle the challenges that winter brings. Investing in training and certifications for your team can help to improve your business’s reputation, win more bids, and ultimately, make your snow removal operations safer and more efficient.
Finally, it’s important to communicate with your customers ahead of time to ensure that they understand your snow removal services and what to expect during a snowstorm. This can include providing information on your service area, response times, and any special procedures that you follow during a snowstorm. Clear communication can help you build trust with your customers and ensure that they are satisfied with your services throughout the winter season. A formal snow removal proposal is always helpful to make sure your customers know exactly what to expect from you and when.
In conclusion, preparing your snow removal business for the upcoming winter season requires careful planning and attention to detail. By reviewing your operating procedures, estimating your ice melt and road salt needs, checking customer properties, training your team, and communicating with your customers, you can ensure that your business is ready for whatever winter weather may bring. Start preparing now to ensure a successful winter season for your business.
Get Ice Melt & Snow Equipment Quotes
If you would like to get a quote on ordering road salt, ice melt products, or snow removal tools like brine sprayers, salt spreaders or gloves, contact us today! We are open for pick up in Ijamsville, MD and we also ship anywhere in the United States.