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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK Guys, we are having a weird year as of the 3rd storm today. All 3 have started mid-day. Today it started snowing about 6 am and finished by 9 am. 4-5 inches of normal snow. Not too wet, but not fluffy dry. I got to the first job at 6:45 and called the rest of the team. The hiways were clogged by then so it took till after 8 to get them on site. Then we have had to monkey around all the parked cars and normal business in-and-out traffic. What a pain !
How do you cope? Do you put a truck on site any time the weatherman says over 20% chance? Do you wait until the storm develops and just do the best you can? Then clean up over night when no one is around.
We normally have our storms largely overnight. Start late afternoon, and done by 6 or 7 the next morning. Most of our commercial plowing is done by 8:30 am. Our routes are set for that kind of event. Thoughts?? Suggestions???:huh
 

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well, all I can say is that for 27 years I worked at a hospital. and it never mattered when the snow started, you just had to do what you could until the lots emptied out a little.

As far as commercial, I heard of someone who had their salt trucks go park at each of their major jobs a few hours before the storm was supposed to start. The driver got paid a minimum amount to sit there reading the paper basically.

Then when the storm started he went on regular time and started salting the lots and or roadways this allowed for immediate service, safe access and gave them a heads up on the storm, allowing the plow operators to get there in time to drop the blade. Of course the presalting helped prevent the hardpack.


unless you can magically figure some sort of teleport system from one site to another, you're always gonna get hung up in traffic in a snowstorm.

Mid day storms are bad but not unworkable, even if you only have one truck onsite keeping roads and rtravel lanes open for awhile.
 

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Just finished a 24-hour run.

We just start when gets over a 1/2", and do not stop until the lots are black.
 

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We run a 24-7 service. When it snows you go. The comerical lots, you open drives,clean in front of building, go back later to clear lots. You make the property as safe as you can with the cars in the way. Its no fun but when you have a contract thats about all you can do. You ajust to the weather. Lots of salt.


Tileman
 

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With the larger commercial sites it is sometimes a good idea to give pricing for clearing and salting the entrances, exits, and laneways, since that is all you can plow during the day. You can then go back and clear the rest in the evening.

It makes it easier at times rather than billing hourly for doing the work, and by the ton for salt. Both ways will work, but I favor the seperate pricing myself, it is easier to track. Additionally, it should be outlined in your contract how you will handle daytime snow falls and ice events, and how they will be invoiced.

IMO, the pricing for the complete plowing of the lots at the various increments should remain the same, even though portions of the lot have been cleared already.

As far as getting from site to site, I agree with Jeff.... as soon as it starts snowing, crews should be rolling or on site already. The price to pay them for an hour or two for sitting around is worth it IMO.

"I got to the first job at 6:45 and called the rest of the team. "

You should have called them before you left, or while on the way. Just giving input like you asked for.....

~Chuck
 

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Ditto most of what Chuck said. I start moving with the first flakes on a day time (week day) storm. Lots of people question me on that but I've been stuck in the past & I make sure we are able to get the required service where needed. I had posted in another thread about our Dec 5-6 storms. I was stuck in traffic crawling on a road trying to get about 3\4 of a mile from one account to another one. The cell phones weren't working because everyone was trying to call everyone else to tell them they were also stuck in the grid lock LOL. I couldn't reach my other truck to find out if they had in fact made it to that account. So I had to sit in the traffic for 45 minutes to go that 3\4 mile, ridiculous. My other truck finally did pass me when I had gotten to within ten minutes of the site, and I was relived of the stress of not knowing whether they could get in & out with 5 or 6 inches already down at that point. The customers seem to be understanding when they see that no traffic is moving anywhere, and I haven't had complaints in those situations. Other wise, as mentioned, you clear the lanes & entrances to the sites & buildings, and clean up the mess during the overnights.
 

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You gotta love when a storm lands on a friday night >because you have all weekend to clean them up.:D
 

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I think your snow response plan is going to vary from storm to storm. Depending on the time day, traffic patterns may be different. Would a different route order help to make things run smoother? Daytime events means that we are just trying to keep access open, you can't get caught up trying to plow the whole lot. If a lot normally takes an hour to plow, we may only plow for 20 or 30 mins. The other 30 min that that scheduled hour gets gobbled up with traffic.

Depending on the type of day, you may change the way the trucks plow the lots. In a bad storm they should focus on simply access. Essentially you're telling your trucks that they shouldn't ever see the "R" on the shift column - forward movement is all you want to see. If it's a little slower, they can tuck a few high profile spots. On the second round or trip through the lot as the storm slows down, you can begin to open the lot up a little more. Pull off the lots towards the end of the day and send the guys home to sleep/rest. Return after midnight to clean up the lots when they are empty.

If the storm requires it I'll call in an extra driver to help lighten the load by adding another truck to the routes. It's not always possible, but I'll do it when I can.
 

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i just recovered from sundays storm.i hope it snows every sunday for the rest of the season just alot easier.as for mid day storms commercial accounts are #1.depending on the amount of snow i make a pass in all my commercial lots then do the res.if its a small storm im on the commercials 100% until the storm ends and the lots are bare pavement.then its off to the res properties.


i go out an hour after the storm starts and work for 5 or 6 hours then come in for 2 hours.small storms i watch the radar and go out to cleanup about an hour before it stops.you can kind of tell when the end of the storm is near.nextel is my best friend when its snowing
 

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We have a few that need to be done by 6 and 6:30. Right now, there is maybe 1 hour left in the storm, only 3" though. My question is, if you guys go out before the storm ends, do you just leave the trace that falls afterwards, or clean it up the next night? BTW, we don't salt right now, so we can't rely on that to melt the trace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. So many times we get a mid day storm and it doesn't meet our trigger. I think now, I will call the team out if I reasonably expect it to hit trigger, even if it hasn't yet. Then just eat an hour to pay the guys to show up. It was frustrating to know our rigs were in traffic not plowing. an hour or 2 could make a major difference.
 
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