Archive for the ‘Snow Removal’ Category
Once your commercial lot is cleared after a snowfall you may think that you are done, right? Maybe, maybe not. What kind of an answer is that you ask? Well, it really depends on a number of factors.
There are many circumstances that can change the conditions in your lot.
1.) What is the temperature and is it melting the snow during the day and freezing at night?
If you have this condition, your lot can become a skating rink as the temperature goes below the freezing mark. If you have employees or customers using your lot, the black ice that may be present is a great risk to you.
2.) Is the wind blowing and drifting snow back into your lot once it is cleared.
The drifting conditions that may be happening in your commercial parking lot, may happen all the time, or may just be due to the direction of the wind on a particular day.
3.) Has there been any dusting of snow that may have turned into ice as drivers have driven over them.
Many snow storms are followed by smaller snow showers that may just give a dusting of snow. Occasionally the weather conditions and the timing of the snow is just right to allow this snow to be driven on and instead of melting, it may actually turn into a slippery, dangerous ice patch.
4.) Has the snow turned to rain, then ice with dropping temperatures.
Many times this condition ends up with very little actual snow accumulation, but may present a very dangerous situation in your commercial parking lot.
There is more to managing snow removal in commercial parking lots, than just removing snow. Ice control can be a larger issue, especially in southern Wisconsin. The Janesville, Beloit area tends to be on the edge of many winter storms. Many storms start as rain and end in ice or snow.
Salting lots should be part of your discussion with your commercial snow removal company. When do they salt? Who is responsible for notification? Is there someone on site that is responsible for that decision? How is your snow removal company to monitor the lot?
These are important considerations and you should understand what your commercial snow plowing contract includes and what it does not. The most important consideration should be the safety of your employees and customers.
It’s fall in Wisconsin. Such a great time of year! The weather is perfect for working outdoors and getting your landscape ready for winter. But fall is also the time that you need to contract your snowing plowing for your commercial lots. If you wait until the snow falls, you may be surprised at how unavailable reputable snow plowing companies are at that time.
Commercial snow removal is serious business and must be a priority in any Wisconsin business’s operating budget. You may just assume that your company that took care of you last year will do so again at the same cost. This is not a safe business practice.
Each year you should be checking the market. Your snow removal company may have had changes. They may be out of business or increased their costs. Putting your snow plowing contract out for quotes each year will assure that you are aware of what the market will be in the current year and will help you understand that challenges this season.
Since the removal of snow is completed with trucks, the price of gas is a great factor in the equation of the snow removal contract. Does the company you contract your commercial snow removal with have a set price or are they at the mercy of the market?
Does your snow removal company have the proper insurance? This is something that you should check each year. Have your commercial snow removal company give you a current certificate of insurance each year. Be sure that you look at it to make sure you are comfortable with the coverage. This should include worker’s comp insurance. If your snow removal company does not carry worker’s comp, you could end up paying the premium on your insurance. You don’t need that surprise at insurance audit time!
If you haven’t contracted or put your snow contract out for quote recently, you may want to consider getting busy! Fall is on the late side of commercial snow removal contracting. Old man winter doesn’t wait for you to find a convenient time in your schedule. He will decide when he will blow in whether you are ready or not.
Give Joe Rebout’s Complete Lawn Care and Snow Removal a call at 608-373-0769 to quote your commercial snow removal needs.
Having a contract with a reliable snow plow company is a necessity for a commercial property owner. The wrong company can wreck havoc on a business and make an owner’s life miserable. When the storms hit and the parking lot doesn’t get plowed in a reasonable time, snow is piled improperly or customers’ cars aren’t handled appropriately, a business can suffer serious losses and possibly be subject to legal action.
A wise commercial property owner knows it is important to keep customers or tenants happy and keep their lot accessible. They know they need a good snow plow company.
How do you go about choosing a snow plow company?
The last thing you want to do is pick someone arbitrarily out of the local penny saver. You want to find an established business with references and a good history.
Be sure before you start looking, that you have made a thorough list of your needs and expectations so there are no surprises later. You can talk with other property owners to determine some of these, but your parking lot may have special requirements that you need to think about. You want to cover any
You can start by contacting other commercial property owners and learning from them what their experience has been with the company they use. If you belong to a group of investors or business owners, begin with other members. If you belong to the chamber of commerce, you can start with members there.
You can search on the internet for established companies that tell you about themselves on their websites. You can find out who the owners are so that you can research them. Be sure the company is local and not just using a local mailing address or a local office. Some companies advertise that they service your area, but in reality their main business where their equipment is stored is a long distance away. This could mean not getting timely service when you need it.
When you think you have found a company, call the Better Business Bureau to confirm they have a good history without unresolved complaints. You can also check with the licensing department locally to determine if their business license is current and in good standing.
Do a quick Google search with the companies name and in different searches add the words: “company name service”, then “company name problem” or “problems”? This will sometimes return complaints and remarks by angry or disgruntled clients who have had a bad experience.
When a company gives you references, don’t assume anything. Check the references personally by going to the location and seeing if it is similar to your parking lot, so you know they can handle the job. Be sure you get references from other commercial companies and not someone’s uncle Bob who is giving them a made up reference to help out.
Check to make sure the company is properly insured and that everything is current. Look carefully at any contract and be sure that you are in agreement with the terms.
Careful investigation and preparation can make all the difference in your experience with the snow plow company you hire. Be sure you are getting someone you can depend upon when the snow starts falling.
Having a reliable snow plow service can mean the difference between maintaining a steady stream of customers and having to close your doors. This is not something that you contract for when the snow season has started. By the time the snow starts falling, it is too late to go looking for a snow plow company.
Most snow plow companies contract far in advance of the snow season. They know that they will only be able to service as many customers as they have reliable equipment. They also need to know how many customers they will service, so that they can be prepared with enough employees. This means they need more than snow plow operators.
A snow plow company needs mechanics and maintenance people for the equipment. They have to hire enough dispatchers and office workers to keep the company functioning twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Snow doesn’t give them an opportunity to plan for down days as a rule. They have to be prepared for the worst case scenario of ongoing, heavy storms that can keep them working day and night for months.
A wise business owner knows they need to have a contract in place long before the snow season begins. The time to start looking for a new snow plow company is as soon as possible. What does that mean? It may mean starting to look at the end of the snow season, almost a year before the next season. Hopefully it doesn’t mean in the middle of the snow season because the company you chose is unreliable.
If you have a company that shows more than one time that they are not doing the job, begin looking for a replacement immediately. Anyone can have a problem that is unavoidable one or two times, and you can look at the circumstances to determine if it was this type of situation. If it is not, then start looking for a new company before you terminate the existing one.
Snow plow companies may be at their maximum customer allowance once the season begins, so you will probably have to really work hard to find someone who is reliable who can accommodate you during this time of year.
Why would you look for a snow plow company when it isn’t snowing? You want to have time to investigate companies thoroughly so you don’t end up having to look for one in the middle of the snow season. You may be added to their schedule, but you will certainly not be first on the list to plow.
You will have a number of advantages by starting at the earliest possible time. You will have time to check with other companies for references. You will have the leisure of examining contract and make sure that they have appropriate insurance. You can make sure that they have the equipment to plow and apply salt when necessary.
Most of all, by looking for a snow plow company and contracting with them long before the snow season, you will have confidence that your business can operate uninterrupted and you will have peace of mind.
The weatherman isn’t able to tell you what the exact snow fall will be each winter, or when it will happen. If you are going to budget for the next snow season these are facts you would like to have.
There are other ways to estimate what your challenges will be. One of these is to look at the weather history for your area.
There are records by graph of dates, number of inches and which months have snow fall for the last five years. These are targeted to your general area and are available through the National Weather Service. You may not be able to get the specific for snow fall in Janesville, Wisconsin but you can either get Madison, Wisconsin snowfall or Rockford, Illinois snowfall and figure out an average.
The weather service can also provide a general idea of the type of winter you can expect. Sometimes
because of specific conditions in different world the patterns, they can tell you whether an extra cold, or warm winter is expected. Ocean surface temperatures and atmospheric conditions can determine where storms go and whether the thermostat goes up or down.
Armed with this information, you can begin to get an estimate of the heaviest snow months and the snow fall averages for these times. You could use an average of these to determine how much plowing you will need, but it would be wise to use the highest possible numbers for your estimates to be safe. That way if you have more budgeted than you need, you can put the money towards the next year or other needs, like parking lot maintenance and repairs.
Another fact you will need to check far in advance is what the snow plow companies are expecting
for the winter and what they will be charging. They are often very aware of these facts and plan the amount of equipment they will have available accordingly. They can also furnish you with prices based on contracting for the season or by incident.
If you choose to go by incident of need, then you may find they are unavailable when you need them. Nothing is worse for a business than finding their customers aren’t able to get to them because their
parking lot is blocked by snow.
Throughout the year, it is wise to set aside a specific amount out of profits toward an account just for snow plow needs and parking lot maintenance. Once you know what the companies are charging on average and how any extraordinary weather conditions may add to your costs, you can determine how much to set aside to be prepared for any eventuality. Add a percentage increase for the following year to offset any increases the Plow companies need to make to allow for increases in their costs as well
You will also want to check what is included in the services for which you contract. What is the cost of removal of the snow in the event that the snow piles are just too much for your lot. Large piles can create hazards of their own. They will block the view of drivers, create ice flows when melting, and just become generally unsightly. Discuss the removal with your contractor and what the cost will be.
Whatever you decide with regard to the services you contract, you will want to be sure you have enough budgeted to get you through the entire season. Commercial snow removal in Janesville, Wisconsin is just a part of doing business and should be considered in your budget like any other expected expense. Keep in mind to be sure your snow removal company is properly insured. If you skimp on your expense by choosing an uninsured contractor, you may blow your budget all to pieces by having to pay out claims.
Through the many years of managing a business and interacting with the business world I’ve often wondered how people choose a company to work. I have been “lucky” to have had the majority of my experience with other companies be pleasant. But is it luck?…… Actually no, no matter how small or big a project I had done I have always used an elimination method to make sure I choose a company that is capable of meeting my expectations. Most of what I do is common sense, but you may not think to do it before making a decision, which can be costly in the end. Here are some steps to follow to increase the chances of having the best possible outcome.
1. Always ask for references- try to get referrals from family and friends when possible. If you do request and receive referrals don’t be afraid to use them and don’t be afraid not to. Sometimes all it takes is the request to tell if the service provider is reputable. If they have no references it may be a red flag, ask questions to determine the reason why the information is not available.
2. Don’t choose a company just because they’re the cheapest- Ask yourself why they may be cheaper than other companies. Is it an unrealistic number, and in the long run you’ll spend more because the company is not efficient or reliable? Are you comparing apples to apples, is one company offering services that the other is not?
3. Ask if the company has liability insurance- God forbid something goes wrong, but if it does you will be at ease knowing the company providing the service has the adequate insurance to cover damages. Not only should a company have general liability insurance but they should also have commercial auto insurance and workers compensation insurance if they have employees. This will also tell you how reputable and legit the company is. Insurance is an expensive costs incurred by companies, but not having it can be a bigger costs….not only to the business owner but also to the customer
4. Take a look at the companies work previously performed- this goes along with requesting references. When you have a specialty service or detailed project make sure you know the company is knowledgeable and has performed the services before. Ask for pictures or examples, they’re suppose to be the experts, not you. The last thing you want is a trial and error project-Make sure your getting what your paying for
5. Lastly, ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. It doesn’t hurt to be more informative, that way you both know exactly what you want.