Don’t Hire a Snow Removal Company Unless They Answer These Questions
By Eric Brand
FINDING A RELIABLE snow removal company can be a challenge for property owners and managers.
There are plenty of snow management company representatives who will tell you that their companies will do a good job clearing snow and ice from your commercial property, but how do you know if they are reliable? It’s an important question because much can go wrong when it comes to snow plowing and snow removal.
It’s not unusual for a less than qualified vendor to cause tremendous damage to your property or wreak havoc on your expensive landscaping.
It’s also common for a snow removal vendor to arrive too late for a job, leaving your organization snow bound. This can give customers or employees an excuse to stay home instead of coming to your facility even after the stormy weather has passed.
Worst of all, what happens if your employee has an accident because the parking lot wasn’t properly cleared? This can cause serious problems for an organization.
If you are responsible for selecting a vendor, you’ll want to do everything in your power to find a reliable snow management company. To help with the vetting process, I’ve developed a list of questions that will separate the good from the not so good. Every qualified snow removal company should be able to answer these five questions.
Question #1: How long has your snow removal company been working with commercial properties?
If the snow plowing company has difficulty answering this question, it’s a good bet that they don’t have the experience needed to do the job correctly.
Question #2: Tell me about the fleet of equipment and the crews that you have available to clear snow and ice from my facility.
The vendors should indicate that they have multiple vehicles available (as backup) for snow removal and sanding. Other equipment should include pushers, skid steers, support trucks with salt, sand spreaders, snow blowers and, of course, drivers and snow shoveling crews. The most important point will be to make sure that snow removal companies have back up contingencies for the possibility of equipment breaking down.
Question #3: What considerations will you take into account when clearing snow from my commercial facility?
Prospective snow management companies should be able to discuss factors like the traffic flow in your facility, clear paths of visibility, dealing with melt and refreeze and expected time-to-completion.
Question #4: Is there a live person available to assist you 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week?
Unfortunately, weather doesn’t just happen during business hours. You’ll want to make sure there will be someone available when snow or ice hits or when things otherwise go wrong.
Question #5: Do you have your own salt supply or do you rely on someone else?
When salt gets scarce usually at the end of the season, vendors that don’t have their own supply are vulnerable. They may not be able to get a supply when you need it.
The answers to these questions will provide important clues as to if your snow removal vendor is qualified and reliable. At the very least, the answers can help you eliminate the less than qualified vendors so that you can focus on a short list and make the best possible decision.