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Discussion Starter #1
How long does it take you guys to complete your final run route from start to finish?
 

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That depends on the storm and the amount of help we have. 4-6 vehicles on a 4" snowfall is 6-7 hours but that has a lot variabilty as well, since the storm could drag out or travel time is effected if its during the day and traffic is heavy.
 

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We try to stay around four to five hours for a 2" - 4" snowfall. We have specific completion times listed in our contracts, so plow times are critical!

Chuck B.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
how do you deal with storms that "end" at say around 5am?
if you have lots that need to be open by 7 or 8am . I mean I know its tough but how do you know when you have exceeded timely service?

Thanks
 

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If a storm ends at that time we have a priority list that we follow. Medical places first, hotels second, and 24hr manufacturing or shipping third and retail is last, but thats a relative term, last means they can get into their properties but the others require a higher level of service and sometimes zero accumulation particularly during daytime hours. Basically I think you need an emergency plan if you get snow at the worst times and plenty of help.
 

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Clean Cut that is a very good question jd answers it well. Its alot of exper and alot of managing when the storm stops at 5 am first off what we do is still start around 2am i will go in and have the guys take the snow thats down has it approaches buss opening times my guys all know the buss and there opening times and they will do them per that time , this does become a good topic and is one of the reasons i have ended up with so much dam equipment cause almost every buss we do needs to be done most by 6am some by 5am and a good number by 7am if i get in a real jamb i start bringing the resi trucks off there routes and in to help my commerical teams. This year with the adding of the new f350 freds gonna become a floater its the first time in 16yrs i will not have a specific route i will be running the whole sector of are route helping both commercial teams by doing this we will beale to keep our accounts opened on time.

I think this whole topic is great cause the majority of accounts need that early open time and i think it really limits how much work a company can take on if they have limited equipment , the accounts i have picked up over the years were the other contractor was fired was because the place wasnt plowed on TIME has far has time on the total plow run were at 6to8 hrs with all jobs getting finished commerical, churches, condos , and resi
 

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residential

With residential it's a bit easier . During a large storm as long a you keep up with it most customers are willing to (brave ) driving thorugh about 5 inched of snow if the really have to get out . Customers know they can always call if they have a special request and I am very aware of the needs of any customers that are emergency personal . I can see with commericial ....it has to be ready for opening time .
 

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We've got about 9-10 hours per truck on an average snowfall. W start generally at 2:30 am get the commercial lots done first. We then split up into three routes, one light residential (snowblowing) and two other residential (apartments/condos etc).

Usually we are done at noon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
grasshopper,

how do your customers deal w/ only getting done by noon? don't the leave in the morning?

WE always try to have everyone cleared out by 7am

some of the commercials have to be done by 6am b/c of employees?
 

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I have always believed in completing the route at least once in 4 - 6 hours. For larger storms, the same applies, at least once at each site in 4 - 6 hours. MOST customers want to be cleared in a reasonable time frame. If your route takes 8 hours to do once, then that means that some of your customers will be waiting about 8 hours to get plowed for the first time. For most customers, that is unacceptable. I would not feel comfortable making anyone wait that long to see a truck on their site for the first time.

And yes, as many have said, there are many variables, and experience plays a big part in juggling the accounts to keep them all satisfied. It all starts with route planning long before the first flakes fall.

In all my years plowing on my own, and when I actually controlled when equipment arrived on site, I never had any complaints. I had questions as to when the trucks would return to finish up, or to plow again, but never any complaints. Part of this is due to the fact that I would lay it out to customers when discussing the contract specifications. Let them know what they can expect.

I found it shocking when speaking to some contractors who had signed a particular contract that called for service within 2 hours of a snowfall, and they told me it takes them 8 hours to do their routes once. They know for sure that at least some of those 2 hour response time sites would be waiting 8 hours, and they were OK with it. I just could not believe it.

When the heavy snow comes, they would take 14 hours+ to get to those sites the first time!

Amazing. :huh

Commercial sites can often be pacified, as I said before by laying it all out for them long before the snow flies. As long as you meet their expectations, then both parties are happy.

For instance, learing entrances, exit and laneways, loading docks, making a few passes in front of the buildings, clearing a portion of the lot, etc...

~Chuck
 

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I'm usually out for 8 hrs for 2"- 4", I sub for a guy and where I plow is a business center, and the one building is open 24hrs, so we start there and then open up the other places.
 

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time

I agree with Chuck .....6 hours is the longest time before I get calls from customers asking Where am I . Remember it will take another 6 and sometimes another 6 during a long deep storm
 

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Commercial sites can often be pacified, as I said before by laying it all out for them long before the snow flies. As long as you meet their expectations, then both parties are happy.
For instance, learing entrances, exit and laneways, loading docks, making a few passes in front of the buildings, clearing a portion of the lot, etc
Chuck around here thats known as "showing the flag" or "show them we didn't forget about 'em"

Your right about contractors not planning their route out at all. I just picked up a sizeable account due to a contractors attitude about timely snow removal. I would be leaving my accounts near this one in the morning (say 8-9am) and this place wasn't done or he would just be getting there :rolleyes:

It was an easy sell to the management after what I had seen all winter :cash
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thats guys thats what i was looking for!:headwall
 

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Clean Cut Lawns said:
grasshopper,

how do your customers deal w/ only getting done by noon? don't the leave in the morning?


The residential customers that are done towards noon are the ones that don't mind waiting until then, or don't have a car anyway, but just want the driveway done for visitors etc. They are usually older people. Also we don't get a whole lot of plowable storms here, maybe 10 a year, so we have to have a 10 hour route to make any money in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
we only get about 10 plowable events as well
 

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Last year my route took me about 8 hours on average. Like always, I looked at records to see how long everything took, raised prices and got rid of PITA, slow paying, etc. customers hoping for quicker times and better service. IMO 8 hours IS a little too long, even for residential, since storms don't always end at 10 PM (wouldn't that be great?). During the President's day storm (we "only" got 18") I only had one unhappy customer which turned out to be BS. The customer was upset about the windrow from the road plow which was high. The rest of the drive only had about 3". I think she still thinks I gave her bad service since I didn't receive the contract back.

When the heavy snow comes, they would take 14 hours+ to get to those sites the first time!
You think that's bad. I gave a customer a price last year and he thought it was high. He then proceded to tell me about another contractor that told him his route takes 24 HOURS!!! Can you believe that?!?!?!?!

-Tim
 

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Last season a 4-6" snowfall would average 8 hrs but this year i have cut that in half.I know local contractors who are plowing for days after a 4-6" snowfall and i'm blown away that people would put up with that?
 
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