How to Improve Your Plowing Game with a Plan

Created January 18, 2023

The first step to prepare for plowing season is securing a full schedule of properties. Keep route optimization in mind when bidding and choose service locations near each other to gain efficiencies and maximize time.

Do your research on market price for similar services in your area to remain competitive. This will help when determining contract types and pricing. There are free tools out there to help estimate adequately for different snow and ice removal services.

Preseason Property Walkthrough & Preparation

Once contracts are locked in, visit the site again in person to do a preseason walkthrough. Take notes and photos of any sensitive spots, obstacles, curbs, pre-existing damage, and other challenging areas.

Aspects to plan out with the site owner or manager:

  1. Where they want snow piled and stored – Watch out for drainage spots.
  2. How much are they okay with having pile up – Hauling away snow is usually an additional service that may require additional vehicles or equipment.
  3. Areas that would need special attention.
  4. How they want the property staked or areas to watch out for.
  5. Where to store larger equipment, if necessary.

Insider Tip: Talk to property owners about leaving a camera on site to monitor property conditions throughout a storm. Knowing the status of the lot can help you determine what equipment to bring or if you even need to make the trip.  

Finding the Right Tools for the Job

Plan how you will attack the property with equipment from largest to smallest. For a large, open lot, a pusher plow will allow you to move large amounts of snow at a time. Then, be prepared with a straight blade, v-plow, or winged blade with a spreader on the back. Having a mix of equipment and vehicle types allow contractors to clear properties as efficiently as possible. Larger equipment clears snow as quick as possible while small, versatile equipment is needed to maneuver around obstacles and do the final cleanup.  

Insider Tip: If you have large equipment that is needed for multiple lots, storing this at a central site will save time and money when the pressure is on.

In addition, be prepared to clear walkways and sidewalks with walk-behind equipment and UTV attachments. A UTV is a powerful piece of equipment that quickly clears walkways and cleans up hard-to-reach areas that a truck may miss.

Have a plan B for when things don’t go perfectly —It will most likely be the plan you end up using.  

Weather Plays a Huge Role

Weather conditions are constantly changing, and contractors need to be able to easily adapt in a moments notice. Having a plan in place for each type of storm and knowing how you will react to the varying conditions will be important.  

Track weather patterns and storms throughout the day and night so you can determine when a plan needs to shift. Know what equipment you need depending on rain, sleet, snow, and anything in between. If you have more ice and sleet, you will want to be prepared with more salt and sander trucks and may want to pre-treat prior to the storm. If there is more snow you will want to be prepared with additional plows.

Surprises Will Arise

There are tons of variables in the plowing game. No matter your experience level, there is always going to be a surprise. Be prepared with an emergency parts kit, safety equipment, tool kits, blankets, and more in the event of a breakdown. Having a flexible and plan-ahead type mindset will be critical because the only thing that’s predictable about winter is that it’s unpredictable.

Insider Tip: Build a good relationship with your nearest FISHER dealer that has 24/7 service because you never know when you might need help. Some things you just can’t plan for.

Go big with snow removal and get the equipment that’s going to get the job done all season long. The award-winning STORM BOXX™ pusher plows with TRACE edge technology move massive amounts of snow, so you can get more jobs done faster and better.

You may also be interested in these related articles: